Campbell River indie wrestling gives audience a break from stressful year

Travis Williams after his 60 minute draw with Judas Icarus (in background). Photo by Max BensonTravis Williams after his 60 minute draw with Judas Icarus (in background). Photo by Max Benson
Riea and Cremator Von Slasher from Port Alberni after they defeated the Voros Twins. Photo by Max Benson.Riea and Cremator Von Slasher from Port Alberni after they defeated the Voros Twins. Photo by Max Benson.
Haviko dives at Zack Andrews and Dane Louks in the first tagteam match. Photo by Max Benson.Haviko dives at Zack Andrews and Dane Louks in the first tagteam match. Photo by Max Benson.

Imagine forgetting everything that is happening in the world and escaping to a place where people pummel each other in theatrical and over the top ways for a few hours.

That’s exactly what Campbell River’s 365 Pro Wrestling league is offering. The league held two shows over the weekend a the Willow Point Lions’ Hall and has other shows planned for later in the year. Although the pandemic has made it difficult to run a live entertainment operation — strict audience numbers make it difficult financially — promoter Mike Becherer and the team see it as a fun distraction to the hard times, and a great way to promote the growing indie wrestling scene in Campbell River and beyond.

“The hardest part is paying rent for the hall, paying the wrestlers, paying to advertise the show, and only allowing 30 people to come. It’s very difficult financially,” Becherer said. “I feel because we’re doing it, we’re getting a lot of people to watch our product, and getting some eyeballs on us and letting people forget everything going on in the world for a minute. It’s worth it.”

RELATED: Remembering Hubert Sester

RELATED: Wrestling legend ‘The Hitman’ set to bare his heart on Vancouver Island

Though the crowds are currently capped at 30 people, Becherer said that hasn’t stopped the wrestlers from being at the top of their game.

“They work so hard. They work as if there’s 300 or 3,000 people here. That’s the really cool part about the roster right now. Nobody phones it in because there isn’t a big crowd. They know everyone who comes pays money, even more than they usually pay if it would be a full crowd,” he said.

“They work so hard for them and for the camera,” he added. “Everything’s online so, just like I’m trying to reach people, they want to be seen by other promotions and other people so they bring them in to promotions and get to go even further than this. They want those clips as well.”

The wrestling matches are broadcast on Shaw TV and online, which Becherer hopes will build an interest in indie wrestling within the community and in the world in general. While 365 Pro Wrestling does have some other events on the calendar for this year, including a feature on Dec. 5 promoting their student wrestlers, they have been looking to social media to build up hype for the sport. To that end, they run a weekly podcast, a Youtube Channel, and a Twitch channel where people can watch the matches live from home. The wrestlers themselves are also on social media, promoting their matches and personas online.

Indie wrestling in Campbell River is a small scene, but it’s a scene that’s growing. The wrestlers themselves are just getting better and better, Becherer said. The evening show included a 60 minute match that ended in a draw, something Becherer says is “unheard-of today.”

“People were like standing up at the end, which is amazing. It’s great to see a standing ovation for both guys, even though it was a draw after 60 minutes. It was really nice,” he added. “The night show was our best show … for sure. I was super thrilled, because I was seeing the bans and stuff coming in and I was worried that we couldn’t do shows anymore. We’re just trying to keep some kind of live entertainment going in this time.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Campbell RiverWrestling

Just Posted

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Conservation officers transported the bear to a wildlife veterinarian in Nanaimo for examination

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

RCMP outside the Nanaimo Ice Centre investigating a report of a suspicious person. The incident resulted in hold-and-secures at two nearby schools, but those emergency procedures have now been lifted. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: Police response a result of man walking around Nanaimo marsh with airsoft rifle

Two schools had gone into hold-and-secure procedures Thursday morning, May 13

Island Health announces two doctors, new clinic space for Port McNeill

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre at 5878 York Rd. is now planned to be open in the fall. (File photo)
Controversial Cowichan Wellness and Recovery Centre will now open in the fall

Three community dialogues scheduled for May and an advisory committee coming

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Most Read