MILLERSBURG - The walls of the old Millersburg School gym will pound with the sounds of rock and pro wrestling Saturday.
The International Xperience is a wrestling show featuring the music of The Darwin Project, Jim Rivard said. He and Chad Socolovitch, a professional wrestler and trainer in Cheboygan, have organized the show in the hopes of stoking an interest in pro wrestling in northern Michigan. They'll also give a special ticket price to anyone bringing food for a canned goods drive, or who show their hunting licenses at the door.
"We're presenting a new alternative for wrestling in this area, something this area has not had" for many years, the Alpena native said. "If you're interested, you had to pretty much go and travel downstate."
The show will include a few elements Socolovitch picked up from his time in Japan and Mexico, including another way to introduce wrestlers, Rivard said.
"We're going to do things a little bit differently on things that have been seen in the international circuit in Michigan," he said.
There's also an American twist as well: wrestlers will give "hate spiels," trash-talk rants aimed at their match opponents, Rivard said.
Both organizers are set to wrestle, and several others are signed up as well, Rivard said. He'll be joined by his tag-team partner, known collectively as the Motor City High Rollers. The Righteous Maker and The Great Akuma are among those set to wrestle.
A crew from WLLZ-TV will tape the show for broadcast in the Northwest Lower and Eastern Upper Peninsulas, Rivard said. He and Socolovitch are planning more live matches for the area, including another in Millersburg in December.
The Darwin Project will kick off the show, lead guitarist Brett Harfert said. Rivard and Socolovitch picked a number from the band's new EP as the show's opening theme, and they'll also play an intermission set.
In recognition of the rapidly approaching holidays, Rivard said attendees can get in for $5 if they bring two cans of food for the Salvation Army. Regular tickets are $6, or $8 for ringside seats, available at the door or online at www.facebook.com/americanSkyDojo.
"By all means, we want to generate some interest in the show and at the same time do something for the community," he said.
Harfert and the rest of the band has played benefit concerts before, he said, and he likes the idea of collecting food for charity at the show.
"I think it's great," he said. "There are a lot of people that can't go out and afford food for the holidays, or don't have family around and don't have the money to travel. It's definitely a good cause."
As a nod to hunters, the same price applies for anyone who shows their hunting license, Rivard said.
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.