Father of wrestler injured in controversial New Albany match demands regulations

A wrestling match over the weekend in New Albany is getting a lot of people talking

WARNING: This story contains a photo some may consider graphic.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WAVE) - A wrestling match over the weekend in New Albany is getting a lot of people talking.

The Floyd County Health Department issued a warning to anyone who attended Trainwreck’s “Welcome to the Wreckroom” Pro Wrestling event on Sunday -- they may have been exposed to blood borne pathogens including HIV or Hepatitis C.

The health department wasn't the only agency that received a complaint.

Shawn Bostock has watched the videos of the match over and over, but he still hopes it will end differently.

His 20-year-old son, Dakota, can be seen diving head first into a shopping cart of light bulbs.

Another video shows Dakota’s opponent lifting him up and then slamming him into a sheet of glass.

"I was in total disbelief, total shock that this is happening,” Bostock said.

Without adequate medical staff on site, Bostock said Dakota was taken to the ER where he received five internal stitches and 40 staples.

“I want my son to excel, but I don’t want my son to die in the process,” Bostock said.

Dakota Bostock's father is worried about his son's injuries. (Source: Shawn Bostock)
Dakota Bostock's father is worried about his son's injuries. (Source: Shawn Bostock)

Wrestling isn't currently regulated in Indiana.

Groups who put on pro matches often don’t have insurance to cover the cost if wrestlers get hurt, and they aren’t required to have emergency medical staff on site.

Unregulated wrestling troubled Bostock long before his son became involved. As a former EMT, he responded to a couple of really bad injuries.

"They’re doing harm, irreparable harm under the guise of 'you’re gonna be a superstar,’” Bostock said.

Trainwreck said there’s been no confirmed cases of HIV or Hepatitis C and that the health department is just being careful.

“We take precautions to ensure the safety of our performers and fans," the company said in a statement. "Both understand the risk involved with attending not just our event but any other event, as well. Professional wrestlers can land on fans or make a mistake executing a simple move. This isn’t chess, our fans and performers understand that.”

When asked what those safety precautions are, the group did not respond.

Sunday’s event was held at a venue on South Street, which is in city councilman Pat McLaughlin’s district. McLaughlin said he hasn’t formed an opinion yet, but he would be open to exploring new regulations if it will keep constituents safe.

"They (regulations) can change, but when it’s private property and you’re dealing with adults, how far do you go with it,” McLaughlin said. “I’m very also cognizant that we don’t just create laws that we can’t enforce and we don’t get into knee-jerk reaction to something.”

Bostock doesn't want to shut down Trainwreck or any other pro-wrestling group, just protect his son and the other performers. He plans to push for new regulations at Monday’s New Albany City Council meeting.

“We don’t allow dogs to fight; we don’t allow people to have cockfighting,” Bostock said. “Why in the hell do we have this?”

Bostock isn’t the only person with concerns.

A number of different regulatory agencies were contacted about the event, including the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, with accusations that alcohol was being served to underage attendees and performers.

The Indiana Gaming Commission received a complaint, too. A spokesperson said they determined it seems like more of a criminal matter, so the case is now being investigated by its law enforcement division. However, the commission likely won’t be the lead agency handling the case and it is currently working to identify other agencies that will be involved.

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