Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rene Dupree at ICWA Catch Fest V in Metz

Report translated and photos borrowed from

I arrive close to 16h30 - most people are already there......After waiting a little, with the doors of the cloakrooms opening regularly, I see Rene in the corridor waiting ..... Dennis (the MC) introduces all the guests as they enter: Booster Rocket, Bulla, Chris Agius, Brassard, Poffo (who doesn't resembles his photographs any longer lol), Salvatore Bellomo, replacing Konnan, and Rene, who enters raising the arms, to a very large pop - apparently he's not short of fans. The first thing that strikes me is that he "fills his Tshirt" since his departure from the WWE, I'm happy to see it.. The guest take questions from the fans.

I've transcribed the questions that I remember: -
- What are Poffo's current film projects? - He says that he's just completed a pilot for a series with Jim Duggan and other stars and he hopes it will be taken up.
- For all the wrestlers - Have you realised your dream or have you other dreams still to realise
- All answer that they have realized some (working for the WWE ; working with certain wrestlers for Agius, and wrestling at the MSG for Bellomo, etc.) But all have some still to fulfill. Poffo would like to wrestle in Japan, others say they hope ICWA develops for Booster/Bulla and Agius, and Rene wants to prove that a "Frenchman" can be world champ.
- Question for Rene: what happened to Fifi? - Rene has a deaf ear for this question (he had just arrived that afternoon by plane and his ears hadn't popped). "You can ask me any questions and you ask me what became of the dog!". He ends up saying that he has no idea. ....
- Does Poffo has a particular anecdote: - He tells that André the Giant was accustomed to playing cards before matches. However one evening he had no cards and exuded a generally sad air. Poffo sees some groupies, and asks the least attractive (apparently the others refused) to go and buy a pack of cards for him and gives her 10$ . The woman returns and gives the money back to Poffo and gives the pack of card to André saying "Here you are!" And Andre looks up and says "Thank you Sir."
- Bellomo tells a story about André sleeping in the back of the car while they were travelling together to a show. André was thirsty so they stopped at a bar, and as they entered the bar the crowd fell silent like they do in the cowboy movies. Andre asks the waiter if he sold bottles of beer. The waiter said yes, and André ordered 12.
- Between the WWE, the ECW and the WCW, which is deficient today? - they all answer the ECW. Bellomo recalls that he was the first champion of ECW, although it was never recognized officially.

- Who had the idea of the French angle for Rene and did it come at a bad time?

- I don't recall if he said it was his idea, but anyway they were asked to do it during the war in Iraq. Sometimes he was anxious about it because some times it had a really menacing feel to it. They wanted him to present a different view on the war and some people took it to heart.

- Booster Rocket talks about the evolution of wrestling and that its no longer the wrestlers who write the storylines....he says that despite this the bottom line is still two wrestlers in the middle of the ring and their job is to fill every seat in the house. ...Rene adds that the script writers have sometimes rather odd ideas. He says that for example he didn't agree with the ECW shower angle but he was obliged to do it anyway.

- One fan asks why Rene is not with the WWE any longer. - He says that it is his decision to leave...

- Do you remain friends with/in contact with your former partners?
Specifically, does Rene stay in touch with Sylvain Grenier? Rene answers "Sylvain who?" Rene answered in French, not my best language, but I understood him to say they were not friends, and that just because you worked with someone it doen't mean you become friends with them.

- Someone asks Chris Agius what he really thinks of Cena?- He says that Cena is a good all-in wrestler, that his matches are always high action, and that he would mind being in his place. Then he says "Yes but it's true, he's a jerk and he doesn't know how to wrestle. There, I said what you wanted to hear."

Booster Rocket says that the goal of a wrestler is to sell tickets, and Cena does that very well, and so he's a good wrestler....
Rene says the thing is to know what makes the crowd react - not ratings or titles, but crowd reaction.

After that it was time for photographs and autographs. ....

When I see that Rene is free for photos, I ask whether I can have two since thats what it says on the ticket. The guy takes 2 of them lol. I have my photographs.. I am content.

I wait until Rene goes to the table to sign autographs and go across. I congratulate him for eveything he's achieved and I hope he'll be world champ... Not very original, but it was all I could think of .....


The "main event of the first half", according to Agius, Rene Duprée against Eric Schwarz. Schwarz calls us 'Forschenfresser' (frog eaters) etc, etc. Rene arrives to a good pop. The match is very good, but too short

Top rope splash by Rene.

The match is great and the wrestling is hard and clear. At one point, Scwharz sends Rene through the ropes to the outside. Schwarz throws Rene into the barriers which are flung back about 5 meters along the whole line of barriers - very impressive!!

Rene does the French Tickler, very nice too.

Rene is about to do the elbow drop finisher but is restrained by "Eric Schwarz's boy friend' according to Agius. Schwarz makes the small package and the ref counts to 3 ....

Poffo runs in to save Rene and both clean house. Beautiful splash from the top rope by Rene.

Interval longer than envisaged.. Rene sells some autographed photographs. Now for the Battle Royale. 15 participants arriving every 1 minute 30. With nobody eliminated, the ring fills, and Schwarz comes to clean house. ....Rene enters last and also cleans house.

Three men remain with with Schwarz nose to nose with Duprée.

Duprée manages to eliminate Schwartz and celebrates his revenge, but he overlooks Bellomo who eliminates Rene by surprise. Taking part: , Driss, Poffo, Schwarz, Duprée, Colby, Greg Fury, Delacroix, Romeo, Bellomo, Wilowsky, Abis Abis, Ken Abis, Rosto and Booster Rocket one (not Konnan lol).

Before leaving, I tried to get a chance to speak with Duprée .... its 1h30, in the morning - I don't not have to many preconceptions about the personality or availability of Duprée. He didn't seem 100% and I didn't want to bore him to death for he was surely tired, but in reality he was very sympathetic and posed readily with everyone who asked. I was rather agreeably surprised. Everyone was very nice and the absence of Konnan and Neidhart was finally a detail.