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Benjamin sign of Calgary Smackdown show
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


With a little more than a week until the Smackdown crew arrives in Calgary, WWE Canada has announced a special autograph signing on the eve of the big event. Shelton Benjamin will be appearing at EB Games at Chinook Centre next Saturday to promote the new Nintendo Gamecube grappling offering, WWE Day of Reckoning.

Benjamin, who last visited the city as part of the Sunday Night Heat TV tapings at the 'Dome last April, will be signing autographs from noon-2 p.m. Benjamin is on meet-and-greet duty while he recovers from a hand injury which sidelined him in June.

The following day, the Stampede Corral will play host to Smackdown Live, a non-televised WWE event, headlined by a triple-threat match for the WWE championship between John Layfield, Kurt Angle and Eddie Guerrero.

The latest additions to the card include two other title tilts: Paul London and Billy Kidman vs. Chavo Guerrero and Jamie Noble for the tag team championship and a cruiserweight defence by Spike Dudley against high-flying Rey Mysterio.

As always, the line up is subject (and extremely likely) to change but other grapplers currently listed on the booking sheet include Rob Van Dam, Torrie Wilson, Heidenreich, Charlie Haas, Kenzo Suzuki and the Dudley Boys.

WWE's website also lists John Cena as a scheduled performer, which would be a huge boost to the card, especially with the absence of big-name stars such as the Undertaker.

Unfortunately, this looks like an oversight on the part of the WWE's web team, since Cena is supposed to be heading to Australia to begin work on his feature film debut The Marine.

Cena will be out of action for at least a month while he shoots the movie, originally written for Stone Cold Steve Austin and set for release in 2005 by 20th Century Fox.

- - -

GOLDEN PROSPECT:

He was responsible for Egypt's first taste of Olympic gold in more than 50 years and now Karam Gaber could be on his way to World Wrestling Entertainment.

The 24-year old Greco-Roman wrestler caught the eye of WWE talent scouts when he bulldozed through the competition in Athens, winning gold in the 96-kg (211-lb.) class.

Gaber -- who is known for his muscular physique and awesome high-amplitude throws -- polished off Turkey's Mehmet Ozal in just over a minute in the semifinals, without surrendering a single point to the former world champ.

In the final, he beat out Georgian wrestler Ramaz Nozadze by a phenomenal 12-2 margin.

Gaber also made headlines with his flashy post-match showboating at the Games, celebrating his gold-medal win with a series of flips and cartwheels before tossing and pinning his coach on the mat.

A natural showman and bonafide athletic prodigy, Gaber is exactly what WWE looks for in an upstart superstar.

- - -

BROCK'S BOMBERS:

Brock Lesnar didn't make the cut with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings but according to reports this week, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are looking to bring wrestling's 'Next Big Thing' to the CFL.

According to the report, Winnipeg GM Brendan Taman has added Lesnar to the negotiations list and will begin talks with the former WWE star if he doesn't make the Vikings' practice squad.

Signing the 6-ft. 3-in. 285-lb. Lesnar would be a coup for the Bombers. Not only would he be a publicity goldmine for the club but reports from Vikings camp suggested despite being rough around the edges, Lesnar was a physical force to be reckoned with.

Lesnar initially insisted he had no interest in playing in the CFL or NFL Europe but now he may have no other choice if he wants to play pro football.


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