Former AWF champion Jaguar Vijay Singh passes away

Former Toronto-based independent wrestler Jaguar Vijay Singh (Vijay Hemanchal) has passed away, according to his original trainer Ron Hutchison.

Photo courtesy: @just1shotphoto1

Former Toronto-based independent wrestler Jaguar Vijay Singh (Vijay Hemanchal) passed away last Friday, according to his original trainer Ron Hutchison.

Hemanchal attended high school in Brampton, Ontario, and then went to Michigan Technological University on a football scholarship before graduating in 2000. Outside of sports, he focused on becoming an accountant and became a chartered accountant in 2001 and eventually, became a CPA in 2007 and would run his own business.

After getting out of University, he trained under Hutchison and debuted in July 1999. He became one of the regulars at the school’s affiliate promotion, the Apocalypse Wrestling Federation (AWF). Singh referred to himself as “Half Man, Half Amazing” with his familiar singlet with airbrush designs on them.

The AWF was run by Hutchison and Rod Boudreau with the company promoting shows in the Toronto area from 1998-2003 and made a comeback in March 2009.

During the promotion’s run, Singh won their heavyweight title four times with the first title win occurring in August 2000 where he held it for five days.

He won the title as part of a unique promotion the AWF had with the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) that runs in Toronto for three weeks every summer. The AWF staged multiple shows per day for those attending the CNE and this included a title switch where Singh won the championship before losing it on the final day of the CNE in September 2000.

Hutchison wrote a wonderful tribute for Hemanchal, including the following memories:

I remember training him at Sully’s and then him making his Apocalypse Wrestling Federation debut in July 1999. He flourished within its ranks, including becoming a four time AWF champion. He met his wife while working for me as part of the Apocalypse Wrestling Federation roster. How they ever managed to meet and fall in love with AWF super fan Robert attending every show he could and always chanting at Vijay at the top of his lungs, “wash your tights”, I’ll never know. But they did and their love flourished.

I remember his extraordinary athleticism and, as the date of this year’s cancelled Canadian National Exhibition approaches, I remember his super human efforts in working over 100 matches in 18 days straight during our annual CNE IronMan Tournaments. He worked that grueling schedule each of the three years the promotion ran at the CNE, although I seem to remember that he got injured one year and was unable to work that insane 100 match plus schedule. I also remember that one year at the Ex (2001, if I remember correctly) where he seemingly just wrestled and studied. Wrestled and studied. Wrestled and studied. It turned out that Vijay was studying for his Certified Professional Accountants examination. An examination that I am proud to say that he excelled in and then went on to incorporate his own Certified Professional Accounting firm, first with a partner and then branching out on his own.

He was the AWF’s last champion in 2003 when the company shut down after issues they encountered in running shows during the time the city was dealing with the SARS outbreak. This was also during a period where professional wrestling fell under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Athletic Commission, who’s guidelines made it extremely cost-prohibitive for independent groups to run shows. Those guidelines would last until 2006 when the commission stopped regulating pro wrestling events in the province.

Singh got out of wrestling and was heavily involved in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, competing in many tournaments and rising up in his ranking to earn a brown belt in BJJ.

According to Hutchison, it is believed he suffered a heart attack. Hemanchal leaves behind his wife and three children and he was 46 years of age.

We send our condolences to the family and friends of Vijay Hemanchal.

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Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.