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

WWF nixes Argos deal

By PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun
The World Wrestling Federation had a lukewarm interest in buying the Argos earlier this year but decided against a marriage between the grapplers and the gridiron.

The Toronto Sun has learned that during the spring Carl DeMarco, the president of WWF Titan Promotions Canada, had preliminary discussions with CFL president Jeff Giles about the Argos.

"We had a couple conversations but it died from there," Giles said.

The story heated up in recent days when it was learned DeMarco raised the topic of the Argos ownership a couple weeks ago with a CFL executive and seemed to have a good handle on the team's financial losses. When contacted by The Sun, DeMarco quickly counted out the idea of buying the team.

"We have absolutely no interest in the Argos or the CFL," DeMarco said. "There is no story."

There have been some cross-promotions between the WWF and the Argos in recent years. Moreover, the CFL hired Reid Bailey, a former events executive with WWF Canada, as its vice-president of marketing this year.

The CFL hasn't developed the WWF's sensational promotions, although this year there have been some grittier marketing campaigns, nationally and provincially. The league unveiled its Join The Party campaign on the eve of the season with the slogan Give A Dam. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers tried to hype their game against the Argos in August by sensationalizing some comments Pinball Clemons made toward former Toronto quarterback Kerwin Bell.

A high-ranking league source said the WWF could help the Argos.

"There's a lot of synergy between them," the source said. "They're both entertainment."

Another source said the league has had upward of 70 calls, many of them fly-by-nighters, from people interested in buying the Argos, who were officially put on the block earlier this month. Belgian brewer Interbrew SA notified the league in February it wanted to divest itself of the team this year.

The CFL, which is the agent for the deal, is hoping to have a new owner by the Grey Cup or, at the very latest by the end of the year.