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  Oct. 1, 2001



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Flip ends Top Rope road trip
Wrestling troupe survives van rollover

By DOUG LUNNEY -- Winnipeg Sun

Ryan Wood is trying to advance as a pro wrestler by pinning his opponents in the ring, but he was fortunate to walk away from an auto accident early Saturday morning when the ring pinned him.

  Wood, along with fellow Top Rope Championship Wrestling members Pete Moss and Rob Stardom, each narrowly escaped serious injury after the van they were in flipped on the Trans-Canada Highway near Kenora.
Ryan Wood


  The three were driving a rental truck with TRCW's ring in the back when they were returning from a Friday night No-Holds-Barred show in Thunder Bay. Wood said he was sleeping in the back of the truck on the ring when Moss fell asleep at the wheel about 20 minutes outside of Kenora, causing the truck to roll into the ditch and flip three times.

  When the truck landed, Wood was pinned in a tiny space beneath the ring's estimated 1,350 kilograms of steel.

  "If I wasn't so skinny, I probably wouldn't be having this conversation with you right now," Wood, 18, said yesterday. "All of us are lucky."

  TREATED AND RELEASED

  Moss and Stardom suffered facial cuts. All three were treated and released from Kenora Hospital, suffering bumps and bruises. Wood said a doctor told him he had a bulged disc in his spine.

  "But I think that's more from wrestling than anything else," he said with a chuckle.

  Wood began working as a pro wrestler two years ago, also taking part as a referee and ring announcer. A member of Canada's junior national fastball team that competed in Australia in April, he was playing in a slo-pitch game at Morse Place Community Club yesterday.

  Both Wood and Bobby Jay, the promoter of the local independent wrestling company, said the long road trips are part of the business.

  Jay noted that famed grappler Adrian Adonis, once tag-team partners with Jesse Ventura, died in an auto accident in Newfoundland in 1988.

  "They were going from town to town and him and two other wrestlers died," Jay said. "But I've never heard of it happening with the actual ring in it."

  The wrecked truck and ring remained in a Kenora compound yesterday. TRCW runs a few shows each week in Winnipeg and Jay is hopeful he won't have to cancel any upcoming events.


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