August 5, 2011
Rising star Michael Elgin always on the road
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Michael Elgin may be getting bigger paychecks these days.
But the 24-year-old Toronto-based wrestler is still logging big mileage in his car between gigs.
He'll be in Ottawa Aug. 12 for a huge benefit show, honouring Phrank Morin, who died of cancer on April 1. The show -- Fighting Back: Wrestling With Cancer (at the Tudor Hall, 3750 Bowesville Rd., check c4wrestling.com/community for more details) -- will feature several international stars, including Tommy Dreamer, Kevin Steen, Low-Ki and Cheerleader Melissa.
Elgin will drive from Toronto to Ottawa on Friday, then make the return trip. He will then head southwest to Detroit where he will pick up some wrestlers before continuing on to Chicago, where he will participate in a Ring of Honor show in Chicago on Saturday.
Driving is nothing new to the rising star.
"I started wrestling at age 16 and the Ontario regulations wouldn't let me wrestle until I was 18," said Elgin. "So I would drive to Montreal or Ohio or Michigan. We'd put 4-6 people in the car and just drive, sometimes just to do a show without even getting gas money.
"Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted to wrestle. Not just wrestle, but be the best."
While learning his profession, Elgin has gone through a string of jobs.
"So many times, I've had to quit or I've gotten fired," he said. "I can't tell you how many times my grandma must have passed away.
"I had a construction job, unionized, $24.50 an hour. I was asking for too many Fridays off so I had to quit."
Elgin has a contract with Ring of Honor into December of 2012. He's thrilled to be part of an organization that was a springboard for the careers of guys like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Samoa Joe. Still, he wants one day to get a crack at the big lights of WWE.
"No pun intended, but it is an honour to be in Ring of Honor, some of the best wrestling talent in the world," he said. "But it's like football players want to play in the NFL, basketball players want to play in the NBA and hockey players want to play in the NHL. One day, I want to be with the best."
Elgin thought he was joining WWE last summer following a camp in Florida. "I left there thinking I would get signed," he said. "Jim Ross, Dusty Rhodes ... they were complimenting me. It just didn't happen."
Elgin is a bit of a powerhouse in the ring. He says he's working on his promos.
"I know what I have to say, but I don't always know how to say it."
Elgin is honoured to be part of the Ottawa card. He didn't know Morin that well, but shared the pain of several friends who were close to the guy who gained a following as Stinky the Homeless Guy.
"We're all wrestlers. When something like this happens, you want to be there to help out."
Tim Baines is the Sports Editor for the Ottawa Sun and can be emailed at Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org.