time 2 go 2 school-cropped

Waco Association of Wrestling Takes You to School

The world is an ever-complicated place, and you may ask yourself, “Is there any right and wrong anymore or is it all just shades of gray? Why can’t I tell the bad guys from the good guys? Can I just know who to cheer for?”

Now you’ll have your chance as the Waco Association of Wrestling (WAW) presents Time 2 Go 2 School on Friday, December 10, at Midway Middle School. Doors open at 5:30 pm for the VIP meet-and-greet, and bell time for the first match is 6:30 pm.

Time 2 Go 2 School

Friday night’s bill features a variety of wrestlers. These include T-Ray and Ocean Avery facing off in a championship match sanctioned by HOT Wrestling; Alejandra Lion, Vert Vixen, and Gypsy Mac meeting in the Lonestar Ladies contenders match; and the Lord of the Rings qualifying match between Max Heights and Exodus Prime.

“It’s going to be an event with top-notch talent,” said Chad Pack, WAW co-owner. “You’re going to see the top independent wrestlers in Texas — alongside the best independent wrestlers nationwide — because we’re bringing people in from all over for this show.”

Pack emphasized that this is a family-friendly show and won’t have the extreme deathmatches common at some events. While those matches appeal to a certain crowd, he wants to appeal to the widest range of people — young and old — as possible.

In the Beginning…

Pack has a long history with wrestling, starting in high school in the late ’90s when he and his friends, one of whom had a rectangular trampoline, began having backyard matches. Some of their homemade videos became popular, and around 2010 they decided to put on their first official show — admission was $1 — behind Hap’s Icehouse on 34th Street.

He recalled the scene that day: “It was packed! People kept showing up, and we had people around the fences, people clogging up the neighbors’ backyards, along the street, everywhere. We were like, ‘Wow.'”

More events followed at different venues such as a biker bar, the old Fast Eddie’s on Valley Mills, and Quaker Steak and Lube when it was out by the new Hillcrest Hospital. As time went by, the matches had increasingly well-known wrestlers, including Paul London and Wild Bill Irwin.

“And that’s the thing in the wrestling community — once they hear that you put on good, consistent shows,” said Pack, “you’ll start hearing from the bigger wrestlers instead of having to reach out to them.”

Still, local wrestling is like other independent sports leagues: Here today and gone later today. In June 2017 — and before Pack became an owner — the once-active WAW had become largely dormant and held what was supposed to be its “final bash” at the Backyard. Pack, who appeared in a deathmatch there as the Extreme Juggalo, saw the crowd — and its response! — and realized this couldn’t be the end.

Pack’s love of wrestling took him from the backyard to the Backyard.

After that, he took the reigns at WAW to keep moving it into the future. And with co-owner Emanuel Moran, WAW began having matches again around Waco. The pandemic temporarily put the brakes on that, but last October saw WAW’s Shock-Toberfest at the Backyard.

Beyond the Ring

Pack and Moran have ambitious plans for the future. In addition to regularly scheduled shows, they want to secure their own building to start a wrestling school. WAW will also host smaller matches there while having bigger events at venues like the Backyard. And they want to add online streaming of their events.

For Pack, ultimately it comes down to passing on the love of wrestling he had as a kid to a new generation: “These kids will love it, and that makes me feel good. Kids are our future, right? So it’s just a good feeling.”

Tickets are available online and at the door for WAW’s Time 2 Go 2 School at 6:30 pm on Friday, December 10, at the Midway Middle School Gymnasium. Midway ISD students get free admission.

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Mark Roy Long's various incarnations have included college English instructor, book publisher, freelance writer, editorial content manager, and professional lawn mower. He is a devotee of craft beer, disc golf, and live music. A long-time Waco resident, he was tired of asking, “What’s going on around town?” and decided to answer that for himself... and anyone else who wanted to know.

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