Black Dragon has been referred to as “The Living Legend” in the Okanagan, and with good reason: debuting in 1987, very few wrestlers in Western Canada can claim to have traveled and done more in this business than this man.
It’s easy for younger generations to forget, or simply be completely clueless, but Black Dragon’s contributions to this business are legendary: year after year he was considered the best wrestler in the entire Pacific Northwest, as his exploits from Vancouver to Portland were legendary…both in and out of the ring. And how many indy wrestlers do you know are credited with kick-starting the career of Chris Jericho?
While Dragon has never held a title in Big West to date, he has been constantly featured in many exciting matches. Routinely matched up against newcomers, Dragon has schooled numerous young men in the business, continuing to help mold the future of professional wrestling. The entire Okanagan is proud to have such a talented and world-traveled veteran in our midst.
The Okanagan has it’s fair share of talented and prolific wrestlers, but nobody has risen quicker to fame and fortune than the brash rookie from Salmon Arm. Standing 6-foot-5, Shotgun Stevens made an intimidating presence the moment he debuted in Big West on December 13, 2014. While he would lose to Collin Cutler in his debut, everyone knew the big rookie had something special…including Cutler, himself, as he immediately recruited him to be a part of his new “Adult Social Society” stable.
The move paid off immediately, as Cutler would not only become two-time Big West Television Champion, but would retain the title for a nearly record-breaking 216 days. Not long after seeing his mentor unceremoniously stripped of the championship, Shotgun would make his big move: cashing in the K5 medallion to become Champion on May 20th of this year.
Despite being less than two years in the business, Shotgun has already received numerous awards: 2015 Most Hated Wrestler, 2015 Match Of The Year, 2015 Newcomer Of The Year, and runner-up to 2015 Wrestler Of The Year. He was also in the finals of both the 2015 Okanagan Cup and the 2015 King of Bella Coola tournament, won the inaugural Bowl-A-Rama, and has won the 2015 Rutland Rumble and the 2016 K5 Ladder Match.
What’s left for Shotgun Stevens? 2016 Wrestler Of The Year, if he has his way…
CREMATOR VON SLASHER
Cremator debuted in Big West on January 20, 2012; brought in, initially, by Rigor Von Slasher to handle the bullying tactics of the senior Mean Machine, Cremator gained no fan support for destroying the masked man. Instead, Cremator was instantly feared and disliked by the Kelowna faithful…something the 6-10 monster has embraced during his entire 15-year career.
And for good reason: the Von Slasher family unleashed a reign of violence that lasted for two years, decimating everyone in their path: Tony Baroni, KC Spinelli, “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar, Adam Ryder, Andy Bird and so many others fell time and time again to the insane trio. Cremator still holds the record for the longest Big West Television Title reign in history, at 226 days. An exposed turnbuckle in Osoyoos on March 30, 2014, would be Cremator’s undoing, however: not only would he lose the title to “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar via knockout (after Sugar smashed the back of Cremator’s skull into the exposed steel), but a post-match tirade that destroyed the locker room would garner him an indefinite suspension from the company.
Will Cremator return to terrorize the Okanagan once again in the future? Only time will tell. Sometimes nightmares do come true…
“DASTARDLY” DANNI DEEDS
Deeds first debuted in Big West in June of 2013, and like everywhere else, he was the lovable nerd that gave it his all with a smile, regardless of usually being the underdog. After nearly a year’s hiatus, however, Deeds returned a much more vicious and sadistic type of man: he quickly defeated “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar to become the Big West Television Champion, and brashly renamed it the “Intellectual Championship” to lord over the fact that he was smarter than everyone else. With the House of Hell in his corner, Deeds looked like he would have an iron grip on the championship; and that was true for 189 days until Mike Shreddz cashed in the first-ever K5 Medallion and ended The Dastardly One’s reign of terror on February 20, 2015.
Deeds has had some violent feuds with “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar, Mike Shreddz, “Top Drawer” Michael More and others during his tenure with Big West Wrestling. In 2016, the fans have come to respect Danni for his dedication and quest to become a two-time Champion; he came close on March 18 against Collin Cutler, until outside interference spoiled those plans. He’s also come close to winning both the Okanagan-Interior and the Thrash Tag Titles, and won the 2016 Rutland Rumble.
Can Deeds become a two-time champion at BIRTHDAY BASH V on November 11? Only time will tell…
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.