An art teacher can be­come a wrestler

Vancouver Magazine - - Cover Story -

The city’s Elite Cana­dian Cham­pi­onship (ECCW) Wrestling league may have launched the ca­reers of WWE stars like the Bol­ly­wood Boys with their monthly sellout shows, but ECCW’s train­ing classes give the wrestling-cu­ri­ous the chance to prac­tice body-slam­ming their way into span­dex-clad glory. That in­cludes Ca­rina Pic­cioni, a 37-year-old art teacher, who started train­ing on the ropes two years ago and now some­times even climbs into the ring (though usu­ally only to wind up get­ting kicked in the head).

“I was ve feet tall and barely knew who Hulk Ho­gan was, but I went to try­outs just to see—it was a bit of an early mid-life cri­sis. There was this gaunt­let of squats and pushups, and I made it through. I was im­pressed with my­self— and re­ally sore.

“Since then, it’s been a big learn­ing curve; there are so many un­spo­ken rules, codes and se­cret hand­shakes. You have to be in­sanely t, too. I’ve been do­ing it two years and I’m still not quite ready. I’ve been a ref­eree and sold T-shirts, and I’ve only in­ter­acted in the show two or three times so far—I ended up get­ting squashed. It’s a thing they do with lit­tle guys to make other char­ac­ters look fe­ro­cious. But the whole throw­ing-you-around part? I’m to­tally ne. My char­ac­ter is this plucky indie rock guy. It’s kind of like a drag queen iden­tity: you take your char­ac­ter from your per­son­al­ity and am­plify it.”

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