Good and evil will face off in a “steel cage of fright” at the National Guard Armory in Tarboro on Saturday, Oct. 20 when the Christian-based “League of Integrity” basketball league brings professional wrestling to town.
George South, with Baby Doll in his corner, will go head-to-head with the Barbarian, with Demon in his corner on Saturday night, then take to the pulpit at Sunset Church of God the next morning.
“We’ve never had a 10-foot cage match in Tarboro ever,” said event coordinator Mike Braxton. “We’re just trying to bring it [wrestling] back home and do something different.”
The wrestling that folks will see is not the entertainment style of wrestling that is shown on TV. It will be “the wrestling that your grandma and granddaddy took you to when you were young,” said Alan Davis, also an event coordinator.
“It’s an awesome family event,” said Braxton. Far from “untouchable,” like today’s wrestlers on TV, the wrestlers at Saturday’s event will have a “meet and greet” with the audience and sign autographs prior to the match, around 6:15 p.m. Belltime is at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday’s event will also pit Baron TNA Bullard against Reid Flair, “son of the nature boy,” Rick Flair. A grudge match between Edgecombe County boy Damien Wayne and Louis Moore of the NCAA Wrestling Alliance also is scheduled. The night won’t end until “X” division wrestlers Lee Valiant, kin to the “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant, Justin Flash and Charlie Dreamer display their high-flying, high-impact skills.
The wrestlers represent the values of the “League of Integrity,” a basketball league started by Braxton and Davis.
“If it brings one person to Christ, then we’ve done what we’ve set out to do,” said Braxton. He wants people to know that “Christians know how to have a good time. We aren’t just dull folks.”
The League of Integrity had its first wrestling event in Tarboro in the spring, with an estimated 450 people in attendance. Basketball is still the main focus of the league, and championship games are set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21 at First Free Will Baptist Church.
Braxton and Davis grew up playing basketball at the Recreation Department’s Braswell Center in Tarboro. They both said they had great mentors as children and wanted to pay it forward.
“We just want to let everybody know what we’ve been taught by our parents and the leaders that are around us,” said Braxton. The word “integrity” is a reflection of those values and beliefs.
“We’re talking about the inner core,” said Braxton. “That word speaks as strong as it is in our heart.”
The league’s first season had six teams of eight players; this year’s season boasted eight teams of 10 players representing different churches in the community.
“God’s blessed us in a lot of ways,” said Braxton.
Tickets for wrestling are $10 each and handicap accessibility and VIP seating are available. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Suburban Grill and Piggly Wiggly in Tarboro.
Children are invited to wear their Halloween costumes to the event. The child with the best costume will receive a gift basket from Hibbett Sports.
For more information, visit The League of Integrity Church Basketball Facebook page, or call Braxton at 883-4911 or Davis at 883-1419.