I was speaking to Dave Tristani, the man who has introduced the idea of “Christian wrestling” to Florida.
“I call it professional wrestling with a message,” he said.
Trying to sell the validity of Christianity between bouts of fake fighting might seem like a stretch.But not to Tristani, a 55-year-old Pentecostal minister from St. Petersburg who arrived at the pulpit after a career of wrestling in black leather pants under the name of Devin Nash.
Now he runs something he calls The Christian Wrestling Federation and stages wrestling extravaganzas at his Tree of Life Church, which must be the only church in Florida that has its own 16-foot professional wresting ring.
“We open every show with prayer,” he said. “And between the matches, I’ll talk about our lord and savior.”
“Pro wrestling’s just entertainment,” he said. “You know who’s going to win before it starts. We’re here to entertain.”
I’m not even sure what to write about this. The telling comment is the final one, “We’re here to entertain.” Not sure how that matches the name “Tree of Life Church”.