May 9, 2003
Rougeau returns to his roots
By YVES LEROUX -- SLAM! Wrestling
MONTREAL -- After trying his luck with the Bell (Molson) Centre and then Jarry Park, Jacques Rougeau's Lutte International 2000 is back to familiar grounds: The Verdun Auditorium.
This Saturday, May 10th, Rougeau's promotion will be back where it had the most success and offers the most intimate setting for the fans.
"There was no question in my mind that we had to come back here, this is where we had the most success, and where we feel the fans are really part of the whole show," Rougeau told SLAM Wrestling.
With four shows in a one month period throughout the province of Quebec, Lutte International 2000 is definitely trying to make its presence felt especially when other more extreme wrestling organizations are vying for the same market.
"I truly believe there is room for all the organizations present in Quebec, and for all tastes," Rougeau continued. "As far as we are concerned, we will continue to offer a show directed at the whole family."
The highlight of the evening will most certainly be the final match pitting Jacques Rougeau and Pierre-Carl Ouellet against the WWE-bound Legion of Doom, the Road Warriors, for the Johnny Rougeau Memorial tag team titles. Another veteran, Richard (Le Magnifique, Charland will be up against "The Stallion" Eric Mastrocola.
After a series of singles matches involving some of Rougeau's students from his wrestling school, there will be a battle royal with 20 other students and a special guest wrestler from a local television station sports show, Marc "Testosterone" Boilard.
Of course, what is a Lutte International 2000 card without the obligatory midget match? This time, 244-pound, 13-year-old Mad Max will face 113-pound Little Broken, with special guest referee Tiger Jackson.
Making his debut Saturday will be 10-year-old Cedric Rougeau, Jacques, second son to enter the square circle and fourth generation professional wrestler from the family. Also making his debut will be seven-year-old Matt "Bone Crusher" who has been with the wrestling school only a few months.
Because of the high number of students, Rougeau has instilled a success system in which all his students must have relatively high results with their schoolwork if they want to keep attending the wrestling school.
"With over 30 students, I had to make sure that wrestling was fun for all and not bothering their schoolwork. So by not letting them attend the school if their marks aren't satisfactory, I make sure they know their priorities."
There will be one noticeable absentee on that card, Kevin Steen had an operation for a torn ligament and will be out for at least four months.
One huge aspect of a successful wrestling organization that has evaded Lutte International 2000 is a regular weekly television show, such as the good old days of Grand Prix Wrestling of the '70s or International Wrestling of the '80s. But negotiations have started and are progressing slowly in that direction, although Jacques assured SLAM Wrestling there's still ways to go.
"My ultimate goal is a regular television show where we could showcase our fine students. But like all good things, it takes time although negotiations are well under way."
For more information on the show, see the Lutte International 2000 web site at www.luttefamiliale.ca.tc/.
Yves Leroux has been contributing stories to SLAM! Wrestling since 2000 and is based in Montreal.