The bright lights of televised professional wrestling will return to the Queen City after a nearly 30-year absence when All Elite Wrestling (AEW) continues their Canadian tour with an episode of their new Saturday night show “Collision” at the Brandt Centre tonight.
Michael Ball had a conversation with Tony Khan, the Owner and CEO of AEW, on Friday’s episode of the SportsCage.
Wrestling was such a passion for Khan that it taught him the geography of the world, including Saskatchewan. On October 12, 1992, Owen’s brother Bret won his first (at the time) WWF (World Wrestling Federation) Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair in Saskatoon.
That passion for professional wrestling intensified to the point that he wanted to share his love with the sports fanbase.
“Really wrestling a few years ago needed a challenger brand and AEW has arrived on the scene, and we’ve become a huge worldwide global powerhouse company in pro wrestling.”
In the heart of the old Stampede Wrestling territory, AEW has honoured one of Canada’s all-time great wrestlers, the late Owen Hart, with their second annual Owen Hart Foundation Tournaments. Next week, the Men’s and Women’s finals will take place in Calgary, the home of the Hart’s.
Khan takes pride in the positive relationship between AEW and Owen Hart’s family.
“Really great that we’re able to work with Owen’s family, Dr. Martha Hart and their kids, to honour the legacy of the late great Owen Hart, in the way we believe he would want, by bringing the best professional wrestling to Canada.”
The AEW Owner & CEO promises fans will witness a great show at the Brandt Centre.
“The matches in the tournament’s semi-finals are some of the biggest in professional wrestling, including the biggest rivalry, the biggest grudge match in the sport, CM Punk versus Samoa Joe.”
One of the top stars in the business, Punk returned to AEW for the first edition of Collision in his hometown of Chicago last month after an extended layoff.
The former two-time AEW Heavyweight champion has experienced cheers and boos since returning to the squared circle. Khan believes Punk creates a response wherever he goes and thinks the same will happen in Regina.
“CM Punk gets huge fan reaction, the fans are excited to see him and I get the impression tomorrow night there in Regina, there will be a lot of CM Punk fans and I think there a lot of CM Punk fans.”
AEW Collision is watched in more than 150 countries, as Khan mentioned. Wrestling enthusiasts from around the world are eagerly looking forward to Saturday’s event to witness the continuation of the long-standing Punk-Joe rivalry. The two competitors engaged in one of the most talked about feuds during their days with the Ring Of Honor promotion, including a trilogy of epic matches featuring one that ended in a 60-minute time limit draw. The matches between the two establish them as wrestling’s breakout stars in wrestling’s independent scene during the early 2000’s.
Saturday night will mark the first time Punk and Joe will meet one-on-one inside of the ring since 2005.
The other tournament semi-final match on Saturday night’s card will feature two of the younger stars on the AEW roster, Powerhouse Hobbs vs Ricky Starks. The winner will meet the winner of the Punk-Joe matchup in the tournament final at the Saddledome.
On the women’s side of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, one semi-final bout will happen in Regina when Athena squares with Willow Nightingale.
There will be a tag team championship eliminator match at the Brandt Centre when the champions Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler of FTR meet Jay White & Juice Robinson of the Bullet Club Gold. If White & Robinson can defeat FTR, they will earn themselves a future title shot at the champions.
AEW will continue their Canadian tour after tonight’s show they will head to Saskatoon on Wednesday for an episode of Dynamite. The Canadian tour will wrap up next weekend in Calgary.