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  July 21, 1999



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

Venis high on promos and charity
By ERIC BENNER -- For SLAM! Wrestling

Val Venis at Nickels Reaturant with a fan. - Photo by Stephanie Waters
When one visits Val Venis during a Canadian promotional appearance, one cannot but help feel a sense of déjà vu, as Val has seemingly been a part of every promotional event in Canada since his debut in the WWF.

Seemingly.

In fact, WWF contracts often include clauses for promotional appearances, sometimes too many to count. "Some months I won't do any," reveals Venis, enjoying a free lunch at Nickels Restaurant in Montreal. "Other months, I'll do them every single day, two to three times a day."

This must be one of those other months, as the WWF has recently wrapped up one of their three annual tours of eastern Canada, where they stop in most of Ontario and Quebec's big cities. This weekend, it's Toronto, where he is expected at the Argos game Friday, and will be visible around town at other events.

Despite his prominence in Canada, though, it's south of the border that Venis makes most of his appearances. "Well, we're mostly working in the States," he elaborates, "so naturally most of my appearances are there. I do a lot up in Canada, but mostly in the States."

Val Venis lacks the singular Canadian appeal that so many wrestlers have exuded over the years. Long gone are the days of the flag-waving, anthem-singing, patriotic Canadians, spreading their rhetoric. Venis agrees. "Well, absolutely. My character has nothing to do with being from Canada or being Canadian. It has to do with being a porno star."

And a popular one, at that. Venis' character, and though someone so modest might not admit it, Venis' talent, too, have taken him far in the WWF. In only two years, he's already skyrocketed to the Intercontinental title, one that took the likes of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart much longer to get.

Although his success may have nothing to do with Canada, Venis hasn't forgotten his roots. He'd even like to represent Canada in the future. "In my personal life, I'm very political, I have a lot of political aspirations. So yeah, that's definitely something I would lean towards in years to come." He adds that "for now, I'm just happy having fun playing my character."

And who can blame him?

Maybe politics aren't such a foreign idea to wrestlers, as Venis, who wrapped up the interview by bringing it back to the safer topic of personal appearances, seems to have the knack.

Says Venis: "I've got a charity golf tournament up in Toronto. And a volleyball tournament for charity coming up. There's a lot of different things we do. We did Happy Hour, on the USA network, not too long ago. So we do a lot of other things other than actual wrestle."

Governor Ventura and mayoral hopeful Jerry Lawler just might agree with that last statement.

More on Val Venis




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