13 June, 2008
An appreciative crowd of 350 fans rocked the Northern Carleton Civic Center on Wednesday night for Grand Prix Wrestling's triumphant return to Florenceville.
The two-hour event had thrills, spills, chills, and high-risk moves which those on hand cheered, and booed, at every turn.
The show was part of the GPW's 52nd year in business as the Atlantic Provinces' top touring squared circle attraction.
In the card's main event, former WWE superstar and world tag team champion Rene (The Phenom) Dupré, the son of event promoter Emile Dupré, was hard-pressed in his non-title match against Nature Boy (Buddy Austin), but eventually won via pinfall.
Dupré, also known as the French Tickler, became the latest Acadien assassin to defeat the Nature Boy on the tour.
Dupré said he recently returned to New Brunswick from a grueling international schedule of matches for the event.
"It's been busy, that's for sure," he said. "It's good to be home, though."
Rene's brother, up-and-coming mat general Jeff Dupré, successfully defending his Grand Prix belt with a pinfall victory over the beloved, and hated, Cuban Assassin II.
The Cuban entered the ring proudly by bearing a Cuban flag - much to the derision, and delight, of those in the rink.
The Cuban held the advantage for much of the early going, but the champ eventually retained the belt after a series of crisp mat moves which stymied Fidel Castro's favourite wrestler.
In other action, the Pirate of the Caribbean lost to the Wrestling Spiderman; Butcher Vachon made French Mystique submit after 10 hard-fought minutes, and - in the best match of the evening, according to the fans - the U.K.'s Erin Angel won by pinfall over Jamaica's Fabulous Shey-Nay-Nay in an unofficial Commonwealth ladies championship match.
Emile Dupré, who has been Grand Prix's main promoter for decades, said GPW's summer, 2008 tour is allowing the federation to mix a bit of the old with the new.
"Everyone loves it when we come to town, because our wrestlers give it their best every night," he said. "Rene and Jeff are young wrestlers who have been in the sport for years, since they were teens. The other up-and-coming wrestlers we have on tour with us also love what we do. We'll be making other stops in the Atlantic Provinces over the coming days and we're hoping the fans come out in big numbers for the great shows we will be hosting."
Jeff Dupré said he's proud of GPW and being its champion.
"It's for the fans," he said. "We get to give them a great show every night."