Bam Bam Bigelow

Bam Bam Bigelow
Bam Bam Bigelow Profile

Scott Charles Bigelow was born on September 1, 1961 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He started his wrestling training at the legendary Monster Factory under the wizened eye of Larry Sharpe. Bigelow proved to be an apt pupil, showing grace and speed combined with the brute force his close to 400 pound frame could handle.

He appeared in Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler’s Memphis territory of the NWA as a heel who feuded with Lawler, Tommy Rich and Austin Idol. He was dubbed “The Beast From The East” as he plowed through the Southern competition, but unfortunately not capturing any straps along the way.

In 1987, he was picked up by the WWF is a storyline that was akin to that of the debut of the “Macho Man” Randy Savage; the skull-tattooed Bigelow was a sought after “free agent” that all the heel managers were clamoring over. It was not surprising to fans that Bigelow did not fall to the charms of Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan or “Luscious” Johnny Valiant, but what was a swerve is that Bigelow turned face and introduced his new manager, Sir Oliver Humperdink, a former heel manager in other territories, now as a face in the WWF.

Bigelow got some great exposure by being a member of Hulk Hogan’s team at the inaugural Survivor Series. Apart from Hogan, Bigelow’s other partners on the team consisted of Ken Patera, Don “The Rock” Muraco and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff against the heel team of Andre the Giant, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang and “The Natural” Butch Reed. Bigelow got a huge push in the bout as he was the lone survivor of the face team, but was defeated by Andre.

He made it through to the WrestleMania IV Pay-Per-View event, but was eliminated in the first round by a loss to old rival One Man Gang. After only one year of competing in the WWF, Bigelow packed up and headed to the NWA again.

In the NWA, the restless Bigelow wanted the freedom to work in other territories, so he left and wound up in Japan. He won the New Japan Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championship belt with partner Big Van Vader and remained in Japan for a long while thereafter, finally leaving in 1992.

He returned to the WWF in 1992 as a heel and fared quite well initially, defeating the late Ray “Big Boss Man” Traylor at the Royal Rumble and later making it to the finals of the “King of the Ring” tournament.

His career took a downturn thereafter winding up in matches with Doink the Clown and Tatanka and teaming with D-list talent like the Headshrinkers (Fatu and Samu), the late Mike “Bastion Booger” Shaw and Ludvig Borga.

Around this time, a storyline was developed that Bigelow had fallen in love with the late Luna Vachon who also acted as his valet. Bigelow would blow kisses to her during matches and would dedicate finishing maneuvers in her name.

He partook in the King of the Ring tournament again in 1994, but lost in the quarterfinals. Upset with his lack of progress, Vachon dumped Bigelow, prompting him to join Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation. He teamed briefly with Irwin R. Schyster (Mike Rotunda) and joined the Million Dollar Team in the Survivor Series of 1994.

A big push was in store for Bigelow in the future. He was involved in a tag team championship tournament with partner Tatanka. The two lost in the finals to Bob “Hardcore” Holly and Sean “1-2-3 Kid” Waltman.

At ringside sat Lawrence Taylor, a big wrestling fan and New York Giants pro linebacker for the NFL. Taylor laughed at Bigelow’s loss, infuriating the big man. The two had a heated exchange resulting in some pushing and shoving which eventually led to a formal match.

Bigelow was the main event headliner against Taylor at WrestleMania XI, to a losing effort. Many fans have questioned why the WWF would have gone with such a bizarre push at this point. Some say it’s because McMahon was too preoccupied with the steroid trials at the time; others say there was simply a lack of talent in the roster.

Bigelow then got a title shot against the reigning champion Kevin “Diesel” Nash to a losing effort. DiBiase got irate with Bigelow’s string of losses and encouraged the Million Dollar Team to beat down Bigelow. During the attack, Bigelow was saved by ex-opponent Diesel, making Bigelow a face once again.

Bigelow teamed with Diesel to fight members of the Million Dollar Corporation throughout the rest of his WWE tenure, sometimes with winning results, and other times with losing results. He left the WWF in 1995.

Bigelow then wrestled in ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) from 1996 – 1998, including MMA matches. In 1997, he joined Paul Heyman’s faction of Triple Threat consisting of Bigelow, the late Chris Candido and Shane Douglas.

He later feuded with his good friend Shane Douglas with the two trading the World Heavyweight Championship. He would also team with Taz to do battle with the other members of Triple Threat in tag team bouts. Bigelow eventually left ECW after losing efforts to Rob Van Dam and former partner Taz.

He then appeared in Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling and had his sights aimed on Bill Goldberg’s heavyweight belt. He lost to Goldberg, but was successful in developing WCW’s hardcore division with the likes of Scott “Raven” Levy and Nasty Boy Brian Knobbs.

Bigelow was then involved in a triad of wrestlers all hailing from New Jersey dubbed the “Jersey Triad”. In addition to Bigelow, the core members also consisted of Diamond Dallas Page and the late Chris Kanyon.

The triad would be successful in acquiring the WCW Tag team titles from the late Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn. They would eventually drop the belts to Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray).

In 1999 Bigelow gained and lost the WCW Hardcore Championship to Knobbs and feuded Jerry ‘The Wall” Tuite and thereafter floundered in the mid card against the likes of Shawn Stasiak and Mike Awesome.

It was around this time that Bigelow was hailed as a true hero by saving 3 children from a burning building. In so doing, the tattooed tough guy experienced 40% of his body in second degree burns and still lived to tell the tale.

He then appeared on the independent circuit from 2002 onwards. In 2004 he as charged with reckless driving and in 2005, he as hospitalized with several fractures following a motorcycle accident.

In January of 2007, Bigelow was found dead in his home, a victim of a drug overdose.

Bigelow’s tale is another of a chain of rags to riches to rags story incumbent in a typical wrestler’s career. He will be remembered for his brash in-ring persona with dazzling, swift in-ring capabilities of wrestlers half his size. Bigelow is a hero, heel and inspiration to all going forward.

Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Balsky for contributing the above wrestler profile.

Dr. Stephen Balsky is a chiropractor currently in practice in his native Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been a wrestling fan since age 13 and is very passionate about the product, especially the “old-school” 80’s – 90’s era. He completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2015 and currently is also working part-time as a professor in both business and healthcare.
References:

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bam_Bam_Bigelow
2) http://www.wwe.com/superstars/bam-bam-bigelow
3) https://ringthedamnbell.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/remembering-the-battle-for-bam-bam-in-the-wwf/