Back in February, WhatCulture and WCPW announced the inaugural Pro Wrestling World Cup taking place this summer, featuring professional wrestlers from around the world competing in a World Cup tournament patterned after the monumental football (soccer) tournament. The massive tournament – featuring 64 wrestlers from 8 different global regions – would see the international regions (England, Scotland, Mexico, Germany, Canada, USA, Japan, and Rest of the World) hold regional qualifiers of 8 entrants, with the top two going on to the 16-man finals brackets at summer’s end. With England, Scotland, Germany and Mexico announced, WCPW announced the Canadian qualifier yesterday.
The event will be held in Toronto, Ontario in a co-promotion with Canada’s top indie promotion, Smash Wrestling, on Sunday May 14, 2017 at The Phoenix Concert Hall. The day will feature an afternoon matinee event from Smash Wrestling, Have Ring Will Wrestle, that will feature main event match-ups Michael Elgin vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Kyle O’Reilly vs. Jeff Cobb. The Pro Wrestling World Cup Canadian qualifiers will take place after Smash’s event, including WCPW showcase matches featuring WCPW regulars Zack Sabre Jr., Martin Kirby, Joe Hendry, El Ligero and others.
While it’s no secret Canada is the home to many of the top male and female wrestlers in the world today, many of them are under contract elsewhere. But they still managed to field a solid group of eight men, with several featuring world class resumes. Here’s the eight Canadians vying to represent Canada in this summers Pro Wrestling World Cup.
Michael Elgin is a former Ring of Honor World Champion, IWGP Intercontinental Champion in NJPW, NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion, PWG World Tag Team Champion as well as Heavyweight Champion for such respected indies as AAW and AIW. An absolute powerhouse, Elgin is easily one of the favourites to advance to the finals.
O’Reilly just recently became a wrestling free agent following his departure from ROH after finally capturing his first ROH World Heavyweight title. His resume includes a run as PWG World Heavyweight Champion as well, not to mention his stellar work as one half of ReDragon with Bobby Fish, with whom he captured three ROH World Tag Team titles and two IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles.
Davey Boy Smith Jr.
The son of WWE Legend “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and a member of the legendary Hart family, he’s also a former WWE Superstar (where he competed as DH Smith in the Hart Legacy alongside Tyson Kidd and Natalya). A tag team specialist, he’s a 2-time WWE Tag Team Champion with Kidd, but he’s currently one half of the Killer Elite Squad with Lance Archer in NJPW, with whom he’s a 2-time GHC Tag Team Champion and 2-time IWGP Tag Team Champion.
One of Canada’s most respected independent wrestlers, he gained international exposure last summer as part of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. Throughout his 20-year career, he’s appeared for the WWE, Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, AIW and more, and he’s currently the reigning and defending Champion for host promotion Smash.
He was the youngest man to win a WWE Championship when he captured the WWE Tag Team titles at 19 years of age in La Résistance back in 2003 and after four years with the WWE ventured off around the world. He spent time in Japan, with All-Japan and Wrestle-1, and continues to travel the world indie circuit.
One of Smash’s emerging stars and a rising superstar in the Canadian independent scene, Banks is an athletic specimen with charisma to match. This will be an outstanding opportunity for the world to see why Banks is Money.
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Tarik has been a staple on the Ontario indie scene the past few years where he’s emerged as one of the country’s top independent stars. He consistently faces some of the world’s best and he’s as stiff as he is athletic.
Frankie The Mobster
A hulk of a man, Frankie hails from Montreal, Quebec, and has made his rounds on the indie circuit. He debuted in CZW in 2005 and won the CZW Iron Man Championship, as well as competing periodically for Ring of Honor. He continues to work the indies throughout Canada and North America.
Tickets for the Canadian Qualifier for the Pro Wrestling World Cup are available HERE.
Main Photo: WCPW