Columns

The death of Ed Whalen (family friend, Stampede Wrestling announcer)

Three weeks after laying my mother to rest, I was in England when word came that George Harrison died.
 
 I'm a huge Beatles fan. It hit me hard when John was shot and now I'm saddened we've lost George.
 
 Another jab at our sense of permanency.
 
 The times they are a-changin'.
 
As if 9/11 hadn't already left us all with the distinct feeling that the world would be a different kind of place, the realization that yet another cultural icon, The Beatles, is suddenly half gone reinforced a clear sense of before and after.
 
 Harrison's death is as personal to the people in the U.K. as the loss of Ed Whalen is to Calgarians.
 
 I was in England when I got that call, too.
 

The death of Helen Hart (mother)

Dear People of Calgary,

 As many of you know, my mom passed away on Nov. 4 at about 3 o'clock in the morning. I'd like to take this opportunity to deeply thank everyone who has sent condolences to my family. It goes without saying my mom had a lot of dear friends in our city and around the world. I know you'll all agree she had a way of making everyone feel welcome and appreciated. She was a very gracious and genuine lady -- and I use the word "lady" in the truest sense of the word. She was a rose among thorns in the gruff world of wrestling.

 Well-read, articulate, smart as a whip. My mom was the glue that held the Harts together. Now that she's gone, the already-strained relations in our family have quickly gone from bad to worse.

The death of Rhonda Singh (family friend/ lady wrestler)

 "This was one of the best territories anyone could work in. The people you met in Calgary are still your friends. Everyone had a good time."
-- Rhonda Singh

Rhonda Singh, a.k.a. Monster Ripper, Stampede Wrestling women's champion circa 1987, passed away at her home in Calgary on July 27. She was 40. I've known Rhonda since we were kids at the matches. Her mother had front-row seats for 20 years. "When we were good, she'd let us go to wrestling," Rhonda told me years ago.

When I grew up and became a wrestler, there was Rhonda still cheering from ringside.

During a family vacation to Hawaii in 1978, she saw Japanese women's wrestling on TV and decided that's what she wanted to do. At 16, she approached my family looking for instruction and didn't get it. I'm not sure why but it likely had more to do with the schedule at the time than anything else.

Bret's Retirement Statement

Bret announced his retirement in his Calgary Sun Column on Oct 27, 2000

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That’ll be the beginning.” (Louis L’Amour)

I’m really sorry to have to say that my professional wrestling career is over - forever.

Although I’ve expected it to end for some time now I could in no way ever prepare for it.

I suppose it doesn’t do much good to speak negatively about how this or that has gone for me. I feel it is more fitting right now to remember the more positive aspects of my long and great career. I have not one regret. I’m proud of all my achievements, especially my seven World Heavyweight Championships.

i will miss the cities, the countries, especially the people - all colors, all religions, all ages, all languages. I’ve always tried my absolute best in every match, in every city, big or small, in countries all around the world.

The death of Owen Hart (brother)

Reflections of a big brother

But the stars are burnin' bright like some mystery uncovered
I'll keep movin' through the dark with you in my heart
My blood brother.
-- Bruce Springsteen


I just can't believe it.
My brother Owen has been taken away from me.
He was such a wonderful human being and I will miss him so much.
I've tried and tried to sum up into words what he meant to me. What he meant to all of us who loved him.
It seems everyone knows by now what a great husband, father, son and brother he was.
He was, without a doubt, the finest family man that I ever knew.

His life was centred around his wife, Martha, his one and only childhood sweetheart, and his two beautiful children, Oje and Athena.

The death of Rick Rude (comrade)

Heaven Gains a Champ

  Mr. Richard Erwin Rood, aka (Ravishing Rick Rude), age 40, of Alpharetta
Ga., died (of a heart attack) on April 20, 1999. He is survived by wife
Michelle, daughter Merissa, and sons Richard Ryan Rood and Colton Rood.
 -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

 'I can't believe the news today.
 I'd like to close my eyes and make it go away
 How long, how long must we sing this song?'
 -- U2, Sunday Bloody Sunday

 
 I am a year his senior.We travelled the same roads.
 Now he walks with angels.
 There but for the grace of God go I.
 
 Rick Rude was anything but ... rude.
 
 In any circle of friends and phonies, you take the good with the bad.
 And the bad makes you appreciate the good even more.
 

First column after the infamous Montreal screw job

 "High station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace."
-- Tennessee Williams

I am going to be very honest and open about a profession I love very much. A profession that has no guilt and no innocence, at least only in rare exceptions. It's not my intention to hurt pro wrestling in any way, but I do need to tell the truth.

I never got into wrestling thinking that some day I would be rich or famous and, never in my wildest dreams, did I imagine I'd be where I am today. I am truly grateful to all my fans around the world who have allowed me into their hearts, live or on TV, to be their hero. Especially here in western Canada where I've had a place on TV every Saturday for 21 years.

I owe so much to my dad and everyone else who played a part in my early Stampede Wrestling days.

The death of Brian Pillman (comrade)

A lot of guys live for this bizarre business.

That might not be their intention, but they fall in love with her and by the time love turns to a familiar seductress, they're addicted. Addicted to the action and the admiration.

Accustomed to a lifestyle where the miles behind you in the morning deceive you into thinking you're unaccountable for what you did last night.

There's no off-season, no time out, valor gets attached to martyrdom.

You look for ways to endure the physical pain of a broken body and hope you don't become so numb that you end up with a broken spirit. In the ring, you're a superhero and you search down deep inside to make that strength real. It's dangerous to forget that even Superman had his kryptonite.

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