The Pro Wrestling Promoter Helping Women Fight Back in Trump’s America

A Texas-based pro-wrestling promoter searching for a way to take action after Tuesdays shock Trump victory is hosting a free workshopand hes been deluged with offers of help.”>

Donald Trump killed Tim Fausts dream and made his friends a little bit more scared this week, so he came up with an idea to fight backor at least teach some of his friends how.

Faust is the creator and general manager of Party World Rasslin, an Austin-based pro-wrestling promoter. One of the women in PWR mentioned on Facebook that she felt unsafe and wanted to take a self-defense course.

On Thursday morning, he woke up with an idea: Host a free self-defense course for women at the brewery/arena where they hold the wrestling shows. He hopped on Twitter to ask if anybody could provide some free help teaching the class.

I reckon thats a resource we could provide for our staff and other women in our community, Faust told The Daily Beast.

Immediately he was inundated. Actually, really immediately. People are desperate to help.

It became real about 90 minutes later, he said.

Countless Americans are seeking ways to help out groups whose rights President-elect Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, havepledged to strip during their campaignfrom women to immigrants to people in the LGBT community. But Faust felt compelled to act tangibly right away, even if all he had to offer was a warehouse usually used for powerbombs.

On Sunday, the female-owned Lions Krav Maga in Austin will run a two-hour workshop for anyone who wants to learn self-defense. Anybody who comes by can drop money in a donation bucket to the Lilith Fund, if they can swing it. If it goes well, Faust says, theyll do it again. (You can find out more information here.)

The internet is cool and PWR has been lucky to build up a multiverse of sharp, kind people who helped me find a few options, said Faust. Plus, we like to talk about how were a safe space. Listening to and supporting our friends who will suffer under a Trump presidency is just part of living with integrity.

While Faust loves his life as the weirdest pro-wrestling promoter in Austin, he had been planning to go into a more traditional public service career next. Hed been sending out applications for grad school.

I wanted to get a masters of public health or masters of public administration degree so I could go work for a state Medicaid inspector or medical-cost panel or maybe the CCIIO [Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight]the only folks who can drive down medical costs until a centralized federal public option exists, he said.

Looks like that dream might have been thrown into the trash binso Ive gotta find projects to keep me busy, Faust said. Solidarity is the only way through.

Thats where the squared circle came into play. PWR, after all, is not a traditional pro-wrestling organization like the WWE, where the president-elect isno jokea Hall of Famer for a stint he had at Wrestlemania. The group, instead, draws on Fausts roots as a theater major.

The last show was Skeleton Cruise themed, where we traveled 69,000 leagues under the sea to free a ghost ship from the curse of Poseiborg, robot lord of the oceanwhile legendary Nova Scotian longshoreman Dock Master fought Partyweight Champion and HELLSPORT endorsee Dan The Man Ziglar for the title.

As you can tell, Faust is doing his civic duty to keep Austinand now Americaweird. And 1,800 people show up every time.

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Its also a free show and a safe space, he said. We want to push peoples buttons and make them react, but we want to do so within explicit boundaries that do not exploit oppressed groups or survivors of real-world violence.

In other words, he said: Slam up, not down.

Oh, and if you recognize Fausts name, its because he sold about $70,000 worth of T-shirts that claimed Ted Cruz Is the Zodiac Killer earlier this election cycle. (Trump later one-upped him, earnestly alluding to aNational Enquirer allegation that Cruzs father was part of a plot to kill JFK, and now hes going to be the president.)

Faust gave all of that money to West Fund, a nonprofit that helps pregnant women in El Paso get access to safe abortion facilities.

On Thursday, he got creative with his support for affected communities in a very real way once again. And, with a wave of rightsabout to be potentiallystripped from women in a country where Trump is about to be president, hes imploring everyone else to do the same.

Solidarity begins at home. I care about my friends, I care about my staff, and I want to have their backand the backs of anyone who needs itbecause thats the only way we get through the next four years, he said.

I am lucky to have an organization I find creatively fulfilling, and I must pay forward that joy. I must put my shoulder to the wheel.

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