Article online since May 26th 2008
[inset - 2006 tour poster]
Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling takes to the road again this summer some 52 years after Emile first laced up a pair of wrestling boots and the line-up for the upcoming tour is sure to be considered nothing short of spectacular by Maritime squared-circle fanatics.
His name is synonymous with professional wrestling throughout the Maritimes and beyond, and legendary promoter Emile Dupre is proud to feature both his wrestling star sons on the same tour for the first time in 2008.
The tour makes its return to the historic Berwick Arena Saturday, June 7. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the opening bell rings around 7:30. Admission is payable at the door.Many fans will remember that Grand Prix Wrestling last came to Berwick in 2006 with three 50th anniversary spectaculars. The first in early June drew the largest crowd for a live pro wrestling show in Berwick in the last two decades, close to 300 fans.
Of particular interest is the fact that both of Emile’s sons - Rene Dupre, a former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar featured on all three WWE brands, Raw, Smackdown! and ECW, and Jeff Dupre, a rising wrestling star who has been on tours of WWE developmental territories on several occasions - will wrestle on the same Grand Prix tour for the first time this year.“It’s the first time we’ve had that,” Emile said during a recent telephone interview from his home in New Brunswick. “It’s looking very good everywhere we’ve been advertised.”
Emile said it’s a relaxing experiencing for Rene to be back in the Maritimes with the Grand Prix roster and tour the way they used to years ago, especially considering the success of Rene’s recent multi-year run with the WWE. Rene became the youngest champion in WWE history when he co-held the world tag-team championship at age 18.
In what would be a major coup for Grand Prix, Emile said they’re hoping to have Robert Maillet, the Acadian Giant, a.k.a former WWE superstar Kurrgan, make several appearances on the second leg of the tour. There will likely be second and possibly third visits by Grand Prix in some locations. Maillet’s success has transcended the world of wrestling to the bright lights of Hollywood, as he was featured prominently in the controversial box office hit 300 last year.
Women’s wrestling stars will prove to be major attractions again this year, including a somewhat mysterious yet-to-be identified female competitor Rene saw on a recent tour of England. Emile said Rene was impressed with her ability and she will be flying in for the tour.A female star who was a hit on the last tour, She-Nay-Nay, will return and possibly national TV star Krysta Kinisky, who was also a popular attraction on the 2006 tour.
Other stars to be making appearances during the 2008 tour include Grand Prix legend “Wildman” Butcher Vachon, “Nature Boy” Buddy Austin, Pirate of the Carribean, Mighty Atlas, the Wrestling Spider-Man and more.
Buck 65 singing the theme to old TV show Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling.
Behind the Scenes With Buck 65
Published: Monday, February 11, 2008
Someone's giving Buck 65 a bloody nose. The Nova Scotia rapper is taking the abuse with good humour. It helps, of course, that this particular injury is being applied out of a bottle of fake blood - it's mint-flavoured, in fact, a comforting bit of info should any of it dribble below his '70s handlebar moustache.
Once Buck 65 looks sufficiently beaten and bruised, the cameras begin roll. The rapper is shooting the video for "Dang!" his latest single from Situation - a record that's at No. 3 on the campus charts the day the rapper, his production crew, a gaggle of label reps, friends, photographers and sundry media types all cram together in a living-room-sized Toronto studio for the shoot.
For the afternoon, the camera is all on Buck 65. But when the video appears Feb. 18, he'll be just one member of an entire league of out-of-this world wrestlers including lucha libre little people and lightning-shooting goddesses. Buck 65 plays the part of a retro-styled colour commentator - complete with plaid suit, '70s bling and Bob Barker microphone. Today, he's making it very hard for the packed room to suppress their laughter as he puts on his crazed announcer act for the camera. As for the bloody nose and black eyes, he explains off-camera: "Some of the characters I'll be interviewing get a little overzealous."
The reason for the on-set wrestlemania derives from the crazy bongo beat that rumbles underneath the rhymes on "Dang!." Officially, the sample is a track by a forgotten Vancouver outfit known as the Incredible Bongo Band. But to most who'll recognize it, it's the theme song for Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling, a regional rock-em-sock-em show that holds a special place in Buck 65's heart.
"I don't know if it exists anymore, but it seems to me its real glory days were in my youth, when I was a kid," says Buck 65 while taking a break from filming. "Quite honestly, my favourite part of it was really this theme music. I'd tune in, even just for the first minute, just to watch the opening credits. It was really exciting," he says.
The show didn't have the big-budget flash of Hulkamania, but Buck 65 lists off the colourful characters - a veritable rainbow of pain - that stuck in his childhood imagination: Sweet Daddy Siki, No Class Bobby Bass, The Great Malumba.
The likes of Killer Karl Krupp wouldn't have had to put Buck 65 in a headlock for the musician to figure a Grand Prix theme was right for this video, and it was the first idea he pitched to the clip's director, Christopher Mills.
Mills, who's known for his distinctive "2 and a half-D" videos (Modest Mouse's "Float On," Interpol's "PDA"), had a slightly different idea in mind. For one thing, the MuchMusic Video Award-winning director was hoping to give the song a more psychedelic treatment (an homage to Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky's surreal cult film, The Holy Mountain). For another, Mills didn't exactly grow up watching No Class Bobby Bass duke it out, like Buck 65.
"I don't think he was familiar with it in a firsthand sort of way," says Buck 65. "But luckily we live in the age of the Internet YouTubes, so I was able to scare up some video clips to reference."
The two met half-way for the video treatment, with Mills focusing on playing up "the mythology in the world of wrestling" for the storyline.
"If we focus on the mythology of the world that means we can do crazy things that are wrestling inspired but even bigger than that," he says. "Like we'll have an army of little people tackling gigantic wrestlers who breathe fire and we'll have the goddess of thunder and lightning taking on her opponent in the ring as well, and they have actual supernatural and arcane powers and things like that. It really just blew the door open to having a hell of a lot of fun making the video."
And joining in on the fun is something that Buck 65's been itching to do since he first caught Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling's opening credits.
"Honestly, there was something about the music that really grabbed me. And after the show went off the air I searched for a long time to figure out what the music was and to track down a copy for myself," says Buck 65.
He found it, but getting the song on the record required some heavy legal wrangling, he says, "and a bit of a game of badminton, hitting the old shuttlecock back and forth a few times before we were able to iron out all the details."
Those details entail just about every cent made off of "Dang!" going to the Bongo Band. And that's OK by Buck 65 - especially considering he now gets the added bonus of not just playing the Grand Prix's theme tune, but joining its ranks.
"Yeah, absolutely [it's a bonus]. I mean, this really was a big part of my childhood fantasy world."--The video for Buck 65's "Dang!" premieres Feb. 18