BY KALISHA MENDONSA
The Canadian Wrestling Coalition (CWC) Wrestling group delighted the crowd as they kicked off the first round of the ‘Canadian Cup’ last weekend in Blackfalds.
CWC offers a unique and entertaining performance experience in Central Alberta, as the region’s only pro-wrestling organization. The first round of the ‘Canada Cup’, Genesis, kicked off at the Abbey Master Builder Centre.
Dylon Featherstone, AKA ‘Dylon Stone’, organizer and owner of CWC said the event was a success and he is incredibly excited to see the support in the community.
“It’s going amazingly. This started off as a dream. All of us had wrestled before on small promotions here and there, but now it’s kind of becoming something really real.
“This is our second fiscal year and it seems to be getting bigger and bigger every show. We’ve got hundreds of people coming to every show – families, hockey teams, older couples – literally every demographic is coming in to check out our show,” he said excitedly.
Each of the characters and wrestlers involved have intertwined story lines for fans to follow – a key aspect to successful pro-wrestling, according to Featherstone.
“With any kind of sport, you can either see it for what it is – a series of moves and plays. With wrestling, you could say, ‘This guy threw the other guy, or one hit the other,’ but when you add in the characters and story lines, you get emotional investments in the characters,” he said.
“You get to see Colonel Vince Austin trying to buy everything with all of his money – and people hate the big rich guy who buys their way through everything. Shaun Martens is paid for by the ‘Stud Stable’ and trying to win by cheating, whereas Dylon Stone is a more ‘blue collar guy’ trying to do things by the book. It allows people to relate to the characters as everyday people.”
Featherstone explained these rivalries and challenges help to bring the sport to life.
“Our first performance was Jack Pride sneaking out a very smart win over his challenger, Heavy Metal. Our second match was ‘the Dynamic Dean Richtor’ absolutely bludgeoning Xander Price. Then, Johnny Kickass nefariously took the win over Dylon Stone, after having Shaun Marten step in for some interference,” he said, explaining it’s a crucial part of the experience for show-goers to see the personalities and relationships amongst each of the characters.
“After intermission, we had our ‘Saltwater Savage’ Andrew Hawkes taking the win up over TS Cutler.
Then, we had Shaun Martens and Epic Eddie Rhude, where Dylon Stone tried to even the score and cause Shaun Marten to lose his match.
“In the process of that, Dylon Stone wants a piece of Shaun Marten and challenged him to a match that can go anywhere in the building.”
The main event of the evening was a battle between Jude Dawkins and Scott Justice.
Dawkins ended up defending his title – causing a bounty to be put on his head of $10,000 to whomever can take his title.
According to Mike Carlson, AKA ‘Jack Pride’, CWC is out to raise the profile of pro-wrestling in Central Alberta, and plans to do so with great characters, fun story lines and big action.
“Pro-wrestling kind of lulled for awhile, and we want to help bring it back. There is a lot of action going on in Calgary and Edmonton, but not much happening in the smaller communities like Sylvan Lake or Lacombe. We’re trying to revive the sport here,” Carlson said.
The event was a success, drawing in a crowd of hundreds.
Carlson explained the group has laid claim to the Central Alberta territory, while other wrestling promotions have covered the Calgary and Southern Alberta grounds, and another taking Edmonton and Northern Alberta.
He said it’s a way for each of the groups to help build a steady fan base and develop their story lines in a way that locals can follow.
Currently, CWC is booking shows out of Blackfalds, Sylvan Lake and Springbrook, hoping to break into Red Deer later this year for the final round of the Canada Cup.
The next chapter in the Canada Cup race will take place on April 15th at the Abbey Master Builder Centre, with the ‘Bullseye’ show.
Stone said it’s important to constantly try to improve the performance and draw in bigger crowds.
He explained it’s been a great ride in Central Alberta building their following, and said he’s looking forward to seeing that support grow even more.
“There are always things we’re looking to do better with, and looking to get more people out. We’ve got great relationships with other groups in the community who come out to represent their organizations and support us,” he said.
“We’re trying to build good feelings within the community, because it gives us a foothold and a good feeling when they come out. We’re trying to have everyone leave on a positive note. What we want to bring to our shows is something very fun and light and jovial. We want this to be a night out for the whole family everyone can really enjoy.”
The performances are family-friendly, with tickets at $15 during the pre-paid online sales and $20 at the door.
Check out cwcwrestling.ca to follow the characters and find more information about future events.