“I love an underdog, and definitely that’s what wrestling is,” says Max Mitchell, founder and director of Boom Pro Wrestling. The Vancouverite clearly doesn’t shy away from a challenge: he’s just bought (not rented, bought) a legit wrestling ring all the way from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and he’s putting on a show.  

It’s a little bit genius and a little bit crazy. “Did we bite off more than we can chew? Damn right, we did,” says a very deep, very wrestling-announcer-esque voice that may or may not be Mitchell in a promotional video. (We feel okay making fun of him because, full disclosure, he's the partner of our editor-at-large Stacey McLachlan). He’s obviously a big fan of the sport himself, but says that he’s trying to reach folks who aren’t. “It’s become a rarity for a new wresting fan to be created,” he explains. “The fandom is a bit cult-ish at times—like you have to know every little intricate and intimate detail or you’re just not a fan—and that creates a barrier.” 

Boom Wrestling’s goal is to combat that gatekeeping with a welcoming environment, and by emphasizing two lesser-known facets of wrestling: storytelling and comedy. “Wrestling is a contrived sport—you cannot put on a wrestling show without knowing what is going to happen all the way along,” Mitchell says. “So without the storytelling, why would anybody care who wins loses any of these matches? Why would anybody care who is the champion?” 

Audiences can think of Boom Wrestling as part sport, part theatre, part comedy show. Mitchell has over 10 years of experience producing local comedy in Vancouver, and is incorporating his network of comedians into every event. “The comedy is to make the show more entertaining, but also to buffer out the violence a little bit,” he says. According to Mitchell, wrestling is often presented either as a heavy-metal, ultra-ugly smackdown or a clean-cut sports experience— “and that loses what makes wrestling so fun, and so funny.” 

Wrestling Comedy Show VancouverPhoto by Skye Portman

The fact is, very fit, very talented athletes brawling it out in extravagant costumes is funny. “We want to endear these characters to the audience,” says Mitchell. “This is going to be a good time—we want you to cheer, we want you to boo and we want you to laugh.” 

Boom’s first show is September 17 at the Commercial Drive Legion upper ballroom, and it’s already almost sold out. But the show continues monthly, and you don’t have to be at the first in order to understand the ones following. “We are going to make sure we are telling a story that has a beginning, middle and ending every time, like episodes in a TV show,” says Mitchell. “Every episode has to have a plot, but there is an overarching narrative as well.”

Boom Pro Wresting RingPhoto by Skye Portman

In addition to his background in comedy, Mitchell is also an educator—he worked at Science World for years and currently operates his own financial counselling business (which is making us wonder if investing in a wrestling ring is some kind of little-known financial hack). “I’m in a unique position to produce wrestling in a way that is geared towards new fans,” he says, “to show them what is interesting about it, and what is fun about it. And hopefully, I can win their hearts and minds.” 

Wrestlers taking the stage include Ravenous Randy Meyers, evil lifeguard Brady Malibu, high-flying Jacky Lee, “The Goblin King” Izzy McQueen and “Uncle Daddy” Tony Baroni. They’ve just nailed down the Top Rope Birria truck for food, and there’s more to come. Tickets are $30, and Mitchell says he’s determined to give all viewers their money’s worth: “I’m very confident that we are going to provide a genuinely funny, genuinely thrilling night of live entertainment.” 

Boom Pro Wrestling 

September 17, 2022 and monthly shows following (Oct 29, Nov 26, Dec 31)
Commercial Drive Legion upper ballroom 
$30 per ticket 
boomprowrestling.com