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  Feb 15, 1999

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Indie show thrills Quebec crowd

By ERIC BENNER - SLAM! Wrestling

Live from the Pierre Charbonneau arena, at two-thirty in the afternoon on St-Valentine's Day, wrestling in Quebec was revived, if only for a day, to heights it had not witnessed in decades. Jacques Rougeau, with the aid of Paul Leduc, put together a show which impressed this reporter from top to bottom.

When you come to an independent show, you expect it to start really late, and it was a refreshing change to see that things got rolling within five minutes of the announced time. Eric Nolin, from CKOI FM, was emceeing. He did a terrific job hyping the crowd before the show, one of the best I've ever seen.

The first match pitted scene newcomers (speaking relatively, they have a combined decade of experience) Iceman and Nelson Veilleux. This opening bout was high-flying, for the most part, as Iceman dominated well into it. Among the highlights were a springboard plancha, irish whips and cartwheel splashes, a flawless firebird 450, and a frog splash. Oh yeah, and a springboard spinning heel kick. Just try to picture that. I dare you. Unfortunately for the Iceman, Nelson caught him in a botched maneuver and nailed him with a running powerbomb for the three count.

Kevin Martel took on Jacques Comtois in the second match. Martel, who indeed is related to Rick - his nephew, displayed the kind of athleticism and dangerous high spots that not only rivaled and perhaps surpassed Iceman's, but made me wonder when I had stopped watching the show and tuned into the WCW cruiserweight division. Great stuff, but a lackluster ending as Comtois walked out for a countout. When was the last time you saw one of those?

The third contest saw Tiger Jackson take on Little Broken in a midget match. The highlight of the gimmick match which I've never liked (despite the great athleticism and showmanship of both competitors) saw the very aptly named Luscious Lucy interfere and give Tiger the victory. Before the match, Little Broken had imitated Lucy from behind, and he paid for it afterwards with a running powerbomb.

In the fourth match, Sunny War Cloud and Carl Leduc battled the Prisoners. The action was fast-paced and these heavyweights did not disappoint. Though the Prisoners won it with interference, Carl Leduc stole the match with a combination of high-flying athleticism and high-impact moves, in a display unrivaled since the WWF's 'Pierre' was a singles competitor. After the match, Carl and his father, Paul, took out their aggression on War Cloud, who lost the match for the duo.

King Kong Bundy destroyed Ron "The Doorman" Trottier in the third-to-last match. The king of the five-count lay in wait until he landed the big splash, and that was all she wrote. Both competitors looked to be in fine form.

In the semi-main event, the Rougeau brothers took on Abdullah the Butcher and Richard Charland, who was replacing a no-showing Greg Valentine. Seeing Abdullah in action is something that can scarcely be described, but the bloody hand-marks he left on the table in front of me say it all. The Rougeaus, who were up to their old heel antics during the match, still managed to stay fan favourites and come away victorious. Post-match, Abdullah and Richard had words to share about the Rougeaus' tag titles, modeled with the image of former great Johnny Rougeau, and they even tried to steal them. Retribution was fierce and the chair-shots were numerous. The Rougeaus left the ring with their belts, their dignity, and all of their former glory intact.

The main event bout was an over-the-top battle royale, with almost all of the afternoon's talent competing. After about twenty minutes of non-stop action, the two men left standing were Jacques Rougeau and King Kong Bundy. Jacques emerged victorious when Bundy charged him and was pushed clear over the top rope and onto the floor. The fireworks displayed after his victory dwarfed all others that day.

All in all, the show was terrific, everyone had a good time, and a lot of Quebec's young talent, as well as some of its older talent, were put on display to the delight of all. The pyros, the sound-system, the big-screens with video montages presented throughout the card, and certainly not least of all, the action, were all top notch and probably the best effort put on in this city in a long, long time. About twenty-two hundred fans showed up for the event, and if word of mouth is any indication (and it is), the full three-thousand seats will be sold out for their next show on June 20th. Many more young talented athletes will be there, as well as some more old favourites. Word is that King Kong Bundy isn't too happy about the way the battle royale turned out - and he wants blood.

Keep an eye out this Friday for a special edition of The Truth about Jacques Rougeau. A bit of history and a chunk of hope for the future as he tries to resurrect wrestling in Quebec.