BRAMPTON, ON, Canada – Because of its significant South Asian population, Canada Day celebrations in Brampton, Ontario have a very unique flavour. One of the main ingredients in that flavour is TigerFest, the annual event presented by the City of Brampton and vision of the legendary Tiger Jeet Singh and his son Tiger Ali Singh that perfectly blends the glamour of Bollywood and the spectacle of professional wrestling.
This year’s event on July 1st, in support of the Osler Foundation’s Etobicoke General Hospital, Brampton Civic Hospital, and Peel Memorial Hospital, was an tremendous success, with thousands of fans in attendance to see some of wrestling’s biggest names square off in a hardcore war.
TigerFest was the capper of the full-day of Canada Day celebrations with the official kick off being done when Mayor Susan Fennell took to the stage and welcomed the thousands in attendance and expressed her gratitude for the Tigers loyalty in returning back to Brampton. The Mayor was accompanied by Tiger Jeet Singh, Kulvir Singh Gill Chair Olsler Foundation, Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt and city councillor Vicky Dhillon. “TigerFest is a significant charity event in our City,” said Mayor Fennell, “and I am proud to see it as part of our exciting Canada Day celebrations.”
The audience was spellbound when Tiger Ali Singh and movie star Vinay Virmani made their way into the ring. Vinay was on hand to support the Tigers, who he’s long admired for not only their in ring prowess but their fight against drugs. Tiger invited everyone to come out on September 19th for the premier of Vinay’s new Hollywood film DR. CABBIE (Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s first international film production). Vinay closed off by making an impromptu announcement that Tiger will be starring in his next Hollywood movie!
Before the wrestling began, the audience was treated to some South Asian entertainment led off by magician Raman Sharma, local artist Ishpreet Singh Devgun, Jadoo Entertainment (a troupe of Bollywood dancers), rising stars Amer Dhaliwal & Atmosphere, Dhol Circle, Extreme Bhangra and famed international recording artist Deep Jandu. But as exciting as the build-up was, it was clear, judging from the raucous and rowdy crowd, that they were there for the in-ring action. And the show delivered in spades.
The main event in particular. That match started off as a 2-out-of-3, no-DQ, nocountout hardcore brawl between Tiger Ali Singh and TNA star Rhino. The action was hard-hitting until Singh was attacked by Rhino’s Foreign Invasion Squad of Steve Corino and the “Sudanese Butcher” Soa Amin, along with Tyson Dux who had earlier renounced his Canadian citizenship in favour of the USA. Singh had some backup of his own, however, in the form of former TNA superstar Sonjay Dutt and Davey Boy Smith Jr. (formerly, WWE’s David Hart Smith), and after some back and forth, the match was changed to a 6-man match (with Dux taking on a managerial role for his team) and an additional stipulation that allowed pinfalls to be counted anywhere.
No longer confined to the ring, all of the combatants took full advantage, as bodies started to fly everywhere, and the action spilled to the floor. As some of them started unloading on each other with chairs and garbage cans, Tiger ex-changed blows with Steve Corino, taking the fight into the crowd. There, Singh was able to over-power Cori-no and with his rabid fans counting along, Tiger choke slammed Cornio through a table earning the first pin-fall. The match returned to the ring, and Tiger’s team was well in control. But just when it looked like his team was going to get the sweep, Smith shockingly backstabbed Tiger, tagging in, only to then smash him in the head with a garbage can and allowing their op-ponents to even things up. Smith tried to justify his actions by saying he was fed up with being “Tiger’s second” and decided to join up with Corino’s crew. Tiger and Sonjay were undaunted, though, and agreed to a 4-on-2 battle for the third fall. The fight got even wilder then, with even more chair and garbage can smashes being dealt all around. Ultimately, Dutt and Tiger were able to power through the pain and take out their opponents one by one. In the end, as chants of “Tiger! Tiger!” filled the air, Tiger Ali Singh climbed a ladder which had been brought out earlier, and leapt from the top to put the Butcher through a table in the centre of the ring to get the pin for his team.
After the show, a beatup Tiger Ali Singh shared his thoughts about the evolution of the annual event. “A few years ago when we started this, we were looking to have a little fun. To put on an event the entire family could enjoy, who normally wouldn’t be able to afford the journey out to catch a live wrestling event in Toronto and raise awareness for a good cause. By God’s grace,” he reflected, “it’s grown into a major event and an annual tradition. In addition to the charitable efforts, it’s also a platform to pro-mote the message for youth to stay away from drugs, and a celebration of unity among the rich diversity we have living in Canada.”
“Yes, my father is the namesake. But it’s the collected effort of all the guys and girls, the superstars on the show — their commitment to the cause, their hard work — that makes this such a great event each and every time. I’m glad we can continue the tradition, and am very grateful to Mayor Susan Fennell and the City of Brampton for their continued support and wanting to share the same ‘message’ with the youth and community.”
Prior to the main event, the preliminary matches featured some exciting action by several of the stars from Squared Circle Wrestling Promotion and former WWE, TNA and ECW superstars Bushwhacker Luke, Tyson, Rage Warrior and Bollywood Boyz.