Lone Star Adventure: Pro Wrestling Camp - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Lone Star Adventure: Pro Wrestling Camp

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A sweltering gym in Bedford, young men learning body slams and drop kicks and the skill set for professional wrestlers. Wrestling School, held Sunday afternoons and Wednesday nights at Metroplex Wrestling -- MPX .

"We try to open it up to anybody, said Steven Kirby, co owner of MPX. "Anybody who has a dream. Anybody who has a passion. Anybody who wants to learn."

And, anybody willing to take the pain. "I think everybody who wants to do this, they have to kind of a 'crazy switch," said Jared Tadlock, one of the aspiring wrestlers.

It's a long way from the big time - the WWE - but MPX puts on events once or twice a month, 8 to 10 bouts at a time, with the same kind of plot lines as the pros, with heroes and villains. Wrestling school is a chance to work on routines.

 "I think of it as an art form," said Jared Renfro, another of the wrestlers. "It's choreographed fighting."

Despite his relatively small size, Matthew Palmer has traveled the country on the independent circuit as Centerfold Matthew Palmer -- his character a male model and a villain. "There's definitely a lot of entertainment aspects to it but we're still hitting each other.

"I can relate it to watching a movie or a live play. We want to entertain you, while still showing you physical aspects that are dangerous. I mean, that's the appeal: it's dangerous."

Christopher Sweely is another villain -- Carrion Arcane his ring name. "This thing isn't a trampoline. When you hit it, it hurts. When you hit the ropes it hurts your back. Nothing in here is not painfull. Everything hurts."

Andy Dalton's dad wrestled professionally in the 60s and 70s. "How many people can say, 'I actually go to live my dream?' Since I was two, that's all I ever wanted to do."

Most, like Steven Kirby have no illusions of pay-for-view stardom. "I spent a large portion of my life sitting on my couch wasting my life. I'm married with two kids and I weighed 400 pounds. And I wanted something that would make me athletic. Make me work. Make me sweat.

"It gave me the passion and the drive and I've lost 125 pounds so I could do this better."

They all talk about the adrenaline rush, that makes the pain bearable. "You probably don't get any other form of entertainment better than professional wrestling," said Kristopher Haiden. "You got the drama, you got action. You got it all.

"It's a soap opera for men, basically."


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