Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bam Bam Bigelow

Scott "Bam Bam' Bigelow got his start in wrestling in 1986, first managed by his trainer "Pretty Boy" Larry Sharpe. He'd been a decent amateur wrestler in his native New Jersey at Neptune High School, and as a senior, was the top-seeded heavyweight in the state tourney. His training for the pro-ranks went quickly, and on July 28, 1986, as Crusher Yurkof (a name which I always assumed, perhaps erroneously, was given to him as a rib) , he won a battle royal in Memphis to be crowned Southern Heavyweight champion. Later that year on Oct. 20, having already moved on from Memphis (a trend he continued for much of his professional career) he won the World Class TV belt from Steve Simpson in Fort Worth, Texas.

"I knew from the start he'd make it big," said Sharpe in a 1986 Sports Illustrated article about his training school, The Monster Factory. "Bam Bam is like money in the bank ... I just can't write a check on him yet."

In 1987, Bigelow came to the then-WWF as a "free agent" and had all the heel managers at the time vying for his services on tv in the weeks preceding his debut. Oliver Humperdink, himself new to the fed, was eventually picked, and Bam Bam debuted as a face, and generally at the top end of the card. The big man from Asbury Park, New Jersey, also saw time in NWA/WCW on a couple of occasions. At StarrCade '91, Bigelow and Big Van Vader beat Doom in front of more than 64,000 fans. Three years earlier, Bigelow wrestled Barry Windham at the annual December event. Once Bam Bam hit ECW, his battles withTaz, and his formation of the Triple Threat (with Shane Douglas and Chris Candido) became the stuff of legend.

He had many ups and downs over the past 20 years. He did well in some places, and not so well in others," said Dave Meltzer on "Some saw how he looked as a positive, and others didn't. He was one of those guys who fell out of organized sports young, because with his size and agility, he probably should have been a football star. He was a very good high school wrestler, but never went any farther with it. He also had the drawbacks mentally that come with being a star from day one, and then going to WWF where some didn't respect that he had proven anything, but started out at the top there, often teaming with Hulk Hogan. Some tough veterans like Andre and Sika roughed him up on that first run. He became a bigger star in Japan, where he became the foreign monster with credibility, who could carry newcomers and get them over."

In the St. Petersburg Times, Bigelow admitted that his life had been a real roller coaster. "I don't know if it's hiding or disappointment or what," he said. "But being Bam Bam Bigelow is a pain in the a--. You did this the first half of your life and now this is the second half and now you're bruised and battered. So what the hell can you do? What can you do?" Bam Bam Bigelow was found dead in his home on 19th January 2007. He was 45 years old.

( thanks again go to SLAM Wrestling for much of the info in this article )

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