Smash Hit

Professional wrestling was so popular in the late 1990s that it’s sort of hard to explain how the “sport” lost its luster. Wrestling was, perhaps, a victim of its own popularity. Broader audiences drove major wrestling federations like the WWE to water down the product -- making storylines less complex and matches less violent and more family-friendly -- to reach a broader audience. In the process, they abandoned much of what had made their product popular.

If you miss the unapologetic violence of wrestling past, it might be worth checking out Slam U IV at the Arizona Event Center, 1300 South Country Club Drive, Thursday, October 24. The event, which explicitly promises to be bloody and barbaric, will be headlined by a tag-team match between the team of Almighty Sheik and Josh Pain and The Freak Squad.

The event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $10 and are available at

Fri., July 19, 7 p.m.; Thu., July 25, 7 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 29, 7 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 26, 7 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 24, 7 p.m.; Thu., Nov. 21, 7 p.m.; Thu., Jan. 30, 2013