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Why no wrestlers on Walk of Fame?
Mat Matters Editorial
By GREG OLIVER -- Co-Producer, SLAM! Wrestling


Mad Dog Vachon

Ever heard of Jean-Paul Riopelle, Teresa Stratas or Kenojuak Ashevak? Me neither. But they are all enshrined on Canada's Walk of Fame. Guess how many wrestlers are there. Right. None. But there is something you can do about it, but you have to do it NOW.

The Walk of Fame, located in Toronto's Theatre District, is accepting nominations until the end of the year for its 2004 inductees.

It's simple to do. You go to this URL
http://www.canadaswalkoffame.com/nominations.html
and fill in your pick, along with your personal information should you want to be entered into their contest.

As far as I'm concerned, there are many wrestlers who should be on the Walk of Fame. Especially given that their web site describes the honour like this: "Canada has produced many of the brightest arts, entertainment, and sports talents in the world. Canada's Walk of Fame pays tribute to these remarkable and renowned Canadians through a series of inlaid "sidewalk stars" in Toronto's Theatre District."

This isn't meant as a knock on Riopelle (a painter), Stratas (opera soprano) or Ashevak (painter/sculptor) or some of the lesser known names on the Walk. But let's be realistic. The number of people who watch wrestling on TV each year has always far exceeded those who go to art galleries or attend opera.

Or what about world-famous model Linda Evangelista having a star on the Walk of Fame? Sure she's well-known and beautiful, but is it really a talent or something creative at all like acting, painting, or athletic?

So let's throw out a few names.

Take Whipper Billy Watson, who was one of Canada's best-known celebrities in the 1950s and 1960s as TV was invading homes across the nation.

Or Bret Hart, whom the Alberta Report called the best-known Albertan in the world. (The Walk has a Hart, but it's Evelyn Hart, a ballet dancer from Toronto.)

Mad Dog Vachon is one of Quebec's most famous citizens, and an all-around great guy who is known world-wide.

Knowing the way this country works, I think it's Vachon who has the best chance of getting recognized. For one, he's French-Canadian. But he's done more than wrestling in his lifetime, including promoting, writing, acting and even restaurant reviewing.

So take a minute between now and December 31st to register your vote for Maurice Vachon, or someone else of your choice.

Let's show 'em our political clout!

And if they don't pick a wrestler, we can let them know what we think at the email address feedback@canadaswalkoffame.com, or write to:

Canada's Walk of Fame
1 Yonge Street
Suite 1014
Toronto, ON
M5E 1E5
Tel. 416.367.9255
Fax 416.367.0090

Who's on the Walk of Fame now:

People
David Steinberg, actor
Jim Elder, equestrian
Linda Evangelista, model
Lorne Michaels, TV producer
Luc Plamondon, musician
Lynn Johnston, For Better or For Worse cartoonist
Mike Myers, comedian/actor
Robbie Robertson, singer, The Band
Scotty Bowman, hockey coach
Shania Twain, singer
Toller Cranston, figure skater
Dan Aykroyd, actor
Alex Colville, painter/print-maker
Timothy Findley, author
David Foster, music producer
Wayne Gretzky, hockey player
Monty Hall, game show host
Arthur Hiller, film director
Guy Lombardo, bandleader
Ronnie Hawkins, musician
Kenojuak Ashevak, painter / sculptor
Margaret Atwood, author
Jean Beliveau, hockey player
Kurt Browning, figure skater
Ferguson Jenkins, baseball player
Harry Winston Jerome, sprinter
Robert Lepage, film firector
Leslie Nielsen, actor
Walter Ostanek, polka king
Ivan Reitman, film director
Teresa Stratas, opera soprano
Veronica Tennant, ballet dancer
Maureen Forrester, singer
Michael J. Fox, actor
Evelyn Hart, ballet dancer
Gordie Howe, hockey player
William Hutt, Actor
Joni Mitchell, singer
Ginette Reno, singer
Jean-Paul Riopelle, painter
William Shatner, actor
Martin Short, actor
Donald Sutherland, actor
Neil Young, singer
David Cronenberg, film director
Hume Cronyn, actor
CÚline Dion, singer
Nancy Greene, downhill skier
Lou Jacobi, actor
Juliette, singer
Mary Pickford, actor
Maurice Richard, hockey player
Buffy Sainte-Marie, songwriter
Bryan Adams, singer
Pierre Berton, author
John Candy, actor
Jim Carrey, actor
Glenn Gould, musician
Norman Jewison, film director
Karen Kain, ballet dancer
Gordon Lightfoot, musician
Rich Little, impressionist
Anne Murray, singer
Bobby Orr, hockey player
Christopher Plummer, actor
Barbara Ann Scott, figure skater
Jacques Villeneuve, race car driver

Entities/Groups
Cirque du Soleil, Circus Troupe
SCTV, Comedians
The Tragically Hip, band
The Guess Who, band
Royal Canadian Air Farce, comedy troupe
Rush, band
Wayne and Shuster, comedy duo

Greg Oliver founded SLAM! Wrestling with John Powell way back in 1996, and has been writing about pro wrestling since 1985. He is the author of the recently published book The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians from ECW Press. Order it from the SLAM! Wrestling Store. He can be emailed at goliver845@gmail.com.