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Canada Day in wrestling history
By VANCE NEVADA - For SLAM! Wrestling

It's Canada Day up Canada way, on the first day of July. So let's celebrate some of the great events that have taken place on Canadian soil on this day in history.

July 1, 1928: Milk River, Alberta: John Katan wins in his professional debut over Paul Paulsen. After an extensive international career, Katan promoted in southern Ontario.

July 1, 1958: Moncton, NB: Local wrestler/promoter Len Hughes pairs up with Pat O'Connor to oppose Joe Christie & Chet Wallick.

July 1, 1960: Calgary, Alberta: Jim Wright & Gypsy Joe defeated Mighty Ursus & Tarzan Tourville to win the International tag team titles.

July 1, 1964: Saskatoon, SK: A Stampede Wrestling card, headlined by Waldo von Erich vs. Mighty Ursus is a feature at the local "Pion-Era Exhibition."

July 1, 1967: Burnaby, BC: A television taping opens with Rocky Johnson taking a win over Red McNulty. Both wrestlers would go on to fame with the WWE, Johnson as tag team champion and McNulty as WWWF World champion (by the name Ivan Koloff).

July 1, 1969: Chicoutimi, QC: Jacques & Johnny Rougeau pair up to vanquish the "foreign" threat of Abdullah the Butcher & Fidel Castillo

July 1, 1977: Calgary, AB: John Quinn defeated Killer Brooks for the right to meet NWA World champion Harley Race the following week.

July 1, 1993: Toronto, ON: Joe Legend (wrestling as "Dragon" Billy Johnson) wins a blindfold Battle royal at the annual CHIN picnic. Opening match on the card saw Tajinder Sangha take a win over Adam Copeland (future "Rated R" Superstar Edge).


  • The Canadian Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame

    Vance Nevada is the author of Wrestling in the Canadian West. Read more about the book in the SLAM! Wrestling review: Wrestling in the Canadian West a rich and fascinating book.