What: Olde Wrestling's 'A Bonanza of Bodyslams'
Where: Cornerstone Center for the Arts
When: Oct. 19 at 6 p.m., doors open at 5:30
Ticket information: Children 10 and under and Students (with ID): $5
Everyone age 11 and up, who isn't a student: $12
Tickets can be purchased online in advance, or can be bought at the box office the night of the event.
The 1920s in the United States was filled mobsters, newsies, swing dancing and speakeasies. It was this iconic time that inspired Justin Nottke to create Olde Wrestling events.
On Nov. 19, "A Bonanza of Bodyslams" is returning to Muncie’s Cornerstone Center for the Arts. The show is part of the Olde Wrestling event series, which aims to take audiences back to the time of wrestling shows in the 1920s.
Nottke, who is in charge of putting on the event, first came up with the idea for the Olde Wrestling events when talking with his girlfriend.
“It was a conversation about having a wrestling show but making it different than what people think stereotypical wrestling shows are,” Nottke said. "I had been performing as a old-time bare knuckle boxer, and we thought a whole show based on a specific time period would be something really unique and intriguing to die-hard wrestling fans, or people looking for something entertaining to see on a weekend.”
There will be a variety of wrestlers featured in the show, including Gregory Iron, Heidi the Riveter, "Big" Sue Jackson, as well as Kelly Klein, who will be starring as the "Bearded Lady" at this event.
When Klein was 19, she attended her first wrestling event with her friends and was instantly hooked.
“My intention wasn't simply to continue attending the events for entertainment purposes. I wanted to get in that ring,” said Klein. “Before the event was over, I told my friends that I wanted to learn how to do this.”
After lots of hard work and perseverance, Klein signed with Heartland Wrestling Association in 2007. Since then, she has gone on to compete in wrestling events all across the country.
Nov. 19 will be Klein’s fourth time participating in an Olde Wrestling event. A friend introduced her to the concept of the event three years ago. In order to wrestle with the company, Klein needed to think of a unique character she could portray. She was undecided between taking on the role of a dancing tightrope walker or a strong, bearded lady.
“The Olde Wrestling office hesitantly, possibly for fear of offending me, suggested that I portray ‘The Bearded Lady,’” Klein said. “I jumped at the opportunity. I have loved the Bearded Lady [and] find her fascinating and incredibly culturally important.”
Many of the wrestlers who will be taking part in the show travel to all parts of the country every weekend to perform. However, the Bonanza of Bodyslams is not a typical wrestling event.
“Olde Wrestling is a nod and an homage to where we came from as professional wrestlers,” Klein said. “Because of the type of event and the types of characters and stories we tell at Olde Wrestling, I always get to do things that I can't do anywhere else. I get to flex my muscles. Literally and figuratively.”
“This show is different than most,” Nottke said. “A lot of preparation for the performers includes watching vintage wrestling clips for inspiration, or beefing up on some old-timey slang terms. Many characters change what they normally do to fit into these roaring twenties characters.”
During the show, the wrestlers will also be trying to set a record of doing 50 bodyslams, which, Nottke said, has never been done before.
Ball State students can attend A Bonanza of Bodyslams for $5 with their student ID. Children 10 and under can also purchase a ticket for $5, while other guests can buy tickets for $12. Tickets can be purchased online in advance, or can be bought at the box office the night of the event. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with the first bell kicking off the event at 6 p.m.