Friday, November 22, 2013

Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon

I grew up in upstate New York, just a few miles south of the Canadian border.  It was this location that allowed me to watch wrestling on TV, which was beamed over from our neighbors to the north.
It was in my living room that I was able to see some of the greatest wrestling, which has been broadcasted on television.  I had the privilege to see wrestlers like Edward Carpentier, Killer Kowalski, Andre the Giant, and of course Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon.
I must add, my parents were one of the first people in the 50’s to have a television set.  It was during this time that wrestling became popular, and my parents partake in watching it.  They told me stories, no legends, about the matches that were on TV before my time.  My father described the matches he saw during that time, and from that moment on, I was a fan of wrestling. 
It was here that I saw Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon.   My favorite wrestler was Edward Carpentier and I remember seeing the feuds that the two engaged over the years. To me, Mad Dog Vachon was a ruthless wrestler who would do anything to win, and I feared and despised him.  I would learn later that it was his sill and talent as a wrestler who made me feel that way for him.  It was also this skill that made me hate him, that made me like the faces even more.
Years later, I moved and ended up volunteering at the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.  It was here that I had the honor to meet many of my childhood heroes and villains whom I had seen on TV from my childhood, and I meet Mad Dog Vachon.
When Maurice spoke, you did not see the man whose body had been torn up and ravaged by years of wrestling.  He would speak of the matches he had over his long career, and the matches that I remember seeing him in my youth. His eyes lit up as he spoke about the days in the ring, and this is how I will now remember him.
When I look back now at the matches I saw as a child, I no longer see Mad Dog Vachon as the fearsome wrestler, but a gentleman who was a true talent in the ring. We all will miss him, and we all give our condolences to his family.   

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