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Entering the Squared Circle in New Bedford

Our beloved, funky city offers all sorts of cultural offerings to residents and visitors. From lectures at the Whaling Museum to art openings almost every weekend. We’re a cultured city, for sure.

But every now and then, you just need to jerk the curtain and step into the ring – the squared circle where high-brow hits the mat and the low end comes out on top.

Yes, sometimes you just need to let it all out at a wrestling match – which pop up in New Bedford with the frequency of a foreign object in a dirty match.

This past Sunday, this writer took in Top Rope Productions wrestling at New Bedford Inn & Suites on Hathaway Road in the company of the world-famous Cardoos sisters – Shelley and Miriam. How’s that for a tag team?

Shelley is a Groundwork! Member, in addition to being director at EforAll Southcoast and owner of the downtown artisan gift boutique, Hippo.

She’s also a fan of wrestling – and, as I discovered at Sunday’s match, so is another New Bedford notable.

There at ringside was none other than New Bedford Economic Development Council assistant director, Angela Johnston!

I was in the company of a wild bunch, for sure.

The ballroom was packed and completely made over for the event – with a ring (called the “squared circle”) seating, lights, a videographer to capture the matches for posterity, concessions and merchandise.

If cigarette smoke was wafting through the air, you could easily imagine yourself back in time at the old Lincoln Park ballroom with Chief Jay Strongbow and George “The Animal” Steele ruling the ring.

Sunday’s matches were just as entertaining as anything you might see on TV during a WWF match. There were feuds, foreign objects – like chairs – brought into the ring, betrayal, dramatic reversals of fortune and lots and lots of carefully choreographed mayhem.

The crowd ate it up. And so did I.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment at a wrestling match. It’s just fun to pick your champion and live vicariously as he gets unfairly pummeled but ultimately triumphs over the bad guys – most times.

Wrestling has its own narrative – and Sunday’s matches ended with a shocking betrayal – a cliffhanger that will no doubt be continued when Top Rope Productions returns and picks up where they left off.

Give your brain a rest and your vocal chords a workout; come cheer on your favorite when wrestling returns to the city and rest assured:

It’s okay to enter the squared circle in New Bedford.

  • Pictures from Top Rope Productions at New Bedford Inn & Suites, Sunday, May 6, 2018.
Steven Froias

Steven Froias

Mad Man at Groundwork!
Steven Froias is Groundwork!'s resident blogger. He sleeps in the boiler room at 1213 Purchase Street.
Steven Froias

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