Pro wrestling is coming to town
Southern Pro Wrestling NZ is bringing its ‘Wrestling on the Edge of the World’ tour to Queenstown, for Wrestlefest's eighth year. Even if you’re not a wrestling fan, it’s set to be a fun, action-packed night with stunts, entertaining characters and storylines.
Marc Perry is one of the founders and a wrestler himself. He says if you’ve never been before, but are familiar with WWE / WWF back in the day, they provide an independent wrestling version of this. They have wrestlers from across New Zealand and Australia coming.
“The wrestling is purely for entertainment,” Perry says. “There’s always a predetermined winner, but everything that you see in the ring is almost like a live stunt show. It’s kind of a cross between sport, theatre and entertainment. It’s a really unique, interesting show if you’ve never been before. It’s a lot of fun and the crowd really get into it.”
They also have a school based in Invercargill, which started in 2015. Perry was inspired to launch it when he discovered there was no professional wrestling in the South Island, something he trained in and was a professional in back in the UK, where he’s originally from. There are currently around 20 people enrolled in the school, all from diverse backgrounds.
“We get so much variety in terms of age and background, and what people do. We have people who are roofers, we have people who are accountants, we have gym instructors – you can really come from all walks of life. It’s just that weird side-hobby / passion that they have going on in their private lives, that comes to life in the evenings or when they’re not at work.”
The night will mark the return of Queenstown-local ‘Hooligan’ Marcus Kool, Perry’s moniker. He will be in action for the first time here since suffering a career-threatening injury, which left him out of the ring for over a year.
“My wrestling persona is the Hooligan. It’s actual based on being a soccer player / football hooligan from back in England. I always used to go and watch the football with my dad – I used to love it but the only thing that really used to annoy me was all the loudmouth football hooligans in the stands.
“So I thought, how can I implement that into a character I do in the ring, especially in New Zealand as there wasn’t many English characters around. I’m a big football fan, but also when you look at the hooligans and how loud, brash, annoying and violent they can be, they’re quite polarising. I thought that would be a good character to benchmark my wrestling persona around.”
There will be three championship matches contested at the event. The night will also bring the first ever women’s match in Queenstown. The IPW New Zealand Women’s Championship will be on the line as Megan-Kate defends against Amber Saint.
“There’s plenty of women’s wrestling across in Australia, but it’s really hard to come by and find in New Zealand. We’ve finally got a women’s match set for this show, and we’re really excited about it – just to give the women a platform and an opportunity as well.”
Queenstown Wrestlefest will take over Queenstown Memorial Centre on Saturday, 30 September. It’s to be filmed for SPW On Demand and is suitable for an audience of 16 years and over. You can find more information and tickets at spwrestling.co.nz