Could Mississauga Be Home to a Future WWE Wrestling Show?
Professional wrestling is a niche industry that attracts a sizable following, especially if a live show is happening locally. Besides main players like the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), there are scores of independent wrestling promotions hosting shows across the GTA, specifically right here in Mississauga.
Now, however, the main player may be looking up north, right here in Canada’s sixth largeset city, in order to establish a permanent home for their expanding brand.
According to this article from Ringside News, WWE is contemplating on creating a Canadian version of their popular NXT show. NXT is technically a development system to train wrestlers to be on WWE’s main roster programming, but the brand has grown in its own popularity amongst diehard wrestling fans.
Located in Full Sail University in the Orlando area, NXT broadcasts an hour-long show once a week on the ‘WWE Network’, the company’s streaming service. There is also a version of the brand catering to the European market called NXT UK in Britain. Last year, NXT had a live show at what was then called the Hershey’s Centre (now the Paramount Centre) and it looks like WWE is eyeing the GTA as a place to launch an ‘NXT Canada’.
WWE reportedly is holding a tryout session in Mississauga and has enlisted some help from a local personality who happens to be a former WWE superstar: Anthony Carelli, better known as Santino Marella. Marella owns and operates Battle Arts Academy, a 15,000 square foot facility located at Tomken and Eglinton where he trains mixed martial artists and aspiring professional wrestlers.
Unlike in the previous decade when WWE was the only mainstream wrestling show around, the current pro wrestling landscape is looking more competitive than before. Earlier this year All Elite Wrestling became the first American promotion to open in almost 20 years with serious financial backing; the owners also own the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise.
Back in Mississauga, along with promoting their own show Battle Arts also hosts the independent promotion Destiny World Wrestling, which has a partnership of sorts with Impact Wrestling to do TV tapings at Battle Arts Academy.
This coming second weekend of August, WWE will be in town as they host four back to back nights of pay per views and regular programming, beginning on Saturday, August 10 with NXT Takeover: Toronto, followed by their annual Summerslam event and flagship show Monday Night RAW, all taking place at the Scotiabank Arena.
With such a fertile ground for professional wrestling here, it’s no wonder that WWE, in light of new competition, is looking to Canada for new audiences. With such an established following of professional wrestling in Canada, it may be just a matter of time before WWE decides to serious expansion up in this country…and Mississauga could be at the centre of it.
Photo courtesy of Sporting News.com
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