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EXCLUSIVE: INJURED WRESTLER says Manitoba government
by on 2002-11-26

An injured Winnipeg wrestler, cited by Manitoba Sports Minister Eric Robinson as the catalyst for a government study into wrestling regulation, says the call for action is "misguided".

Scott Reid, who performs as Scotty Styles, said, "I don't feel it's warranted. I can walk into Eric's office now and show him I'm fine - I wouldn't say I'm recovered, but he never called me before deciding to investigate my so-called concerns."

According to Styles, the CBC report was like an ambush and totally spun his situation to the detriment of the local industry.

"I heard they kept stating I was paralysed and pressured the Minister in an interview. My parents heard it on the radio. CBC manipulated this - they wanted a story but don't use my injury as an excuse to clean up backyard wrestling."

Styles actually prefers "having fun and doing promos with guys, the creative end of the business", and his story about getting hurt is rather unremarkable. No wild weapons or death-defying leaps, just a missed hold.

"I was injured on Oct 6th in a tag match. I had a concussion and a stinger-I went numb on impact from a tombstone piledriver. It was an accident. I checked myself out of the hospital and went to work the next day, and CBC Radio hunted me down at work so I figured tell my story. They made it sound like I was a teenage backyarder. I'm 200 lbs and 25 years old! It is very embarassing. This isn't a skinny kid laying paralysed in a hospital. That's what it came off like.

I come from Flin Flon and played high school hockey. I'm not some skinny kid. Wrestling is far less dangerous than hockey. I'm not scared of it and I would take the move again from the same guy. It was an accident, but no one wants to listen to me."

The Winnipeg Sun on November 16th reported that an "outside of government individual" was to be "appointed in 2 weeks" to conduct a "2 month study", and that Robinson linked the sudden interest of his department in wrestling to the CBC report of Styles' paralysis.

Robinson also told the Sun, "I have no idea (how much the study will cost) but if it's a safety issue, the cost will be worth it whatever the amount may be."

Styles says that scenerio makes it seem like someone has a hidden agenda. "How can the minister know it will only take 2 months? Who is he kidding, wrestlers take years to figure this out. But to not care about the cost? Then the promoters in the Sun story want to link this to training. That is plain wrong. My trainer is in competition to these guys, and they want a government investigation into him? My training had nothing to do with the accident. This has been blown out of proportion. I've seen guys break their ankle coming off the second rope. But like I said, the government never talked to me."

Styles, who was injured while peforming for the now-defunct Top Rope Championship Wrestling group, said that the government was right to want to help the industry improve conditions but had to do so realistically.

"At our level I wouldn't say anybody's
professional, it's like hockey and this is semi-pro. Some of the vets obviously are pro level, but to have the same rules for us and WWE is absurd. It would be good to have a forum of knowledgable guys to help focus some standards, but that isn't government's job to monitor."

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