On Saturday night, I finally took up my friend Chris’ offer to attend one of his wrestling shows out in Rockwall. Chris, who has been mentioned on Homers several times, is involved with the Christian Wrestling Federation, a one-of-a-kind of ministry that combines an evangelical message with hard-hitting, balls-to-the-wall wrestling performances.
While the CWF puts on shows all over Texas, their “headquarters” are in a nondescript warehouse on the outskirts of Rockwall. A more perfect wrestling venue you will not find. Roughly 250 people of all ages squeezed into seating that was practically on top of the ring. Those of you old enough to remember the Sportatorium know that the key to a great wrestling venue isn’t bells and whistles. It’s about creating an intimate environment where the fans feel like they’re part of the show, not just watching the show. It’s about recognizing that wrestling is at its best when it’s taking place in high school gymnasiums, church auditoriums, storage garages and, in this case, a warehouse. The Sportatorium was nothing more than a tin shed, but it was electric inside. The CWF warehouse captures that same spirit.
You might think a promotion that wrestles in the name of the Lord might be toned down and light on the showmanship. Well, you’d be very wrong. These wrestlers were intense. The show had great drama and an awesome plot line (for lack of a better word). Just as much action took place outside the ring as it did in it. The faces were heroic and the heels were despicable. It quickly became apparent that the wrestlers were great athletes who’ve spent some time perfecting their craft. Sitting ringside, I assumed that being so close I’d be able to see a lot of the nuances of wrestling that keep the grapplers from getting hurt. I couldn’t see anything. It felt like I was watching a street fight at some points. Look, I know this stuff isn’t technically “real”, but at one point Chris kicked his opponent in the head and I swear to God it sounded like the dude’s skull cracked. I also witnessed a wrestler climb to the top turnbuckle (a good 10 feet above the ground) and dive onto two other wrestlers outside of the ring. This was the same wrestler who moments earlier had waved several older ladies out of their seats so he could throw his opponent face first into their rows of chairs. I kept waiting for the tables, razor blades, ladders and light bulbs to make an appearance. True greatness.
And all this entertainment was provided for the very reasonable cost of $0.00. Free pizza for everyone in attendance is included in that fee. Needless to say, I was blown away by the presentation. I’m thinking I’m probably gonna become a regular out there. They put on shows in Rockwall pretty much every month and I encourage anyone who’s a wrestling fan in this area to check it out. It’s a fantastic show for a fantastic cause provided at a fantastic price.
The only thing I ask is that I have two reserved ringside seats at every show from here on out. What say you, Chris? Can we make that happen?
Follow the jump for more photos of the show. Actually, all the photos are of Chris’ match. Chris, in green, is a heel named Angel who basically beat the shit out of his opponent, Jesus Freak.
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