The WWE makes a triumphant return to Canada

ABOVE: Roman Reigns defended his title in Ottawa on Saturday night. (RIGHT) Hometown hero, Edge, returned to Toronto to compete for the first time in over a decade.

During the pandemic, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) had to get creative performing without a crowd present. Kudos to them, they made it work, but now they are back to performing in front of a live audience. Over the last few days, the WWE made its triumphant return with shows in Montreal, Ottawa, London, and Toronto, to name a few.

I saw the Saturday Nights Main Event at the Canadian Tire Centre and then made the short trip down the 401 to see Monday Night Raw in Toronto.

The two experiences were very different. Let’s start with Saturday Nights Main Event. There was a level of excitement for the show. As soon as I arrived at the arena, I saw that the merchandise stand was flooded with fans looking to buy t-shirts, programmes, etc. When I got to my seat, the atmosphere was electric with all the excited fans, a following that isn’t all men; many women attended the event. And this isn’t like me at IKEA; they were there willingly!

I love seeing kids at these events because it reminds me of the first time my father took me. Seeing these superstars in person is quite the thrill. The Ottawa event was not taped for television which can be both a good thing and a bad thing: bad if you were hoping to catch a glimpse of yourself on tv but good because the production wasn’t under severe time restrictions. It was very well organized, don’t get me wrong, but Getting a ‘selfie’ with a superstar is not typical at Raw or Smackdown, the two main WWE taped shows. It is, however, commonplace at Saturday Nights Main Event and Monday Night Raw to see superstars coming to the ring and taking pictures with adoring fans.

Another great thing about the Ottawa show was there was more audience engagement, both shows had it, but it felt more personalized for the Ottawa audience.

ABOVE: WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus kicked off Monday Night Raw in Toronto.

The Monday Night Raw was quite the spectacle. I attended with a friend who had never been to a WWE event before, and it didn’t take long for them to see how incredible the production value of a WWE event is. It is quite the extravaganza, from the video vignettes to the pyro, to the intro music. WWE pulled out all the stops, bringing in former superstar and WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus to kick the night off. She was met with a huge ovation.

The show was a little over three hours long, but like a great movie, it didn’t feel that way. The show moved so incredibly smoothly before closing with superstar and hometown hero, Edge, returning to Toronto to compete for the first time in over a decade. The ovation he received was thunderous — Did the Toronto Maple Leafs just win the Stanley Cup? Edge was forced to retire several years ago due to a neck injury. He made a passionate speech about his ordeal, and you see his connection with the fans; there was a lot of emotion. Fortunately, Edge was back in a WWE ring, and the fans couldn’t have been more thrilled to see him. 

Saturday Nights Main Event and Monday Night Raw served as a reminder of how impressive the WWE is. They host multiple shows per week, and the business runs like clockwork. Dana White, head of the UFC, said in a recent interview that he learned a lot from the business model that the WWE has set. When you look at other organizations, it is clear that the WWE has set the standard that others are still chasing. There is no wasted motion with this company. If a match isn’t taking place, they are promoting another one, promoting an upcoming pay-per-view, and promoting their vast merchandise lineup.

Quite frankly, ‘Marketing – WWE Style 101’ is a course that should be available in schools worldwide.

WWE may not be everyone’s cup of tea but to call the business fascinating is an understatement. Everyone should attend at least one WWE event in their lives — put it on your Bucket List!

I already had respect for this business, but being back at a live show reminded me of how those in front of the camera and behind it work so hard.

As you’ll often hear at an event, WWE, this is awesome!

Saturday Night’s Main Event Results

  • Los Lotharios def The Brawling Brutes
  • Natalya def Shotzi
  • Gunther vs. Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Intercontinental Title
  • Riccichet def Happy Corbin
  • Sami Zayn def Madcap Moss
  • Liv Morgan and Aliyah def Shayna Baszler
  • Roman Reigns defeated Drew McIntyre and Sheamus to retain the WWE Universal Title

WWE Monday Night Raw Results

  • Iyo Skye and Dakota Kai def Alexa Bliss and Asuka
  • Finn Balor def Dolph Ziggler
  • Kevin Owens def Chad Gable
  • Bayley def Aliyah
  • Bobby Lashley and AJ Styles def The Miz and Ciampa
  • Edge def Damian Priest