Local climbing the wrestling ranks

Local figure: Owen Steadman had gradually climbed the wrestling ranks in 2023. Photograph supplied




THE local wrestling scene may go largely unnoticed to the wider population, but Traralgon’s Owen Steadman has found a way into the sport – and now never wants to leave it.

As a 20-year-old, Steadman wrestles for Gippsland Pro Wrestling, but recently, he was part of another event, the first outside of his norm.

Steadman’s road to where he is now is one like no other, beginning way back at the age of seven, and since then, he has never taken his eyes off the prize.

“I was seven years old, living in WA, and my mum brought home two wrestling figurines from an op shop,” Steadman said.

And that was it; from that moment on, he was hooked.

From then on out, it was all about acting on that interest, and he wasted no time in doing so.

From the age of eight, Steadman started boxing, which has since led him to where he is today.

“I was at a boxing gym for about seven years, did Taekwondo training for about five years, all of that was because I wanted to do wrestling, but my trainer – I begged to him in person – but you have to be 16 (years old) or over,” Steadman said.

“From about age 14, I’d go to the shows and pester him.”

When he finally turned 16, Steadman joined the wrestling ranks, and just recently, his career is beginning to take the next steps towards his dream.

On July 29, Steadman paired up with fellow Gippsland wrestler Liam Lush, in a tag-team match against the Brisbane St Bullies.

What made this event different from the rest?

It was in Tasmania – Steadman’s first event outside the Gippsland Pro Wrestling scene.

“That was my first wrestling event outside of the Gippsland Pro Wrestling, so I’d known the promoter because he’d come and wrestle for us on one of our shows,” he said.

“Went down there. It was sort of a trial for me to see if I was good enough.

“Me and the bloke I train with were in a tag match against their top tag team.

“I got concussed in that match. My nose was just pissing out blood. I got elbowed in the nose real good. The crowd loved it. We had a physical, fun match – just four young guys.”

Evidently a cherished experience for Steadman, his night only got better when he was told he could return anytime he liked after the victory.

“The promoter afterwards asked how I found it, and I said, “Pretty great”. Then he said, “You’re here anytime you want to be, we’ll book you”.

It was a fairly speedy turnaround for Steadman, with his next event just a week later, back at the Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium (GRISS).

The Battle at the GRISS was described by Steadman as “The biggest match of my life”, as he faced somewhat of a hero of his – Lochy Hendricks.

“This (event) that’s just gone by, I was put up against someone who I’d been watching wrestle since I was about 11-years-old,” he said.

“We went out there, had what I thought was an awesome match, the crowd was rabid, just amazing.

“For someone you’ve been watching since you were 11, you share the ring with them and just have a good match. It’s awesome.”

Once again Steadman was victorious, claiming a win against a childhood hero of his.

And he will now prepare to do it all again when he takes to the ring this weekend, once again at the GRISS.

Currently a manager at Cheap as Chips in Traralgon, Steadman hopes to take his wrestling talent overseas to Japan, a real dream of his.

“My dream is to wrestle in Japan, that’s a goal I’ve had since I was 13,” he said,

“I like the sport side of it, so I think Japan is where I’ll end up if I continue to pursue it this hard.”

Coming up this weekend is Gippsland Pro Wrestling’s In Your GRISS event, set to go ahead on Saturday, October 21.