Professional wrestling's mainstream appeal received an ample bump thanks to Darren Aronofsky's highly acclaimed portrait of a fading grappler, The Wrestler. And while star Mickey Rourke did a bang-up job portraying banged-up-but-not-broken Randy "the Ram" Robinson, fans of throwback wrestling promotion Ring of Honor may have recognized a few of the Ram's on-screen opponents. Say, Necro Butcher and his friendly staple gun, or perhaps current ROH champion Nigel McGuinness (pictured). But even if you're not familiar with these stars, you have to recognize Ric Flair — he's not in the film, but the Nature Boy is coming to town, along with Necro, McGuinness and a host of ROH wrestlers for a full-on Ring of Honor event at 8 p.m. at the Gateway Center (1 Gateway Drive, Collinsville, Illinois). Flair's appearance is meet-and-greet only, as he'll be signing autographs ($30 for the first item, $20 for each additional item) and thrilling the ladies, but not entering the squared circle. The rest of the show is nothing but fighting, and brawling, and high-impact wrestling and perhaps a few other surprises. Tickets are $12 to $20, and available through or by phone at 215-781-2500. And as always, the card is subject to change.
Fri., March 13, 2009

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