Local wrestling company 'pulling no punches' as it jumps back in the ring
EDMONTON -- Real Canadian Wrestling (RCW) is one of the first wrestling companies to return to the canvas in Alberta.
The move is possible amoney-losing venture, according to RCW owner Steven Ewaschuk.
“My opinion is, I’m taking a chance. I’m bringing wrestling back, but I’m also doing every procedure," said Ewaschuk, who added that about 82 fans showed up for an Edmonton show on Saturday.
The event was required to meet provincial guidelines for indoor events — including a maximum number of 100 guests — under Phase II of Alberta's relaunch.
“I can confirm that AHS was made aware of the event, and discussed all of the required and appropriate restrictions and guidelines with the organizer,” AHS’ Kerry Williamson told CTV News Edmonton.
Ewaschuk said, “We do temperatures of every fan who attends the event prior to entry. We give them masks, sanitizer, gloves.”
However, while the RCW owner said all safety protocols were followed, including social distancing, CTV footage shows many fans did not wear masks.
“We can’t mandatorily make people wear masks. We can only recommend it, “ Ewaschuk responded.
'I WAS KIND OF SHOCKED' PRO SAYS
One professional wrestler, Michael Blais, had criticism of the scene captured by CTV News Edmonton.
“I was kind of shocked that not many people were wearing their masks,” he commented.
Blais performs for many wrestling companies, including the WWE.
He suggested RCW is on the right track, but said he wasn't fully comfortable with what he saw.
“I don’t think its the ideal scenario...I’d probably do it, but I’d take a lot more precautions myself, too,” said Blais, adding wrestlers have to trust each other and police themselves during the pandemic.
“I’d be comfortable with the people that I very much trust and work with regularly...Some of them aren’t even comfortable right now,” said Blais.
The RCW will stage another show in Edmonton this weekend.
“We’ve had backlash from other local promotions, but that's because they’re not doing what we’re doing...so its kind of like we’re jumping ahead of the business,” said Ewaschuk.