Although the rest of the country is talking about the Chris Rock/ Will Smith punch, Minneapolis woke up this morning talking about all of the punches, kicks, and body slams that happened at the nineteenth installment of Wrestlepalooza.
Although I’ve covered a majority of the Wrestlepalooza events over the years, I want to give you a little breakdown of this amazing event. Hosted by F1rst Wrestling and held at First Avenue, this is one of those events that I look forward to every time it happens. Full of local, regional, and national wrestlers, local burlesque dancers, and always grade A musicians, Wrestlepalooza is one of those nights that is quirky, exciting, and just straight-up fun for everyone involved. Sunday night’s installment was no different and, even though it was a Sunday night and the evening seemed to be plagued with delays (but for good reason and more on that later), everyone in the sold-out audience was treating the night like a Friday or Saturday night. The PBR tallboys were flying out of the coolers and there were smiles all around.
Personally, I keep going back to Wrestlepalooza because of the atmosphere that comes with it. As mentioned, everyone in the room was smiling throughout the lengthy over three-hour-long event and, even with clear delays including an intermission which they have never done before, there wasn’t a single complaint being muttered throughout the crowd. Beyond the smiles are the crowd chants that come out of nowhere throughout the night. A personal favorite of mine is “This is awesome!”. Something happens to my soul when the audience starts chanting that particular phrase that I just can’t quite put into words. It’s brings such a sense of excitement and honor to anyone who gets to stand in the amped-up audience and scream those words alongside hundreds of strangers that quickly become friends throughout the night.
I love feeling the bond that takes over the crowd as a villain (Darin Corbin– looking at you here!) or hero (shout out to the father figure of this whole event- Arik Cannon). Whether it’s deafening boos or a roar of applause, the bond that spreads throughout the audience as each wrestle comes out is something that I just can not get enough of. Even if you don’t follow the storylines that connect each Wrestlepalooza and the other events that F1rst Wrestling puts on throughout the year, it’s hard not to find your alliances based on what the people around you are doing. Although that’s probably not fair to some of the wrestlers, I feel like it adds to the fun and spontaneity of the night and I love how it keeps this even completely accessible to people even if it’s their first time ever experiencing the magic of Wrestlepalooza.
Another one of my favorite things about this event is the music (but I bet that was a given). The organizers of this event always pick the perfect musician(s) to join in on the fun and this installment was no different featuring everyone’s seventh favorite hip-hop person (but, let’s be honest, that catchphrase doesn’t work anymore as this performer has quickly become everyone’s number one favorite in town). Nur-D is just one of those people that, when you see them, you can’t help but smile. From their infectious smile to the quirky and carefree dance moves, Nur-D makes you happy, and adding that performance is an already super exciting and fun night was just the icing on the cake. One of the super happy consequences of the delays that plagued the night was that Nur-D got to steal the microphone and spotlight two times through the night. Typically the musical acts of Wrestlepalooza only get a couple of songs but I feel like I got a full Nur-D show on top of a wrestling extravaganza which made me so ridiculously happy.
Okay, I keep mentioning these delays so I figure I may as well explain now before I forget and get all emotional as I close out this post with my normal “I love this city and love this scene” spiel. I knew something was up when the show didn’t start promptly at 7 PM as advertised but also noticed that the lines to get into First Avenue were pretty long when I got in just a bit early so figured the start time had been pushed back to make sure people got in. It was when there was an intermission that I knew something else was going on. Although the intermission was absolutely welcomed as people flooded off of the floor and to the bars or outside for a little break, I thought it was weird. Although curious about all of these things, I was so distracted by the amount of fun I was having, I kind of forgot about it until Arik Cannon came out before the final match. He thanked the audience for their patience throughout the delays of the night and went on to explain that the delays and shifts in some of the matches were because of some of the wrestlers having travel delays. Although it was so nice of him to come out and give this heartfelt speech and I appreciated how it answered all of my questions, I honestly don’t think anyone else in the audience really noticed the changes. Again, that just shows you how much stinking fun this event is. Even if you were just standing around and waiting for something to happen, you were having fun.
There’s no question as to why I continue to go back to every Wrestlepalooza and F1rst Wrestling event I can possibly get to. The question is- why haven’t you checked it out yet? I never thought I’d be a fan of wrestling but I got hooked instantly and it has created an obsession for me. Take the plunge and join me in the audience next time. I promise you won’t regret it!
Venue: First Avenue
Smell-O-Meter: Blood, Sweat, and Tears
Average Age of the Crowd: 37
Crowd Surfers- None
Sausage-Fest Meter- 13 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $9
Broken Bones- None Noticed
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Wrestlers!
Fights- I mean– Many? But all were allowed.
Idiots Taken Out By Security- None
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Nur-D – 6
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score- 10 out of 10
Show on Deck- Touché Amoré / Vein.fm / Militarie Gun / Scowl
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