Caymanian wrestler Keith Wong needn’t have bothered taking off his Caribbean Championship belt when he stepped into the ring in the Cayman Islands Community College gymnasium on Saturday evening.
For within a few minutes he was buckling it back on again after a fairly straightforward victory over Jumbo Barretta.
Keith, or Pantera as he is better known to grappling fans, has been wrestling for the last 15 years and he used all his experience to outwit Jumbo.
The muscular security firm boss then went on to partner Mexican Hector Guerrero, another big favourite with the local crowd, in a tag team match before taking part in a Battle Royal finale that involved every wrestler on the bill.
Other eye-catchers on this Caribbean Wrestling Federation promotion were female wrestler Deanna Degain from St Petersburg in the States and the colourful, crazy tag team that gloried in the title of Heartbreak Express.
Deanna, or Dee to her friends, started out on the wrestling trail after being spotted during her former life as a barmaid manhandling a rough customer off the premises.
A man who happened to be in the bar witnessing this amazing event just happened to be a wrestler himself and he told Dee: ‘You’re a big, strong lady. You should take up wrestling’ – so she did!
Dee lived in Bodden Town on Grand Cayman seven years ago before moving back to St Petersburg.
Forty-year-old Dee has been working with WWE female wrestling star Molly Holly in the States, but now she wants to get into stunt work professionally.
‘I have been married, but I don’t have any kids because I have always been on the road or working. I had no time for them,’ said Dee.
‘I just used to wrestle, but now I’m tired of getting hurt, so I want to get into stunt work, maybe ending up doing work as a stunt double or extra at one of the big studios.
‘That way you can use all the skill and expertise you learnm wrestling without getting hurt as often – plus you get paid a lot more!’
The show went down a treat with the mainly local Caymanian audience.
Rohan Mattocks from George Town remarked: ‘It’s the first time I’ve seen wrestling in Cayman. I was away when it came here last, but I have been to the States to watch it.
‘It’s great entertainment and with fliers and a little more advertising I think you would get even more people turning up to watch here.’