Meet wrestling's fur-clad, beer-swilling 'King of the Yukon'
B.C. wrestler threatens to have his opponents in the ring 'seeing Northern lights'
Classic rock blasts from the speakers as Davey Elmhurst enters the ring, wearing a fur vest with fringe. He's got long hair and a mustache. He barks like a dog, howls, beats his chest, then cracks open a beer.
The crowd goes crazy.
Meet the "King of the Yukon."
Elmhurst is a Nanaimo, B.C.-based wrestler with Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW). It's a touring company that plays to rowdy crowds in venues like Vancouver's Rickshaw Theatre or the 300-seat Commodore Ballroom.
It's a niche market: Youtube promos for ECCW events might get a few thousand views, at most.
Elmhurst has played at least four different wrestling characters over the years, and the "King of the Yukon" is just the latest. He has no personal connection to Yukon, but says it makes a good story.
"I was trying to think of a good-guy character," he said. "I wanted something that would be quintessentially Canadian."
The story is that his fur vest is polar bear, but "actually it's just faux-fur I got in Vancouver," he says.
His signature finishing move is the "Gold Rush," where he runs across the ring to slam an opponent's head in the turnbuckle.
Elmhurst says Canadian crowds seem to like the "beer-drinking party animal" who'll threaten to have you seeing northern lights. Some nights, the crowd chants "Yu-Kon do it!"
In the U.S., where he sometimes performs, it's a different story.
"People in America might not necessarily get it. I was in L.A. and people were asking 'what is Yukon?' he said.
Coast Guard by day
By day, Elmhurst works with the Canadian Coast Guard. He's ferried scientists who do climate change research on sea ice, and even took part in research on the Franklin Expedition.
But when he's on shore, he says, he "travels on the road in a van, going to wrestling shows."
He gets some proceeds from ticket sales, but says small-league wrestlers make more money by selling merchandise, such as T-shirts (Elmhurst's shirts picture him standing on a mountain of crushed beer cans, howling at the moon).
"The independents are in it because they love doing it," he said, of wrestling's minor leagues.
Asked for any wise words for the people of Yukon — who may not realise they have a King — his voice gets more macho. He's in character.
"I want to tell the people of the Yukon: be proud of your land, always crack a beer on a Friday, and long live the King!"