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Jericho saves day in Winnipeg


By MICHELE YEO -- For the Winnipeg Sun
Wrestling fans experienced a mix of emotions at yesterday's World Wrestling Federation match at the Winnipeg Arena.

Boos and hisses filled the arena when it was announced that fan favourite The Rock would be a no-show.

But the hisses turned to cheers when fans learned Winnipeg native Chris Jericho would step into the ring instead.

WWF officials said trouble at the airport in Miami, Fla., was the reason for The Rock's absence.

"The Rock was leaving Miami when some nut jumped a fence and ran out on the runway," said WWF road agent Dave Hepner.

He said The Rock's flight was delayed and he missed his connecting flight from Chicago to Winnipeg.

A reporter with the Miami Herald confirmed the incident, saying 10 to 12 flights were delayed.

"A man ran out on the runway saying he was home-sick for Cuba," said Elaine Devalle.

She said police arrested the man three hours later.

Hepner said he was sorry to see fans disappointed and they were invited to obtain a refund during intermission.

"It's disappointing," said one woman, who brought her two sons. "With the amount of money you pay you expect to see him."

"That pretty much sucks," said 23-year-old Don Feakes.

Jericho, who was originally only scheduled to make a guest appearance, stepped into the ring for the last match.

During the first half Jericho strutted out and blew kisses to the crowd.

Clad in a pair of black vinyl pants and a silver-and-black shirt Jericho introduced himself as "the newest hero of this city."

Fellow wrestler Big Boss Man stepped into the ring to put Jericho in his place.

Greeted with hostility from the crowd, The Boss Man said "If Canada was a living, breathing thing, Winnipeg would be its a--hole and you'd be a turd."

The crowd dressed mostly in shirts with wrestling phrases like "suck-it" and "put the smack down" went wild.

Jericho and Big Boss Man tangled again when the Winnipegger stepped in to replace The Rock.

"One of the places I've always wanted to wrestle in was the Winnipeg Arena," said Jericho, who won the match.

More on Chris Jericho