Category Archives: Ring Radar
A Castle of Hugs
Ohio Based Wrestler Climbs Wrestling’s Ladder
By Stephen Cravak
Three hundred and thirty pounds of furry flesh stalks its prey. Men gaze while little children scream at the emerging behemoth. The beast lifts up its colossal arm and bellows… “Hi!”
The crowd is stunned. “What the?”
It’s just your friendly neighborhood goofball, Bryan Castle, better known as “The World’s Most Huggable Wrestler.” Smiling, he enters the ring wrapped in black and red spandex armor topped off with a sprawling beard, bandana, and gelled faux hawk.
What makes a mammoth man adopt such a jovial demeanor? “For four years, I got nowhere as a serious wrestler,” says Castle who felt the wrestling universe needed more characters. He decided to give it a massive teddy bear. The original idea began as a Chris Farley type gimmick, as suggested by fellow wrestler Benjamin Boone at a Pro Wrestling Ohio show in Cleveland.
In 1991, Castle was in attendance at an untelevised WWE event at the Sports Arena in Toledo, Ohio, . All it took was Ted Dibiase and the Ultimate Warrior in the main event for him to realize that one day he too would enter the squared circle. “I knew right then and there that’s what I wanted to do.” Growing up, Castle idolized the “big guy characters” from Bam Bam Bigelow to Dr. Death Steve Williams and Vader, who were not only huge but also light-footed. Recent inspiration comes from former ECW, WWE, and TNA superstar Rhyno. Castle feels it’s a travesty how Rhyno doesn’t currently have a position with one of the top federations.
Financially speaking, Castle can’t call wrestling a career, though he clearly understands the wrestling business. “My name is Bryan Castle because it looks better on a T-shirt than my real name.” It’s funny to think how the name originated just four minutes before his debut match against Dick Nasty, and six years later it still serves him well. “It’s a rough business, and if you’re not ready for it, it’ll tear you up. It’s all about whoring yourself out,” says Castle who admittingly if called up by the WWE would be willing to do anything or become any character. However, if he had veto power would not be in favor of following in the masked Ding Dongs’ footsteps.
If Castle could give advice to anyone just before their debut match it’s to “relax, the main thing is that you’re having fun. If you’re not, it shows.” Though, fun for Castle comes at a price. Over the years he’s had to pass up better paying jobs and has seen relationships deteriorate due to his commitment to sports entertainment. While he desires to build it into a career, he’s happy playing the part of a on-the-road warrior. Castle knows his job, despite winning or losing, is to entertain the crowd. “I always fear the fans are not enjoying it.” Not only do audiences enjoy his wrestling prowess and silly hijinks, but also the organizations he works for.
On Saturday, April 7th at his debut for Buffalo Championship Wrestling in western New York, Castle dazzled the crowd with his goofball antics in a three-way dance against Jeremiah Bradley and Evan McCloud. Castle playfully hi-fived not only his opponents, but also the referee and the fans into an uproarious state of laughter. Based on the overwhelmingly positive response, BCW officials decided to bring him back just one month later. “Bryan has the total package; a great and agile wrestler for his size plus his personality and character is unique and speaks to the fans,” says BCW Announcer Chris Gullo.
Castle has also worked hard to impress his fellow wrestlers and coaches. “The wrestling school I met him at there were probably 9 or 10 guys there and he was the only one who seemed like he wanted it,” says trainer “The Homeless Avenger” Dick Nasty, who has wrestled Castle an estimated 100 times and regards him as one of his favorite opponents. “As long as he sticks with it and keeps working hard there will be no limit to what he does and where he goes.”
While Monday through Friday, Castle finds himself in the back of a restaurant cooking for others, on the weekends he serves up a delightful dish of sports entertainment. If he happens to be in your neck of the woods, be sure to check him out in action, and while you’re there give him a hug.
Name: “The World’s Most Huggable Wrestler” Bryan Castle
WEIGHT: 330 pounds
EXPERIENCE: 6 years
LOCATION: Toledo, Ohio
FAVORITE MOVES: his versions of the Vader Bomb and the Perfect-Plex
FINISHER: a running crossbody
COMPARISON: Bam Bam Bigelow meets Colt Cabana
WRESTLED FOR: PWO in Cleveland; CIW in Adrian, Michigan; XICW; Big Time Wrestling; Metro Pro Wrestling in Detroit; Buffalo Championship Wrestling; and others
TRAINING/TRAINERS: In Toledo by ”The Homeless Avenger” Dick Nasty. Additional training by Mr. Main Event, CK3, “Amazing” N8 Mattson, and Rhyno.