Hoops, hollers and heckles fill the humid air when wrestlers flip and slam their opponents into the ground in the gymnasium of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in downtown Bellingham. Audience members chant as wrestlers emerge from a cloud of smoke, climbing into the ring one by one. Choreographed carnage is soon to follow.
5CC Wrestling, a professional wrestling organization located in Bellingham, holds matches between groups, tag teams and one-on-ones.
The main event and champion of 5CC is Caden ‘The King’ Cassidy, who fought Cody Hancock for the heavyweight title in 5CC’s last match on Feb. 11. Cassidy won the match as the last wrestler standing and held on to the 5CC heavyweight champion title.
“I want every challenger, every competitor that comes against me to understand that you’re not going to get a chance to knock me off,” Cassidy said.
Cassidy has held the championship title at 5CC for over a year, and in the northwest, he holds three separate titles on the pro circuit.
“That’s why they call me The King,” Cassidy said. “I have an empire.”
5CC Wrestling is the only professional wrestling organization with a five-sided ring, something co-founder and owner Logan Price said is not typical of the wrestling community.
“Bellingham as a vibe and as a culture is weird, kind of for the sake of being weird – so are we,” Price said. “We’re different and unique in the fact that we have a five-sided ring, and it’s different for the sake of being different.”
In 2015, Price started hosting wrestling shows in his backyard with a ring of his own. He wanted to see if his five-sided ring could come to life on the professional level. In 2019, 5CC Wrestling became Bellingham’s first and only professional wrestling organization.
“Watching your company grow is like having a baby,”Price said. “You’re driven to tears because all of the potential you believed it had, and it’s playing out in front of you.”
In the early days of 5CC Wrestling, crowds were small. Now, they reach upwards of 150 people, consisting of families, wrestling fanatics, students and first-timers.
At his first 5CC wrestling event, Hayden Hunsaker, a Western Washington University student, enjoyed his experience at Cupid’s Clash.
“It was awesome. I want some students to start a team,” Hunsaker said. “I would [go] again in a heartbeat. It’s something fun to look forward to.”
“Having people suspend their disbelief and go into complete awe, having people come and watch and be wowed, that’s what we do this for,” Cassidy said. “It’s about the entertainment aspect of it all.”
Tarn Bregman (he/him) is a fourth-year environmental studies major who has also worked as a reporter and photographer for The Planet magazine. In his free time, Tarn can be found on Galbraith Mountain riding his mountain bike or hanging out at Bellingham skatepark. Tarn hopes to bring The Front’s coverage to niche sports and recreational activities locally and across the county.