WCW going pay-per-view
By GLENN COLE -- Toronto Sun
World Championship Wrestling continues its evolution a week tomorrow when it holds its first pay-per-view card in Vancouver.
And while it is still strange to watch WCW put on a card without Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and various other old-timers, it is rather refreshing to see that the Atlanta-based group is trying to snap out of the funk that has made it a distant No. 2 behind the World Wrestling Federation.
Not everyone is going to be enthralled with a championship match involving Jeff Jarrett against Booker T. Some would say that's mid-card material. Maybe it was three years ago, but what happened in the WCW was the likes of Hogan and Flair were getting huge pushes even though some of the younger talent was providing better entertainment and Booker T certainly was one of those.
Other matches next week include a three-way dance for the right to become the No. 1 title contender with Goldberg, Kevin Nash and Rick Steiner involved.
Billy Kidman, who almost left the WCW last year, meets the Franchise and in the Canadian title match, Lance Storm, who has replaced Bret Hart as WCW's top Canadian meets Mike Awesome. New Blood Rising can be seen on Viewer's Choice a week tomorrow at 8 p.m.
You won't see the WCW at the Skydome on Sept. 18. The show has been moved to Kitchener.
TESTING THE WATERS: The ECW makes its first official foray into the GTA market with a card at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 8 p.m. It will be a solid test of interest in this area for the group whose television exposure is limited to TNN, exposure it will lose in the fall when the WWF becomes the wrestling of choice on the Nashville-based outlet.
While the matches are far from being settled at this date, Justin Credible, Rhino, Rob Van Dam, The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Mikey Whipwreck and the Original Gangsta are among those scheduled to be on the card.
Tickets are $50, $37, $29.50 and on sale through Tickmaster and at the Hershey Centre.
HERE AND THERE: There were 19,461 on hand to watch Jacques Rougeau, wearing his Quebecois gear, take on King Kong Bundy at a CFL game Thursday night in Montreal. By some accounts, the grappling was better than the football game that the Als won 62-7 over Saskatchewan ... While the old internal injuries ploy was being used to explain Chris Jericho's absence from WWF programming this past week, the fact is he got married last weekend and hey, the guy is entitled to a honeymoon ... That annoying Joe, who The Sarge called a maggot the other night on Raw, is Joe E. Legend, who is finally getting a crack at the big time ... Raven, who left the WCW, is expected to show up in the WWF in September. Don't imagine it will be as the Johnny Polo character he played in his first go-round with the federation ... There are rumblings in various U.S. wrestling circles that Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko and Eddy Guerrero are not totally happy with their decision to leave WCW for the WWF.
HITTING THE ROAD: The Iron Sheik will be on the card as the Hardcore Wrestling Federation visits Pembroke on Friday. Next Saturday in Belleville, Jake (The Snake) Roberts, Brutus Beefcake and the Iron Sheik appear on an HWF card in Belleville before a major card at Labatt Park in London a week from tomorrow which will feature King Kong Bundy. Five days later at London's Convention Centre, 300 York St., Bundy, Crash Holly as well as the Legion of Doom (remember them?) are scheduled to appear ... Apparently Wiarton wasn't really abuzz about the prospect of seeing PWF champion Quinson Valentino and his pals in action. However, the PWE hopes to rebound and has a card set for 11:30 a.m. next Saturday at the Orangeville Farmers market. And it's free ... The AWF roster will be busy beginning Aug. 18 at the CNE in the AWF Ironman Challenge Tournament. The competition ends with the closing of the CNE Sept. 4.