Yes pro-wrestling has officially kicked on in the Arctic. Used to be you would have to hoof it down south to take in a bout of good old-fashioned wrestling, but thanks to the organizers and performers at Totally Arctic Wrestling (TAW), some of the best Full Nelsons and Diving Headbutts are actually found by going farther north.
Totally Arctic Wrestling is the brainchild of Inuvik locals and Inuvialuit organizers Dez Loreen and Wade Blu Gribben. Loreen says growing up he always wanted to be a pro wrestler, and this year he decided, he might as well get on it. He purchased a wrestling ring, held a training camp, that 6 locals came out to (pretty good in a town of 3500) and has just hosted his first show at the Ingamo Hall in Inuvik. Loreen and Blu Gribben are the self-proclaimed best wrestling promoters in the arctic, and with good reason. The two have attracted a serious fan base in the Mackenzie delta, as well as beyond. According to Loreen, there has been a lot of interest from wrestlers down south in British Columbia and the states as well, and the next bouts are likely to see challengers working their way up the Dempster.
The wrestling event Loreen has put on has a serious community bent to it as well. Given the size of the venues and not knowing what kind of turnout there would be, the first Totally Arctic Wrestling event took place this past Saturday in the community friendship centre, and the building was at capacity, and standing room only. Loreen says 150 tickets were sold and some people were even turned away for lack of space. In attendance was the mayor, and in the ring, itself was Inuvik’s deputy mayor. In fact, Loreen himself is a Town Councillor and Assistant Deputy Mayor.
Wrestling fans who missed out fear not. You can catch some of the recorded action on the Totally Arctic Wrestling Facebook page and Youtube Channel and even better you can start planning a trip for the upcoming two-banger TAW event in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk on April 24th and 26th 2020, and its sure to be a pressure cooker, with around 3 times as many wrestlers expected.