the kingston whig-standard

"Jimmy Light-Show Basks in Wrestling Spotlight"

June 19, 2004

by Jan Murphy

Photo caption: Mark Bergin, The Whig-Standard / Jim Reedyk (left) and John Cena at the WWE show at the Memorial Centre


[text of article]

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt completely at home? Like it was your calling?

If you have, you can relate to Jim Reedyk, aka Jimmy Light-show.
He's the fellow who was given his 15 minutes of fame when World Wrestling Entertainment rolled into Kingston last month.
At the conclusion of the event, United States champion John Cena called Reedyk out of the crowd and into the ring, dubbing him an example of why the WWE succeeds: Because of its fans.
Reedyk, who was decked out in an unforgettable flashy costume complete with lights and a replica championship belt, delighted the crowd with a wardance like the one the legendary Ultimate Warrior used after victory.
It's an experience Reedyk would like to repeat.
"I almost felt my future," Reedyk told No Holds Barred this week, fresh from a trip to Cuba. "I really wanted to be in the ring. I felt like I was almost at home because of the crowd, the adulation of the crowd and the cheering."
Adulation, cheering and boisterous crowds are nothing new to the 29-year-old. He's been wearing his getups to bars and nightclubs for the last three years. His wardrobes fall somewhere in between those of Superstar Billy Graham, Scott Steiner and Jesse (The Body) Ventura.
Reedyk puts together his outfits with the help of a friend, Janet Hansen, who owns Enlighted Designs in California. His belts, of which he owns 10, have been purchased online and at the WWE store in Niagara Falls.
"I have about 25 to 30 different outfits," Reedyk said. "There's lightups in all the clothes. [They're] great for attention.
"I've been to many [places] where a DJ will call me up on the stage and have the crowd cheer me on because I have [one of] my belts."
Reedyk admits that the attention is addictive.
"I realized that the attention was really great and it caused me to get more and more outfits because the reaction was just out of this world," he said.
Making himself vulnerable to ridicule has never stopped Reedyk. In fact, it's never even been an issue.
"People ask that all the time," he said after being asked if he's ever received negative response while wearing one of his many costumes. "They ask me, 'Have you ever been challenged for your belts or had any negativity with the costumes?' I'm like 'No way, it's an instant hit.' You meet people right away. It breaks the ice instantly."
Because of his bald head and goatee, which he dyes to match his outfit, Reedyk was recently confused with a certain gentleman from the North Pole. A couple of kids visiting the family business, Chumleigh's, spotted the Whig-Standard picture of Reedyk in the ring with Cena.
Needless to say, the youngsters didn't believe it was Reedyk they were looking at in the picture.
"They were like, 'That was a crazy old man in the ring with John Cena.' I had to interject and say, 'Guys, that was me,' and they're like, 'No this guy was absolutely deranged.' The little boy, who was much younger says, 'No he's a really old man, like Santa Claus.' "
Reedyk relishes his moment in the sun, but he hasn't had enough yet. In fact, the brush with greatness has only spurred his hunger for the glitz and glam of the WWE.
"I'm looking to eventually, hopefully, become a manager," he said.
In the meantime, he plans to put together a compilation of his costumes and looks and send it to the WWE headquarters in Stamford, Conn. He knows exactly what his gimmick would be.
"On my way to the ring, while I manage, I'll give out a multitude of lightup toys and glow sticks to the fans," he explained. During the matches, he said, he'll use his flashy getup and lights to distract his wrestler's opponent.
Reedyk, who pegs managing legends Bobby (The Brain) Heenan and Jimmy (Mouth of the South) Hart as influences, is very aware of the difficulties he'll face in finding work in the world of professional wrestling.
"I understand that not a lot of people get into the WWE and [I have] accepted that fact," he said. In the meantime, he plans to "pursue my dream because I'm hard working and good-natured and I love attention ... I thrive on the attention of crowds."
It kind of begs one question, though. What did Cena say to him while they stood together in the ring in front of 3,000 Kingstonians?
"He's said 'Right on, I love the costume, man. I love the outfit," Reedyk said.
You can bet 2,999 jealous people wish they could have been in Jim Reedyk's flashy shoes.

Examples of some of Jimmy's Enlighted clothing can be seen on this page.

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