The Show Goes On

Battlewar 26 Plays On Despite Wrestler Tankman Chaz Collapsing On Stage

Photo Brandon Johnston
Photo Brandon Johnston
Photo Brandon Johnston
Photo Brandon Johnston

It is a phrase that is used often, especially in professional wrestling; the show must go on. Wrestling fans can recall seeing professional wrestlers tearing muscles, dislocating joints and breaking necks during matches, but still they entertain, enduring the pain.

However, this past Sunday during Montreal wrestling collective Battlewar’s third anniversary show, Battlewar 26, Tankman Chaz, one half of the wrestling duo The Tankmen, was involved in a scary and unsettling scene at Foufounes Electriques. No matter how tough the wrestler appeared to be that night, there was nothing he could do to continue his match.

During a tag-team match between The Tankmen and the Super Smash Brothers, Tankman Chaz began to twitch violently and was suddenly unresponsive to his fellow wrestlers, forcing them to call for medical attention. Ring announcer Brian The Guppy then announced to the crowd that the incident was real and not acting. Chaz was then carried off a backboard and was led away by ambulance to a hospital, a moment that caught wrestlers and the audience by surprise.

“There was a sense of shock and panic,” said Battlewar wrestler and co-founder James “Twiggy” McGee, when asked about Sunday night. “We had a bunch of people coming up from every direction telling us what we had to do but in that moment our only concern was the well being of (Chaz).”

No matter how long one has been in sport of wrestling, it is still hard to watch a performer look so helpless in the middle of a match. Battlewar wrestler Franky The Mobster, whose real name is Marc-André Boulanger, is still disturbed at the sight of a fellow wrestler being hurt, despite being a wrestler for almost 20 years.

“It’s always heartbreaking. It demolishes the morale (of the talent) and it demolishes everyone’s mind because we all share one passion,” the six foot two wrestler commented. “It was really hard to find it within me. It was hard to find that drive to perform and go out there and take those risks.”

Despite the injury to Chaz, as is the case in pro wrestling, Battlewar 26 continued on.

“As soon as it happened there was a thought of what we were going to do now,” McGee said. “I think we based the decision around the fact that the paramedics were calm and optimistic and also because a wrestler close to the situation told me that Chaz was in stable condition.

Performers, whether through theatre or wrestling, are determined to give their audience a good show, and it wasn’t a surprise to see that many wrestlers in Battlewar wanted to continue Sunday night’s event.

“The guys are just so in love with the idea of performance,” he added. “I’ve been involved in various types of performance whether it be comedy or theatre but I’ve never seen a commitment like I do with wrestling. We have to keep going because this is what we do. This is the way it is.”

Since Sunday’s incident, Tankman Chaz has been released from the hospital. He is now recuperating with his family.