June 13, 2006
Hometown honours Goldie Rogers
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling
COBOURG, ONT. -- Saturday might just have been the greatest moment in David Sherwin's professional wrestling career. The man better known in North America as Goldie Rogers was honoured in his hometown with an induction into the Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame.
It has been a long and arduous journey to get into the online Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame on SLAM! Wrestling for Goldie -- one filled with continent-wide adventures, and experiences that few could ever dream of. However, to know where Goldie Rogers has ended up, one must look back to where it all began.
Like most individuals who try their hand at pro wrestling, Rogers fell in love with the sport as a child. His father would take him to live local matches and watch the seemingly larger-than-life characters on television. Soon enough, Goldie made his way into Sully's Gym in Toronto where his training with Phil Watson began in 1972. This is also where the lifelong friendship between himself and "No Class" Bobby Bass began.
"I had started a few months before Goldie at Sully's Gym and we hit it off right away. After we'd finished training we went on the road together on the Northern Ontario circuit. What a character Goldie was even back then, he was such a hard worker," reminisced Bass.
After touring Ontario, Rogers made his way down to West Virginia and the Carolina territories. It was during these runs that David Sherwin picked up his career changing gimmick identity of Goldie Rogers. "The idea was that Goldie was to be the grandson of 'Nature Boy' Buddy Rogers. He had the long blond hair, picked up the strut and off he went!" explained Bass.
Goldie made his way through Kentucky and Washington before returning to Canada, where he enjoyed his first title run. It was in Vancouver where Rogers teamed up with his old friend Bobby Bass to capture the Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championships. Following two tag title reigns for Grand Prix Wrestling in New Brunswick, Rogers had his highest profile series in the newly revamped Stampede Wrestling. Once the Calgary promotion was reopened in the late 1980's, Goldie was teamed with Duke Myers and the duo was dubbed "The Bowlers".
"When I came into Calgary, me and Myers were called The Bowlers in order to advertise for a local bowling alley that was a sponsor. They had us bring bowling balls down to the ring with the company logos on them and roll them around inside the ring. I remember one poor S.O.B. got one rolled into his head when he was down and had to go the hospital," remembered Rogers with a chuckle. Regardless of the gimmick Myers and Rogers had the privilege of being the first winners of the International Tag Team Championships for the new Stampede Wrestling.
In 1992, Goldie decided to call it a career and moved back to Cobourg to open a local taxi company. Unfortunately due to years of drug and alcohol abuse, his health began to deteriorate. In 2003 the wily veteran had to go under the knife for open heart surgery that required five bypasses. "The operation was successful but when he woke up from the surgery he ripped all the tubes out of him and fell back dead. The doctors rushed to revive him and thank God they did it," said Bass.
The months following the heart surgery proved to have many financial and spiritual hardships for Rogers, eventually leading him to the Cobourg Salvation Army. "It was when I went to the Salvation Army that I met Major Cummings. He helped me get back on my feet and turned me to God. That guy is like a brother to me," said Goldie. Now Rogers is a major part of the Salvation Army and its charity work in the community. He is extremely proud of the Good Food Box program and also tries to spread his experiences with others about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
"Goldie was a gifted performer who devoted his all to the business and never failed to entertain the fans win, lose or draw. So many wrestlers are interchangeable and bland Goldie was always colourful and for that very reason memorable," Hutchison said. "It was an honour for me to be able to make an in-ring appearance in Cobourg to help induct Goldie into the Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame".
In conjunction with the Rough Wrestling International show, the presentation of the award was done in an honourable and classy manner. After a video production was shown to the audience Bobby Bass, Ron Hutchison, Chuck Simpson (aka "Pretty Boy" Chuck Simms), Major Cummings, and this SLAM! Wrestling writer all said some words about Rogers and his induction. It was only fitting that Goldie's old friend Bobby Bass was the one to present him the award. The two warriors shared a teary eyed hug as the crowd chanted "Goldie, Goldie, Goldie."
Once the audience settled, David Sherwin thanked his family, friends, and the hometown fans for supporting him as Goldie Rogers for all these years. He proceeded to pose for pictures and sign autographs before finally walking off behind the curtain for the last time.
Order The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians
Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling and freelance writer. Andy is also the play-by-play sports broadcaster for Durham College Lords sports on www.thefreq.ca. Make sure to check out Andy's Smackdown report every Friday right here on SLAM! Wrestling. Andy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.