SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
  Feb 27, 2000



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

WWE Survivor Series


House of Hardcore VII


Signmania VIII


Beulah McGillicutty


Big Event 7 fan fest


Raw in Buffalo


SHIMMER tapings







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT




READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

WCW rocks Winnipeg


By RYAN PYETTE -- Winnipeg Sun

 Unbelievable.

 Fifteen minutes to showtime, and nearly no one's in their seats.

 Some wrestler who's a Prince rip-off is ready to enter the ring, his theme music about to start, and everyone's gathered in a mob by the southeast entrance.

 First lesson you learn at a live wrestling card -- the show's not always in the squared circle.

 And so all these people are huddled together by the arena entrance the way grade school kids do when two bullies tussle during recess.

 What's the deal here?

 Turns out everyone's greeting the wrestlers, welcoming them to Winnipeg, cheering as the stars of the WCW, the guys and gals they watch every week on TV, enter the Winnipeg Arena.

 There's 7,500 in the joint to get their first live taste of World Championship Wrestling, and they're so excited, they can't sit in their seats.

 Now, that's some real class and down-home hospitality.

 Since I'm a bit of a shorty, I couldn't see anything; I could only hear the occasional roar of the folks in the front of the scrum.

 "Who is it coming in?" I asked a tall, skinny kid with glasses. "Bret Hart?"

 "Nah, it's one of the Nitro Girls," he smiled. "And she's gorgeous."

 And right after that, security guards told everybody to get lost, to go get in their seats.

 They scattered, and I knew all was right with the world.

 After all, what's a live wrestling card without foxy ladies and extra security?

 And last night, with the WCW's first foray into Winnipeg in front of 7,500 hardcore fans, there was plenty of both.

 "We've got six policeman, plus one sergeant here," laughed one of Winnipeg's finest. "We usually have two for a Moose game."

 Turns out all the extra beef wasn't necessary.

 Nobody stirred up much trouble.

 Now, I admit, I'm a bit of a WWF fan.

 So when this WCW rolled through here, I didn't know much about it other than Bret Hart works for it, Ted Turner runs it, and, these days, the WWF owns it in the ongoing TV ratings war.

 So I sought some expert advice from a 13-year-old kid named Derek who wore a WWF Degeneration-X hat and a black nWo (new World order) T-shirt.

 Figured he'd have all the goods on these guys.

 "Well, one difference is the WCW's got a smaller ring," pointed out Derek. "That's because most of their guys are older, and they won't have to run around as much."

 Makes sense to me. But it turned out I didn't need Derek after all.

 Everything you needed to know was spelled out on the homemade placards brought by nearly every single fan.

 And from the ones I read, Lex "The Total Package" Luger will never be mayor of the River City.

 The cards are great, but the best part of a wrestling show, especially when it's a lame-o deal like last night's, is the fans.

 Especially the guys that dress up as their favourite superhero.

 I saw a ton of bald, goateed guys, and I walked up to one of them.

 "You're a Stone Cold Steve Austin fan, right?" I asked hopefully.

 "No way, man," he said gruffly, rubbing his head and glaring at me like he wanted to 'spear' me. "It's Goldberg all the way."

 When the in-ring action finally started, Billy Kidman beat on the flashy purple-clad Prince rip-off guy.

 Kidman threw Prince into the turnbuckle and, instead of the usual 10, punched him 20 times in the head.

 Everyone roared, and held up their signs.

 "Welcome to Winnipeg, WCW," screamed one of them.

 And from last night, you got the feeling they're welcome back anytime.