SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Maurice 'Mad Dog' Vachon
Maurice 'Mad Dog' Vachon
Mad Dog a pretty tough little package. He was pretty chipper amateur champion, which is a credit to any wrestler. He might have been a silver medalist in the Olympics, so he could actually wrestle. He kind of broke in up here with me. Around '54 or '55 or around in there, '53. He worked a lot up here for me then. I have nothing but good to say about him. It was very unfortunate for him that he was out jogging in Iowa, and lots his leg in a car incident where a car hit him while he was jogging. And he lost a leg out it then, and his party was over. He was well-respected among the wrestlers and the promoters.
from a Nov. 1997 interview with SLAM! Wrestling
The Mad Dog was cool, and a *&!*&. However, he is Canadian, but I like
the fact that he could both wrestle, and brawl.
Mad Dog was one of my all time favourites, whom I remember from 1968 or
so back when I was a kid. He was notorious for dirty moves such as
biting and thumbs to eyes, but could brawl and fight even if his
wrestling technique wasn't the best. He had a lot of guts and was
champion for a while after beating Verne Gagne; I think the title went
back and forth between those two a couple of times.
I also remember him teaming up, first with "Dr.X" then with his younger
but bigger brother Paul "Butcher" Vachon. They and other "bad guys"
from that era such as Pampero Firpo "Wild Bull of the Pampas" and "King"
Curtis Iaukea were much dirtier and more vicious than today's
"heels", or did it seem that way because I was a kid then?
I remember seeing the Dog wrestle Verne Gagne, Tiny Mills, The Crusher,
and many more. My dad took me to see all the greats in St. Paul. Years
later, I took my son to the St. Paul Civic Center to see him. People
would hold up signs saying "Beware of the Dog!".
As a child I Loved and feared the Mad Dog. It was said that he and the
Butcher were so mean that when Vivian would wrestle, they would take her
money! My brothers, Rick and Mike would be Mad Dog and Butcher and I
would wear a ski mask and be Dr. X. Of course they would Kill me! Thanks
for bring back the memories and if anyone knows the "Dog" tell him
thanks for years of enjoyment.
As a child growing up in Milwaukee I recall mad-dog. If my quote mean-gene
" a man so feared" and Mad-dog standing in front of the camera filing his
teeth it was pure pleasure to see this man in action.
I can remember Mad Dog giving interviews growling, and building coffins
for his opponents. I can see elements of his style (interview -wise) in
both Hot Rod and the Taker.
Mad Dog Vachon was one of the mainstays of the AWA. But I remember him in
the early years in Texas when he wrestled as Maurice Vachon. He had a "full
head of hair" and no "beard". Program shots of him look nothing like the
"Mad Dog" of later years.
When he first entered the AWA he actually lost a couple of matches on TV.
Then in Omaha he beat Verne Gagne for the title. He really was one of the
best draws the AWA ever had. His battles with Gagne and Crusher Lisowski
were his greatest wars. In the late 60's he brought in his "little" brother
Paul "Butcher" Vachon, and they won the AWA World tag team title from The
Crusher & Dick the Bruiser. The Vachons held the title for the longest
uninterrupted period of any team in the history of the title, having won the
belts in August 1969 and losing them in May 1971. It should be noted too,
that in 1968, Mad Dog was a frequent tag partner of Doctor "X" (Dick Beyer)
and they were the team to hate for many months in the AWA. In the mid 70's
he joined Baron Von Raschke for tag matches and they were very exciting to
watch. It was indeed sad when Mad Dog lost his leg by a hit and run driver
a few years back, he was and always will be a personal favorite of mine.
I live in Carter, Lake Ia. Where Maurice also lives. We are proud here to
have such an ICON living amongst us. I also go to the
gym where Mad Dog still works out. Maurice Co-owns the Mad Dog Gym.
I remember when my wife was my wife to be and we lived in Denver, Colo.
My wife and her best friend Carol used to take me to the Motel where the
MADDOG/BUTCHER stayed in Aurora when they were wrestling......
I got to meet them many times and one time when we were in a yellow cab
returning to the hotel it was involved in an accident. A lady was kind
enough to give all of us a ride to the Best Western Rivera Motel on
Colfax..... I remember that we all ate at the White Spot across the
street and Pepper Gomez, Black Jack Lanza and the whole crowd was
there...... We had a great time...... I was 17 years old then and
still each time I watch wrestling I think of the Vachon Brothers.......
Just wondering if you all ever answer any e-mail and if you remember
some of the stories that readers send to you....... I also wanted to
say I was very saddened about Maurices Leg...... My Best Wishes to
all..... I think of you often.........
Len, Thanks for all the FUN memories...........
I don't really have any memories of Mad Dog Vachon for the simple reason
that I am too young(17). However,my father told stories of him and Paul
as wrestlers. He saw them while he was stationed in Florida in 1970 and
said they were two mean dudes. He said if he saw either one of them in
an alley,he'd start running. He saw them take on the Funks(Terry was the
florida champion at the time). The match ended in a double DQ. These 4
men wouldn't have it any other way.
I met Mad Dog through my sister. She is an amputee. I have
also met a lot of other nice people through the group that
she is associated with. I play cards with Mad Dog every
friday that he is available. I know about him wrestling, I
used to watch him when I was younger, and I was on his side
every fight he fought!
I find his whole life, which he has shared with me
throughout the many years I have been playing cards with
him, to be so very intriguing that his wrestling never comes
up in our conversations. He is a really wonderful person
through and through.
I remember The Dog And The Butcher tearing the old Auditorium to pieces. This
is Denver in the 60's.....Also rember Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher in much
the same way. Here`s my list of the All-Timers of the Old School
Classic`s.....Harley Race, Bull Bullinski, Red Bastein, Dr. X, Double
X!!!!!!!!!!!, Black Jack Lanza, Bobby Heenan, Baron Von Rascke, Nick
Bockwinckle, and who can forget Mr. Nice Guy?, Verne Gagne! Still to this day,
Dick the Bruiser and Mad Dog Vachon reign as my most favorite Bad-Asses to
EVER enter the Ropes. Mad Dog, We love you.
Just after Maurice's leg was amputated, WWF champ Hulk Hogan was making an appearance at the Montreal Forum
(RIP). As was Hogan's custom, his "Real American" theme would blare until the match was pumping. This visit,
however, the music guy canned the tunes (thanx!) and Hogan introduced "a hero and living legend Mad Dog Vachon"
who came out in a tuxedo sitting in his wheelchair. Mad Dog had an attendant pushing him down the aisle to the ring.
When he arrived at the ring, he insisted on doing a lap all around the ringside unassisted. He received a standing O and a
roar of applause. Mad Dog is a legend in Montreal. To this day, anytime I see a bald man sitting with that familiar
Vachon beard, I do a double take just to check if it's the Mad Dog on the prowl. Thanks for the memories.
Harris Black (Montreal) email@example.com
What can you say about Mad Dog!? He was wrestling incarnate. He could
shoot, he could work, did great interviews, a real all rounder. He lived
for a while in the same apartment complex in Chomedey, Quebec that I
did. I saw him sometimes at the pool playing with kids; he seemed to be
a really great guy.
I saw some terrific matches with him, both at the Montreal Forum, and at
the Paul Sauve Arena.
Mark Nixon, Un montrealais living in Denmark
Growing up in the Twin Cities, some of my fondest memories were when my
mom would take me to the monthly cards in Minneapolis or St. Paul. Mad
Dog Vachon was always one of the star attractions of the promotion. I
remember one winter night watching him enter the arena in his street
clothes, looking nothing like the maniacal and crazed villain I was too
afraid of to hate. I mustered up enough courage to yell "Hey, Mad Dog!"
He looked my way and made eye contact. An all-too-brief smile crossed
his lips as he continued toward the locker room area. That night he was
teaming with one of his many great partners, Baron Von Raschke, to fight
some unfortunate good-guys. During the introduction, the two did their
famous "warm-up"- the Baron bouncing off the ropes while the Mad Dog
jumped across the ring in his black, hooded robe. These two were great!
I watched the match that night with a different perspective after
seeing the mild-mannered Vachon enter the arena earlier. There was now a
greater mystique about him than before. As he gouged his opponents eyes
out, scratched him down the back, drew blood and freaked out most of the
fans in attendance, I remember thinking how cool the whole thing was.
If Mad Dog hadn't lost his leg, he would probably still be wrestling
today. There are no "heels" in the big two today that can even come
close to the master performances of Mad Dog and some of the other great
characters from the past. I will forever remember Mad Dog Vachon's
insane interviews on Saturday Wrestling. Eyes bugged out, spittle
flying on to the camera lens, making sometimes unintelligable comments
with his growling, French Canadian accent. Mad Dog, YOU RULE! There
never has or ever will be, a pro wrestler quite like you. Thanks for all
the great memories.
Wanna talk old-school AWA? E-MAIL ME! The infamous stk! firstname.lastname@example.org
I have two memories of the "DOG", one in which he won the AWA title from
Verne Gagne. I think it was the first time.
It was a bloody match. I think they wrestled for more than an hour. He
and Gagne were both bleeding badly. There were 16,000 in attendance.
After about an hour---Mad Dog pinned Gagne. I know its hard to believe
BUT HE CHEATED!!!!
The fans went crazy!! A man in a suit, who must have been 65 years old,
and weighed about 98 lbs. climbed into the ring and started to throw
punch after punch at the dog. Of course, he couldn't hit back...and it
took a few seconds for security to carry the man away. He just stood
threre. He tried to look like he was enjoying it, but I'll bet that
those were the punches from the fight that hurt for a few days.
The other memory was a tv match at KETV-7 in Omaha. He and Gagne were
both on the card. Gagne won his 10-mnute match and in the interview must
have said something that made the dog mad....They went to do a (Verne
Gagne),Gera Speed commercial. After a few seconds the dog comes on the
set---the same used for the interviews---and throws all these display
bottles around and threatens the woman doing the announcing. Gagne comes
out and the fight erupts...The only problem was that they fell into the
camera and broke the lens. $15-20,000. in 1965 dollars? I don't think
Gagne was too upset though..The Saturday card was close to sold out..
When I was 6(I am 23 now) I was in the St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg for
Eye Surgery, nothing serious, I had a lazy eye.
Mad Dog came around visiting all the Children there, Iwas a little sad, my
parents had gone for a while, and I was alone... Mad Dog came into my room
and talked with me... he sat there for about 20 minutes just chatting... it
felt nice to have someone there, then my parents came back, and he went on
to the other children... before he left, he autographed my coloring book it
said "good luck Mikey, hope to see you back in the ring soon. Mad Dog
Vachon" at that point I decided he was going to see me in the ring, and now
at 23 I am training to become a professional Wrestler.
Good Luck Mad Dog, hope to see you back in the ring soon too big guy...
Michael Sethos Opitz
I seen him in a movie "I LIKE TO HURT PEOPLE" and he was
I have alot of memories of him from watching him on the INTERNATIONAL
WRESTLING out of Montreal, that I would get up for in the morning to
watch. His interviews are classic. Enjoyed your pictures and memories.
Oscar D. Flores
One of my best momories of Mad Dog was in the early to mid seventies. It
was either a feud between the Crusher and the Super Destroyer, or the Heenen
family ( I don't recall exactly). For about three weeks before Christmas,
the Crusher was touting his tag team partner, who in the interivews with
Mean Gene, had someone dresed in a Santa Clause suit. This went on for the
full three weeks. Finally the mystery partner ripped off the Santa Clause
suit, and low and behold it was Mad Dog Vachon.
Needless to say, it was either Bobby the Brain, or Lord Alfred Hayes who
were claiming it wasn't fair and that no one should have to wrestle such an
animal. Merry Christmas yous bums!!!
One of my memories of Mad Dog was his feud with the Crusher. One time the
Crusher was doing an interview in a suit and chewing a cigar. The Vachon
brothers (Mad Dog and Butcher) attacked the Crusher and ripped his suit off
and shoved the cigar down his throat. The crusher retaliated and hurt Mad Dog
seriously. He split his head wide open. All that blood was quite a sight for
an 11 year old kid. One thing about matches in the early days is they actually
wrestled and sometimes the matches lasted up to an hour. They just don't make
them like they used to. Best of luck to Mad Dog and to all of the wrestlers
who made wrestling what it is today.
I remember Mad Dog walking into the Mayo Civic Auditorium in Rochester
Minnesota wearing a Mickey Mouse T shirt. He came in on his way to the
dressing room smiling and waving to everyone. He would stop for the kids and
talk and sign autographs. He looked like a Grand Pa. Then he would go into
the locker room and get ready to fight Jesse Ventura. Later both wrestlers
would come out and the bell would ring and the first thing Mad Dog would do is
run out and bite Jesse on the face. He was the greatest!!!
Tom Rochester MN
The best matches that I remember going to as a kid were the ones between
MadDog Vachon partnered with the Giant Jean Ferre (Andre the Giant) against
the East-West Connection. They were Adrian Adonis and Jesse "The Governor"
Ventura. The Ottawa Civic Centre would be packed and the matches would
always end up with lots, and I mean lots of blood and injury.
One night, MadDog got it so bad that he had to be carried out on a
stretcher. People at the arena were screaming and many were in tears
thinking that MadDog may indeed be finished. Being a concerned fan myself
(and the fact that my dad was late in picking us up), I waited with about
fifty other people for the MadDog to emerge from the dressing room.
He came out, with crutches, walking very poorly, with bandages on his head.
He thanked everyone for coming out to see him off. He was being followed all
the way to an awaiting cab on Bank Street. About 50 feet from the cab, he
turned around and smiled to the crowd and yelled "I don't need this @#*&" .
MadDog then ripped off his bandages, and then threw them and his crutches
into a garbage can. He then hurried into the cab, looking extremely better,
and sped off.
Dave, Ottawa, Ontario
I fondly remember Mad Dog Vachon, as part of a great AWA ensemble of professional wrestlers. His heel skills were virtually perfect, bringing
the crowds to big *pops*. He even managed to snag the heavy-weight strap on a few ocassions. Consider his opposition: Handsome-Harley Race,
Pretty-boy Larry Hennig, Crusher and Bruiser, flyin-frenchman Eduardo Carpentier, Dr. X, Gagne, the Black-Jacks, Bull Bullinski,
Bockwinkle.....virtually who's who in the sport of that era. No small feat, and i think he made an incredible impact on the profession, as well as
future stars. There once was a card at my local gym, when i was in high school, around 68 or so. I wanted badly to go, but had to work as a
gas-jockey that day (remember full-serv?) The matches went on, and i was bummed out, missing them. Later that evening, along comes this full
size 4-door pulling up for gas around 10pm. I was totally shocked when i saw it was Maurice, brother Paul, Pepper Gomez, and Ed Carpentier. I
stood at his open window with a stupid teenaged look on my face, and he GROWLED in his best Mad Dog voice: FILL IT UP (then he gave me a
HUGE grin) He chatted with me briefly, as the guys got out, stretched for the drive back to Minneapolis (all night) no interstate then. I have fond
memories of the AWA in general, saw matches in WINNIPEG at the arena in the late 60's and early 70's. Also saw matches in Fargo in early 70's,
as well as a cpl in St Paul. Thanks Verne, and all the other guys responsible, for the great memories. My, how times have changed. Anyone
have any good DR. X stories?
The greatest story about Mad Dog I have is what he has currently been
seen doing. Anyone living in Minnesota has surely seen the "our
governor can beat up your governor" bumper stickers and t-shirts
everywhere around town (refering, of course, to Jesse The Body
Ventura). Mad Dog Vachon has been seen around town wearing a "I DID
BEAT UP YOUR GOVERNOR" t-shirt. Still has the attitude after all these
years - gotta love it.
Paul - Minneapolis, MN
I seem to recall my favorite feud was with Mad Dog and the Butcher (with his
dreaded Hangman hold) against two other great Canadian wrestlers - Billy Red
Lyons and Red Bastien, the man of a thousand holds. I would watch trembling,
sitting at my father's knees as these two teams went at it tooth and nail.
I couldn't believe it .. I turned on the TV early this morning and there was Mad Dog Vachon doing an interview with Valerie Pringle on Canada AM. Amazing!! He still looks the same, barely changed at all!! He even did some of his "ranting", for old times sake. I remember watching Mad Dog in AWA matches and he was the guy we loved to hate. He was so gruff (and still is apparently!). We used to hang around downtown near The Marlborough Hotel where all the wrestlers stayed while in Winnipeg, and see who came out. Then we'd try to get up the nerve to go ask for an autograph. We never DID get any cuz we were all shy teenage girls. Such is life. But it was fun anyhow. :)
Elaine aka Sticky, Winnipeg, MB
Mad Dog was and is and always will be the best. He was my
hero as a child, I'm now 30 and he is still my hero. Peace
I use to sell pictures for Mad Dog in Omaha, I will never forget getting
his and Butcher's autograph in the locker room with the rest of the "bad
guys." See you soon Mad Dog.
In His Service
It was the late sixties in Thunder Bay, Ontario.my buddy and I had to be about twelve years old....the BEST age to enjoy the sport. The night was over and a telephone call home informed me that my mother would be late picking us up.my buddy and I wandered around for a bit killing time when a brilliant idea flashed into our minds -- 'let's go and ask the wrestlers if we can carry their luggage to the bus.' We wandered down the old tunnel of the Fort William Gardens to the dressing room and knocked on the door. It opened up and standing there in all his glory was Mad Dog
Vachon....."excuse me,' says my friend,almost whispering (I was frozen in disbelief)'could we carry your luggage out to the bus?'.... Mad Dog looked at us for just the slightest moment then roared at the top of his lungs and SPIT ON US!!!!! he actually spit on us ...and lunged forwards...we ran...like the wind...totally teriffied..and heard behind us down that hall the full hearty laugh of the Mad Dog. Still one of the best memories of my life.
Remember the Oh Henry commercials? His distinctive voice, rants and
always the streams of blood and seeming madness made him one of the
best draws of all time.
I best remember Maddog when he teamed with Baron Von Raschke in the AWA
in the mid 70's. One of the best story lines he was involved in was
when he worked over referee Larry Lisowski, Crusher's son, during a tv
match. This re-ignited the Crusher-Maddog feud, that led to a cage
match in Milwaukee in January of 1977.
Maddog is truly one of the greatest of all time. I wish that pro
wrestling today was the good clean fun it was in the days of Maddog,
Crusher, Gagne, and Bockwinkle, so that my son could enjoy it the way I
Joel Tomski, Milwaukee
Several times I saw Mad Dog in the 60s.the best match was a cage match with
the polish stong boy Igor Vodick...It lasted for 45 minutes with a ton of
blood...Mad Dog tore the house down ....at the Omaha Civic Auditorium...a full
house of 9,000 went crazy..He was the meal ticket for that promotion and
always gave a great show even 30 years later I still talk to my dad about the
night he took me and my brother on that cold winter night. to see one of
wrestling's greatest bad guys..
I wrestled Mad Dog in the early 1970's and he beat the hell out of me. I
loved it. He was one of the all time greats
I think Mad dog Vachon is the meanest wrestler there ever was.
L. Evans, Calgary, AB
Mad Dog was the greatest. A few memories - jumping like a kangaroo to
loosen up before a match, chewing on Jerry Blackwell's bloody forehead in
Minneapolis and spitting a wad of blood 15 feet into the air. The capacity
crowd of 15,000 in unison said "ooooooooishhhh." The interviews where he
would talk about growing up eating out of garbage cans, how he was going to
"hurt" his opponent, how he wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Chewing on his opponents.clawing their backs, eye gouging, jumping on their
stomachs, putting their necks on the middle rope and jumping on their back
and the dreaded piledriver. Plus the incrdible personal feuds that would go
on for years - Gagne, Blackwell, the High Fllyers, the Crusher and the
Bruiser, Harley Race and Larry Hennig and then he'd join their sides and
become a fan favorite for a minute only long enough to turn on his new
I used to watch Mad Dog wrestle when I was a little girl and enjoyed him so.
Last summer my boyfriend and I had the extreme pleasure of meeting him and
his brother Paul at the Taste of Minnesota over the 4th of July weekend.
Both men were so kind and allowed us to enter the tent in which they sat,
and their 'wrangler' lady offered to take our picture. Mad Dog was sitting
in a chair and I stood behind him. He turned his head and barked "put your
hand (or did he say head???) on my shoulder!" and let me tell you, I
complied pronto! For the first attempt, Mad Dog posed with a fierce look and
a raised fist, but the camera didn't work. For the second attempt, he
lowered his arm and smiled so big- the crowd roared with laughter at his
change in attitude. This is now an 8x10 glossy hanging in our house. It's a
wonderful picture that never fails to make me grin. At work, I get so many
comments and giggles over my autographed picture of the Vachon brothers
wearing their wresting championship belts.
This past January we got two great cats who are identical twin brothers, and
as we searched our brains for appropriate names, they sped around the house
and grappled like maniacs. It seemed only right to name them Paul "The
Butcher" Vachon, and Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon. Mad Dog lives up to his name
by being the aggressor, and Butchie is a bit of a softy..... :)
Thanks for the fond memories, the excellent picture, and the fun cat names!
I am a great fan of both of yours.
Tara Edlund, St. Paul, MN
Years ago when I was living in Minnesota, I would always watch the AWA
matches on TV, and some times with my friends and uncles would go to a
wrestling card in person. I still remember clearly a match between
"Mad Dog" and "Cowboy Bill Watts" in Minnesota in the late sixties.
This was quite a event for a (then)17 year old. I watched in amazement
as "Mad Dog" scratched "Cowboy" jumped on his stomach, kicked him
in the nuggies, and chewed on his face!! I loved it! Over the years I was
a fan of "Mad Dog", because usually ALL of his opponents were BIGGER
and heavier then he was! I could not help but admire his fighting spirit
under adverse conditions.
I moved to Iowa from Minneapolis in 1991, and I was saddened to hear
how "Mad Dog" lost his leg in Oct of 1987 to a hit and run driver.
I have enduring memories of "Mad dog" and his battles in the ring
during the hey day of the now defunct AWA.
I wish him the best in his golden years.
Michael in Iowa City
This guy was truly the best entertainer that ever entered a wrestling arena.We still talk about him at work. One of the
funniest things I ever saw was a taped match at WTCN TV where he was wrestling some opponent and "The Crusher
showed up at ringside and threw dog chow all over the mat for the "Dog" to slip on.It was great! I never forgot it.It was
wonderful. In another match at Met Center,in Bloomington,Mn., he took a splat from Jerry Blackwell that shook the
building. Wow!, it still hurts to think about it. I want to wish him the best.
L. Washburn( a true " Mad Dog" fan to this day") Richfield,Mn., Nov. 20,2000
I was at the June 13, 1970 Cage Match between Mad Dog Vachon and
The Crusher at the Milwaukee Arena. A crowd of 12,076 paid $58,270 to
watch the match. Both Crusher and Mad Dog remember that particular
match because irate fans, some fearful that the Milwaukee favorite would
lose, got past security and attempt to scale the chain-link "cage" to
help The Crusher. Crusher won the match in 19:30, but had the Dog won,
there's no doubt that the fans would have rioted. I have never seen a
match since that had the intensity of that one match.
Mad Dog was the most fearsome villain in wrestling history and one
of the few that people were genuinely frightened of. Who'd ever have
guessed that he's one of the nicest people you could ever meet?
In the late 70's when Verne Gagne & Mad Dog Vachon teamed up as tag team partners, and wreaked havoc on the likes of
Nick Bockwinkle & Ray the Crippler Stevens, Black Jack Lanza & Big Bad Bobby Duncum, Adrian Adonis & Jesse the body
I met Mad Dog Vachon,last year at a wrestling event. It was the
greatest thrills and a honor to meet him!!! He's a gentleman and
legend!!! I grew-up on the A.W.A. wrestling (rassling) and I grew-up on
Mad Dog Vachon, Verne Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel!!! I just got to meet
Nick Bockwinkel at the C.A.C. in Los Vegas, last week!!! He's a gentleman
and legend,too!!! All I can said is God-Bless-You and God Love You-Mad
Dog!!! I love my old Mad-Dog!!!
As a child, my brothers and father would tune in on Saturday evening to watch our favorite wrestlers. Dr. X lives on in my
memory as he bolted from his chair and into the ring after Verne Gagne! Breaking his leg, and thus the legend of Dr. X. came to life. Marty O'Neil then knew what that masked man was up to!. And the match with Crusher and Mad Dog -- the Dog's head hitting the outside ring post! Blood poured from his forehead... How could Mad Dog survive that kind of punishment? So cool memories.
C.J. Hinrichsen...an ol' wrestling fan...
The first time I ever saw Maurice Mad Dog Vachon was in the late 70's. Back in those days everything in wrestling was
based on a territorial system. Living in West Virginia we received syndicated shows like the old Detroit Big Time Wrestling
and Mid Atlantic from North Carolina. In the late 70's we began getting Superstation channel 17 out of Atlanta Georgia.
The main heel in the area was Ole Anderson, who partnered with the Russian Bear Ivan Koloff, terrorized the area. Dusty
Rhodes, who had been brutalized by the two villains was on a quest to rid the area their scourge. One of the highlights of
that time was when Dusty would have mystery partner to face the two. They would build and build not telling who the
mystery partner was and then after the heat was at a fever pitch Dusty's mystery partner would end up revealing himself,
saving the "old yellow egg sucking dog" from another double team beating. On many occasions Dusty brought in the big
Cowboy Bill Watts to walk tall. But on one occasion Dusty decided that he needed a vicious psychotic beast to deal with
the two ruffians. For weeks you didn't know who it was. Then finally it was revealed to be THE MAD DOG!!!
Well at this
time because wrestling was so insulated from area to area, it was like a brand new never before seen animal had been
unleashed on Georgia. Even though Maurice had wrestled for years before most people did not know who or what this
THING was. What I remember most about Mad Dog Vachon from the Georgia days were the interviews. Mad Dog would
rarely appear on TBS live. After Ole and Koloff would come out and brag about what they were going to do Gordon Solie
would inevitably bust their collective bubbles by saying, "Gentleman I have a video tape that I think you might want to
take a look at." Then they would cut to a promo done by Mad Dog.
One I remember was Mad Dog dressed like a doctor
with the operating room scrubs on including the top and hat. He growled out an interview that was unparalleled. The
distinctive beard, busted out teeth, and the voice that sounded like he gargled ground up glass and nails were like
nothing ever seen or heard before by this young fan. Mad Dog talked about how he was going to annihilate the two
villains so savagely that it would not be fit for human viewing. He promised a nightmare that had both heels realing. Mad
Dog topped the interview off by taking out a large wooden vice and putting it on his own head and screwing it tight... why
I don't know. lol
Another classic showed Mad Dog behind a steel mesh wire fence promoting the up coming cage match
with Dusty and the Dog against Ole and Ivan. Mad Dog smashed tomatoes through the fence to show what it would be
like when he ground their bloody faces like raw meat against the cage. He topped it off by filing his own teeth sharp as
razors with a metal file.
Though I never actually got to see the matches in the Omni and in Georgia because I lived in West
Virginia it was awesome, in the words of Gordon Solie, simply AWESOME IN DEED!
John Mozuke Worthington, West VIrginia
I used to go see the AWA at the Minneapolis auditorium with my dad. We loved Mad Dog Vachon especially when he
was teaming with Baron Von Raschke. We saw them at the TV tapings at the Calhoun Manor as well. The Dog was
always intimidating. He would enter the ring with a sinister hooded rope and just start jumping up and down in the ring.
His interviews were awesome. He really got the heat turned up. I hope he is doing well. I still talk with my dad about those
matches and they were 30 years ago.