At first glance Curtis Sturrock doesn't resemble your run-of-the-mill wrestler, what with his 3D movie glasses and trusty computer keyboard. Once he transforms into "The Hacker" Scotty O'Shea, the physical stature of the 5-foot-9 grappler isn't an issue.
O'Shea uses a hybrid in-ring style that includes mat-based wrestling, complimented by his high-risk offense that he uses to thrill the fans with a unique repertoire.
"I love to entertain the fans," Sturrock told SLAM! Wrestling. The key to O'Shea is the comedy aspect of his persona. The glasses look goofy, and the keyboard is a sometime deadly prop man, but surely he is the only person in his profession to weigh in at 1.21 gigawatts -- a reference to Back to the Future.
The Hacker gimmick, inspired in part by his brother's love of World of Warcraft, isn't original, Sturrock admitted -- but he did get permission to use it.
"I was talking with Bloody Bill Skullion one day he mentioned that he had seen a picture of me surface online. The picture was just myself wearing 3D movie glasses with the lens popped out," Sturrock recalled.
Skullion commented that Sturrock looked similar to the original Hacker around Southern Ontario, Josh Lessard, who retired from the Ontario independent circuit in 2002. "I contacted the original Hacker and he gave me his blessing to use the name."
Sturrock grew up as a wrestling fan from an early age, admiring stars from the WWE such as the immortal Hulk Hogan. "He was the man I remember the most from my dad's collection of VHS tapes," he said. From the tapes grew a desire to chase a career in the wrestling business.
A funeral director, his father was performing a service attended by Hamilton wrestler Ernie "The Executioner" Moore. While speaking casually with the family members of the deceased, "My father mentioned to the Moore family that he has a son that would like to a professional wrestler," said Sturrock. The two families exchanged contact information and the youngster began his training at the young age of 13.
"The training facility that I attended was run by Ricky Stardust," he said. "In class I came to meet people like 'The High Risk Hero' Rip Impact and Cody Steele, who is known by wrestling fans as former TNA star Cody Deaner."
Impact recalled the first meeting between O'Shea and himself.
"In walked this new to the world teenager with his dad. His face lit up as he entered the training facility," said Impact. "During our first meeting, it was evident that Scotty was a RVD [Rob Van Dam] fan to say the least. He used to idolize him, to the point that after training for a bit he adapted some of his move-set and if I'm not mistaken he even came down to his entrance music."
The young upstart was brave from the start, said Impact. "Scotty wasn't afraid to try new things, and when we worked on something during training he usually picked it up. I think with a 'I'm going to put everything I can into this match' attitude, it separated him a bit from those that may have been a bit more reserved."
As for the name Scotty O'Shea? "I was searching for a name that had zing to it. I thought of S.O.S. Being a distress call was awesome and it worked for my size," said Sturrock.
Early on, he teamed with Alex York in a tag team called The Gym Rats. "Alex and I weren't very memorable," he laughed. Like Sturrock, York furthered his look and gimmick and is now is known as the soccer ball carrying, whistle-blowing Alessandro Del Bruno.
And Del Bruno is one of three favourite opponents that Sturrock lists, also including "Dangerboy" Derek Wylde and Ethan Page. O'Shea feels that those three bring out the best in him.
"The Ontario independent wrestling scene has a huge talent pool. However I feel that Alpha 1 Wrestling which is located in Hamilton, Ontario, is the best promotion around," he said.
Like many independent workers, when the 22-year-old Sturrock isn't breaking down firewalls as Scotty O'Shea, he has a day job. He is the operator of a C.C. burn table where he cuts steel for a manufacturing company.
His dreams are fairly modest.
"One of goals in the wrestling business is to have wrestling be a full-time for at least one year," he said, adding working in Mexico as another target.
In the end, though, it's about what he leaves behind with the fans, and Sturrock prides himself om having the best matches rather than championships. He tries to live the motto of Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. "My career will not be defined by wins and losses but by the performance I put on for the fans."