Like athletes in sports across the world, many of the wrestlers in the New Era Wrestling League out of Fort Myers were influenced by the wrestlers they would watch on television. Heroes defeat the villains and sometimes the villains beat the heroes. A lot can happen in one match. Wrestlers who appear as friends can turn on each other and become enemies. There’s a story that begins to unfold in front of the crowd.
“You have got to tell the story in your fight inside the ring,” said Bruce Stokes, one of the owners of the New Era Wrestling League, “It’s almost like a live action comic book.”
It’s all a part of the show. That’s the main goal for the wrestlers in New Era Wrestling. The show.
Showtime at the Riverside Community Center is starting to get close and all of the wrestlers are backstage getting dressed and going through their own pre-show rituals. Matches are being discussed, some prayers are said and occasionally someone will peak out between the curtains to see the seats being filled with friends and fans.
“When you start to hear the fans coming in, that’s when you start to get excited and nervous at the same time,” said Stokes.
This is the first time the New Era Wrestling League has had a show in the venue. They want to make sure everything goes well so they can keep the fans coming back. Tonight is also important because a new champion will be named. Everyone is a contender. Who will win? Will it be the hero or the villain?
Each wrestler has a character and role that they take on for their match. Richie Paradise takes on the role of a villain. He brags about how great he is and comes across to fans as a man who cannot be beat before he enters the ring. He beats on the hero when he’s down and feeds off the booing of the crowd. The match takes a turn when the hero starts to strike back. The booing turns to cheers and the villain begins to fall. It’s a classic formula that people see everyday in movies, television, plays, and even the world of politics.
Professional wrestling may not be for everyone, but its premise can be relatable to anyone’s everyday life. Sure, not everyone settles a disagreement by battling it out in a ring with four corners and high ropes, even though some people would like to. It’s an escape from the daily battles everyone goes through. Some people like to watch their favorite team score a game winning touchdown, or score the game winning shot at the buzzer; but there are people out there that like to see their hero beat the villain with a power bomb off of the top ropes. In the end, if the end result makes you happy, what’s the difference?
To see these wrestlers in their element, the next show will be at the Riverside Community Center in Fort Myers on Jan. 3.