Jim Ross Blogs On The Death Of Mike 'Bastion Booger' Shaw
"I was saddened to hear of the death over the weekend of Mike Shaw, 53, who apparently died of a heart attack. Mike was an interesting guy. In the late 80's when I was a member of one of the many, infamous, WCW booking committees, I had the opportunity to hire Mike who had been a fixture for many years in Calgary for the Hart's Stampede Wrestling organization.
The Makhan Singh persona that Mike portrayed in Calgary was solid in my view but others wanted to create a new persona for Mike and, thus, Norman the Lunatic was hatched. I can remember when WCW flew Mike into Atlanta and then meeting him at the old, TBS studios and working on Norman vignettes even though neither one of us were quite sure of the description of the new persona. We did our best and subsequently launched the character on WCW on TBS. If my memory serves me correctly, I think that WCW head honcho Jim Herd had the basic idea for the Norman character.
I do remember speaking by phone with Stu Hart, an experience in its self, about Mike. Stu gave Mike a stellar reference and told me that Mike was loyal, hard working, reliable and a talented, athletic big man. All those things were true.
Mike was also a superb conversationalist and might have made a great sports talk radio host. He was a major fan of many sports and was quite the athlete in high school in multiple sports. Plus he was excellent at providing entertaining and provocative sound bytes.
Bastion Booger was likely Mike's most memorable role of which he portrayed in WWE in the 90's. Mike never embraced that particular persona but he had moderate success with it and was never a problem to deal with in WWE and was, as Stu Hart told me years prior, no problem with which to work.
Actually, Norman got 'over' to some degree in WCW as I recall him getting 100's of teddy bears when he made the turn to fan favorite. That persona likely got cut off prematurely, looking back in hindsight, and had the potential to be a 'character' fan favorite along the lines of a Bugsy McGraw and a George 'The Animal' Steele.
The last time I saw Mike was in December of 2007 at the 15th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw and we had a nice visit and talked football and the fact that his son was being recruited at the time by multiple schools as an offensive lineman. Mike was extremely proud of that fact. Little did I know that I would never see Mike again.
One last thing on Mike, he told me he kept copious notes on his years working in Calgary and had kept a journal detailing tons of hilarious stories of working for the Harts and traveling in Stampede Wrestling. I don't know what ever became of the journal but it might be diamond in the rough if it is still around. Mike told the best stories, in colorful and vivid detail, about the Hart Family and the adventures of working in Stampede Wrestling back in the 80's.
RIP Mike until we meet again."
For Ross' full blog, click here.