I wanted to write this article to share the true experience of watching WWE in Canada, as I imagine most readers are American and the experience is different. First off I should probably mention the fact that I’m located in the Toronto area, so that’s the perspective I’m giving and that’s fairly close to the American boarder. I’ve never watched wrestling in another province and would imagine the show is even a little different there. But beyond just the show the way Canada and Canadians are treated is much different than the way American crowds are treated. The same would go for any Raw or SmackDown’s recorded in any different country in the world, the treatment of the crowd and complete package shown differentiate between different countries, I encourage different fans from other parts of the globe to write about their experiences, so we can know the subtle differences and grow as a wrestling community
Canada is generally referred to by Jerry Lawler as Bizzaro World, and are shown a similar reception as that of the crowd the night after WrestleMania this year, obviously to a lesser degree. The reason for this, as most of the Internet probably knows, is that we’re real wrestling fans, we boo people who are not entertaining us and cheer those who are. To be perfectly honest Canadian fans also enjoy being annoying, especially if the product in the ring is boring. The last SmackDown I attended there were repeated chants of “This is Tuesday” in an attempt to foil the the filming of that weeks episode.The bottom line of this, and I believe the most entertaining of live crowds will agree with me here, that the product has to be entertaining. What they put on the stage, that we paid money for, better be good, because unlike general crowds who will cheer who they’re supposed to and sit on their hands when they’re bored. Rowdy and Canadians fans on the other hand will tear people apart for being boring and adorn them with titles if we appreciate what they’re doing.
We generally get 1 house show in Toronto a year, maybe a live taping of something, being in Toronto I’m close to Buffalo so anything going there is also an option. But for the most part we’re watching Raw, nothing wrong with that, but till not as good as live and we haven’t had a Raw in Toronto in years. Raw recently started airing live, but before that we had a 15 minute pre-show, this was done for tape delay in case of editing needed, because apparently live isn’t as important to us. I suppose I shouldn’t be bitter, we finally got it live. We also have the Ask a Ref segment in between the show with the commercials. It used to feature Arda Ocal, but now is hosted by Jackie Redman and she hosts former WWE referee of over 20 years, the Greek Canadian Refereeing Living Legend and a personal hero of mine, Jimmy Korderas. These segments feature question posed by twitter followers pf The Score (The Canadian channel that carries WWE). We also have segments featuring different people in suits telling us what’s new for Canada in between commercials, it looks like it’s filmed by WWE, where as Ask the Ref is filmed by The Score.
The day after, on the Tuesday, The Score replays Raw and that is usually followed by Aftermath which has featured different people throughout the years but currently feature Jimmy Korderas, Jackie Redman and Nug, who despite my personal disdain for his name was the one responsible for getting Raw Live and for that I have to be thankful. Just as a side note, when WWE wasn’t airing Raw live we couldn’t utilize the WWE Active they push so hard, which simply upsets me from a logical standpoint. The show Aftermath is simply these people giving their opinions on the show and dissecting and personally I think it’s great. I know this doesn’t air in America and I’m curious if there’s anything like it on the USA network. I’m also fairly sure WWE Vintage Collection is filmed in Canada and features Renee Young, whose real name is Renee Paquette, but when she was officially hired by WWE from The Score, her name was changed for television as it was seen as too ethnic.
Canada also has a tremendous amount of indy wrestling if one is so inclined, so it’s certainly not like we’re in any sort of withdraw for wrestling, but we would still appreciate a live Raw or perhaps a Pay Per View. Canada has also earned the right to be rowdy at shows as we have produced some of the best professional wrestlers of all time, if you don’t mind I’d like to list some of. Chris Jericho, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Edge, Christian, Abdullah the Butcher, Steve Corino, Rocky Johnson, Killer Kowalski, Santino Marella, Trish Stratus, Pat Patterson, Lance Storm, Eric Young, Jim Neidhart, Owen Hart and of course Bret Hart. Not to mention we’ve hosted 2 WrestleMania’s and had Stampede Wrestling. Just to finish off here I’d like to say we’re not proud of the Montreal Screwjob, we chant “You screwed Bret” more to be funny than anything else. But for Christ sake it feels like every time WWE comes to Montreal they have to reference that night, please let it go. It is getting better, but look back to the main event of Breaking Point 2009 and see what I mean, 12 years later and completely ridiculous. We’re also not proud of the fact that Jerry Lawler had his heart attack in Montreal, but at least he received free health care.