It was an unusual night for a sport that is out of the ordinary to begin with.
More than 40 professional wrestlers — performers with names like the Bushwick Beast, Awesome and the Saint — clamored to work for free at a show to benefit research to find a cure for a rare cancer called leiomyosarcoma.
“I just said ‘yes’ to everybody,” said the promoter of the benefit show, Michael Eagle, whose wife Marcia was claimed by the disease 10 years ago.
More than 150 fans packed the gym next to the Elks Club on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst last Friday night.
Every $25 entrance fee went to the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation, and all the wrestler donated their usual fees back to the cause, Eagle said.
Eagle and the wrestlers are part of what is called the indie circuit, the regional minor leagues of pro wrestling. Performers hoping to be discovered by the major promoters like World Wrestling Entertainment work the indie circuit next to veterans who may be past their prime but want to stay in the game.
“It’s a community,” said Eagle. “They did me a favor by wrestling for a cause.”
So many wrestlers volunteered, he said, most of the lineup had to be concerted to tag-team matches to get everyone a chance to perform.