Once a champion in the Winnipeg wrestling circuit, now a champion volunteer in the Shuswap.
Each year, Bruce Jones volunteers at the Salmon Arm Fair as a ticket seller and as a greeter for the Salmon Arm Children’s Festival. While volunteering, Jones sometimes wears a large gold belt over his shoulder which he shows off to the children. The belt is encrusted with red and white gemstones and has the words, ‘World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion,’ displayed across it, a callback to his past life as a wrestler in Winnipeg.
Jones was known by another name in the ring. His vast amounts of body hair earned him the nickname ‘the Canadian Sasquatch.’ The Sasquatch’s favourite move was a gravity defying stunt where the wrestler launches off the top rope of the ring and lands on their opponent. It was this move that led to Jones’ biggest victory in 2003.
“My biggest achievement was when I beat the guy in the ring on a three count and got the belt,” Jones said. “He had the belt and I ended up with it.”
His opponent was The Axe from Boston, Massachusetts, and the match was held in Fort Gary, Man.
In the same year, Jones’ wrestling career ended when he suffered an unrelated injury to his back. Although he may be out of the wrestling scene himself, Jones is unafraid to voice his opinion on the wrestling world today.
“You have a guy that is about 450 pounds taking a dive off the top rope and landing on a guy that is 250, you automatically know that it is really staged,” Jones said.
As much as he enjoys showing the bejewelled belt to the wide-eyed passerby, he makes sure that people take the sport seriously.
“A lot of these kids, they see it on TV and then they think, ‘oh it’s easy to do.’ But we have one saying: ‘Please don’t try this at home. We are trained professionals so don’t try this at home,’” he said.
After his injury, Jones made his way across Canada to be with family in Salmon Arm.