Int'l Wrestling - Montreal #2 Page #2

Before the match got started, Precious, Jimmy’s annoying valet,  started taunting and having words with Jacques and Raymond. After a few seconds, she sprayed her then-famous perfume or whatever it was to Jacques’ eyes.  Jacques fell right then and there and things would quickly get under way. While Ronnie attacked Raymond from behind, and started pummeling him, Jimmy would take profit of Jacques’  “blindness”  to bloody him in the corner. From this moment on, Jacques would NEVER take part to the match, screaming his heart out in the corner, bloodied and blinded. Meanwhile, Jim and Ron beat up Ray in this unpredicted handicap match. 

What shocked the thousands of fans in the attendance at the Forum that night certainly is the way the match ended—if we can consider it ever started. Seeing his sons being manhandled like jobbers, Jacques, Sr., former great wrestler himself, decided to get involved.  After attacking from behind Ron and Jim, he quickly got outnumbered too and the Garvins would serve him a beating that would irate the fans. While Jimmy wore the Boston Crab on Jacques, Sr., Ronnie gave him a knee-drop from the top turnbuckle, which would leave Jacques, Sr. senseless in the middle of the squared circle.  All three Rougeaus were helpless in the ring—Jacques, Jr. almost crying in the corner, Ray ignoring what had just happened, dizzied by the beating he had just received, and Jacques, Sr. having to be stretchered out.

Soon after, Gino Brito, Sr. himself would step in the ring to see if Jacques, Sr. was alright, but the Garvins hadn’t  had enough.  They both came back to pummel Ray and Jacques, Jr. a little more, with a delighted Precious at ringside.

But it was only the beginning and the Rougeaus would get their revenge, one month later.

International Wrestling  had the habit to promote wrestling shows monthly or so at the Montreal Forum. Most of the time, back then, WWF stars would join the saddle and make Vince’s rising  company look better than Brito’s local stars.  (I believe the WWF had a deal with IW for about 10 yearly shows at the Forum.)

In late July of 1985, a revenge match was planned that would oppose the angry, humiliated  Rougeaus and the NWA invaders, the Garvins.

The match quickly got under way, the Rougeaus making their entrance along with their father, Jacques, Sr. who had “recuperated” from the back injury that occurred 30 days earlier. Jacques and Raymond attacked Ron and Jim before the bell rang.  Soon it was quite obvious that the Garvins were in for a fight, that the Rougeaus would let aside the scientific wrestling maneuvers that had made them and their family famous. 

After a few minutes, Ronnie was already a bloody pulp, but would show an incredible resiliency all through the match.  I can’t tell if there were legit tags during this match, as referee Adrien Desbois had his hands full trying to restrain the Rougeaus from unloading on the Garvins.  Precious was screaming at ringside. 

After some 15-20 minutes of pure brawling, the Rougeaus dominating most of the battle, referee Desbois had no choice but to disqualify both teams, but it was quite obvious that the Rougeaus had gotten straight revenge. Post-match, Jacques, Sr. would get in the ring to congratulate his sons for getting the job done and rescuing the family’s reputation before their fans, at the Forum. Fans were hysterical, in one of the most heated up events of  International Wrestling AND Quebec’s sports history, in my humble opinion. 

The final episode of this feud took  place in Northern Ontario, in Sudbury, since it had been stated that there would be a steel cage match between both teams to determine who the better wrestlers (or brawlers?) were.  It is interesting to indicate that this match took place in Ontario since there were specific policies in a few Quebec locations regarding the types of matches. Montreal, as well as Quebec City and Hull, I believe (IW promoted most of its shows in those three cities), were under Athletic Commissions rules.  Some of those rules stated that there could NOT be any cage matches nor any chain matches in any one of those three cities. But Brito really wanted the feud to end up in a cage.  It was a logical way to settle the score and to draw enough heat to forget about the WWF for a few weeks.

Unfortunately, I’ve never seen this match, but I do know that the Rougeaus went out of the cage victorious. They gave the Garvins a lesson that night.  Too bad this feud didn’t last any longer, since it drew tons of heat all over the province.  Three months were enough to make it THE feud of 1985, the Rougeaus confirming they deserved their International Tag Team Title, but there was more to come.

By the second half of the year, big Jos Leduc had joined Tarzan “The Boot” Tyler’s stable and was paired to Abdullah the Butcher, since Tyler and Abby’s then-manager Eddie “The Brain” Creatchman were committed to destroying the Rougeaus and wanted to take control of the Quebec territory. (I’ll get back to Creatchman and his role on IW soil  in a future chronicle.)

After a few matches on TV between Jacques, Jr. and Abby, where, surprisingly, Jacques kept up with the “Madman  from Sudan”, both teams had to meet to finally settle the score. Jacques had been beaten up by Abby and Jos Leduc on one occasion, after he hardly suplexed (!!!) Abdullah, but, to my disappointment, did not blade, even though Abby supposedly “carved” his forehead with  his famous foreign object—was it a fork, a knife or a piece of wood, whatever it was, Jacques’ forehead was harder than it that night… At the term of another meeting between both men, Ray got involved and after helping Jacques bloody and wear Abdullah down, they took on big Jos Leduc and wasted him about the same. In other words, the table was set  for a brutal meeting in a near future.

Both teams were supposed to meet on December 28 in Sudbury, Ontario, but a lethal turn of events occurred four days prior to the match: Tarzan Tyler would die in a car crash on the road back from Chicoutimi, Quebec, after a card held at the Georges-Vézina Centre.  He was accompanied by protegee Pierre “Mad Dog” Lefebvre and referee Adrien Desbois. 

I guess both teams found their way to Sudbury anyway, Abby and Leduc being led by Eddie Creatchman, but the feud didn’t last long. Shortly after, Leduc turned face again (the way he was when he first came to International Wrestling), and the Rougeaus were headed to the WWF, after convincing Vince they had what it took to be part of the “major league”. 

It is sad, however, that the Rougeaus, as well as every other Quebecer wrestler who made his way to the WWF, were turned into heel characters.  The same thing happened to Rick Martel, to Dino Bravo, and even Pierre-Karl Ouellette years after—even though Ouellette had never been part of International Wrestling.  Seems like every “outsider” (and I’m not talking about cross-promotion stuff, just talking about the fact that the Rougeaus, Bravo and Martel were Canadian) was destined to become heel.  Same  fate happened to Yokozuna, to Brakkus, to Ludvig Borga (not the greatest WWF stars of all time, but it seems quite clear that Vince was leaning big time on  these “USA versus the World” gimmicks). Nothing personal, but I think the Lex Luger USS Enterprise Yoko bodyslamming event had to be  the final nail in the coffin for that particular gimmick; but Vince found the way to bring back the old “ethnic war” scheme in 1997 with the All-Canadian Hart Foundation vs. the entire USA (led by the all-time incompetent Patriot Del Wilkes—that guy was a mid-carder in WCW, Vince)—and the Nation of Domination.

I’m slipping away and I guess it’s time to put an end to this story.


We will take a look at the hottest feud of 1986 in International Wrestling: Ricky Martel had just seen the arrival of a strong man from Boston who claimed he could beat up anybody that was on his way—Steve Strong.

*** Credits to Claude Leduc and Chantal Bailly for their precious information on some of the details concerning the Rougeaus/Garvins feud. ***

Back to Int'l Wrestling - Montreal Main