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  Mar 5, 2000



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Rockin' down the house
Mayhem may be predictable, but wrestling's all the rage



Sunday, March 5, 2000
By TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun

  Nearly 12,000 fans not only smelled what The Rock was cooking, they devoured every last morsel yesterday at the Corel Centre.

 Yes, The Rock had finally come back to Ottawa.

 And the biggest WWF crowd ever at the Corel Centre sent the World Wrestling Federation's travelling circus of choreographed mayhem on its way to today's show in Montreal with plenty of hooting and hollering.

 It was so predictable.

 Wrestlers like Kurt Angle offering up goodies like: "I've heard from reliable sources that the Ottawa Senators won't be in town much longer. It's true. So I've anointed myself. "

 And Buh Buh Dudley offering up his own take on his visit to Ottawa: "To be quite honest, you people don't deserve the Dudley Boyz. I was in the back awhile ago feeling a little sick. And the reason I was on my knees throwing up was that I had to listen to that piece of crap Canadian national anthem."

 And then, on cue, came the response from Edge, a Canadian wrestler from Brampton. "This morning when you looked in the mirror, I think that's why you were throwing up."

 Yep, the formula hasn't changed much.

 It's evil vs. good.

 Insult the audience a bit, swear at them. And you've got an instant heel.

 The big difference in wrestling these days is that a heel can turn into a hero overnight. The wrestlers we love to hate can just as easily turn into wrestlers we love to love.

 Just ask Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Rock.

 And, from the crowd response, it's obvious there are other stars-in-making.

 Youngsters like The Hardys, with their aerial dynamics, and Too Cool with their sumo-like partner in dance, Rikishi, have become huge crowd favourites.

 The up-and-coming stars also bring with them an array of dazzling finishing moves, manoeuvres that either force the competition to submit or provide a pin to the count of three. Holds like the Crippler Crossface, the Walls of Jericho and the Tazzmission are in vogue.

 Okay, okay. So everything isn't as it appears.

 With a slight of hand, a punch is little more than a glancing blow. A bodyslam is absorbed through the body and doesn't really hurt too much. But make no mistake about it, these wrestlers work hard at what they do.

 And judging by the response at the Corel Centre yesterday, the fans are buying into it.

Children of all ages get in on WWF action

Photo gallery from Toronto & Ottawa WWF shows