SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Massive Damage
6'0", 265 pounds
By JON WALDMAN -- For SLAM! Wrestling
It's a mild spring night in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The
Aboriginal Centre, located in downtown of the River
City, is buzzing with anticipation, as the Indigenous
Wrestling Alliance gets set to put on a show that
features former WCW and ECW wrestler Lance Storm. By
the end of the night, however, those in attendance
will be talking about another wrestler on the card,
one who will put his body on the line, in a way only
few have done before.
His name is Sean Dunster, though he is known in the
ring as Massive Damage. Just a couple minutes before
the show, he seems relaxed. A smile creeps over his
stubbled face as he talks about tonight's highspot.
The plan calls for Cyborg, a seven-foot-three-inch
monster of a man, to interfere in Dunster's match
against Eddie Watts
, and put him through two tables.
As he talks about his match, he proudly displays
battle scars from a Japanese Death match with the
that occurred not even a week
prior. He and Leatherface have worked together on
several occasions, and have become close. "For me and
Leatherface, half of it is that we're comfortable with
each other," he says.
Dunster is quick to point out though that their
friendship is left behind when they enter the ring.
"My character and that character hate each other," he
says. "We try to hurt each other."
Dunster received his training from Leo Burke
, spending a lot of time in Hart's house
learning the business. Dunster believes that Burke is
the best in the industry. "He (Burke) taught me
everything," he says, adding that Burke especially helped in
developing his ring psychology.
"Leo's also kept me realistic. He said 'you're very
talented, but you many never get to go anywhere.'"
Dunster says, adding that Burke told him, "'Don't ever
give up your dream.'"
Dunster's dream of pro wrestling has taken him to most of the Canadian indy promotions -- Hardcore, Can-Am, Grand Prix, IWA, POW, Canadian AWA, and some minor indies in the States. He's currently on tour with Real Action Wrestling in the Maritimes.
As soon as his match starts, the soft-spoken Dunster
becomes a louder, more aggressive man in Massive
Damage. Damage walks to the ring with a shopping cart
full of weapons that will be used during the course of
the match. The character combines the intensity and
look of Rhyno
with the suicidal moves of Sabu
Dunster is mindful of keeping his character and real
life separate, he admits that at times it is hard to
keep them apart. "I try to keep it away, but when I
get mad I notice I do things that Massive Damage would
do," he says.
Massive Damage gets the tables ready during an IWA show. -- Jon Waldman
Damage uses a lot of hardcore materials in his
matches, including many moves involving trashcans,
chairs, barbed wire, and fireballs. He sees the
objects as being more of a crowd pleaser than
dangerous items. "I tend to do more spots into garbage
cans and chairs, or suplexes on chairs because it
looks so incredible," he says.
After a few minutes of the hardcore brawling, Damage
heads to the outside and stacks two tables. A trail of
fans follows him as the tables are carefully placed on
mats outside the ring. "It's a total rush," he says of
his high-risk spots. "It's a euphoric, a natural
Soon, Cyborg makes his entrance, interrupting the
match. After a few moves, Cyborg steps out onto the
apron, holding Damage by his neck. Quickly, Damage is
lifted into the air and slammed through the tables.
The spot draws "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd, while
officials rush to Damage's aid.
One of the people who come out is IWA promoter Tony Condello
. Condello has worked with Damage several
times, finding Dunster in his native Saskatchewan, and
soon booking him for IWA cards, thinking that, "here's
a guy that will be good for hardcore matches, and sure
enough he'll do anything anywhere any place as far as
hardcore wrestling's concerned."
"I've seen the guy hurt so many times, if he was any
other wrestler, he'd be off conditioning for a period
of time; but this guy keeps going going and going no
matter how much he's hurt," Condello says.
After the match is over, Dunster assesses his wounds.
Bruised knuckles and damage to the back of his head
are the only signs of injury; standard fare for the 30
year old. Tomorrow he will be doing this all over
again, despite any ill effects from his injuries.
the toughest professional wrestler you'll ever meet,"
he says. "If I break an arm, if I break a leg, if I
break some ribs, if I'm bleeding all to hell, I'll
show up the next day ready for work. Might not be the
best match I've ever had, but I'll still throw 100%
into my matches."
I my fondest memories of Massive is a show I worked with him up in
Edmonton for Can/Am Wrestling. Massive was wrestling and I was the ref
for the evening. He was supposed to lose this night, so he went out and
still put on one of the best matches of the entire night. He is a true
professional and real gentlemen outside the ring. So congrats to Massive
for being inducted into the Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame. You deserve
I just saw Damagae in a R-A-W show where he had to fight against Bloody
Bill for the hardcore championship, he didn't win that night but he is
now the R-A-W hardcore champion.
I feel it's appropriate to mention a few things about the man you know as Massive Damage, and I know as Massim. I was first introduced to the business by Sean four years ago, having graduated from the same high school as him and trained at the same gym. Once he saw my vast interest in breaking in, he taught me the basic bumps and some simple spots, and soon got me booked for another indy promotion out of the province. I didn't realize at the time how much of a favour that was to me, as I had only had four matches at that stage and those types of guys usually are relegated to working local shows. Soon after, I had the good fortune of getting booked by Tony Condello on his Death Tour & working tag matches with the Dream Warrior against Massive & Chi Chi Cruz. This is where I learned how to work, and I owe this to Massive
and Cheech for guiding me through those matches as well as introducing me to debauchery.