The wheels on the bus go round and round as we all sang once up a time.

But for Roshik “Ross” May, who wrestled mainly as Dark Angel in and around Ontario, the wheels of his bus took a pause — or were driven by someone else — when he went on a wrestling tour.

The fact is that pro wrestling got him places his bus never could.

“I had two school buses going for me, so I drove one. I had a driver driving one for me. When I’m going down to Trinidad … to wrestle, I would get a driver to drive my bus until I came back,” May recently recalled to, with his wife, Pauline, in the car to add her thoughts.

Trinidad was an interesting place to work. Those semi-regular shows were run by Tiger Jeet Singh were primarily populated by wrestlers that Singh knew in and around Southern Ontario — like Dark Angel.

“Me and Tiger Jeet Singh used to tag up down there. Because it’s black and Indian, eh? So, me and Tiger Jeet Singh used to be a tag team partner down there,” said May. “We win all the time, man.”

Trinidad was also a lot closer to his Jamaican home than his adopted home of Canada.

Born October 15, 1946, in Jamaica, a 24-year-old May had traveled to Canada and decided it was right for him.

“I just wanted to meet different people and just to see the place and see what it’s like,” he said. “Because I did just come up for a three month visit and I liked the place and then I said, You know what, I think I’m gonna make this my home. So I applied for my landed status.” May easily recalled the day he arrived: December 4, 1971.

Trained as a motorcycle mechanic, May quickly found work, starting out as a machine operator in North York in Toronto’s north end, helping make tables and chairs. That company encouraged him to become a proper landed immigrant, including a social insurance number.

Soon there was another interest though.

“I started lifting weights. I started to watch sports and I want to get into sports. And I see boxing and I said, I don’t know if I like that. Then I see wrestling. And then I said, You know what? I like wrestling. I’m gonna train for it. So I went down to the Y where they doing amateur wrestling … they said I have to learn to do that first,” recalled May, who built himself up to 235 pounds on his 6-foot frame.

That was a bit of a trip to the YMCA, from his home in Scarborough in Toronto’s east end to the well-known facility at College and Dovercourt downtown.

“I started to do wrestling there,” said May. “My trainer was telling me that you’re doing pretty good, it’s like he want to put me in the Olympics or something. So I said, ‘I don’t think I’m good for the Olympics.'”

Instead, May traveled even further, out to Mississauga, the next city over on Toronto’s west end, to learn pro wrestling in the back of Bernie “The Cat” Livingston‘s carpet store. Pat “Moose” Scott put him through the paces, and Scrap Iron Scranton was a fellow trainee.

“It was at Bernie’s there, and then we started doing it in the park. So I learned a lot from Pat,” said May. There was also a gym in Scarborough that May worked out in that had some wrestlers as well, where he hung out for about five months, but he could only remember the owner as David.

“I guess about two years before I get into pro,” mused May. “I could have gotten into pro before but I just wanted to be perfect. Then I started out in North Bay with Larry Kasaboski.” That was 1975.

In the Northlands Wrestling Enterprises promotion, which ran in the summer in northern Ontario, May worked under his real name, Roshik May and as Calypso Kid. “I used to go out into the ring and dance,” he said, adding that he wore red leggings.

“I used to go up there almost every summer for about two years,” he said.

Around Southern Ontario, May chose to use the name Dark Angel, but he was a babyface, dancing his way to the ring. “Would you believe I was watching a movie? I was watching a movie and this guy, they were talking and he said, ‘You know, I think I should stop doing this and just get into wrestling and call myself Dark Angel.’ I just pick it up just like that. I said, ‘I like that name.’ So I that’s where I get my Dark Angel from,” he said. (He doesn’t remember the name of the movie.)

Dark Angel shakes hands at ringside. Photo by Terry Dart

Dark Angel shakes hands at ringside. Photo by Terry Dart

Being good suited May. “Always a babyface,” he proudly stated.

Out in the Canadian Maritime provinces — another summer-only territory — promoter Emile Dupre named him Eduardo Perez for the 1978 and 1979 seasons. May also worked for Leo Burke out in Atlantic Canada.

The worst injury he ever suffered happened out east. “When I was down in the Maritimes, I was wrestling for Emile Dupre and this guy, we were in the ring and they do a cartwheel, and he didn’t do it right,” recalled May. “His heel hit me right in my jaw and then I go to the hospital right there so the doctors can put my jaw straight. ”

Dark Angel in yellow.

Dark Angel in yellow.

One of May’s best friends in the business was Merv McKie, who wrestled as Big Mac. They got to know each other on George Cannon‘s shows and then later around Southern Ontario. May met this writer at Big Mac’s funeral in April 2024.

The idea that there would only be one African-American/Canadian wrestler in a territory, which happened often in the United States, never really applied to Canadian shows, said May. “Down east, it was me and Mac were the only black guys there. Then Mac leaves and I’m the only black guy still there,” he said. “It never bothered me that way. Because people always come to for autograph and all those things, you know, so I never look at it that way.”

Another black wrestler in southern Ontario was Ricky Stewart, who was from Jamaica as well, though he arrived via England, and May worked on a few shows with Rocky Johnson, who grew up in Toronto, and swears there was a young Rock running around in the dressing room, as well as Rocky’s younger brother, Ricky. Vincent Bright lived outside Hamilton and often worked as Cool Cat Jackson and Zimba Khan. In the Maritimes, May grew close to Great Malumba.

Dark Angel in George Cannon's Superstars of Wrestling promotion. Courtesy Barry Hatchet

Dark Angel in George Cannon’s Superstars of Wrestling promotion. Courtesy Barry Hatchet

“Cry Baby” Cannon was May’s go-to promoter.

“He was my favorite promoter. He treat me good,” said May, recalling one time where Dupre decided that May had run his course in the promotion, so May called up Cannon, who was promoting in Newfoundland and Labrador. “We call up George Cannon, so we just booked a match, take the boat and go over to Newfoundland, work over there for George Cannon. And then after that, we came back. And then we go to Montreal, and then we’ll make the TV tapes in Montreal. And then after that would go back down to a Newfoundland. I never go back to Emile Dupre because George take me over.” Cannon’s promotion was the main place where May got any time on the microphone.

Through Cannon and other promoters, May got to face major names like The Sheik and The Iron Sheik, shining as he made them look good in defeat.

“I did get to see Dark Angel wrestle for George Cannon at Cobo Arena.  This would have been around 1981 or ’82,” recalled “Handsome” Johnny Bradford. “Joe ‘Mohammad’ Saad and I were hanging in the dressing room corridor between matches, and Dark Angel came out. I seem to recall dreadlocks but maybe it was just a fancy Afro. Joe and I said to each other, ‘Dark Angel!’ The man had an aura about him. We were immediately impressed. I don’t recall who he worked that night or if he won.  He sure had a great body, definitely right for those days and times.”

May’s last big trip (besides driving the bus) was working in Hannover, Germany for Heinrich Kaiser and matchmaker Peter William.

Dark Angel sports some cool shades and leather.

Dark Angel sports some cool shades and leather.

In 1979, things changed for May when he met Pauline who worked in banking for 17 years, and then in sales and promotions at CTV. In conversation, they have an easy back-and-forth, finishing each other’s sentences, or teasing.

Pauline was a wrestling fan.

“She used to watch for Saturdays so she could watch me on TV,” joked May.

“Yeah, I used to watch him on Superstars of Wrestling with George Cannon and Milt Avruskin,” replied Pauline. Then she had to remind her husband that her fandom predated him, as she rhymed off names like Haystack Calhoun and The Sheik that stuck in her memory; later it was “Ravishing” Rick Rude that she savored watching.

With Pauline now in his life, her involvement in the interview increased, and repeated in a follow-up chat.

Given the time period, May was asked about steroids, and both responded.

SLAMWRESTLING: You were all natural Ross?

PAULINE: Initially, until you realized they were bad, and then you stopped.

MAY: When I was into the sports right, into wrestling, I used to just take Dianabol. … It just makes you a big … When I stopped wrestling, I said, “Well, I don’t need that anymore. I’m done.”

PAULINE: Yeah, I don’t think you did them for that long.

Long retired from the ring, May still goes to the gym at least four times a week. “You’re always out doing yard work or something. You keep in shape,” Pauline said.

“And I do my yard work. And now the wife has me shopping,” laughed May.

A very jacked Dark Angel.

A very jacked Dark Angel.

It was Pauline who noted to him in 1988: “You’ve been here quite a while. You’d better go for your citizenship.” That means that May is now “Canadian, right to the bone.”

They have two children, a son and daughter who both still live nearby, and three grandchildren, including two that they often babysit.

The arrival of the kids resulted in the slowing down and eventual end of May’s in-ring career.

Dark Angel headlining against Scrap Iron Scranton in Hamilton, Ontario, on December 27, 1983.

Dark Angel headlining against Scrap Iron Scranton in Hamilton, Ontario, on December 27, 1983.

Colin came along in 1984, and Dark Angel only appeared on cards close to home in Southern Ontario. By that point, May had a real solid job as a bus driver for the Toronto Transit Commission, in and around Scarborough.

“Even when I’m working on TTC, on Sunday, on my day off, I would go and wrestle. … Because TTC don’t want us to do any other job but theirs. I would go and do a one shot here and there, not out of the country,” said May.

Around this time, he switched gimmicks and became Mandingo Warrior. Again, he was inspired by what he saw on TV (and not, he swears, by the Ultimate Warrior). “I watch another movie from Africa and the guy said, ‘Oh, I am gonna call myself Mandingo’ and then in Africa when they’re fighting, they’re calling themselves Mandingo. That’s how I come up with the name,” he avowed.

By 1986, wrestling was in the past. “After we have kids and stuff like that, the traveling in the wrestling, it’s for a single man now … but when get married and all those things it’s hard to leave the wife alone with all those things,” he said.

Pauline and Roshik May. Courtesy the May family

Pauline and Roshik May. Courtesy the May family

Somehow it feels appropriate that Pauline gets the last word. The few Dark Angel matches on YouTube make for great fun.

“My granddaughter and I were watching,” she said. “We were watching the YouTube videos the other day. She’d never seen them before. So she said to me, ‘This doesn’t look real. Is it real?’ And I said, ‘Well, don’t ask me. Ask your Granddad, he’ll give you a different answer.'”

TOP PHOTOS: Dark Angel heading to the ring and ready to fight. Photos by Terry Dart