May 12, 2003
LOD, bear mar Lutte2000 show
By YVES LEROUX -- SLAM! Wrestling
MONTREAL -- Unlike most of Jacques Rougeau\'s Lutte International 2000 previous shows, this past Saturday\'s card at the Verdun Auditorium met a huge opponent: Murphy\'s Law. Everything that could go wrong that evening did.
In front of a highly disappointing crowd of 2,000, even though some 3,500 tickets had been officially sold, the show started, as usual, with local, long-time wrestling MC Marc Blondin thanking all the sponsors. Unlike previous shows, no free toys were handed out to the kids in the audience.
Right from the start, the crowd was abuzz in anticipation of the Road Warriors in the main event. The first match, though, pitted J.J. Rougeau against Santino, two young lightweights who used many high-flying moves, with J.J. winning the five-minute match using a third rope moonsault. After the match, Mad Max, a 244-pound, 14-year-old went up on stage to insult J.J. only to have Tiger Jackson come to his aid with a baseball bat. What would a Lutte 2000 card be without the obligatory midget presence?
Next was Handsome J.F., accompanied by Kevin Steen, against the Scorpion Kid. This match was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening, lasting almost 10 minutes, chock full of pure action and high risk high flying moves. Handsome J.F. created incredible heat, and with a very mouthy Kevin Steen at his side, took to the match without hesitation but faced a very hot Scorpion Kid, who countered almost every moves with his own.
The last match before the intermission was the royal elimination involving the younger students from Rougeau\'s wrestling school and also a local television show host, Marc \'Testoterone\' Boilard who managed to avoid wrestling until the very end when two young wrestlers clotheslined each other to the floor so he could take the win.
During the intermission, the crowd was treated to a show from a local gymnast\'s group, Gadbois team, whose equipment was lost in a fire. But after the short show, Jacques Rougeau was very glad to go up on stage and give the group a cheque for $10,000 on behalf of Lutte 2000 so they could get back on track.
Of course, the Legion of Doom came out to insult the crowd and prepare their match later on against the Quebecers, Jacques Rougeau Jr. and Carl Ouelett.
After the intermission, things got weird beginning with a match with a live bear. But the bear decided otherwise and started pulling on his chain to get backstage in a hurry. Even a bottle of maple syrup couldn\'t convince the bear to stick around.
Following up was a match pitting Pascal \'Crush\' Brisson, billed as \"the Jacques Rougeau Wrestling School champion\" against Sheik \'Tank\' Ali, two heavyweights who gave a good performance, and had the biggest visible fan base. After a short but grueling match, Tank became the new champion.
The semi-final match had Eric \'Black Stallion\' Mastrocola against Richard \'The Magnifique\' Charland, a very recognizable local wrestling legend. Both were managed by \'Méchant Ludger\' who rapidly decided to side with Mastrocola and accused the crowd of being lazy. So Charland became an automatic fan favourite. Charland may have slowed down over the years, but his microphone skills never left him, and instantly had the whole place siding with him all the while insulting Mastrocola with rapid fire one liners. He even had a couple of third rope elbow drops to win the match and then, adding insult to injury, splashed a pizza in Ludger\'s face.
The long-awaited tag team championship belt match was finally there. But right from the get go, there were more weird things going on. The Road Warriors, who were supposed to make an entrance using a 1936 vintage sidecar, got stuck at the entrance, causing them to jump off and walk to the ring to a surprisingly loud pop. But that was rapidly forgotten when the Quebecers made their entrance, using the WWF old red and black \'Mountie uniform\'. They stormed the ring, getting right at the Warriors. But as soon as the dust settled down to allow the match to officially begin, there was a violent fight in the first row between two fans that caused Hawk to grab the mike and growled at the two belligerents \"If you want to fight punks, get into the ring.\" That seemed to get the attention and bring all the fans back to their seats to enjoy a short but hard fought match won by LOD only to have a referee to come out of the dressing room to reverse the decision because of interference from \'Méchant Ludger.\'
All in all, a very average show, that won\'t make it to the annals of Quebec wrestling legendary cards. Maybe the Warriors wanted to get a breather before getting back to the WWE on Raw Monday (supposedly in a dark match)? Although they looked in good shape, they also appeared slow and unwilling to give it their all, which left a bad taste with many fans in attendance.
Yves Leroux has been contributing stories to SLAM! Wrestling since 2000 and is based in Montreal.