has a specially designed arena for its fast paced action.
(Photo courtsey of RPW)
professional wrestling is the real deal
By Zachary Dzurick
Published APril 27, 2005
The term "pro-wrestling"
has very little to do with the actual sport of wrestling. Over the
years, several high profile wrestlers have made the jump from the
Olympics or the NCAAs to the WWE. But, as former two-time St. Edward
state champ and three-time Michigan All-American Andy Hrovat will
tell you, it isn't the same.
"It is two
completely different things," Hrovat said. "Just their names are
the same. People know the difference."
baseball, football and hockey players can dream of playing professionally
one day, for a wrestler who wants to continue his career after college,
the road was always a lot less lucrative.
As St. Edward
wrestling coach Greg Urbas explains, it takes a lot of sacrifice
to continue wrestling.
dream of competing in the Olympics, but that is only every four
years," Urbas said. "There are national and international tournaments
but they are amateur. The top three wrestlers in a weight class
in this country get a stipend to train, but the rest have to get
real jobs and find time to still train."
wrestlers have always been about having the purest sport. But, he
said, maybe it is time to change the perception that athletes making
money is a bad thing.
often talk about it being a pure sport with no money in it," Urbas
said. "But you know what? The guys who play in the NFL, most of
them love their sport, too. Wrestlers could use an opportunity where
they can workout full time to train for the Olympics and be taken
care of financially."
A group has
set out to do just that. RealProWrestling has created a made for
television league that intends to bring "real" wrestling to the
masses. Wrestling has some of the most hard-core fans and this new
league is tailor made for them.
"It is the
real deal," Urbas said. "If you are into wrestling then you will
know who all of these guys are. They are All-Americans and National
Champions. They have changed the rules slightly to make it better
for television but it is the real deal."
airs locally on Pax-TV on Sundays at 4 p.m. and replays on Wednesdays
on FOX Sports Net at 3 p.m.
The new league,
for its first season, filmed the eight-week run of shows in two
days as part of a tournament for seven weight classes. There are
eight regional teams: New York Outrage, California Claw, Chicago
Groove, Iowa Stalkers, Oklahoma Slam, Minnesota Freeze, Pennsylvania
Hammer and the Texas Shooters. The wrestlers compete for $250,000
in prizes and money and additional incentive-based winnings.
place atop a specially designed elevated circular wrestling mat
in a 360-degree Roman coliseum-inspired arena. A total of eight
cameras captured the wrestling on the mat. There was also live music
to enhance the intense environment.
Each show is
a mini tournament for a weight class. The season finale will have
the finals of each class and will be shown on May 15 on PAX and
May 18 on FOX Sports Net.
The new league
has the backing of some of the sport's top names. Dan Gable, the
legendary Iowa coach and Olympic champion, is a spokesman, and Olympian
Rulon Gardner is a commentator.
three things the American public wants and needs: pure competition,
family values-based entertainment, and real heroes," Gable said.
"We are starting
a new pro league," Gardner said. "A new league of super heroes,
who do not take performance enhancing drugs or act like barbarians.
A league where the participants go one-on-one in the oldest, greatest
and purest sport of all -- wrestling. And all we are asking people
to do is watch."