#FansMakingTowns: Zelo Pro WrestleFest, 5/1/2021


Zelo Pro wrestling Wrestle Fest: Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI, 5/1/2021

by @olskoololfool

#FansMakingTowns is going to chronicle my upcoming live show adventures in wrestling, focusing on the venue, vibe and variables that stick to your brain.  It's about the memories made, the little goofy parts and the joy it hopefully brings.

Eight months.

Eight long months.

That's how long it had been since I last seen some pro wrestling live and my not-by-choice patience was rewarded in spades.

Zelo Pro returned to Milwaukee under very different circumstances than their last show in October, the appropriately titled "The Show Must Go On".  COVID-19 circumstances wreaked havoc on the line-up, yet they pressed on, putting on a solid effort given what they we were working with.  I had tickets for the show but I decided to pass: some ugly Fall weather combined with some ugly case numbers for Milwaukee County.

What Zelo Pro presented at Wrestle Fest could possibly be the greatest "return from hiatus" show I've seen in recent memory.  A show solid from first bell to last with matches that made sense, told great stories and laid the foundation for the future.  I also think it's worthwhile to mention that on a 9-match card there were 4 women's division matches which was a very pleasant change of pace.  It made perfect sense as Zelo Pro arguably has the best women's division in the Midwest right now.  But I digress...

This was an easy town to make.  Milwaukee is only an hour's drive from my place and even with running to Madison first to pick up my good friend, it was not a bad drive.  So no real road bits to address this trip, but I'm sure that will change in future installments.

Turner Hall Ballroom is a tremendous venue for wrestling.  An older building with a charm all its own, I've seen ROH, NXT and AAW shows there before this pandemic. When full, it can make 700 attendees sound like twice as many.  Thus, the roughly 200 socially distanced fans at our cocktail tables didn't sound too shabby throughout the night.

Speaking of cocktail tables, in Milwaukee, umm, we drink.  I saw a couple tables with awfully impressive can pyramids on my way out after the night was through, made even more impressive with the "captive crowd pricing" as is the norm.

The seating set-up was a tad unusual to me:  all tickets were general admission and you grabbed a table with seats equal to your group size.  I was quite glad my friend and I decided to queue up at the time doors opened instead of assuming there would be a seating chart.  The last couple shows I went to last Fall in Indianapolis had my name on my seat, everything preassigned.

The show though...oh! the show!...big debuts, a big return announced, many Pop-Tarts, two huge title changes, a couple fun swerves, a smidge of comedy, a heinous ladder bump and a sweet happy ending!  We left the building drained and giddy, with plenty to chat about on the journey home.

The best part was the "hangover".

The morning after, my friend who accompanied me to the show messages, "I'm awake but wiped." I replied, "I am too, but I know why.  I'm emotionally drained from an entire night of fun."

"And I haven't felt that way in a very long time."

For results and a recap of this show, please click here.

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