Wrestlers get in the rink


Thrill-a-minute action is promised when pro wrestling - made famous by US TV entertainment shows - makes its debut in Queenstown next month.

Fourteen of the best pro wrestlers in New Zealand and Australia are coming for the November 7 show at the Queenstown Ice Arena.

It’s being organised by Southern Pro Wrestling NZ, a non-profit club set up by local wrestler Marc Perry and Invercargill’s Troy Crosbie.

In August, the club put on a show in Invercargill attended by more than 400 people, in which Crosbie, aka ‘Powerhouse T-Rex’, beat Perry, aka ‘Hooligan Marcus Kool’.

Perry, 27, is calling out Crosbie for a high-stakes rematch on his home turf, which he’s billing as the main event.

Perry, who started wrestling in his native England at the age of 14 and turned pro at 18, says Crosbie, at 110kg, is definitely bigger and stronger - Perry’s only 80kg.

“But I’ve got more agility and experience.

“I’ll be going off the top rope, flying around, trying to knock him down.”

The five other bouts will include a NZ versus Australia tag match featuring two wrestlers per team.

“They’re all tall, muscular dudes so that should be quite an interesting one.”

Perry, who joined a World Wrestling Entertainment tryout camp in Melbourne, Australia, last year, says he’s wanted to put on a pro wrestling show in Queenstown since arriving in the resort six years ago.

“I could have rushed into it but I’ve always wanted to do it as professionally as possible.”

That includes using a full-sized six by six metre wrestling ring which the club bought a few months ago.

Perry believes the crowd will be in for a treat.

“The wrestlers can do some pretty spectacular stuff.

“People in Invercargill were expecting the show to be a little tamer but you can’t fake landing on a solid ring - it doesn’t matter how many times you do it, it’s always going to hurt.”

Another crowd-pleaser, especially for children, is the various characters the fighters assume.

Perry, however, thinks he’ll tone down his persona - of an English football hooligan - which he adopted a year ago.

“With me being the local guy, representing Queenstown, I can’t really be that bad guy.”

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for under-18s. Front-row seats are available online for $20. Bell time for the two-hour show is 6.30pm.