Mud wrestling event is at OP Bar & Grill today |

Mud wrestling event is at OP Bar & Grill today

If you go

What: Women's mud wrestling

When: 1 p.m. today

Where: OP Bar & Grill, 534 E. Victory Way

Cost: $20 to enter, $7 for spectators

Call: The OP at 824-8918

It’s just a pit, dug out behind the OP Bar & Grill.

Just a pit, lined with straw, covered in plastic and filled with mud.

It isn’t until the wrestlers are added that it becomes more than a pit.

Today, the OP Bar & Grill will welcome women’s mud wrestling behind the restaurant, 534 E. Victory Way, for the first time.

OP owner Delbert Knez said the idea was to shake things up in the middle of the summer.

“It’s something new,” Knez said. “I don’t think anybody has done it around here before.

“We just want to have a little mudslinging fun.”

Knez’s daughter, Angela Poe, is credited with the idea for the mud wrestling.

“We were all sitting around one night, and I was talking about how my rugby team had a mud wrestling fundraiser,” she said. “Del said, ‘I’ve always wanted to do that here, I just can’t talk your mom into doing it.’

“I asked my mom why we couldn’t do that here, and she said ‘Oh, that sounds great.'”

But the Saturday matches at the OP won’t be for raising funds.

“This is for fun,” Poe said. “There won’t be any money made on it, with the prizes Del is giving away.”

The wrestling will feature two weight classes – 150 pounds and lighter, and 150 to 200 pounds.

Registration starts at 9 a.m. today, and all wrestlers must check-in at noon. The matches officially start at 1 p.m.

It costs $20 to register and $7 for spectators.

Each division’s winner will receive $400 in prize money.

The wrestling ring is complete with all the amenities, such as poles and ropes, Knez said.

“We put sodium bentonite in it, which is drilling rig mud,” Knez said. “It’s environmentally friendly, it’s not bad for the skin and there are no rocks in it.”

Poe said the main goal of the event is to give people a fun distraction.

“It’s just something fun to do,” she said. “It’s the middle of the summer, everything’s kind of dying off, and there’s not much to do around Craig.”

But Poe, a World Grappling Championship competitor, will not be stepping into the ring.

“I don’t think that would be fair,” she said. “I might have a little bit of an advantage.”

Instead, she will enter the ring as a referee, and there will be rules.

“No hair-pulling, no hitting – you can’t strike your opponent,” Poe said. “You can’t be too rough, no body slamming or picking up your opponent and throwing them to the ground.”

Poe said it would be difficult to get hurt in the pit.

“It’s just mud and straw, so it’s soft enough when you fall,” she said.

There will be two two-minute rounds per match, and a third if needed.

Poe said she and co-referee Shelley Burton, professional woman’s boxer, would be looking for pins first.

“This is for fun; we don’t expect girls to know wrestling or grappling moves,” she said. “It’s just an old-fashioned mud pit, nothing fancy, not a nice little pool.

“It’s going to be slippery, muddy and fun.”

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