The Warrior Wrestling Stadium Series – a collection of outdoor, socially distanced, safe pro wrestling shows hosted on Marian Catholic’s Dave Mattio Field – will return for the summer of 2021 with a first show on Saturday, June 5th.
The June 5th show will feature the return to wrestling of Chicago’s very own Kylie Rae, who has previously starred in AEW and IMPACT Wrestling. Kylie is the reigning Warrior Wrestling Women’s Champion, having defeated Tessa Blanchard for the title at the inaugural Stadium Series in September 2020 and successfully defended the title against Madison Rayne in Rayne’s retirement match. Kylie Rae will defend the title on June 5th in her wrestling return.
Other stars announced for the show include Warrior Wrestling Champion Trey Miguel, Brian Cage, Brian Pillman Jr., Thunder Rosa, IWTV Champion Lee Moriarty, and more! More talent and matches will be announced in the upcoming weeks. The Stadium Series will follow all rules and regulations from Governor Pritzker regarding outdoor spectator events and will feature extensive safety protocols in place to ensure social distancing and a contact-free environment. Those protocols accompany this document, and the Governor’s guidance is available here:
Kids 16 and under are admitted FREE to the events at the door with a paying adult. Tickets can be purchased online at www.warriorwrestling.net, with General Admission Field Seating Tickets for $45 and Bleachers / Standing Room Tickets for $35. A scaled-down, socially distanced VIP Fan Fest will take place before the show from 5:00 to 6:30pm. Doors open to the public at 6:30, and Bell Time is at 7:00. The event will be family-friendly. Card subject to change.
A portion of proceeds from the event go to benefit scholarships and student activities at Marian Catholic High School. To learn more about Marian Catholic, visit www.marianchs.com.
Warrior Wrestling is in a unique position in that the promoter, Steve Tortorello, is also the head principal of the school that hosts their events. Warrior Wrestling not only had to a find a way to continue to operate within the wrestling world, but had to contend with local and educational parameters.
Tortorello found a safe way for families to enjoy live events, and Warrior had the honor of hosting the first live pro wrestling event with fans in the COVID era. Introducing the Stadium Series this fall, Warrior Wrestling hosted three events in September that followed strict social distancing guidelines on the football field at Marian Catholic High School. Not only does Warrior provide entertaining “dream match” level events, but they donate all proceeds from their shows towards fundraising and providing scholarships for local students in need so they can attend the school.
When asked if that’s an approach he wants to continue next year for lineups, Tortorello said they probably will and noted that his team jokes that “we book every show like it’s our last.” He said that their Stadium shows were run successfully and helped complete their goals financially, but went into it knowing that they’d probably be waiting until spring to run again. Noting that they can’t viably run indoor events in the winter, Tortorello says they’ll be back again when it’s safe to do so, and that is always the key.
“It’s the same discussion that we have at my day job at school—if we can do it safely, then we should do it, and if we can’t do it safely, we shouldn’t do it. That’s the difference, and it’s not binary. It’s not ‘you’re either doing something and it’s unsafe’ or ‘you’re not doing it and therefore it’s safe—if it can be done safely and you can do everything right, then go for it. I say that to all other promoters and other people too. Go for it. Give it a shot,” Tortorello said, “if you’re committed to doing it safely.”
“I think for us, when we launched the Stadium Series [the three shows hosted at Marian’s football stadium], Friday Night Lights was the ‘proof of concept.’ Then we said we’re going to do this three more times before the weather turns cold here in Chicago because we were up front, we said we’re probably done until [May 2021] because we couldn’t foresee how we could do it safely indoors and in a way that’s economically viable,” Tortorello explained, “and we still don’t. We can’t put on the caliber of show that Warrior Wrestling likes to be with 50 paying fans. The school would lose money, it doesn’t add up economically. We knew ahead of time that the way to do it safely was outdoors, we crammed three shows outdoors and we ‘packed up the circus’ for the winter. We’ll be back when we can do it safely again, almost certainly outdoors. That’s the key.”
Check out our full interview with Steve Tortorello below: