Various sites are reporting that former wrestler Mike Shaw, 53, passed away yesterday due to a heart attack. F4WOnline has a nice quick bio and Slam! Wrestling has an excellent longer obituary. Shaw was probably best known for his role as Bastion Booger in the WWF in the early-mid '90s. The gross-out undercard comedy heel gimmick did not make the most out of his talent, as he was a very agile big man who was a hell of a worker and an excellent heel promo.
A native of Michigan, he was trained by Killer Kowalski in Massachusetts and started his career in Al Tomko's Vancouver, BC-based All-Star Wrestling territory in 1981. In '82, he moved to Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling territory based out of Calgary, AB, where he made his mark, as aside from international tours, he stayed for the next 7 years as a regular, eventually becoming the top heel for the last few years of his run. At first he used his real name, but he eventually became a "honorary Pakistani" Makhan Singh as a partner of Gama Singh in the Karachi Vice stable. As Singh, he became rookie Owen Hart's rival in main events. He kept up with Hart every step of the way, taking his suplexes and having fast-paced matches where he didn't blow up.
He eventually became color commentator for the promotion on top of his wrestling duties, carrying the broadcast in a promotion notorious for Ed Whalen's terrible announcing. In 1989, he left Stampede for WCW, where he became Norman The Lunatic, a mental patient controlled by Teddy Long, who threatened to send him back to the hospital and lock him up with a giant gold key (really) that he carried. When he inevitably turned face, he got over as a lovable childrens' hero who carried teddy bears everywhere. He was limited by the gimmick (which he did a great job with) but still had good matches with the right opponents, like Brian Pillman, Cactus Jack, and Kevin Sullivan. After a brief switch to "Trucker Norm," he was fired and went to EMLL in Mexico as Aaron Grundy, brother of hillbilly Solomon Grundy, as well as the early version of Joe Pedicino's GWF as Singh, where he, Cactus, Rip Rogers, and Scott Anthony (Raven) formed top heel stable "The Cartel" until most of the non-local Texas talent was dropped to save money.
In 1993, he showed up in the WWF as babyfaced monk Friar Furguson, which lasted about 2 weeks before he disappeared for a little while. He resurfaced as Booger. He was slowing down at that point, so between that and the gimmick, his run, which was his last on a major stage, was pretty underwhelming. He was living a normal life for the most part since leaving the WWF. He was still heavy and had a reputation for being a clean-living family man, so I would guess that the heart attack was not at all drug related.
He was a tremendously underrated wrestler and by all accounts a good guy. RIP Norman.
After the jump, check out his most famous match with Hart.