Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dave & The Wrestling Bear

One of the highlights of Dave McKigney's shows was the regular appearance of his wrestling bears. sometimes against regular folk from the audience. While not of the Grizzly variety , these smaller brown bears were still 400-500 lbs and stood up to 7 feet tall on hind legs. 

Dave had at least 4 through the years, Terrible Ted, Smokey (put down in 1981 after killing Dave's girlfriend in 1978), Ginger 1982, and this one Gentle Ben. Ben was de-clawed and wore a muzzle in the ring but still managed to chew part of the fingers off two opponents in PEI while on an East Coast tour in 1984

The parents of the two (one was 15, one 20) promptly attempted to launch a civil action but couldn't unless Wildman returned to the island. "Why should I go back" remarked the Wildman. 

This ultimately ended up causing him problems in Ontario when he returned, in what began an ongoing battle with the powers-that-be in Ontario Sports regulation. Pics here are from Cornwall, ON 1983 - top, and 1982 - 2 action