Local wrestling delights fans of all ages

TULALIP — It’s a wrestling moment made for television.

The hapless underdog Paul Raze, challenges wrestling partners from the Illuminati to a handicap tag-team match. Overmatched against the tattooed and mohawked duo, Raze gets help from an unexpected source — a lumbering giant in a unitard with one narrow shoulder strap comes in from off stage, offering to tag in against the obvious bad guys.

The newcomer, Exile, tags in and cleans house, taking Raze’s opponents to the floor of the boxing ring and knocking them out. But Raze, still dazed from the fight, stumbles into Exile. Disgusted, Exile brings down his teammate as well, putting an Illuminati arm over Raze’s stomach to give the duo a technical win and walks off of the stage.

Although the story sounds like a plot from any given show of Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment, it actually took place Sept. 5 at Pacific Rim Supper Club, where Tulalip Championship Wrestling brought local wrestlers from all over the Puget Sound to compete for an enthusiastic audience of wrestling fans.

It’s part theater and part homage to classic Worldwide Wrestling Federation icons from the 1980s. But it’s still a feat of athleticism for the performers, who try to keep shows family friendly. Many have kids themselves.

“We’re all fans of wrestling. Most of us grew up watching it,” said Marysville-area wrestler Wild Card, who would only reveal his mild-mannered alter ego’s first name, Jacob.

Wild Card, who took the stage in a silver sequined shirt and dinner jacket with a string of red lights lit up along the collar, has been wrestling for five years, training at a school in the Auburn area. Although training demands less of his daily schedule now, his initial education took eight to nine months before he was ready for his first fight.

Wild Card competed in a tag-team match with stage partner Cadillac. The two came into the night the only tag-team champions in Tulalip Championship Wrestling and defended their belts against challengers Christopher Ryseck and Skag Rollins in the night’s main event.

Ten-year-old wrestling fan Dylan Traynor came to the show with his dad, Don. The two shared a ringside booth and the younger Traynor went home from his first TCW show with a souvenir – a roll of quarters Dr. Kliever broke over the head of his opponent Aaron Bolo in another belt match.

Traynor, who counts John Cena as one of his favorite WWE wrestlers, had another close encounter during the night’s show when Kellen Raeth fell out of the ring and into the Traynors’ booth.

“He likes the chair beatings, the slams, the smack talk,” said dad Don.

Another Marysville resident, Brad Kennaugh, discovered TCW through an interest in live, local wrestling. After a Canadian show folded, Kennaugh followed some of the wrestlers online, discovering Tulalip wrestling in June 2008.

“I haven’t missed a show since,” said Kennaugh, also a WWE fan, who picks the live show over Friday Night Smackdown anytime. “There’s just something about going to see it live. I’ve been a fan for years, but when you’re down here, you hear it and see it.”

Tulalip Championship Wrestling has upcoming shows at the Tulalip Tribal Center Sept. 26 and the Pacific Rim Supper Club Oct. 10. Bell time for both events is 7 p.m. For more information, visit Tulalip Championship Wrestling.

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