Wrestling com­men­ta­tor gained global fame

Regina Leader-Post - - CITY + REGION - DAVE DEIBERT As we cel­e­brate Canada’s 150th birth­day in 2017, the StarPhoenix and Leader-Post are telling the sto­ries of 150 Saskatchewan peo­ple who helped shape the na­tion. Send your sug­ges­tions or feed­back to sask150@post­media.com.

Ed Whalen’s voice was a fix­ture for wrestling fans across the globe and his name be­came a per­ma­nent part of the Cal­gary Sad­dle­dome.

Whalen, who was born in Saskatoon and died in 2001 at the age of 74, was study­ing medicine at the U of S when he dropped out in 1948 to pur­sue a job at CFQC Ra­dio. Seven years later, he was hired as sports and news di­rec­tor for CHCT tele­vi­sion net­work in Cal­gary. It was there he was asked by Stu Hart to serve as an­nouncer for his pro wrestling pro­mo­tion. Whalen spent much of the next three decades as the voice of Stam­pede Wrestling.

Call­ing matches for vir­tu­ally ev­ery wrestling star to pass through Cal­gary — from fix­tures like the Hart fam­ily, Archie (The Stom­per) Gouldie, Bad News Allen and Dy­na­mite Kid, to tour­ing icons like An­dre the Gi­ant and Har­ley Race — Whalen be­came fa­mous for such catch­phrases as call­ing an in-ring col­li­sion “a mal­func­tion at the junc­tion,” dub­bing a ti­tanic bat­tle a “ring-a-ding-dong-dandy,” or sign­ing off each TV broad­cast by say­ing “in the mean­time and in­be­tween time, that’s it — another edition of Stam­pede Wrestling.”

While Whe­lan gained fame across the globe, thanks to the world­wide pop­u­lar­ity of Stam­pede Wrestling, he was known lo­cally for so much more. He was renowned for his char­ity work, in­clud­ing reg­u­larly serv­ing as host of the Chil­dren’s Mir­a­cle Net­work fundraiser. For nearly two decades, Whalen also pulled dou­ble duty as the lo­cal tele­vi­sion voice of the Cal­gary Flames. The broad­cast­ing booth at the Cal­gary Sad­dle­dome was named the Ed Whalen Broad­cast Booth af­ter his death.

Said pro wrestling icon Bret Hart at Whe­lan’s me­mo­rial: “Ed Whalen was such a good man with a big heart.”

Ed Whalen

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.