Summer heat and a rainstorm couldn’t dampen the action of some Summer Showdown wrestling on Saturday, June 26 in Hernando.
Commerce Street Market was the scene of body slams, head locks, knock backs and clothesline moves that delighted spectators from across the Mid-South for Memphis Wrestling’s Summer Showdown 2021.
Former WWE wrestling personality Hornswoggle, Dylan Postl, was a featured guest and fan favorite at the event. A meet and greet for all participating wrestlers was held at 1 p.m.
Postl, known by his former WWE moniker "Hornswoggle," now goes by Swoggle. The ten-year veteran of WWE was thrilled to meet fans and embrace the excitement of independent wrestling.
"We're Memphis Wrestling and it's going to be fun,” said Postl. “I've been retired from WWE for ten years and I'm all independent now...It's all on me, I'm my own boss now."
Postl tours cross-country with Memphis Wrestling and will perform in shows throughout the summer. Visiting Mississippi at Saturday's event was a new experience for Postl.
"I've never wrestled in this kind of environment, where you just have people walking up," Postl said. "It's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to it."
Wrestling has been on Postl's brain since he was very young.
"It's all I wanted to do since I was four years old," Postl continued. "The Ultimate Warrior was my favorite growing up as a kid. To do what I love doing each and every weekend, is the best."
Postl said he works three times a week and on every weekend motivated by seeing the fans of wrestling.
"If I want to take a weekend off, I can still take a weekend off and do something fun with my son," said Postl. "My son is 11, going on to 15, as I say. His name is Landon."
Postl said his son is one of his biggest supporters both of him and the sport of wrestling.
Preparation for a match is minimum for Postl who says he only thinks about an individual match "a few minutes before."
"That's just always been my thing. I've never been the one to mentally prepare or anything," added Postl.
"Swoggle" was a fan favorite in the showdown's main event for kids little and big. The tag-team match saw Swoggle teamed with duo The Posse, wrestling against the Skimahorn Brothers along with Mikey McNeely. Swoggle and his team won the match.
Before the 2 p.m. fight bell signaled the event start, a sudden downpour put a hold on the matches while event organizers scrambled to cover the fight ring. Spectators did their own scrambling seeking shelter underneath Commerce Street’s front awning, inside the store and inside nearby La Siesta restaurant.
Two wrestling fans hunkered down underneath one umbrella and remained in the bleachers, undeterred by the drenching weather.
Father and son spectators, Dan, 48, and Daniel Ligon, 8, traveled from Memphis to watch all seven matches of the showdown.
"We're here to see the grassroots movement of wrestling and where it all started," said Ligon senior, "as I did in my childhood at the Mid-South Coliseum in 1984."
Ligon, a former taekwondo instructor, said his first recollection of wrestling was a match-up between Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff a.k.a Mr. Wonderful.
"I actually trained Marko Stunt, he was on AEW (All Elite Wrestling)," said Ligon. "He's Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus' tag team partner."
Ligon added that his son's grandfather was Dwight Hood and attended school with Jerry Lawler. Hood is the former assistant chief of police at Collierville, Tennessee.
Ligon junior said his favorite wrestler is Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was not in attendance at the showdown.
The pair also brought with them an original 1985 Wrestlmania One poster they hoped to have autographed by the wrestlers present.
Clarie Agner, Commerce Street owner, hosted the nationally known wrestling personalities at her business as part of her community engagement efforts. The event was the second wrestling show she’s hosted.
"We had it in 2019 and didn't get to have it for COVID in 2020," said Agner. "We have people staying at the hotels, we have people from Alabama and Arkansas coming. It's crazy, we have people calling us, making sure we have the right foods."
The "right" foods in demand for the showdown included corn dogs, hot dogs and Mempops.
Ten percent of all proceeds from food and merchandise sales are planned to be given to a retired Hernando police officer, Roger Swatzyna, who is battling cancer.
The next wrestling event scheduled is a live taping at the wrestling center in Memphis on July 11.