A victory for Rob Ford — such as it was

Emma Teitel reports from ring side

(CP photo)

It was probably the first time Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger—or anything for that matter– blared full blast in the Ontario Conference Room at Toronto’s Hotel Intercontinental. The occasion demanded it. Rob Ford, mayor, provocateur and coach, was preparing to battle Hulk Hogan, pro-wrestling God turned reality TV star. Ford and Hogan—the former an enormous fan of the latter—were set to arm wrestle at Fan Expo Canada.

In fact, there were few fans in attendance, though the event was a draw for media of all kinds. A few out of place children — Sports Illustrated for Kids? — crowded the rope keeping us back from the homely brown chairs and ordinary black table that would serve as a 22-second wrestling ring.


Just after 10 a.m., Hulk Hogan sprang out of a makeshift dressing room to enormous applause. Ford appeared next, ruddy-faced as usual, but with a newfound swagger. He looked confident and excited—thrilled even, despite all the booing. The jeers turned to cheers though, as the mayor—in a rare Magic Mike moment—stripped off his tie and jacket.

With that they were off.

Ford, careened off his chair, looking like he was going to succumb to Hogan’s death grip. The mayor seemed small for once, his fleshy hand in the grips of something much bigger. “Not only am I gonna rip your arm off,” Hogan told Ford. “I’m gonna take your job!”

And then it was over. Ford came back and Hogan, a seasoned actor, grunted and dropped his massive forearm. Ford raised his arms in victory for the photo-op, then he toweled off.


“It was like wrestlin’ a friggin’ grizzly bear,” he said, glowing with pride.

A determined reporter chased Hogan through a hotel corridor in order to pose the inevitable question: “Do you think the crack video is real?” Hogan’s reply: “I’m hungry.”

So concluded the short-lived, much-hyped match up between two sort-of legends — each linked to a nefarious video tape. Hulk Hogan’s sex video—part of it, anyway– surfaced last year on Gawker. Rob Ford’s alleged crack video, despite Gawker’s best efforts, remains at large.

Ford is interminably lucky. He’s dodged a crack scandal and a conflict of interest lawsuit. Today, on the job, he got to arm-wrestle his childhood hero and his hero let him win. Like so many of his victories, it was a hollow one.


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