Annual Rougeau show has giants, midgets, clowns and Santa
YVES LEROUX - SLAM! Wrestling
|J.J. Rougeau handles Eric Mastrocola and Taloche the Clown. Photos by Karen Broadway
MONTREAL - Itís the holiday season, and of course that means Jacques Rougeauís Lutte 2000 has its usual Christmas wrestling card. Sounds redundant? Thatís because it is. Somehow, however, Rougeau always manages to come up with a quality show using his wrestling school students, some of whom have been with him for many years.
In front of an estimated 3,200 fans (with close to 4,300 tickets sold) who braved a very rainy day following a one-day episode of freezing rain, Rougeau and his students managed to put on a show. And judging by the crowdís reaction, he succeeded. It is by far the biggest independent wrestling show on an annual basis, both in gate and attendance, in Canada.
The show, which was held at the famed Verdun Auditorium Saturday night, started after the MC detailed the very long list of sponsors. In the first match, Ballistik lost to Johnny Boy. T-Bone beat Zťrro. A championship match for the Jacques Rougeau wrestling school title -- which has been held by Velvet Valentine for what seems forever -- followed, with Valentine successfully retaining his title and his abundance of arrogance against Bad Dog. Then Predator got the three count against Du Rag James.
Kurrgan lines up with a mysterious opponent.
Something new is Rougeau no longer has intermissions during his shows and that seemed to help greatly with the flow of the evening.
Beware Dink the Clown!
The semi-final match had former WWE superstar Kurrgan defeating Frank the Machine in a timely manner. Kurrgan had just recently returned from filming his second movie, Sherlock Holmes
, in England, where he accidentally knocked out Robert Downey Jr. After his victory, Kurrgan decided to humiliate Frank, and then asked the crowd if there was another giant in Quebec that would "dare" come in the ring to fight him. Thatís when another former WWE superstar came out to apparently accept the challenge -- midget Tiger Jackson, dressed as Dink the Clown. He diminutive star picked up the microphone, only to introduce a 7-foot-3 monster who challenged Kurrgan. A surprised Kurrgan then slowly made his way out to the locker room without a word, but with a disgusted look on his face.
The grand finale had Jacques Rougeau teaming up with his son J.J. against the tag team champions Taloche the Clown and his partner Pretty Boy Eric Mastrocola for the Johnny Rougeau tag team championship belts. A special ref for the match was Santa Claus, and had no patience for the championsí shenanigans and even helped with the triple team effort for the Rougeaus to regain the belts. As has become the custom, Jacques then asked all his wrestlers to come out and sign autographs and after an hour of signing, he seemed very pleased with the outcome. "I am very happy there were so many fans that showed up in spite of the lousy weather, I am so glad, especially for the students who have been working so hard," he told SLAM! Wrestling.
Jacques Rougeau Jr. wears the colours proudly.
Jacques Rougeau has really been working overtime for his wrestling school and shows by doubling the number of wrestling cards in 2008; he has already secured 10 dates for 2009, not including his annual Christmas show.
"I want to promote a wrestling show that a whole family can watch, and a place where my students can showcase what they have learned," he said.
Also, he has a very professional website and fans can even buy tickets through it. What Jacques hopes to achieve in 2009, something he has been lobbying hard for, is a television slot on the Quebec-based station TQS. According to Jacques, he is confident the project will be reality this coming new year. Will indy wrestling come back to TV in 2009? It has been over 20 years since local wrestling has been on the tube in Quebec. Wrestling fans can only hope Rougeau will be successful.
Yves Leroux has been writing for SLAM Wrestling since 2000, and, like a lot of people in Quebec, was greatly affected by the weather the last few days -- and that is the reason for this delayed report. Watch for his interview with Kurrgan in the coming weeks. Yves can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.