When Vance Nevada agreed to be the emcee for the Star Fighting Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Vancouver last week, he had no idea that event organizers also wanted him to be one of the Cloverdale Fairgrounds honorees.
‘I was ambushed,’ Nevada explains. ‘I was in the building to honor those who had paved the way. I never imagined myself in the spotlight.’
Notable man – more about Vance Nevada
Nevada, who has fought for twenty years, was one of five fighters inducted into the Hall of Fame for their achievements both in and out of the ring.
His induction also recognized his work as a published and award-winning fight historian, master of ring psychology, and mentor to generations of aspiring athletes. Many wrestlers were taken aback by his sudden retirement from the industry in 2013 after competing in every province in Canada (except Quebec) and competing for 34 personal fighting championships during his twenty-year career.
Although he turned down many offers to return to the professional wrestling ring after retiring two years ago, he accepted this appearance because it allowed him to publicly honor some of the sport’s pioneers. Don Leo Jonathan of British Columbia, Ed ‘Moondog’ Moretti of California, and Roy Mcclarty of Saskatchewan.
Vance was overjoyed to meet Jonathan in person.
‘I first met Don Leo in person in 2008, despite knowing about his incredible fighting career for years prior,’ he says. ‘We became friends, and nearly every trip to the coast included a stop to see Mr. Jonathan and his wife Rose. It was too good an opportunity to pass up when I was told I was going to make it to the Hall.’
The youngest living inductee amazes
‘When I first met him, he told me he only wanted to compete in the first duel,’ said Mark Vellios, who joined the delegate committee to introduce him as the night’s final fighting competitor and lead wrestler.
‘He’s been a champion numerous times throughout his career and will always be a champion and a friend in my heart.’
After receiving the final award, Vance was about to leave the stage when he was stopped by production manager Kevin Jeffries.
‘In 2011, I filmed a reality show with Roddy Piper (a WWE Hall of Fame member),’ Vance recalls. ‘Piper hosted a photo shoot with the cast of the show on the final day of filming, and many people wore a Hall of Fame ring on their finger for a photo. When it was my turn, I told him I didn’t deserve the ring and couldn’t wear it.
‘That’s right…you’re going to get yours soon anyway,’ he said as he sat back before the photo was taken. I believe he was correct.’