On Saturday, Classic City Wrestling will host its fourth event of the summer at the Southern Brewing Company.
The new promotion, founded by Scott Barnett, Justin Burnham and Cole Taylor, features live music from local band Classic City Jukebox, food trucks and, of course, wrestling, with nine professional matches taking place on Saturday night.
” It was great ; they draw a really good crowd,” wrestler Rose Gold said of her involvement with the company. “Everything is really fun, very professional and they always provide us with food and drinks.
“You get a bit of everything, you get Lucha libre; you get high-flying action; you get hardcore matches; you get some salsa dancing from yours truly,” said wrestler and luchador Cuatro Cabezas. “It’s a real moment of pleasure for everyone. All ages, all types of cultures… that’s the kind of party I love to see.
An experience in Athens
Classic City Wrestling grew out of screening parties Taylor hosted at the Flicker Theater and Bar. The events were called “Classic City Wrestling” and featured classic wrestling matches.
“It was a lot of non-wrestling fans having fun,” Taylor said. “They would like to drink beer and shout at the screen.”
According to Taylor, while the guests enjoyed the parties and he wanted to expand in-person wrestling, they became expensive to maintain and faltered over time.
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor began working at another wrestling company, where he met former wrestling party attendee Burnham and his friend, Barnett.
When the duo approached Taylor to see if he would be interested in starting a new venture under the name Classic City Wrestling, they gladly joined forces.
“It felt like a dream come true,” he said. Taylor, who is music director by day, books live music for events and performs as ring announcer when in town, while Barnett handles event logistics and Burnham books talent and writes. the scripts.
Together, the trio strive to create an experience that Burnham describes as “unique to Athens.”
Get into character
Classic City Wrestling matches are based on improvisation.
As performers arrive for the event, Burnham distributes scripts for the evening, outlining the winners and losers in the story they will tell. Wrestlers generally do not rehearse and have little time to discuss moves with their opponents before a match. Sometimes it’s the first time they meet face to face.
“When you book talent, you have to be very careful to book people who can adapt to any story,” Burnham said. “But a lot of these guys are so well trained that they can go out in the ring and communicate all the time about what’s next and the fans have no idea they’re even talking. It’s almost like magic. .
Wrestlers Rose Gold and Jazzy Yang typically spend five days a week in the gym preparing for the physical aspects of a match, with more time to get into character. Others, like Specter and Terry Yaki, train at World Wrestling Alliance 4, a wrestling school in Atlanta.
For Spectre, applying face paint is an important part of performance preparation and Gold enjoys getting ready by listening to musicians like Megan thee Stallion and Nikki Minaj.
“I feel like [wrestling has] helped me not to be so shy and to be a lot more open,” Gold said. “In the ring, I’m more outgoing… my favorite thing is to just go out and be myself.”
Gold describes her wrestling persona as “a stuck up rich girl”, and she always gets excited when she gets to wrestle with her boyfriend, Nathaniel Vanderbilt. In Saturday’s match, she will join forces with him and their ally, Warden, to take on Cabeza Dynasty and Jazzy Yang.
As for his role in Saturday’s match, Cabezas said: “Don’t miss it. Whether my opponents know it or not, it’s going to be one hell of a dance party.