#LLSTORY - "Kowboy" Mike Hughes


#LLSTORY - "Kowboy" Mike Hughes

#LocalLegendsStories is brought to you this week by pro wrestler, local celebrity, and all around great guy "Kowboy" Mike Hughes. He's done so much work to raise funds for Island charities and we're proud to be able to feature his story. Thanks Mike!

"I was born and raised in Stratford, PEI. The saying "It takes a community to raise a child" must have been born on Prince Edward Island because that statement couldn't be any more true. Everyone knew their neighbours and helped out with whatever the chore of the season was. Whether it was cutting and piling wood, helping clean my uncle's horse barns or cut an elderly neighbour's lawn, that was simply the Island way. Everyone knew everyone. This was great if you were an an Islander but sometimes confused many a tourist upon asking for directions. Being told to "just go up to Sally's old house or turn where the old school use to be" was often impossible to many lost souls pulling away more confused than when they started. 

I have always had a proud sense of being an Islander. It was instilled in me from an early age. I remember standing in line at an ice cream stand one day around the age of 9 and a tourist was complaining that all it did on PEI was rain, during a bad week of weather. My father told him "There is a boat that leaves every hour on the half hour if you didn't like it here". 

Over years I was privileged enough to represent PEI from an early age in basketball in midget, juvenile, junior and finally at Canada Games. There was always a real sense of pride to wear the green & white PEI jersey. Although most of the time we were out-skilled, teams always remembered the gritty competitive nature that was instilled in Island athletes. There was no quit in Island teams; competitors may have left with some wins but hands were too full of ice packs to carry trophies. What else could you expect from athletes who grew up on an Island where farming and fishing were a way of life.

I'll be honest I went through a phase at 19-20 years old where all I wanted to do was get off PEI. When I started my training to become a pro wrestler and left PEI I thought I had it made. From the later half of 1998-2007 I had been travelling considerably spending 8-10 months a year between England, Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea and a few other places along the way. The more I was away, the more I longed to be home. I always missed PEI, especially the summers. I would constantly brag to the other wrestlers of our beautiful beaches, our sense of community and how everyone could trace your family lineage when the first question asked after "whats your name?" was "who are your parents and what part of the Island are you from". Wrestlers on long journeys would always talk of their native country, state or province and it would always be a game of try to one up each other. I would usually end the argument with "PEI is 100% better, our soil is so rich and red while the rest of you just live on piles of old grey dirt".

Promoters over the years would always say "you have to change where you are announced from, it just doesn't sound flashy enough". This would often end in long arguments. I told them the only other name I would concede to being announced from was "The Paradise Island in Canada", which was the only title other than Prince Edward Island I've been announced from.

Coming home and opening my own pro wrestling promotion was a dream come true for me. The framework I used to start the company was made up of true Island values and has made it unique in the wrestling business. Red Rock Wrestling had to be family entertainment, all athletes involved would be hard workers, and we were going to give back and be a positive part of the community. I think because of these Island values, Islanders have embraced and supported Red Rock Wrestling in all of our community activities. When I sit back and think of everyone that has come together to make all the charitable functions I've been a part of so successful, it truly does make you proud to be an Islander.

PEI, with its rolling green hills, world class beaches, and amazing fresh foods is a true spectacle that everyone should get a chance to experience, but it is the quality of the people that live here that make Prince Edward Island the most amazing place in the world to visit and a privilege to live!"

Proud Islander,
"Kowboy" Mike Hughes // Pro Wrestler, Owner -Red Rock Wrestling

Share your story with us by Facebook messaging us, or send an email to us at hollah@locallegends.ca! Photo Cred: Adam Florian