By WES WETANKO — For SLAM! Wrestling

CALGARY — Sabu once again returned to Stampede Wrestling and once again he turned things up a notch. This is the second time that Sabu has wrestled here and the fans were not disappointed as he and three of Stampede Wrestling’s best up and comers tore the house down!

For the past year since Stampede Wrestling made its comeback to the world of professional wrestling the cards have been, well, lackluster at best. The first card back in April of 1999 had only one saving grace, that being a match between Pistol Greg Pawluk and Dirty Dick Raines. One year later, these two men are at the top of their game. With wrestlers who don’t even look like they belong in a wrestling ring (Principal Richard Pound) to guys that do have some talent but lack any charisma what so ever (Red Thunder) Stampede Wrestling has been cramming long, drawn out, predictable matches down our throats for over a year now. It looks like things are fixin’ to change pretty quick.

One month ago Sabu made his first appearance in Stampede facing another one of the best rookies in western Canada, Hot Shot Johnny Devine. Originally Hot Shot was jeered by the crowd for his very similar look and wrestling style to that of Chris Jericho, but like Jericho, Devine has managed to win over the crowds here with his daredevil moves and his hard workrate. Devine won himself quite a following after his showing against Sabu, and Sabu opened the eyes of a lot of people in this city who had never even heard of the homicidal, suicidal, genocidal one.

Now, throw into the mix Tiger Khan. Tiger from what I know has been wrestling for several years now, mostly in the northeastern United States in Pennsylvania. The fans did not take to well to Tiger at first either, your average, run-of-the-mill, North American-bashing heel who sporadically yells “IN-DIA!!” during his matches. Like Devine, Khan has won himself his fair share of fans as well through a lot of hard work. Incidentally, Khan defeated Principal Pound last week to win not only the British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight title, but a shot at facing Sabu on June 9 for the Pacific title. What a relief that we didn’t have to watch Pound versus Sabu.

The two men did not disappoint, chairs were flung, heads were smashed, and tables were broken. The crowd was more pumped than I have ever seen them for a Stampede show (not withstanding the old days). About eight minutes into the match Hot Shot Johnny Devine (seeking revenge on Sabu I’m assuming) interferes only to be put through a table by Khan. A few moments later Pistol Greg Pawluk (whom with Devine had lost the tag straps earlier in the evening, following which Devine turned on Pawluk) hits the ring and joins in on the melee as well. Five tables, dozens of chair shots and a busted open Devine and Pawluk later the fans are chanting “Stampede Wrestling!”

This is truly what we have been waiting to see, four men on top of their game pulling out all the stops to entertain the crowd and show us where the true talent in Stampede is. These four men are set to do battle again June 23 at the Ogden Legion a card that you will not want to miss.

Other impressive showings from the past Friday night included Wavell Starr, whom is one of the most underrated heels in the business today, as well as William Butler Yeats, whom, despite the name is a talented worker and has won over a lot of fans here as well. Harry Smith, son of Davey Boy Smith also made another impressive showing as he and TJ Wilson put on a wrestling clinic. These are definitely two names to watch out for in the years to come.


Rob Roy Scott def. Brett Hanson
The wrestler formerly known as Black Ninja (didn’t catch his name) def. Irish Red O’Riordan
Harry Smith def. TJ Wilson
Razor Rick Titan and Vic Viper no contest
Crazyhorse Eddie Mustang def Wavell Starr
Principal Richard Pound, William Butler Yeats and Ruffy Silverstein no contest
Dirty Dick Rains and Frank Einstein def Greg Pawluk and Johnny Devine for the tag titles
Sabu and Tiger Khan, no contest

Sabu will also be appearing June 12th in Saskatoon.