Canucks in X cup
One of the biggest concepts in hockey over the past few decades has been the Team Canada idea. It is a fine example of creative branding which tugs at the patriotic heartstrings, while, at the same time, spawning a cottage industry of merchandise sales for paraphernalia of all shapes and sizes. Of course, the Team Canada concept also implies excellence -- the best of the best when it concerns hockey. From a geo-political standpoint, it pits country against country in a faux clash of cultures, societies and athletes.
I am positive that if the latest concept coming from the folks at NWA TNA has even a fraction of the success from a sports entertainment viewpoint as it did in hockey, they will be ecstatic. You see, NWA TNA has expanded its latest incarnation, the America's X cup, which formerly included representation from the U.S. and Mexico, to include 'Team Canada.'
For those not familiar with the concept, the America's X cup pits the top X division athletes in a point-scoring system to determine the winner of the cup. For the record, Mexico won the inaugural event amid much consternation from the U.S.-based customers.
Team Canada will be headed by my former colleague and good friend Scott D'amore, who knows a thing or two about bringing in the top talent to NWA TNA. Scott will likely perform the role of manager and spokesperson for the Canadian contingent, which will include Teddy Hart, Jack Evans, Pete Williams and NHB star Johnny Devine.
Hart has been an enigma to many fans (and those of us in the industry) for some time. He is kind of the Don Cherry of the business, in terms of the gaudy style of dress and the highly controversial comments. He is also one of the most gifted athletes in the history of the X division, like him or not.
Jack Evans is perhaps the most high risk of the bunch and Pete Williams is very well schooled in European style. Devine, of course, is well known to Canadian fans, especially in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay and is the most complete performer of the four.
Devine, who is originally from Winnipeg, is also the epitome of the athlete with a dream. For the past few years, he has slogged it out in every small town from here to Vancouver and along the way has been a model employee, often acting as tour co-ordinator from Calgary for the long trips to Thunder Bay.
Through it all he is completely positive and takes the "be patient" advice with a smile and shrug of the shoulders. Selling Devine to Scott D'amore and Jeff Jarrett was both easy and a pleasure. No one deserves a break more.
As proud Canadians and loyal Winnipeggers we should all encourage this concept and tune in to cheer on Devine in his international pay-per-view debut.
NWA TNA star Raven has an interesting offer available on his website, www.raveneffect.com -- you can enjoy a vacation with Raven! While vacationing with Raven might not be everyone's idea of relaxing, if you are a fan of the industry and like his work, then why not combine your vacation time with a little sports entertainment? The tour starts in Miami and passes through the Caribbean, with a two-day stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where you will presumably be able to see a live event or two. I must say that this is pretty inventive marketing from Raven's team. One thing I can tell you is that you will never be bored, because Raven talks incessantly.
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