Though never achieving the super-stardom of The Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior, or Hulk Hogan, Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow represented something of superhero status for a generation of young wrestling fan — a generation of fan including myself. And as we grew up and moved away from our childhood heroes, Bam Bam, with his tattooed head and cartwheels, was never forgotten. Scott Bigelow was found dead last week in his home in Hudson, Florida. He was forty five. Though his death is far from the first amongst high profile professional wrestlers, it signifies something important for myself (and perhaps for many others).
He was cartoonish in the fact that his character was over the top, but he could easily represent an entire age of wrestler which I watched religiously on Saturday mornings as a child. That being said, it was shocking to revisit Bam Bam later in his career as a member of the independent company Extreme Championship Wrestling, a promotion that I became a fan of in my teens which flourished with an abundance of violence, irreverence, and flaming table & barbed wire matches. His acrobatics weren’t what they once were, but nevertheless he served a key role in the company and won the hearts of many new fans through the promotion.
Bam Bam’s life was important to me in that it represented a piece of my personal childhood fading away. And even if only a trivial part, I’m sure such sentiment is shared by millions.