By JOSH FRYE
News Sports Writer
Pro wrestling fans often dream of stepping into a ring with thousands of fans cheering them.
Dreams of standing on a top rope, hoisting a heavyweight championship, is usually only that, a dream. However, that dream can become a reality with a new professional wrestling home in Atmore.
Atmore’s Main Event is the dream child of Atmore resident Danny Rolin, who has made a name for himself in professional wrestling over the past 20 years.
In 1997, Rolin started training with his mentor and friend, World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer Robert Gibson of Rock ‘N’ Roll Express. That group made its way through independent wrestling and onto the mainstage of WWE and World Championship Wrestling and eventually became known as one of the most famous and loved tag teams of all time.
Gibson has trained some well-known wrestling talents, including helping Rolin make his way through the industry.
Rolin soon found himself at the center of the wrestling world in the Extreme Championship Wrestling, WCW and independent wrestling organizations.
The local man has also worked with some of the wrestling industry’s superstars.
With his love for the sport, God and helping children, Rolin decided to bring the sport back to the area with the opening of a wrestling school and venue.
“I wanted to bring something back to the community that I love,” he said. “I believe Atmore’s Main Event will be a key in bringing entertainment and some positive influence to our youth.”
Rolin’s dream is now a reality and he is using it to help reach as many children and troubled youth as possible.
“I want to help ensure that Atmore’s youth is built up to be leaders of tomorrow,” he explained. “Wrestling will give them a positive source to turn to. It will help build up confidence and keep some positive influence in their lives. I care about the community and the youth and this is the main way I can help contribute to that.”
Many years ago, wrestling shows were a common occurrence in the Atmore area. Saturday nights would find local gyms and other venues full of fans cheering on their favorite professional grapplers.
There have been a number of local individuals from surrounding areas that have gone on to become stars of the wrestling world.
Rolin is hoping to help bring back some of those names and memories to Atmore and is hoping to build a troubled youth program for the community through Atmore’s Main Event.
“A troubled youth program is something that I believe the community needs,” he said. “I feel that the Lord has called me to do this and I want to be able to offer all that I can to help build and better the lives of our community children. We are implementing youth and adult wrestling classes and female dance fitness classes taught by my wife, Connie Rolin.
“I am striving to bring back professional wrestling to the area. We will have monthly events, and soon those events will feature more and more of our local youth. This will help to give them a sense of pride and accomplishment. I love our community and I want to make it better.”
The first show for Atmore’s Main Event is scheduled for 7 p.m. this Saturday, March 2, at AME’s Atmore Pepsi Arena, located at 300 Church Street.