Smackdown appearance highlight for Tyler Tirva
CORY SMITH - Woodstock Sentinel-Review
|Tyler Tirva on Smackdown as Brent Roberts.
What was supposed to be an induction into the Straight Edge Society led Brent Tirva straight into the squared circle.
The 24-year-old professional wrestler from Woodstock, Ontario, made his television debut in Ottawa in May when he appeared in a tag team match on the World Wrestling Entertainment show Friday Night Smackdown. Tirva is hoping the appearance leads to bigger things, including another match when the WWE returns to southern Ontario in September.
"It was one of those steps toward a childhood dream," Tirva said. "You can kind of breathe and say you made it, but at the same time you know there is a lot to do to make it. A lot of guys don't ever get a TV match so it was kind of a stepping stone."
Tirva was originally slated to have his head shaved by CM Punk as part of Punk's Straight Edge Society, but WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson selected Tirva and another hopeful out of a group of 12 wrestlers to face Vance Archer and Curt Hawkins as part of a tag team match.
"Either way it was a foot in the door so that's why I said I'd get my head shaved," Tirva said. "Once I found out I was in a match I made sure I wasn't getting my head shaved."
The match lasted less than two minutes, as Archer and Hawkins won by pinfall, but the result was secondary for Tirva, who went by the name Brent Roberts during his appearance in front of several thousand fans at Scotiabank Place.
"You're used to wrestling in front of 300 (fans) or less and to go in front of however many thousand (was incredible)," Tirva said. "Just before I went out I took my first step through the entrance and looked up. My first reaction was holy (crap). It seemed surreal at first. Once I got into the ring it was down to business and nerves were out of the way when I was in the ring."
Tirva's ascension has been quick, making his WWE debut less than three years after deciding to be a professional wrestler. The St. Mary's High School graduate grew up watching wrestling since he was two, following superstars like Mr. Perfect, "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Rick "The Model" Martel. Now Tirva follows Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle.
"I always watched wrestling with my parents and we always went to live events," he said.
Tirva strikes a pose. Photo by Mrs. Id.
After finishing college, Tirva started working out. Thoughts of becoming a pro wrestler soon became reality.
"I figured why not give it a shot?" he said. "I just wanted to try it. I got hooked the first night because it's hard hitting."
Tirva and two others from Woodstock enrolled with "Danger Boy" Derek Wylde in Tillsonburg in January 2008.
One hopeful suffered broken ribs, while another was banged up. Tirva, who stands six feet and weighed 175 pounds when he started training, thrived in the new environment.
"I picked it up really quickly and I had a decent look so that's why I was pushed along," he said.
Tirva's first match was March 23, 2008 in front of 120 fans at an independent show in Hamilton. He wrestles for indy promotions across Ontario under the name Tyler Tirva and works as a personal trainer. His high energy and flashy repertoire caught the WWE's eye once, and Tirva's goal is to be signed by a major promotion such as the WWE or TNA by the time he reaches 30.
"It's usually a long process so to start this early is good," he said. "I'm just going to keep working away and if it happens, it happens."
Tyler Tirva's website