(VIDEO AT BOTTOM)
When my brother Dion and I were growing up, we were very active. We would ride bikes down 17-92, skateboard to Taco Tico and of course wrestle, as most brothers are prone to do. This was what you did when you couldn’t afford an Atari, figure out the damn Rubiks cube and simply wanted to release pent up energy.
It was in our generation that Dusty Rhodes, Chief “Wahoo” McDaniels and the VonErich Brothers were popular, as was the Dukes of Hazard and Chips. We would tune in on Saturday mornings while gathering our laundry for the week, and tune in to the Florida Wrestling television show. It was a glorious piece of broadcast history, as the bearded man with the microphone would scream into the television set, sucking us in like deer to headlights. It was there that we would study our next moves to try out on each other.
Many decades have passes since those amazing wresters were our heroes, but that nostalgic feeling never went away.
This past Friday, while reviewing something online, I stumbled upon an ad for the Micro Wrestling Championships event that was being held in Sanford, Florida. I immediately giggled to myself and carried on in my search.
Then it hit me…..HOLY CRAP,……”Micro” ?????? Like as in small, like as in really small.
MIDGET Wrestling indeed! Now bear in mind, I have always heard the rumor of these wrestlers who were better and more entertaining than the original average size athletes I use to watch on television. I had to explore this more. I sent a message to the Facebook page in hopes of hearing back. Hours later, I was in and headed North.
Upon arriving to the West End Trading Company I entered, only to find a pretty cool bar with about 30 people drinking and watching television. I asked myself if I had the address to the right place. Walking to the back, I entered through a black curtain and that is when the smile spread across my cheeks. It was actually there in all its glory, the 9x9 foot ring. It had neon green ropes and turnbuckles in the corner that were so tight that even Floyd Mayweather Jr. couldn’t get away. It was awesome!
I met the wrestlers about 2 hours before showtime and every single one was as nice as could be, they were prepping and smiling the entire time. I could only stand and watch as they shuffled in and out of the venue doing what they have done so many times before. Then they disappeared.
Hours later I would see what all of the fuss was about. The bar was pitch black, vape smoke filled the air as did the loud rock music. The venue was packed, standing room only. Grand enterances and introductions were made and then it was every fighter for themselves. Fight after fight happened and then just before the finale, a Royal Rumble broke out. If I was still 12 years old I would have found Nirvana.
The UFC has nothing on these folks lemme tell ya. The moves were incredible, each wrestler played the part well enough to take home an Emmy and the fans, well lets just say they were totally involved after picking their favorite wrestler and booing at the heels. It was truly worth my time.
Camerawise this was very hard to capture. My settings for ISO were above 10,000 and f2.8 with a small LED onboard light. Even then, 40% of my images were soft or out of focus.
I hope to hook up again when they come to town, and I would suggest you do the same if you get the chance. WWW should put some of these fighters on the next card.