Flashing lights, loud music and lots of men wearing spandex thumping each other across a ring. Family entertainment doesn't get much better than this in Gippsland, with this highly entertaining, acrobatic wrestling side show.
Saturday nights in Gippsland are about to get very interesting, with the growing popularity of a pro-wrestling company in the region.
In an age of public liability insurance, the Gippsland Pro Wrestling or GPW is a rare treat that embraces the sublime to the ridiculous; a surreal spectacular that showcases athleticism and theatrical pantomime in perfect measure.
A pro wrestler since 2008, the show's young promoter Joel Bateman became hooked on wrestling as a child, eating through hours of internet credit and waking up at all hours of the night to watch pay tv wrestling feeds from Japan, Mexico, the UK and the States.
He eventually went to a wrestling school in Dandenong to learn the art of wrestling himself, which prompted a career in touring the nation's wrestling tournaments.
In December 2011, Bateman formed the GPW, a boutique company to bring pro wrestling to Gippsland.
However, despite the international influence of more corporate wrestling outfits that we typically associate with the USA, Gippsland Pro Wrestling has a delightful modest 'Australianess' to it; from the cans of drinks, dim sims, milk bar lollies and chocolate bars available for half time snacks, to the cottage industry style merchandising stand and the 'mum made my cape'-style costumes, Gippsland Pro Wrestling sits in an uniquely unpretentious, highly satirical yet accessible space that will appeal to families and country audiences.
Featuring young wrestlers from Victoria, New South Wales and Canberra, and even local Rosedale wrestler Andy Rhodes, Gippsland Pro Wrestling has already clocked up 6 high energy Gippsland shows at the Sale Memorial Hall and a residency at the Moe Hotel.
With plans to extend to further corners of the region including Wonthaggi, Bateman's aim is to make Gippsland Pro Wrestling a monthly fixture on the Gippsland events calendar.
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