Wrestling returns to the Mother Lode

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It may not be the WWE or WCW, but Mother Lode wrestling fans will get a rare opportunity to see, hear and smell the next best thing tomorrow when Pro Wrestling Iron brings its Iron Fist Tour to Frogtown at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds.

Based in Hayward, Pro Wrestling Iron is celebrating its one-year anniversary with the Iron Fist Tour. PWI was formed by Mike Modest, Frank Murdoch and Modesto-native Donovan Morgan as a response to the sex-and-soap-opera storylines that dominate the WWE.

"Today's WWE focuses on out-of-the-ring stories mixing in a lot of sex, violence and acting to put the wrestler and the story over with the fans," Murdoch said. "Our product is much more old school ? We follow a wrestling psychology that was prominent in wrestling's past ? (when) the action in the ring told the story."

Although Murdoch stresses that the Iron Fist Tour is suitable family entertainment, it is not above a little showmanship. In addition to spectacular ring entrances and carefully cultivated personas for its individual wrestlers, the Iron Fist Tour is also employing the services of rock 'n' roll band KAOS for between-matches entertainment.

PWI is partnered with Pro Wrestling NOAH, which is as popular in Japan as WWE is in the United States. Many PWI wrestlers, including Modest, who is the NOAH junior heavyweight champion, shuttle back and forth between Japan and the United States throughout the year.

PWI also serves as a training academy for its stable of wrestlers. In addition to feeding its own tours and events, numerous PWI wrestlers have appeared in recent WWE events.

Tickets cost $12 for adults and $8 for kids younger than 12. Tickets may be purchased at Frogtown or at Mike's Pizza, 294 S. Main St., Angels Camp.

For more information on Pro Wrestling Iron, visit www.prowrestlingiron.com .

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