Events
Features

A look inside the pro wrestling scene on the Island

A photo series exploring a 365 Pro Wrestling night in James Bay

By James MacDonald
April 5, 2023
Events
Features

A look inside the pro wrestling scene on the Island

A photo series exploring a 365 Pro Wrestling night in James Bay

The crowd reacts to Maxwell Benson victory over Devon Shooter. Photo: James MacDonald
The crowd reacts to Maxwell Benson victory over Devon Shooter. Photo: James MacDonald
Events
Features

A look inside the pro wrestling scene on the Island

A photo series exploring a 365 Pro Wrestling night in James Bay

By James MacDonald
April 5, 2023
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A look inside the pro wrestling scene on the Island
The crowd reacts to Maxwell Benson victory over Devon Shooter. Photo: James MacDonald

The music is pounding off the low walls of the Polish Hall in James Bay, with the yells from the ring drowned out by the jeers and cat calls from the fans that tightly surround the wrestling ring. A girl in a flame wrapped shirt screams and flips the bird at what can only be described as a classic wrestling ‘heel’, or wrestler that personifies the classic villain.

Grimaces and pained faces mark over the top holds and leg locks, and every type of aerobatic body slam imaginable is launched from the top of the ring ropes. For close to three hours, chaos, athleticism, and entertainment reign supreme as the cast of characters from 365 Pro Wrestling take to the ring. 

Running since 2020 as 365 Pro Wrestling, it was previously known as the Pure Wrestling Association, and was started in Goderich, Ont. in 2005. For 18 years they have been putting on events around Ontario, and for the last 10 years in British Columbia.

With events taking place in Victoria, Sooke, Duncan, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Parksville, and Campbell River, the appeal of pro wrestling entertainment is high around the Island; and judging by the equal parts cheering and taunting crowd, there is a loyal and enthusiastic fan base as well. 

Between high fives with wrestlers, grappling duels held among the crowd, and reoccurring call and response, the level of crown engagement and interaction is like no other live event I have seen.

“Indy wrestling and wrestling in general is always about the fan experience”, says 365 owner Mike Becherer. “It's like a physical play happening only a few feet away from you.  You can feel the action”. From heels, to baby-faces, to lackeys, and all the over the top characters that take to the ring; it is hard not to pick favourites and start rooting for the hero. “(T)here are so many different types of wrestlers these days”, Becherer says, “and different matches, so there is something for everyone”. 

With a steady schedule of events around the Island, a lot of the talent is fostered here locally and in BC says Becherer.

“A lot of the wrestlers in 365 Pro Wrestling are trained… at the Pro Wrestling Academy. The roster is then filled out with other talented wrestlers from Vancouver, and other parts of the Island. Lions Gate Dojo has a great school in Vancouver and our working relationship with them is great.  One does this out of the love for pro wrestling”.  

With events and matches planned into June, the drama of pro wrestling has found a solid home on the Island. “Vancouver Island is an amazing place for pro wrestling”, Becherer explains, “because of the fans, the amazing talented wrestlers we have in our area and the hard work all the people involved put in, to make wrestling a success”. 

The wrestler Haviko makes his entrance during a 365 Pro Wrestling event in James Bay.
Lak Siddartha dangles from the ring ropes prior to his match against Josh Cadwell, at a 365 Pro Wrestling event.
Devon Shooter announces his entrance, prop wrench in hand, as he prepares to face off against Maxwell Benson.
Fans cheer as wrestlers face off during a 365 Pro Wrestling event in James Bay.
A fan flips the middle finger to Devon Shooter, as he looks up at wrestler Maxwell Benson on the ring ropes.
Maxwell Benson raises his arms in victory after defeating Devon Shooter to become the 365 Pro Wrestling Combat Champion.
Haviko stands on the ring ropes and pumps the crowd up prior to his opening match.
Josh Cadwell puts a hold on Lak Siddartha during their match.
Maxwell Benson stands on the ring ropes and looks over the crowd as he prepares for his match.
Maxwell Benson puts a hold on Devon Shooter during their match at a 365 Pro Wrestling event.
The wrestler Rad Dad stands on top of Inferno during their match at a 365 Pro Wrestling event in James Bay.
Coco Flash flies through the air and into the ring, during his match against Krofton in the final match of the night.


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