Politics is sometimes regarded as a knock-em-down, drag-em out sport.
A Sarnia, Ont. city councillor took that notion to heart last weekend when he stepped into a professional wrestling ring.
Brian White, 42, graced the stage at a Smash Wrestling show in Sarnia Friday evening, teaming up with Brent Banks in a match against Sebastian Suave and Anthony Kingdom James.
"I basically got mugged for twenty-some minutes by two professional wrestlers while my tag team partner did his best to protect me," White said with a laugh.
White's ascension to the ring started last June when he attended Smash Wrestling's first show in the city with his son. Impressed with the experience, White reached out to the company offering his help in promoting the events in the hopes it would continue to travel to Sarnia.
The company agreed and a plan involving an escalating feud between White and Sauve was hatched, starting on Twitter.
"It turned into quite an online battle," White said. "It led to an opportunity where we were going to shake hands in the ring at the next show in Sarnia ... it turned into a bit of a physical altercation."
Eventually, White accepted a challenge to join a tag-team match and enrolled in months of training at a wrestling facility in London, Ont. which included a development of a signature move known as "The Parking Ticket."
"I actually wrapped Sebastian Suave's arms in the ropes ... then I just looked around the audience and said 'Looks like somebody's illegally parked here,'" he said.
"Then I made the motion of writing a parking ticket and then I slapped it onto his chest like it was a windshield."
During the course of the match, White accidentally broke his arm in the process of delivering a move to an opponent.
"I got a little excited ... and made a rookie mistake," he said, adding that the three real wrestlers in the ring did their best to keep the amateur safe.
Some constituents concerned
White says while most of his constituents have voiced support of his foray into pro wrestling, some believe he "should be doing other things."
"I think it's an opportunity for us to give our kids something else to dream about — and aspire to," - Brian White, Sarnia city councillor
The first-term councillor dismisses those concerns.
"All I say to them is [that Smash Wrestling has] just been named the top independent pro wrestling company in Canada ... and they want to make Sarnia a home for national broadcasts," he said. "They want to do outreach in the community."
White added Smash has given free tickets to community groups and believes wrestling can have a "positive impact" in his city.
"I think it's an opportunity for us to give our kids something else to dream about — and aspire to," he said.