4ZZZ Rumble Rock Wrestling

A lot of you might not know, but I’m a fan of combat sports. In fact, once I’m done uploading this post I’m going to sit down and watch the Pacquiao v Bradley match. Whenever I watch these events, my mind always drifts over to the photographers ring side. I wonder if I could do it? I’ve always wanted to shoot sports, but I just don’t really have the opportunity or equipment to do it. Luckily, a gig popped up in my upcoming list for a 4ZZZ fundraiser, combining amateur wrestling and Regurgitator. I couldn’t say no.

Set in the dirty-surrounds of the Arena (god I missed that place) there was a ring set in front of the stage, lit by a floodlight on each side. Not knowing what the hell I was doing, I spent the night switching between settings, lenses and speedlites. It was a good challenge. My normal low light gig settings just don’t work when people are flying through the air. I had to get the shutter speed faster. Even with the speedlite attached people were blurring too much (1/250s). After a few fights, I ended up going for 1/1000 with a high ISO. Not ideal, but I still got some better action shots.

As I mentioned, I am a fan of combat sports. At the start, this wrestling thing was interesting. A lot of these fighters took it seriously and showed some amazing skill. At times I could have made the mistake of thinking I was watching a MMA bout. These guys especially. Despite one wearing a mask, they grappled impressively showing great skill and technique.

However, as the night went on and the wrestlers got more outrageous, I just became disgusted in the whole thing. It was no longer skill, it was just mindless bashing with no concern for their safety or the safety of those watching. And that’s the thing with most combat sports, the refs are there the whole time to watch out for the athletes, stopping whenever they think someone will get seriously hurt. Not at this amateur wrestling.

One of the wrestlers was sponsored by Naughty But Nice and threw a bunch of dildos in the crowd, resulting in my friend having a nasty cut on her nose that we had to get seen to. Other wrestlers jumped off the upper balcony, threw chairs into the crowd, knocked down the safety barrier hitting people in the crowd and two even chased me out of the photo area all the way into the crowd. The last fight was the worst though. At one point there was about 10 people in the ring, just going at it mercilessly. People were hit with DVD players, keyboards, garden gnomes, chairs, tables, ladders, staplers, bolts, thumb tacks and so much more. And it just went on for over 40 minutes. One guy was knocked out cold. One referee was knocked out cold. And then there was this guy.

He was walking around in a daze for a long time. I honestly thought it was fake blood, until I got up close and could see it gushing out. It was horrendous. They should’ve just stopped it. But they wrapped his head in paper towels and sent him back in. By the time he was finished he was covered in staples and thumb tacks. Not long after this picture I left in disgust, plus I had been hit with shards of broken porcelain from the garden gnome. I was afraid for my safety.

Despite that. Regurgitator were good as always. And I got some interesting shots. Nothing amazing, I need a lot more practice (and better gear) before I do sports shooting for real. Gallery below.

One Comment

  1. Posted March 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm | #

    You’ve got a great blog here well done congratulations

2 Trackbacks

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