By Wrestling Allegiance Rockhampton Co Presidents Wyatt and Stephanie Medlin.
If you hadn’t heard of Wrestling Allegiance Rockhampton before this article, I don’t think many would blame you. Situated in the Central Queensland city of Rockhampton, W.A.R is an upstarting non-for-profit professional wrestling organisation “run by wrestlers, for wrestling”. In our short time as an organisation, we have made great strides as establishing ourselves as one of the great forces of Queensland wrestling. And the success of W.A.R has come not only from a dedicated team, but strong connections with our community partners. In collaboration with our local council, we have been able to run events at the Rockhampton Museum of Art, pop culture convention CapriCon, and Queensland’s largest car show – Rockynats!
The Easter long weekend of 2023 saw over 57,000 people walking through the gates of Rockynats, with folk travelling from far and wide to see the local spectacles: show cars, motorbikes, burnouts, drifting, rockabilly competitions and … LIVE professional wrestling! This would be our second year invited to take centre stage at the prestigious event, and we made sure we didn’t waste a moment in the spotlight. With 20 talent featuring in over 40 matches across the long weekend, the pressure was on to provide entertainment that was both unique and memorable for our new and returning fans.
We launched Friday night with a full show main event feature aptly named “Starting Line” which packed out the convention hall to full capacity. This show featured matches such as our first ever Lucha Rules match between the fresh faced El Niño and the veteran, Australian Wolf. Tag team action was ablaze, and competition was crushed beneath the boots of 6-foot-8 and full of hate behemoth, Bruiser. Finally, our main event climaxed in a street fight between long-time rivals Dante Rage and W.A.R Heavyweight champion, Colt Winchester. The full house erupted with exhilaration, and with a plethora of new fans at our back, the bar was set for the rest of the weekend.
The Walter Pierce Pavillion was the place to be – with the weekend filled with high velocity action from our talent both in and outside of the ring. Miss Cherry Bombshell hosted the illustrious CQ Pinups ‘Rockabilly-nats Pin Up Competition’, MCing events and schmoozing big-wigs on behalf of the company all weekend. The Bogan Brawler, Angus Sharp, headed over to Mulletfest to host and judge the competition – with his very own glorious mullet on display! The big rig himself, Gator, won a tough fought victory in a tug of war against a V8 in the centre circuit. We were on radio, News stations; we even featured on the latest episode of Blokes World on 7mate!
But the star of the weekend was by far our King of Rockynats elimination tournament, which saw our roster of superstars battle through a slew of matches to be crowned our first inaugural King! Betting odds were strong for established Queensland talents, Dick Riggs or E.C. Brownie, who have made their name known across the state in their respective careers. But it was an emerging local star and crowd favourite, Captain Jozef Blackheart, that would ultimately take the crown on Easter Sunday after back-to-back matches with some of W.A.Rs finest. Long live the King!
Above all else, we were grateful for the little moments. From new fans coming up and thanking us for putting on ‘the greatest spectacle I’ve ever seen’ – to our regular fans buying tickets just to see a weekend full of wrestling. The cheers and ‘Stanleys Sucks’ chants roared louder than the engines of the drag cars just outside. And we were able to use our platform to give back to the community which has given so much to us – running a raffle to raise money for local fan Laytham, who has a genetic illness called Osteogenesis imperfecta which has seen him bound to the constraints of a wheelchair his entire life.
Rockynats has not only been an amazing advertising opportunity for us here at Wrestling Allegiance Rockhampton, but has also exposed a whole new audience to professional wrestling for the entire country. There hasn’t been a time like this for Australian Professional Wrestling in a long while. Rockynats 2023 was an incredible success for W.A.R and the region as a whole, which has translated to another sold out show for our following solo event. And with events such as Knotfest and The World is Vampire Tour making headlines in the industry this year, you know that we are just getting started…
But we wouldn’t be here without the community who has backed us from the beginning. So on the precipice of what is set the be the greatest resurgence of professional wrestling in this country since the WCW shows of the 60s, 70s and 80s – we urge all promotions to reach out to your local councils, have a coffee with your local business owners, break bread with the other promotion.