Monday, June 12, 2017

Blame Canada, but why?

Bret Hart
Courtesy: WWE

 By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I've thought about this blog for quite some time and actually brought it up for a brief discussion with Chad during the most recent My 1-2-3 Cents podcast. Why are most Canadian wrestlers portrayed as bad guys? I am not a history buff and should probably not admit that, but I don't recall any sort of tension with the Great White North.

Dino Bravo
Courtesy: WWE
Dino Bravo was the Canadian strongman. When he first arrived in the WWF he was a good guy. But eventually they turned him heel and he adopted the Canada rules and the U.S. drools mantra. He wore the fleur-de-lis trunks and his manager, Frenchy Martin waved the Canadian flag. 

The Rougeaus & Jimmy Hart
Courtesy: WWE
A similar thing happened with Jacques and Raymond Rougeau. The Canadian brothers wore similar gear but were cheered by the fans. But at some point, they too turned heel and took on Jimmy Hart as their manager. The Mouth of the South even had a special jacket he wore with the team that reflected a love for Canada. Eventually, Jacques became even goofier and went full blown bad guy as the Mountie. I should note too that Hart eventually took over the managerial duties for Bravo and The Canadian Earthquake.

Team Canada
Courtesy: WWE
Lance Storm owned the bad guy Canadian gimmick in WCW. He had a stable of support in Team Canada and even recruited the uber-patriotic "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. The tough guy shaved his scruffy beard and slicked his hair back. He tossed his USA gear to the side and adopted the red, white and Maple Leaf accessories instead. 

The Hart Foundation
Courtesy: WWE
Bret Hart was a bad guy in the United States in 1997 but was hailed a hero at home. Same with the rest of the members of the Hart Foundation, although Owen was the only other true Canadian on the squad. The UnAmericans did it too in later years and added other U.S. allies like England to the mix.

Alexxa & Tony Flood
Courtesy: Steve Belcher (Stride Pro Wrestling)
It happens on the indy scene too. In AAPW it was Sean Vincent and in Stride Pro Wrestling it's Tony and Alexxa Flood. Don't get me wrong, the gimmick works. Fans love to boo someone who isn't from this country, no matter where their nationality originates. But remember, we all trusted Sgt. Slaughter one time and he took up for the Iraqis.

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