EL CENTRO – Body slams, high-flying maneuvers, tough talk, and the sound of people roaring with excitement- anything can happen in the world of professional wrestling. In the warm night of Friday, May 13, El Centro’s Sparta Boxing Gym was the venue for Desert Wrestling Entertainment’s (DWE) pro wrestling lucha libra event.
DWE is an Imperial Valley-based wrestling promotion company started last October in Brawley. DWE’s creator and promoter, Richard Ignacio, saw a need for pro wrestling in the Imperial Valley. During the past year, pro wrestling and lucha libre have grown in popularity within the Imperial Valley.
According to Ignacio, “It’s [wrestling] being exposed. It’s been there, but there was no stage for it, there was no promotions, and now, promotions are coming out, they’re getting braver to come out and put out a show.”
Other venues hold shows occasionally to give wrestling fans an opportunity to enjoy the talent and spectacle of live, in-person pro wrestling, versus watching it on TV or traveling out of county to see some of the big-league shows like WWE.
“Fans who actually wanted to go see a show, can actually now see a show,” said Ignacio.
DWE’s goal is to bring pro wrestling to a bigger stage for Imperial Valley fans, in every city and to introduce more independent wrestlers from all over the country, as well as different styles of wrestling.
But there is more to it than just putting on wresting shows. Thanks to Ignacio and DWE, as of February, the Valley now has a school that offers classes for people who are interested in becoming professional wrestlers.
During the show’s intermission, several DWE’s students demonstrated drills, holds, and moves in the ring to promote the school.
“There’s a lot of students interested, but a lot of them can’t go to Mexico and train over there, so we did it over here and with the students we are just trying to go with our own home-grown talent because there’s interested people, very good people here, and we’re just going to try to expose them and bring them up, and hopefully more people will be encouraged to come out.”
Besides putting on a fun show to entertain crowds and promote the wrestling school, the event was also a fundraiser to support two Sparta Boxing students who will be making their way up the Junior Olympics.[envira-gallery id=”77388″]