Pain is in a real pickle when dealing with the press.
We know this much: along with his partner Suffering, he’s one half of the tag team duo Devastation.
He’s also forging a career as a singles wrestler.
Pain is on the cusp of turning 30, stands a hulking 6’4” even when he isn’t wearing his boots, lives in Langley, and has a day job that pays his bills, outside of the weekend wars with the Lower Mainland-based promotion, All Star Wrestling (ASW).
That’s about it.
The reason: revealing Pain’s real name, surname, and identity (or any details about his life for that matter), would be like revealing the twist ending to The Sixth Sense to those few people who have yet to see the movie.
Fans will know who the man behind the mask really is on his own terms — and those of ASW guided by promoters Disco Fury Nathan Burke and Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee Mark Vellios, a.k.a. Gorgeous Michelle Star.
For the time being, the villainous Pain is a heel, feeding off the fans’ vitriol.
He says he’s been a fan of pro wrestling since “probably before I could even speak.”
“My father’s been a huge fan, my grandfather… pretty much all the males in my family have bonded over professional wrestling,” Pain said.
Pain grew up watching World Wrestling Entertainment’s ‘Attitude Era’ led by The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Undertaker and Cain.
“Bigger characters but with more of a sense of realism to them,” he offered.
He made the transformation from fan to wrestler after taking an honest evaluation of his life and where it was going.
“I wasn’t too proud of what I had accomplished so far,” Pain shared. “I found that my passion was really dying on the things that I truly enjoyed before.
“Wrestling had always been something that I was really into and I just decided, ‘You know what? I may be a little bit older than the young guys who are starting out but I’m going to give it an honest shot.’”
ASW provided him an opportunity.
Training, and getting into the ring in front of an audience for the first time was like getting slapped in the face with an ammonia rag.
Rest holds, like the ones employed by the likes of grappling legends such as the late Nick Bockwinkel and Dusty Rhodes, are now few and far between.
Action is mostly done at a frenetic pace.
“When you’re in the ring, you can’t really act like you’re tired,” Pain said.
“You’ve gotta know that, once the specific time hits in the match, no matter how tired you are, you’ve gotta really be selling hard for your opponent and make him look like a million bucks after he made you look so good.”
That’s the reason conditioning is so crucial.
“You really want to kill your guys with cardio, even before they step foot in the ring so that these guys are ready, they have the muscle memory so they’re at the point of exhaustion but they can still go, go, go, go.”
Pain’s first match was in December 2015, during the ASW charity event, Bodyslams for Toys.
He and Suffering took on the Breakers (the Mighty Iton and Bruiser Joe), described by Pain as “a couple of older, more seasoned guys.”
“It was a really good experience,” Pain recalled. “There were a lot of things I didn’t expect to learn throughout the match.”
He was proud to say that family members were there to watch the match. “I was never into sports as a kid so it was kind of interesting to have people there to show support for something.”
In his second match, Pain found himself on the receiving end of a few pretty serious bumps.
It was a handicap match involving Kenny Lush, a staple in the Lower Mainland wrestling world for many years.
“He tore us up. It was great,” Pain said. “But right away, I’m taking falls on the concrete, smashing my head into the barricades.”
The bumps continued as the year wore on.
In October, Pain said he was in “a big mess of a match” where four teams battled in a cage, and fans were encouraged to bring weapons to the arena, for the combatants to use on each other.
One of those weapons was a cheap plastic children’s bat that Mike Everest delivered to Pain’s noggin.
The bat “popped like a balloon,” Pain recalled.
“I thought, ‘Whoa, that was a little rough!”
Pain felt warmth spreading around his forehead.
“I look down and blood starts pouring out of the front of my mask,” Pain said.
“He proceeded to beat me with everything else in the ring including shattering a little ukulele over my head.”
To absorb these kinds of bumps, you have to love the sport.
“There’s nobody who wakes up the next day and says, ‘Man I feel great,’” Pain said.
“But you learn to love it.
“Honestly, if I haven’t bumped for a week or something, I start feeling down.”
ASW is mostly a Lower Mainland promotion with shows also being held in places like Squamish, Pemberton and Sechelt.
It’s a small territory, a huge passion project for Vellios and Burke.
“They’ve poured their hearts and souls into it,” Pain said.
“They’re really the patriarchs of professional wrestling down here in the Lower Mainland. Anybody who is a fan of wrestling really owes a big thank you to Gorgeous Michelle Starr and Disco Fury. Their families are all wonderful, too. Everybody’s helping out. It’s just great.”
As for future wrestling aspirations, Pain would love to branch out, while at the same time avoid becoming a jobber.
“I’ve only done one other thing for another promotion and it was a big multi-man battle royal for something called the Cauliflower Alley Club.”
Pain was joined by 37 other wrestlers in the ring.
“That was a good experience,” he said.
Moving forward, Pain has ordered grappling gear through the U.S. and has been waiting for three months for it to arrive. Once it does, Pain plans on debuting without his mask and as a completely different character.
Fangin and Headbanging
Pain is part of this Friday’s ASW card ‘Fangin and Headbanging’ at the Alice McKay Building, featuring a Trans Canada championship match between champion Nick Rogers and challenger Mister India.
Pain is involved in a ASW Legends Title three-way match involving Breaker Iton (champion) and Vendetta.
Pain and Vendetta feel they are both the No. 1 contender for the Legends Title that Breaker Iton has around his waist.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available at Koyabell Fitness and Chand’s Restaurant, or online at allstar-wrestling.com.
The Alice McKay Building is at 6050 176 St. in Cloverdale.