There are few times in life you get the chance to see a wrestling ring inside an elementary school’s gymnasium.

But Devotion Championship Wrestling — Utah’s homegrown wrestling organization with connections to the wider wrestling world — made it happen.

Dozens of children filtered into the Magna elementary school gymnasium Tuesday to see DCW’s pro wrestlers battle it out in the ring. The wrestling group’s stars — Manny Lemons, Andrew So Well and Reka Takah — gathered in the ring to show off their in-ring skills and abilities.

But the wrestlers also promoted something other than the title belts and championships — they shared a message of anti-bullying.

Devotion Championship Wrestling is about giving back to the community,” the founder, Manny Lemons, told me after the anti-bullying assembly. “And we really care about the children and bullying.”

Professional wrestlers at Devotion Championship Wrestling.
Wrestlers from Devotion Championship Wrestling stand in the ring at Magna elementary school. | Courtesy Devotion Championship Wrestling

The DCW crew packed a ring into the elementary school’s auditorium. The wrestlers performed matches for the students, too.

“It was awesome,” Lemons said, “That was the most fun I’ve had in a while.”

In addition to putting on a wrestling show, the wrestlers took microphones and promoted messages of anti-bullying, saying that physicality is not always the way to settle scores. Sometimes just talking out issues — and finding simple ways to peace — can be enough to avoid confrontation.

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Devotion Championship Wrestling recently celebrated its third anniversary with a mega event at The Gateway in Salt Lake City, where the pro-wrestling group often hosts its matches.

The event was a culmination of three years of constant grinding and hustling of Lemons and his family. When I first spoke with Lemons about DCW, he told me the promotion was based on family and community. He wanted to gather the pro-wrestling fan community together and promote positivity. He wanted to give opportunities to family members and anyone who wants to be a pro wrestler.

Though wrestling is packed with violence and dangerous moves, Lemons wants to make sure that the promotion is doing its part to promote safety and better solutions than hitting people with steel chairs.

“It’s all about making an impact for the community,” he said. “Be the example. We care about our children and the bullying.”