As someone who stands by the claim that Def Jam: Fight For New York is the greatest fighting game ever, the news of a hip-hop oriented wrestling promotion is right in my wheelhouse. Yeah, you read that right: In New York, there is apparently a new wrestling promotion called Urban Wrestling Federation, and it marries hip-hop to shoddy wrestling. Melle Mel is somehow involved, and so is Uncle Murda. Vulture recently dove into the seedy underbelly of hip-hop wrestling, and here’s a sampling:
Welcome to “First Blood,” the inaugural event of the Urban Wrestling Federation — an experimental hybrid league formed earlier this year — held the Friday before last at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. One of the UWF’s many taglines: “Hip Hop meets Pro Wrestling the street meets insanity meets mayhem.” (In the last few months, this line has been tweeted by the UWF no fewer than 27 times.)
“Could I marry the hip-hop urban culture — the gang intrigue of the hood — and turn it into kind of a Grand Theft Auto action in a wrestling ring?” recalls league founder Steve Karel, from the balcony section of Club Amnesia NYC during UWF rehearsals, of the epiphany he had about a year back. Karel is too busy to sit down, so we stand and survey the transformed club scene below, where tables and lounge furniture have been pushed aside to make room for a small wrestling ring. Shirtless, sweaty men are practicing hits, holds, and flops at half speed.