New West mayor goes to the mat for his city, literally, with pro wrestling appearance

New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote makes a surprise appearance at the Royal City Takeover on Saturday. Jonathan Cote / Twitter

Never say New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote isn’t willing to go to the mat for his city.

Wrestling fans in the Royal City had an unexpected surprise this weekend, as Cote took a guest spot in the ring.

The event, organized by Royal City Wrestling, took place at the Royal City Centre mall on Saturday in conjunction with the Uptown Live music festival.

Rish Koya, a New West business owner who wrestles under the name Mr. India, invited Cote to take part.

“I like to really have fun with the community groups, and if there’s anything I can do to help promote or make their events better, I’m always game,” Cote said.

LISTEN: New West Mayor Jonathan Cote speaks with CKNW’s Simon Little about his professional wrestling debut
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Mr. India was taking on Azeem the Dream in one of the event’s title matches, but most fans likely didn’t expect to see their mayor take part in the storyline.

“The referee had gotten knocked ‘unconscious,’ so there was no referee in the ring at the time. I had a referee shirt hidden under my sweatshirt and I ripped off the sweatshirt and became the guest referee,” Cote said.

The appearance fulfilled one of his own childhood dreams, but Cote said the best part was looking out at the crowd and seeing how excited the kids in the audience were.

“It was pretty exciting. The opponent had been trashing the City of New Westminster all week long, so it was redemption time,” Cote said.

“It was pretty good to jump into the ring, put on the referee shirt, and at that time, Mr. Azeem was about to hit Mr. India over the head with a chair, so I got to grab the chair out of his hand and really set things right in the ring.”

And Cote’s career with professional wrestling may not be over.

He said there’s talk of a rematch in October, and he won’t rule out a return to the ring.

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As to whether we might ever see Cote swap the referee’s jersey in favour of a wrestling singlet and take on his political peers?

“(Laughing) There could be some interesting possibilities. As the video of me in the ring goes viral, who knows – maybe some of the other regional mayors might want to join in the fun.”


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