May 24, 2007
Huge weekend ahead for Ontario fans
By "Bloodthirsty" BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling

This weekend may be the biggest ever for Ontario wrestling fans, with various shows taking place, each of them offering something for everyone.

In what may be their biggest weekend ever, Mississauga-based UWA Hardcore Wrestling is putting on two big shows that will have two international legends in the ring. Ultimo Dragon and Jushin "Thunder" Liger will appear at the May 25th and 26th shows, taking place at the company's home arena at St. John's Hall. On Friday, the two are pitted against each other in a tag match, and on Saturday, they are set to square off in a singles encounter. The remainder of each card features a series of matches pitting UWA's regular roster against the combatants from Dragon's Toryumon school, and matches with TNA stars Chris Sabin and Sonjay Dutt among others.

"We're really excited," co-owner Joe McCausland told SLAM! Wrestling. "We have so many fans that, when we ask who they want to see, they pick Liger. So to have him come and be part of this weekend is amazing. This is going to be our biggest weekend ever."

The shows follow the company's recent announcement that it had signed a deal with The Fight Network who will soon be airing UWA programming. Fans who are thinking of passing on the live event and plan to just wait and watch it on TFN may be disappointed, though.

"We're still negotiating whether they will be showing our new shows, or whether they'll start with the (shows that had previously aired on) BITE TV," McCausland explained.

In any event, for fans of Dragon and Liger, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see them up close.

Fans that aren't that close to Toronto may instead elect to catch a Blood Sweat and Ears show, as that promotion goes on the road for a triple-shot weekend.

Friday night's show in Kirkland Lake, Ontario is loaded with TNA superstars. Traci Brooks makes her Ontario return, and the main event sees Rhino takes on Robert Roode.

According to BSE spokesman Tom Harbin, "This is an anniversary of sorts for Rhino, as he was on our inaugural card back in May of 2005. It's great that his schedule would let him come up to Kirkland Lake -- the fans are really looking forward to seeing him."

Roode is a regular on BSE's shows, and recently he has been matches against many of the company's homegrown stars. His recent pay-per-view match, in which he defeated Jeff Jarrett, suggests that TNA is grooming him for bigger things in the future.

"A year from now," speculated Harbin, "we may find them having a rematch where Bobby Roode is defending a championship against Rhino."

On Saturday, BSE heads to Timmins for a show that will be taped for TV, however further details have not yet been released. Then on Sunday, the company will return to the Raxx Entertainment Complex in Brampton for a matinee show which will feature, in addition to BSE's own talents, some Japanese flavour in the form of All Japan Pro Wrestling's Akira Raijin and Brute Issei.

"We're very happy to have (the AJPW stars)," said Harbin, "We know fans will really enjoy them. They bring a style that most people here have never seen before, so everyone is encouraged to check it out."

If those weren't enough, Great Canadian Wrestling Expo had one show last night, and another tonight in Hamilton, at 95 Hempsted Drive Unit 13, with a 7 p.m. belltime. The GCW will also once again be making an appearance at Anime North, Canada's premiere anime fan convention, running at the Toronto Congress Center, 650 Dixon Road, in Mississauga. The exhibition will combine wrestling with the anime elements, as some of the wrestlers will be donning superhero costumes while competing. In addition, several of Ontario's big indy names will be on hand, such as Derek Wylde, Rip Impact, Michael Elgin and many more.

In addition, making special autograph appearances at the festival will be TNA superstars Raven, Christopher Daniels and A.J. Styles.

Other independents that are also holding shows this weekend are New Vision Pro Wrestling on Saturday in Niagara Falls, and the Pure Wrestling Association on Sunday.

And though the WWE show in Kingston was cancelled for Sunday, the big company still has shows over the next few days across Ontario and Quebec: WWE Raw in Ottawa on Saturday at 7:30 pm, and WWE SmackDown / ECW in Barrie, with a 7:30 p.m start. On Sunday, Raw is in Montreal, Quebec, with a 5 p.m. start. On Monday Raw and Saturday Night's Main Event will be taped at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, and on Tuesday, it's Smackdown and ECW tapings in London.

With a whole menu of options to choose from, it's this kind of weekend that should have wrestling fans not questioning whether or not they should go out to see an indy show... but rather questioning how many they should squeeze in.

RELATED LINKS

  • UWA Hardcore Wrestling
  • Blood Sweat and Ears
  • Great Canadian Wrestling
  • Anime North
  • New Vision Pro Wrestling
  • Pure Wrestling Association

    "Bloodthirsty" Bob Kapur supports Ontario independent wrestling, and so should you. E-mail him at bobkapur@hotmail.com, and let him know which shows you saw this weekend, and what you thought.


  • CANOE.CA SLAM!