August 30, 2007
Grimez & Sihra share spotlight on massive East Coast tour
By RICHARD KAMCHEN - SLAM! Wrestling
Grimez and Harv Sihra will have an opportunity to shine as both relative newcomers are showcased in MainStream Wrestling's double main events during its 16-city Seaside Slam Tour of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
The "Battle of the Giants" will pit Boston's 6-foot-10, 280-pound Grimez against Prince Edward Island's 6-foot-5, 266-pound "Kowboy" Mike Hughes for the MSW championship.
"With his immense size and menacing face paint, he was an instant hit, especially among the younger fans," promoter Devin Chittick said of champion Grimez's MSW debut last spring.
The 33-year-old Grimez, an all-around athlete who has run track, played basketball, and worked as a Jiu-jitsu trainer, began his wrestling career three years ago. Always a big wrestling fan, Grimez grew up watching Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, The Blackjacks, and one of his all-time favourites, Andre the Giant .
After having trained at the Richard Burns Wrestling Dojo, Chaotic Wrestling, and Walter "Killer" Kowalski's school, Grimez (a.k.a. Big Bizness and Pharaoh the Egyptian Giant) debuted in August 2005. Perhaps the biggest difference he noticed between pro wrestling and any other sport he played is how injuries are treated. Rather than sitting on the sidelines as in, say, basketball, wounded wrestlers more often than not are required to work through their pain, Grimez said. But there is also more fun in pro wrestling, he stressed, adding he enjoyed the fan interaction and the absence of screaming coaches.
Grimez hopes to one day sign with WWE or TNA.
But Grimez added that he first wished to get more experience under his belt so that when he does approach the big players, he has a track record to prove his abilities.
"Part of the journey of pro wrestling is starting small and working your way up," he said.
"I see big things on the horizon for this seven-foot oddity. He's young, big, and has a lot of charisma," said Chittick, who noted Grimez would gain valuable experience from wrestling veteran Hughes. "Fans and industry insiders will want to keep an eye on Grimez."
Harv Sihra battling for MSW's Money in the Bank
The tour's other headline event is a five-man "Money in the Bank" ladder match that will follow qualifying matches earlier in the evening. Among those vying for the spot will be Burnaby, British Columbia's "Bollywood Don" Harv Sihra.
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound 19-year-old Sihra said he has known most of his life he wanted to be a professional wrestler. The second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do achieved his dream in 2006 when he debuted for Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling.
About a year after his debut in a battle royal, Sihra defeated his older brother "The Golden Lion" Gurv Sihra for the NWA Pacific Northwest Junior Heavyweight Championship at an ECCW show.
"I can say from the one match we had together that I found him to be professional, talented and respectful, with a great attitude towards the biz," said ECCW veteran Pete Smith, who also wrestles as "Rocket" Randy Tyler. "He seems to be capable of going places for sure. And we had a good little match!"
"Even though I'm new, I love this sport. I love its history and respect it and I wanted to be a part of it. I love it so much that I don't have a backup plan," Sihra said.
Trained by "Gorgeous" Michelle Starr, Disco Fury, Scotty Mac and Vance Nevada, Sihra said each of his mentors showed him something different and he felt he owed a great deal to all of them. Among other things, Nevada taught Sihra the value of always being available.
"I have trained with him over the past year and a half, and have toured with him quite a bit, and have been blown away by the amount of charisma this guy has," Nevada said. "He has the ability to control an audience that some people never master and he's still learning his craft. If he maintains his focus, I could see this guy becoming a major player in our business."
So impressed was he by Sihra, Nevada said he recommended Maniac Wrestling Alliance promoter Stuart Brown put Sihra against Honky Tonk Man (also an MSW fixture) in a Bella Coola, BC show last April.
"That night, though outsized by the 'Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time,' they had a great match and after the event, Honky Tonk Man was also complimentary of his ability and his timing."
Sihra said he takes a lot of pride in how much he's toured already in his short career -- throughout BC, stops in the Prairie provinces, including one of Tony Condello's infamous Northern Tours, Ontario, and now the Canadian East Coast.
"I'm really excited about the East Coast tour," said Sihra. "I feel it's going to give me a chance to prove myself in a new territory and also improve my game, as I feel there's always room for improvement."
Winnipeg correspondent Richard Kamchen can be e-mailed at email@example.com.