Fight is on to save famous Norwich wrestling company from closure

WAW World Association Wrestling has moved from its home on Rose Lane to a new headquarters on the Vu

Ricky Knight and Zak Bevis AKA Zak Knight of the World Association of Wrestling. - Credit: Archant

A campaign has been launched to prevent a famous Norwich wrestling company from succumbing to the financial strain of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With lockdown restrictions leaving the World Association of Wrestling unable to host performances or hold training sessions, the company has seen its two main sources of income stripped to nothing.

And with months remaining until its shows are able to resume - no earlier than May 17 under the government's roadmap to recovery - the 30-year legacy of the company, which in October moved into new headquarters on the Vulcan Road industrial estate, is under serious threat.

Swaffham's deputy mayor Keith Sandle told Nemesis to "get out of the best town in Norfolk.” Picture:

Swaffham's deputy mayor Keith Sandle told Nemesis to "get out of the best town in Norfolk.” Picture: WAW Wrestling - Credit: Archant

However, one of its wrestlers, Norwich father Ben Williment, has taken it upon himself to help try and fill the financial void left by the pandemic.

Mr Wiliment, who performs under the ring name of Nemesis and was once 'chokeslammed' by Swaffham's deputy mayor, has set up a crowdfunding campaign to support the company, which in a single day has raised almost £2,000 for the cause.

Nemesis blamed Swaffham for his defeat at a WAW Wrestling event. Picture: WAW Wrestling

Nemesis blamed Swaffham for his defeat at a WAW Wrestling event. Picture: WAW Wrestling - Credit: Archant

He said: "I've been involved in WAW for around seven years and it has become just such a huge part of my life. It would be truly devastating if for any reason it could not continue.

"But it's not just about me - two of my children wrestle as well and watching them perform is just incredible and means everything to me."

Mr Williment, 43, is one of the company's trainers and helps teach the dozens of young people who join the company the ropes. And it is these people he said would be hit the hardest should the company go under.

Deputy mayor Keith Sandle climbed into the ring after Nemesis "bad-mouthed" Swaffham. Picture: WAW W

Deputy mayor Keith Sandle climbed into the ring after Nemesis "bad-mouthed" Swaffham. Picture: WAW Wrestling - Credit: Archant

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He said: "In the past eight years or so we've probably had around 450 children through the door, which is such a wonderful thing. These are children who without it would have nothing else.

"It has also been well documented on the BBC documentary Step Into The Ring the impact the company has on the community - it would be tragic if that were to all go to waste."

WAW World Association Wrestling has moved from its home on Rose Lane to a new headquarters on the Vu

Zak Bevis AKA Zak Knight and Ricky Knight of the World Association of Wrestling. - Credit: Archant

Zak Bevis, WAW's co-owner, said: "Ben has been a big part of the company for so long and solely took it upon himself to try and help us out, for which we are so grateful.

"We've had such an outpouring of love and support since he did and we couldn't appreciate what he is doing any more."

To support the campaign, search for Keep WAW Alive on Go Fund Me. 

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