Wrestlers get set to throw down at historic live show

They wear spandex and put their bodies on the line, but there is a lot more to wrestling than meets the eye, according to professional wrestler Zakk Archer.

Archer will be one of about 30 wrestlers who will take to the ring on Saturday when Tasmanian Championship Wrestling’s Annihilation 5 takes over Albert Hall. 

The event will be the first professional wrestling event at the prestigious Launceston venue in almost 50 years.

That occasion was on June 4, 1973, when World Championship Wrestling came to Launceston as part of an Australian tour. 

Fourth generation wrestler and TCW manager Leigh Barber said the show featured some of the “greatest wrestlers of that generation”. 

“That was an iconic time, with the likes of Mario Milano,” he said. 

“Anyone who is anyone in the wrestling world, knows who Mario Milano is.

“Of course professional wrestling has evolved from the black and white era of the past, to an American style with outrageous characters, pyrotechnics and soap opera story line. 

“But it is still as popular today as it was 45 years ago.” 

Barber established the Invermay wrestling centre in 2012, with about 12 members training on a weekly basis. 

He said the return of wrestling to Albert Hall marked a historic moment for TCW, which has been hosting live shows for the past five years. 

“We started this to nurture wrestling talent in Tasmania,” he said. 

“We have come a long way in that time.

“This event for us is the equivalent of a local football club reaching the AFL.

“It is a really big deal and we are really proud.”

Barber said Saturday’s event promised to deliver a show for all ages, with some of the best Tasmanian and interstate wrestling talent. 

Previously held at Elphin Sports Centre, he said the move has taken the event to a “whole new level”, offering a better light display and a much bigger stage.  

In preparation for Saturday’s show, TCW members have been practicing their moves around the clock. 

Archer said it was important for wrestlers to have their head in the game, before any big show. 

“My persona is inspired by 80s glam-rock,” he said. 

“I have been wrestling for about four years and the important thing for people to know is I do train for this. 

“I think people would be surprised at how much wrestling actually hurts.

“But I love entertaining people. 

“That is really what it’s all about.

“Plus we get to wear spandex, so I can’t complain about that.”

All the action will be thrown down from 5.30pm, with tickets available from Ticketbooth and Fitfreak Supplements.