Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

There has been at least some talk of launching a new WWENXT Canada brand, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

There aren’t many details known about the potential NXTCanada brand, but word is that former WWE Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella could be involved.

WWE will reportedly hold a tryouts camp from Wednesday, August 7 through Friday, August 9 at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, at the beginning of SummerSlam Week in nearby Toronto.

These tryouts are held in Santino’s home city, where he runs his Battle Arts Academy and Battle Arts Pro Wrestling indie promotion from, but they are not being held at his facilities. These are the first WWE tryouts taking place in Canada as the company usually brings Canadian talents to their tryouts in Orlando at the WWE Performance Center.

WWE RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch was at the San Deigo Comic Con over the weekend and stopped in at the Marvel Live stream to talk about always trying to better herself after being asked what it feels like to be the face of WWE at the moment.

“I’m constantly striving for perfection,” Lynch said. “I can always do better, my match can be better, my gear can be better. Just all of the little details. How can I perfect this, and hoping somewhere along the line I hit excellence. I think people often say, ‘What is next?’ And that’s it, How do we perfect this? How do we reach perfection? It’s impossible, but we’ll try and figure out a way.” 

After defeating Naomi, Carmella, and Alexa Bliss in an Elimination Fatal 4-Way Match on this past Monday’s RAW, Natalya will now take on Lynch at SummerSlam, which takes place in Toronto on August 11.

“I’m going to be facing Natalya in her home country,” Lynch began. “Now, the first time I met Natalya—we’re talking 14 years ago—in her home country of Canada. It’s full circle now and I’m gonna beat the bejesus out of Canada’s girl inCanada. How do you feel about that, Canada? You good with that? I hope so because that’s what I’m gonna do.” 

Canadian indie wrestling promoter “Hotshot” Danny Duggan announced on Facebook that he was involved in a bad car accident with Robin Lekimi and former WCW star Psicosison Wednesday while driving through winter weather in Ontario.

Duggan revealed that Psicosis saved him from drowning as the car was upside down in a body of water. He details the accident in the post below. Duggan said he is lucky to be alive right now as he suffered a severe concussion and several other injuries. Psicosis and Robin escaped the wreck with cuts and bruises.

“I’ve got a severe concussion, my head is swollen, my legs are smashed and beat up pretty bad, likely due to sitting so close to the dash but nothing majorly damaged, some very severe and deep lacerations, cuts, and chunks of skin gone on my scalp, ear, legs, arms, and my hands being mangled and bloody pretty bad. And a whole lot of pain throughout my back and body. But I am alive. We’re alive. Psicosis and Robin luckily managed to escape with what appears to be so far only some cuts and bruises. Hopefully nothing more,” Duggan wrote.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Duggan at this link. As of this writing, they have raised $990 of a $6,500 goal, by 26 people in 7 hours.


One of AEW’s top stars, Chris Jericho, recently sat down with The Rich Eisen Show to talk about his past experiences in WWE and various other wrestling promotions. Jericho would also reveal the origin of his wrestling name, which actually started out as the character name, “Jack Action”.

Although he spent the majority of his upbringing in Winnipeg, Jericho was actually born in Manhasset, New York during the time that his father played for The Rangers hockey team. Jericho mentioned a story about the mid 2000’s, where Vince McMahon was adamant that no good guy, “babyface” characters could bill themselves as from Canada. Instead, WWE announced that Jericho was from Manhattan, New York, that way he could receive a proper babyface, American reception.

“I was born in Manhasset because my dad played for the Rangers,” Jericho explained. “But then [we] moved to Winnipeg because my dad’s from Winnipeg. Funny story, in about the mid 2000’s, when Vince McMahon decided that you couldn’t be from Canada and be a babyface in the WWE – For whatever reason, because no one could cheer a Canadian was his mindset. I’m not kidding. So, I was told that you can’t be from Winnipeg anymore. You’re from Tampa. I’m like, ‘Why? I only live in Tampa, I’m not from there.’ They’re like, ‘Where were you born?’ ‘Manhasset.’ ‘Eh, sounds too country. You’re now from Manhattan, New York…For people to really cheer you, you have to be from the United States.'”

Jericho also mentioned how the name “Chris Jericho” in itself was never his original plan. He was fully convinced that the name “Jack Action” would bring him elevated level of success, however, he was quickly encouraged to change the name. Jericho referenced one of his favorite heavy metal bands of the time to come up with a new persona.

“I was gonna call myself, ‘Jack Action’. Just – Jack Action,” Jericho emphasized. “First name: Jack, last name: Action. I thought it was going to make me a million dollars, and then I told somebody that and they’re like, ‘You can’t be Jack Action, that’s stupid.’ And I’m like, ‘Of course it’s stupid! I would never do that.’ ‘What’s your name?’ And I was, like, uh, and I saw the Helloween album and I said, ‘Chris Jericho!’ There ya go. You could be talking to Jack Action if things had gone differently.”


Well, it’s official. UFC legend Georges St-Pierre has retired from mixed martial arts.

The former welterweight and middleweight champion announced his retirement at Thursday’s press conference in his hometown of Quebec, Canada, stating that he’s ‘very happy’ to walk away from the sport at this late stage of his career.

“There’s no tears. I’m very happy to do it,” St-Pierre said earlier today. “It was a long process in my mind, but it’s time to do it. I always said I want to retire on my own, and not to be told to retire. It takes discipline to retire on top.”

UFC president Dana White was also present for the media conference, and the head promoter had nothing but praise for St-Pierre.

Speaking to reporters, White hailed ‘Rush’ as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all-time and credited the former UFC star for putting Canada on the MMA map.

“Georges has cemented his legacy as one of the pound-for-pound greatest fighters ever,” White said. “He beat all the top guys during his welterweight title reign and even went up a weight class to win the middleweight championship. He spent years as one of the biggest names in MMA and remains one of the best ambassadors for the sport. He put Canada on the MMA map.”

St-Pierre retires with not just one, but two UFC world titles to his name and a legacy as the greatest welterweight champion of all-time.

Recently on The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin shared his thoughts on wrestling in Canada and working a match against Chris Benoit in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on the May 31, 2001 edition of WWE SmackDown. Austin went on to discuss his relationship with Benoit.

According to Austin, he always enjoyed working in Canada, as the people and crowds were “great”. With that said, Austin did not enjoy crossing the border into ‘The Great White North’.

“I always dug Canada. Like I said, it’s a great wrestling place. The biggest problem was crossing over the border and Canada is very strict at the border and they should be. And they go through everything. They makes sure that the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed. And when the boys start coming through, due to the fact that a lot of times back in the 80s, early 80s, probably 70s, guys were carrying a lot of stuff over there. There were always stories of The Iron Sheik and how he’d have weed on him or something like that with him and he’d put it in someone else’s bag. The precedent had already been set. A lot of times, guys came through and they’d be carrying some stuff. There was this, that, and the other. You can probably guess what it might have been.

“But that was one of the biggest pains in the ass about going to Canada because you knew you’d get pulled over and you’re going to sit in a room for an hour, two, or three. They were going to go through all of your stuff and shake everything out. And 99 times out of 100, they didn’t have s–t, but every here and there, someone would have something. That’s why they always kept checking the boys when they came into the country, so great on Customs part – they did a very thorough job. But when you’re one of the guys and you’re just passing through there, and you’ve got nothing in your bag, and you get pulled over, that’s a pain in the ass because you’re always on a schedule, trying to hit the gym, you’re trying to hit a tanning bed, you’re trying for something to eat. You might check into your hotel room. It might be one of those deals where you go straight to the building and you’ve got a long road trip after that. But that was always a pain in the ass when you had to go pass through Customs on the way there.” Austin added, “coming and going across the border was a pain in the ass. Getting the directions in French was not fun. The crowds were always great.”

During the podcast, Austin recalled working a great match with Benoit on SmackDown in Edmonton. Apparently, Austin told Benoit to disregard the go-home cue and he would take the heat for it, as ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ was left underwhelmed by the match the two had the night prior on RAW.

“I had a great match with Chris Benoit in Edmonton one night and I believe it was on the SmackDown show.” Austin continued, “and we had worked the previous night on RAW and they only gave us a certain amount of minutes and I wasn’t very happy with that match because we didn’t have enough time to build a proper story. I’ll never forget when we rolled into Edmonton that night. It was SmackDown and we were going to work together again. And I told Chris before we went out there, I said, ‘dude,’ I said, ‘I don’t care how much time they give us – we’re going to go home when it’s time to go home. And it’s all on me. I’ll take the heat, so if they give us the go home cue, disregard it.’ And we really ripped it up that night.”

In that match with Benoit, Austin took 10 punishing German suplexes in a row. Austin revealed that the spot was Austin’s idea. While ‘The Global Icon And National Treasure’ indicated that he was not in any pain from the suplexes in light of his neck surgery, Benoit targeting Austin’s perceived injured neck made sense for the story of the match.

“I said, ‘hey man, we’re going to go as long as we need to go’ and it was Chris’s hometown, I believe. I think it was Edmonton. We had worked the night before. [We] didn’t have the match I wanted to have because I knew how much Chris could go and I respected him. And so, I said, ‘hey man, I don’t see you making a traditional comeback on me. I see this being something where you just grab me from behind and let’s go 10 German suplexes, 10 in a row, because I just don’t see a regular comeback. I see 10 German suplexes and here comes Vince [McMahon] coming down and I barely escape with the belt.’ And Chris thought about that for a minute and he goes, ‘I like that.’ And so, that’s what we went out and did. So it wasn’t in the moment. It was something that I called, I planned, I ran across Chris, and he dug it. And we did it.” Austin added, “I called the suplexes and I wasn’t in any pain. And the pain in referring to is because I was returning from my neck fusion and I’d figured all the bumps that I had taken leading up to that match that I would be fine taking those bumps. And it would be a great ploy, a great strategy, for Chris to use to focus on my weakness, or perceived weakness, which could be construed as my neck because of the fusion, because of the surgery. And I was working heel at the time, so he’s giving it back to me and then some. So it made sense for that in his comeback.”

Austin claimed that one of the highest complements he ever received during his storied pro wrestling career was from Benoit after that SmackDown match telling Austin that Austin got him over that night. Austin revealed that the Chris Benoit he knew was a great worker and a cool guy.

“I’ll never forget after that match, I’ve said it on the podcast before, it was one of the highest complements I’d ever been paid by an opponent.” Austin remembered, “we always shake hands after the matches. And, man, that was Chris’s hometown, man. And we got off the headbutt off the top turnbuckle, me throwing the belt up, him getting a little bit of color from that accidentally. It was a real solid match. And he goes, ‘man, thanks.’ He goes, ‘you really got me over’ and he got it. He knew what I was trying to do and it was my job to do was to get him over. He was already over to a degree, but I got him more over than he was after the match than he was before the match, and he recognized that. And he told me that and I’ll never forget that complement. And I wish things hadn’t gone the way they had for Chris as far as down the road, but, man, the Chris Benoit that I knew was a badass worker, great dude, cool as hell, and so I remember that match vividly. Out of all the things I’ve forgotten, I remember that match.”

 Vince Carter #15

With Hollywood power players descending on Toronto for the city’s annual film festival, one documentary of local interest has been “The Carter Effect”, chronicling Vince Carter‘s impact more than a decade ago on the Raptors franchise and basketball in Canada.

Raptors president Masai Ujiri attended the premiere Saturday, and during a Q&A alongside the film’s producers, offered a somewhat unclear statement. “Vince Carter will be home in Toronto,” Ujiri said, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.

Carter signed with the Sacramento Kings as a free agent in July. There’s been speculation for a few years now that the Raptors could have an interest in bringing the onetime face of the franchise back, but it hasn’t happened – even though Carter could have filled a Toronto roster need this summer.

Turning 41 in January, time is running out on the playing career of the man once known as “Air Canada”, who since carved out a niche as an effective role player after his superstar days ended.

It’s quite possible, however, that Ujiri was also hinting at the chances of the Raptors organization one day retiring Carter’s number. While some Toronto fans still hold the circumstances around his controversial 2004 trade against him, there’s little doubt about Carter’s impact on the NBA in Canada.

Though his peak playing performance with the Raptors only lasted from 1999 to 2001, the Floridian was also responsible for capturing the hearts and minds of a generation of young Canadian basketball enthusiasts. Toronto NBA products such as Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, and Andrew Wiggins have all pointed to Carter’s presence during their childhoods as some level of inspiration.

The Raptors have retired no player numbers in their 22-year history. Carter wore No. 15 with the team from 1998-2004.