THE biggest wrestling show in Israel’s history was mired in controversy.
But that didn’t stop around 100 fans turning out to see Jewish wrestler David Starr lose to former Ring of Honor champion Jay Lethal on Sunday.
The main event for Israeli Pro Wrestling Association’s Passover Bash was supposed to be for the Ring of Honor world title, but the company pulled the belt from the show at Bearle Club near Netanya just days beforehand.
According to a source, the decision was made for Lethal to lose the belt to Matt Tavern at the company’s Madison Square Garden show earlier this month as a way of punishing Starr, so that the belt would not be defended in Israel.
The Jewish wrestler has been verbally abusive of ROH’s parent company — Sinclair Broadcasting.
In a video, which Sinclair demanded Starr remove from social media, he said: “Something else that’s a joke is that Ring of Honor wrestling used to represent pure, independent, professional wrestling, instead of representing a far-right wing, extremist corporate propaganda machine.
“Did you think it was some kind of cute publicity stunt to let the little Jew boy get a flight to Israel and wrestle for your championship?
“Is that what you thought? Because no, I’m not wrestling for your championship because I’m a Jewish kid in Israel.
“I’m wrestling for your championship because I’m one of the best independent professional wrestlers on the f****** planet.”
Despite the controversy, the show still went ahead, and Lethal, Starr and others took time out to tour Israel on Monday.
After their match, Lethal and Starr shook hands, with Lethal expressing his happiness at “finally” going to Israel.
Also on the bill was former WWE and Impact Wrestling Jewish star Matt Sydal.
Sydal beat the five-time IPWA champion Rabbi Suissa — also known as Gery Roif, who organised the event.
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