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COMMENT





Dupree aims for victory over Cena
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


If Rene Dupree gets a win over John Cena at WWE Judgment Day tomorrow, he will become the youngest wrestler in history to hold a major singles title. "I'm 20 years old," Dupree said in an interview with the Sun this week.

"And to have a chance to become the champion is exciting but to be such a big part of the Judgment Day show, that's exactly what every wrestler wants and what they work for."

Born and raised in Shediac, N.B., Dupree caught the wrestling bug at an early age while working with his father, who promoted grappling shows in the Maritimes.

"When I was 13, I started travelling with my father and, from then on, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I begged my dad to teach me a few moves and it developed from there."

Dupree made his pro debut for his father's Grand Prix promotion at age 14 and worked hard to establish a name for himself on the Canadian indie scene in the following years.

When he graduated high school, with three years of experience already under his belt, he submitted his tape to WWE and landed a developmental contract with the company.

"Like everyone else, I sent in my resume and portfolio and I got a call back to participate in a trial camp in Cincinnati. I trained for 10 days with people like Tyson Tomko, Mordecai and AJ Styles. Soon after, I was signed to a contract."

Dupree spent the next 12 months working with Jim Cornette in the Ohio Valley Wrestling training territory, fine-tuning his craft before he got called up to the major leagues.

In early 2003, the 6-ft. 3-in. 250-lb. up-and-comer was promoted to the active WWE roster and made his live TV debut as part of La Resistance, teaming with Sylvain Grenier and Rob Conway as a trio of France-loving, America-hating heels on Monday Night Raw.

The sissy Frenchman gimmick was a typical WWE stereotype, designed to rile the American audience in the wake of the tension between France and the U.S. over the war in Iraq.

"It was a smart move at the time because of the whole French being cowards thing," Dupree said.

"In this business, you want the fans to either love you or hate you. The fans definitely hated us but towards the end of it, I thought it was time to move on."

Dupree broke away from La Resistance in March of this year, when he was drafted to Smackdown in the post-Wrestlemania lottery.

It would be his first serious opportunity to shine as a singles star and Dupree took the ball and ran with it. Adopting an arrogant heel persona, similar to Rick Martel's old Model gimmick, he quickly has become one of the few must-see characters on Thursday nights.

"I didn't know what WWE's plans were when I moved to Smackdown," Dupree says. "But I'm happy with the opportunity so far, it's very exciting."

Which brings him to the big showdown with Cena tomorrow night, the only solid match on an otherwise lacklustre Judgment Day card.

"I have been in the ring with The Rock and I wrestled with Steve Austin but facing John Cena will be my biggest match and biggest opportunity. I get to become the youngest champion in history."

Is that just bravado or could it possibly be a spoiler for tomorrow's match?

"Oh, I'm telling you the result. I'm going to win!" Dupree laughs.

Also at Judgment Day:

Eddie Guerrero and Bradshaw battle for the WWE championship in what could easily be the worst main event of the year.

The Undertaker goes up against Booker T, setting off a series of supernatural storyline twists.

Jacqueline defends the cruiserweight strap against Chavo Guerrero. Guerrero will have one hand tied behind his back for the match.

In tag-team action, Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam take on The Dudley Boys.

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