Monday, January 16, 2017

Bollywood Boyz hope TigerFest leads to bigger and better things

BollywoodThe massive Canada Day TigerFest wrestling shows that have grown through the years bring a real international flavour to the fans who pack the outdoor show each year in Brampton, Ontario. This year, the Bollywood Boyz, Harv and Gurv Sihra, are booked on the show for the first time and the veterans of the Canadian independent scene, and stars of the TNA-affiliated Ra King King promotion, couldn’t be more excited.

TigerFest is run by former WWE star Tiger Ali Singh and his father, the legendary Tiger Jeet Singh. The free show, with a 5 p.m. start, at Brampton’s Chinguacousy Park raises money in support of the Osler Foundation’s Etobicoke General Hospital, Brampton Civic Hospital and Peel Memorial.

The journey from British Columbia to Brampton, a city to the east of Toronto, is a welcome one.

For one thing, there is a lot more media attention in Toronto, something that Harv Sihra believes has held back his hometown promotion of Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW) in B.C.

“To be perfectly honest, if Vancouver was anywhere on the East Coast, ECCW would be probably the biggest thing in North America. What we’re doing out here is strong and it’s hot. We just sold out the Commodore actually, which is one of the leading concert venues; we had just over a thousand people — and we’re an independent wrestling company. Because we’re in the Pacific Northwest, it goes unnoticed,” ranted Harv Sihra, who is more than familiar with the trials and tribulations of the road. “B.C. has been pretty strong for us, so we’ve stayed in B.C. for a year or so. Prior to that, we were all over the place — Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Saskatchewan. For the last year and a half we’ve maintained B.C. as a kind of — I think it’s one of those things where you learn how to get over in your own territory, your own indy company, because prior to that, we were all over the place. We were doing the Tony Condello Hell Tours and all that, doing the Harley Race camps, the OVW camps. We actually never had storylines locally, to see if we could hold a main event spot. It’s nice to know you can sell out your local indy community centre, which we’ve done. We’ve purposefully designed ourselves over the last year and a half to do that.”

His brother concurs.

“I don’t think the scene in B.C. has been this big as it is right now,” said Gurv Singh. “Things are on the up and up here.” Getting to work in front of dedicated, loud and boisterous fans is fun and a challenge. “You’ve got to keep things fresh. The crowd here, the fans here, they’re amazing. They really love their wrestling. They’re boisterous. They’re big supporters of what we do.”

The Globe & Mail newspaper noticed ECCW recently, though, running a photo essay by John Lehmann showing the wrestlers during the day as well as what they do in the ring. [In Photos: Wrestlers after the bell]

The Sihra brothers were both featured in the photo essay. Harv was shown as a student of history at Douglas College, and Gurv is hiding behind a corner with binoculars, hunting suspects.

The Bollywood Boyz both continue to strive for the dream of working full-time in professional wrestling, but are realistic about having another career to fall back on.

Gurv has studied criminology, works in loss prevention, and plans to take the next steps towards becoming a police officer.

Harv, the more outgoing of the brothers, has done some modelling and acting.

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