City Issues Smackdown to Wrestling School
GOWANUS — The city wants to clothesline an under-the-radar Brooklyn wrestling club for allegedly serving booze with its body slams.
In a no-holds-barred court filing, the city Law Department said cops have spotted alcohol being sold without a license at 576 Third Ave., the home of Ludus Wrestling School, which teaches the finer points of pile-drivers and hosts ticketed events starring local grapplers.
The school was founded in 2011 by the Maximo Brothers, a tag team whose "finishing moves" include the "Spanish Fly," the "Ball Buster" and "Maximo Velocity." In a promotional video, the school claims that "men become gladiators and gladiators become wrestlers" inside its ring.
But police claim the site — which sits behind an unmarked door above a tool shop on a gritty Gowanus block — openly sold alcohol on Sept. 7 and Oct. 12 to "numerous individuals," including underage drinkers. Cops also claim unlicensed security guards were used as muscle.
The city declared the building a public nuisance in a Feb. 11 filing in Brooklyn Supreme Court and ordered it shut down for a year. It also asked the court to fine the owner of the building, Sigola Manufacturing, $1,000 a day for each day it knew of the illegal alcohol sales.
On Wednesday, a woman who answered the door at the school initially said the legal troubles had been resolved, then denied any involvement.
"We run wrestling shows," she said. "Anything else has nothing to do with us."
The woman then suggested the legal action could be driven by rivalries in the cutthroat wrestling world, in which foes look for any opportunity to keep each other down for the count.
"Wrestling is very competitive," she said. "There are many different factions.
"There are many people trying to tear [Ludus] down," she added.
The school is the home base for Fighting Spirit Wrestling, a league that features all-out smackdowns involving a colorful cast of musclemen, including Samoa Joe, Supastar Whiplash and Talon.
The league's Facebook page lists upcoming and previous matches, including a November 2012 event at the school billed as a "pure display of brutality and carnage" that offered patrons Japanese beer, as well as free admission for kids.