Some Orillia residents spent their Easter Saturday at St. Paul’s Centre — watching wrestling.
Smash Wrestling and Barrie Wrestling came together in Orillia under the Mariposa Mayhem banner.
About 150 spectators cheered on their favourite wrestlers as they climbed into the ring to beat up their opponents.
“The fast action and fighting part was good,” said Keegan Barton, 9. “I enjoyed taking a picture with Halal Beefcake.”
The Orillia boy was among a mixed crowd of children and adults who came out to enjoy the night.
“I’m here because I find the idea of wrestling in St. Paul’s hilarious,” said Martin Abernathy. “It’s like real-life anime. They stand around posing and monologuing at each other, and they have storylines.”
The Orillia man thought the show was great and gave it 10/10.
Getting a good review for their first show is important, said Sebastian Sauve, a Smash Wrestling athlete, but that’s not the end goal.
“The focus is to make a strong first impression and hopefully that means there’s more interest going forward,” said the Markham resident.
Sauve said the attendance has been better than expected and they just hope everybody enjoys the family-friendly event.
“We’re like a circus act: We have a little bit of everything, from comedy wrestling to high-flying moves,” he explained.
Shawn Gibson, of Barrie Wrestling, who was part of the organizing committee for the show, agreed with Sauve about making wrestling shows a regular feature in Orillia.
“We want this to be bi-monthly,” said Gibson, who's also a BarrieToday reporter. “Orillia is starving for wrestling. Our Orillia fans from the Barrie Wrestling group come on down for events, and we get messages on our Facebook and Instagram asking us when we're coming back to Orillia.”
He was referring to the couple of times wrestling has been a feature of Canada Day festivities in Orillia.
As for having the event at a church, Gibson said it was a perfect fit.
“It works in a church because we just need a venue for this,” he said, “and the church needs to open the doors to say, ‘Hey, look, we can have some fun, too.’”
The organizing team respects the venue and makes sure that is kept in mind when putting together the show.
“St. Paul's has been just fantastic,” said Gibson. “They've been more than welcoming.”
For more information on Barrie Wrestling and Smash Wrestling, check them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.