Wrestler Zakk Sawyers poses for a portrait just before his match on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Carterville, ILL. Sawyers is an independent wrestler, having wrestled professionally for 13 years. From his first match all the way back in June, 2007 to September, 2020, Sawyers has travelled all over the country with the wrestling business doing what he loves. (James B. Allen | @skyclopsphotojamboree)
Wrestler Zakk Sawyers poses for a portrait just before his match on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Carterville, ILL. Sawyers is an independent wrestler, having wrestled professionally for 13 years. From his first match all the way back in June, 2007 to September, 2020, Sawyers has travelled all over the country with the wrestling business doing what he loves.

James B. Allen | @skyclopsphotojamboree

Death match wrestling claws its way to Southern Illinois

October 9, 2020

Stride Pro Wrestling Academy hosted a taping of their wrestling event, “Stride Pro Wrestling: Chaos,” on Sept. 12, in Carterville, Ill. Two wrestlers, known professionally as Zakk Sawyers and Dalton Diamond, took the time to speak with the Daily Egyptian

Sawyers and Diamond are both experienced wrestlers with over a decade of experience in the independent wrestling scene. In recent years Sawyers has been in retirement, instead choosing to begin working on his own wrestling promotion. With the help of Diamond and a team of several others, that promotion has come to fruition in the form of a hardcore wrestling promotion. 

Being longtime fans of classic hardcore wrestling promotion company Extreme Championship Wrestling, Sawyers and Diamond aims to make their new promotion, “Anna Fight Underground,” a faithful recreation of ECWs style and aesthetic in a modern context.

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“We’ve really gone to great lengths to book our card. You know, we grew up watching some of these guys, and the fact that they’re at our show really means something to me. I mean, it’s New Jack, that’s crazy to me,” Sawyers said. 

Sawyers said he aims to make “Anna Fight Underground” a true hardcore show, with weapons and all.

“We really wanna treat the art form with the respect it deserves. The kind of violence we’ll be portraying won’t be for the faint of heart, but it’s our art and this is how we express it,” Sawyers said. 

With a large card and celebrity meet and greets, “Anna Fight Underground” is set to debut Oct. 15 in Anna, Ill.

“We’re really excited for the show. Nervous for sure, but excited. I really do think we’re gonna have a fantastic opening show and I’m beyond proud of the work everyone has put into the show up to this point,” Sawyers said. 

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