Largest crowd

CNE, Toronto - 69,801
(Rush For The Gold '85)

Notable CPW talents


- "Gentleman" Watson Smith
- "Godfather" Larry DeNucci
- Rene Lalond
- "Big" Tommy Bolo
- Tarzan Brubaker

- Jimmy Junas & the Junas Gang
- Jonathan Marshall
- Brewster Cogburn
- Running Eagle Feather
- Jack Black
- Troy Powers


"Grappling's Finest, North of the Border"

  • The history of the Toronto wrestling territory is a long one, first dating back to 1970 when a 30 year old businessman from Oklahoma named Paul Reed decided to move north of the border and realize his dream of opening up a territory. Initially focusing on the Southern Ontario region, soon the new promotion, named Canadian Pride Wrestling, began to run shows in Quebec as well. Within two years CPW was promoting all over the Golden Horseshoe region. The major anchor cities were Toronto and Quebec City, and with weekly television in the area (simply called Canadian Pride Wrestling on English language broadcasts, and going by Soirée de Lutte Canadienne or "Canadian Wrestling Night" on French broadcasts) it wasn't long before CPW was recognized as the pre-eminent Canadian promotion of the 70's and 80's.
  • Reed was responsible for day to day operations from CPW's inception until 1982 when a heart attack sidelined the primary owner, and he was forced to relinquish some control of the company to his head booker, Eddie Thompson. Initially it was believed he'd be able to resume full control after recovering, but due to ongoing medical issues for the rest of his life, Reed never did completely regain full control of CPW. Instead, the promotion was run by committee much of the time.
  • Major supercards were held twice yearly: One during the summer season and usually held in different locations, bringing in major talent from the industry for special appearances. And the second, and biggest show each year was generally held somewhere around Canadian Thanksgiving, either late September or mid-October. These shows were usually promoted as Rush For The Gold, though the shortened name of Gold Rush was adopted in 1990 and used for the final 4 years of operation until 1993.
  • In 1984, the company attempted to rebrand itself in Ontario as the Ultimate Universal Wrestling Federation, or UUWF, while remaining under the name of CPW in Quebec. This change lasted just 3 years, thanks to fan disapproval the CPW name was finally restored in 1987. Popular opinion has it that Reed himself was not happy with the name change and was on a medical hiatus when the decision was made to switch to a less territorial-sounding name. As a whole, business remained solid at first through the name change, but when it began to decline in the later 80's that's when Reed opted to restore the former name.
  • Reed and Thompson finally shut down the territory in 1993 with business at an all-time low and Reed's medical issues continuing to plague the now 53 year old owner. It happened to coincide with the retirement of CPW's last major star to call the territory home, Jimmy Junas.


"The Place To Be"

  • Fast forward some three years later to 1996 when a new regional promotion opened in the Toronto area named the Universal Wrestling Federation. A nod to Reed's beloved territory, UWF was at first a member of the Global Wrestling Federation startup alliance but within just a couple of months of launching the GWF collapsed under the weight of itself and the UWF was the only remaining territory still open. It was decided that with the immediate popularity of the brand, the UWF would attempt to become a national promotion in Canada as well as the United States. Brand new stars proved immediate hits with the audience including "The Epitome of Evil" Serge Annis, UWF's first Universal Heavyweight Champion, and the man who defeated him to wear the title second, Youth Gone Wild. Other popular acts out of the gate included the members of Legion, and soon after the opposing force of the Pride.
  • As nods to the past territory, Paul Reed was hired as an on-screen interviewer and soon after the UWF launched nationwide as the on-screen President, holding the position until his death in late 1998 after another major heart attack. January 1999 saw a special Paul Reed Memorial Show held in Oshawa, Ontario in honor of the late promoter. In addition, former star Jim Junas was hired to be the senior referee, a position he held during UWF's entire run until 2012 when Junas retired from the business.
  • Popularity continued to rise, and it wasn't long before the UWF was regarded as one of the biggest and best promotions in the wrestling business throughout the boom period of the 1990's. Homegrown talent as well as major names circled throughout the promotion through the years, among them the legendary "Crimson" Joe Reed when the UWF engaged in a promotional battle with AEWA. The UWF's reputation for being the place to see the top talent in the business continued for several years after, all the way through to the company's eventual demise in 2012. Several worldwide tours took the UWF all around the globe, increasing the popularity of the UWF year after year. Major pay per views were held sporadically each year, with the yearly edition of Gold Rush, another nod to CPW's past, acting as the yearly anniversary show and held most years at the Pontiac Silverdome, then later Ford Field in Michigan.