Amateur wrestlers have pop up matches around Houston

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- They're a group called the Illegal Wrestling Federation, but they're only illegal in name.

"It was just a throwaway reference I made about the federation being illegally imported from Cuba," said organizer Marcos Perez.

The group performs in different locations, with the more theatrics the better. Eyewitness News caught up with them at Acadia Sports Bar in Houston performing for bar patrons. Participants have their own characters with dark pasts.

"It's for anybody that's ever wanted to be a wrestler, who wants to live that dream and be a superstar," Perez said.

Perez transforms into Officer Perez for each match.

The matches are carefully choreographed and there's no dirty fighting allowed.

"Everybody holds a nine to five job. We don't allow any of the hardcore, the thumbtacks, the bleeding, intentional bleeding, if there's any blood, it's staged blood," Perez said. "You get a couple of bumps and bruises and everything like that, but it's fun."

He says there is no betting on the outcomes of the match because that would be illegal. Instead, they just do it for fun with friends that feel like family.

"A dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless," Perez said.

If you are considering hosting a group like the Illegal Wrestling Federation at your house or bar, an attorney says it is a good idea to have the participants sign a form releasing you from liability. Although the intention is not to harm others, injuries are always a possibility.

There are Youtube videos where amateur wrestlers take things too far. Doctors say this kind of extreme backyard wrestling can lead to severe injury.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.