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SummerSlam to hit ACC ring
By TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun


Triple H during the SummerSlam announcement. (Alex Urosevic/The Toronto Sun)


World Wrestling Entertainment sees Toronto as a hot market. So hot that the Air Canada Centre will be host to SummerSlam on Aug. 15.

On the heel's of Smackdown! at the ACC last night, it may seem surprising that a major event, perhaps the second biggest of the year on wrestling's calendar, would wind up in Toronto. But it's because the city's fans "are more ardent, more passionate," WWE boss Vince McMahon said at a news conference yesterday.

"When you're looking for a host, you look for a world-class city, you look to see if they have a world-class facility, but most of all you look for world-class fans."

Some of the WWE's biggest stars were at the conference, including Canadians Chris Jericho and Trish Stratus.

"It's always a pleasure to come home," said Stratus, a Toronto native. "And this time I get to perform with a little evil twist."

Evolution leader Triple H took some potshots at Toronto, for the benefit of those in attendance at the news conference.

"To be a WWE superstar, you have to take the good with the bad," he said. "In this instance, the good is SummerSlam, the bad is that I have to come back to Canada. You people really should be nicer to the United States. If we wanted to, we could send the Salvation Army in and whip all your (butts)."

But, with the camera lights off, he slid out of character and spoke about the passion of the fans in Toronto.

"There were 68,000, nearly 70,000 people at Wrestlemania XVIII here, but this crowd (at SummerSlam) will be 10 times louder," he said.

There have been 10 WWE events in Toronto during the past five years, drawing more than 150,000 fans. SummerSlam will be seen in more than 100 countries and broadcast in 15 languages. Tickets go on sale Saturday.


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