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Detroit Wrestling Pre-Tourney Photo Gallery

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Your intrepid BSD reporter tries his hand at cell phone photography.

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

This is my first time roaming a great American city since taking my kid to visit Chicago in September of 2019, and I’m here to tell you: it feels freakin great.

Detroit is gritTEE. And cool. So cool.

Can’t wait to feel its vibes when the full weight of a hungry hungry grapple crowd descends on it today, tonight and this weekend.

In the meantime, here are a few photos I snapped to get us started on those vibes...

Is it just me, or does this Detroit Tiger look a lot like a Nittany Lion?

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

I’ve always loved the presence of ancient churches in the downtown areas of our best cities:

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

Similar to the NCAA Wrestling Finals, Detroit has Lions everywhere:

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

Once inside, I headed straight to the arena floor, and just as it is for me every single time, standing next to these ferocious gladiators always trips me out.

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

The body types are out of this world. I look at dudes wrestling in weight classes 30 pounds less than me and just wonder “how?” How can these Greek Gods weigh that little? The upperweight bros are intimidating for normal reasons, but the 125, 133 & 141 pounders scare me in other weird ways. My spidey senses always tingle at the sight of a puffy cauliflower ear, and it’s a fun little battle between them and my intellect telling me I’ve got 50 pounds on those dudes. Doesn’t take long to arrive at the same conclusion I always do: every one of these guys could maul me.

I was glad to see that the best view of all the action belongs to the dulcet voices of Jason Bryant & Bryan Hazard:

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

Former Penn Stater and new Virginia Tech Head Coach Brent Pry knows the benefits of staying tight with wrestlers:

I’m still learning youtube embed permissions apparently, so here’s a test tweet with the video embedded into it. Workarounds are the name of my early game here in Detroit apparently.

I took a climb to inspect the view from the cheaper seats:

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

This is at the highest seat sold to consumers, not a bad seat in the house (he says before seeing the vantage point of press row, above this). The video board is stellar.

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

Back down in the tunnels, I channeled one of my first principles for joining my part-time self with the full-time media: learn and follow the rules!

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

I’m looking forward to stopping back by here when it’s full of incredible athletes:

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries
Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

Found this really close to the Media Operations room; seems dangerous.

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

WINMag has a booth advertising the top Hodge Trophy candidates. Nice to see Carter Starocci there alongside Trent Hidlay, Keegan O’Toole and Nick Suriano, all waiting for Gable Steveson to claim his trophy.

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

Lastly, a bit of non-wrestling Detroit sports lore... Remember this version of Dennis Rodman?

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries

Because I’ve always loved how kindly Penn State fans seem to be when we split up into our triangular corners during hockey season, here’s a message from the Great Ovi8, to this guy: “you’re next!”

Jp Pearson | Black Shoe Diaries