Top Rope's Myers set for homecoming
By KEITH BORKOWSKY -- Portage la Prairie Daily Graphic
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE -- When former Elie resident Mike Davidson told his classmates at St.
Paul's Collegiate that he wanted to be a professional wrestler, everyone
Mike Davidson, aka Top Rope's Mike Myers. -- courtesy Top Rope Championship Wrestling
Now, the 22-year-old gets the last laugh as he steps into the ring at the
William Glesby Centre for the Top Rope Championship Wrestling card on Monday.
"I was really into wrestling in high school and I was always saying I was
going to be a professional wrestler," said Davidson. "The kids all laughed and
said, 'Yeah right, whatever.'"
With his success as a professional wrestler, it seems as though the
training he's done -- starting when he was 16 -- has finally paid off.
Davidson spent about 100 hours in the ring, learning how to properly
execute wrestling manoeuvres.
He learned the ropes the hard way, through his punishing days taking and
giving hits -- but questions from others eventually convinced him to find a
'regular' job as a sportscaster on the CKX Brandon evening news broadcast. He
stayed with the Brandon station for one year before returning to wrestling.
In the end, Davidson doesn't feel his time in front of the cameras hurt
him. While a part of a newscast, he learned a skill that is vital to wrestlers
That sense of timing helped Davidson develop into his character, and fit
into the storylines written for him. It's that aspect of wrestling which can
take some people years to master.
"You learn how to manipulate fans to like you or hate you," said Davidson.
"I've never stopped learning."
The long training hours spent in the ring can end up prolonging a
wrestler's career. While wrestling has a staged storyline, it can also be
dangerous if moves are not performed at exactly the right moment.
"There does have to be some co-ordination with the other guy in the ring,"
said Top Rope Championship Wrestling promoter Bob St. Laurent. "I recently
broke a knee cap because I did a move incorrectly. If you don't make the right
moves at the right time, someone can get really hurt."
Unfortunately, identities can also get changed on the fly. Davidson's
unimaginative wrestling moniker -- Mike Myers -- was born after the ring
announcer forgot Davidson's original wrestling name during the introductions
and made up another one on the spot.
"We tried to change it a couple of times, but there's one regular wrestling
venue we go to and the new name never took off with the fans," said Davidson.
That won't happen to Davidson again. Aside from wrestling in matches,
Davidson has moved into scheduling cards, writing storylines and deciding who
wins and who loses.
It can create some conflicts of interest, but Davidson said the best way
around that is to look to the greater good of the organization before choosing
the winners -- and who will draw the biggest crowds.
Davidson said this can take some creativity and can be a lot of fun, but
it's also important to match up wrestlers who work well together.
Neither Davidson nor St. Laurent make any bones about professional
wrestling being sports entertainment.
"It's sport because you need to be athletic to do this, but it's
entertainment because you aren't competing to win. You are trying to get a
reaction from the crowd," said St. Laurent.
It's that ability to entertain which separates the great from the mediocre.
St. Laurent said people can try out for open spots at their Winnipeg
training centre, but not everyone has the knack to combine athletic ability
with stage presence.
For some, the dream of making big money and being on the World Wrestling
Federation circuit drives them to work hard at making a name for themselves.
So having former WWF star Jim (The Anvil) Neidhart take to the ring in
Portage la Prairie serves a dual purpose -- selling more tickets and scouting
new talent for the big show.
Neidhart is now a talent scout for the WWF and can direct local wrestlers
to the people who can make them big-time stars -- if they have the right
Neidhart is scheduled to be involved in a tag-team match with up-and-coming
wrestler Shane Madison. They will take on Brian (Bad Boy) Jewel and Vance