The lovely and talented Spinelli had been a forgotten commodity on the Vancouver wrestling scene when she debuted with Big West at the inaugural November 11, 2011 event. But her partnerships with KC Andrews in the KC Connection, and with Tony Baroni in La Familia, coupled with a violent feud against Riea Von Slasher, would put her back on the wrestling map in a big way.
Spinelli and Riea would have the first-ever Women’s NO-DQ Match in the Okanagan, as well as the first-ever Women’s Tables Match in British Columbia. Along the way, they were also recognized as the 2013 Feud Of The Year. In 2014, Spinelli would be kidnapped and brainwashed by the Von Slasher Family, and actually became their fourth member! Who knows what horror they could’ve unleashed on British Columbia, if Spinelli hadn’t surprisingly moved back to Ontario? One can only imagine…
ANDY THE DREADFUL BIRD
When it comes to high-flying popularity in Kelowna, The Bird has definitely been The Word!
Andy debuted in January of 2013, but he really soared at the 53rd Annual Rutland May Days that year, where he embarked on a violent feud with the Von Slasher Family. The long weekend ended with Bird having to run the gauntlet against them; not only did he defeat the Von Slashers, he was the only person to pin the 2013 Wrestler Of The Year, Riea Von Slasher, that weekend! Bird would go on to have some thrilling matches with Adam Ryder during his time with Big West, as well.
One thing Andy was definitely known for in Kelowna was his teamwork: he created two successful and fan-friendly duos with “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar (Hot Dog n’A Shake), and KROFTON (Pukkaluck Express), that thrilled the Big West faithful. A shoulder injury suffered at the first K5 event on January 16, 2015, put Andy on the shelf for an extended amount of time; since then, he has been so busy with his amazing Bird’s Nest outreach program that his trips to Kelowna have unfortunately been greatly reduced. We hope to have him back in 2017…and beyond!
XStatic was a rookie, only a few months into the business, when he wrestled at the first-ever Big West event on November 11, 2011. He put up a valiant effort against the controversial Tony Baroni, but came up short due to dirty tactics from the NWA Canadian Champion. XStatic would only have a handful of matches with Big West between 2012-2014, before becoming a regular member of the roster in 2015.
From December 2015 through July 2016, XStatic was a workhorse in Kelowna: leading the fight against the Adult Social Society and striving to take the title off Collin Cutler. Matt also took time to have two MOTY-candidate battles with Mike Shreddz, where the two exchanged wins in the fight to become Number One Contender to the Big West Television Title. XStatic won the first encounter and would defeat Shotgun Stevens for the vacant title on April 15, 2016 (after Cutler was stripped for failing to make a flight back from Las Vegas). A Lumberjack Match with Collin Cutler on May 20 saw XStatic retain the title in a hard-fought battle…only to be blindsided by Shotgun Stevens, who cashed in the K5 Medallion to win the title and end the show on a sour note for XStatic fans.
A second Number One Contender match between Shreddz and XStatic saw Shreddz get the win, only to be forced to forfeit his title shot on July 15 due to injury at the hands of Shotgun Stevens; XStatic would be Mike’s hand-packed replacement, and XStatic would beat Shotgun by DQ that very night. But that would XStatic’s last night in Big West Wrestling, as he would fly out to India to work for The Great Khali and his Continental Wrestling Entertainment promotion, as bother a trainer and a wrestler. When XStatic returns in early 2017, we expect him to jump right back into the Television Title hunt!
KC Andrews was already quickly becoming a household name in the Okanagan, when Big West Wrestling opened it’s doors on November 11, 2011; but Andrews was only just starting to hit his stride. The first man to hold the Big West Television Title, Andrews is also the only three-time champion in company history.
Andrews had some violent feuds with “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar and Collin Cutler, and a surprise rivalry with a game young Alex Prestige. Andrews would even briefly have controlling interest of Big West, after winning a controversial match with Marty Sugar on December 2, 2012. Unfortunately, a serious back injury would put Andrews on the shelf for much of 2013 and 2014; repeated attempts at comebacks were only met with further injury setbacks.
In 2015, Andrews would leave the Okanagan and move back to London, Ontario…where he defied his critics and has made a solid comeback to the world of professional wrestling. Now under the name of “Dillon Andrews,” the former founder of the KC Connection and the most-hated wrestler in Big West history, is back in the ring where he belongs…albeit as far away as possible from the raucous boos of the Okanagan.
RIEA VON SLASHER
An informal poll of Big West wrestlers, past and present, was recently taken to ask Who Is The Toughest Wrestler In Big West History? In a landslide, Riea Von Slasher won said poll.
Debuting August 26, 2012, after an extended hiatus from the world of professional wrestling, Riea came back to the business with both guns blazing: she decimated opponents, both male and female, en route to becoming 2013 Big West Wrestler of the Year.
Riea would also have the 2013 Feud Of The Year, with KC Spinelli: a wild and epic rivalry that drew media attention from around Canada and would spark spin-off battles in various other promotions in the province. In a strange turn of events, the Von Slasher family would eventually kidnap Spinelli in January of 2014, and actually brainwash her into becoming the fourth member of the Family! If it wasn’t for Spinelli’s sudden move back to Ontario, who knows what damage that quartet could’ve caused!
“The Future Legend” was originally slated to Main Event the inaugural Big West show on November 11, 2011, but an unlucky knee injury would not only put him on the shelf for months, it would cost him his short-lived first run as Trans-Canada Champion. Sebastian would end up debuting in February of 2012, and fans began to see a knew side to Kyle: the smiling and high-fiving was replaced with an evil sneer and whole lot of attitude.
Sebastian would feud with former partner, Adam Ryder, during much of his tenure in Big West; he would also feud with a future tag partner, Collin Cutler, throughout 2012…with the mission of chasing Cutler out of the business forever. Two years later, however, the two would become the infamous “Cougar Meat” tandem that the Okanagan loves to hate.
Kyle would win the Big West Television Title on February 24, 2013, in a hard-fought match with Gangrel. Kyle then went on an extended tour of Japan with Pro Wrestling NOAH, and only defend the title once in the next 173 days: a thrilling contest with Adam Ryder on August 16, 2013…the same night he would lose the title to Cremator Von Slasher in controversial fashion. This title loss would cause friction with Big West management; and while Kyle has made appearances since then, they have become more and more sporadic as he settles into a life of fatherhood in Alberta; he’s also a well-respected trainer for Pure Power Wrestling…generating a new crop of Future Legends in Lethbridge.
At the inaugural Big West Wrestling event on November 11, 2011, Raven Lake became the first person in the Okanagan to pin KC Andrews, in an Intergender Match that also included KC Spinelli and “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar. A two-time Big West Wrestler Of The Year (2011 and 2012), and the 2012 Most Popular Wrestler Of The Year, Lake’s amazing career reached legendary status in the Okanagan as she was practically unbeatable in singles competition.
Her crowning achievements came in late 2012, when she became the first-ever CNWA Women’s Champion on October 13 at what is still the largest Big West show to date; she followed that up on November 11 by winning a wild and raucous Hardcore Match with Nicole Matthews, to retain said title. While Lake’s career came to a halt in 2014 due to concussions, two of her daughters–Bambi Hall and Liiza–have taken up where Raven has left off, and are thrilling wrestling fans from coast to coast!
Baroni was there at the very first Big West Show on November 11, 2011, and was the subject of controversy that made headlines throughout all major Okanagan media outlets: as the reigning NWA Canadian Champioin, Baroni was initially slated for a “Champion vs. Champion” match with the reigning Trans-Canada Champion, Kyle Sebastian. Despite this being a non-title exhibition match, the Vancouver governing body of the National Wrestling Alliance refused to allow Baroni to even BRING the title to Kelowna that night, and forbade any mention of the championship.
Baroni would go on to best a rookie Matt XStatic at that first show, and was not well-received by the Kelowna fans. An alliance with the annoying KC Spinelli did not help the fans’ opinion of Baroni…until Spinelli and Baroni turned their backs on the much-hated KC Andrews.
From there, the “La Familia” combo of Spinelli and Baroni would embark on a violent feud with the Von Slashers, until Baroni left the company in August of 2013. Along the way, Baroni was a finalist in the 2013 Okanagan Cup, and had many show-stealing matches with the likes of Kyle Sebastian, Adam Ryder, and Cremator Von Slasher.
WEST COAST WARRIOR
Warrior debuted February 12, 2012, at Big West’s first-ever event at Lake City Bowling & Billiards. Warrior would have some valiant battles with Cremator Von Slasher, and a violent feud with The Texecutioner at the 53rd Annual Rutland May Days that culminated with Warrior besting Tex in a Bullrope Match. Warrior would also go on to feud with his mentor Black Dragon to end 2012.
While feuding with Dr. Wrestling in 2013 at the 54th Annual Rutland May Days, Warrior would suffer a serious knee injury that would limit his in-ring involvement going forward; he would, however, spend extended time as the Commissioner of Big West Wrestling, before stepping down due to “in-house politics” that he felt were keeping him from doing his job to the fullest.
At the time of writing, Warrior is diligently training for an in-ring return in 2017. We wish him the best of luck!
Nick Radford debuted on March 20, 2015, as part of the NEXGEN trio that included Justin Alexander and Krystal. The group immediately found themselves in a violent feud with the Adult Social Society: not only would it test the young squad as wrestlers, but it would ultimately strain friendships as Justin would not only leave the group…but abandon the Okanagan territory, as well. By the end of 2015, Radford was teaming with Rusty Diamond as The Purple Wizards: the duo exploded on the tag team scene and even declared themselves The Big West Tag Team Champions Of The World.
Legally, we have been informed by Rusty Diamond that we are not allowed to claim that said titles were either invisible or imaginary; be that as it may, the Champions’ “reign” came to a crashing halt this past August in the Tag Team Gauntlet Match for the vacant Thrash Tag Titles, as The Constellation (Black Jack Nelson & Xavier Galaxy) would shockingly eliminate the Wizards from the match in just 10 seconds…sending Radford fleeing to the solace of Bellingham, Washington, while he contemplates a triumphant return to Kelowna in 2017!