Underworld Wrestling turns a normal wrestling match into an underground fight night

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Underworld Wrestling turns a normal wrestling match into an underground fight night

Words by David James Young

Forget everything you know about the world of pro-wrestling… okay, almost everything. 

It still takes place in the glory of the squared circle, and there are still plenty of huge characters vying for the top spot in the company.

The similarities, however, stop there when it comes to Underworld Wrestling. One of the more unique prospects in Australian wrestling, let alone Melbourne, the promotion was born last year on the back of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Since then, it has gone on to become a streamed show over on Amazon Prime. It’s been a wild ride thus far – which is something the company was absolutely going for.

“Everything about Underworld is different to what you’d expect from a normal wrestling show,” says Lord Mark Williamson, the promotion’s producer and head manager. “The rules are different, the characters are really unique… even the environment is different, as we hold the show in a literal mansion. When you come to one of our shows, we don’t even really acknowledge it as a wrestling show – it’s more like an underground fight night.”

The brainchild of Williamson and retired wrestler Adam “Rad” Bruiser, the two used their veteran expertise and lifelong experience in and around the pro-wrestling business to establish something they felt could serve as their own creative contribution to the industry that has shaped their lives the last 20 or so years.

“We were shooting the shit awhile back, throwing back and forth a few of our creative ideas,” says Williamson. “We ended up melding our ideas together, and that started to shape what Underworld Wrestling would later become. It’s had the same teething problems as any other show when it’s just starting out, but across the board people have really seemed to enjoy it. We’ve had people come from all over to see the show, and there are people watching the Amazon Prime series that live in countries I had literally never heard of before. The reach has been unbelievable.”

Underworld has already assembled an impressive roster, with many Melbourne wrestlers wanting in on the action. Due to the nature of the show, however, a lot of wrestlers have been tweaking their character and wrestling style to better fit the overall vibe – essentially, reaching in and pulling from the darker corners of their respective personas. “It’s been interesting to see those changes,” comments Williamson.

“Some wrestlers have been dropping characters and wrestling under their real names, just to give the fight-club vibe a bit more of an edge to it. Others have gone to the completely opposite end of the spectrum – they’ve been creating entirely new characters to portray as a part of Underworld. Having a show like this really gives the wrestlers something to really sink their teeth into.”

It’s with this that the stage is set for Glory to the Claw, the next major Underworld Wrestling show that will also serve as the season one finale for the Amazon Prime series. In its relatively short time as a federation, Underworld has certainly drawn attention from Melbourne’s extensive pro-wrestling scene. What’s more, however, is that people with little to no previous investment in sports-entertainment have found themselves getting hooked on Underworld Wrestling – something Williamson takes great pride in. “We’ve definitely had people come up to us at the shows at tell us they had never really vibed with wrestling shows before they checked ours out,” he says.

“I’ve found that the demographic for the shows have always been really diverse and really inclusive, and that’s exactly what we’re going for. It’s great to have the support of the wrestling fans that make a point of coming and checking out all of the Melbourne feds, but if someone is clicking with Underworld that now has an in to wrestling that they didn’t before, then I definitely think that is a point of pride for the entire promotion.”

Underworld Wrestling’s Glory to the Claw is going down at 3 Dickens St, Elwood on Sunday March 10. For tickets, head to the event website.