Honour past stars, not Austin
By GREG OLIVER --SLAM! Sports
Would you give Stone Cold Steve Austin the keys to YOUR city?
Is he an upstanding citizen? A role model for today's youth?
Well, maybe if it was in Texas I'd understand it.
But Hamilton, Ontario?
What has Austin ever done for Hamilton?
First, a little background.
Last Thursday in Hamilton, the WWF and Hamilton mayor Robert Morrow announced that on Sunday, September 27, Bay Street will be 'honorarly renamed' Stone Cold Way and that Mr. Austin, the rattlesnake himself, will be presented with the key to the city.
The ceremony honouring Austin will be open to the public on September 27 at noon EST. There will be autographs and the typical WWF mayhem.
The In Your House: Breakdown show at Copps Coliseum actually starts at 6:30 pm EST, with a live showing of Sunday Night Heat (kindof ironic, eh, as it normally isn't available on TV in Canada), and the payperview begins at 8:00 pm EST.
The press conference, which SLAM! Wrestling was unable to attend, also included WWF Canada president Carl De Marco, Edge and Jason Sensation.
And former wrestling and football great Angelo Mosca, who if he doesn't already, DOES deserve the key to the city.
But back to my beef.
Hamilton is probably THE greatest wrestling city in Canada.
All the big names have come through there over the years, but more importantly so many are from there or call it home.
Many are still with us, and deserve to be honoured rather than Austin:
. Dewey 'The Missing Link' Robertson
. Johnny Powers
. Billy Red Lyons
. Reginald Love (Johnny Evans). Ernie 'The Executioner' Moore
. Chuck Molnar
. Mike Kelly
. Jack Laskin. Chris & John Tolos
. Kurt von Hess (Bill Terry). George & Sandy Scott. Iron Mike Sharpe. George Gordienko (Paul DeMarco).
And some are not with us anymore.
(John Yachetti). Pat Kelly
(Victor Arko). Danno O'Shocker (Jack Lloyd)
. Ben & Mike Sharpe.
Steve Austin is a great wrestler, and I'm sure a fine man.
But he is a character who is hot now, and Mayor Morrow will benefit by associating himself with Austin.
Morrow, in an phone interview with SLAM! Wrestling, admitted that he was "not intimately" aware of the current state of the WWF and Steve Austin's antics, and "not an avid, regular fan" of wrestling. But, he stressed "it's not for me to judge [Austin's antics]" and that the WWF is "good business for our Coliseum" and that he "appreciates it as big business sport."
Today's wrestling has lost too many links to its past.
Old champs aren't acknowledged. History conveniently forgotten only to be reinvented when it furthers a feud.
Why was Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa's run at 62 significant? Because everyone knew about Roger Maris and Babe Ruth.
Baseball owes its success to history.
Why can't wrestling admit as much?