As a young professional wrestler Kelowna’s Kyle Sebastian has been trying to climb the ladder of a tough and mentally trying sport.
He’s been across Canada working for various independent productions. He had shot overseas and worked in Japan.
And last week he went to Las Vegas. Not to work as a pro wrestler but to receive a prestigous award in the industry.
Sebastian, 21, was honored by the wrestling industry, receiving the Future Legend Award. The plaque was issued as part of an annual awards banquet presented by the Cauliflower Alley Club and has been issued to less than a dozen wrestlers since its introduction in 2000. Past winners of this honor include Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle and the late Chris Benoit.
“It was huge exposure for me,” said Sebastian this week as he got set for a weekend packed with a show in Edmonton Saturday and back in Kelowna today (Sunday). “I met so many legends of the sport. I think it will do a lot for my career. I’ve been sending out packages of my work to different promotions in Canada and the U.S. Hopefully somebody is going to see it.”
Sebastian came to wrestling naturally. His father was also a wrestler and trained with the famous Hart family in Calgary.
At just six-years-old Sebastian attended a Wrestlemania card and was hooked.
“I love the art form,” he said. “It is an art form no matter which way you look at it. Getting the people to react to you is very difficult. You see guys who flop on their face and you see guys who excel at it. I want to be one of those guys. I want that crowd to be as loud as I can get them.”
This weekend is a typical weekend on the independent wrestling scene for Sebastian. After work on Friday he will drive all night to Edmonton for a card Saturday night. Then it will be back to Kelowna through the night only to return to the ring for another card on Sunday.
“For me it’s not very difficult because I love what I do,” said Sebastian, who works for Pacific Western Fire Protection but continues to chase his dream of wrestling full time. “The ultimate goal is the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). For now the goal is to be able to wrestle full time, it doesn’t matter where.”
Today (Sunday) you can catch Sebastian and several other Kelowna and area wrestlers in a Thrasher Wrestling card at Rutland Centennial Hall with doors opening at 6 p.m.
Other Kelowna wrestlers on the card include the Canadian Classic Collin Cutler, Mad Dog Marty Sugar, Big Steve McCarthy as well as Thrash wrestling commissioner Todd LaBounty.