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Micro Wrestling Federation is the original Midget Wrestling mayhem that won people's hearts. These guys are masters at putting on a successful show that will keep everyone talking and eagerly awaiting the next event! There's nothing quite as magical as seeing a midget fly through the air.
The 21-year-old Austin native steps into the ring showing all the confidence a performer needs to entertain a crowd. But inside, he’s bracing himself for the worst.
"There's always the drunk idiot that tries to bring you down," Sells said. "But at the end of the night, I've got his money in my pocket."
Being heckled at and discriminated against has been part of Sells' life for as long as he can remember. The only difference these days is that he gets paid to embrace it. At 4 feet, 2 inches and 85 pounds, Sells is a performer for the Micro Wrestling Federation, a group of dwarves that travels around the country, performing in a variety of venues. Most of their bookings come from bars like Scoreboard Sports Bar off FM 1765, where they entertained nearly 100 locals on Sunday night.
For most of the "midget wrestlers," which they prefer to be called when the term isn't used in a derogatory manner, political correctness is trumped by the rising popularity of the such-labeled sport.
"It's all about the context - no one calls it 'dwarf wrestling,'" said Reginald Smith, business manager and promoter for the Tennessee-based company. "It's a new kind of entertainment, but it's getting big."
Founded in 2000, the MWF prides itself in being the "Greatest Little Show On Earth." Last year, they performed in more than 180 venues across 33 states, Smith said.
For Sells, the biggest benefit to being a micro wrestler is what he feels most people take for granted - employment.
"I'd walk in job interviews, and they'd swear up and down that they couldn't hire me for all these fake reasons," Sells said. "But this job has opened up opportunities I never dreamed of having."
Since he became a wrestler in 2009, Sells has been on the television show, "Bones," appeared in a Jimmy John's commercial and had countless other television appearances.
Sells considers being a micro wrestler as an increasingly opportune path for an aspiring actor. He realizes many members of the audience might see what he does as a gimmick, but he said he leaves the ring feeling empowered by his performance. His character, "Ricky Benjamin," a three-time gold medalist wrestler wearing a red, white and blue unitard with faux Olympic gold medals was a crowd favorite Sunday night.
Fellow wrestler Alex Peters, 29, has been a regular on World Wrestling Entertainment as his persona, "Pit Bull." Peters has traveled to Japan, England and Mexico to perform as a micro wrestler and now can laugh at the criticism he received growing up in Alabama.
"This is my calling," Peters said. "I couldn’t picture myself in a cubicle, working a boring desk job where everyone is always staring at me. They still stare, but this way, they pay to do it