Puppy Dog Peloquin has his day
CHRIS KITCHING - Winnipeg Sun
|Fred (Puppy Dog) Peloquin
On professional wrestling's biggest stage at the time, Winnipegger Fred (Puppy Dog) Peloquin had the guts but he didn't get all of the glory.
It was his job to take the fall to ensure Hulk Hogan and other American Wrestling Association megastars of the 1980s and 1970s appeared dominant in front of an international television audience.
While he was often on the losing side during his recurring role, the exposure boosted his profile in Canada and made him a star north of the border.
"I was coming back to Winnipeg and the people were proud of me because, at the smaller end of the scale, I could take all these beatings and still come out alive," Peloquin, 66, said.
He's being inducted into the Western Canada Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame today at 3:15 p.m. during Rough House Rasslin's triple bill in Winnipeg's Osborne Village.
"After 22 years of hard work in the wrestling ring it's an honour," said Peloquin, who owned Peloquin Insulation until he sold the home improvement business in 2001. "Being a wrestler was one of my dreams."
Rough House Rasslin' is holding outdoor wrestling shows at noon, 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Osborne Village Motor Hotel as part of the Canada Day street festival.
Peloquin began wrestling in 1970 and was trained by local wrestling legend Tony Condello. He retired in 1993 when his body had had enough. By then, he had picked up the "French Mad Dog" nickname.
"There's a whole generation of guys here that emerged in the '80s and early '90s that Fred really mentored," said Rough House Rasslin' producer Marty Goldstein. "He's a natural hall of fame choice. On the local level he was at the top of the cards but he was best known for his role on AWA TV, where he would famously lose."
Last year's inaugural hall of fame inductees were promoters Condello, Ernest (Frenchie) Rheault and Walter Shefchyk.
Rough House Rasslin' will also present a Manitoba Safety Council-endorsed awareness campaign today about the dangers of backyard wrestling, a cult-like pastime that has resulted in serious permanent injuries.
Participants, mostly teens and young adults, are known to attempt life-threatening manouevres and jumps, and use dangerous weapons.
SLAM! Wrestling's feature on Fred (Puppy Dog) Peloquin
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