Monday, September 13, 2010

The Many Faces of Mike Shaw

Mike Shaw aka Bastion Booger (from the Ultimate Wrestling Gallery)

The world of professional wrestling has lost another superstar.  Last night Mike Shaw, who wrestled in the WWF as Bastion Booger passed away.  He was 54 years old.  The reports I've read online say Shaw had a heart attack Sunday night.

While he wrestled last as Bastion Booger, a really gross and disgusting character, Shaw had several other "faces" during his career.  In fact, some of you might remember his short lived gimmick as Friar Ferguson.  A heelish monk, who of course upset the Catholic Church.  According to those in the know, that's what lead to the demise of that character and the creation of Booger.  

Even before his days in the WWF, Shaw wrestled as Norman the Lunatic for WCW.  First as a heel, Norman was managed by Teddy Long.  He came to the ring dressed in hospital clothes with long, unruly hair and a beard.  He really did look as though he'd just escaped the mental ward.  Long would carry a key with him, I guess implying that he'd be locked back up in that facility if he misbehaved and didn't do Long's devious work.  I think that's how the gimmick went.  

Of course, the overbearing Long created a soft spot in the hearts of fans, who began to cheer for Norman.  Much like they did for George 'the Animal' Steele years before.  Norman turned face and got a job as a truck driver.  Trucker Norman was a tribute to his late father.  

And even before all those crazy gimmicks, Shaw wrestled in the Stampede area as Makhan Sighn.  He was the champion there at one point and feuded with the soon to be rising star, Owen Hart.  

Shaw never stayed in one place very long.  As Booger, he was only in the WWF for about a year, but will may be best remembered for that gimmick.  A few years back he returned to WWE television for the Raw homecoming show.  The E also did a feature on him on their website a while back.  

Going through my own memory bank, I don't think I ever saw Shaw wrestle live.  Although I've got plenty of memories of him as Norm and Bastion toward the end of his career.  I'll have to check out his work in Stampede on line now.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Shaw.

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