ST. LOUIS — There is a big professional wrestling scene in the St. Louis area. One of the spots hosting matches is the historic South Broadway Athletic Club in Soulard.
The action provides a bit of everything.
“If you want to watch it as a drama, you can watch it as a drama. If you like sport, we have that too,” ring announcer Ben Simon told 5 On Your Side.
The wrestlers are athletic.
“They can do stuff that no other man can do,” Joey O’Farrell with Grandel Wrestling said.
They jump off the top ropes and slam into one another in the ring. The physical side appeals to wrestler War House.
"I love that I get to slam their faces into the turnbuckles and bounce their hands off the mat, and I get to be that little white flash right before they get knocked out. That’s what I love," he said.
The fans seem to enjoy what they’re seeing.
“People who are wrestling fans are just so passionate about it,” O’Farrell said.
“What’s not appealing about this? Larger-than-life big bad personalities tearing each other up, at each other’s throats, nonstop,” War Horse said.
But the constant wrestling can be wearing on their bodies.
“It’s tough,” Simon said.
“Mentally and physically hard. You know, this business is you’re going to work hurt,” Pro Glory wrestler Davey Richards said.
They’re willing to take the physical pounding because of their desire to maintain and live up to the legacy of pro wrestling in St Louis. The city was famous decades ago for Wrestling at The Chase.
“We have an amazing history here," Simon said. “(It's) really engrained in this city’s culture."
Grandel Wrestling is looking to reestablish St. Louis as the No. 1 city in the sport. They’re putting on an upcoming show at the Grandel Theater in the Grand Arts District.
"It’s not your basic wrestling show," O'Farrell said. " There’s nothing like this. It’s in a theater. It’s on a stage."
The show is called St. Louis versus the World.
“Man, this is our showcase," Simon said. "It’s going to show the world that St Louis is the place to be in professional wrestling."
"Sometimes you got to get in there and prove (it), and we’re more than willing to do that,” Richards said.
Richards is confident in the St. Louis wrestlers.
“We won’t disappoint," he said.
The show is also their way of showing fans what their support has meant to their efforts.
“This city is very appreciative of the sacrifices we make and we’re appreciative right back,” Richards said.
“It’s about how much the community believes in these people,” O’Farrell said.
If you would like to learn more about St. Louis vs. the World, click here.
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