The anticipation is palpable. As people file in and find their seats, an excited chatter fills the room. There are seats scattered around the floor and a bar along the wall, but a small ring in the center dominates the atmosphere. The lights begin to dim, save two spotlights above the ring, sending the crowd into a boiling frenzy. A ring announcer calling himself Caligula Jones steps underneath the glow, and with a booming voice, the show begins.
Total Hardcore Champion Wrestling’s Nightmare Pro, an Amarillo based professional wrestling promotion, began in 2010. Making claims that Amarillo had been “starved of great action,” the promotion has the stated mission of “[restoring] the prestige of professional wrestling in Amarillo, Texas.” Since its inception, Nightmare Pro has begun holding monthly shows at the Wreck Room in Amarillo. Its most recent show on Jan. 24 named “A House Divided,” featured matches between wrestlers such as El Gringo Loco, Phoenix and “Handgun” Dan, with the main event seeing Lillith Blood challenge THCW’s Nightmare Pro Champion Jordan Calubs.
Nightmare Pro, like other wrestling promotions, features a large assortment of feuds and alliances. One such alliance present at the Jan. 24 event was the Solution Revolution, a group of wrestlers whose stated intent in to discourage “hardcore” wrestling, a style of match in which weapons are used and wrestlers cannot be disqualified for misconduct.
“It’s not something that professional wrestling needs,” said Rick Elsey, leader of the Solution Revolution. “It creates a hostile environment for those who choose to actually apply their wrestling craft in the ring.”
He stated that he blames the fans and promotion equally for the perceived thirst for violence, saying that Nightmare Pro “glorifies bloodshed.”
He also said that while his organization is trying to “change the game,” they have no problem using hardcore tactics to achieve their goals.
“We fight fire with fire,” he said.
While the Solution Revolution perceived serious problems within the company, other wrestlers made use of a more gentle approach.
Pierce Price, a wrestler with Nightmare Pro, said that his focus is mentoring the newer and younger wrestlers and help them hone their skills. He stated that he had witnessed times where the “cream of the crop,” wrestlers would constantly be the focus of their respective promotion, while the less well-known wrestlers were kept “under the radar.”
While he expressed, “a hair of frustration,” with the process of moving newer wrestlers into the limelight, he says that the future looks bright for the athletes.
“There is a lot of promise. There’s a great hunger about them,” said Price.
Although many performers are trying to effect change, the fans appeared to be satisfied with Nightmare Pro. Arturo Carrillo, a fan since the 2010 launch, said that the promotion was “different” enough from others to draw him to the shows.
“I come out from Lubbock, two hours away,” said Carrillo. “They give it all to the fans, every show.”
Nightmare Pro will hold its next show, “Love At First Fight,” on February 7th at the Wreck Room, located at 6007 Amarillo Blvd. East in Amarillo.