Canadian Bulldog Injured
Wrestling will take over the city of Toronto over the next week, with activities including shows from promotions inlcuding Ring of Honor, Smash Wrestling, Progress Wrestling and WXW; live shows by Mick Foley, Dolph Ziggler and Post Wrestling; and of course, four WWE shows including NXT TakeOver: Toronto and SummerSlam. But this will hardly be only the only time wrestling history has been made in Canada's most populous city.
Sure, no one will confuse Toronto The Good with New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore, Chicago or Minneapolis when it comes to classic wrestling memories. But more has happened in the Great White North than most people would know.
Often called "Bizarro World" for its tendency to favor heels and nostalgia acts, Toronto was once a thriving territory under the promotion of the Tunney family. The city has hosted multiple World Title changes, record-setting events, once-in-a-lifetime matchups, and yes, even two WrestleManias.
Full disclosure: as a Toronto resident for 40+ years, there is going to be an obvious bias here. Several of these memories may not resonate for many wrestling fans, either because they're not classically-remembered events, or they just happened way too long ago.
In counting down the Top 50 Toronto Wrestling Memories, we looked at the following criteria:
How unique were they to the city?
Are they likely to be replicated again?
How memorable are the memories, years later?
If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.
Ready? Here we go!
Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens was home to a rare interpromotional match on July 15, 1979, with WWWF World Champion Bob Backlund taking on Ric Flair, who was at the time the NWA's United States Champion. The battle between the future WWE Hall of Famers ended with Backlund winning the bout by countout.
Sammartino & Watson Team Up
When WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin barked orders to his Alliance members, everyone fell in line -- except for Hardcore Champion Rob Van Dam. To punish him, Austin battled RVD on a September 3, 2001 edition of SmackDown, and was shocked when The Whole F'N Show upset Stone Cold!