Men in tights, body slams, suplexes and more will reverberate through the Joe Crowley Student Union walls on Thursday.
That’s right, live wrestling is coming to the university. The show has been seven months in the making, courtesy of the Nevada Professional Wrestling Club.
The impact of the wrestlers’ maneuvers will echo further than the squared circle. The event is a cog in a bigger picture — children’s cancer.
Proceeds from the wrestling show will go directly to Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation. Founded in 2009, the charity’s mission is to “enhance the quality of life for children with cancer and their families by providing financial assistance and compassionate support programs.”
The wrestling club visited the charity a few weeks ago. While touring it, a moment of clarity stuck the members.
NNCCF creates beaded necklaces for each patient. Each bead represents a different trial in the child’s cancer journey — whether it be losing a limb, undergoing a surgery or spending a night alone in bed.
One necklace weighed roughly five pounds. The lump of beads represented just one child.
“That’s when it clicked for everyone in the room,” said Zack Zolowicz, president of the club. “It’s not just a charity we’re putting our name on. We’re going to go out there and sell everything we can and bring as much as help to this organization as possible.”
Moreover, the charity rings especially hit home for one of the debuting wrestlers, senior Karl Fredericks.
Fredericks’ four-year-old nephew is in remission from leukemia, which he was diagnosed with shortly after his second birthday.
A year removed from beating the disease, the charity was a big boost to his cancer treatment. Whether it was covering medical bills or giving out Christmas gifts, Fredericks knows first-hand at the impact the foundation has had.
With his nephew planning to attend Thursday’s show, Fredericks’ wrestling debut will mean something more than the start of his career.
“It means a great deal to me to give back to them personally since they’ve helped my family so much,” he said.
Fredericks is one of five university students competing at the show, along with Zolowicz, Geoffrey Alcaraz, Spencer Wyman and Ryan Chaump.
Joining the UNR products will be a collection of wrestlers from All Pro Wrestling, based out of Sacramento, California, and Reno Wrestle Factory. The show will feature an appearance from Disco Inferno, a former World Championship Wrestling multi-time champion.
With all three ballrooms in The Joe reserved for the event, an upward of 500 seats will surround the ring. Doors for the show open at 6:30 pm before the show kicks off at 7 p.m.
Beyond a great cause, Zolowicz promises an action-packed show for wrestling and non-wrestling fans alike.
“All the people that were wrestling fans as kids and are too embarrassed to say it now, they’re going to be wrestling fans again,” he said. “For two hours, we’ll be suspending their belief and making wrestling seem like the most real thing they’ve ever seen.”
Eric Uribe can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @Uribe_Eric.