I was very saddened yesterday to learn of the passing of Burt Ruff in Winnipeg at age 44. Burt succumbed to cancer.
Burt was born in Winnipeg on April 29, 1966 and was trained by Terry Tomko prior to debuting in Winnipeg in 1991 for the Canadian Wrestling League. Best known by the ring name “Big Mikey”, Burt was active on the Winnipeg wrestling scene from 1991 to 1994, wrestling at local community centre and nightclub shows. He made a brief comeback in the fall of 2001 for Bobby Jay’s Top Rope Championship Wrestling.
During his short wrestling career, he also wrestled as Mike Cross, Mike Manson (for Tony Condello in 1992), as the Masked Executioner in 1994, and as The Mutilator in 2001.
I first met Burt upon my debut with River City Wrestling in Winnipeg in 1993. He was one of the original headline babyfaces for the upstart company, frequently teaming with Sluggo Smith against the villainous Sgt. Tom Steele and “King of Canada” Bobby Dee. He was a very humble and genuine guy who was always ready with a friendly gesture and a hearty laugh.
Burt, you will be missed by all who knew you.