On The Record, Vol. 4, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, June 15, 2012 Page: 11 of 32
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AGAINST THE ROPES
IN THE RING WITH XCW WRESTLING
BY ASHLEY GRANT
Flying off t J it- ropes. llie
Liuiiberjack extends his
aim, his fist connecting with
the face of the Boston Teabagger,
sending the Revo lntionaiy-era
warrior headfirst onto I lie mat.
The <-l lob-slat i is. gul I ti islet's,
bulldogs, sleeper holds, clotheslines
and elbow strikes practiced by
hiciiiIm-in of Denton's Xtreme
Championship Wrestling Institute
are more spectacle than back-
allej brawl, but the mental and
physical challenges of professional
wrestling are very real.
"These guys are getting slammed
on about a half-inch of padding,
wood urn) si cel." sakbHlte Davis,
owner of the recently-opened
institute at 3737 Mingo Road.
"The physical toll on the body
after being in a wrestling match
is equivalent to being in a serious
car Wreck because of the impact
on their spines, joints and heads,"
From 2000 to 2009, XCW toured
the Morth Texas circuit. Davis, who
Wrestled professionally for 12 years,
said wrestlers would subject their
bodies to vaiying degrees of physical
punishment with weekly shows from
Decatur to Oklahoma • li l\.
A tanking economy forced an end
to the hard-hitting shows - with
the exception of rowdy, beer-soaked
fan appreciation performances
at Cool Beans Bar and Grill held
once; a year, the last in April - but
the training only intensified, first at
various guns in the area and now at
an official location.
The doors to the new XCW
Wrestling Institute opened in
January, offering classes and
workouts to; those interested in
learning the skills and techniques
neeessaiy to become professional
It's hard to imagine seeing names
such as "TheBoston Teabagger" or
"Big Sed" stamped on a jersey, but
Davis said the men and women of
XCW train and work at their craft
like athletes in ;i n v sport.
"Bight now We just train guys
and girls who want to become
professional wrestlers," Davis said.
nTHE PHYSICAL TOLL
E BODY AFTER
EQUIVALENT TO BEING IN A
SERIOUS CAR WRECK
*It's a huge investment for those>
who are serious about it. The first
year of training alone will run close
On a typical Tuesday night at
the institute* James "The Boston
Teabagger" Boberts and "Big" Sed
Ware waim up. Standing in opposite
corners of the 18-by-18-foot ring,
the two casually hurl a 10 pound
medicine ball back and forth.
Boberts, who dons a Bevolutionaiy
War-era tricorne hat and colonial
garb for shows, said he had been
training with XCW since 2009, but
initially had a hard time figuring
out if professional wrestling was for
"It seemed really vicious and I'm
not going to he —it scared me at
lit si." he said. "1 realized I needed
to get over it if this was something
I wanted to do and decided to go
Since he began training, Boberts
has been in five shows, describing
each performance as the perfect
combination of entertainment and
*Having fans cheering you on and
holding the: crowd in the palm of
your hands is a great feeling," he
About 500 people; came out
for XCW's April show at the
"lieanslock" celebration at Cool
Beans Bar and Grill. Dozens of
Boberts' fans - goaded on by
the l ca hags the colonial warrior
passed out beforehand - could be
seen chanting "Teabagger' during
Each professional wrestler
develops their own character and
persona, and stoiylines pitting
"good guy" fair favorites against
"bad guy- villains-you-love-to-
hate can become as intricate as the
violent, choreographed matches.
Chairs, chainsaws, cups of beer,
samurai swords and other props are
regularly integrated iiito fights.
The fact that the outcomes of
professional wrestling matches :m'
rehearsed and predetermined does
not detract from the authenticity or
intensity of the sport, where injuries
are common, D avis said.
Beginners at the XCW Institute
are nol even allowed to step into
the ring for a match until they have
trained for at least one year, he said.
Developing the hard shell
necessary to withstand the heavy
impact day in and day out is key
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Bottoni, Paul. On The Record, Vol. 4, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, June 15, 2012, periodical, June 15, 2012; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth255944/m1/11/: accessed February 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .