When Canadian Wrestling's Elite comes to Weyburn on July 11th, in addition to bringing a couple of hours of professional wrestling entertainment, they will be helping out the Weyburn Wrestling Club. A portion of the event's proceeds will be going to the club, which is fundraising for new mats for their facilities.  

For the special guest on the tour, D’Lo Brown, amateur sports such as wrestling played an important role as he grew up. 

“Being in amateur athletics teaches you discipline, and being able to work as a team, as well as an individual,” Brown told Discover Weyburn. “There are life skills that you use, irrelevant if you want to be a pro, just in day-to-day life.” 

For Brown, his professional wrestling career has been a storied one. After high school, he went to the University of Maine where he got a degree in accounting. However, his passion was in the world of professional wrestling.  

“I was never the one who wanted to really sit in an office,” Brown explained. “I’d always been in love with wrestling since I was nine years old, and a bunch of my friends were still, and I’m using air quotes here, backyard wrestling. So, I would, on weekends from my accounting job in New York City, go back home and just roll around a little bit, and every now and then we’d rent a real wrestling ring to put on a show.” 

The facility where they rented the ring from was owned by a man named Larry Sharp. He pointed out to  Brown he thought he was big and athletic, and asked if he had ever given thought to trying our wrestling as a career. 

“He goes, well, if you want to be on my next show, if you sell 50 tickets, you can be on my next show,” Brown recalled. “So, I sold four, bought the other 46 myself, and that’s how I got my start in professional wrestling.” 

From there, Brown has had a 30-year career in the industry. Over those 30 years, Brown has seen highs and lows.  

“It’s a blessing and a curse because the blessing part is you get to travel the world, you get to see things that people you grew up with can’t even imagine,” Brown said. “But then the curse is, you know, you have this nice lifestyle and you have a nice home, and you can’t even spend time in it.” 

Brown would start out wrestling under the name Ace the Animal, before going to Smoky Mountain Wrestling where he started using the name Downtown D’Lo Brown. He would sign with what is now WWE in 1995, while also appearing in the Heartland Wrestling Association, and spending time in Puerto Rico with the World Wrestling Council.  

It was in WWE that he started to hit his stride. He would be in the group Nation of Domination, where by 1998 he was working in a storyline with The Rock. That year he would go on to being the European Champion, and the Intercontinental Champion.  

Brown spent five more years working with the WWE before being released in 2003. He went on to join NWA Total Nonstop Action. He spent a year there and then went to wrestle in Japan, as well as around the world, before coming back to WWE in 2008. He would spend two years there and then went to Ring of Honor, then back to TNA in 2009. 

It was during his second stint with TNA that Brown would start working backstage, as he was the lead agent, and in charge of talent development and acquisitions. He would not end up working a match until 2013. He then left TNA and went back to Japan in 2013.  

Since then, in addition to wrestling in Japan, Brown has been working on the independent circuits, while also going back to TNA for a few years where he worked as a producer.  

Looking back on what he has already accomplished in his career, Brown pointed to not just the people he has worked with, but where he has worked. 

“Performing in Tokyo at the Tokyo Egg Dome in front of 70,000 people, or standing next to kings and queens or sultans, and flying on private jets around the world... Those things are amazing, and when you’re sitting there, you’re like, I cannot believe this really happened to me,” Brown reminisced. He pointed to some of the talent he has worked with in a wrestling ring – names such as The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, AJ Styles, and more.  

While he may not be performing in-ring as often anymore, Brown is still excited about the direction professional wrestling is going.  

"It’s definitely a renaissance of wrestling going on right now, where there’s so many good options for the fan to watch, and when there’s more options, the winner of this is the fan because they have the ability to watch wrestling every night of the week if they want,” Brown said, highlighting the calibre of wrestling on the national and international stage with WWE, TNA, AEW, and NWA. He also stressed the importance of the independent wrestling scene. 

Just like amateur athletics is the foundation for life, the independent wrestling scene is the star you’re going to see tomorrow – this is the minor league of the major companies,” Brown said, drawing a comparison to junior hockey. “You’re going to get the chance to see them grow today, and be there up close and personal and get to meet them, so one day you’re looking at the TV, and go oh, you know what? I knew him when. I knew her when.” 

For Brown, though, it all comes back to amateur sports.  

“Amateur athletics is something that every child should experience, every child should have the opportunity to experience because you never know the doors that it could open up for them, but at least it’s going to instill that discipline in them, and that will to want to work hard. That’s where amateur athletics really helped in my life.” 

Brown will be appearing with CWE in Weyburn on July 11th. Tickets for the show are available through the Weyburn Wrestling Club. To purchase tickets, you can contact Shane Lanz with the club at (306) 891-8223.