Nowadays, a lot of professional wrestling consists of inflated egos, scandalous back stories and ridiculous characters.
EMERGE Wrestling aims to break the stereotypical mold and return to the roots of the sport while also helping out the community.
“We just wanted to offer something different,” EMERGE owner Dave Dynasty said. “We kind of thought the (pro wrestling) stuff out there is stale. Wherever you go the shows kind of seem the same. We saw some guys that needed a chance and should have an opportunity, so we thought there was a better talent pool that should be showcased.”
EMERGE, in its first year as a company, has its roots in southeastern Indiana. Its wrestlers have performed in Seymour and Columbus in their first two events.
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The first show took place at Celebrations Receptions and Events Center in Seymour on Jan. 10. EMERGE sold 413 tickets to the public.
On Feb. 7, at the Developmental Services Inc. gymnasium in Columbus, Emerge sold 441 tickets and had to turn people away because it filled to capacity.
At the event, EMERGE helped raise $1,500 for the organization’s construction project. Developmental Services is a not-for-profit organization that provides services for adults and children with mental, physical and emotional disabilities.
“We’re trying to bring a good light to the professional wrestling world,” wrestler Donny Idol said. “Honestly, sometimes, there’s a bad reputation. Sometimes it does deserve it. If you can find some guys who do it who love the business, for unselfish reasons, then it can be a really good thing for the community and us as well. It helps us grow as people as well.”
On March 14, EMERGE will conduct another event at Celebrations. At the event, there will be opportunities to donate toward the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.
“We just put on a benefit show for the Relay for Life, and they brought a few kids with cancer in,” Idol said. “At intermissions, all your fan favorites come out, and you can take pictures and get autographs with them. Anything we can do like that in the community, we’re all for.”
EMERGE takes pride in not forcing story lines, instead letting them come from the matches. The best wrestlers compete against one another, just like any other sport.
“Everyone is sick of the cartoony (stuff) that’s been around,” wrestler Ricky Ruckus said. “You see the guys running around, coming out of the tarps and everyone is over it. We used to do the shows, go home and not tell anyone about it because we were embarrassed to do it. We did it because we loved to wrestle and be in the ring. We wanted to do a show we’re actually proud of.
“You only have so many years you can wrestle, so EMERGE got a group together.”
During the events, which typically start at 7 p.m., seven matches take place featuring as many as 20 wrestlers.
“The bell starts at 7, and we have two intermissions, and we try to have the last match done by 9:30,” Ruckus said. “That way you get your show for your money. We want everybody who saw it after that match (to say), ‘Man, I can’t wait until the next one.’ We want people buzzing afterwards.”
At the start of matches, wrestlers enter to their own videos.
“We have a higher production value for the shows,” Dynasty said. “We use entrance videos and promo videos online to build interest for our shows. We utilize the Internet and social media a lot. You go to a lot of shows, and it seems like they threw up a ring and grabbed some guys off the street to put on a show.”
During the first 24 hours of ticket sales for the March event, the front row completely sold out. Of the 500 to 600 capacity at Celebrations, around 200 tickets remain.
“At the first show we had people saying it was the best show they ever saw, and in the second those same people said it was better than the first,” Ruckus said. “We have the matches planned for the third show, and we even think it’s going to be better than the last.”
During matches, don’t expect a wrestler to stay on the microphone for 15 minutes.
“I would say we’re more sports and a little less entertainment,” Idol said. “You watch on TV and see all this ridiculous stuff. That stuff has its place, but it’s not us. These athletes are legit; these guys are week-in and week-out wrestlers. That’s our biggest thing that sets us apart. You will be entertained at our shows, but it will be for the wrestling.”
EMERGE plans to put on one a show every month, with some added benefit events in between, and will switch between the Seymour and Columbus locations.
To learn more about EMERGE visit emergewrestling.com.
What: EMERGE Wrestling
Where: Celebrations Event Center, Seymour
When: March 14
Tickets: $10 general admission. Available at Celebrations, Emergewrestling.com or by calling 812-603-1630.
Concessions will be available at all events and all ages are welcome to attend.