WRESTLING: Surrey native ‘Sid Sylum’ strives for ‘normal life’ after 11 years in ring

Nobody told Sean Neligan it’s time for him to leave pro wrestling for good, but his body was speaking to him loud and clear.

Wrestler Sid Sylum (Sean Neligan) after a 2011 match in Vancouver.

Nobody told Sean Neligan it’s time for him to leave pro wrestling for good, but his body was speaking to him loud and clear.

Neck and back aches have plagued him over the past couple of years, so Neligan – known to ECCW fans as Sid Sylum – is nearly done with stepping into the ring.

At age 28, with a couple of herniated disks in his neck and another in his back, he says he’ll wrestle one last time during an event at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom.

The “Ballroom Brawl VI” on July 16 will cap an 11-year run for Neligan, who saw his very first live wrestling event as a wide-eyed five-year-old at Cloverdale Fairgrounds in 1992.

Pretty much from that day forward, it was his dream to climb into the ring.

“Hopefully when it’s all said and done, I’ll feel good and not sad that it’s over,” Neligan, a Surrey native, told the Now.

“You know, I had a good 11 or 12 years, got to travel around Canada and everything and got flown out to places and had WWE tryouts, all that, so I like to think I can look back and be happy with what I did and have no regrets. I lived my childhood dream.”

For years, playing the bad-guy “heel” in the ring was much better than, say, being a paralyzed guy or, worse, a dead guy.

Neligan last wrestled in the fall of 2014, when a friend kept bugging him to get checked out by a doctor.

He was a Canadian champ at the time.

“I kept dropping stuff with my left hand and couldn’t open it fully,” Nelligan recalled. “I finally went (to the hospital) and they did a bunch of strength tests, even though I didn’t feel like I was hurt.”

The doctor’s prognosis wasn’t good.

“They said if I move wrong or took another bump in wrestling, a disk could sever my spine or poke into my spine more.”

Despite that medical advice, Neligan is certainly game for a no-holds-barred “retirement match” with Bishop, his former tag-team partner, at what should be a sold-out hall on Granville Street in mid-July.

“I’ve been doing physio and can open my hand again, with no numbness or anything,” Neligan said. “It’s still not a great neck, still some grinding when I move,” he added, “but apparently no immediate danger, and I’m feeling good. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been.”

With a certain amount of nervous excitement, Neligan recalled the time he was seriously injured during the Ballroom Brawl II event at the Commodore, back in the summer of 2014.

“I almost died because I cut an artery in my head and (blood) was squirting out,” he explained. “I went to hospital because it wouldn’t stop bleeding. They had to inject something into my head to make it swell so they could stitch it up. That was scary, and it was the day before my birthday.”

That night, Bishop was his partner in a “Mumbai Street Fight” with The Bollywood Boys, who this month announced their participation in an upcoming WWE Cruiserweight Classic tourney.

Further back in time, in the spring of 2005, Neligan’s name first appeared in the Now in a byline, as a Grade 12 student completing his career placement program at Sullivan Heights Secondary. That same year, at age 17, he also enrolled himself in wrestling school at a place in Whalley called Perfection Kickboxing Academy, and wrote about his adventures there.

Journalism didn’t work out for him, but wrestling sure did – at least until now.

In October, Neligan plans to move to Portland and marry an American woman originally from North Pole, Alaska.

“Wrestling isn’t my life anymore,” he said. “Money’s always a powerful thing, you know, but at this point I’m going to try normal life for a bit.”



Just Posted

Police renew call to ID suspect who pushed Surrey man into traffic near PNE

VPD haven’t received enough tips in the months since

New Surrey councillor is a newer dad

Mandeep Nagra’s son Kabar was born at Surrey Memorial Hospital, four days after the civic election

Over-budget bids cause delay of four Surrey school projects

Two projects have gone back out to tender, two awaiting ‘revised budget approval’ from Ministry of Education

Fees ensure patients have access to parking at SMH, FHA says

Fraser Health Authority hasn’t heard yet from city hall about pay parking at Surrey hospital

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

$90,000 pen from space created by B.C man

The Space pen is made from a meteorite

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for clocking 215 km/hr in Alberta

It’s the highest fine Alberta police have issued

5 to start your day

Police try to thwart retaliation after Hells Angels member killed, criminal investigation at B.C. legislature and more

Watchdog calls for probe into police board spending on former Victoria police chief

Police Complaint Commissioner says accountable and transparent review is in public interest

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Most Read