LIMA — Pro wrestling matches are back in Lima, providing a popular outlet for people to watch during the pandemic.
Rose Perkins, of Lima, is a big fan of the show.
“How big of a fan am I? Let me tell you. I’ve been a fan of wrestling since I was a kid but I’m new to this,” Perkins said.
Even though W.A.R. Wrestling in Lima has struggled to survive throughout the pandemic, they’re still putting on a show.
Saturday night, a wrestling show was staged inside the Empowered Sports Center at Northland Plaza.
The facility used to be Northland Lanes, which closed in late 2013.
W.A.R. Wrestling has been using the venue since November after previous shows were held at the Bradfield Center.
“I would just say that the openness (of the venue) is a lot more convenient for our product than we had at the Bradfield,” said Christine Myers, owner of W.A.R. Wrestling.
To enable the continuation of the wrestling shows, organizers had to abide by rules from the Ohio Department of Health and Allen County Public Health. The number of tickets sold was limited to 250.
“We do have to do the social distancing. So this facility allows us to properly social distance,” Myers said.
As with a lot of small businesses that are entertainment related, COVID-19 has taken its toll on the bottom line.
“It really hit us hard. We had shows in April and May, that were still scheduled for Bradfield that we lost out on. We lost approximately $40,000 worth of revenue for the summer shows as well,” Myers said.
The wrestlers were also hurting.
Paloma Starr, an independent wrestler from Chicago, lost out on a lot of gigs.
“Wrestling is now barely starting back up again,” Starr said. “I had a whole full year of bookings in 2020 I was supposed to travel to but unfortunately had maybe a handful of matches since March.”
Matt Taylor, an independent wrestler from Columbus, also saw many of his wrestling matches canceled.
“I went from wrestling three to four times a week. Maybe that now is three or four in a month so it kind of it cut it down hard,” Taylor said.
Now that the wrestling shows are back, it’s providing wrestlers and fans a bit of normalcy.
“I think it’s not only therapeutic for us but for the people because we’ve all been trapped during this quarantine. It was kind of a good release to finally get back to something normal,” Taylor said.
W.A.R. Wrestling’s next show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Empowered Sports Center, 1730 N. Union St. in Lima.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.