Bam Bam Bigelow
Scott Charles Bigelow (September 1, 1961 – January 19, 2007) was an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name Bam Bam Bigelow. Recognizable by his close to 400 pounds (180 kg) frame and the distinctive flame tattoo that spanned most of his bald head, Bigelow was hailed by former employer WWE in 2013 as "the most natural, agile and physically remarkable big man of the past quarter century."
|Bam Bam Bigelow|
Bigelow in 1998
|Birth name||Scott Charles Bigelow|
|Born||September 1, 1961|
Asbury Park, New Jersey, United States
|Died||January 19, 2007 (aged 45)|
Hudson, Florida, United States
|Cause of death||Drug overdose|
(m. 1984; div. 2000)
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Bam Bam Bigelow|
|Billed height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Billed weight||390 lb (177 kg)|
|Billed from||Asbury Park, New Jersey|
|Trained by||Larry Sharpe|
|Debut||August 23, 1985|
|Retired||November 7, 2006|
Bigelow is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation, Extreme Championship Wrestling, and World Championship Wrestling between 1987 and 2001. Over the course of his career, he held championships including the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, the ECW World Television Championship and the WCW World Tag Team Championship. Bigelow headlined various pay-per-views including the first Survivor Series in 1987, the first televised King of the Ring in 1993, WrestleMania XI, and the 1997 and 1998 editions of ECW's premier annual event, November to Remember.
Early life and educationEdit
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Continental Wrestling Association/CWA (1986-1987)Edit
After training in Larry Sharpe's Monster Factory in New Jersey, Bigelow debuted as an athletic and agile monster heel in Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett's Memphis, Tennessee-based Continental Wrestling Association promotion in the summer of 1986. Billed as "the Beast of the East" and referred to as "The Bammer" by announcer Lance Russell, Bigelow teamed with Jerry Lawler to feud with Austin Idol and Tommy Rich. Bigelow was featured in an article in the September 15, 1986 issue of Sports Illustrated.
World Class Championship Wrestling/WCCW (1986)Edit
In late-1986, Bigelow wrestled in World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) with a Russian gimmick under the name Crusher Yurkof.
World Wrestling Federation/WWF (1987–1988)Edit
In May 1987, he signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), making his debut on May 28 in Allentown, PA when he defeated Sivi Afi. Much like the recently signed Dingo Warrior, Bigelow would remain off television until the fall. The storyline upon his debut was that the various heel managers were all vying for Bigelow's services. The angle was thus called "The Battle for Bam Bam”. Bigelow in the end wound up a babyface when he denounced all the heel managers and announced that his manager was going to be Oliver Humperdink. Fans were entertained by Bigelow's unique style and his remarkable agility for a man his size. His first WWF encounters were with Nikolai Volkoff and his jilted manager Slick. Bigelow wrestled as a part of Hulk Hogan's team at the first Survivor Series, in which he survived longer than even Hogan (the biggest star in wrestling history at the time). He eliminated both King Kong Bundy and One Man Gang, but eventually lost to sole survivor André the Giant. He wrestled in the WWF for one year before leaving to have surgery on a badly injured knee. Bigelow lost by count-out to One Man Gang in the first round of WrestleMania IV's WWF World Heavyweight Championship tournament. Following the event he began to feud against Gang and was dominant. Bigelow was defeated by Andre the Giant at Madison Square Garden on June 25. The match aired on Prime Time Wrestling on July 25, and this proved to be the last match in his initial WWF run. 
Jim Crockett Promotions / World Championship Wrestling and Japan (1988–1992)Edit
Three months later Bigelow re-emerged with the NWA member Jim Crockett Promotions, appearing on the October 1st edition of World Championship Wrestling and facing Trent Knight.  Again managed by Oliver Humperdink, he was immediately set up to challenge Barry Windham for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. While NWA wanted control of Bigelow, his loyalty was with New Japan, to whom he was committed. His final match was in January 1989, when he teamed with Lex Luger to defeat Abdullah the Butcher and Barry Windham.
After this brief stay, Bigelow went to Japan to work for the legendary Antonio Inoki's New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Here, he formed a tag team with Big Van Vader, winning the IWGP Tag Team Championship. He would return to WCW (JCP had been renamed by this point after Ted Turner purchased the company) briefly in 1990 as a heel, reunited with Humperdink (by this point going by the nickname "The Big Kahuna"), to aid Sullivan's Slaughterhouse (Kevin Sullivan, Cactus Jack, and Buzz Sawyer) in their feud with Captain Mike Rotundo, Norman the Lunatic, and Abdullah the Butcher. In 1992 he left New Japan, performing for several other Japanese professional wrestling promotions. His time in these promotions featured a win over Japanese wrestling legend Kenta Kobashi during a brief stint in All Japan Pro Wrestling.
Return to WWFEdit
Affair with Luna Vachon (1992–1994)Edit
Bigelow came back to the WWF as a heel on the October 31, 1992 edition of Prime Time Wrestling, with a vignette hyping his return. On the November 28, 1992 episode of Superstars, he defeated enhancement talent Jerry Fox in his first appearance with the company since 1988. In 1993, Bigelow made his pay-per-view return with a victory over The Big Boss Man at Royal Rumble. On the May 10 episode of Monday Night Raw, Bigelow defeated Typhoon to qualify for the first-ever televised King of the Ring tournament. At the King of the Ring pay-per-view, Bigelow defeated Jim Duggan in the quarter-final round before losing to Bret Hart in the final. Soon after, Luna Vachon became Bigelow's (kayfabe) love interest and valet. Bigelow went on to feud with Tatanka and Doink the Clown. He teamed with The Headshrinkers against Tatanka and The Smoking Gunns in a losing effort at SummerSlam. Bigelow's team of The Headshrinkers and Bastion Booger was defeated by The Four Doinks (The Bushwhackers and Men on a Mission) at Survivor Series.
Bigelow began 1994 by replacing Ludvig Borga in a match against Tatanka at Royal Rumble. Tatanka won the match. Later that night, both men participated in the Royal Rumble match, where Bigelow eliminated Tatanka to end the feud. At WrestleMania X, Bigelow teamed with Luna to defeat Doink and Dink to conclude the rivalry with Doink.
Million Dollar Corporation (1994–1995)Edit
On the May 16 episode of Raw, Bigelow defeated Sparky Plugg to qualify for the 1994 King of the Ring tournament. He lost to Razor Ramon in the quarter-final at the eponymous pay-per-view. Bigelow's lack of success resulted in his breakup with Luna after his loss to Mabel on the June 27 episode of Monday Night Raw and he joined Ted DiBiase's new faction Million Dollar Corporation on the July 2 episode of Superstars, thus becoming the second member of the group.
On the August 1 episode of Raw, he was placed in a tag team with Corporation's newest acquisition Irwin R. Schyster and the two were announced as the next challengers for the Tag Team Championship on the August 6 episode of Superstars. However, the champions The Headshrinkers dropped the titles before the scheduled title match at SummerSlam. The two teams still fought at the event, with Bigelow and IRS emerging victorious. At Survivor Series, Bigelow was part of Million $ Team with Heavenly Bodies and Corporation teammates King Kong Bundy and Tatanka against Guts and Glory (Lex Luger, Mabel, Adam Bomb and Smoking Gunns). Bigelow and Bundy were the survivors of the match.
In the fall of 1994, Bigelow and Tatanka participated in a tournament to crown the new Tag Team Champions, defeating Men on a Mission in the quarter-final and The New Headshrinkers in the semi-final matches on the December 17 and January 14, 1995 episodes of Superstars respectively. Bigelow and Tatanka ended up losing to Bob Holly and 1-2-3 Kid in the finals at Royal Rumble. Bigelow was mocked at ringside by former New York Giants All-Pro linebacker Lawrence Taylor. Bam Bam fought back, shoving Taylor at ringside, and was soon engaged in a highly publicized feud with the famous ex-football player. Bigelow was defeated by Taylor in the main event at WrestleMania XI. Shortly after WrestleMania, tensions were starting to build up between Bigelow and Ted DiBiase. After he failed to win the WWF Championship from Diesel on the April 24 episode of Raw, DiBiase slapped him and led the entire Million Dollar Corporation to take him down including new member Sycho Sid. Diesel made the save and Bigelow turned babyface, publicly quitting the Million Dollar Corporation.
He teamed with Diesel to take on Corporation members Tatanka and Sid in a tag team match at King of the Ring, which Bigelow and Diesel won. Bigelow's feud with the Corporation continued for most of the summer of 1995 including a victory over Henry Godwinn at SummerSlam, until it quietly ended in September 1995 as Bigelow moved on to a rivalry with British Bulldog, which culminated in a loss for Bigelow at In Your House 3. Bigelow's last match in WWF was a loss to Goldust at Survivor Series. After rumored problems backstage with The Kliq, Bigelow left the WWF in late 1995.
Extreme Championship Wrestling/ECWEdit
Initial appearances (1996)Edit
Bigelow made a few appearances in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in early 1996, feuding with Taz and siding with Tod Gordon. Later in the year, Bigelow would face Terry Gordy. He won with the assistance of The Eliminators.
On November 17, 1996, Bigelow competed in a "U-Japan" mixed martial arts event against Kimo Leopoldo. Bigelow was dominated throughout the match, being mounted within the first 10 seconds. He lost to a rear naked choke in the first round. Despite not being a trained mixed martial artist, Bigelow was able to command a substantial purse for the fight (Bigelow claimed in his 1998 RF Video shoot interview that he received $100,000; though it has been suggested by others that he actually received $75,000). Bigelow would later claim in a shoot interview that the fight was a work and he received minimal damage for a nice paycheck. He then claimed that he was the "world's highest paid jobber."
The Triple Threat (1997–1998)Edit
He returned to Paul Heyman's ECW in 1997, eventually joining with the Triple Threat faction, with Chris Candido and leader Shane Douglas. Bigelow made his in-ring debut in a tag team match at Chapter 2 on May 10, teaming with Douglas to defeat The Pitbulls. Bigelow made his televised debut on the June 26 episode of Hardcore TV in a six-man tag team match, in which Triple Threat defeated Balls Mahoney and The Pitbulls. Bigelow participated in his first singles match in ECW on the July 3 episode of Hardcore TV, where he pinned Pitbull #2. Bigelow made his pay-per-view debut in a tag team match with Chris Candido at Heat Wave against Chris Chetti and Balls Mahoney, which Candido and Bigelow won.
Bigelow began a series of matches against Spike Dudley, with the two exchanging victories including one at the Hardcore Heaven pay-per-view, which Bigelow won. During the rivalry, Bigelow established himself as a dominant force in ECW, carrying out feats of strength such as hurling Dudley out of the ring and into the audience and slamming Taz through the ring itself.
As part of the Triple Threat group, Bigelow was quickly promoted to main event status by turning on fellow Triple Threat member Shane Douglas, as he was booked to win his first world championship by beating Douglas to win the World Heavyweight Championship under the guidance of Rick Rude on the October 24 episode of Hardcore TV. As a result, Bigelow left Triple Threat and began feuding with his former stablemates. He retained the title against Douglas at Ultimate Jeopardy, before dropping the title back to Douglas at the November to Remember pay-per-view, ending the reign at 46 days. It turned out to be a classic match. Both men were so badly injured as a result of the match that they did not appear on ECW television for over a month.
They continued to feud, with Bigelow looking to Taz to join him in his campaign against the Triple Threat. At the Hostile City Showdown event in 1998, Bigelow and Taz took on Triple Threat in a handicap match, where he turned on Taz and rejoined the group as Triple Threat prospect Lance Storm was tossed aside. Triple Threat began a feud with Taz, Rob Van Dam and Sabu, which carried over throughout 1998. During this rivalry, Bigelow won the World Television Championship from Taz in his hometown of Asbury Park, New Jersey at the Living Dangerously pay-per-view. Bigelow successfully defended the title against The Sandman on the March 25 episode of Hardcore TV before dropping the title to Rob Van Dam, two weeks later on Hardcore TV, ending the reign at just 34 days. After beating New Jack at Wrestlepalooza, Bigelow failed to capture the ECW FTW Heavyweight Championship from Taz in a falls count anywhere match at Heat Wave. The feud ended with a six-man tag team match between the two teams at November to Remember, in which Sabu, Taz and Van Dam defeated Triple Threat. Bigelow then left ECW.
World Championship Wrestling/WCWEdit
Early feuds (1998–1999)Edit
On the November 16, 1998 episode of Monday Nitro, Bigelow returned to World Championship Wrestling (WCW), interrupting a match between Scott Putski and Chavo Guerrero, Jr. and attacking both competitors. He was portrayed as an unwelcome guest from outside the company and confronted the World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg. After defeating Wrath in his WCW pay-per-view debut at the 1999 Souled Out event, Bigelow competed against Goldberg in a losing effort at SuperBrawl IX.
He was one of the wrestlers who developed WCW's hardcore division with a series of hardcore wrestling matches for the next few months including a triple threat falls count anywhere match with fellow ECW alumni Raven and Hardcore Hak at Uncensored in which Hak would emerge victorious and then Bigelow defeated Hak and Brian Knobbs in hardcore matches at Spring Stampede and Slamboree respectively.
The Jersey Triad (1999)Edit
In May 1999, Bigelow formed a tag team with Diamond Dallas Page and the duo entered competition for the World Tag Team Championship. On the May 31 episode of Nitro, Page and Bigelow were booked to defeat Raven and Perry Saturn to win the tag team title for the first time after they attacked Raven before the match and his substitute Chris Kanyon turned on Saturn. The following week on Nitro, Kanyon officially joined Page and Bigelow to form a stable, known as the Jersey Triad.
Page and Bigelow dropped the titles to Saturn and Chris Benoit on the June 10 episode of Thunder, after Saturn's original partner Ric Flair abandoned him and Benoit replaced Flair as Saturn's partner. As a result, Triad began an affiliation with Flair. Triad regained the tag titles when Page and Kanyon defeated Benoit and Saturn at The Great American Bash. Following their second reign, Triad executed the Freebird Rule in which any two members of the Triad could defend the title, allowing Bigelow to be recognized as champion and defend the title as well. Triad successfully defended the titles against Benoit and Saturn in a rematch at Bash at the Beach, before dropping the titles to Harlem Heat at Road Wild. Triad disbanded after Page's loss to Goldberg at Fall Brawl, with Bigelow moving to singles competition.
Hardcore Champion and various rivalries (1999–2001)Edit
Following the dissolution of Triad, Bigelow entered a tournament to crown a new World Heavyweight Champion, losing to Norman Smiley in the first round on the October 25 episode of Nitro. Bigelow returned to the hardcore division and was booked to win the Hardcore Championship, his only singles title in WCW, from Brian Knobbs, on the February 7, 2000 episode of Nitro, only to drop the title back to Knobbs at SuperBrawl 2000.
Bigelow began his next program with The Wall after Wall developed a sadistic streak and attacked younger wrestlers, including David Flair and Crowbar. This led to a series of matches between the two, which culminated at Uncensored where Wall and Bigelow fought in a match where The Wall put Bigelow through a table, resulting in a disqualification win for Bigelow.
Bigelow floundered into the mid-card and was rarely utilized in a major feud. He closed the year with a win over Sgt. AWOL at Mayhem and a loss to Mike Awesome in an ambulance match at Starrcade. In 2001, Bigelow began his final feud in WCW against Shawn Stasiak, resulting in a match between the two at WCW's final pay-per-view event Greed, which Stasiak won. The pair ended their feud in a rematch on the final episode of Nitro on March 26. The stipulation of the match was that, if Bigelow won, he would tattoo "that sweet thing" in the ring (Stasiak accepted the stipulation, assuming he meant his valet Stacy Keibler when he was, in fact, referring to Stasiak himself). However, Stasiak won the match.
Independent circuit (2002–2006)Edit
Bigelow remained with WCW until the company was purchased by the WWF in March 2001. Then, he waited until his Time Warner (the major corporation that had bought the promotion from Jim Crockett in 1989) contract expired in June 2002. He returned to the ring, making several appearances for USA Pro Wrestling. He performed his final wrestling match on November 7, 2006 for the American Combat Wrestling promotion, teaming with Ralph Mosca as "The Syndicate" in a tag team match against Overkill (Legion Cage and Marcus Hall).
On July 4, 2000, Bigelow received second degree burns on 40% of his body while rescuing three children from a burning house near his home in Wayside, New Jersey during a barbecue cookout. Following the incident, Bigelow spent 10 days recovering in a hospital.
Upon his retirement, Bigelow moved to a private recreational community called "The Hideout" in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania. He also opened the eponymous Bam Bam Bigelow restaurant, located nearby in the town of Hamlin in Salem Township, but it later closed. He then relocated to Florida, with his close friend Shane Douglas clueless as to his whereabouts.
In May 2004, Bigelow was charged with endangering the welfare of a child through reckless driving. He attributed the incident to a seizure he had suffered, and the charges were dropped two months later.
On October 2, 2005, Bigelow was hospitalized with a broken nose and several lacerations after crashing his Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Spring Hill, Florida. Janis Remiesiewicz, Bigelow's girlfriend, was his passenger at the time of the crash, and she suffered severe injuries. A spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol stated that Bigelow would be the focus of a homicide investigation should Remiesiewicz die, but she eventually made a complete recovery and remained with Bigelow until his death.
In his most profitable years as a wrestler, Bigelow earned between $750,000 and $1.2 million per year.
On the morning of January 19, 2007, Bigelow was found dead in his home by Remiesiewicz at approximately 10:00 a.m. EST in Hudson, Florida. He was 45 years old. The autopsy results showed that Bigelow's death was due to multiple drugs found in his system including toxic levels of cocaine and an anti-anxiety drug. Bigelow was also suffering from a heart problem, specifically arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and had severe back problems.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Continental Wrestling Association
- Extreme Championship Wrestling
- NWA Northeast
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Universal Superstars of America
- USA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- USA Pro Wrestling / USA Xtreme Wrestling
- USA Pro/UXW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- World Championship Wrestling
- World Class Wrestling Association
- World Wrestling Federation
- Wrestle Association R
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|1 match||0 wins||1 loss|
|Loss||0-1||Kimo Leopoldo||Submission (rear naked choke)||U-Japan||November 17, 1996||1||2:15||Japan|
- Bigelow defended the title with either Page or Kanyon under the Freebird Rule.
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