Killing the Town
Recap By: Andrew Soucek
Release Date: January 23, 2018
-Bigelow nearly fought a famous boxer.
-Bam Bam was influential in helping get a future top star into WCW.
-Lance Storm reveals why he was once very scared of The Beast From the East.
-The old-school reason why a major wrestling booker wasn’t impressed by Bigelow.
Bam Bam Bigelow passed away 11 years ago. Cyrus said he was ahead of his time, a big guy who was agile. He was perhaps best used as a character in ECW.
Lance Storm saw him work live in Japan. He was a beast. They didn’t work against each other, but Bam Bam pushed to have a tag match against him. Bammer didn’t carry himself like he was bigger than anyone else, he was friendly and personable. Bigelow was the second person to congratulate Storm on the birth of his daughter.
In an angle in ECW, Chris Candido and Storm were going to attack Bigelow with chairs. He pulled Storm aside beforehand and told him to lay in the shots. Storm accidentally hit the side of his head and cut him open. He thought Bam Bam was going to kill him. Storm apologized and Bigelow was mostly concerned the scar might mess up his tattoos.
9:00 – Dave Meltzer
Paul Heyman was working with wrestling magazines in his teens and Bigelow was his project. He helped him to gain exposure on some national TV shows. Joel Watts showed Bigelow to his dad Bill, who wasn’t overly impressed because he hadn’t beaten anyone.
Meltzer saw Bigelow work with Jerry Lawler and the crowd was blown away. However, Bam Bam went to WCCW, they changed his name to Crusher Yurkof, made him a Russian and it became evident how green he was (though still decent). He eventually went over to Japan and became a top star. He improved greatly in the ring.
Bigelow got a huge push in the WWF, but may have rubbed some people the wrong way and management thought he maybe wasn’t as good as they first believed. He had a bit of an attitude and returned to Japan where he was destroyed in an MMA fight.
Some boxing promoters saw him and thought he’d make a great opponent for Mike Tyson. Thankfully, it never went down.
The WWF had great trust in Bigelow to wrestle Lawrence Taylor. The match turned out better than they thought it would. Storm and Meltzer talk a bit more about his time in Japan and how it was his best run. He was a star-maker throughout his career.
He could have been a good college wrestler, instead he didn’t pursue school and worked as a bounty hunter for a bit. At one point in his life, he even rescued kids from a fire in a burning building.
28:18 – Rob Van Dam
Rob won the TV Title from Bigelow. He credits beating Bigelow for making him a superstar. Bigelow was also “super cool” outside of the ring. Sabu used to have a Winnebago and would drive a few guys from town to town. They were playing Super Fire Pro Wrestling, which featured knock-off characters of RVD and Bigelow. The two ended up competing against each other while playing a virtual form of themselves. It was surreal.
Van Dam admits to being snug in the ring, and said if you hit Bigelow hard, he’d get you right back. But he was professional about it. Van Dam loved that. Storm and RVD two put over Bigelow’s contributions to the company and how he doesn’t get as much credit as someone like Terry Funk for helping ECW get noticed.
41:50 – Chris Jericho
Jericho was getting on a plane in ‘95 to travel to Minneapolis and happened to be on a flight with the WWF roster. He was a bit nervous to approach them at the airport. Out of nowhere, Bigelow asked Jericho if he’d worked for Tenryu. Out of the 15-20 guys, only Bigelow talked to him. It meant a lot to Y2J.
They later faced off in a six-man match in Japan. Jericho hit a Lionsault and his knee hit his opponent Onita in the face, knocking him out. He briefly debated whether he should pin him or not. The third time Jericho and Bigelow met was at the World Peace Festival in ‘96 at the LA Forum. Inoki put on a show with New Japan, AAA, and WCW talent. Jericho wanted to get in front of Eric Bischoff and New Japan management to try and further his career. Not only was he booked for the show, but he was placed in a major match against Konnan and Bigelow.
The finish was for Bigelow to go over but he said no. He wanted Jericho to win. Jericho feels this was in part due to Bigelow’s problems with management in Japan. He also wouldn’t tell Jericho the finish until “the time was right” during the actual match.
Bischoff had left the show early and Paul Orndorff sent word to Jericho to meet them in Atlanta the next week. It was crazy how Bigelow put him over, famous wrestlers didn’t do that as much back then. He knew the Japanese fans would see it, yet still wanted to take the loss. Jericho believes Bam Bam definitely helped him get that shot in WCW.
56:56: Jim Cornette
Jim thinks if he came along today, Bigelow could potentially be the biggest star in the business. You could believe him as a monster. Cornette worked with him in ‘88 in WCW. Oliver Humperdink was his manager, which wasn’t a great fit. Cornette saw him as a heel but he wasn’t booked that way.
In the Lawrence Taylor match, Taylor was blown up and had to immediately sit down when he got to the back. Bigelow, at nearly 400 lbs, came through the curtain and was hyped up. Storm and Cornette put over how safe he was in the ring, but he was perhaps was “too giving” with his opponents in the WWF.
1:06:14 – Diamond Dallas Page
DDP was born in the same county as Bigelow and a handful of celebrities. He met Bigelow when he was a teenager and was already 300 lbs. He had joined a biker gang and would sometimes go to DDP’s nightclub. He went by Bam Bam at that time too.
They got to talking about wrestling a bit. DDP had three matches when he was 22, blew out his knee and quit. Bigelow was interested in getting involved.
A few years later, DDP was flipping channels and saw Bigelow in WCCW and later in the WWF teaming up with Hulk Hogan. Bam Bam had only been in the business for about a year at this point. They’d run into each other now and then over the years in various bars in New Jersey. Eventually, they reunited in WCW along with Kanyon. Since Bigelow still had heat with Vince McMahon, Page put in a good word for him with Bischoff.
Page envisioned their group to be like The Fabulous Freebirds. The bookers didn’t quite see it that way.
Page and Bigelow had the same tattoo artist. “Gene” did all the work on Bam Bam’s head.
At Bigelow’s wake, a bunch of bikers took turns talking. Each was crying. Bigelow’s brother asked Page to go up and talk and helped lighten the mood. He delivered.
The show wrapped up with Storm hoping Bigelow goes into the WWE Hall of Fame. He thanked all of the guests for sharing their memories of him.
Rating: 8/10. This was a strong episode of Killing The Town. Despite only meeting Bigelow on three occassions, Jericho’s stories are the highlights of the show. It goes to show how small decisions can make a major impact on someone’s life. It’s highly likely Jericho would have ended up in WCW or the WWF someday, but the former WrestleMania main-eventer taking the pinfall possibly helped kickstart another legendary career. Bam Bam was one of my favorite’s as a kid, so it was great to hear a few of his friends share some stories and fill in a few details on a life that ended far too soon.