By RIP IMPACT – For SLAM! Wrestling
Hey! It’s Rip here. Some of you may know me, and some of you may not. The real name is David Savelli, and for those who don’t know me, I’m from Hamilton, Ontario, and wrestle under the name Rip Impact. I’ve been wrestling throughout Canada, the USA, and even into Mexico over the past 10 years. Here’s a little look into the current tour I’m on. I hope that you can enjoy the ride!
Monday, May 18th
It’s the day after a busy weekend where I had the chance to perform for Ring of Honor in Toronto and Smash Wrestling the following day. When people think back to May 18th, most spent the holiday of Victoria Day watching fireworks, but I instead spent it on a Greyhound bus en route to Moncton, New Brunswick for the famous Dupree’s Grand Prix Tour of the East Coast where myself and eight others will venture through PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
What to do on a bus for 24 hours? Well, I watched a fair bit of wrestling, slept, and attempted to (re)learn French from a group of girls from France, who were quite interested that they had pro wrestlers sitting beside them. This made the trip go by quicker and with more ease.
Tuesday, May 19th
Upon arrival Rene Dupre picked up Jesse and I at the bus station early afternoon and took us back to his parents’ place where we would be staying. Greeted by Rene’s mother, the next thing I knew I was eating dinner (a delicious lasagna) and soaking in stories from the great Emile Dupre! For anyone who knows me, they know I love my wrestling history, to the point of having lunch with my original trainer (Ernie Moore) upon other local legends on a semi-regular basis. This was a good start to the tour I’d say!
Speaking of wrestling history, it was just shortly afterwards, that I get to introduce the young, energetic, third generation Tessa Blanchard into the mix as she just got in from doing a phone interview with none other than SLAM! Wrestling’s own Greg Oliver. Tessa and I quickly discovered we have a lot of mutual friends in the business, and shared many stories.
The small town of Shediac, New Brunswick, is where I was spending the night as we prepared for the first show in Borden, PEI on the 20th. Shediac is the lobster capital of the world (or so I’m told) and a beautiful small city that opened itself up for a lot of nice potential photos. In the early evening, Tessa, Jesse and I went for a walk down to the beach and explored around, getting to the point of somewhat being lost (as Tessa put it, “Lost in Canada”) however we were able to navigate our ways back through a set of bushes (and a creek) to the main road and house.
Later that night the three of us were getting hungry and with Tessa’s new found love for Tim Hortons, we thought we would make the 4 km (round trip) trek. This was quite the adventure in its own right and led to some very amusing moments involving walking through the drive-thru (and getting turned away) as well as waving a car down, which happened to be a police officer who was kind enough to let me get in the back of his car, and go through the drive-thru, to get our sandwiches ordered. Haha, yes, that really did happen! All of this was luckily documented with photos and videos that I’m sure will be online at some point. On top of all that, the officer plans to come to one of the shows on the tour!
We all then headed back to the house to get some rest as tomorrow’s the first of 15 shows in 15 days!
Stay tuned for more updates!
Wednesday, May 20th
Hey again! I woke up today around 9 a.m. to the aroma of eggs and ham, and then I saw Paula (Rene’s mother) making breakfast for everyone. I got up and everyone started to follow and start to get up as well. I could tell right off the bat that this is a very close-knit, family-run tour, and I love it.
Speaking of everyone, the rest of the crew arrived late last night, and we were introduced this morning. This tour includes, myself, Tessa, Jesse, Rene, Giant Pharaoh, Japan’s Seiya Sanada and Kodama, as well as Alberta’s Bobby Sharp and Kat Von Heez (and occasionally an appearance by your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man).
Noon came quickly and the next thing I knew we were packed up in two pick-up trucks with the ring and we were en route to Prince Edward Island via the Confederation Bridge for the first set of three shows there, starting in Borden. What a beautiful sight this 15 km bridge was and it’s quite the architectural masterpiece. I hope to get a photo on the way back!
Upon arriving at the arena, everyone worked as a team and helped with the set up of the ring and it went together pretty quickly. Until we got to the canvas. When it came time to unroll the canvas, we had a slight problem. We only had what looked like a half canvas! We thought, maybe it shrunk when it got washed? But it couldn’t have shrunken that much! Shortly afterwards, though, we were able to track down the proper canvas, and luckily it was only an hour away and all was good! With that, it meant Emile and Paula Dupre were now coming down and would be sticking around to watch the show. Which in my opinion is good for everyone involved as I personally planned to pick Emile’s brain whenever I got the chance from the moment I got booked on this tour.
Once we got set up, groups of the guys and girls split up and went and got something to eat. What did we have? Tim Hortons again, of course! Oh, and Tessa was able to try some more ‘Canadian food’ as we got a small bag of ketchup chips.
Then 7:30 p.m. came, and it was the start of the very first show of the 2015 Grand Prix tour! Fans were starting to fill into the Gateway Arena and wrestling was in the air.
As I type this, the first show is now in the books, and it went well. It was a smaller, but respectable-sized crowd that really enjoyed what they saw. Kids cheered and booed, parents bought them photos of their favourite wrestlers, and the show fit the role perfectly of a first show of a tour, as everyone was finding their place.
After the show, we tore the ring down quite quickly, especially considering it was the first time with this particular ring and crew and we were on the road by around 10 p.m.
On the drive to our hotel (a Super 8) about a hour away in Charlottetown, PEI, and towards our next show in Souris, PEI tomorrow — while driving, the entire truck saw what we could only identify as a UFO. Then before we knew it, it suddenly disappeared into thin air, which led to us discussing different conspiracies and what else is possibly out there! Definitely a fun conversation.
Other than that, I just headed back to my room and watched a movie (Nightcrawler) and hit the hay in my comfortable bed!
Let’s see what tomorrow brings!
Thursday, May 21stEarly rise this morning around 8 a.m. to get my day going. I started off by meeting Kat, and Tessa for (Inter)Continental breakfast down by the lobby and I was pleasantly surprised by the spread they had, including eggs, bagels, waffles, hot/cold cereal, yogurt and fruit.
Kat and I got talking about her background in collegiate/amateur wrestling throughout school, and her struggle and perseverance to get her where she is today. She has a great story, and I’d definitely recommend checking it out here on SLAM! Wrestling’s website when you get the chance [The remarkable road of Kat Von Heez].
I fought off the urge to go back to bed for a hour and instead headed to the hotel gym for a light workout, but that only lasted about 10 minutes as I wasn’t feeling it. I changed gears and decided to hit up the swimming pool to get some laps in for some exercise. For those who know me, they know I swim at least once or twice a week, if not more, while at home in Hamilton. It truly has many benefits, especially for a wrestler. After some laps, Jesse ended up joining me, which of course led to some shenanigans such as performing some wrestling moves into the pool!
Next thing I knew, everyone was packed up and on the road, exchanging stories about past experiences, and tours during our hour long ride to Souris, PEI, for our second show.
The rest of the day went pretty well, and wasn’t too eventful, but we did get to do some grocery shopping at the local co-op. I stocked up on a few things as I knew tonight we would be spending the night in a cottage, as opposed to your typical hotel. Shortly afterwards we got the ring and everything else set up in a timely fashion. Some of the crew went for a workout, and I decided to get my own in ring workout in.
7:30 p.m. came around once again, and the arena filled up! Souris wanted to see Grand Prix wrestling tonight! Kids even had signs scattered throughout the crowd for their favourites.
We finished up and headed off shortly after 10 p.m. for our two-hour drive to Chelton PEI, which is about half way to our destination/location of tomorrow’s show in O’Leary to finish off our tour of PEI. After PEI, we head off to New Brunswick for a set of shows, and then a whole slew of shows across Nova Scotia.
Closing off the night, after driving down a few dirt roads, in an isolated cottage town of PEI, we arrived at our cottage and everyone got comfortable knowing that tomorrow’s drive wasn’t too far and that we could all sleep in.
It’s been an exciting trip so far and I’m looking forward to getting to know the others some more, while also sharing their stories with my readers here.
See you next time!
Friday, May 22nd
It was nice to sleep in! Woke up around 11:30 a.m. and shortly afterwards made some brunch.
When coming in late last night, I didn’t realize the view I had from the cottage I was staying at. You can really tell I’m in PEI with the gorgeous ocean, and red soil! Now all I need to do is get myself some potatoes.
We left around quarter after one giving us lots of time to spare. Thankfully we did, as who would’ve known or expected the unfortunate obstacles that were coming our way. Shortly into our drive, I smelt gas. Seconds later, I hear a truck honking and trying frantically to get our attention. What was so urgent? Well, to put it bluntly, somehow our gas tank has fallen down, leaking gas everywhere and dragging underneath the truck!
We quickly pull over and analyze the scenario. There was a trail of gas, and we’re lucky there weren’t any sparks to trigger it, otherwise things could’ve been a lot worse. Thankfully, being in the Maritimes of Canada, we are surrounded by good-hearted people and had some help immediately. We shovelled dirt to cover the gas trail right away.
On top of all this, it started to rain. Which in a lot of cases, people would be down about, as there’s the saying “when it rains, it pours,” however this was a blessing in disguise as it washed away the leaked gas. After making some of the necessary calls around, we had a tow truck pick us up, and bring us to the arena shortly after our expected time.
The show must go on!
We got to the arena, and we were literally pulling the ring off from the ring truck, that was attached to a large tow truck. We were able to get the ring truck into a garage on the hope that it will be fixed for early tomorrow. We then got all set up, and still had a little time to spare. 7:30 p.m. hit, and we had the biggest and definitely loudest crowd of the tour thus far! Everyone was working that much harder and PEI was giving us a heck of a send off before we head into New Brunswick.
After, what was the best show so far. We were still in a bit of a pickle, because we’re down one truck (the ring truck).
So that changed our travel and accommodation plans. Luckily friends and family came together and we were able to get everything sorted out.
The night finished with Bobby, Rene and I sharing stories about past tours, and experiences. Rene talked a lot about WWE, as Bobby and I shared many stories about Tony Condello’s Tours.
Off to New Brunswick we go!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Rip Impact only filed one diary entry, because Emile Dupre decreed that it broke kayfabe. (Seriously.)
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