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COMMENT





Friends remember Mike Lozanski
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling


Mike Lozanski


The close-knit Calgary wrestling community is mourning the loss of Mike Lozanski, aka Tigre Canadienese and Mike Anthony, who passed away last week at the age of 35. A few of his many friends spoke to SLAM! Wrestling, reflecting back on their friend and fellow wrestler.

"Mike was like family to me, like a son. He was a good person, and would do anything for anybody. It is too bad he left this world at such an early age," an emotional Bad News Allen said. "I met Mike about 17 years ago. He used to tell everyone I was like his second dad, because wherever I went I would take him there. Mike was really loyal, he always had my back so I never had to worry about him." Allen and Lozanski often traveled around the world together.

"The first time he ever went to Mexico I took him down with me. They had him wrestling another younger guy, Solar, who was still new to the business. They were talking about the match, and how they were going to make this brilliant match. All the old timers were sitting around listening. One of my friends sitting next to me, his name was Babyface, he elbowed me in the side and he said 'Amigo what do you think?' and I told him 'This match is going to be pitiful I can tell you that right now.' They were going to do all of this stuff and none of it was going to work. Out he went and wrestled and nothing worked, the whole thing was a mess. When the match was over we all ran back to the locker room because we didn't want him to know we were watching. Mike came in and he was cursing and kicking things and then he realized we were watching him. 'You guys must think I am crazy, huh?' he asked and we all burst out laughing. 'Mike,' I said 'The majority of these guys have been in this business a long time, combined over 100 years. Everyone has a match that gets screwed up, there's no need to get mad about it,'" laughed Bad News.

"Mike was a very polite and quiet kid, kind of like a surfer dude and he was one guy who reminded me of what was written about Kerry Von Erich -- the dumb jock type that didn't threaten the guys and all the girls wanted," former manager and wrestling personality Marty Goldstein wrote in a column for MoondogManson.com, reprinted on SLAM! Wrestling earlier today. "All my closest friends worked him during the early '90s. Eddie Watts. made Lozanski look like a million bucks in a TV broadway. Chi Chi Cruz, wrestled Lozanski all over Canada. Bret Como in Japan, (Michelle) Starr in BC. Bruiser Bastein remembered teaming with Mike in a tag match against a guy I brought into the business, Dave Levinski, and the guy who brought me in, Vince DeLuca. What a foursome, all connected to my life in the wrestling business in very important ways. Dave had no recollection of the match and asked if I have a copy. Of course I do."

Como, who wrestles as The Black Dragon and is a mainstay in BC's ECCW, met Lozanski in Winnipeg while on tour with Tony Condello. "I think Tim (Flowers) quit, I got fired, and Mike left with us. So after that we traveled a lot together, to places like Wichita, Kansas to all over the world," Como said. Bret would then live with Mike for four years early in their careers and traveled around the world with him and future WWE star Chris Jericho.

"He was a really good guy, he had the world. His parents loved the business as much as he did so they helped him out financially, if needed to travel somewhere to wrestle. You can work full time for so long and then there are dry spells, he was lucky that he had that help." Mike would extend that assistance to his friends in the business. "Mike was famous for, if we were dead broke or had to get home he would be the one who would take care of us."

Despite the financial help, Lozanski had a talent for finding less-than-attractive establishments to sleep in.

"He would pick the hotels, and it would be the worst crack hotel you could find. We stayed at the Austin in Vancouver and there was blood all over the floor, like someone had been stabbed. In California we pulled into a motel near we where we were doing a big Mexican celebration show, and the windows were barred and wired, you couldn't have thrown a glass through the open window. It was Jericho and us, we were all asleep in the middle of the night when we heard a car accident. I looked out the window, and this guy in a nice truck was ramming a $200 drug car. Then people started shooting from the hotel at the truck! That was a typical place that Mike would pick for us to stay. Somewhere out of this world."

Often, Como says, they would end up staying at the hotel despite wanting to find somewhere else. "'Oh yeah,' we wanted to say 'lets leave' and a few times we did. Not as much as we wanted to, because once we were there we would just say 'oh we'll stay for one night' but a few times we switched. In Winnipeg we had hookers wander into the room and steal our lightbulbs. This sort of stuff you only hear about, but he had a knack for finding it, and you would never think he would be that guy. I don't know if he found it funny or what."

Mike was also well known for his ability to attract women.

"Lozanski was a chick magnet the likes of which I had never seen. He was like a Canadian surfer boy," wrote Goldstein.

"He was a good pretty-boy. He liked the girls. When I'd wrestle him I'd call him 'Nothin but a hair dyin' stripper chasin Momma's boy' and he would break kayfabe and laugh in the ring because he would have just gotten his hair bleached that day, or he had a new valet. It was a lot of fun," reflected Como. He and Mike had grown apart in recent years as their careers took them in different directions. Despite this, Como was stunned when he got a phone call saying Mike was gone. "It hit me hard. It's been a hard year, so many guys have passed away and I've known some of them. I know Mike's well parents too. His Mom was the nicest lady, I really feel for his family."

"I was heartbroken to hear he had passed away. I'm going to miss him. I will never forget him and I loved him deeply," Bad News Allen said.

Marty Goldstien probably best phrased the feelings of many in Canada's wrestling community when he concluded his web tribute with the following.

"The legacy of Mike Lozanski is not measured in great matches or titles, it is measured by the lives he touched and the affection for him, all over the world, for a man who as Dobie (Gillis) said 'you couldn't help but love.'"

Funeral Mass for Mike Lozanski will be celebrated at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church (1600 Acadia Drive S.E.) in Calgary on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 at 11:00 a.m.

Jason Clevett is a Calgary-based writer.