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   Tue, February 24, 2004



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COMMENT





Canadians to break out in 2004?
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling


Petey Williams

Canada has produced some of the best wrestlers on the planet, and for the next generation it looks like 2004 may finally be the year in which independent Canadian wrestlers get their shot at showing off the talent that fans have been seeing for years. In March alone, Canadians are set to appear in Ring of Honor, CZW, JAPW, NWA-TNA and overseas.

Its been announced that there will be a second battle in TNA featuring the stars of Mexico's AAA, this time wrestling against Team Canada, captained by Ted Hart. The rest of the team will be rounded out by Border City Wrestling's Petey Williams, Jack Evans and "Hotshot" Johnny Devine, both from Stampede.

The controversial Hart, who had reportedly burned bridges in both Ring of Honor and NWA-TNA will be returning to both promotions in March. In a letter from his agent In Your Face Bookings, Hart announced that he would be going to the big March 13th Ring of Honor show in Elizabeth, New Jersey, prompting fans to debate over whether he should be allowed back into the promotion. Hart and Evans are also booked for upcoming shows in Combat Zone Wrestling and Jersey All Pro Wrestling.

Harry Smith may have lost out on some TV matches when MLW closed it's doors, but he has also been signed to appear at the RoH convention card the afternoon of March 13th. If he joins his cousin in TNA, don't expect him to take on a full-time schedule until the summer.

Portland Wrestling has relaunched in the Pacific Northwest, with a TV deal, providing coverage to wrestlers like Scotty Mac, Black Dragon and Tony Kozina as well as a plethora of other Western talent.

Western Canadians also seem set to make a big impact in Japan. Stampede wrestlers Apocalypse, TJ Wilson and Dave Swift have all debuted for New Japan Pro Wrestling and it is likely that at some point each will head back to the promotion at least once. In addition, a reliable source has told SLAM! that the 380-pound Juggernaut is set to return to Japan, possibly Zero-one, as early as this week.

It is also likely that local talent may participate in the April WWE tapings in Calgary and Kelowna, although this has not been confirmed. In 2001, many Calgary wrestlers participated in dark matches in Calgary and Edmonton, and in August of 2003, B.C. athletes kicked off the RAW and Smackdown tapings. It is not known at this time who will be appearing on the shows.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Follow the links above for further details on the various Canadian wrestlers.

Jason Clevett is the self-proclaimed "King of Western Canada". He can be reached at j_clevett@hotmail.com.