Edmonton has plenty of niche local live shows, but did you know there’s a community for local pro wrestlers? Picture this: you buy your ticket, get in your car and drive to the South Edmonton Rec Room for a Love Pro Wrestling show. You find parking in a crowded parking lot; it’s a sold-out show and you barely got tickets. You walk in, navigate yourself to the auditorium, find your friends, then grab a seat in the mezzanine with a center view of the ring (beer in hand). The ring announcer, Spenser Love, introduces the show, and thus “the best damn professional wrestling in Edmonton” begins.
During the show, I watched several intense matches. A manager faced another manager for the right to remain in the federation. A knock down drag out brawl between four wrestlers resulted in a heartbreaking loss and a manager saying goodbye to the ring forever. Wrestlers from all over Canada met in the ring and battled for various championship belts. They were thrown into the crowds, flying elbows were dropped and referees made the world’s slowest count to three. I saw my friend, who is a referee, get knocked out, leading to a finale that brought in almost every wrestler on the ticket to the ring in an all-out war. At the end of the night, the grand championship belt changed hands. A bloodied champion rose from the mat and held his belt high. The crowd had a new champion to root for, and the champion had a new title to defend. I watched in absolute awe of the carnage of the show.
If I said that this Love Pro Wrestling match was the best match they ever put on, I would be right. It was one the most insanely entertaining and enjoyable matches I’ve ever seen them do. But I would only be right until November 24 when they find a way to top themselves. Love Pro Wrestling always manages to make the last Friday of month the best Friday of the month.
But, the thing that stuck out about that evening wasn’t the wrestlingit was the showmanship I saw that can be found in so many of Edmonton’s live shows and sporting events. After the show, I spent some time with family and a constant point of conversation was “Edmonton is dead” or “there’s nothing to do here except drink and be cold.” I bit my tongue. I love this city; I know it’s not perfect and it has its problems. But to say there’s nothing to do here is just factually wrong. Every weekend, there is a lecture, concert, event, festival, market, or exhibit somewhere in Edmonton praying for people to attend. These are not hard to find – you just have to pay a little more attention to your community.
As someone who’s experienced this, I promise you; you’ll find something worth your time. My late uncle used to say, “if you’re bored in your own town, it’s your own fault.” This was about Preeceville, Saskatchewan… Trust me, I promise you that Edmonton has much more going on.
So, the next time you think there’s nothing to do in Edmonton, know this city is begging you to explore it. Take up its challenge with some friends and go experience something you might never have before. Check out the latest gallery at the Art Gallery of Alberta, head over the Garneau Theatre and check a screening of a movie you might not be able to watch on a big screen, visit the Telus World of Science and see the latest exhibit, or… on the last Friday of the month, head on over the Rec Room in south Edmonton Common, spend $30 and surprise yourself with a local wrestling show.
Love the city you live in, love your friends while you have them and try something new. You might just end up with love for Love Pro Wrestling.
Cover photo via Love Pro Wrestling