Norfolk wrestlers' big bash celebrating Norwich Pride

Mitchell Starr, Brad Slayer, other wrestlers and a Pride flag.

Mitchell Starr (left) and Brad Slayer (right) celebrating Norwich Pride 2021 with Gorleston-born AEW wrestler, Kip Sabian (centre-right). - Credit: Brad Slayer

Two professional wrestlers from Norfolk are waving the Pride flag high as they prepare for a showdown celebrating diversity.

Brad Slayer and the 'Starr Attraction' Mitchell Starr, both members of Norwich-based World Association of Wrestling (WAW), have joined forces to throw a bash all in the name of inclusivity.

WAW Norwich Pride will be held at the WAW Performance Centre in Norwich on Friday, July 29 from 6pm.

Mitchell Starr

Hopton's 'Starr Attraction' Mitchell Starr said the WAW Pride event is a celebration for everyone, regardless of who they are. - Credit: Mitchell Starr

Mitchell Starr, 29 and originally from Hopton, recognises himself as queer and has been wrestling since he was 16. He said the event is to champion every person, regardless of their sexuality, gender or race.

"This event is for everyone to show pride for who they are, regardless of labels," he said.

"Wrestling is a more accepting place for anyone. And even if one person in the audience sees that wrestling will accept you no matter who you are, then this show has served its purpose."

Brad Slayer, the reigning and defending WAW People's Champion, at Night of Champions 2021.

Brad Slayer said even in 2022, coming out isn't as easy as people think. - Credit: WAW Wrestling

Brad Slayer, who is gay and from Norwich, said: "I've always wanted to do an event like this.

"We've had a lot of good support for it as well, which is always great to see. We strive to highlight wrestlers regardless of who they are and we want everyone to be comfortable in their skin."

In the main event, Brad Slayer will be facing his former trainer and WAW stalwart Zak Zodiac. It was Zak who Brad originally came out to.

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Zak Zodiac will be going toe-to-toe with Brad Slayer in the main event of WAW Norwich Pride on Friday, July 29. - Credit: Zak Bevis

"He was very supportive," Brad said. "When I first started at WAW, Zak was one of the head trainers and he took me under his wing.

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"I was a bit nervous to tell him, but Zak was open and encouraging. Since then, our friendship has gotten even stronger.

"So this match will be an exhibition between two friends who share a love for professional wrestling."

Brad said even in 2022, "coming out isn't as easy as people believe and people do struggle with it".

"Everyone has their own journey," he said. "There are people there who will listen, but ultimately, do not feel pressured to come out until you are ready."

Doors to the event are at 6pm and bell time is from 7pm.

For more information, visit www.wawuk.com