January 27, 2005
Star-studded rasslin' debut
By PAUL TURENNE -- Winnipeg Sun

Pre-pubescent boys in Australia, Britain, and across North America will soon be watching Winnipeg wrestlers battling it out at the University of Manitoba alongside former WWE superstars.

Action Wrestling Entertainment, a new Winnipeg-based wrestling promoter, announced yesterday that it has signed deals with former World Wrestling Entertainment stars Rikishi and Jamie Noble, and has secured pay-per-view contracts to broadcast the first event, scheduled for March 11, in four countries.

Jeff Dyck, co-owner of AWE, said he hopes to attract more big names to Winnipeg, where he plans to host monthly events to be broadcast around the world and then released as DVD's.

"We want to be branded as the fourth professional sports team in Winnipeg," said Dyck.

"We're comparing ourselves to WWE like the CFL compares to the NFL," said co-owner Mike Davidson.

Dyck acknowledged wrestling's worst-kept secret -- everything is scripted -- but said he still wants people to treat AWE as a serious sporting organization.

"We're really trying to push that our guys are athletes," he said.

Dyck and Davidson have locked up 20 up-and-coming Canadian wrestlers, including a half dozen from Winnipeg, as well as Rikishi and Jamie Noble for at least two shows. Three other big-name wrestlers will be confirmed for the first show in coming weeks, said Dyck.

While the two shows at the U of M are confirmed, Dyck said a Western Canadian tour will follow this fall, and he hopes to have about one event a month in Winnipeg once things get going.

The first show, called Larger Than Life, will go March 11 at the Investors Group Athletic Centre at the U of M. The event will be taped by a Winnipeg production company and re-broadcast on pay-per-view in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia on April 10.

It will be the first pay-per-view wrestling event in Winnipeg since the old WWF did one here in 1995.

The next AWE event will be held in the spring, said Dyck.


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