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West Hall alum back in town for smackdown
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West Hall Slam
What: Live professional wrestling featuring West Hall alum J.T. Talent and other wrestlers
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: West Hall Middle School, 5470 McEver Road, Oakwood
How much: $5 general admission, $10 ringside

When the bell rings on Friday night, nobody’s going to be late for class.

Instead, it will signal the start of a professional wrestling event that raises money for programs at West Hall Middle School. West Hall Slam features a "retirement match" between Colt Derringer vs. Rob Adonis, the debut of Veterano and El Diablo and the return of J.T. Talent, a West Hall Middle alum who has been out of the game recently with a back injury.

But Friday’s triumphant return to the ring marks the start of a string of high-profile matches for Talent, who said he’s excited about wrestling at his alma mater.

"I’ve wrestled all over the place, and being able to come home and do it, it’s a big deal," he said in a phone interview with The Times. "I went to school there, played football there. I’m really looking forward to this."

Talent has been wrestling for about 4 1/2 years, and while he entered the ring as a baby-faced good guy, most of his career he’s played the "heel" — or, the guy everyone loves to hate.

"I’m arrogant," he said of his character. "An arrogant little kid who wants to get what he wants."

Talent said professional wrestling was always something he wanted to do, especially after watching it every Saturday morning while he was growing up. A couple years after graduating from high school he stumbled upon NWA Anarchy in Clarkesville, a professional wrestling venue that holds practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and live televised events on Saturday nights.

He stopped in to see what a practice was like and he was hooked.

He said Friday night’s show at West Hall will have some fun wrestling and some surprises, too — including a tag-team event involving the school’s assistant principal.

"It’s going to be a good show," he said. "Anytime one of the teachers and the coaches are involved, it’s a good show."

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