Wavell Starr column

I recently survived the infamous Northern Roads Hell Tour, wrestling for long time promoter Tony Condello. We did 10 shows in 12 days throughout Northern Manitoba. The conditions were rugged and cold with endless driving on the winter roads and over the frozen lake. We left from Winnipeg with a dozen people including performers and crew in two rental trucks and one cargo van for the ring. Two weeks later we returned to Winnipeg tired and weary in the same vehicles.

Just a few days in to the tour, we were bouncing along the rough road when the driver accidentally bumped a switch with his leg. The truck immediately went dead. When he tried to restart the truck it wouldn’t turn over. We were now racing time; it was freezing cold and with no heat in the vehicle, we would soon be in danger. By sheer fluke, one of the guys adjusted a switch and the truck started, but it wouldn’t shift in to drive. At least we had heat as we sat parked in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service, hoping that someone would drive by and see us.

Eventually a local approached us, and then caught up to the rest of the crew and sent them back for us. We towed the truck to a crossroads and parked it off the road and piled into the other vehicles – six large wrestlers in a truck and six in a cargo van (two in seats and four laying on top of the ring that was loaded into the back). We pulled off the show then finished the tour with these driving arrangements as a local mechanic repaired the truck. After the last show, we backtracked to get the truck that was now fixed and hit the road for 18 hours back to Winnipeg, then another six back to Regina. For those that have ever thought they might want to try pro wrestling, I advise you to think it through. It’s not for everyone but it sure is for me.

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