Well, it’s back this weekend with even more action and excitement than last time.
Oh, yeah, and it’s free.
During the Diez y Seis de Septiembre celebration this weekend, the Fiesta committee thought it would be a great way to entertain the fans and keep them cool at the same time.
John Contreras, one of the supervisors at the Expo Center, said, “We wanted some sort of event for the kids out there to get them away from the heat in the middle of the day.
“We had the big slides, but we had to shut them down, because it was just too hot.
“The kids couldn’t even touch the plastic, so we had to shut it down for safety reasons.”
Even though wrestling may seem like an odd event for a Diez y Seis celebration, the thinking behind it makes sense.
“We figured that would entertain the kids and the family.
“We’re just trying to bring something different and unique to the Fiesta, so we called Jimmy up and asked him if he’d like to do a show.”
Jimmy DeLaRosa Perez, the wrestling promoter, started the TWA in Amarillo back in 1992.
An ex-wrestler himself, he’s found that the love for the sport has kept him engaged in the process even after getting hurt back in 1990.
“It was something that I was driven into when I was younger,” Perez remembers.
“One of my uncles, Alex Perez, used to wrestle up in the southwest area around San Antonio, and he used to take me to the wrestling shows.”
Alex Perez was a wrestler who took to the ring for an astonishing 28 years.
He even had a bit Hollywood part in the movie “Paradise Alley” with Sylvester Stallone, where he wrestled the main character.
“So, I got hooked on it. When I graduated from high school, I went to college in Amarillo, and I drifted away from it.
“But a year later, I met a former wrestler; he knew me, and I knew him, and he asked me if I wanted to get in to the wrestling business,” Perez recalled.
“And I told him, ‘Yeah, you know what, I guess.’ So he took me on the road.
That was “Dirty” Dick Murdoch.
“So, we went on the road, and he trained me, and he gave me a couple of matches, and I went from being a wrestler to getting hurt then being taught the promotion side by Terry Funk, and I started promoting wrestling.”
And, though he’s the president and promoter of TWF, that doesn’t keep him from jumping into the ring from time to time.
“I do make special appearances in the ring on and off. From 1992 until now, I’ve probably made four appearances in the ring.”
Running all over Texas and giving people a great show isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Perez said, “You have to have your heart into it. It’s stressful, it’s hard work, and there’s several promoters out there in the state of Texas as well as other states, and they do shows, but they’re not as good.
“I don’t want to put my show on top, but this is what I do full time.
“We’re in the indie circuit. It’s just like baseball; you have the major leagues, and you have the minor leagues. We’re indie, just below the major leagues.”
And with thousands of wrestlers throughout the state of Texas alone, it can be tough on competition, let alone the wannabe wrestling superstars.
“A lot of these guys wrestle to get that opportunity sooner or later to make it to the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), because they’re getting the experience out here on these shows,” Perez said.
“A bunch of them are doing it for no pay; a lot of them are doing for less pay, because they want to get name recognition.”
Many wrestling fans have fond memories of the last time TWF rolled in to Beeville earlier this year, even though some thought it wouldn’t work out.
Perez remembers, “The first time I ever came to Beeville was back in February; people were telling me, ‘You’re not going to get a crowd here. There’s been other promotions here, and they’ve been going out to the Texas Grand, and they only draw 50 people, and you’re going to the Expo Center, and they’re costing you more. You’re not going to get a crowd.’
“The thing about it was I came in to Beeville and met a lot of business owners here who helped sponsor the event, and we had over 200 people at the event.
“We had the Expo Center packed wall to wall. The wrestlers had only two feet to walk from the stage the ring.”
The highlights of the night’s fights are the Triple Threat Match, where three wrestlers enter the ring and one exits, for the Lightning Division Title along with a Tag Team Battle as the main event.
With all the buzz about the wrestlers’ return, what does Perez think the crowd should be ready for?
“It’s nothing like they’ve seen on TV, it’s totally different.
“It’s a lot of excitement, and if you ask any of the fans that have been to my shows especially, they’ll tell you it was good and they loved it.”
It’s about a three-hour show with the kids able to meet the wrestlers and actually hop in the ring and get photos taken and autographs signed by their favorite wrestlers.
“The most exciting thing about doing an indie show is expect the unexpected. Anybody can show up.
“There’s a lot of wrestlers in the state of Texas, even in this area, who used to wrestle for WWE – like Shawn Michaels, who lives right outside of San Antonio.
“He might just make a special appearance. He wrestled here in Beeville at the Grand at one time.
“So, expect the unexpected.”
The wrestling event takes place at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Expo Arena and is free to the public.
The Diez y Seis de Septiembre festival will also feature live music and events throughout the day.
“We have two of the biggest Latino stars in music this weekend, which should draw the best crowd in 10 years,” parade marshal Fred Morón said. “The disc golf tournament has already registered more than 30 teams from all over South Texas.
“This is where we can come together and celebrate our culture through music, food and entertainment, just like our ancestors, to keep our culture alive.”
For more information about the TWF, check out www.texaswrestlingfederation.com.
Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 116, or at thescene@mySouTex.com.