Mohawk wrestlers ‘Dad Bod Squad’ latest from their community to jump in the ring 

In the wrestling ring fortunes can change in a flash.

One moment, you’re taking a beating, struggling, and failing to tag in your partner.

The next, an opportunity can present itself, waiting to be seized.

It could be a chance to pull off a reverse suplex…duck under a clothesline…or use a hapless referee to block an opponent’s blow.

The momentum swings are fast and frequent, lending the sport a drama like no other.

 

That’s the way Kahnawà:ke’s Dad Bod Squad likes it.

“We’re gonna come out here and put on a great show for these great fans at BCW [Beauharnois Championships Wrestling], and we’re going to kick some butt at the same time,” affirmed Dad Bod Squad’s Shawn Rice.

Their match against the Mascouche Dynasty, obnoxious oil millionaires from the Montreal suburbs, turned quickly on a double DDT delivered by the squad’s other member, Kyle Zachary.

Then after getting tagged in, Rice entered the ring in a fury, nearly completing the job.

But the nefarious interference of another tag team, Cayen and Cable, distracted the referee, leaving the Dynasty to pull off a brutal low blow on Rice before pinning him to mat.

It was a tough loss, one that lead to The Dad Bod Squad vowing revenge.

“You stick your nose in our business, we’re gonna have to flatten it!” exclaimed Zachary in post match exclusive with APTN News.

 

(Dad bod Squad Kyle Zachary, left, with Shawn Rice. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)

This is a regular Saturday night at Beauharnois Championship Wrestling [BCW], based forty-five minutes southwest of Montreal.

At $10 a head ($5 for kids) it’s mostly a labour of love for organizers and performers.

That applies to promoter Loïc Lessard Paquette, who says wrestling is nothing less than an art form.

“It’s a piece of theatre, each wrestling match is a play, so the director decides the story, the wrestlers play the parts, so a wrestling match, at its core, it’s really about telling a story,” explained Lessard Paquette in French “It’s like a dance.”

Another essential element to good wrestling: characters.

“Yeah, we’re the old dudes, we’re out of shape, we’re dads, we’re like in the twilight of our careers pretty much,” said Rice, pointing to his torso “dad bod, you know we got the dad bods going on, kind of makes sense.”

“We’re called the Dad Bod Squad because you look at these guys back here,” said Zachary gesturing to a group of wrestlers warming up in the ring “they’re chipper, they’re bright eyed, they’re bushy tailed, and they’re ready to take on the world, we can’t keep up with that kind of youthful enthusiasm.”

But what The Dad Bod Squad lacks in energy or abdominal muscles, they make up for in craftiness.

Their motto “work smarter, not harder” speaks to how they’ve been known to delve into the dark arts of wrestling.

“You watch some of these guys, they’re doing backflips and somersaults all over the place, the way we keep up with them is give ’em a quick poke in the eyes,” explained Zachary

Zachary and Rice might be playing up the dad angle, but you could also call them the comeback kids.

They returned to the ring only a few months ago, after over a decade off.

This coming weekend they’ll be making their US debut in New Jersey at a nearly week long independent circuit showcase.

“Every promotion from the world, not just from North America, but the world. Like even Japan and Mexico, they’re all having shows in the same place so it’s a big thing for everybody in pro wrestling,” said Rice.

But the Dad Bod Squad aren’t the first Mohawk wrestlers from Kahnawà:ke to make a name for themselves.

Long-time fans of pro wrestling will know Billy Two Rivers.

He wrestled for 24 years all over the world mainly in the US, U.K, and Asia.

He never once played a villain.

“No, I didn’t have a choice, they loved me,” said Two Rivers with a laugh.

Ever the showman, the 83 year old agreed to meet with APTN even though he’s in the hospital rehabbing a back injury.

When asked to describe his first match in 1953 – Two Rivers guffawed.

“The first one was a laugh on me.”

Two Rivers always entered the ring by vaulting over the top ropes.

Aside from being flashy, it was a way to avoid getting his famous headdress stuck between the ropes on entry.

But nerves got the best of him during his first match ever in Detroit.

“My first time there, my knees were knocking. So I went, I got up on the apron on the ring, I grabbed the top two ropes, and I vaulted. I was so nervous, as I was clearing it my toe caught the top rope. And you ever see a chicken fall into a ring? There I was on the mat in a pile of feathers. Well, I never lived that down for about ten years,” said Two Rivers.

(Billy Two Rivers holds a picture of himself and his patented entry into the wrestling ring. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)

Having a wrestling legend in the community certainly served as inspiration for Zachary long before he had a dad bod.

“When I first got into the industry I sat with Billy and we talked and we developed this bond that only you can grow with other wrestlers,” said Zachary.

Despite giving the appearance of blood enemies in the ring, out of the ring the wrestling community is close knit.

Injuries can happen easily in the ring, so it’s important to have the trust of your combatants.

But on this night in Beauharnois, that bond between wrestlers only goes so far.

Especially when the opportunity for revenge appears.

After the sour end to their own match, the squad waited until Cayen and Cable, the team that ambushed them, were near victory before staging a perfectly timed distraction to steal the match out from under them.

“I mean, it’s tit for tat, right? Dutch door action. You screw us, we’re going to screw you right back. It’s simple, simple mathematics,” Zachary explained, before Rice interjected “I’m terrible at math.”

Perhaps mathematics is a poor analogy.

To call it poetry would be a stretch.

But great theatre? The roar of the Beauharnois crowd says that’s a fit.

Producer Nouvelles Nationales d'APTN / Montreal

Born and raised in Montreal, Tom cut his teeth working in community television in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory before joining APTN as a cameraman/editor in 2008. In 2015 he was promoted to Video Journalist. Since 2019 Tom has been a producer for the French weekly newscast Nouvelles Nationales d’APTN.