Hillbilly Jim says his WWE Hall of Fame nod is for everybody

Jim Morris was going to take a pass on appearing at the coming edition of WrestleMania and all its associated hoopla and festivities. Better know to legions of wrestling fans worldwide as the affable, scufflin’, larger-than-life Hillbilly Jim, Morris is invited every year to attend the biggest event in sports entertainment to participate in a host of activities as befits his status as a beloved legend of WWF/WWE lore. But he was going to decline the invitation this year…

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Wrestling with the right words to say thanks

How do you thank an entire city? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself a lot since Dec. 2, the night our annual Chinlock Wrestling charity show packed the Kingston Gospel Temple, culminating in a night I’ll not soon forgot. All told, the show generated $25,715 for local charity, an absolutely stunning number for those of us who worked behind the scenes for months on end putting this show together. To give this context, allow me to travel back…

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WWE champ Mahal making most of his opportunity

BROOKLYN, NY — Just four short summers ago, Yuvraj Singh Dhesi was back at home in Calgary, mulling his future, having just weeks earlier been released from his dream job as a professional wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment. On Friday, Dhesi, who is better known to wrestling fans as Jinder Mahal, was sitting in a packed room in a hotel in Brooklyn, filled with journalists from 15 different countries. He was there with his WWE championship belt in hand,…

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Plenty on the line at SummerSlam in Brooklyn

      BROOKLYN, N.Y. – World Wrestling Entertainment hosts its 29th installment of SummerSlam, its second-biggest event of the year, once again in Brooklyn on Sunday. The main event, a fatal four-way, features marquee talents Brock Lesnar, the Universal champion, defending his title against challengers Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. The other main event, for the WWE championship, features Indo-Canadian Jinder Mahal of Calgary defending his title against challenger Shinsuke Nakamura, a Japanese megastar. A closer…

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How wrestling made me … me again

It’s a tale as old as time. Good versus evil. Superhero versus villain. Babyfaces and heels. And yet somewhere along the way, the idea of scripted wrestling matches has been dubbed as silly or juvenile and probably a lot worse. Even though we live in a world where apparently even our news is fake. But, once you get past the fact that yes, the outcomes are predetermined, the feats of strength and athleticism displayed by these men and women…

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For wrestling legend Hall, it’s once again good to be the Bad Guy

Scott Hall was practically groomed to become a globe-trotting sports entertainer. He was, after all, a self-proclaimed ‘army brat,’ who had seen more of the United States by the age of 15 than most kids would in a lifetime. “We moved every year for the first 15 years (of my life),” Hall said over the telephone in a rare media interview. “I can’t even name the bases in order of where we lived. It got to the point where…

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Diamond Dallas Page joins WWE’s immortals

World Wrestling Entertainment’s latest hall of fame inductee, Diamond Dallas Page, will be enshrined into wrestling immortality at WrestleMania 33 just as many have been before him, acknowledging his contributions to the business and for giving back to the business that gave him opportunity. But when the man known simply as DDP takes his place at the podium, a word he will utter countless times — and the one going through the collective minds of the thousands upon thousands…

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WWE champ Jinder Mahal vows best is yet to come

Calgary, a city steeped in pro wrestling history, has produced its share of huge stars of the industry, but none, perhaps, as physically imposing as Jinder Mahal, the Calgarian and current World Wrestling Entertainment champion. The big Albertan, who checks in at six-foot-five, 220 pounds, is in the best shape of his life. According to him, it’s been a life that has been entirely spent as a fan of pro wrestling and sports entertainment. “I was born in Calgary,…

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You can ‘Bet’ on laughter with raunchy film starring wrestlers

By Aaron Jankowski/Chinlock staff When you have been going non-stop for a few weeks, and the only thing you have watched in that time is the Olympics, a nice quick and silly comedy is exactly what the doctor ordered. And, when you are an adult who grew up on World Wrestling Entertainment, a comedy that features a few legends such as  Diamond Dallas Page, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, Tommy Dreamer and the late, great Rowdy Roddy Piper, it makes the…

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Cruiserweight Classic an instant classic

By Paul Soucy For years, World Wrestling Entertainment has been the land of the giants. From Hulk Hogan all the way to John Cena, and many in between, those at the forefront of the company’s Squared Circle have traditionally been larger than life. But over time, WWE has been lured away from that criteria, seduced by the likes of CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Finn Balor. It seems the company is sacrificing size for a…

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Zayn looks to take career ‘full circle’ at Money in the Bank

  Money In the Bank: a match in which competitors vie to climb a ladder and unclasp a metal briefcase that hangs suspended above the middle of a World Wrestling Entertainment ring, with the hopes and dreams of those competitors literally hanging in the balance. Its winner is all but guaranteed a date with destiny. Inside that briefcase is a WWE contract enabling the possessor of that briefcase a shot at the biggest prize in WWE, a WWE World…

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Here comes the Ax! And here comes the Smasher!

  “Here comes the Ax, here comes the Smasher … The Demolition, a walking disaster.”   It’s among the most iconic wrestling entrance music in history, befitting two of the most memorable wrestlers of their generation and beyond. Together, Ax and Smash dominated the tag team wrestling scene in the 1980s and early ‘90s as the leather-wearing, face-painted behemouths known as Demolition, an alliance that continues, albeit more sparingly, to this day. But before there was Ax or Smash,…

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Hey Mickie, you’re so fine! James’ legacy grows

  Fearless and fabulous. Those words perfectly describe Mickie Laree James-Aldis, better known in the professional wrestling world as Mickie James. Fearlessness has been one of her greatest qualities from a very early age, when equestrian sports were her passion. And fabulous describes her now nearly 20-year run in the professional wrestling world, where she has helped raised the profile of women and built a case to be called the greatest female wrestler of all time. At 36 years…

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Call him Eric the Great

Today, he’s one of the most well-rounded and respected pro wrestlers in the business. And he came by it honestly, starting in a smoke-filled bar in small-town Ontario as a boy. That’s where Jeremy Fritz, better known to wrestling world as Eric Young, fell in love with the pomp and pageantry of pro wrestling. “I grew up in really, really, rural Ontario … southwestern Ontario,” Young said over the phone from his home in Nashville ahead of his first…

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Stratus continues to rewrite history

Trailblazer: a person who makes, does, or discovers something new and makes it acceptable or popular – Merriam-Webster dictionary She’s arguably the most popular women’s wrestler in the history of professional wrestling, but there is no arguing that Toronto’s Trish Stratus is the most decorated woman in the sport’s storied history. Stratus, born in Toronto in 1975, is the only wrestler to become World Wrestling Entertainment women’s champion seven times, she is the youngest to be inducted into the…

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Improving professional wrestling

Amazingly, nobody in a position of executive authority at World Wrestling Entertainment has contacted me about my thoughts on improving its product.  I understand the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but what about improving it?  Things can always be improved … even professional wrestling. As a lifelong wrestling fan, my suggestions are practical and need to be executed immediately.  Without them, I worry that wrestling won’t be taken as seriously as it should. It’s high time that professional wrestling…

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Owens prepares for his WrestleMania moment

In less than a month, a lifetime of dreams become a reality for another Canadian-born professional wrestler. Quebec native Kevin Owens will walk into Dallas, Texas, for World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania 32. Born Kevin Steen in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to Suzanne and Terry Steen, Owens fell in love with the pomp and pageantry of pro wrestling as a youngster when he and his father watched a VHS tape of WrestleMania 11. “That’s what made me decide that I wanted to be…

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Against all odds: 10 superstars who made it

If history has taught us anything, it’s that we like the underdog. The world of wrestling is certainly no exception. With the abrupt retirement of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Daniel Bryan this week, due to injuries, the wrestling world, along with its fans, took pause to reflect on the legacy left by a guy who was more or less told he could never make it to the top in a world of muscular giants whose personalities often were as large…

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Daniel Bryan possessed a realness rarely seen

In a world of scripted finishes and even a little kayfabe, Daniel Bryan was as real and genuine as they come. Breaking news of his retirement today is not only a blow to the business and its fans, who have been robbed of countless years of his brilliant in-ring work, but it puts an end to a realness that is rare in professional wrestling. Not the realness that is what those talented men and women do near daily when…

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Bloom, Bailey talk NXT Performance Centre

ORLANDO – Legendary Canadian wrestler Bret (The Hitman) Hart said it best when describing his Hitman wrestling character as “the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.” Hart could have also been describing World Wrestling Entertainment’s NXT Performance Center with those now famous words. Quite frankly, it is. As part of its Royal Rumble weekend, WWE invited international media to tour the world-class, state-of-the-art training facility, where it now trains all of…

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