How many Canadians watched wrestling as a kid and dreaming, one day they’d be in the ring themselves? How many of you saw Hulk Hogan or Macho Man or Brett Hart as a kid and thought, ‘one day that’s going to be me in that ring?’
Well you’re not alone. We’ve all had that thought before (well, at least I have). But how many of us get that chance? Well, PJ Swales, marketing and events coordinator at Red Deer College is getting his big shot.
“Growing up I was a big fan of stampede wrestling, which then turned into WWF, which turned into NWA and then WWE. So, I’ve kind of always been a fan of wrestling.”
Now most people don’t just walk into the wrestling ring just because they like to watch. If they did they’d likely be beat to a pulp but Swales immediately enters the ring with some advantages. “I don’t have a lot of technique but I do have a lot of physical strength. And I’ve also got a size advantage on Andy Anderson.” Anderson stands about 5’10, 215 lbs, Swales goes 6’3” and 265 lbs.
Yes, many will laugh at Swales acting like he’s getting hit, but Swales will be the first to tell you that those lefts and rights are real. “It is way harder than it looks. The hits are real man! There’s no two ways about it.”
Swales found that out the hard way when he was a guest referee in Anderson’s previous match against David Hart Smith. Anderson was using the ropes to his advantage and when Swales stopped him, Anderson gave Swales a slap that would make a dog meow.
“I had a welt that lasted for about a day and a half. It was shocking how hard I was hit,” Swales, a former Canadian University football player, recalls.
He’s used to athletes coming at him at top speed to knock him on his butt.
So, if Swales excelled on the football field, then he can excel in pro wrestling right? Well when asked which one was harder Swales said right now it’s no contest — wrestling is definitely tougher. “I think it’s going to be more difficult. It’s a whole new set of rules, a different type of game play and a different type of strategy.”
And when it comes to strategy in a wrestling match you have to not only know how to start, you have to know where to finish.
Swales knows how to start, but he isn’t sure how he’ll finish his match. “Maybe he gets body slammed, maybe I just choke him out. This being my first actual match, I don’t have a finishing move yet. Whatever finishes him, will be my finishing move,” Swales jokes.
Should he win or lose the match, he’s doing it for all the right reasons. Admission to the show goes towards a good cause. “The funds are going towards the Athletic Leadership Fund, which is designed to help create a sustainable fund for our Red Deer College athletic teams.”
And Swales has an advantage. He’s been training under Vance Nevada, the former Canadian NWA champion wrestler, who will be up against current NWA world champion Adam Pearce. “I’ve been working hard on learning my moves.”
So will Swales have the bug, to wrestle more after the match?
“I don’t know to be honest with you. There’s a lot of bumps, bruises and risks involved with going into the ring. I’d like to stay involved with CNWA.”
You can catch all the highflying action Nov. 26 at the RDC Gym.