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Wavell Starr

Indigenous wrestler Wavell's career a shooting star

By Mervin Brass

Reprinted with permission from
Saskatchewan Sage - June 1999 - pg. 6

Wavell Starr
Aboriginal grappler Wavell Starr is
said to be going places in the world
professional wrestling.

When Wavell Starr stepped into the squared circle against the notorious Chi Chi Cruz, Starr had a lot on his mind.

But it was nothing like the first time he climbed through the ropes. "How did I get myself into this," Starr said, recalling his first professional wrestling match. " I was really nervous."

Judging from his performance against Cruz, Starr's nerves seem to be a thing of the past.

"He's an up and coming young star," said International Wrestling Alliance promoter Tony Condello. " I do believe he (Starr) has a big opportunity to hit it big."

Condello says when an Indian wrestler shows potential and talent, like Starr, that wrestler is very marketable.

Starr's wrestling abilities developed early in life. " He used to wrestle with a stuffed elephant named Dumbo," said Iona Starr, Wavell's mother. " I remember it. I wonder if he remembers it."

Although mom knows the name of the game is entertainment, she still gets a bit concerned when things get rough. " I cringe when he looks like he's getting beaten up," she said. " I hope he's not getting hurt."

Well, Wavell has taken some lumps and bruises in his short career. " The stuff hurts," said the 225 pound grappler describing a match where an opponent smashed his head with a steel chair. " He hit me as hard as he could. I saw stars for a bit."

Starr says both of his shoulders have suffered ligament and tendon damage from the grind of the ring. As well, he says, an injured left knee, internal bleeding and a concussion - which probably came because of the chair - can be added to the list of aches and pains.

However, rough physical sports are nothing new to Starr. From 1991 to 1995, Starr played tight end and linebacker for the Regina Rams of the Prairie Football League. He said he uses this experience to prepare for a match.

"I compare it to getting ready for a football game," he said. "You get both physically and mentally psyched for the match."

Another aspect of wrestling that he compares to football is the camaraderie he experiences with the other wrestlers. Also the travel. Starr likes to travel during the summer months, he goes all across Canada attending pow wows.

"I have come accustomed to living out of a suitcase," said Starr, who is also the lead voice for the Red Dog Singers. "It's part of my life. I'm never going to let it slip away."

One thing Starr let slip away was his match with Cruz. During the bout Starr and Cruz tossed and threw one another across the ring. The action moved onto the floor where Cruz and his partner, the dangerous "Massive Damage," double teamed Starr.

Then the long legged Stacie, Cruz's girlfriend, distracted Starr with provacative flirting and just when Starr grabbed a chair to even the odds, the referee saw Starr with the illegal object. He was disqualified but vowed to seek revenge the next time the two tangle in a no-disqualification match.

Links: (click on X in top right corner of outside link to return to photo gallery)

NHB Wrestling - Wavell Starr

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