At home and at his regular job, he’s mild-mannered Derri Deschover of Slave Lake. But as of about a month ago, he’s also Tarzan Hayes, the terror of the wrestling ring.
“I’m working with Monster Pro Wrestling (MPW),” says Deschover. “They do monthly shows in Edmonton, and in B.C.”
Speaking of which, this past weekend he was off with the MPW crew for performances in Williams Lake and Quesnel B.C. Then on Dec. 2, he’ll be back in the ring for an Edmonton show.
Deschover, who is noticeable for his muscular physique, grew up playing hockey in Slave Lake, and says he’s enjoyed pumping iron also for quite a few years. He loved pro wrestling on TV when he was a kid, and “secretly kept watching it” as an adult. He says he never thought about trying it, until this past September when he attended a WWE show in Edmonton.
“I was in the front row,” he says. “I thought, ‘I could do this!’”
It turned out he was right. He got hold of two wrestling outfits in the city, and Monster Pro was the one that got back to him.
The next thing you know, he was attending a ‘mini-camp.’ These are tryouts that a lot of people attend, Deschover says, but most don’t come back for more. He did.
“They put me in a match and gave me a gimmick. They liked my look.”
Deschover’s ‘gimmick,’ apparently is his ring persona, aka Tarzan Hayes. What sort of a character Hayes is, he didn’t say. It will probably develop over time. At the moment, he’s the low man on the totem pole, but that will likely change. Most of the MPW wrestlers in online videos are pretty scrawny compared to Deschover.
“It’s fairly scripted,” he says, of the action in the ring. “But the better you get, the more stuff you can do on the fly.
“You definitely have to know what you’re doing,” he continues. “And trust your opponent. And you’ve got to train, ‘cause you can get hurt.”
Deschover has only been in one wrestling show event so far. It was a ‘royal rumble’ in Edmonton. That’s the type where all the wrestlers end up in the ring together. Disqualification happens when a participant is tossed out of the ring over the top rope. The last one left inside is the winner.
Can somebody make a living at this?
“Yes,” Deschover says. “I would say that’s my goal, ultimately.”
Deschover works as a manager with fuel hauler Big Services, Inc. He’s married and he and his wife have a seven-month-old son. He says at first his wife didn’t know what to think of his new hobby, but having attended one event and seen him in action, “she really likes it and is extremely supportive,” he says.
And (this just in!), MPW is planning a show in Slave Lake, either in February or March of next year, Deschover says. If it goes well, “a big name is coming to Slave Lake in the next show!”