Gravy Wrestling Is the Greatest, Noblest Sport You’ve Never Heard Of

08/31/2015 at 04:47 PM ET

Oli Scarff

We are livid — LIVID — that it took us this long to learn about gravy wrestling, the most majestic sport we’ve never witnessed.

Pictures have just emerged from the 8th Annual World Gravy Wrestling Championships — that’s right, take all of those words in — at the Rose ‘n’ Bowl Pub in Bacup, England, on Monday. Contestants dressed in elaborate costumes (from Gandalf to pregnant nuns) come together from around the world to wrestle in a pool of Lancashire gravy for two minutes, all while being scored on a variety of wrestling moves.

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This year, 16 men and six women competed, The Guardian reports. Each match was fought in a pool filled with 1,500 liters of the brown goo, which is prepared for the occasion in a nearby pudding factory. (While the competition formerly involved actual gravy, the organizers now use a cornflour and caramel mixture, as the meat smell attracted wasps.) After each round, the the Lancashire fire brigade hoses down each contestant.

Oli Scarff

Joel Hicks, 36, was the male victor, marking his third gravy triumph. The women’s title went to Nicole Lyons, who said she prepped for the competition by getting “pissed all weekend.”

Oli Scarff

While we’re bummed the competition no longer uses actual gravy — our dream is to wrestle in a bread costume, then eat the bread — we’re so, so glad this sport exists.

—Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda

FILED UNDER: Food , Food News , Travel

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Desensitized on


emmie on

This is an amazing event. What the article doesn’t say is it raises for charity. The East Lancashire Hospice benefits greatly from this event by collecting donations at the entrance and by marshalling this event.

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