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I fell back in love with wrestling this weekend – an Indy love story

I haven’t had a chance to introduce myself to the AW audience yet. I am Nation Dan and I have been tasked, with the help of “the Commish”, with bringing this once great site and platform back to the masses with the new look and style. Our team of writers and podcasters have been working hard in the last few weeks to bring you more and more content with opinions and you will only see that continue to grow.

That said, I grew up with a love of the sports entertainment world my whole life. I would watch diligently through the ’90s here in Canada while my dad would poke fun at me for being so invested. It was a good time to be coming of age as a wrestling fan. Then I got away from it. I realized what girls were, I took on a bunch of hobbies, got a job, and watching wrestling got away from me. I found a group of guys and gals that liked to play board games and have Raw and Smackdown on in the background. I was casually back and invested but the (lack of) creativity of the storylines and general disappointment didn’t really hold me in.

Then I joined the Nation Network and the opportunity to run a new wrestling property came up and I jumped all over it. Still, the WWE mothership wasn’t doing it for me on a weekly basis. Some of the guys and girls were enjoyable, but on the whole, the prospect of watching wrestling five-plus hours a week seemed more tedious than anything. I did it because it’s my job and I have been excitedly getting to know our writers better and you the fans better.

Then, in my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, a local indy show had their biggest show of the year and I was able to attend, and things all changed for me. The show was PWA (Prairie Wrestling Alliance) Night of Champions.

If you want, you have a look at the glimpses of the show that I was able to capture here:

This was the first time I was ever able to attend a live show. I have been in cities and towns across Canada at different times when live shows were around but just never seemed to give myself the time/money. Saturday night was different in so many ways.

The People

I am a self-admitted people watcher, always have and will be. The group of people collected for Saturday night’s PWA Night of Champions was the most eclectic sampling of every walk of life I could have had the honor of being with. From ages two to ninety-two, the people could not have been more different and I loved to see it.

The Building

We have all seen and heard about it, but there is something so unique about walking into these “underground” places (the event this weekend was at a technology school’s gym) and feel like you have found something that no one else knows about. That and for 25 Canadian dollars (roughly 3 bucks American) it’s just simply not beatable for the price.

The Show

Is it kitschy? yep
Is it perfect in it’s execution? nope
Is it just perfect in its imperfections? ABSOLUTELY

From the LED strips around the entranceway (controlled by staff with a handy remote, to the beautiful shirts that are made specifically for this promotion alone, it’s all just a part of the pageantry that I cannot get enough of.

The Wrestling

This is where my heart went out to this promotion and where I fell in love again. All those videos I posted got love and as is the tradition with the internet, the crap comments like “they’re doing this for hot dogs and coke” or “why would do this for no pay”. They’re not wrong but here we are, and they ARE doing it for what little they get and for the love of entertainment. Going through tables, flying from ladders and taking bump after bump, and wrestling for the passion of it all. Some of the wrestlers were and are very clearly working on their craft still, but the majority of the matches were just as good (if not better) than anything you will see on the big-name shows. There’s a tragedy to that but more importantly, there is a romance and I felt it throughout.

When this hit (that has since gone viral) hit, the whole place erupted and my heart melted for them and everyone who had performed that night.

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The finale. Wow. @pwawrestlingca #Wrestling #indywrestling

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That was Teddy Hart landing a Canadian Destroyer from the top of a ladder, through a table onto another ladder from a height on Michael R. Blais (remember the name).

I am in love again with wrestling…

What does it all mean?

As a part of my day to day life at the Nation Network, I also run a website called Hockeyfights.com. That’s a place where you can go and watch any fighter you want, any fight you want from the NHL and below. The beauty of what we do over there is we give a platform to some of the guys that you may not remember. Some of the guys who played key roles on teams that you won’t read from the mainstream media. With hockeyfights.com they have a home where they can always come and look back, but also where people can take some time to get to know the “lesser known”. I want that for AlWrestling.com.

You will still always get the WWE/WCW/AEW coverage you have come to AW for years (or weeks in the case of some) but look for us to begin to work with promotions local to us (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) and our writers in the near future and look forward to hearing the stories from people you may have never had the chance to see or hear from before.