Wrestling fans in Alberta, Canada are finally getting some good news. After being bumped from the Road to WrestleMania tour due to city legislation back in December, WWE (and pro wrestling) can finally return to Edmonton.
The city enacted a temporary one-year ban on combat sports following the death of former UFC fighter Tim Hague. Hague suffered a brain aneurysm after being knocked out in a boxing match. This was the last in a series of knockouts for the fighter, raising serious questions about why the Athletic Commission continued to allow Hague to compete. Hague fell into a coma after being rushed to the hospital, and later succumbed to his injuries.
As a result of the decision made by City Council, WWE was forced to cancel their February 9th Edmonton show, choosing instead to host the event in the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan that night.
An amendment to the city’s moratorium was tabled for council on January 23rd, resulting in the decision that pro wrestling should not be subject to the one-year ban. After working hard to make a case for wrestling’s exception to the ban, both independent promoters and the Oilers Entertainment Group (in charge of events at Rogers Place) voiced their relief at the amendment. “We felt, in particular with WWE, that it was a distinct category of activity, and really falls more in sports entertainment than combative sport,” said Tim Shipton, an OEG spokesperson. Shipton also noted that they’re working with WWE to reschedule the event.
Edmonton mayor Don Iveson was another proponent in the decision to allow wrestling events to resume, even though it meant having his world view shaken. “My heart is broken to find out that it’s a predetermined outcome,” Iveson told CBC News. “It’s like finding out that Santa Claus isn’t real.”
We’re sorry you had to find out this way, Don.