Ring-a-ding dong dandy
By BILL KAUFMANN -- Calgary Sun
The thud of bodies on canvas resounded once again last night
Stampede Wrestling returned to the ring after a nine-year absence.
For many in the boisterous sell-out crowd of 1,800, the
resurrection of the one-time Calgary institution that ran from
1948-1990 was a ring-a-ding-dong dandy.
Stu Hart puts a headlock on Ed Whalen. -- Mike Drew, Calgary Sun
"I spent most of my youth here," said Calgarian Colin
Hill as he
settled into his seat in the Stampede Pavilion.
"It's big-time nostalgia -- we used to fling elastic
bands at the
wrestlers and see if they'd flinch."
The night's only shortcoming -- the absence of Ed Whalen as the
ringside announcer, added Hill.
"He was the man -- like he used to say, it's a
malfunction in the
junction," said Hill.
Newfoundland native Gary Dawson, anxiously hunting for a
in the pavilion lobby, recalled broadcasts of Stampede Wrestling in
his home province.
"We used to see re-runs of it -- it's a break from
In the ring, an old favourite from the 1970s instalments
military fatigue-clad Cuban Assassin -- paced the canvas while
Hart, the son of Stampede Wrestling's legendary founder Stu,
prepared to take him on.
"I didn't know there'd be such a good response," said
13, Stu Hart's granddaughter.
"It's a good thing for my grandpa, it's a flashback for
him and all
Faron and Heather Taylor brought their sons Ryan, 8, and
9, to see the action.
"It's a lot cleaner than the World Wrestling Federation,"
Promoters hope to make Stampede Wrestling a regular feature once