July 1, 2010
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, 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, 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).
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.