A brand-new Conversations With Love is LIVE!

This week, Spencer chats with one of Alberta’s pro wrestling legends, Duke Durrango! In his first-ever interview with the WCSN, find out more about the PWA Hall of Famer, including:

  • What life is like since retiring from professional wrestling
  • Taking on the commissioner role in the PWA
  • Working on “the Match”
  • Growing up watching Stampede Wrestling
  • Coaching amateur wrestling at Mount Royal University
  • Transitioning from amateur to professional wrestling
  • Getting stretched by Stu Hart
  • Wrestling without ropes
  • Memorable matches in Stampede Wrestling
  • Getting to wrestle with his brother
  • Training under Bruce Hart
  • How Owen Hart’s passing affected Albertan wrestling
  • Moving to the Prairie Wrestling Alliance
  • Becoming a booker in two promotions at once
  • Bringing TJ Wilson and Davey Boy Smith Jr to the PWA
  • Why he wanted Michael Richard Blais to retire him
  • His feelings on his retirement
  • Team Hall of Fame

Conversations With Love is proudly brought to you by Beercade YEG.

Conversations With Love 53: A Conversation With Duke Durrango

On his first meeting with Stu Hart:

“So, we went up (to the Dungeon) and they were moving the ring that day, and I don’t think Keith wanted us to really see it. So the first day we went out there, they introduced us to Stu in the kitchen, and Stu knew our coach. So right away there was kind of a - we had a very interesting conversation, Stu stretched us in the kitchen.”

“Here’s the thing: when I got stretched by Stu, he was like, man, I’ll tell you he was at least 81. 81 or 82. And I’ll tell people - and I have no problem admitting this - first of all, at 23 I could have ran away from him for sure, but if he would’ve still got his hands on you, you were fucked. At that age, like at 80, you could just feel it. You got out of there (because) he wanted you to, because at that age, even at that age with my wrestling background, he would have destroyed me.

Leaving Stampede Wrestling for the first time:

“What actually happened is - the truth is I had a bit of a falling out with Stampede at one time. A bunch of us left and started - we’ll call it a rogue promotion because it sounds cool, but we started this promotion called Western Canadian Extreme Wrestling. So a few of us went and worked there for a while and this story gets long. Like, we could, we could probably do a podcast on the next story.”

“But long story short, I was wrestling for this promotion and got a phone call from New Japan. They wanted me to come over and, and have a week in the dojo. Again, this is where the story gets long so I don’t want to bore you with it, but long story short, that trip fell through and it fucking gutted me. Like it was one of the toughest, toughest things I’ve ever experienced in wrestling. Because don’t get me wrong, the money’s in the WWE and we know that, but strong style’s more geared toward what I like about it, more legit style. Right? So when I got that call, man, I was on top of the world and when it fell through, I was fucking gutted. So I quit wrestling for a year. I just said fuck, I’m done.”

On receiving a standing ovation from the PWA locker room:

“It’s almost surreal, man, cause it happened - you know, Calgary, we don’t draw the way we do in Edmonton, as funny as that sounds. So the first night when I wrestled in Calgary and did kind of my last show here, the building was almost sold out. It was packed. The wrestlers on the indies, you hear certain vets, you know, you’ll hear people that have quote-unquote made it. There’ll be a guy that had never sold a fucking ticket in his life. And sometimes that’s a fair statement, you know what I mean? But two nights in a row, I sold out two buildings. So to be - and I don’t want to say me cause we have a roster full of great guys - but when you’re drawing 150, 200 people, all of a sudden you’re drawn five, 600 people, you attribute some of that to yourself, as much as it sounds like your ego is out of control. And mine is, don’t get me wrong, I just try to hide it better than that.”

“So then to go in and have some of the boys - I mean, there’s only a few guys at PWA that knew me back in the day. The guys that were there now, all they had really seen me do is the old you know, punches, kicks, stops, chops and crowd work. They’d never seen me do a moonsault. They’d never seen me do a backflip. They’d never seen me do a front flip, you know, on the run. So for them it was just, you know, for some of them I was probably just this lazy bastard who work a crowd, you know what I mean?”

“But at the same time, to have those guys come out, some of those guys barely knew me and sort of show that respect. And then in Calgary, yeah, I kind of knew it was coming in Calgary, but I told Kurt in Edmonton, like I had my fanfare already. Don’t make the boys do that to me again. They don’t - they shouldn’t have to do that kind of thing. And so when they did it again, it was just, it’s so fucking humbling. You know what I mean? To, you know, you use the phrase like legend and I’m a legendary asshole that’s about it, right. So to kind of be paid that respect by guys, you know, that are also almost half your age, so they don’t really understand kind of where you came from or what your experience was.”

Follow the Network!

Duke Durrango on Twitter: @dukedurrango

Spencer on Twitter: @SpennyLove_WCS

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Conversations With Love 53: A Conversation With Duke Durrango

Spencer Love

Once stood in front of Cedric Alexander in line at a hotel. Slightly big deal.

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