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Wednesday, May 7,2014

The big grapple

Flying high with Lansing-area pro wrestlers

by Rich Tupica

You don’t need to be a pro wrestling fan to know who Hulk Hogan, the Rock and Batista are, but the Mysterious Movado, the Soul Shooters and Jack Thriller are probably flying under your radar. You may not have heard of them, but for Lansingarea pro wrestling fans, they represent a novel way to watching suplexes and burning hammers being thrown instead of on Monday Night RAW — they perform live locally about once a month.

Those wrestlers are part of the International Ring of Grapplers, a local pro wrestling company that’s rumbled through 16 independent wrestling events since its inception in 2012. While it doesn’t have grand arenas and pyrotechnics, the gritty DIY vibe keeps things interesting.

“Our motto is ‘think global, slam local,’” said the group’s co-owner, Rigo Flores. “We want to bring wrestling into smaller cities like Leslie and Holt so fans don’t have to drive two hours to go to Detroit.”

Last week, the group held its latest slugfest at the new entertainment venue, Think Live Music, 1200 Marquette St. on Lansing’s northwest side. The event was called “Welcome to the Mayhem,” and featured good guys versus bad guys grappling it out with highflying, pro wrestling antics.

The next show, “Friday the 13th” is, appropriately enough, Friday, June 13, back at Think Live Music. For more information, go to facebook.com/theirog.

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