Last Saturday, crowds packed around an underground wrestling ring. The venue: a secret Williamsburg warehouse. The talent: costumed characters large and small. The hosts: Technique 2 Training Wrestling Academy, an all-inclusive school for aspiring pro wrestlers to learn from the best.
Twice a week, T2T students meet to drill their rolls, slams, drops, chops, leapfrogs, backslides, headscissors and brainbreakers. They have two months between events to craft their signature moves and alter-egos, perfecting them before duking it out in front of hot lights and hollering fans.
The wrestlers have become a found family for each other — it takes a lot of trust to let someone suplex you into oblivion, after all. But they share more than just bumps and bruises. T2T is carving a no-hate niche in the wrestling world, rooted in punk rock principles that go beyond tattoos and dyed hair.
“Punk is a mindstate of acceptance and no tolerance towards hate,” owner Tom Frazier says. When the school opened in 2020, Frazier, a wrestling promoter, took in students after Covid left them with nowhere to train. A lot of them happened to be queer. As word spread, T2T became known as a space where all are welcome.
“We didn’t open it to be a queer school,” Frazier says. “We just opened the school and we were being ourselves.”
The open-minded atmosphere carries through to their shows, which head trainer Logan Black calls “the coolest fucking thing I’ve done in professional wrestling.” With nearly 20 years in the game, Black is trying to do away with the “toxic jock bullshit” he endured to become a pro wrestler. “In here, the crowd, the vibe, is completely different from anything I’ve experienced.”
Black joined Saturday’s show (T2T has asked Brooklyn Magazine not to disclose the name of the event to protect its participants), teaming up with student Charles Stunning. Stunning opened with a tantalizing burlesque number that was rudely interrupted by JGeorge, provoking jeers and boos from the crowd. Black leapt to the rescue, going head-to-head with JGeorge before Stunning reappeared, hungry for revenge.
Black finished off the villain with a Northern Lights Bomb, and Stunning closed out the act by going topless for a classic titty-shaking burlesque finish.
The show featured three other burlesque acts, including one by petite acrobat Spookey, the “Tiny Titan of Burlesque.”
Delightful Dan entered the ring for the All Night Rager, a king-of-the-hill match where a new wrestler is introduced every few minutes. (Dan is one of only two T2T students who had any real wrestling experience when the school opened; the rest started from scratch.)
Before long Italian stallion Vinnie Massaro made his entrance to “That’s Amore,” pizza in hand, singing along with the crowd. Eventually, 10 in total were sprawled about the ring, pushing through the crowd, and stealing the mic to hurl insults.
The main event starred Angelo Carter, celebrating two years at T2T. One of their original students, Carter has become a fan-favorite and a staple at the shows. He closed out the event battling Dark Sheik, his platinum locks and jewels clashing hard against her gothic look. Ultimately, though, darkness prevailed. Carter collapsed, vowing to avenge his defeat in the next show.
Recapping the event, Logan Black remarks on how far his students had come. “That show was fucking dope,” he says. “I continue to be stoked and impressed, seeing that growth from so many of you guys.” He went on to emphasize the importance of consistency, helping out, and wrestling from the heart.
“Everyone’s grown a deeper appreciation for this community,” Frazier says. His goal isn’t necessarily to spread wrestling. For his students, friends and family, even members of the audience, he wants to create a safe space. Somewhere people can be themselves without question, have fun, and see spandex-clad athletes give each other purple nurples. “That’s what this place is about. It’s not about wrestling.”
Does all this have you pining for pro wrestling stardom? Reach out to T2T on Instagram.
The post Inside the bawdy, naughty hate-free world of queer punk wrestling appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.
By: Kenna Beban
Title: Inside the bawdy, naughty hate-free world of queer punk wrestling
Sourced From: www.bkmag.com/2023/05/25/inside-the-bawdy-naughty-hate-free-world-of-queer-punk-wrestling/
Published Date: Thu, 25 May 2023 16:04:13 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…