For years, “The Anarchist” Arik Cannon has been the mastermind behind the greatest pro wrestling spectacle in all of Minnesota.
His bi-annual Wrestlepalooza shows at First Avenue have become legendary, thanks to the combination of hard-hitting ass-kickers, high-flying aerialists, and over-the-top characters, making them can’t-miss events for hardcore wrestling junkies and casual fans alike. The only complaint he hears is that there are only two shows a year.
Tonight he attempts to change that, as Cannon’s F1RST Wrestling promotion (the machine behind Wrestlepalooza) spreads it’s wings and takes over the Cabooze for the very first time, giving fans the chance to catch a live experience unlike anything you’ll see on Monday Night Raw.
“If you like wrestling, you can get it pretty readily these days,” says Cannon. “But seeing it live is a completely different feeling. You can’t get that from your couch.”
Just like the Wrestlepalooza extravaganzas, the Cabooze show is stacked with the very best local and national wrestling talent, including Cannon, Colt Cabana, “All Ego” Ethan Page, and Darin Corbin.
“Doing a show on a Thursday, I know that people are going to have to go to work and school the next day,” Cannon explains. “So I wanted to make sure it was stacked with star power and worth making the trip.”
The biggest attraction, however, will be a superstar who has never stepped foot in a ring before. Fulton Brewing will be unleashing their very own wrestler, Chaos 300, who aptly named after their 300 IPA.
Cannon has made a name for himself throughout the country in recent years as the only pro wrestler to be sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon. He says it was the success of this partnership that led the Fulton crew to reach out about creating their own beer-fueled brawler.
“I was flattered that Fulton would reach out to me to ask about how beer and wrestling can work together,” he says. “It shows that the relationship that PBR and I have is working, and I think this a really cool thing they’re doing.”
While the story of the everyman’s beer grappling with the menacing craft beverage is a match seemingly made in pro wrestling heaven, Cannon believes it’s just another example of how F1RST Wrestling is changing the norm when it comes to how fans see performers.
“It’s just like when we have Wildcat and Yellow Dog wrestling, and it becomes cat people against dog people,” he laughs. “It’s just about doing something different and letting people cheer for their favorites.”
Though tonight’s event will be more of a traditional wrestling show than the collision of music, burlesque, and wrestling Wrestlepalooza fans have grown to love, Cannon insists that the show will be anything but business as usual.
“It’s weird and it’s fun and it’s different,” he says. “It’s not just watching a guy in tights wrestle another guy in tights. Our shows are big and bright and loud. This show is going to have plenty of that.”
IF YOU GO:
6:30 p.m. doors, 7:30 p.m. show