by Carly Morrissey
WHEN pro wrestlers get hit, the injuries are very real.
Josh Kable, who wrestles under the name Leigh Winstone, said he had popped a shoulder while training and Alex Beckman who wrestled as Daniel Andrews said he had suffered concussion.
Both men say wrestling has changed their lives.
"Anyone that calls it fake, I dare them to step into the ring to try it," Mr Kable said.
Mr Beckman, 21, reckons he would probably be back in jail if it wasn't for wrestling.
He watched wrestling growing up and after getting in trouble with the law a few years ago found himself on probation.
"I tried to find something to distract me from the bad stuff. I started pro wrestling in West End."
When that gym closed down a month later a buddy introduced him to Brisbane City Wrestling which is now based in Tiger St.
"I went to my first session and loved it. I've been doing it ever since," he said.
He's been wrestling in tournaments since April but has been training for two years.
Mr Kable, 19, has also been training for two years. He debuted in a fight two Fridays ago against Kirra Sommers.
Although he lost, he doesn't mind as he loves the thrill of it.
"I eat, sleep and breathe wrestling. It's helped me stay out of trouble," he said.
He also watched wrestling when he was younger.
"I used to watch it as a toddler, it's helped me escape. My mother has depression and I had to grow up at a young age.
"I'm hooked now, I practise every day."
Both wrestlers aren't in it to make money and that's good as there's not a lot of money in pro wrestling in Australia, instead they have a passion for it.
Brisbane City Wrestling owner Natasha Wilkin said the training on offer at the Ipswich club - Lockyer Valley Wrestling helped teach how to take hits and give them with the least possible damage.
Mrs Wilkin said wrestling was growing in popularity.
"Wrestling really is a performance art. It's pre-determined but not fake," she said.
"The bruises are real. My nose has been broken three times, my ribs twice.
"When we get hurt, we get hurt. Every time there's blood in my shows it's real blood."
Mrs Wilkin fights under the name Kirra Sommers and started her pro wrestling journey in South Australia.
BCW is a family-run business. Mrs Wilkin's husband is her business partner, her son is also involved and her daughter knows all the wrestlers.
She said the shows were family-friendly but did include stylised violence and sometimes strong language.
Every few months, they hold an 18+ event which are a bit more violent.
Not all the wrestlers are scary.
There's different characters; some play roles of the bad guy, others are there to make the crowd laugh.
Mrs Wilkin said anyone could become a wrestler and training was available six days a week.
"Come and give it a go and see how you like it."
You can catch the final BCW show of the year on December 9.
At that event current champion Alex Shepard will defend his title in a ladder match in which six wrestlers compete to be the first to grab the championship belt hanging from the roof.
The first one to grab it and land on the canvas will win.
Show starts at 7pm. Doors open 6.30pm at the Compound, 51 Tiger St, West Ipswich.