Always hometown favourite

Wrestling fans will see a rejuvenated Christian when he returns to Red Deer this month as part of the popular WWE show stop.

WWE wrestler Christian

Wrestling fans will see a rejuvenated Christian when he returns to Red Deer this month as part of the popular WWE show stop.

He’s not born again but the Toronto native who grew up loving wrestling and hockey says his return to the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) show has rekindled his desire and love of the sport.

“I feel like a new guy out there and my ‘peeps’ (people) will find me entertaining,” the 35-year-old multi-time champion said in an interview from his Florida home.

The Aug. 10 show, starting at 7 p.m. at the Centrium, marks a return to the city for Christian.

He will wrestle Tommy Dreamer and William Regal in a triple-threat match for the ECW championship.

Christian last wrestled in Red Deer about four years ago.

Another featured bout is CM Punk and Chris Jericho.

Christian returned to the WWE on Feb. 10 after a few years away.

His real name is William Jason (Jay) Reso and he is currently performing for World Wrestling Entertainment on its ECW brand, where he is the reigning ECW champion.

Reso initially rose through the wrestling ranks as one half of the tag team with his long-time friend Edge, who is currently injured.

A nine-time world tag team champion when he partnered with Edge, Christian said he loves wrestling in Canada and Alberta where the fans are “the best you’ll find in the world.”

“When you’re wrestling in Canada, everyone treats you like the hometown hero and that’s just great for the Canadian guys,” he said.

“Canadian fans are the best and I’ve wrestled all over, like Japan and Europe.”

Alberta also holds a special place in his heart, he said.

The Harts and the old Stampede Wrestling shows were among his first wrestling memories as a nine-year-old fan.

The Stu Hart era was the epitome of top-notch wrestling entertainment in Canada, and Stampede Wrestling’s fame spread throughout numerous countries, including the Caribbean.

“I owe a lot to some of those guys on it like Bad News Allen and Jerry Morrow.

“They took me under their wings when I first started and I tagged along with them to Japan.”

Christian said balancing a family life with his wife and work is challenging but “you learn to enjoy and make the most of your time home.”

His advice to anyone starting out and hoping to make wrestling a career is “learn the craft.”

“You have to know the basics and work hard at perfecting every move. Today, I think many younger people don’t work hard enough or take the time to start at the ground up.”

Christian also says he’s been fortunate in that his career hasn’t been plagued with major injuries.

“You need to stay in shape and hit the gym often.

“It’s sometimes hard when you’re on the road either flying to some place or driving to another.

“It’s no secret that if you stay in shape and act and eat properly you’ll last longer in this business.”

Christian said wrestling will always remain a family event and attract fans even in the growing competition with mixed martial arts events popular with mostly young men between 17 and 25.

“Each entertainment has it fans but wrestling fans will always remain loyal because of our ability to change and adapt to the times.”

Tickets for the event are on sale at Ticketmaster and cost from $20 to $50.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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