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JOS LEDUC: CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN ONE LAST TIME

When the news broke that Jos Leduc had passed away at the relatively young age of 55 on May 1st, 1999, it came as a huge shock to Quebec wrestling fans.  What may have been even more stunning was the revelation that his real name was Michel Pigeon and that he and Paul Leduc were not really brothers at all.

To the older, casual fans, kayfabe still rules. The news was also sad in that we had lost yet another wrestling icon seemingly before his time. Stars of the recent past such as Dino Bravo, Andre The Giant, Tarzan Tyler, Pierre "Mad Dog" Lefebvre and Vivian Vachon had all lost their lives at an all too early stage and their passings were a time to reflect on some of the grand entertainment they gave us. Jos Leduc was no exception.

As the summer of 1985 was drawing to a close, Jos Leduc prepared to battle Dino Bravo for the International heavyweight championship. Although he had been one of Quebec's most popular wrestling superstars for over a decade, Leduc now incurred the scorn of the fans after he had repeatedly attacked fan favorites in the preceding weeks while wearing a mask, and then joined the army of hated manager Tarzan Tyler. It was a bitter pill for fans to swallow as Jos had gone to war with every evil beast the promotion had to offer since his first appearance for International Wrestling in December 1982, after seven years absence from the local scene. But while his previous heroic exploits in Quebec were well known, Jos was no stranger to inciting local fans either. And as he laced up his boots to take on Bravo, Leduc was undoubtedly experiencing a serious case of deja vu.

For it was seventeen years earlier, in 1968, that Jos Leduc hit the Quebec wrestling scene with one of the biggest bangs ever seen up until that time.  It was just before a climactic 2 out of 3 falls re-match between Johnny Rougeau and the hated Waldo Von Erich at the Paul Sauve Centre that a new tag team was introduced to Montreal fans. Paul & Jos Leduc, two lumberjack "brothers" from Godbout, Quebec received a standing ovation and took their seats at ringside to watch the main event. What followed next could serve as a blueprint on how to draw major heat for a new arrival in a territory.  More...

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