ESPN: The Scripted, Safe, but Violent World of Intergender Wrestling


In the middle of the night, at a quarter ’til 2, the audience fends off exhaustion and cold. The main ballroom in the Pontchartrain Center is cavernous, and as the thermostat dips into the low 60s, the men and women (mostly men) and children (two of them) lean forward, waiting for the show to go on. The venue is set up to house 2,500 people, but just 300 tickets have been sold. In the end, only about 170 fans have shown, so the faction that’s here feels sparse, the event a little clandestine.

There’s a bald man sitting ringside in a black shirt with bold white letters that blare: “POLITICALLY INCORRECT … AND DAMN PROUD OF IT!!!” A group of seven friends who look to be in their mid-20s sit clustered together eight rows up in the bleachers, a sea of vacant blue seats in front of them. The room is mostly dark, save for the ring in the center illuminated by spotlight. There are no windows to the outside world here, and even if there were, the vista beyond, to Kenner, Louisiana, wouldn’t offer much. An expanse of green fields. A smattering of shade trees in the distance. Downtown New Orleans is nearly 15 miles away, but with those fields and those trees blanketed in a velvety night, the city feels farther. This might as well be the ends of the earth.

Inside, as 2 a.m. draws near, the music picks up, a rhythmic pounding that crescendos in sync with strobing lights … Read the Full Story HERE


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