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  Aug 21, 1999

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Get ready to rumble! Stampede Wrestling returns

By NOVA PIERSON -- Calgary Sun
  It's wrestlin' night in Calgary again, starting next month.

Stampede Wrestling is returning to the ring and to the city's airwaves, resurrecting the tradition begun by Stu Hart in 1948.

Stu's sons, Ross and Bruce, will organize Friday night cards at the Stampede Pavilion, which will then be aired on A-Channel Saturday afternoons.

Ross said the matches will help bring wrestling back to its roots after Stampede Wrestling ended in 1990.

"It's just a way for people to see wrestling the way it used to be," said Ross.

"We can give the fans what they want to see with less of the hype and less of the questionable storylines and graphic things you see."

Ross said he almost changed his mind about bringing back Stampede Wrestling after the death of his brother Owen Hart.

Owen was killed May 23 as he was lowered into the ring from the rafters of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City during a World Wrestling Federation card.

"I'm very upset about my brother Owen's death. It almost turned me off the wrestling business for good."

But Ross said people wanted a return of the old-style wrestling, and that's what he and older brother Bruce plan to deliver.

"It's what Stampede Wrestling stood for -- hard hitting action in the ring, good matches and entertainment," said Ross.

He and Bruce will produce the show, plan matches and help train some young talent for the ring.

The TV broadcasts will kick off Sept. 18 with a re-broadcast of a Stampede Wrestling pilot taped in April.

The live action starts Sept. 24, with a crowd of 2,000 expected to pack the Stampede Pavilion.

Calgary A-Channel assistant general manager Al Thorgeirson said the show will run in Calgary, Edmonton and the company's two Manitoba stations.

"We wanted to have something different, a little more family-oriented and focused on the athleticism of wrestling," he said.

Former Stampede announcer Ed Whalen will host a segment called Mat Classics, in which highlights of past Stampede Wrestling cards are relived.

Ross said the broadcasts will be hosted by Mauro Ranallo, a former wrestling announcer and a radio host from Vancouver.

Former WWF stars Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and Tatanka will be regulars. New blood includes 6-ft.-11 powerhouse Andre Tricoteux, whose nickname hasn't been firmed up.

An Aug. 29 preview at The Palace Night Club will give $2 from every ticket to the Alberta Children's Hospital.