Sports

WWE celebrity Cody Rhodes steps within the ring to assist Guelph fan denied contest tickets over wheelchair

Within the phrases of WWE fan Mike Ashkewe, “the American Nightmare made a Canadian dream” come true this week.

Ashkewe, who lives in Guelph, Ont., gained tickets to the WWE premium reside occasion Cash within the Financial institution (MITB) after getting into an Instagram contest run by Toys “R” Us Canada.

Ashkewe, who makes use of a wheelchair, was initially advised he could not be accommodated on the occasion Saturday at Toronto’s Scotiabank Enviornment. However issues took an sudden and completely happy flip that included being contacted by the WWE and a name from wrestling celebrity Cody Rhodes, nicknamed the American NIghtmare.

Now, the 42-year-old might be watching prime WWE superstars reside in motion this weekend.

“I figured, all proper, I’ll be caught in Guelph for the following nevertheless lengthy, till the following surgical procedure, the physician’s appointments,” he stated. “So attending to go to Toronto to a WWE [event] that is one of many largest pay-per-views of their calendar, that was about probably the most sudden factor. That is like profitable the lottery.

“That is the place they determine what is going on to occur at WrestleMania and all that, so it was large. Getting such a information was actually dream come true.”

Cody Rhodes celebrates after profitable the Undisputed WWE championship match at WrestleMania 40 in April. Rhodes, nicknamed the American Nightmare, referred to as large WWE fan Ashkewe after listening to in regards to the 42-year-old’s ticket dilemma. (AP)

When he was first notified in regards to the contest win, Ashkewe stated, he advised Toys “R” Us of his want for accessible seating.

“I figured if one thing’s going to occur, that is going to be the one factor that forestalls me from going,” Ashkewe stated. “They then replied like, ‘Hey, sorry it took us a short time to get again to you. Don’t fret, the venue goes to take care of you. We’ll ensure you have what you want. We’re wanting actually ahead seeing you.'”

Ashkewe organized for transportation to Toronto, however then bought some unhealthy information: an e-mail from the Toys “R” Us digital advertising and marketing workforce saying “we won’t accommodate you. We talked to the venue, we talked to all people we might. There’s nothing that may be finished. Sorry.”

As a substitute, he was supplied about $300.

“I do not blame them straight,” he stated. “But it surely does seem to be an enormous oversight, as a result of individuals who enter these contests, they don’t know whether or not the winner goes to be a disabled individual or a sick individual or one thing or not.

“It was simply devastating.”

Toy firm says it is ‘happy’ issues labored out

On Thursday afternoon, a Toys “R” Us spokesperson responded to CBC Information by saying: “When the winner requested accessibility tickets for this occasion, we wanted to work with our companions and the venue to facilitate this as the competition prize was for normal admission tickets. Within the meantime, he was supplied the prize money worth for consideration.

“We’re more than happy that they have been in a position to alternate these tickets for our winner and delighted that Mike will get to take pleasure in this thrilling occasion this weekend.”

Making Ashkewe’s journey to the occasion in Toronto occur concerned him posting on X, previously Twitter, about the toy firm’s advertising and marketing division e-mail, and tagging Toys “R” Us, WWE, ScotiaBank Enviornment, and wrestlers Rhodes, Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins.

“I used to be simply venting my grief and my disappointment,” Ashkewe stated. “It will have been so cool to see individuals I watched like Cody Rhodes, the American Nightmare himself. I used to observe him when he used to wrestle below a number of totally different names. That may have been superior.

“Seeing Jay Uso, Drew MacIntyre, Seth Rollins, like I’ve adopted him for years,” he stated. “It will have been actually superior to satisfy all these individuals, even when it was solely in passing for a excessive 5 as they enter the ring. That may have been cool and that may have been sufficient for me.

“In the end, all I actually needed out of this journey, even when I used to be up within the nosebleeds. I simply needed a hat and a T-shirt.”

However Ashkewe’s X submit was seen by the best individuals and he obtained one other e-mail, this time from the WWE, as he was being interviewed by CBC Information.

“Whereas we’re speaking, simply bought an e-mail truly,” he stated. “You are getting a reside scoop proper now.

“They stated that they are in a position to present two tickets along with your accessibility wants accounted for at Cash within the Financial institution on Saturday.”

Ashkewe stated he is excited about going to the large present and an opportunity to journey.

“I do not get out of city a complete lot,” he stated. “The final time I bought out of city was as a result of my sister-in-law paid for our birthday current collectively.

“Mine’s in October, hers is in June, however we need to have fun collectively, so she took me right down to Niagara Falls Comedian Con.”

In an announcement to CBC Information, a WWE spokesperson stated the corporate came upon in regards to the challenge on Wednesday evening and had secured accessible house for Ashkewe on the present by Thursday morning.

WWE requested Ashkewe for his cellphone quantity so they might switch the tickets. The corporate additionally organized for Rhodes, who holds the WWE Champion and WWE Common Champion titles, to name Ashkewe straight.

In one other submit on X, Ashkewe stated the decision left him speechless.

“I actually and sincerely hope that future contest holders, and anyone else, takes into consideration the wants of the disabled group,” he stated. “We need to come to occasions, we need to come to the live performance, we need to come to the exhibits, we need to be concerned, we need to be seen.

“And I do know WWE has a tremendous monitor report with the disabled group,” Ashkewe stated. “I do know after they need to do superb issues they’ll. And this was sudden.

“I’m shaking.”

Contest holders urged to maintain accessibility in thoughts 

Edward Faruzel, government director of KW AccessAbility, stated anybody working a contest on social media must take into account that individuals of any capacity might win.

“It will be prudent of them to make sure that the seats are accessible or may be exchanged for accessible seating, if that have been the case,” he stated. “They need to guarantee with the venue that there are accessible seating preparations at an analogous location, additionally.

“I have been given seats for sporting occasions after which once I go there, they don’t seem to be accessible, and I have been lucky that the venue has been in a position to alternate them,” Faruzel stated. “However they don’t seem to be at all times seats of equal worth or in the identical location.”

Faruzel famous that whereas he was completely happy Ashkewe bought consideration on the difficulty by way of social media, not everybody can try this.

“Lots of people with disabilities, they do not all have that capacity or information on utilizing social media,” he stated. “In order that’s one other kind of downside to that. That is the flip aspect of that coin.”

At WWE MITB, Rhodes will workforce up with Randy Orton and Kevin Owens to tackle the Bloodline in a six-man tag-team match.

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