By day, Ryan Cruz and Darin Corbin are mild-mannered young men emerging from adolescence. Come Friday night, they will transform into their shirtless, full-contact alter egos: pro wrestling tag-team Northstar Express. At F1rst Wrestling Presents: The Return 08, the duo will take on 6% Body Fat Rob James and a mystery partner.
City Pages: What is the appeal of professional wrestling to you?
Darin Corbin: One of the best things about it is that you can play anything from a superhero to a super villain. You can be the guy who gets to save the girl and be the hero, the guy who ticks everyone off and is just there to make everyone mad, or you can be the ultimate bad guy and get away with it. All this stuff would be illegal on the street. Sometimes you want to be the good guy and get cheered, and sometimes you want to be the bad guy.
CP: What do your families and significant others think of your wrestling?
Ryan Cruz: Before my first match, my uncle called and left a voicemail that was basically a three minute rant of him saying how crazy I was, that I don't know the potential injuries that could happen, and how when I'm 40 or 50 I'm going to have pain that I can't even imagine. He's probably the only family member that was realistic about it. My brother—he was the big brother, and growing up I wanted to be like him—the first time he saw me wrestle, I looked out and he had the biggest smile on his face. It was a bit of a surreal moment because you're always trying to impress your big brother, and when you finally do it, it's pretty cool.
CP: How is your bout with 6% Body Fat Rob James and his mystery partner going to go on Friday?
DC: I know Rob James pretty well. I've had a couple encounters with him in the past, and I'm not going to take him lightly. We've both defeated him before, so there's no doubt in my mind that as a tag team, whoever he finds, we'll beat them too. Maybe we'll knock another pound of fat off him and have him down to 5 percent or 4 percent. On the 20th, I can chalk up a "W" for us.
Come see Cruz and Corbin do battle Friday night.
Fri., June 20, 7 p.m., 2008