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Bam Bam Bigelow

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Scott Charles Bigelow (September 1, 1961 – January 19, 2007) was an American professional wrestler, best known by the ring name Bam Bam Bigelow. His professional wrestling career spanned twenty-one years. Bigelow had a distinctive flame tattoo that spanned most of his bald head and was known for being agile despite his size of nearly 400 pounds (180 kg).

Bigelow worked in major wrestling promotions, including the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the original Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion, and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He held multiple championships in both ECW and WCW, and thirteen throughout his career. Among other accolades, he was a former world champion, having held the ECW World Heavyweight Championship once, and a two-time WCW World Tag Team Champion. Although he never held any titles in the WWF, he main-evented multiple pay-per-views for the promotion, including WrestleMania XI.

Career

Continental Wrestling Association (1987)

In early 1987, Bigelow wrestled in the Continental Wrestling Association, teaming with Jerry Lawler to feud with Austin Idol and Tommy Rich.

World Wrestling Federation (1987–1988)

In May 1987, he signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The storyline upon his debut was that the various heel managers were all vying for Bigelow's services. The angle was thus called "The Battle for Bam Bam." Bigelow in the end wound up a babyface when he denounced all the heel managers and announced that his manager was going to be Oliver Humperdink. Fans were entertained by Bigelow's unique style and his remarkable agility for a man his size. His first WWF encounters were with Nikolai Volkoff and his jilted manager Slick. Bigelow wrestled as a part of Hulk Hogan's team at the first Survivor Series, in which he survived longer than even Hogan (the biggest draw in the industry's history at the time). He eliminated both King Kong Bundy and One Man Gang, but eventually lost to sole survivor André the Giant. He wrestled in the WWF for one year before leaving to have surgery on a badly injured knee. Despite this injury, he performed anyway to elevate the status of his co-performers. Bigelow lost by count-out to One Man Gang in the first round of WrestleMania IV's WWF World Heavyweight Championship tournament.

NWA and Japan (1988–1992)

Bigelow briefly re-emerged with the NWA-branded Jim Crockett Promotions in late 1988, and was immediately set up to challenge Barry Windham for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. While NWA wanted control of Bigelow, his loyalty was with New Japan, to whom he was committed. After this brief stay, he went to Japan to work for the legendary Antonio Inoki's New Japan Pro Wrestling. Here, he formed a tag team with Big Van Vader, winning the IWGP Tag Team Championship. In 1992 he left New Japan, performing for several other Japanese professional wrestling promotions.

Return to the WWF (1992–1995)

In late 1992, Bigelow returned to the WWF as a heel. In his pay-per-view return, he defeated The Big Boss Man at the 1993 Royal Rumble. That June, Bigelow made it to the finals of the 1993 King of the Ring tournament, losing in a match to Bret Hart. Soon after, Luna Vachon became Bam Bam's love interest and manager. Bigelow went on to feud with Tatanka and Doink the Clown; he lost to Tatanka at the 1994 Royal Rumble and teamed with Luna to defeat Doink and Dink at WrestleMania X. In mid-1994, he was made part of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation faction, often teamed-up with fellow Corporation members Irwin R. Schyster and (a now heel) Tatanka. Bigelow also survived a high profile Survivor Series-style match, with Corporation member King Kong Bundy, at the 1994 Survivor Series; they faced Lex Luger's "Guts and Glory" team.

After Bigelow and Tatanka lost in the finals of a WWF World Tag Team Championship tournament to Bob Holly and the 1-2-3 Kid at the 1995 Royal Rumble, Bigelow was mocked at ringside by former New York Giants All-Pro linebacker Lawrence Taylor. Bam Bam fought back, shoving "L.T." at ringside, and was soon engaged in a highly publicized feud with the famous ex-football player. Bigelow was defeated by Taylor in the co-main event at WrestleMania XI. Shortly thereafter, Bigelow was turned babyface, publicly quitting the Million Dollar Corporation. He was teamed with then WWF World Champion Diesel at the 1995 King of the Ring; they defeated Corporation members Tatanka and Sycho Sid. Bigelow's last WWF match was a loss to Goldust at Survivor Series 1995.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1996–1998)

After rumored problems backstage with The Kliq, Bigelow left the WWF in late 1995 and made a few appearances in the original Extreme Championship Wrestling in early 1996, feuding with Taz. Later in the year, Bigelow would face "Bam Bam" Terry Gordy. He won with the assistance of The Eliminators.

On November 17, 1996, Bigelow competed in a "U-Japan" mixed martial arts event against Kimo Leopoldo. Bigelow was dominated throughout the match, being mounted within the first 10 seconds. He lost to a rear naked choke in the first round. Despite not being a trained mixed martial artist, Bigelow was able to command a substantial purse for the fight (Bigelow claimed in his 1998 RF Video shoot interview that he received $100,000; though it has been suggested by others that he actually received $75,000). Bigelow later commented that despite the crushing defeat, he would gladly sign up for other MMA fights providing the financial rewards were as appealing; however, he never fought after that.

He returned to Paul Heyman's ECW in 1997, eventually joining with the re-formed Triple Threat faction, with Chris Candido and lead member Shane Douglas. He was a dominant force in ECW, carrying out feats of strength such as hurling Spike Dudley out of the ring and into the audience and slamming Taz through the ring itself. He held the ECW World Television Championship and the ECW Championship during his run. Bigelow turned on fellow Triple Threat member, Shane Douglas, under the guidance of Rick Rude and won the ECW World Heavyweight Title in October 1997. He would go on to lose the belt back to Douglas at the November to Remember pay-per-view in a classic match. Both men were so badly injured as a result of the match that they didn't appear on television for over a month.

They continued to feud, with Bam Bam looking to Taz to join him in his campaign against the Triple Threat. Eventually, he turned on Taz and rejoined the group as Triple Threat prospect Lance Storm was tossed aside. His reign as World TV Champion began with a victory over Taz at the Living Dangerously pay-per-view in March 1998. After defending the title in a few vicious brawls with The Sandman, Bigelow was defeated by Rob Van Dam. RVD was assisted by Sabu, who had originally been scheduled to receive a shot at Bigelow's title; Van Dam was only supposed to "soften up" the Beast from the East. Bigelow remained in the Triple Threat and continued to feud with Taz for most of 1998. By the end of the year, he left the company for WCW.

World Championship Wrestling (1998–2001)

On November 16, 1998 Bigelow debuted in World Championship Wrestling. He initially was portrayed as an unwelcome guest from outside the company and feuded with then-WCW World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg before being shifted to the WCW Hardcore division, along with fellow ECW alumni Raven and Hardcore Hak. He was put in a stable with Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon, known as the Jersey Triad, in May 1999. After the Triad disbanded, Bigelow began feuding with ECW alumnus Mike Awesome, who defeated him in an ambulance match at Starrcade 2000. His final feud in WCW was with Shawn Stasiak, culminating on the final episode of WCW Nitro in March 2001. The stipulation of the match was that, if Bigelow won, he would tattoo "that sweet thing" in the ring (Stasiak accepted the stipulation, assuming he meant his valet Stacy Keibler when he was, in fact, referring to Stasiak himself). However, Stasiak won the match.

Independent circuit (2002–2006)

Bigelow remained with WCW until the company was purchased by the WWF in March 2001. Then, he waited until his Time Warner (the major corporation that had bought the promotion from Jim Crockett in 1989) contract expired in June 2002. He returned to the ring, making several appearances for USA Pro Wrestling. He performed his final wrestling match on October 25, 2006 for the American Combat Wrestling promotion, teaming with Ralph Mosca as "The Syndicate" in a tag team match against Overkill (Legion Cage and Marcus Hall).

In his most profitable years, he earned between $750,000 and $1.2 million USD.

Later life and death

Bigelow appeared in the 1995 comedy Major Payne.

In 2000, Bigelow and his wife, Dana Fisher, with whom he had three children, divorced. In 2005, Fisher sued Bigelow for non-payment of child support.

In July 2000, Bigelow received second degree burns on 40% of his body, while rescuing three children from a burning house near his home. Following the incident, Bigelow spent two months recovering in a hospital.

Upon his retirement, Bigelow moved to a private recreational community called "The Hideout", in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania. He also opened the eponymous Bam Bam Bigelow restaurant, located nearby in the town of Hamlin in Salem Township, along State Route 590, but it later closed. He then relocated to Florida, with even his close friend Shane Douglas clueless as to his whereabouts.

In May 2004, Bigelow was charged with endangering the welfare of a child through reckless driving. He attributed the incident to a seizure he had suffered, and the charges were dropped two months later. In August 2004, he was convicted of possession of cannabis.

On October 2, 2005, Bigelow was hospitalized with a broken nose and several lacerations after crashing his Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Spring Hill, Florida. His passenger (and girlfriend) at the time, Janis Remiesiewicz, suffered much more severe injuries and was declared to be in "critical condition". Larry Coggins, a spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol, stated that Bigelow would be the focus of a homicide investigation should Remiesiewicz die, intimating that Bigelow would likely face charges based on "the factors...that led to this crash". Remiesiewicz eventually made a complete recovery, and remained with Bigelow up until his death.

On the morning of January 19, 2007, Bigelow was found dead in his home by Remiesiewicz at approximately 10:00 a.m. EST in Hudson, Florida. He was 45 years old. The autopsy results showed that Bigelow's death was due to multiple drugs found in his system including toxic levels of cocaine and an anti-anxiety drug. Bigelow was also suffering from a heart problem, specifically arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

In wrestling

  • Nicknames
    • "The Beast From the East"
    • "The Flamed Wonder"
    • "The (self–proclaimed) Taz Killer"
  • Tag teams and stables

Championships and accomplishments

1Bigelow defended the title with either Page or Kanyon under the Freebird Rule.

Filmography

  • Ready to Rumble (2000)
  • Joe's Apartment (1996)
  • Major Payne (1995)
  • Snake Eater III: His Law (1992)

See also

External links

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