Big Men, Bigger Dreams

Storyline Australia - Big Men, Bigger Dreams, by Robin Oliver - 23rd April 2004
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)

Three professional wrestlers and a few others on the side - giants of grunt most of them - full of all the posturing shenanigans and of the ring. But before dismissing this splendid film - a first documentary from director, producer and writer Dimitri Ellerington - take a few moments of blather on the chin and get to meet Con Jakovidis, Adrian Tiatto and Greg Heasly.

Clever brutes, all three of them. Jakovidis is better known ringside as "Mr Damage". Wrestling royalty, if you like, for he's the Australian champ, a determined fighter ever since his dad, the veteran Alex Jakovidis - "The Great Greek Bear" - came home in triumph, his face covered in blood, after his big match with "King Kong" before 14,000 screaming fans at the Olympic Pool in Melbourne. "Wrestling today is more easy," says Alex. "In the olden days, very hard."

By Mr Damage's reckoning, the most promising of the rising stars looked like being Tiatto - "The Ox" - most entertaining of the three big men in Ellerington's film. The Ox's wrestling potential is undeniable. He was best mates with Jakovidis until the well-promoted match between the two, an agreed show-off occasion for Ox. All went well - rather too well - until Jakovidis decided it was time to exert Damage control. The Ox took a lathering, the friendship withered.

The Ox still wants to be No. 1. "There's a few guys in Australia that are holding me back," he says. That draws a retort from Mr Damage. "To even compare Ox with me is like comparing a Mercedes-Benz to a Morris Minor."

Last of the three, Greg Heasly fights as "Bully the Brawler". He's a showman, tough, ferocious and intimidating. "I don't dilly-dally," he says. "Once I'm in there, bang! It's on." He's sure of his place in the scheme of things. "Mr Damage thinks he's Mr Wrestling and he thinks everyone likes him. But they don't."

Heasly is a tattooist, and while he adds further embellishments to a young man with an already heavily illustrated back, he gives Mr Damage another jab. "What have the Greeks got? Have you ever seen a Greek world champion? In anything?"

Then there's Janine Bubb, Ox's partner. "It's soap opera," she says. "I laugh when the wrestlers get a bit precious and start comparing their gear and the clothes." That's water off Ox's back. "If you're going to be a wrestler, you've got to dress like a wrestler." He's as good as his word.


Media Websites

The Sydney Morning Herald



Official websites

AWF Pro Wrestling


Big Men, Bigger Dreams: Australian Wrestlers - SBS - Storyline Australia


Greg "TNT" Bownds

Brett Clements

Steve "Crusher" Rackman

Johnny Valiant

Evan Ginzburg

Killer Kowalski

Bruno Sammartino

Jake "The Snake" Roberts

Sue Sexton

Bobby Riedel

Dr Mike Lano

Vaughan Buckland

Phil Picasso

Greg Tingle -25th February 2004

Greg Tingle - 25th October 2003

Greg Tingle - 2nd July 2003

Greg Tingle - John Laws - 31st July 2002

Press Releases

AWF Pro Wrestling Sponsorship Proposal 2004 outline, via Mediaman

Mediaman Shakes Up Media and PR Market


Mediaman - current projects



Wrestling Documentary Project

Documentary on Australian Wrestling History