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SCENE SETTER: 'Hometown Hero' wrestling with success

'Barrie has become a hot spot for wrestling and more and more fans are jumping on board to experience one of these shows first-hand,' says rising star Van Landon
Van Landon is billed as the 'Hometown Hero' at Barrie Wrestling events.

What essential elements come to mind when you think about what makes for an unforgettable live experience?

Interesting characters? Costumes? Engaging plot? Audience participation? A non-traditional performance space?

Well, you get all that and more with — you guessed it — wrestling! Yes, wrestling!

Barrie Wrestling continues to bring its one-of-a-kind entertainment to our community and will be slamming back with Spring Blast in April. Before his match at Spring Blast, I had the opportunity to ask wrestler Van Landon a few questions.

Born in Orillia and a Georgian College graduate, Van has been making a name for himself in the ring. Referred to as Barrie Wrestling’s "Hometown Hero," he was voted by fans as the ‘Most Popular Barrie Wrestling Star’ in his rookie year in 2022.

Richard: How long have you been a professional wrestler and what inspired you to get in the ring?

Van: I have been a professional wrestler for four years now with around 50 career matches to date. My inspiration to get in the ring comes from my desire to achieve my “dream.” I am a big believer in following your dreams, and dreams look vastly different depending on who it is you are asking.

From childhood, my lifelong dream has always been to become a professional wrestler. We only have one shot at this little thing called life, and I believe you should responsibly spend it doing the things you love, the things that make you happy, and fulfill whatever dream it is that you may have.

Richard: How did you get the nickname ‘The Barn Burner’?

Van: The nickname 'The Barn Burner' comes from the expression “they just had a barn burner,” defined online as “a very exciting game, event, etc.” Van Landon is 'The Barn Burner' on the fact that all of my matches are full of unrivalled energy and excitement.

Richard: What can people expect from Barrie Wrestling’s upcoming event, Spring Blast?

Van: Spring Blast is going to be an incredible show. From top to bottom, Barrie Wrestling provides an amazing, family-friendly Saturday outing for all ages to enjoy! There is something for everyone on a Barrie Wrestling show, from comedy to hard-hitting action. People can expect to see all the women and men involved in the show going above and beyond any expectations and delivering an unforgettable evening.

Barrie has become a hot spot for wrestling and more and more fans are jumping on board to experience one of these shows first-hand.

Richard: Is there a signature move or brand that comes with seeing Van Landon in action?

Van: With Van Landon, there are a few signature moves to keep your eyes peeled for. The airplane spin is a move I use to successfully disorient my opponents, leaving them vulnerable to a follow-up attack. Also, fans can keep an eye out for 'The Motorplex,' a head and arm trapped back suplex.

My signature move has helped me end matches victoriously on a number of occasions.

Richard: You’re slated to face Rajan Husher at Spring Blast. What words do you have for your opponent?

Van: Rajan Husher is a new face to Barrie Wrestling, one that I am only now becoming familiar with. He chose to attack me from behind at our last event, I don’t respect that.

Rajan if you are reading this, you have no idea what kind of beast you unleashed when you attacked me. With the Barrie Wrestling crowd fuelling me, you are in for maximum destruction at Spring Blast. Van Landon style!

Richard: Other than your own match, what matches should people be excited to experience?

Van: Top to bottom, this entire show is full of exciting and dynamic match-ups. However, people should be excited to see the Barrie Wrestling in-ring debut of Rock 95’s radio host McCully versus Clay Wilson! They should also look forward to seeing the self-proclaimed King and Queen of Barrie Wrestling, BW heavyweight champion Kyle Boone and Shilo take on Impact Wrestling world heavyweight champion Josh Alexander team up with Wild Child and Jody Threat in a tag-team match.

If fans want to quickly catch up and experience all things Barrie Wrestling, full shows are available on demand on IWTV ( Use code “BARRIE400” when signing up to further support Barrie Wrestling.

Richard: If you could be part of a tag-team match with anyone, living or otherwise, who would be your partner and who would be your opponents?

Van: This is such a fun question because, under no restrictions, I have so many potential answers to this. Although, my No. 1 dream tag-team partner would be my Canadian hero Bret 'The Hitman' Hart. Bret Hart is still a huge influence on me in professional wrestling.

On that note, I think our opponents would have to be two more individuals who have had a major influence on me and that would be Matt and Jeff Hardy, The Hardy Boys. Growing up a huge fan of The Hardy Boys, it would be truly surreal to ever get to compete against them. I love these types of questions because there are so many possible answers to choose from!

Barrie Wrestling’s Spring Blast takes place on April 15 beginning at 5 p.m., at 49 Ferris Lane. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $25 for front row.

For more information about the event and how to get tickets, click here

Follow and keep up to date with Van Landon by following him on social media, including @thevanlandon on Instagram and @TheVanLandon on Twitter.