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The Territory That Could Have Been pt.2
by Marty Goldstein on 2001-06-19

The Story Behind the Story So Far

The story of how a Winnipeg wrestling production even got to the point of being recruited to run shows in the Maritimes is worth telling, as it helps in understanding the strange twisting events that almost resulted in a great Canadian crew, including future WWF stars, coming together.

Not many people have gotten calls out of the blue, asking if they would be interested in helping produce a wrestling tour in a dead territory halfway across the country. In 1996, the Maritimes was dead as a doornail. Stephen Pettipas had tried to follow in Emile Dupre's footsteps and had failed miserably.

I was just such a person, getting a phone call one August morning begging me to bring the dormant Rough House Rasslin' productions to new Brunswick. An invitation from a backer halfway across the country was not only unexpected but flattering. However,I was still not interested.

I had broken a major scandal about the very corrupt Manitoba Boxing and Wrestling Commission on CBC TV in March 1995, and I was feeding stories to local media outlets. Also I was very much enjoying that summer, as a particularly sexy 20 year old ex-girlfriend had come back into my life and we were enjoying a rather fun and unconventional relationship, and I was producing bar events and working with big music acts in the evenings. I had been left very disillusioned by my experience in the wrestling industry in 1994 and continued developing a career outside of it until my concerns were resolved.

But almost for 2 weeks every morning the phone rang. How do I find out if there is a wrestling commission, how much should we budget for the boys, is radio a good PR option...

Finally the question that broke my resolve. The company needed a ring. Having never been to the Maritimes, I had no idea where to start, and to top it off the frequent morning calls were ruining my fun. So I suggested the friend/promoter call a retired wrestler I knew who had worked for Emile. Maybe he could help her out.

By that evening, the phone rang and I got an offer I had to consider. A deal had been struck and I was volunteered to come out of retirement myself. I was now more convinced than ever that Dirty Dan Denton was a hell of a worker, in all meanings of the term.

Dan was living in New York, having basically retired from the ring in 1991 to work as a journalist in Mexico City. Born in Fredricton, he convinced the promoter to pay him a very healthy sum to headline the shows as Canadian Heavyweight Champion, as he never lost the belt he won in the waning days of Al Tomko's All Star Wrestling in Vancouver.

In part one, a number of bases were covered quickly, and were not as simple as it sounded. Denton engineered an agreement for all my basic concerns to be met, such as booking autonomy, all crew expenses paid, my payoff, and proof of funding on deposit. I was then able to put together half the crew out of Winnipeg, and were the guys ever stoked, especially Kerry Brown and Stan Saxon.

Kerry had enjoyed huge success in the early 80's in Quebec and the Maritimes as Rick Valentine, but as an old style "big ugly heel" the WWF and evryone else had passed him by. Between Dan as a returning home town boy cum champion, and Kerry's notoriety, there was no doubt the shows would draw. None.

Saxon had gone to work for Emile as a rookie and blew out his knee against Leo Burke. He was now developing a new character, the masked Brother Midnite, and his Dusty Rhodes/Midnite Rider interview style was hilarious. He figured that in the still-christian influenced Maritimes, he had a winning idea, and I agreed.

Still, we needed half a crew, mostly of babyfaces. It was then that Denton figured we should call a friend and fellow journalist he had worked with for Grand Prix who was now training guys in Toronto.

Enter Ron Hutchison.

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Quotes from the boys: Ed Moretti says "Relax there kid. Who's calling this match...them or us? They bought the tickets to see us, not the other way around".
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