OREGON, Ill. (WTVO) — In the back of Scoops, a sandwich shop in Oregon, a professional wrestling match can be found. People gather around the ring to watch wrestlers of all shapes and sizes compete.
One of the wrestlers is Joel Thomasson, alias “Bucky Collins.”
Thomasson has been wrestling for 11 years and says he won’t regret participating in the sport.
“When it’s all said and done, I probably won’t move as fast as I would if I didn’t do this, but when I look back at it, I don’t think I’m going to regret this at all,” he said.
The wrestling matches are held by ZOWA Live, which stands for the Zen of Wrestling Academy. They host multiple matches throughout the year in the Stateline area.
Professional wrestling is a form of performance art mixed with athleticism and theatrics. Some people may claim professional wrestling is “fake,” however, Thomasson does not support that assertion.
“Professional wrestling is more about the entertainment and pageantry, but don’t get us wrong, we’re athletes,” he said.
When Thomasson isn’t wrestling, he goes to work at a pottery shop. He says the mundane aspect of a conventional job doesn’t give him the opportunity to release his creativity, as opposed to wrestling.
“It’s fun and in some ways it’s creative, but it’s just kind of like a conveyor belt, constantly producing stuff, so I feel like I need something where I can put a little bit of myself in it and wrestling has always been that,” he said.