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SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Edouard Carpentier



Edouard Carpentier
Edouard Carpentier. Photo courtesy Paul LeDuc. Click here for more Carpentier photos!
REAL NAME: Edouard Weicz 230 pounds

AKA: The Flying Frenchman, Eddy Wiechoski

  Originally from France, Edouard Carpentier made a huge name for himself based out of Montreal.

One of the first wrestlers to regularly to high-flying moves, Carpentier's was a style that stuck in fans' minds. Less dangerous, but equally impressive were his cartwheels and somersaults in the ring. The former gymnast's physique was quite impressive for that day and age. He had great feuds with Killer Kowalski, Mad Dog Vachon and Gilles 'The Fish' Poisson.

Bob 'Legs' Langevin served as his manager for a time.

The pinacle of Carpentier's career was a World title run in 1957-58. It's long story, but some of the parties that belonged to the National Wrestling Alliance decided to recognize his June 14, 1957 disputed win over NWA World Champion Lou Thesz as an actual title change. So splintered the NWA, eventually resulting in the AWA, among other organizations and world titles. (In a similar vein, the WWF was formed in 1963.)

Recognized as the first AWA champ, he dropped the belt to Verne Gagne. Carpentier wrestled through the seventies, and on occasion in the eighties. He also served as a color commentator for the WWF French broadcasts and helped train in the WWF.

Carpentier was always a fighter. He was a member of the French Resistance in the Second World War and was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Croix des combattants.

He arrived in Quebec in 1956 and later became a Canadian citizen.

Carpentier's nephew Jacky Weicz wrestled in the 1970s as Andre Carpentier and Roland Carpentier.

Memories

  I became fond of Grand Prix Wrestling very young...age 5 or 6, and then, 2 wrestlers quickly became (and remained) my favorites: Jean Ferre (Andre the Giant) and Edouard Carpentier. My fascination with the flying Frenchman began when on the air, he performed his flying summersault splash on poor Dale Roberts (later Buddy Roberts) of the Hollywood Blondes. To my young eyes, it seemed like Edouard had performed a triple summersault (physically impossible!) before landing on Dale's chest.
  I never missed a chance to watch Grand Prix (to my parent's dismay) for a chance to see Edouard fight.
  Much later, in the 80's, Edouard & friends were back with "Les Super Etoiles de la Lutte" (Superstars of Wrestling) with Ed only performing on the odd occasion to my chagrin. When the WWF thing happened, Ed applied for a promoter's license, leaving Gino Britto with "Superstars" which was re-monikered "International Wrestling", which in time, was also swallowed by the WWF...
  Before turning to the WWF, I had the pleasure to see Edouard perform twice at the Marcel Dionne Centre in my native Drummondville Quebec. He first faced Michel 'Justice' Dubois in a bogus Championship bout. The match was advertized as a title shot, but for no appearant reason, Dubois showed up without the belt, simply stating that "He had changed his mind".
  Nonetheless, Edouard dazzled everybody with his mat saavy & acrobatics, frustrating Dubois to the point that he was disqualified in the end for refusing to release Edouard from a choke hold!
  The following time, I got to see him from ringside (still at Marcel Dionne)...wow! ringside seats for $12.00! Try to find that these days! That was special in 2 ways: you see Andre the Giant was on thesame card to face Stan Hansen! And as I was waiting in line, Andre's limo puuled up at the curb just near where I was standing...I shook his hand. The big man smiled, said 'hello' and went in. I'll never forget that day!
  Andre beat Hansen, it was great, but even greater, I got to see Edouard fight from ring side, to face the younger and stronger Maxime "Zarinoff" LeBoeuf (former pal of Gilles Poisson. I got to see Ed out-maneuvre, out-wrestle and out-perform big Zarinoff, complete with a Carpentier back flip from the top turnbuckle and an arm-wrestling match won by Edouard...great! Again, the opponent gets frustrated (how original!) and puts Ed in a cobra clutch using the ropes for exttra leverage.
  Ed wins again by DQ, and this time, I got to move close enogh to him as he was exiting to the locker room, to clap him on the shoulder. Man, I could have clapped a wet brick wall, it would have felt the same way!
  The man was that strong and fit in spite of his age...now Edouard is of that school of wrestlers (along with Killer Kowalski & Gino Britto) that can lie about his age & get away with it, but seeing that he was already wrestling in the 50's and that bout happened in the 80's the man must have been hin his late 50's early 60's, and he could still do the acrobatics, increadible! I still feel no other wrestler even comes close, though Ed himself (in his great humility) would be the first to argue with me on this!
 Luc LaChange
 I grew up in Cleveland and remember the matches with Nature Boy Rogers and the live television broadcasts. I was impressed with Carpentier's athleticism. I am curious if he is still living and has an active fan club
 drcasey@extremezone
  My first "live" wrestling match was in 1968 or around that time. I was 15 at that time and it was at the now demolish Paul Sauve arena. In the final it was Ed Carpentier teamming with Johnny Rougeau and Spiros Arion against Hans Schmidt and his gang!!! It was really the good old times...
  Jack Star
  I remember seeing Carpentier in the 50's!!! doing his summersaults of the top rope on our little B&W TV.
  Later, I remember him in the 70's Grand Prix Wrestling, feuding with Don Leo Jonathan. They had some great bouts. Carpentier was a pretty good shooter, and they were both great workers.
  Come to think of it, Grand Prix Wrestling was a pretty good promotion.
  Mark Nixon, Un montrealais living in Denmark
  Edouard Carpentier is my favorite wrestler of all time. In the 70's I used to get home from church and literally walk to my grandmother's house and watch Grand Prix Wretling. On the card those days with Ed Carpentier were Gilles Poisson, Zarinoff Leboeuff, Killer Kowalski, Butcher and Mad Dog Vachon, Yvon Robert, Jr., Dale Roberts and Jerry Brown, Johnny War Eagle and Billy Two Rivers, El Santos #1&2, the Green Hornets, the Destroyers, Don Leo Jonathan, Gino Brito, Dominic Denucci, and Dino Bravo, and of course THE GIANT-JEAN FERRE. How about promoter Ira Blow for Burlington, VT?! Those were the days. I have a difficult time staying involved in todays "hoopla". Occasionally, I will watch a bit. Later in the 70's I used to watch LES ETOILLES de la LUTTE. Along with the previously mentioned "stars", I remember seeing the Rougeau family--Johnny, Jacques, Raymond, and Johnny JR.. I also remember and miss the LeDuc Brothers-Joe and Paul. Michel DuBois, Abdullah the Butcher, Bruno Sammartino & Pedro Morales(on occasion), the SHIEK(and his fire), Eddie "the Brain" Creatchman. I'm sure I'm forgetting some who don't deserve to be forgotten(Lionel Robert, Denis Gauthier, the Cuban Assassians, Tarzan "la Bootine" Tyler, Baron von Raschke, etc...)!! Thank you for bringing back those memories.
  Brian Parker, parker@northnet.org
  The memories of all those names, Creatchman, La bottine Tyler, Bruno Sammartino, Gino Brito, Geant Ferre et al. brought a flood of memories. However, the one guy I will never forget is Edouard Carpentier. His acrobatic wrestling routine puts most of the modern day losers into the minor leagues. My father would tell me that he was into his late 40s and I could not believe anybody could be so fit and agile at that age. I too, would like to Know how he is doing and find out where I could get video of the various incarnations of pro wrestling which came out of Montreal in the 70s and 80s.
  brochon@magma.ca
 I started watching wrestling in the early '80's, Sunday morning on a TV station from Sherbrooke. Carpentier was the color man, and on occasion, also put on a great show. Monday nights at the Paul Sauve arena in Montreal he would show up for a live card. I also recall a young Mike Rotundo, Dino Bravo, and the Rougeau Brothers, and on occasions Abdullah the Butcher. At this point in his career, Edouard was a mid-carder, teaming on occasions with Jean Ferre (a.k.a. Andre the giant). Later on he was the color man for the french W.W.F. broadcast. The last I heard of him was in the late '80's.Whatever happened to him?
 Francois Perron
 I first saw Eduard Carpentier at the Winnipeg Auditorium sometime in the late '60s. He fought a tag team bout with the Crusher agains Mad Dog and Butcher Vachon. It was my first live wrestling match and it was fantastic. It was back in the days when I thought it was all real, and we cheered like crazy as Eduardo and Crusher won in 2 straight falls. Great memories.
 Joanne Hatherly
 Thank you for the site!
 I saw Edouard Carpentier wrestle in Colorado Springs at the City Auditorium in the very early '70s, and did a drawing for the Edouard Carpentier Fan Club, which was founded by a young woman who lived only a few blocks from my house. I was about 14, somewhat naive, and felt almost famous when my drawing was published in one of the Fan Club's newsletters! I was such a fan that I chose to take French over Spanish in Jr. High, and took it all through high school, although the Spanish would have served me much better on in Life....
 It was so cool to read more about my hero.....your article doesn't give much current info....Is Msr. Carpentier still alive? Again, thank you!
 Respectfully, Madeline Bullock