Professional wrestling is a world of its own unlike no other. In our industry, you aren’t even getting out of your rookie season without physical, mental, emotional and financial sacrifice. To outsiders we will always be judged and misunderstood. These sacrifices come off as poor life decisions for a fix. However, our peers and our fans “get it.” They get pro wrestling. They get that there is no platform on this planet that can provide the range of emotion that it can and, you see, that’s because without sacrifice none of that emotion exists. Pro wrestling at its core is sacrifice and The Buffalo Brothers embody everything that is professional wrestling.
Kevin Bennett, Kevin Blackwood, Daniel Garcia and Puf are four superstars in the making that are part of the Smash Wrestling roster on the Canadian scene. They are four guys I’m proud to consider my friends. They are four guys at the forefront of putting their city on the map with their work ethic and daily grind. They are four guys that I shared a locker room with this past Saturday night in Montreal for FLQ. We also shared laughs and hugs as we talked shop. I am fortunate to see these boys a few times a month because their personalities and their passion is intoxicating but little did I know that Saturday, January 5th, could have been the very last time I saw them.
After the FLQ show, my carpool headed back around 11 p.m. to head straight for London, Ontario, in the dark hours so we could get on to the next day on little to no sleep. We got home around 7 a.m., give or take. These boys had a similar journey back to Buffalo, New York. Only 20 minutes away from home the Buffalo Boys hit a patch of black ice and spun out into a guard rail in what ended up being an extremely devastating collision that shook the wrestling community.
We always hear about pro wrestlers putting their bodies on the line in a ring but the truth is we do on the road as well. Guys like The Buffalo Brothers are undeniable because their work ethic has them traveling anywhere and everywhere to make it in this game. Toronto, London, Kitchener, Sarnia, Barrie, Ottawa, Montreal, Providence, Dayton and beyond, these guys are doing the drives. Many more pro wrestlers do so as well. Dark roads with no lights, terrible weather conditions and used cars that have taken a beating are part of the gig every weekend for most.
Look, I’m not here to tell a tale of a horrific accident that shook the scene. I assume most of you already know, and most importantly, they are all still here. Garcia, with two broken legs, is still in hospital, but Bennett, Blackwood and Puf have been released.
If you are involved in the pro wrestling community and you haven’t heard you must be living under a rock because the wrestling community has rallied like a mother f***** behind these boys. Instead, I’m here to let you know that the sacrifice that makes pro wrestling what it is includes the often forgotten or romanticized long drives. Quite frankly, we spend more time in those cars than in a training facility, a venue or a ring in front of an audience. It’s part of why we’re such a tight-knit community of performers. We are literally with each other for an insane amount of hours doing drives that people question. We are sitting side-by-side with those who are making the same sacrifice and bonding for car rides that last longer than most people’s work shifts (in one direction only).
I’m also here to let you know that the wrestling community is like no other when it comes to supporting one and another. Our community has rallied and spread the word about this nightmare. Positive support for the boys and offers of donations towards their medical costs are on every social media feed.
Two Go Fund Me pages were set up (for Canadian and U.S. currency donations) to cover their medical bills. The response has been mind-blowing and humbling. In a matter of 48 hours we’ve seen the likes of CM Punk, Chris Jericho, Luke Harper, Finn Balor, Colt Cabana, Jim Ross, Ruby Riott, Jimmy Havoc, LuFisto, David Arquette, Kimber Lee, Allysin Kay, Allie, and so many more either donate or put the word out. I saw the names of promoters, matchmakers, staff members, media members, fans and strangers all donate. I urge each and every one of you reading to either donate or at the very least to spread the word. It only takes a few seconds to share a link.
Why should you contribute or spread the word? Because like I said, you “get it.” You get us. You get the sacrifice these boys make. You get that’s what makes us what we are in the ring. The raw passion and drive you see in and out of the ring is the end result of what we put on the line every day since day one. It’s the reason many of us refuse to quit. It’s the reason why we get back up and at it every time we break down and question why we’re still doing this.
As a wrestler myself I’ll tell you this — for every shitty grind, it is you the fans and our wrestling community that remind us of why we do what we do. The “please come back” chants, the heartfelt support at the merch table, the hugs from the kids and moments like this where, without hesitation, you open your hearts to one of our own. The outside world doesn’t get us or our sacrifice. From every professional wrestler and on behalf of The Buffalo Brothers who are my brothers thank you for your support and thank you for “getting it.”