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WRESTLING COLUMNS

A Messege to Fellow Canadian Wrestling Fans
August 22, 2004 by Ray Clancy


This is just a warning to fellow Canadian wrestling fans that you may not like what I am about to say or write but it has to be said.

I'll be the first to admit that I am totally in love with the WWE and its current product, even though they have put a limit on the extreme side of wrestling. I don't know what it is but every time the WWE comes to Canada I do indeed feel that the WWE has come to "bizzaro-world". Especially Toronto.

Both the talent and the writers spend their valuable time planning on doing certain angles or stunts and I'm sad to say that we the Toronto fans kinda screw it all up. I mean think about it...What the hell is up with the "You Screwed Bret" thing"! Look this is the way it was going to go down. Bret was going to leave the WWE the next night and the belt would have been won by Shawn Michaels anyways so what the hell is the problem here" I admit he got screwed, but come on people that was seven years ago!! GET OVER IT!!

When I attended this year's SummerSlam Pay-Per-View I was so hyped because I knew that the WWE could put on a decent show with the event card that was put together. However I do have to admit some guilt on my part. I cheered for two heels, I took part in that enormous crowd wave, and I started a ridiculous "GO LEAFS GO" chant for some really odd reason. But I was not like this throughout the entire Pay-Per-View. I actually tried to cheer for the people that are supposed to be fan favourites and I tried to enjoy myself. However, that was made nearly impossible due to the Toronto crowd that night. Usually I love going to Toronto to watch a WWE show but this time I was really disappointed by the crowd.

I know what you're all thinking. "We're allowed to cheer for who we want to cheer for" AND "We can be as rowdy as we want". What bothered me the most this time around was that people in the crowd were dead during every match until the double main event. And I'll admit that I was cheering for Randy Orton to win the World Heavyweight Championship because I enjoy the way he wrestles. But what I don't understand is that during the SmackDown! main event the crowd did everything possible to ruin the match both for the people involved in it and the home audience. I personally think that the WWE fans in the T-dot have to smarten up a little bit.

I was almost disappointed to be a Toronto wrestling fan that night. The fans not only made SummerSlam seem boring to the WWE talent and crew, but we probably annoyed the hell out of the home audience as well. I have one question for any Toronto fan that reads this article: WHAT THE F*CK POSSESSED YOU TO BOO A HOMETOWNER""!! I think I might have been the only person in the Air Canada Centre cheering for Edge. Everywhere the WWE travels the hometowners are cheered for. And what makes this even worse is that Edge is a face! I was plain outraged with the crowd.

I don't think that the fans realize that if the WWE hates our crowd they'll totally cut coming to Toronto at all. Oh my God did anyone ever think of that" Obviously not. Because of that one historical yet pitiful August 15th in Toronto, Ontario the Toronto fans have probably become the most hated in the world. I know that if I were Edge or The Undertaker I would be furious. So here's a couple of things to remember if the WWE ever decides to come to Toronto again:

1) Bret was screwed but GET OVER IT!! The better man won anyways.
2) Give your attention to what's going on in the ring. The superstars give their all every single night to make sure they put on a decent match. Give them their time to shine and maybe you won't find it so boring.
3) If the WWE knows that the fans are going to boo the faces and cheer the heels they won't ever want to come back to Toronto because crowd response is what they feed off of. Its too much work and quite frankly annoying when the fans are trying to change every single detail. Take the product as it is.

I do agree, however, that what the crowd likes/dislikes is what makes the product. But I'm sorry my fellow Torontonians. What one audience thinks compared to the rest of the world's audiences is not going to change anything. So sit back, enjoy the show, and maybe next time (if there is a next time) I, along with every other WWE fan across the world can enjoy a Pay-Per-View from Toronto.

NOTE: To all Canadian wrestling fans reading this article I was not necessarily bashing all of you. I loved the London and Hamilton crowds for RAW and SmackDown! this past week, and I love the crowds in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, and the Winnipeg crowd is especially energetic. I'm just getting my opinions about my fellow Toronto fans out in the open. If anyone wants to write back dare defending the actions of the Toronto crowd please try. I know I can't defend any of our actions whatsoever.

by Ray Clancy..


twiztid4life wrote:
I AM CANADIAN! and i despise Bret Hart, okay not despise, but dont like him. neither do i like Edge, never have never will, Tirsh Strus, and most other Canadian superstars. Especially Benoit! but i do like Jericho and Christian. but anyways. if you canadians only do the chant when HBK, Vince, or Earl Hebner is out. Thats it. i agree. it did happen 7 or 8 years(i dont know) fact of the matter is. i watched wrestling after the montreal screwjob, and dont care much about it. So i know the whole thing at Summerslam was disrespectful, especialy towards the phenom. but i dont think they did that out of rudeness. i think they did that because they thought it would be cool., and maybe so they can remember when they did the wave at summerslam. nuff said!
Brendan R. wrote:
I hate saying this but I was at the london show and we did chant you screwed Bret to Earl Hebner, but I only said it because I hate Earl Hebner. I don't know if you'll like the London crowd as much anymore but other than that I thought we were'a good crowd. I know we should get over the Bret thing though.

I went to a Toronto show on the first of June 2004 (it was aired on June 3rd) and unlike SummerSlam I thought the crowd acted pretty good, but there were some people behind me who yeld at alot of stuff. It seems like everytime I see wrestling live either WWE or BCW ( it's a promotion based in Windsor On. and Michigan) there is always a group of people, sometimes just someone yelling at everything. Last time I went to BCW a group of people were yelling so much at Joe E. Legend I couldn't here anything. Well anyway I thought London cheered most of the faces, they also cheered for Randy Orton (which is a good thing), and when I went to Toronto the fans acted similar. The point still remains at SummerSlam the fans may have ruined are chance to see WWE in Toronto for a long time. Well who cares because I live near London, Detroit, Hamilton,Windsor(it has BCW), and Toronto. Maybe it'll be a while until we see a show in Toronto but I can still go to those other places.
Ozzy Lennon wrote:
I would first like to say that I do not live in Canada so I may have no say in this article, but I feel as a wrestling fan I need to respond and say you are wrong about Toronto wrestling fans and canadien fans in general.

First of all every fan has the right to root for any wrestler they want to. Why should every fan always root for the good guys and always hate the bad guys" That isnt how it works, ill admit they are some fans like that but the majority either like a wrestler or they don't whether they are face or heel.

You must not be very smart if you actually think the WWE will quit coming to Toronto over how the fans root for wrestlers. As long as fans keep coming the WWE will keep coming back. I would kill to go to a wrestling event in Canada the fans are always great. I didn't watch Summerslam so I don't know if they were so "boring" as you would say but the place was sold out so WWE will be back.

Bret Hart fans have the right to yell" you screwed Bret" especially the ones in Canada. I am completely on the side of Bret Hart when it comes to what happened in Montreal and what happened their in 1997 was 100% wrong. Canadien fans are very vocal and appreciate who they like don't try to tell fans who they can and cannot root for.
Brent Bibby wrote:
First of all, Bret Hart was not scheduled to leave the WWF the night after Survivor Series, he still had about a month left on his contract.

And Canadian fans are over the "screw job". Its just fun to chant it whenever things get boring, like an inside joke.

As far as the writers investing "their valuble time". Have you seen the show lately" Its more like the writers are spending their time playing video games, then writing the show in 5 minutes.

Why should the crowd cheer Edge" He's got average charisma and is shoved down everyones throat. While Chris Jericho, one of the most over stars in the fed, has to face Tyson Tomko and job to Batista. If the WWE would recognize what the fans want, they would've made Edge a heal and put Jericho in the World title picture. Then they wouldn't have this problem.

And when has any fan in the entire world ever given a crap about a Bradshaw match" Just because they give him the title and a new gimmick, we now have to believe he's entertaining" The WWE is lucky the crowd was at least doing the wave and not going to the washroom or sleeping during the match.

Remember, that the WWE couldn't recognize what they had in Steve Austin, so fans who thought for themselves made him a star.

The WWE originally booked the Rock as "Rocky Maivia" a clean cut baby face. The fans rejected it and in the long run, The Rock became a bigger star because of it.

If more fans were like the fans in Toronto. Then the WWE would finally get the creative kick in the ass they need and stop force feeding us crap.
Jarrod Foreman wrote:
I agree with what Ray wrote in his column the SummerSlam PPV held in Toronta, Canada was a failure and it was because of the fans.

Now I watched the PPV on tv and during every match it was the same thing every time, the crowd were so restless.Ii was also disapointed with the Smackdown main event especially watching it on tv as I was so put of by the crowd doing there mexican wave,the "You Screwed Bret" and the fact that one of the WWE fans decided to jump the security barrier and climb on to JBL's Limo almost ruining the end of the match.Now I think if the crowd were interested in the match a little more and got behind Taker he would have won against JBL, also when the raw matches were on the crowd was so bored for eg: HHH vs Eugene, DivaDogeball, and Intercontinental Match now if i were there I would cheer and do it properly
Cory McKay wrote:
I can easily agree with you (Ray) about how the Summerslam crowd was, but being bias about the whole Canadian crowd thing was a little immature don't you think" Sure you were there, and was there first hand to see how the crowd reacted. For most of us in Canada, we barely get WWE live shows around here, other than the United States who gets to see WWE shows for almost half the year.

Us Canadian fans get excited when the WWE comes into town, thus making us anxious to see it. Though Toronto gets WWE often, the crowd was over-hyped about the PPV that was being taped there I guess. You can't blame fans for having fun. Usually in the crowds you can hear a "You Suck" or a negative comment directed towards a specific wrestler, but none do you hear it on television. The crowd probably just wanted attention, but I do have to agree with you on the rude part.

The chants in the crowd were "You Screwed Bret" as you stated, but boy, do your research before you say something. In other words, think before you speak. None did you know that Bret Hart was actually IN Toronto the day Summerslam was taking place, so therefor he could have possibly been in the crowd, or someone recognized him and started the chant. Nonetheless, they should get over it. Bret was doing a documentary for CBC that day.

I do know you're not bashing ALL Canadian fans, but it came off like that in the beginning.
Harry Hewitt wrote:
It's hard to "get over" the screwjob when the company brings it up constantly (especially in Canada).

Don't believe me" How about the day after the screwjob when DX brought out the Bret midget" Or Vince mocking the finish at Survivor Series '98 with Rock/Mankind" Or the highlight reel with Shawn and Jericho" Or Backlsah from this year" Or, wait, didn't they even do the sharpshooter routine during Orton vs. Benoit"

Instead of blaming Canadian fans for not letting go of SS '97, maybe you should be blaming the company for egging them on.
Paul Richardson wrote:
While I feel the Canadian fans did go some way in ruining the Summerslam show, I could not read this article without some comment.

Firstly The comment that "Both the talent and the writers spend their valuable time planning on doing certain angles " is outrageous. That show was shockingly poor for a big PPV, with no real incidents or spectacular matches and I can't see much time went into planning it.

Secondly, the WWE have to take some responsibility for the reactions of the crowd.. If they want to get a good reaction for EDGE, why put him against the most over Canadian in the WWE" If they wanted the crowd to be interested in the S/D main event, why not try to build some interest prior to the event"

WWE comes to London in October, and I plan to be on hand for the RAW show. If the WWE product does not improve before that time, I can def see myself reacting similarly to the Toronto crowd, which will be a shame

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