Dangerously Intense Wrestling Brings Gimmicks and Grappling to North Phoenix

diw submission hold.JPG
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman
Mac Havok forces Alex Salyers into a submission hold at a recent DIW event.
You shouldn't have any trouble locating Dangerously Intense Wrestling's weekend smackdowns inside the sprawling SwapSmart in North Phoenix. Just follow the sound of all the screaming fans and blaring rock anthems that echo throughout the gigantic indoor flea market every Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

The noise seems to get louder each week, as a growing number of local wrestling fanatics are flocking to the newly launched promotion's action-packed events to cheer wildly as costumed competitors beat each other senseless in the ring. 


Promoter and owner Nick "The Sickness" Wilkinson has been astounded by the response, despite the fact that DIW's a grassroots operation on a shoestring budget that's barely a month old.

"The fans have come and screamed their brains out at every single show we've done," Wilkinson says. "It doesn't matter that we're new or run things at an indoor swap mart, they've really been into us. We put on fast-paced, action-packed shows filled with fun and excitement."

There's also plenty of blood, over-the-top theatrics and goofy gimmicks to get professional wrestling fans excited.

Wilkinson explains that the promotion's name features the phrase "dangerously intense" for a reason: Their style of in-ring action features a variety of high-flying and skull-crunching moves. Although most of the maneuvers are choreographed and the match outcomes are pre-determined (as is common in professional wrestling) Wilkinson wants the hits to look, sound, and feel like they're painfully real. That includes throwing plenty of steel chairs into the mix (natch).

diw the new kliq.JPG
Rave Michaels (center, red tights) and the members of The New Kliq.

​"I want DIW to offer aggressive moves and to look like a combat sport," he says. "I'm not talking about really gory and ultra-violent hardcore wrestling, but a lot of aggression, physicality, and painful-looking stuff getting thrown down. The action is intense, it's hard-hitting, and we keep the pace quick."

Wilkinson also hopes crowds will get into DIW's extreme and off-the-wall characters that compete in each match. His roster of 15 different wrestlers range from such goofy grapplers as Team Techno (who come to the ring waving glowsticks and dancing to electronica) to a 7-foot-1 behemoth called Yetty (who wears fur pelt decorated with as a costume).

outrage blood.JPG
DIW's Outrage after a bloody match.

​The main bad guys (or "heels," in wrestling slang) of DIW are Rave Michaels and The New Kliq, a group of good-looking and arrogant scoundrels who taunt the audience and cheat to win. 

Meanwhile, these villains are usually opposed by such heroic wrestlers (or "babyfaces") as Cody "High Alert" Baker, Shot Saxon, and Mac Havok.

While such characters might not be as well known as the superstars of World Wrestling Entertainment, Wilkinson says DIW's shows have the potential of being just as fun as watching Raw or Friday Night Smackdown on TV every week.

"A lot of our guys are just starting out in the wrestling world, so we don't have a lot of the kind of bodybuilder types you see in WWE," he says. "Others are in their 40s, work at Village Inn, and aren't gonna ever go to WWE. But that doesn't mean they can't be passionate about what they're doing every weekend. And if our wrestlers are passionate, hopefully the fans will continue to be passionate."

diw dropkick.JPG
Mac Havok hits Malik with a dropkick.

​Wilkinson is also pretty passionate about wrestling to say the least. The Philadelphia native's been participating in the business for more than 15 years and has helped behind the scenes with such renowned promotions as Ring of Honor and the now-defunct Extreme Championship Wrestling

After spending several years with the Valley's Real Deal Pro Wrestling, Wilkinson decided earlier this year to strike out on his own ("This is something I just had to do," he says.)

DIW is one of six different independent promotions locally, but Wilkinson isn't afraid of either competition or failing.

"It's good to have competitors and I feel we're only gonna get bigger and better. As a friend of mine told me, the worst thing I can do is fail," he says. "Besides, our shows are only two bucks and we're making sure that fans get every ounce of their money's worth."

Dangerously Intense Wrestling takes place at 1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday at Swap Smart, 5115 North 27th Avenue. Admission is $2. Click here for more info.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.


My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
JOANN BOSTON
JOANN BOSTON

FIRST OF ALL I WANT THANK NICK FOR ALL THE HARD WORK HE'S PUT INTO DIW AND SECONDLY I GET TO SEE MY BABY MALIK IN THE NEW TIMES AND THIRDLY I JUZ WANNA SAY GUD LUCK TO ALL THE WRESTLERS FOR NEXT WEEKEND SHOW AND MAKE SURE YA'LL BRING THE PAIN

Frayman
Frayman

I'm really excited to be able to see more from these guys

Hyper Fox
Hyper Fox

Its good to see people with a passion that drives them

Erkfuhdkhga
Erkfuhdkhga

Another fed? Awesome! the more the better, keep it up you guys. 

Gothicbabydoll_89
Gothicbabydoll_89

Did ANYONE notice that some of the names in the captions did NOT match the wreslters in the photos!? Somebpdy needs to get that fixed.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...