It was a pretty special weekend for Derek Couch, who reached wrestling’s top tier in WWE as Highlander Robbie McAllister.
Not only was he honored by his hometown, the city of Woodstock, Ontario, and put on its Sports Wall of Fame, but his great-uncle William “Billy” Graham, was inducted into the Ingersoll Sports Hall of Fame the same weekend.
“It is truly an honour to be recognized by my hometown. It’s not everyday that you are nominated and inducted into a Sports Wall of Fame. Some would say Pro Wrestling might not be a sport but it is one hell of a sports presentation,” Couch posted to Facebook. “Thank you to the City of Woodstock and the selection committee for the nomination. I am truly blessed for this life.”
The 49-year-old Couch, who started teaming with Russell Murray — who was Rory McAllister in the Highlanders — in 2001. After paying their dues around Ontario, they were hired by WWE and assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2005, and debuted on Monday Night Raw the following year, in July 2006. They were released by WWE in 2008.
Now living in Nova Scotia, Couch wrestles frequently in the summer, and a couple of times a month the rest of the year.
“I am pretty much retired,” Couch told SlamWrestling.net. “It is very sweet. You could say I like to pick away at an old house in my spare time.”
Asked to name a favorite memory tied in with his hometown, without hesitation, Couch picked a title win. “I have to say one of my favourite wrestling memories would be winning the Border City Wrestling championship over Tyson Dux,” he said, referring to a bout on April 11, 2010, in Woodstock.
As for his great-uncle, Graham was celebrated in Ingersoll, about a 20-minute drive from Woodstock. Graham was a professional boxer in Nova Scotia, and in the early 1970s, settled in Ingersoll, and helped train boxers.
Couch showed his pride in a Facebook post, along with a photo of his great-uncle:
It doesn’t get any better than this. My great Uncle Billy was part of and inducted to the Ingersoll Sports Hall of Fame over the weekend. Billy has a true zest for life, was a true role model, mentor, and all around positive being in everyone’s life. If anyone deserves this it’s him. Kind of awesome I was able to share a weekend with the man the myth and legend. It was the best spending 4 days with him while I was home to receive my induction Into the Woodstock Sports Wall of Fame on the same weekend. Very proud of my Uncle for everything he has done in life, for his family and the community. In the picture is my Dad Brian, brother @rob.couch Cousin Tony Graham and Uncle Billy #family #friends #community #livingyourbestlife #halloffame
TOP PHOTOS: Derek Couch approaches the podium; the City of Woodstock honor for Highlander Robbie. Facebook photos
- Mar. 7, 2011: Highlander Robbie still making a living on indy circuit
- Mar. 2, 2009: The Highlanders answer fan questions
- Feb. 17, 2009: Highlanders return to their Ontario roots
- Sep. 9, 2008: Humble Highlander grateful for WWE run
- Sep. 15, 2005: Highlanders high from WWE deal
- Apr. 19, 2005: Highlanders set sights on WWE