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City to lift rules on professional wrestling events
Published Wednesday, November 14, 2018 2:30PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:44PM MST
The Community and Public Services Committee will recommend council amend its Edmonton Combative Sports Commission Bylaw to remove professional wrestling.
“We found out that, we found out that professional wrestling the outcomes are predetermined, and, that it’s theatre,” joked Councillor Scott McKeen.
He said it didn’t make sense to have pro wrestling follow the same strict rules and regulations as combative sport events held in the city.
“But what we do know is that in combative sports there’s a greater likelihood of serious head injuries, so I think you have to just separate them a little bit. Make it clear that one needs much more rigour around it,” he said.
Mike Malowany, who produces podcasts and videos for various wrestling events in Alberta, applauds the decision.
“Edmonton is one of the last regions in Canada that actually has bureaucracy behind the professional wrestling and with this they’re just catching up with the times right now.”
He says the rules and licensing fees were enough to discourage some pro wrestling organizations from hosting events in Edmonton.
“There are fees involved in getting a promoters license and sometimes it’s just not feasible to pay those.” He added, “If you go just outside the city, don’t have to pay the fees, would you pay ‘em?”
It’s a move that would allow pro wrestling organizations in Edmonton to regulate themselves.
“There are injuries, no question, and maybe even concussions and it’s a lot like other professional sports and sports entertainment that there’s consequences for the athletes,” says McKeen.
Council still has to give the final say – but Councillor McKeen says he would be surprised if the amendment doesn’t pass.