It was a night of long hair, spandex and talking smack on Saturday, February 23.
Throw in the pounding 80’s music while kids chanted for their heroes and and there you have the recent wrestling night in Bruderheim.
“I realized we had nothing local for wrestling, so I suggested to our promoter that Bruderheim might be a good place to hold a match. One month later we had a show,” said wrestler and local business owner Ed Shepel aka Simply Epic Eddie Rhude.
Shepel spends his spare time with Real Canadian Wrestling (RCW) when he is not operating his road construction business from Bruderheim, Spectre Systems.
RCW is owned and operated by promoter Steve Ewaschuk and his father Vick.
“Smaller communities at the moment are an untapped market for wrestling,” noted Ewaschuk.
RCW has been in operation promoting the sport for 16 years. Presently, they hold six to eight shows a month primarily in Edmonton and Calgary, but have spent the past few years focusing on smaller communities.
Craig Martin, known by his ring name Chris Perish, came to RCW through the Monster Pro Wrestling Academy in Edmonton. For the past six years Martin has been listed as one of the top 500 wrestlers by Pro Wrestler Illustrated magazine.
In Shepel’s case, his life long love of wrestling fuelled his search to take one more thing off of his bucket list.
“I played football for 11 years as well as bull riding during rodeo season, so wrestling seemed the natural next step,” explained Shepel, who has been wrestling with RCW for the past two years. “It’s the kids excitement at the shows that really keep me going.”
In addition to men’s matches, women’s wrestling has also seen renewed interest.
“Women’s wrestling has absolutely picked up in the past five years. RCW has a very strong women’s division with one to two women’s matches a month,” said Backbreaker Media owner, Mike Malowany.
Malowany primarily covers the wrestling scene in Alberta.
The RCW will tour Alberta’s rural communities over the next few months, but will return to Bruderheim for another round in May.
Photos by Jana Semeniuk.