SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   Sat, February 19, 2005



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

ROH Unauthorized


Smackdown in Philadelphia


WWE in Toronto


Raw in Chicago


Titans in Toronto VI


WWE Night of Champions


Legends of the Ring fan fest







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT





Calgary, get ready for Raw
Flagship show coming to town
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


The Wrestlemania rumours turned out to be a hoax but inside sources say WWE will still bring a major TV event to Calgary this year. A press conference has been scheduled for March 16 at the Avison Young Club at the Saddledome, where WWE's Canadian president Carl DeMarco is planning a major surprise for local grappling fans.

The Sun has learned the big announcement will be that WWE is coming back to Calgary. Monday Night Raw, the company's flagship TV show, will be broadcast live from the 'Dome on May 30.

Although non-televised WWE events in Calgary tend to draw poor crowds, attendance is always strong when the TV cameras roll into town.

Raw's last visit to the city drew 10,000 fans, despite going head-to-head with Game 7 of the Flames-Canucks playoff series last April. With no hockey to compete with, WWE bosses are privately anticipating an even bigger turnout this time around.

The card for Raw is rarely announced in advance but this upcoming event will have a particularly large question mark hanging over its lineup.

There has been talk of holding another draft lottery in April, after the huge ratings success of last year's trades. This means Batista and Chris Benoit, who are rumoured to be booked for the 'Dome press conference next month, may not even be a part of Raw when the show comes here. On the other hand, current Smackdown stars such as the Undertaker or Eddie Guerrero could easily be traded to the Raw roster and wind up on the trip to Alberta in May.

Fans can't even count on a specific championship being up for grabs at the event. WWE bosses were reportedly planning to switch their two heavyweight title belts after 'Mania, with Randy Orton winning the world title and bringing it to Smackdown as a top heel and John Cena taking the WWE championship and trading to Raw. That specific idea is now out the window -- Batista will likely take Orton's place in the world title picture at 'Mania -- but it's still possible WWE will want to mix things up, no matter who holds the gold.

In fact, the only thing set in stone for the Calgary Raw event is ECW will probably have a very strong presence on the show.

After the massive success of the Rise and Fall of ECW, which is on its way to becoming the best selling wrestling DVD of all time, WWE plans to resurrect the hardcore grappling brand for a once-off pay-per-view, tentatively dubbed One Night Stand.

WWE officials have booked the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, ECW's old stomping ground, on June 12 -- two weeks after Raw stops off at the 'Dome. They will be heavily promoting the pay-per-view by the time they arrive in Calgary, so don't be surprised if ECW alumni such as the Dudley Boys and Tommy Dreamer are part of the show.

Current top stars of the Monday night franchise include Triple H, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Edge, Trish Stratus and Kane.

Raw is one of the biggest sports shows in the world, seen live by more than four million viewers each week on Spike TV in the U.S.

It's also shown live on TSN in Canada and on Rupert Murdoch's Sky Sports network in the UK, while millions more fans in more than 80 other countries watch on tape delay.

It will likely be the most watched event to emanate from Calgary this year.

Before Raw goes on the air from the 'Dome, WWE will also tape matches for its Sunday Night Heat TV show to air the following weekend on Spike TV.

If the company follows its usual precedent, Smackdown will be taped in Edmonton the following night.

The date that tickets will go on sale is expected to be announced later this month, when WWE officially confirms the event.