For the first time, AEW has made it to Canada. In typical AEW fashion, they film all of their weekly programming in the same city. This makes for easy travel, or rather an easier traveling schedule for the pro wrestlers and logistically, it is very different to the nightmare that WWE can oftentimes be.
Stu Grayson, formerly of the Dark Order in AEW, once told me that the travel schedule was much easier in AEW than it would be in WWE. Case in point the weeklong stays, which brings us to Toronto this week in AEW…
Canada is full of impressive athletes and particularly in the pro wrestling world, and they were abundant this week in Toronto for AEW programming albeit we didn’t get to see them on Wednesday’s telecast of Dynamite. They were there, however, and in droves it seems.
The legendary Jacques Rougeau was present, and he had some local Quebec wrestlers in tow…individuals who had won the Lutte Academie 2022. These wrestlers included: Matt Black, Dylan Davis, Jeremy Prophet and Jessica Leary, as per wrestlingheadlines.com.
Prophet has had an extensive career wrestling all over the country and has established for himself quite the reputation in the independent scene here in Canada and Quebec; of course even in the States. He has had experiences in WWE as well, dating back even a decade, as he told Pantelis Comedy back in 2021 on YouTube.
There’s very good reason for this: He’s damn good in that ring and on that microphone and is highly entertaining to watch. I saw him recently at an IWS show at the tail end of the scorching summer in Montreal, and his tag match as part of Black Quebecois was the big take-away for me…the frames of his match coming back to me more than anything else that happened that night.
And keep in mind, you’re talking about an event that had Ruby Soho on the card, Joey Janela, Angelo Parker, Evil Uno and even the legendary Green Phantom and PCP Crazy Manny, who had his last match on that night (Manny)…all IWS legends, except for Janela, who was wrestling there in the IWS promotion for the first time, he stating he was a huge fan of the promotion.
Their matches were all epic, but Jeremy’s was particularly something to behold. Hence his being chosen to represent Canada at AEW Dynamite.
Rougeau, who is a legend in the industry, was backstage at the event, and took pictures with many AEW stars, and his students and the aforementioned winners of the Lutte Academie 2022, were there as well in order to tape matches for Dark: Elevation. The matches were taped before Dynamite rolled live in front of the crowd and viewing audience at home.
Leary and Prophet faced Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford, and it was Matt Black that went one-on-one with Frankie Kazarian; Dylan Davis Faced Junior Benito.
On another but related note, it was luttequebec.com that reported that Stu Grayson was in fact also there in Toronto. The crowd reaction was intense for Grayson according to the piece, but it was unclear if Grayson would be returning for good.
When I spoke to Grayson during the summer after his appearance for FLQ Wrestling in Quebec at the Just For laughs Festival (an event that drew over 5,000 people, which was huge numbers for such an event), he stated that a tenure in the independent Canadian scene was his plan, but that may have changed. I will reach out to him for comment and keep you updated on the possibility.