BY KIRK STARRATT
Kings County Register
When he looks back over the history of his legendary father’s pro wrestling promotion, Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling headliner Jeff Dupre sees similarities between the biggest star to ever compete in the Maritime ring and a current star with enormous potential. Dupre says this is instilling confidence in him to get the promotion back up and running. He hopes to hold another tour of the Maritimes this summer.
Although the tour and line-up have yet to be confirmed, Dupre says all the stars of Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling are excited to return to the Valley - as soon as possible. They’re still talking about the strong show of support from fans in the Berwick area during the promotion’s 50th anniversary tour in 2006.
A major Maritime wrestling star - the 7’1”, 350-pound Robert Maillet, better known as The Acadian Giant or Kurrgan - has indicated his willingness to participate. Maillet was under contract with World Wrestling Entertainment in 1997/1998 and enjoyed worldwide exposure when he appeared in the controversial Hollywood hit 300.
Dupre says, when you look back over the five-decade history of the promotion his father, Emile Dupre, operated, you’d find the largest wrestler to ever compete in Grand Prix Wrestling - and perhaps the biggest star - was the late, great Andre the Giant, “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” Hailing from the French Alps and, at his peak, standing 7’4” and weighing 500 pounds, Andre was introduced to the Dupre family by the legendary Eduard Carpentier, “The Flying Frenchman.”
Andre competed in a number of memorable matches in the Maritime ring, including a series of handicap matches where he’d take on two or even three different opponents at once. Grand Prix Wrestling legend Frenchie “Rider” Lamont, one of the most recognizable midget wrestlers in the world who competed on the 50th anniversary tour, recalls working alongside Andre The Giant several years ago. “A friend and a consummate professional,” he says of Andre.
Maillet could be considered a legitimate giant and, like Andre, has witnessed his stardom grow beyond wrestling into the realm of Hollywood.
Dupre says they keep hearing from fans and people are excited about the possibility of a tour this summer. “
We’re hoping to offer another season of the best in professional wrestling,” he says.
Dupre taking Atlantic Grand Prix back on the road
BY KIRK STARRATT
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