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Big Impact
WWE has to share airwaves with rival wrestling company
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


WWE's biggest rival is coming to Canada. NWA TNA has found a home for its flagship TV show on TSN. TNA Impact will hit Canadian airwaves Nov. 8 and begin a six-week trial-run in a 2 p.m. time slot.

If fan interest is strong, TSN is expected to pick up further episodes.

This will reinforce Monday as the must-see TV night for wrestling enthusiasts, with WWE's Raw going out live a few hours later on the same network.

TSN's launch of Impact will mark the first time Canadian mat fans will see up-to-date TNA storylines on free TV. TNA has previously only been available on pay-per-view, with older episodes showcased on ESPN Classics Canada.

To promote the launch, TNA champion Jeff Jarrett will be making two appearances on TSN's Off the Record with Michael Landsberg. Jarrett will appear as part of a sports discussion panel Oct. 28 and also will tape a 30-minute one-on-one interview to air before the launch.

Impact will premiere in Canada the day after TNA's first supercard, Victory Road, which will feature Jarrett defending the belt against Jeff Hardy in a ladder match.

The Nashville-based grappling group is adopting the standard wrestling structure of weekly TV shows, building to a three-hour monthly pay-per-view. TNA previously offered weekly pay-per-view events Wednesday nights at a discounted $9.95 price.

- - -

ROCK THE VOTE: Taboo Tuesday, WWE's first Tuesday night pay-per-view in more than a decade, goes out live on pay-per-view next, um, Tuesday. Go figure.

The concept is online fan voting will decide everything from the title challengers to what the divas will wear to the ring. A similar online polling system will become a regular fixture on Raw.

The voting is expected to be legitimate, although WWE is clearly pushing fans to vote for Shawn Michaels as the world title challenger, hair vs. hair as the stipulation for Eric Bischoff's match and Rhyno as the challenger for Chris Jericho's intercontinental belt.

Calgary fans can catch the action on pay-per-view, at Bottoms Up Sports Pub and at Cineplex Odeon Sunridge Spectrum. Famous Players locations won't be carrying the show.

- - -

BIG LOSS AT WWE: Pat Patterson has handed in his notice and will end his run with WWE at Taboo Tuesday.

Reports suggest he's stepping down because of a backstage dispute with WWE boss Vince McMahon.

Patterson, who was McMahon's right-hand man and most trusted adviser, reportedly spoke out against the constant favouritism of McMahon's son-in-law, Triple H.

McMahon brushed off the advice, leading to Patterson deciding to throw in the towel.

Patterson, a Montreal native, is a powerful behind-the-scenes force.

In the ring, he was one of the biggest names in the '60s and '70s. He was the first WWE intercontintal champion, awarded the belt in 1979 after a fictitious tournament in Rio de Janeiro. He was also involved in what is still considered one of the greatest matches of all time, a 1981 boot-camp match with Sgt. Slaughter at Madison Square Garden.

Behind the scenes, he was the lead booker for the WWF during its Hulkamania glory period and is known for having one of the greatest creative minds in the business.