Adrenaline kick

When it comes to live entertainment, there are few higher-octane events than a match night at 5/37 Brunel Road in Seaford.

Dimly lit attendees sit in awe or stand, and shout as vibrantly clothed wrestlers attempt to destroy their nemeses through impressive feats of acrobatic combat.

For over six years, Adrenaline Pro Wrestling has cultivated a community of fans and performers, dedicated to bringing the sport to life. Jarryd Parr, co-founder of the wrestling company, is one such performer and says, “It is one of the most euphoric feelings that I’ve never been able to replace.”

“When it’s your time to go out, the moment you walk through that curtain a transition happens within yourself, within your psyche, in a sense. It is just a feeling when you’ve got 200 plus people screaming at you, cheering for you, encouraging you.” Jarryd says that even after getting home in the wee hours of the morning after a show, he’s still buzzing and struggles to wind down to sleep, in a good way, of course. “You wake up the next morning feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus. You’re stiff and sore, you’re in a fair bit of pain from the actual match, but also mentally you’re exhausted.”

Like many of the other wrestlers, Jarryd has been a lifelong fan of the genre. “When I was probably 12 or 13-years-old, I went around for a sleepover at a schoolmate’s house, and he’s like, ‘hey, do you wanna watch this thing?’ And he put on this video, and it was a wrestling show that I think his auntie had managed to record off Foxtel, and I was hooked. There were guys jumping off these ladders and just the way they would move in the ring; it was just insane.”

“We were sixteen with one of those trampolines with the net around it. We took the net off and cut all the support posts off and then attached ropes to it to use as the ring. I think it was hard rubbish day and my brother and I walked out in the street and got a couple of mattresses to slide underneath the trampoline, so the trampoline didn’t give us that bounce.”

After that, the brothers begged their mum for a backyard wrestling ring. Their mum realised that this just wasn’t a fad, and she the boys were allowed to grow their love for the sport. “We built a ring in the backyard and got a few mates to come around.”

“I don’t recommend this because we had no training whatsoever. We just watched it on TV and had a rough idea on how everything was done.”

Years later, after a few drinks, Jarryd and friend Beau Miller made a promise; they decided they would commit to bringing their dream to life. But rather than brushing off such a promise come sobriety like many an optimistic reveller, Beau and Jarryd pulled through.

“It actually started in the backyard, believe it or not. We didn’t have a lot of money when we started.” “We found a ring and we put it in the backyard of his place.” From Beau’s backyard they gained some traction and moved the performances to a factory.”

The factory allowed our home-grown organisation to get bigger, and the team would go on to lease another factory.

As they expanded, so did the fan base. “We were learning on the go, really, as well. There’s no real rulebook on how to do it.”

To the uninitiated, Adrenaline Pro Wrestling’s competitive and hyper aggressive aesthetic may seem intimidating. It’s not for everyone, but Jarryd suggests not to write it off until you’ve seen it in person.

“Just as there are different flavours of ice cream that other people will enjoy, if professional wrestling is not for you, then it’s not for you. I guess my thing is that you only live once, really, so you should give everything a crack. Come see it in person before you make that decision.”

“It is family-friendly; it is safe. I met one of our fans while she was pregnant, and now that baby still comes to the shows and is one of our biggest fans. It’s the coolest thing ever, and Eddie loves it. At the end of day, it is entertainment.”

“I think everyone has got that same motive, that same goal, that same drive. And it is simply just to entertain people that come down and watch and to just encourage each other.”

“We are all different shapes and sizes. We all have different athletic capabilities. We all have the same love of professional wrestling. And I think the goal for all of us is the same; to captivate people and just let them be a part of something.”

“It’s almost like a, a weird little family. People come and you start getting used to the fans and their kids when they come along. Sometimes you feel like you’re a real live action superhero and, in a sense, a role model as well.”

Although it has come a long way since the night it was first conceived, Jarryd hopes that this is just the start of what’s to come for Adrenaline Pro Wrestling. “If you’re not progressing, you’re not growing.”

“If we can expose more people to local wrestling and make that crowd bigger and make more people feel involved that’s definitely a win.

Some of Adrenaline’s goals are to start traveling to other places with their wrestlers, building the crowd along the way and exposing more people to live entertainment and professional wrestling. If they keep up what they’re doing already they’re sure to be a knockout.

FB: @APWMelbourne

By Benjamin Golotta Photos Garry Sissons

Peninsula Essence – December 2023