The history of the Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Championship is one full of legendary names like Gene Kiniski, Bret Hart, and Archie “The Stomper” Gouldie. One name that ranks highly on that list is that of TJ Wilson, who held the title twice throughout his time in Stampede Wrestling. Memorably, Wilson won his second title on September 13th, 2006 in a half-time event during a Calgary Stampeders/Winnipeg Blue Bombers game in Calgary.
Wilson recently joined me to discuss his experience wrestling at McMahon Stadium and winning the title at the event.
Winning the Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Championship at McMahon Stadium:
TJ: “Man, that was so crazy! That was so nuts. So, the full – the full, non-disclosure story of that was like, it was supposed to be a tag or something, then they decided it’s me versus Apocalypse. Then, it was supposed to be – for that reason – it was supposed to be a non-title match. It’d be me winning (a) non-title match. Well, now, somewhere along the way, they announced it’s a title match, and they’re like ‘oh, we can’t get out of it,’ and I was like ‘of course you can, but okay!’ Then, they’re like –
SL: “I’ll take it!”
TJ: “They’re like – yeah – they’re like ‘I don’t know, we really don’t want you to lose.’ I said ‘yeah, I get that, but,’ I said, ‘I don’t mind losing.’ They’re like ‘no, no, no, like, you can’t.’ ‘Okay.’ So, we figured it out. Dude, it – again, to the best of my knowledge, I believe that show, that game, sorry, had like 25 or 30,000 tickets sold, something like that for that Stamps game against Winnipeg. Same thing, man – dude, it’s so funny. I’d just come home from England, and I had a tryout. I knew my tryout was the first week of October. So, I come out. That day, I wake up, and it is a crazy storm outside. Crazy. Like, wet snow, yeah, wild man. You can see it on YouTube, it’s like – it’s crazy. I’m slipping all over the ring. I remember they were like ‘hey, you’re going to come out in these jerseys.’ And I was like ‘yo, can I wear these jerseys? This’ll help.’ And they’re like, ‘somebody on our side said no, you have to give them the jersey back.’ I was like ‘oh. Okay.’ Dude, I got a little bit of frostbite on my back. It just was freezing cold out there. It’s – I think like 13,000 people or something (showed) up to the game. That’s how many people didn’t come that already had tickets because it was just a wild storm, man. It was like a, almost a blizzard in September. It was wild. Which is not uncommon for Alberta, but always that first day that it hits, that first day it hits, everyone pretends they’ve never seen snow before.”
SL: “Oh, 100%. I’m certain that like half of those people were on there, they were just driving five kilometers an hour”
TJ: “Exactly, yes. I’ve done many PWA shows at that speed driving up from Calgary to Edmonton.”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any transcriptions used.