Edmonton, the capital city of Canadian province Alberta, is considering dropping professional wrestling as a combative sport, CBC News reports. Promoters in Edmonton say they are conflicted regarding the city's recommendation for this decision. Currently, in Edmonton, pro wrestling is combined under city bylaw with other combative sports such as MMA and boxing, all overseen by the Combative Sports Commission.
Edmonton-based Real Canadian Wrestling promoter Steven Ewaschuk expressed that he feels this decision can be a "catch-22."
"It gives us more freedom to present events as we see fit, as many as we want," said Ewaschuk. "But it's also not good because it opens the doors for outlaw, untrained, unprofessional promoters to just come in and run shows as they see fit."
Ewaschuk added that the current relationship between the commission and the city three wrestling promotions involves approving events and offering guidelines, while the promoters pay an annual $700 licensing fee. If the recommendation goes through, promoters would require to pay a business licensing fee and will no longer be governed by the Combative Sports Commission.
Prairie Wrestling Association promoter Kurt Sorochan feels that the proposed changes "don't really change much," but he did voice the benefit of being a part of the commission. "For us, being under them and having some kind of governance kept out bad competition or poorly run groups that would come in," Sorochan explained.
In 2017, pro wrestling was a part of a temporary ban of all combative sports in Edmonton, following the death of fighter Tim Hague during a boxing match during the summer. At the time, PWA promoter Sorochan defended pro wrestling to the committee, stating, "we have pre-determined outcomes. We are 100 percent entertainment."
A WWE event scheduled for this past February in Edmonton was postponed because of the ban, but pro wrestling was lifted from the ban just two weeks prior to the show.
Source: CBC News