By Chelsea Johnson
Since the early 2000s, backyard wrestling has been a popular pastime for Perth people looking for something different.
Backyard wrestling is staged, like professional shows in America (such as WWE), but this does not remove the risks involved.
Inner City Wrestling Syndicate (ICWS) and War Zone Wrestling Alliance (WZWA) are two of the backyard wrestling federations currently active in Perth.
ICWS and WZWA wrestler Jossua Vulin, of Heathridge, also known as ‘Killawatt Kaos’, is willing to take on as much risk as necessary to ensure that he performs well in his shows.
“I was set on fire at one show,” Jossua said.
“It was a table spot where you set the table on fire – someone had to go through it, of course it was me … I got second degree burns, that’s about it.”
Jossua has also performed in hardcore matches in which opponents had to strike each other with barbed wire before positioning them for a ‘submission’, a move that ends the round.
Luke Malcom, of Ellenbrook, also known as ‘The Suburban Nightmare: Dark Ice’, is another wrestler from the same leagues as Jossua who has taken even more punishment.
“I did a backflip in July of 2015 off the top rope [of the wrestling ring] and I broke my left ankle as it twisted underneath me,” Luke said.
“In February 2016 I broke my collarbone landing on the [wrestling] mat normally- it was a freak accident.”
Despite all the wrestlers enjoying the sport, the era of backyard wrestling in Perth might be drawing to a close.
ICWS is set to end as many wrestlers feel it has run its course, and finding a venue for each show has proven too difficult.
WZWA Promoter Karl Infirri, of Dianella, also known as ‘Aston Crude’, says that WZWA is shutting down due to a lack of participants.
“Several of us wanted to hang up the boots by 2017 and we figured it would be better to shut it down whilst it was still awesome and hadn’t become a shell of itself,” Karl said.
“It will go until April next year, and then we call it quits,” said Jossua.
“There’s always a glimmer of hope but as it stands there’s not much of a future to be seen in Perth backyard wrestling,” said Luke.
Here are some tricks of the wrestler’s craft:
Backyard wrestlers in action: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.