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Sandman Comes To Canada/ WWF - Drag Racing Marriage?
by Marty Goldstein on 2001-07-29

"DO YOU KNOW WINNIPEG? I'm heading there this weekend."

So began my brief phone chat this past week with the Sandman, who has been quoted all over the Internet after a radio appearance that broke the news about the launch of Main Event Wrestling. This ambitious promotion made it's debut, of sorts, this week, by doing an NWO style run-in on a small indy show in the city of Evansville, Indiana.

Sandman had spoken privately with me at the XPW card in Los Angeles on July 7 about this start-up, and indicated that many of his ECW co-horts would be working for this office. Since I was sworn to secrecy, I had to keep the basic details to myself. So far, the announcements that have been made about running 3 crews, with he and Tracy Smothers booking, Public Enemy as Tag Champs, TV deals in the works throughout the Eastern U.S., jibe with what "Hak" had told me in L.A.

One detail I had not heard about until this week was the Canadian tour, currently a hot topic among indy offices and fans alike. With no TV, no announced venues and no known publicity, it will be a tough sell for promoter John Collins to draw in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and the other proposed pit stops.

Sandman, who is otherwise not accepting any more indy bookings, was headed to Winnipeg this weekend as a short-notice replacement for former ECW icon Tommy Dreamer, whose WWF obligations forced him to drop out of the IWA TV taping in my hometown. My spies told me he was being heavily advertised for his debut in the 'Peg. So to help things along, I gave my buddy the most honest advice possible.

"You may not like the city, but it sure has a LOT of beer."

Sandman had a big laugh. At least he had something to look forward to. I'll be speaking with him again this week.


An article in the July 26 San Diego Union-Tribune by Bill Center speculated that the NHRA might look towards the WWF to fill an impending sponsorship gap. Due to advertising restrictions on tobacco companies in the U.S., R.J. Reynolds has terminated their agreement with the dragsters, which dates to 1974. Winston will continue to back the much more popular NASCAR circuit.

The WWF has sponsored 2 funny cars for 2 seasons, and WWF driver Jerry toliver said "The demographics between the WWF and drag racing are almost identical." Center then speculated that if the McMahon empire picks up the NHRA slack, the cry of "fix" could emerge when teammates such as John Force and Tony Pedregon collide.

The recent victory of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in dramatic fashion at the track where his father died gave rise to similar speculation of a rigged race. Such is the double edged sword faced by Vince McMahon, who craves the respect and coverage from the mainstream media but after the XFL fiasco can never truly escape the stigma of being successful only in a "worked" environment.

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Quotes from the boys: Moondog Manson says "After a long hard thought about what I wanted to do, I realized retirement isn't what I wanted. Why would I give these knuckleheads the satisfaction of retirement when I can terrorize them ten fold in the ring.".
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