BANGOR – COVID-19 has put the careers of most independent professional wrestlers on hold, and many are working to grow their image and maintain an income source.
April 18th was supposed to be fun night for wrestling fans across the state as Limitless Wrestling was scheduled to hold its WrestleProm. Much like high school proms across the state, the show was canceled due to COVID-19. A private taping Limitless held before restrictions were enacted to prevent the spread of coronavirus would turn out to be the final time several New England independent professional wrestlers will step in to the ring for the foreseeable future.
With an indefinite hiatus in place, one wrestler says he’s come to miss aspects of the job he tended to previously dread. “The long drives, I used to hate them on the way back but not even being able to leave the state without coming back and not being able to do anything for two weeks is something that I completely miss,” said independent professional wrestler Alexander Lee
Lee is used to taking flack from wrestling fans across New England, but now he’s only taking calls for takeout at Umami Noodle Bar in Bangor and working overnight at Walmart. “It’s something I’ve always done, I’ve always had a couple jobs running throughout the night and day, so it’s pretty normal to me but it’s going to catch up to me at some point,” said Lee.
Lee hasn’t wrestled since the second week of March when Limitless Wrestling held private tapings for their “Pandemic at the Dojo” series that has since been streamed online. He said wrestling without fans at ringside was a different feeling, “you know the fans, you know how they’ll react, but with your peers you have to even step it up a little bit more.”
The Limitless Dojo tapings in March were also the locale of the final match since the onset of COVID-19 for Limitless World Champion Anthony Greene, who is using the hiatus to keep his name fresh in fans’ minds. “We have to be on the ball on social media, putting out content, trying to stay relevant…staying on Twitter, talking to my fans, making new videos on YouTube, creating new content, that’s been my biggest issue but I think because of the quarantine I’ve actually been able to do more social media and I think my social media is the best it’s ever been,” said Greene.
Greene’s part time work at a local gym has been put on hold, but he’s thankful for sites like Pro Wrestling Tees that allow wrestlers a platform to sell merchandise and continue to make money without having a match. “I’m going to the post office like three or four times a week shipping out t-shirts, wrestling buddies, glasses, 8’x10’s, and my Pro Wrestling Tees [site] is probably the most active it’s ever been,” said Greene.
As many wrestlers are likely feeling, Greene is anticipating the return of independent wrestling. He is also realistic about the future timeline of the industry, “I don’t see independent wrestling going back to normal where fans are just having a good time, high fiving each other, we’re all shaking hands, kissing babies, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.”