By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
Wrestling fans in Strathmore were left empty handed Nov. 23 after the Royal Canadian Legion No. 10 cancelled their scheduled Real Canadian Wrestling (RCW) event.
Since the RCW returned to the Legion last June, attendance has been in a steady decline, according to RCW promoter/owner Steven Ewaschuk.
“It’s tough to get big draws in small towns around Christmas, so we talked and we are hoping to be back in January,” said Ewaschuk.
The wrestling was cancelled in favour of a few Christmas parties and a pair of funerals that week.
“We’re a business as well. We look at it and see that we can be making more money with Christmas or birthday parties,” said Legion board member Allan Auger. “We can’t keep (the wrestling) going for five to 10 people. In order for this to be a viable event, we need 50 to 60 more people in attendance than what we have gotten lately.”
Ewaschuk said RCW was a regular event in Strathmore four years ago and would draw crowds nearing 100-strong. Lately, RCW struggles to put 20 butts in the seats.
“The Legion donated the hall to us. They kept all the food and drink money, we kept most of the ticket money. We donated back $1 of each ticket to the Legion. We think it’s important to give back to the community and help the Legion hang around,” said Ewaschuk.
When the show is in town, fans are entertained for about two hours, as six matches take place with a couple of titles on the line during the co- and main events.
The two sides are currently hashing out a deal to bring the RCW back to Strathmore in January, but an exact date is yet to be determined.
When the wrestling does return to the Legion, Ewaschuk hopes he has the rights to the Stampede Wrestling name.
“We aren’t going to call ourselves Stampede Wrestling, but we want to take the sport back to the grass roots, the good versus evil wrestling; and hopefully that brings an older crowd to the Legion,” said Ewaschuk.
The RCW was drawing its biggest crowds on the weekends back in the day. But the unbridled passion for hockey in Strathmore has the RCW now booking its events mid-week, away from any large hockey tournaments.
The events have been taking place once a month until this point. Auger thinks spacing them out a little bit more could create some interest and desire to catch a show if there’s a longer period in between viewings.
Whatever the case may be, wrestling will be back in January, that is certain. When or how long the RCW will keep coming back to the Legion is up in the air.
The RCW is constructing a new website and they have a Facebook page, so fans of all ages can follow and keep up-to-date with news, results and show postings.