December 24, 2003
Why no wrestlers on Walk of Fame?Mat Matters Editorial
By GREG OLIVER -- Co-Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
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
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 email@example.com, or write to:
Canada's Walk of Fame
Who's on the Walk of Fame now:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.