Party Hard Wrestling in Mesa, Arizona is the most Underground thing you will do on a Friday night in the desert.
It is an independent wrestling promotion that embraces itself, accepts all and in reveling in its own uniqueness has built a rabid following that crams The Nile Theater full each show.
What is most impressive about Party Hard (outside of herculean task of being an independent wrestling promotion putting up quality hilarious engaging matches for 3 years now) is the clarity of vision.
It feels well designed and punk. Japanese characters and lightning bolts embolden the design of the logo. Each wrestler feels appropriately scrappy, or sleezy, or hilarious and exactly where they need to be.
Throwback Hasbro toy representations of each wrestler in the promotion are crafted by a wrester in the organization called Shane Marvel (whose personal shirts present a reworked Misfits Fiend logo thank you very much.) At Conventions and street fairs the promotion sets up spreading the good vibes, promo table by promo table, with a reprogrammed 8 bit NES game featuring the wrestlers in the promotion.
I met Party Hard when I found out that Colt Cabana (Indy Wrestling darling and Podcaster) was coming to wrestle in Phoenix at Party Hard’s Cheap Thrills with fellow indy wrestler Kikutaro. After that show I was hooked. I was blown away how an indy wrestling show could feel like a punk show, but a really good one. It was the perfect combination of everything I loved. Pop Culture outsider swagger, wrestling, self aware entertainment not afraid to put its tongue in its cheek, and punk rock.
I followed up when Joey Ryan came to town to see him flip Party Ranger (another Party Hard Character and champion at the time) with his dick at Party Kingdom in a match for the Multiverse Championship.
If you’re getting lost it might be because you are supposed to. “Party Kingdom” “Multiverse Championship”. Wrestlers dressed as Power Rangers…why you are lost but what is most respectable about what Party Hard offers is a take no prisoners dedication to itself and the Multiverse it has created. It adheres to an all welcoming but very specific type of story telling that echoes every margin of the punk ethos you can name. DIY. All accepting with a hard line on bullshit. Talented. The list goes on an on…
This past event I went to was the “Season Finale” of Season Three called Total Shit Show. It was the culmination of the entire Season of wrestling which on top of it’s regualr programming saw an all ages friendly pan cake party and a top secret feature on a to be named show. (Sorry I like, totally verbally signed a NDA at that show).
It has been incredible watching Party Hard grow in talent, incredible merch, content and audience. This past Total Shit Show. was of course, fucking phenomenal, and in it’s final match saw a new Multiverse Champion crowned.
Do. Not. Sleep. On Party Hard Wrestling. There isn’t anything out the like it and I haven’t seen anything like it. And that is a damn fine refreshing thing.