There is something about professional wrestling and the Wisconsin State Fair that just seems right. A place where you can play carnival games, check out livestock ribbon competitions, see (some of) the cast of Happy Days reunited, eat something called a Mountain Man Bloody Mary burger, and ride the Sizzler absolutely deserves to have a pro-wrestling show. For the fifth straight year, Brew City Wrestling will deliver that show.
BCW is going all out for its anniversary show with a great collection of well-known wrestlers from the past and a little something for everybody. Did you grow up in the 1990s as a hardcore ECW fan? You’re in luck because the “King of Old School” Steve Corino is on the show (along with this son Colby). Or maybe you grew up with the 1980s Rock-N-Wrestling-era WWF? Former tag team champion and WWE Hall of Famer Nikolai Volkoff will be in the house to serenade you with the Russian national anthem. Seeking something from the mid-’90s WWF? The Native American superstar Tatanaka will be there Tomahawk Chopping someone.
If that’s not enough for you BCW is also bringing the greatest tag team of all time to the Jeffrey Scott Activity Stage as former NWA tag team champions Rock N Roll Express, consisting of Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, will be appearing. If that’s not your thing, how about the late 2000s TNA women’s division? The, well, awesome Awesome Kong will be there. Prefer portly local guys who also do Ring of Honor? There’s Beer City Bruiser. More of a “one half of a former WWF tag team that was mostly famous for licking people’s faces and appeared on Family Matters once” fan? Here’s Bushwacker Luke!
This show truly has something for every wrestling fan and their own personal level of nostalgia, but even without those stars from the past, this show would be a highlight of opening day at the park. BCW always puts on a good show, but it’s more than that.
The key to a fun wrestling show, one that can suck in the hardcore fans and non-fans alike, is the intimacy. The intimacy is what makes you appreciate the size and athleticism of the wrestlers, what makes you feel danger where there is none, and allows the audience’s voice to be heard. You can’t yell something at the bad guys without them yelling something right back at you at a show like this.
The other thing about the intimacy is that the larger than life heroes and villains from the TV of your youth are just large people here. They can still do their thing and control an audience with a simple look or phrase, but they’re also right there. You can talk to them, shake their hand, and tell them how great you think they were. Ask them their opinion on modern day wrestling and hear how much better it used to be when they were stars. Buy an old picture for them to sign and hope they have change for a twenty. It’s magical.
It’s what makes the space that Brew City Wrestling runs at the Jeffrey Scott Activity Stage great. It’s just big enough to fit a good sized crowd, and cozy enough that your participation in the audience matters. Just the right size that meeting your heroes is a real thing you can do.
The wrestling shows are at noon and 2:30 p.m. Thursday, and tickets are free for all State Fair attendees. In addition to the show, there will be meet and greets prior to each show at 10:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m., where all of the aforementioned legends will appear.