Homecoming for WWF's ladies' man
By GLENN COLE -- Toronto Sun
He could have been a helicopter pilot. Instead, he is one of wrestling's provocative sex symbols. You won't see his promos on Canadian TV. They are a little too hot to handle.
"Whatever the fans are getting out of it, they should go with it," Sean Morley, a 27-year-old native of Markham said of his WWF role.
"I'm not trying to come across saying I want people to think of me this way or that way.
"Whatever way I come across, they make up their own minds of what they think about me."
Val Venis will make his home-town debut next Saturday at the SkyDome on a card which also features a three-way match involving Steve Austin, Kane and Mankind. Toronto-born Adam Copeland, better known as Edge, also will be featured as the WWF continues to upgrade its Canadian talent. Morley has been in the business for seven years, five of which saw him based in Puerto Rico with side trips to Japan and Mexico.
After wrestling for Markham District High School, he trained under Dewey Robertson in Hamilton before going to Great Britain, where as Scott Borders he won the British heavyweight title in the summer of 1992. He was all set to go to Colorado State to study aeronautical science with the idea of becoming a helicopter pilot, but Morley had the wrestling bug and went to work in the Ozark Wrestling Federation with tag-team partner Shane Soule before moving on to Puerto Rico.
In his past three years in Puerto Rico, he was mainly a singles wrestler and drew attention from both the WWF and WCW.
"I had a tryout with the WCW a week before my tryout with WWF," Morley said. "They presented me with an offer, but it is totally different down there. It's hard to put a finger on it, but I did not feel comfortable down there at all. I don't know what they had in mind.
"If Vince McMahon is going to invest in somebody, he is going to push him. I like that idea."
Thus 6-foot-3, 250-pound Morley became Val Venis, the ladies' man. And the women seem to love it.
MAKING HIS MOVE: Don't think for a moment that Bret Hart was amused by Shawn Michaels' off-the-cuff remark about the Hitman being a mid-carder in WCW. Hart may get a little more of a push now after he won the WCW U.S. title from Diamond Dallas Page on Nitro ... TSN and the WWF have a major announcement next Friday at the SkyDome. Edge, Val Venis, the Undertaker and Owen Hart will be there. Fans should go to Gate 7 after 1 p.m. as the news conference gets under way at 2 p.m. Among the announcements to be made is that Raw will be carried at 8:57 p.m. Mondays, for the most part, in the new TSN programming season. TSN lost the NHL's national cable rights to CTV Sports Net, thus leaving Monday nights semi-wide open ... Chris Benoit was supposed to be in Japan, but because of an elbow problem, he never made it ... Wonder how WCW officials reacted when Mean Gene Okerlund was critical of Dennis Rodman's putrid performance at WCW's Bash at the Beach, perhaps the worst pay-per-view effort by either federation in the past three years.
TORONTO BOUND: The RWA stages the Ring 'N' Ears Wrestlemusicfest Aug. 7 at the Opera House, 735 Queen St. East at 8 p.m. The Hollywood Hunks, Intense Punishment, Derek Wylde, Gord Rease and Sexy Baby Jackson are on the card. Eight nights later, the Headbangers will be part of a card at the East Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club, 45 Ellis St., in Hamilton ... Next Friday, the EWF returns to the Burlington Crown Centre, 3348 Harvester Rd., for a card which features Ms. B. Haven and Big Daddy Adams against Shotgun and Billy Boogie. It's old-time wrestling which many readers have expressed a desire to see. It's good that two local promoters are trying to offer an alternative. Sadly for many, the days of Jack Tunney's weekly show at Maple Leaf Gardens are gone for good.