It was in with the old and in with the new at Bartlet Mall yesterday as Olde Fashioned Sunday kicked off this year’s Yankee Homecoming amidst antique cars, a family midway and some professional wrestling.
“It’s going great,” said Olde Fashioned Sunday co-chair Paul Swindlehurst, who thanked his army of 40 volunteers who came out to make the event happen.
“We have a ton of families that were here early on. People are lined up for the carnival games and the inflatables. The rain is holding off, we are having a great day.”
A big hit this year was the first-ever Atlantic Pro Wrestling Yankee Homecoming family-friendly extravaganza, where over 30 grapplers vied for three championships.
“We’re having a great time,” said manager Big Woody, who offered $5,000 to anyone in the audience who could body-slam him. “The crowd is having a great time. It’s a great turnout. We’re having a blast.”
Color commentator Johnny Fabulous, aka John Cena Sr., didn’t take to someone addressing him as the master of ceremonies.
“I am not the master of ceremonies,” declared Cena, with tongue in cheek. “I am the master of wisdom and genius. Let me tell you; don’t address me as color commentary (either.) I am the man. (And) Yankee Homecoming is outstanding. I’ve never seen so many people coming out for such an event. This is truly amazing. Now, in terms of the people from Newburyport, never have I seen a greater assembly of idiots in my life.
“But Newburyport and Yankee Homecoming, all kidding aside,” continued Cena. “You’ve got to be here to enjoy it. It’s a wonderful take. If you miss it, you’re missing something great. A lot of people, a lot of fun.”
“Big Stiff” Mike was crowned the first Yankee Homecoming champion after defeating Johnny Vegas; and the heavyweight champion, Demon Ortiz, successfully defended his title against “Brand New, Bad” Todd Hanson. “Big Gun” Jim Sergeant also retook his APW New England championship from Dijack with the help of his little brother, “Lil’ Gun.”