Beaufort beatdowns have resumed at Totally Arctic Wrestling. The burgeoning pro-wrestling promotion is presenting a new bout each week and debuted July 3.

Saturday Night Skoden airs on Youtube at 5 p.m. each weekend. In their opening volley, battle-buds Blu Wilder and Mad Dog Marty Sugar hit the mats to determine the number one contender for the title, which TAW owner Dez Loreen said he hopes to put on later in the year under the Town of Inuvik Performance Pavilion.

“It’s one match per episode and we’re going to try and do them weekly,” said Loreen. “We want to put on a big show. It would be really awesome if it happens at the pavilion, but that’s all dependant on things out of our control.

“There’s so much to go through before we can get venues to agree to host things. So we’re just going to put on these warehouse shows and hopefully soon we can put on a public show.”

But the biggest struggles seem to be outside of the ring. Loreen admits he’s trying to curb his enthusiasm, as Covid-19 outbreaks have followed lifted restrictions in Whitehorse and other parts of Canada begin to open up.

Still digging his way out of piles of paperwork he needed to complete to get clearance from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer to make the show happen, Loreen has had to re-think deadlines, refund customers and eat a large chunk of the costs of having to cancel a show last year during the first wave of the pandemic.

Since then, he and his fellow wrestlers — Wilder, Jarred Kalifornia and the Nolerbear have been practicing and filming at a top-secret location. After deciding that putting on a full-out show wasn’t in the cards, the squad put together a private show to thank their fans for their ongoing support during the pandemic.

Now joined by Mad Dog Marty Sugar, a gritty survivor of the industry who has effectively taken the group under his wing since their opening show, the team wants to put on a show for those fans who’ve been waiting. Loreen said the burden was beginning to weigh down on him.

“It’s been so frustrating,” he said. “We’re all training and we’re working hard and we know people want to watch us wrestle. Right now we don’t have to isolate when people come in, but how long is that going to last? Is it going to be long enough for me to book more plane tickets?

“We know we owe the Town of Inuvik a show. A lot of people paid for TAW Retribution and we’re hoping we can put it on this summer. The hurdles we have to jump just get bigger and bigger and the line keeps moving back.”

With the pandemic continuing to be a major concern in much of the country, Loreen noted his options for bringing talent up for a show were also limited. Under the current rules, non-residents entering the territory who are fully vaccinated have to apply for an exemption to avoid the required self-isolation period. Other rules, such as increases in gathering numbers both outdoors and indoors have been lifted, though he notes he still has to submit a floor plan for an outdoor show.

Regardless, Loreen said the group was dedicated to filming weekly fights to build up to their title show, whenever that turns out to be.

“I want to have professionals here wrestling,” he said. “It’s been my goal from day one to make TAW about professional wrestling. It was never supposed to be the four of us being the stars. We were supposed to be in the show, but I want to watch wrestling.

“I want to see live wrestling in my home town here.”

Saturday Night Skoden (which is slang for ‘Let’s go then’) airs each weekend on Totally Arctic Wrestling’s YouTube page.

Watch the first episode:

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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