Tonight CHS Field honors Minnesota legend “Mean” Gene Okerlund with a night of baseball and wrestling as the St. Paul Saints host F1rst Wrestling night. While the combination of baseball and based brawls might seem like quite the unexpected cocktail to the uninitiated, fans of music, culture and wrestling in the Twin Cities know the fun that follows the F1rst Wrestling logo all too well.
Since 2007 F1rst Wrestling has revitalized a new era for wrestling in Minnesota. Given the state’s long history of wrestling greats, it’s always been fertile ground for squared-circle innovators, but trailblazer “The Anarchist” Arik Cannon had the foresight to base his promotion out of historic First Avenue to return the larger-than-life concert and party atmosphere to shows. In 2013 he added live music and burlesque for the inaugural Wrestlepalooza event which has become a regular sell-out and a travel destination for fans around the world.
There’s something special about F1rst Wrestling’s magnetism. It’s not uncommon before an event to hear someone refer to it as their “first” wrestling show, or their “favorite.” Whether one is a fan of the pageantry, the athleticism, the spectacle, or the storytelling, each one of the promotion’s events feels like a celebration tapping deep into both the state’s heritage as well as looking toward the future. Involving artists like Dillinger Four, Prof and Doomtree‘s Mike Mictlan – the latter two of which have actually stepped into the ring, as well as top burlesque performers have created an accessible gateway for new viewers to ignite their fandom.
F1rst Wrestling has had worldwide legends such as Scott Hall and Ultimo Dragon, current superstars like WWE‘s Seth Rollins, Ruby Riott and Ariya Davari, and indy-wrestling’s icons including Joey Ryan and Colt Cabana – who last January wrestled actor David Arquette at First Avenue, step between their ropes. With a consistency seldom seen in the medium, there’s a reason why F1rst Wrestling has become both a rite of passage and a must see event for Minnesotans. Kicking off their summer tonight at CHS Field, there’s more chances to see them than ever!
Here’s where to catch F1rst Wrestling next (all shows all ages unless marked):
May 23 – CHS Field for F1rst Wrestling Night
June 2 – Open Streets at UpDown
June 2 – Grand Old Day in St. Paul
June 5 – Mitzvah Mayhem at Temple of Aaron
June 28 – Wrestlepalooza (18+) at First Avenue
August 2 – Uptown VFW (21+)
August 11 – Blood Sweat and Beers II at Bauhaus Brew Labs
November 30 – Uptown VFW (21+)