Who was Bam Bam Bigelow?
Bam Bam Bigelow was an American professional wrestler, who became one of the fiercest heels in the industry, along with other greats of his time. His distinctive flame tattoo that spanned much of his bald head along with his huge 400-pound figure made him the intimidating ‘monster heel’ for his opponents and fans alike. He was able to play the villainous character in every wrestling franchise that he worked for with equal elan, which was why most of his ‘feuds’ resulted in the opponent becoming a face for the franchise in quick time. Generally well-liked among his associates, he earned the respect of his opponents and the admiration of his managers throughout his career. In fact, the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) in 2013 hailed him as one of the physically intimating pro-wrestlers of the past quarter century with an uncanny athletic agility unnatural of men of such heavy built. Buddy Rogers, who helped the big man during his initial pro-wrestling years felt Bigelow had every imaginable attribute for a showman wrestler barring the ability to sell himself. Away from the wrestling stage, however, he struggled with injuries and substance addiction, which unfortunately led to the wrestling great’s untimely demise.
Childhood & Early Life
Scott Charles ‘Bam Bam’ Bigelow was born on 1 September 1961, in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.
Big yet athletic from an early age, he was a natural pick for his high school wrestling and football team. In fact, he came third in the New Jersey state wrestling tournament in 1979.
After leaving high school, he worked plenty of odd jobs, before deciding on pursuing a career in professional wrestling. He first trained at the Wild Samoan Training center at Pennsylvania and later at Monster Factory school at New Jersey under Larry Sharpe.
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In early 1986, he debuted as ‘Bam Bam Bigelow’ in the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) event in Tennessee. Led by his trainer and manager, Sharpe, he quickly established himself as a ‘monster heel’ (giant-sized antagonist in pro-wrestling parlance).
In July of 1896, he emerged victorious in a 23-man battle royal and thus became the new Southern Heavyweight Champion of the AWA (American Wrestling Association). He lost that title to Jerry Lawler two months later.
By January 1987, he was making regular guest appearances in Japan for NJPW (New Japan Pro-Wrestling) events, where his ring name was ‘Crusher Bam Bam Bigelow’.
He joined the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) in 1987 where he teamed up with Hulk Hogan and began feuding with Ted DiBiase and won a few battle royals. However, injuries to both his knees ultimately forced him to leave the WWF the following year.
Between 1988 to 1990, he intermittently featured for WCW (World Championship Wrestling), seen mostly in tag team matches. But, he never signed an exclusive contract with them, since he was unwilling to let go of his Japan tour commitments with NJPW.
He returned to the WWF fold in October 1992, and notched up a series of wins on both ‘WWF Wrestling Challenge’ and ‘WWF Superstars’ events.
January 1993 marked his big pay-per-view debut for WWF, where he won the ‘Royal Rumble’ after defeating the last opponent, Big Boss Man.That same year, Luna Vachon was introduced as his manager and ‘love interest’, where the duo’s feud with Doink the Clown became a parallel WWF story-line. That rivalry was put to rest in WrestleMania X event of March 1994 where the duo won their tag team match against Doink and Dink.
By June 1994, he parted ways with Vachon and joined Ted DiBiase’s team, the ‘Million Dollar Corporation’.
On 2 April 1995, he featured in the main event of WrestleMania XI where he squared off against Lawrence Taylor, only to lose to the NFL legend. In November that year, he lost to Goldust; incidentally his final WWF appearance.
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In 1996, Bam Bam Bigelow competed in the U-Japan MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) event against Kimo Leopoldo. While he lost that match in the first round itself, however, he did receive a substantial fee for his participation.
After a year, performing on independent circuits, he joined Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotions in 1996, where his rivalry with Taz gained legendary status. It culminated in him defeating Taz in the Living Dangerously pay-per-view event of 1998.
Following his appearance in the main event of ‘November to Remember’ of 1998, Bam Bam Bigelow left the ECW to rejoin WCW once again.
His WCW stint saw him form a tag team with Diamond Dallas Page called the ‘Jersey Triad’ and a Hardcore Championship win later in 2000.
When WCW was purchased by WWF in 2001, he declined to join the latter and instead ran out his contract. He spent his final years featuring on various independent pro-wrestling events.
At ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling), he won the Heavyweight Championship and Television Championship, once each.
While at WCW (World Championship Wrestling), he won the Hardcore title once and the Tag Team Championship twice.
Family & Personal Life
Bam Bam Bigelow married Dana Fisher in 1987, and the couple had three children together. They separated in 2000, around which time he was dating Janis Remiesiewicz.
In 2000, he heroically saved three children from a burning house in his neighborhood, receiving second degree burns in process. He spent 10 days in a hospital recovering from the injuries.
He battled an OxyContin addiction throughout his pro-wrestling career, and was diagnosed with multiple medical issues post retirement.
He was found dead in his Florida home by his girlfriend, Janis Remiesiewicz on the morning of 19 January 2007. The autopsy determined drug overdose as cause of death.
As a teenager, Bam Bam Bigelow was convicted of aggravated assault and had to spend nine months in a youth correctional facility.