Oh Canada! AEW Goes North Of The Border For The First Time Ever

October 16, 2022

Thanksgiving had just passed on Monday, here in Canada and I’d assume that somewhere down the list of gratitude for the is that AEW is coming to Canada for the first time ever. Before Wednesday’s Canadian debut, attending an AEW show required a passport. They’ve come close to Canada before. Shows in Rochester, Buffalo and the Boston area aren’t terribly far from major the Eastern Canadian metropolises if Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal but, close isn’t good enough if you don’t have a passport. There was much buzz surrounding the announcement of AEW Dynamite and AEW Rampage emanating from the venerable Coca-Cola Coliseum in shows on a Wednesday and Thursday. Dynamite sold out in about an hour. Rampage didn’t sell out but looked to have a pretty large attendance as well. 

The entry line for Dynamite wrapped around the arena. Thousands got there early to revel in the atmosphere, There was a palpable buzz in the line, along with the random yip, woot and squeal. Some dressed as their favorite wrestlers (“Randy Savage” sat next to “Danhausen”), most wore their favorite wrestler’s merchandise. After the hours of waiting and the endless lines for everything; eventually it was showtime. 

I’m not going to go into the specifics of the broadcasts. I watched what you watched. The show was the show, for better or worse. Most importantly, considering that a few notable names still aren’t available, Some understandably disappointed wouldn’t let the absence of their favorite talent, sullen their mood.   However, there was one major note that greatly enhanced my experience. Rampage was taped from around 9pm to about 1015 pm on Thursday! That was such a great move by AEW. Rampage ends at 11pm in the east, making a late night even longer as patrons fight traffic and transit while exiting the arena. It really begs the question of how possible it would be that Rampage could move to Thursdays live at 9pm Eastern. Live broadcasts negate spoilers and more fans would have an opportunity to see the product, as AEW would have shows on Two nights, instead a marathon 4 hour long Wednesday event. 

Overall, the experience of being at the scene of history, is one that most in the audience at the Coca Cola Coliseum shouldn’t forget. But, the two days at Expo Place wasn’t perfect. Sure, the “card is subject to change” but, AEW’s Canadian debut needed to be at a bigger venue. At least for the first time, then afterwards they can have it in High Park. Hopefully, as AEW continues to expand throughout North America, they make their debut in larger, newer venues that can withstand the crush of fans, selling out the venue. Minor league/college venues are fine but AEW has outgrown that setting for a major market debut. 


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