Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada Day!

Jericho is one of the main reasons to celebrate Canada... at least pre-2014 Jericho
Photo Credit:
On this date 148 years ago, Canada gained the ability of self-rule from the British Empire. Despite nominal allegiance to the British Crown, Canada for all intents and purposes became an independent country, and that's important to wrestling history because Canada is one of the most important countries for producing both influence and titanic figures. From the megastars like Bret Hart and Chris Jericho to the founding fathers like Stu Hart and Jack Tunney to the local heroes like Jacques Rougeau and Leo Burke, Canada has a rich heritage in this crazy art you the readers and I the writer indulge in.

Even today, Canada's pipeline of wrestling produces a bounty to be enjoyed by fans all over. Crowds in Toronto and Montreal remain some of the liveliest ones on WWE's slate. The company's future seems to be embedded in two French Canadians by the names of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, and its independent scene seems like it's going to produce a whole lot more. Whether Ottawa's C*4, Montreal's International Wrestling Syndicate and Inter Species Wrestling, Toronto's SMASH and Alpha-1, or Vancouver's Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling, the country has no shortage of promotions or wrestlers residing within them.

Of course, Canada's present is bright, but the past is definitely worth checking out. If you would like to read a great history of the Montreal territory, definitely check out Mad Dogs, Midgets, and Screw Jobs by Pat Laprade. I haven't read it, but it's a highly-acclaimed read by many people whose opinions about wrestling I hold dear. Or scour YouTube for old wrestling footage. Canadian wrestling history is embedded into the fabric at large, and any absorption of it is definitely enriching for anyone looking to gain a deeper appreciation of the big neighbors to the North.

And to all my friends and readers up North, including resident Smackdown reviewer Lacy, have a happy and safe Canada Day!