The WWE isn’t the only pro-wrestling battleground: Outside the mainstream are several indie wrestling leagues where lesser-known fighters can duke it out, the Wall Street Journal reports. There’s little pay—sometimes only $25 a night—and crowds can range from 20 to 18,000, says one contender. But there’s plenty of violence, cheering, and blood.
Those entering the ring can’t expect health coverage despite their dangerous stunts; the league can't afford it. Most wrestlers work regular jobs during the week and act as “weekend warriors” who get their heads smashed through tables before enthusiastic spectators. But backstage, they're buddies, and they adhere to a code of “kayfabe"—a carney term applied to the ring's put-on feuds.