Bring it on!
By RYAN PYETTE -- Calgary Sun
Calgary wants its wrestling RAW.
But if they want it bad enough, says World Wrestling Federation Canada president Carl De Marco, then Cowtown's grapple fans better get vocal about it.
"I'd love, more than anything, to have a Sunday pay-per-view in Edmonton and then a Monday Night RAW Is WAR telecast the next night in Calgary," said De Marco, in town for the WWF live show tonight, 7:30 p.m. at the Saddledome. "I love this city. But to book a RAW, we have to plan it over a year, almost two years, in advance. We need the fans here to demand a RAW."
After setting a Saddledome attendance record late last year for a WWF live show, and surely to break that mark tonight, the city has proved itself WWF fans worthy of a RAW Is WAR show.
And everyone knows, the intensity gap between a RAW Is WAR performance and a live show is the same difference between a seventh game Stanley Cup Final and a pre-season, split-squad Grapefruit League baseball exhibition.
The WWF spares no expense for RAW telecasts, which are shown all over the world.
The fireworks boom constantly. The music is louder and ring entrances are more dramatic.
Titles change hands, and character storylines are enhanced.
All the stars come to the TV tapings. The sultry Sable would definitely put in an appearance.
With a RAW show, the spotlight of sports entertainment would shine firmly on Calgary.
All that's left is to convince WWF owner and super-promoter Vince McMahon and his right hand men.
And De Marco says, they'll be watching and listening.
"One thing that makes the WWF so successful is that we listen to the fans every night, and give them what they want to see,"said De Marco. "A long time ago, people decided they didn't necessarily want to see two grown men running around in their underwears, so we changed.
"Four or five years ago, I sat down with TV executives and told them I thought the WWF could outdraw football, baseball, and even give hockey a real run for its money.
"They laughed at me then, but they're not laughing anymore."
Over three million people in Canada tune in on the average week to the Monday Night RAW is WAR telecast.
"We're the biggest show on cable in the U.S., we air to over 120 countries, but Canada's still a great market, and very important," said De Marco. "And Vince loves it here. He's always saying how he thinks of it as his second home."
De Marco attributes the big bulk of the WWF's feverish success to McMahon.
"Vince's IQ is unreal, he's a trend-setter, he's way bigger than P.T. Barnum ever was," said De Marco. "He's always fresh, on the cutting edge, and challenging everybody to think big. He can take a nobody and turn him into a star.
With the card subject to change, in the main event tonight at the 'Dome, WWF champ 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin teams up with 500-lbs. Paul `The Big Show' Wight to battle `The Rock' and the Big Bossman.
Tensions are high after 'The Rock' tossed Austin off a bridge in Detroit last week. It is also Wight's first-ever appearance here.
On the undercard, the hell-inspired Undertaker, leader of a pack of evil zombies called The Ministry, ties one on with Ken Shamrock.
Kane, the Big Red Machine and X-Pac fight Triple-H and Canadian-bred Test for the tag team belts. Chyna will be at ringside.
In other action, Mankind, complete with Mr. Socko, takes on Goldust. The New Age Outlaws, the Brood, and Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett, with valet Debra, get down in a three-way tag match, the Acolytes face D.O.A., Al Snow pretzels it up with D-Lo Brown, porn star Val Venis cracks heads with Hardcore Holly, and the Godfather, hopefully with the 'Hos, gets the deal done with Tiger Ali Singh.
The lovely bonus is a ladies' match featuring Tori vs. Ivory vs. Jackie.