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Saturday, Jun. 23, 2018
A Caruso Club classic as pro wrestling returns to Sudbury
by Randy Pascal

"El Tornado" (Mark Bartolucci) returns to the ring on Thursday, in his favourite venue of all.

Tornado and company continue their traditional Italian Festival trek to Sudbury, bringing live professional wrestling to the Caruso Club for Vendetta VII on July 7th. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the first bout at 7:00 p.m., and tickets available for just $15, all in support of the Sudbury Playground Hockey League.

"I often get criticized by my fellow wrestlers that when I'm in front of my crowd in Sudbury, I hit harder, I get too excited," said Bartolucci. "I love it so much. I always joke that this is the only thing I do well."

"You can be sore, you can be hurt, but the moment the bell rings, you're on. I grew up watching wrestling at the Sudbury Arena. This is the place to go, this is where people have fun."

A full card on Thursday includes the return of Rosemary, who appeared in this area last summer as Courtney Rush, but has since signed on with Impact Wrestling.

"She's coming back and making an appearance here in Sudbury," said Bartolucci. "That's really special for me personally." The heavyweight championship will also be on the line, as former champion Cody Deaner seeks revenge for a recent title belt loss to Tyler Tirva.

Bartolucci maintains he has no trouble convincing talent to make the trip to Sudbury, a venue long known for its vocal support of wrestling personalities. "We feed off the crowd, that's what we do," said Bartolucci.

"WWE is timed for TV coverage, so you can't go outside of that circle. What we do is play off the crowd, so if they are enjoying something, we can milk it."A veteran of more than two decades of working various circuits all over the world, Bartolucci has learned a thing or two along the way, mastering the tricks of the trade.

"You can teach somebody a skill, but they have to have good character," he said. "I've wrestled in front of 20,000 people, and wrestled in front of twenty people. Twenty is tough. If you can get twenty people to cheer, you're doing something right."

These days, however, the crowd seldom favours Tornado, no problem at all for Bartolucci. "Most of the guys enjoy being a villain," he laughed. "You get to let off way more steam. But when you get to be my age, a grizzled ugly old man, there's no choice. Whose going to cheer for me?".

That question will be answered in just seven days time. Tickets for the event are available at the Caruso Club, simply by calling (706) 675-1357, or at the Club entrance come Thursday night.

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