The Saviour prevails: Nelson Reid, as Jesus, elbow drops the Devil, played by Oryn Barnett, during one of their shows. *Photo supplied
The Saviour prevails: Nelson Reid, as Jesus, elbow drops the Devil, played by Oryn Barnett, during one of their shows. *Photo supplied

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16: It’s a heavenly rumble as Jesus delivers a smack down on the Devil and his demons.

No, it’s not some scene from the Book of Revelation, but a wrestling skit that is being used as an evangelical outreach to win people over to Christianity.

Oryn Barnett, 20, OJ Barnett, 17, Nelson Reid, 21, and Ryan Reid, 19, are a ministry team called HardCORE Wrestling Entertainment from the Cities of Refuge church, which meets at Prospect Primary.

Oryn said “one thing about our group is that we want to give back to the community.

“With all the violence that has plagued our island we want to be able to show young people that life is not about sitting on walls, getting high, and getting drunk.”

He said the group’s main target are young males and even though the wrestling may seem violent, it is choreographed so the wrestler’s don’t get hurt that much.

Oryn said: “All four of us love wrestling so we used to mess around and wrestle in the backyard, but we thought we could use this.”

He said the came up with ideas so they can “get the Word of God across.”

The HardCORE wrestlers (CORE is an abbreviation from Cities of Refuge) have been putting on skits for the past two years.

Oryn said he became interested in wrestling from his grandfather.

In the skit Nelson plays Jesus, OJ plays a young man searching for answers and is confused about Christianity, Oryn plays the Devil and Ryan plays the Devil’s right-hand demon.

Ryan said the skit ‘Jesus the Victor’ follows OJ as a young man who has to decide between Jesus and the Devil. “He’s confused and he asks Jesus for help… but the Devil comes out and breaks things up. He interferes by telling OJ wealth and money is on our side. OJ chooses the Devil and then we turn against him and jump him. OJ is sprawled out and hurt.

“When all hope is lost, OJ tags Jesus in who saves the day and destroys the Devil. At the end of the day Jesus and OJ become friends and OJ becomes a Christian.”

Oryn said playing the Devil requires knowing his nature in order to play the role.

“I have to think, if he was in human form, how would he manipulate people’s minds and deceive people. It wasn’t easy for me to play him, but it made me think of what he would do and what he would say.”

Oryn said he enjoys watching the heels (bad guys) in wrestling. “I like that type of persona so it’s easy fit into that role.”

Oryn added: “People have taken our message very well. They come up to us after the show to congratulate us and encourage us to continue doing it.”

Oryn said the four of them jointly came up with the Jesus wrestling skit and fleshing out the ideas for it.

He said it is important to get the Gospel message out to the masses because “Bermuda is going through some turmoil. We as young men want to be able to share the Gospel and see people saved into the Kingdom and we want to give back to the community.

Nelson said: “This is absolutely positive for us to do what we love; entertain those who are into wrestling; those that don’t like to admit it, and we’re bringing it out there that it’s okay to love that type of sport.

“We bring a positive vibe to it to talk about the Gospel which we can give to the people of any ages. For me, this is a dream come true.”

Nelson added it’s “quite beautiful having people who have questions about it (Christianity) or don’t know about it.

“We want to let them know that Christians aren’t stuck-up people and that we have fun, too — we do it through Jesus.”

Ryan said it was important to get the word out about Jesus.

He said: “Some people don’t think wrestling is a Christian activity, but it can be. This is a whole lot of fun.

“It’s not as crazy as people might think it is. A lot of people can watch this and have fun as it’s a clean sport.”

• Oryn said anyone interested in booking their skit can contact Evelyn James-Barnett at 505-4306.