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F1RST Wrestling Takes Over First Avenue

F1RST Wrestling - Wrestling at First Avenue
Photography by Dylan Novacek

F1RST Wrestling took over First Avenue for their iconic Wrestlepalooza event. Combining live professional wrestling with music and burlesque in the center of the main room was truly a one-of-a-kind sight.

F1RST Wrestling - Wrestling at First Avenue
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Let’s address the elephant in the room: Why is a music blog covering a wrestling show? A little-known fact is that professional wrestling is important to the history of First Avenue and our local music scene.

Much like our local Twin Cities music scene, fans of professional wrestling are a tight-knit group of passionate people. It’s not your stereotypical crowd that is often associated with wrestling. It’s a group of locally grown, brewery-loving superfans who come from all walks of life.

F1RST Wrestling - Wrestling at First Avenue
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Like their tagline says: F1RST Wrestling is for everyone! And everyone showed up as we were treated to a sold-out crowd.

F1RST Wrestling - Wrestling at First Avenue
Photography by Dylan Novacek.

First Avenue is the most uniquely magical venue and community space around. It was surreal to see a wrestling ring in the middle of the main room. Fans were right up close with the action as every spot was the best seat in the house.

F1RST Wrestling - Wrestling at First Avenue
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Opening the night was a bout for the Wrestlepalooza championship featuring Darius Martin and Aryia Daivari, two local stars who have been featured nationally in AEW and WWE. A high-flying contest, Daivari came out victorious as the new champion.

F1RST Wrestling - Wrestling at First Avenue
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Musical guest Nur-D helped keep the energy alive. Performing with something of a love-yourself attitude, it was impossible not to smile during his set!

F1RST Wrestling - Wrestling at First Avenue
Nur-D. Photography by Dylan Novacek.

The highlight of the night was being in community with the fans. From spirited chants of, “This is awesome,” and Ric Flair style woos, the energy was truly unlike any wrestling show I’ve attended before.

Additional highlights included burlesque dancing between matches, and an epic six-man scramble match featuring Arik Cannon, the owner of F1RST Wrestling and the only professional wrestler sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon.

F1RST Wrestling - Wrestling at First Avenue
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Growing up nothing captured my imagination more than the WWE. I watched RAW every Monday night and attended each show that came to town. Once the pandemic hit, I found myself getting back into my childhood hobby and I discovered the amazing world of local independent wrestling.

F1RST Wrestling - Wrestling at First Avenue
Photography by Dylan Novacek

I’ve always gotten weird looks from people when I tell them how big of a wrestling fan I am. My answer to that look is: You have to see it for yourself. You’ll never understand the absurd fun of professional wrestling until you see it yourself.

From over-the-top characters like a thunder frog, to truly breath-taking athletes and more, F1RST Wrestling will do anything and everything to make put a smile on your face.

F1RST Wrestling - Wrestling at First Avenue
Photography by Dylan Novacek

Click here to check out F1RST Wrestling on Instagram and get to know the local wrestling scene. You might be surprised by how awesome it is.

Photography by Dylan Novacek.

Written by Dylan Novacek

Photographer, graphic designer, and multimedia storyteller from St. Paul. Most likely listening to CHVRCHES, Of Monsters and Men or Fall Out Boy. Once featured in the New York Times for using the bathroom during Avengers: Endgame.

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