On Wednesday, April 21, out pro wrestler MV Young tweeted a photo from Minoru Suzuki and Kazuchika Okada’s immortal “Draw in the Downpour” match.
The image was a clear allusion to the fact that the forecast for Young’s Polyam Cult Party 3 event on Saturday called for rain. What better way to signal the outdoor wrestling event may get moist than invoking one of the most striking images in recent wrestling lore.
But that image foreshadowed more than just some inclement weather. It also signaled the transformative nature of what audiences watching the third Polyam Cult Party digested in the backyard of a Pittsburgh traphouse with a pansexual fence.
Young shared his desire to see those featured on Polyam Cult Party cards, LGBTQ and allies alike, grow through his vision when he spoke to Outsports prior to the event. “What am I doing if my vision isn’t to grow everyone,” Young said.
The skies only opened up around the halfway point of the six-hour supercard, but the entire afternoon felt like a baptism, a celebration of rebirth and reclamation, worthy of Dark Sheik’s Church of Wrestling.
The most striking of those stories was the coronation of out pro wrestler Ziggy Haim. A Pittsburgh favorite for years, Haim stepped out of the curtain early in the show, before the rain began, to conquer Janai Kai and earn a shot at the Pittsburgh-based Ryse Wrestling Grand championship in the main event. Haim won, pulled herself off the mat following an attack from champion David Lawless, Mr. Grim and Stephanie Sterling and walked into the main event.
As the rain fell, Haim stood fearless across the ring from Lawless and his cohorts. All the self-doubt and frustrations from her journey through pro wrestling to that point were washed away, even if only for a moment, in the downpour. There would be no draw. Haim pinned Lawless, claimed the title and mixed her tears with the droplets running down her face as she screamed “I fucking did this.”
Everyone celebrating the win already knew she was a champion, title belt or otherwise, but now, gripping the gold in her hands, she was undeniable.
Haim was far from the only example of Polyam Cult Party 3’s cleansing sense of empowerment. From the comical returns of CPA and The Bird to the continued violent evolution of Allie Katch, many of the participants used their moment in the ring to further designate who they are rather than who they were.
Ryan Zane wrestled one of his first matches since speaking publicly about his sexual assault by AMOP co-founder Rick Cataldo in Dec. 2019 and how the experience left him feeling he wouldn’t be “able to engage with wrestling the way that I used to.” His presence in the Scrumble match exuded the joy of finding the strength to fight through trauma and reclaim his place within the art form he loves.
Jody transcended the label of “social media wrestler” to prove himself a blistering foe with more heart than his body could hold in his battle against Young. Xavier Faraday wrestled his last match, taking hold of the turbulence brought by revelations about his former tag team partner Joshua Wavra and emerging reborn as Athrun Amada: a wrestler unbound from a past he didn’t control.
Don’t Die Miles wore his pansexual identity within his pro wrestling hydrodome for the first time, entering the ring with the pansexual Pride flag draped around his shoulders. Josh Fuller planted his flag at the Polyam Mansion after spending much of the last calendar year speaking out about WWE wrestler Velveteen Dream’s alleged inappropriate communications with minors, including his own experience.
Under the rain and wrapped in the welcoming embrace of both the ring and abounding love of their wrestling family, no one was beholden to what came before in their lives or careers. Within the friendly confines of that weathered pansexual fence, everyone came out of the water anew. The “Draw in the Downpour” celebrated wrestling’s past. Polyam Cult Party 3 celebrated wrestling’s future and who has the power to build it, both for themselves individually and as a cultural movement.
Out ring announcer J-Rose put it best as the show signed off. “The world is a rough, motherfucking place. If you’re here right now, more than likely, you can attest to how true that statement is… for the majority of us here, our very existence is continuously in danger, and that shit fucking sucks. But, through it all, no matter what, we still got us,” J-Rose said.
“No matter who supports us that ain’t one of us, and don’t get it twisted, I’m extremely appreciative to every single person who isn’t one of us that wants to keep us pushing, but we don’t need it. We can continue to provide for ourselves no matter who the fuck wants to stop us.” he added. “Long live the motherfucking Polyam Cult!”