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Big Time Wrestling (1951-1964)

Stu Hart had been promoting successfully for a few years in Edmonton when he moved into Calgary, bought the town and began promoting there. He joined the National Wrestling Alliance, which helped him bring in drawing talent. Western Canada was tough area though with long road trips, brutal weather and limited exposure that no established pro-wrestlers wanted to put up with for long. However, in early 1950s, television was transforming the business - for the better. Starting in the United States and spreading through Canada, Calgary finally got a station. Hart soon secured two TV shows in 1956. He brought Sam Menacker on board to book, produce and announce and “Big Time Wrestling” became a great success story as its distribution spread. Menacker would leave the promotion (twice, in fact) and they could never fill that void. Unfortunately, politics of the time and some unfortunate business deals began taking a toll. Most notably, Hart began sinking money into co-promoting with the star-studded Vancouver office. All these contributed to the death of "Big Time Wrestling" in 1964. 

Edouard Carpantier
"Iron" Mike DiBiase
Fabulous Kanagroos
George Gordienko
"Gorgeous" George
Archie "The Stomper" Gouldie
Stu Hart
Hans Hermann
Don Leo Jonathan
Gene Kiniski
Killer Kowalski
Gino Marella (Gorilla Monsoon)
Mighty Ursus (Jesse Ortega)
Dr. Bill Miller
Buddy Rogers
Dave Ruhl
Flying Scotts (George & Sandy)
Lou Thesz
Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon
Paul "The Butcher" Vachon
Johnny Valentine
Fritz Von Erich
"Whipper" Billy Watson
Rube Wright

Stampede Wrestling (1967-1984)

After closing "Big Time Wrestling" in 1964, Stu Hart was struggling to stay afloat. He eventually rebounded with "Wildcat Wrestling," thanks to new associate and announcer Ed Whalen, who got Hart back on TV after a hiatus. This company began rising and renamed itself to "Stampede Wrestling" in 1967. The company took off with a new generation of stars that lasted into the mid-70s when they began to struggle again. Excessive violence and new promoters threatened Stampede. Hart made a deal with friend and former Vancouver promoter Gene Kiniski to begin running that city. Al Tomko had bought into Vancouver and Kiniski left, now he had his eyes set on taking over Stampede's area. Ray and Bud Osborne were two brothers in real estate with the same idea, but they lost their backing. Stampede was in a bad way, but the company turned around by using international talent that accelerated the action. While never a major market in terms of money, Stampede became legendary for its innovative style that the product of international styles melding in Western Canada. Vancouver became a decent market where Bruce Hart and rock promoter Bruce Allen began using new ideas to get the product over, much to the chagrin of Kiniski. Although Stampede was doing well again, numerous problems had built up and when Vince McMahon made an offer, Stu Hart sold the company and was hired as a promoter along with Bruce and his biggest stars: Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, the Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith were all hired on. The legendary era of Stampede was over, but it was not gone forever. 

Abdullah the Butcher
Chris Adams
Bad News Allen
Andre the Giant
Buddy Austin
Hercules Ayala
Ox Baker
"No Class" Bobby Bass
Nick Bockwinkel
The Beast (Yvon Cormier)
Carlos Belafonte (Carlos Colon)
Tim Brooks
"Bulldog" Bob Brown
Leo Burke
Edouard Carpentier
Ciclon Negro
Cobra (George Takano)
Wayne Coleman (Superstar Graham)
Ripper Collins
Cosmo #1 (Al Tomko)
Cuban Assassin
Lynn Denton (The Grappler)
The Destroyer (Frenchy Martin)
J.J. Dillon
Bill Dromo
Emile Dupre
Dynamite Kid
Eric Embry
Don Fargo
John Fargo (Greg Valentine)
Pampero Firpo
Tatsumi Fujinami
Bobby Fulton
Dory Funk Jr.
Terry Funk
Don Gagne (Frenchy Martin)
George Gordienko
"The Stomper" Archie Gouldie
Great Gama (Gama Singh)
Gypsy Joe
Higo Hamaguchi (Animal Hamaguchi)
Fighting Hara (Susumu Hara)
Bret Hart
Bruce Hart
Stu Hart
Rip Hawk
Mach Hayato
Dean Higuchi (Dean Ho)
Crazy Legs Hirsch (Al Tomko)
Mr. Hito
Honky Tonk Wayne (Honky Tonk Man)
King Curtis Iaukea
Antonio Inoki
Mighty Inoue
Rocky Johnson
Don Leo Jonathan
Marty Jones
Judo Joe (Mr. Pogo)
Tor Kamata
Killer Khan
Gene Kiniski
Crusher Kimura (Rusher Kimura)
The Kiwis (Nick Carter & Sweet William)
Kuniaki Kobayashi
Sandor Kovacs
Phil Lafleur (Phil Lafon)
Frankie Laine
Jos Leduc
Mark Lewin
Dale Lewis
Luther Lindsay
Loch Ness Monster (Giant Haystacks)
Hartford Love
Dutch Mantell
Rick Martel
Mighty Ursus (Jesse Ortega)
Angelo Mosca
Kendo Nagasaki
Jim Neidhart
Pat O'Connor
Miguel Perez Sr.
"Big" John Quinn
Harley Race
Big Daddy Ritter (Junkyard Dog)
Jake Roberts
Billy Robinson
Buck Robley
Rock Rogowski (Ole Anderson)
Jimmy Rougeau (Jacques Rougeau Jr.)
Nelson Royal
Royal Kangaroos (Jonathan Boyd & Norman Frederick Charles III)
Dave Ruhl
Hiro Saito
Mr. Sakurada (Kendo Nagasaki)
"Dr. D" David Schultz
Sekigawa (Mr. Pogo)
Tim Shea (Dave Taylor)
Gama Singh
Davey Boy Smith
Stan Stasiak
"Exotic" Adrian Street
Robbie Stewart (Chic Cullen)
Sweet Daddy Siki
Bob Sweetan
Nobuhiko Takada
Shunji Takano
Lou Thesz
Art Thomas
Les Thornton
Sonny Two Rivers (Junji Hirata)
Johnny Valentine Jr. (Greg Valentine)
Waldo Von Erich
Kurt Von Hess
Kurt & Karl Von Steiger
Sailor White
The Wild Samoans (Afa & Sika)
Mr. Wrestling (Dick Steinborn)
Steve Wright

Stampede Wrestling (1985-1989)

The WWF's purchase of Stampede in 1984 had not been as profitable as they had hoped it would be and not long after the agreement problems began cropping up. A promoter even used the name, which Stu Hart had not copyrighted, in a short-lived group that Bruce Hart (who was now under WWF contract) was negotiating with, according to some rumors. Then the British Bulldogs left New Japan, which was a partner of both Stu Hart's and WWF's, for All Japan. The WWF eventually recinded on the deal and Stampede reopened. Amazingly, they signed a deal with TSN, so they would broadcast across the country. However, the promotion was doing all it could to stay alive long and after a few years fizzled out and continued only as an independent-level group. 

Bad News Allen
Bob Brown
Leo Burke
Dynamite Kid
Great Gama (Gama Singh)
Sumu Hara
Bruce Hart
Owen Hart
Honky Tonk Wayne (Wayne Ferris)
Hashif Khan (Shinya Hashimoto)
Duke Myers
Brian Pillman
Hiro Saito
Rhonda Singh
Davey Boy Smith
Johnny Smith
Super Strong Machine (Junji Hirata)
Shunji Takano
Viet Cong Express I (Hiro Hase)

I'd like to thank Greg Oliver for all of his articles on Slam! Wrestling and his excellent publication, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame - The Canadians as one of the most bountiful resources in existence. Also Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter in addition to his books and radio shows, which have been great resources as well. A big thanks also to Canadian wrestling historian, columnist and archivist Vern Mays. I should also thank, in no particular order: Arnold Schwartz, Jenni Grattan, Steve Laflamme, Daren Gleason, John Baumer, Mike Rodgers, Steve Petersen, David Galvan, Andrew Calvert, Andrew Mollon, Rob Elder and Serge Niles from for their articles. And, of course, Royal Duncun and Gary Will's contributions to and