BSE Pro runs hot shows in cold Iqaluit
TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
It was old-school wrestling.
The bad guys got booed. The good guys got cheered.
And a few hundred fans, who rarely get any visitors, got a big thrill.
Wrestlers from Ontario-based BSE Pro took their act on the road last weekend, going to Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut. In other words, plenty north and plenty cold.
"It was a slow painful cold, minus-45 with the windchill, but it was fantastic," said BSE co-owner/announcer Arda Ocal. "It was our second show there. Kids were really the focus. They watch WWE and TNA on television, but they'd never seen live wrestling.
"The BSE stars were seen on almost the same level (as WWE and TNA wrestlers) because they were there. The ovation was huge for (TNA star) Christian Cage, but it was nearly as big for (BSE stars) Brent B and Brian Youngblood.
"The goal is to make this a yearly visit, a special weekend."
BSE star Pierre Shadows, from Ottawa, says it was a great experience.
"The fans react to everything. They cheer for the babyfaces the second they come out and I got spit on and had stuff thrown at me. That was good. I knew I'd done my job right. When you come out as a heel, there was no chance they were going to cheer."
BSE took its act national last summer and has bigger, better plans for next year, hoping to include Manitoba and Alberta in its tour.
As opposed to the gimmicks, BSE does it old school.
"For the most part, we concentrate on wrestling," said Ocal. "It's that constant battle: Good vs. evil. Typically, 65-70% of our audience is children. Parents can feel safe bringing thir kids. It's not something that's too risque.
BSE's summer tour last year not only included some well-known names from the pro wrestling ranks, Trailer Park Boys stars Randy and Mr. Lahey also came along for part of the ride.
"I really think 2009 is going to be a great year for us," said Ocal. "We're looking at opening new markets and re-visiting the ones we have."
Shadows has been with BSE for three years.
"The product is the same I grew up on ... old-school WWF," said Shadows. "I'm a fan of the good guy vs. bad guy wrestling."
The 25-year-old, who worked with Cage in Iqaluit, hopes to make it to the big-time and has made it a full-time pursuit of a dream.
"I wrestle on weekends and during the week, I diet, tan and work out. I watch wrestling, study it. That's what I want to do. It's very tough, but my family supports me big time. They realize that you can't become a superstar overnight."
January 23, 2008: Nunavut hosts its first two wrestling shows
BSE Pro website
Tim Baines is the Ottawa Sun Sports Editor and writes a weekly wrestling column for Sun Media. He can be emailed at email@example.com.