Coté set to defend the honour of New Westminster in the ring
Upcoming pro wrestling debut is a first for a Canadian mayor
Reported by Darren Amner
New Westminster’s mayor will make history this month at Royal City Rumble as the first Canadian mayor to enter a professional wrestling ring.
Jonathan Coté, once the region’s youngest mayor and still not quite 40, will be one of six competitors who have never wrestled a match before in the third annual event held at the Royal City Centre mall.
Coté was a wrestling fan as a kid. Although wrestling in New West is relatively new, it’s beginning to develop quite a following.
“We’re expecting about a thousand people at the Royal City Rumble. It’s a free family-friendly event. To me, it’s about seeing all the kids go absolutely crazy when the wrestling happens, it’s just like what you’ve seen on TV,” said Coté, who is a father of three.
Coté is currently serving his second term as mayor and fifth as a council member.
To prepare for the big showdown, Royal City Wrestling has already set up a wrestling ring in the mall. For the entire month of March, the new wrestlers have been training in the mornings and evenings when the mall is closed.
Coté will participate in a tag-team match as one half of the Royal City Defenders, teaming up with Mr. India to face Team USA.
This will be the first time a mayor wrestles in the ring as an active participant. In preparation for the match, Coté has been training with his tag-team partner, Mr. India, who said the mayor is fearless.
“It’s not easy to get into the ring and start throwing yourself backwards, trust me. Everyone thinks this ring is like a trampoline, but it’s not. It’s lots of two-by-four pieces with metal underneath it and an inch of padding. Sometimes it’s just easier to fall on the ground,” India said.
When it came to taking bumps (falling) and learning moves (wrestling holds), India said Coté has been a fast learner and he has been training quite a bit.
The biggest challenge for India has been trying to co-ordinate the training with Coté’s existing commitments as mayor. But some way, somehow, they have made it happen.
“He’s the mayor of the city. He already has plenty of commitments. But in between those, he comes in here and trains with me,” India said.
India has also been developing Coté’s character, Johnny X, working with him to unleash his inner fighter. India promises New West fans will see a completely different side to Coté, who is often seen in a pinstripe suit sitting in city hall meetings.
“On March 30,, you’ll see Johnny X, the Royal City defender, and his finishing move, the Johnny X stunner,” said India.
One of the other entrants in the Royal City Rumble, Judas Icarus, suggests that nothing can really prepare a person for pro wrestling.
Actively wrestling full-time for almost three years, Icarus made his debut after five months of training and now he’s approaching a total of almost 200 matches. Icarus thinks wrestling should be more accepted than it is.
Having the mayor involved will do wonders for publicity, he said, but issued a warning to those stepping into the ring for the first time.
“Don’t expect this to be easy, thinking it’s going to be a fun time. It’s not. It’s going to be a challenge. It becomes very apparent when you start training how serious this is, taking bumps and running the ropes the right way, otherwise you can get hurt,” Icarus said.