READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.
SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Jos LeDuc
May 1, 1999 Atlanta, GA from a lung infection
Despite the fact that they weren't related in real life, Paul LeDuc was
instrumental in getting Jos LeDuc started in wrestling. Jos LeDuc, whose
real name was Michel Pigeon, took judo, worked for the Quebec provincial
police and dreamed of becoming a pro wrestler.
The two future 'brothers' met in 1965, and became friends. A couple of years
later, the much-smaller Paul LeDuc called up his friend and encouraged his
friend to start training so that he could join him out in Portland.
In collaboration with Jack Britton, the Montreal promoter at the time,
Pigeon trained and made promotional tapes for Don Owen's Portland promotion.
In the tapes, he talked about how he was coming cross-country to take care
of his little brother Paul, who was getting beaten up on a fairly regular
When he finally arrived, a legendary lumberjack tag team was born. The
LeDucs tore up the continent, and became superstars in Quebec in battles
against the likes of Jacques & Johnny Rougeau, Mad Dog Vachon & Killer
Kowalski and Mad Dog & Butcher Vachon.
Paul & Jos were billed as brothers everywhere they went, and were very
successful in the illusion. When Jos passed away in May 1999, Quebec talk
shows were abuzz with the news that the brothers weren't actually related.
Jos LeDuc had a very successful singles career too, particularly in the old
CWA promotion out of Memphis. It was there that his lumberjack lunacy -
including one skit where he purposely cut himself with an axe - made him at
top name heel, drawing huge crowds to battle heroes like Jerry 'The King'
Lawler and Superstar Bill Dundee.
His career wound down in the eighties, though he made a couple of nostalgia
shots in Memphis in the mid-nineties.
Pigeon was a bit of a wild child on the road, and in later life suffered
from diabetes. He had numerous operations over the years on his knees and
He died in an Atlanta hospital at age 54 in May 1999.
May 4, 1999: Jos Leduc dead at 55
I was 12 years old when Joe drew an axe across his arm and swore a
"blood oath" to kill my childhood hero. I lived in true fear for Jerry Lawler
for weeks.Then a moving van pulled up right next door and I lived in true fear
for myself. I could hardly sleep at night knowing that maniac was less than 50
ft away with his AXE.Joe lived there for a little over a year and turned out
to be a real nice guy and we always hade free tickets to Monday night
wrestling (long before it was raw).
I will never forget seeing Jos Leduc when he was in Grand Prix in the early
80's. My grandmother used to take the entire family to see the shows and
Jos was one of my favorite. On May 1, 1999, a great man was lost. Heaven
must have needed some champions this week as Rick Rude, Jos and hockey
player Steve Chiasson all lost their lives. They will all be missed!
F. Norman Robitza, Highlander1783
Joe Leduc, I remember him when I was a young lad he was in the ring in Hull, Quebec when he as six man pulling a rope on each side is of him. I said to myself, wow he is so powerful. My dad, grand-papa and my three brothers
when to see him and Paul lots of times. They were great wrestlers. I will remember him for all the good times we spent and all the good thing about our outings. My condolece to the Leduc family
As a kid, Jos used to terrify me when I watched Florida Chamapionship
Wrestling with Gordon Solie back in the late 70's. I remember his feuds
with Jimmy Garvin and his crushing bear hugs. The Canadian Freight
Train won't soon be forgotten.
My name is Michele Renee' LeDuc, I am the daughter of Jos LeDuc. I want to
tell everyone thank you for caring still, and for the memories you have
shared. My father was a very special man and I will miss him very much!!
I plan to keep my fathers memory alive, and I know I will never forget him!
And I hope you won't either.
If you have any memories you would like to share with me, please do so. I am
only 21 years old so I wasn't around to see very much. My email address is
My Father Jos LeDuc... I remember him being a great man, father, wrestler,
and a wonderful friend! I miss my father very much and he will be missed
dearly! To every one out there.... Thank you for remembering him.
Michele Renee' LeDuc
Hello There, Wrestling Fans! My name is Robert J LeDuc and I am
Jos's oldest son. Unlike my little sister Michele, I WAS around to see alot
of my dad's great matches, both in Canada and in the States. If you have any
special memories about that special "UNFORGETTABLE" match, please share them
I want to personally thank Greg Oliver of CANOE for putting the Web
Page together. I also want to thank all of you for your warmest wishes and
memories. My dad was not easy to forget and I'm sure that he will be in our
memories for a very long time.
From the LeDuc family, Thank You All! Please e-mail any responses to
Robert J LeDuc
My favourite wrestling show as a youth in Ontario was Jim Crockett's Mid
Atlantic Championship Wrestling. The big Canadian Lumberjack was over 300
pounds and was very powerful --- his finishing maneuver was a devistating
backbreaker. Jos was over as a heel and was very feared at the time (early
80's). I recall reading an early 80's PRO WRESTLING publication (the sister
magazine to PRO WRESTLING ILLUSTRATED). Jos Leduc was listed in a special
article on the 10 most dangerous men along with the likes of Roddy Piper, Greg
Valentine, Abdullah the Butcher, Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen. Quite an elite
group to be part of. I was sorry to hear Jos passed away at such a young age.
My memories of Jos. Leduc were of his lumberjack persona and his
immense strength. There was a video clip he made that was shown prior to
some Grand Prix wrestling matches. Jos. would prevent a car from taking
off by holding on to a chain, attached to the vehicle, while sitting
down. Hiis feet were steadfastly abutted against two fixed blocks to
prevent him from being pulled away. The incredible size of his shoulders
and arms made him into one of my all-time french canadian icons. By the
way the clip had the song "Metal Health" by Quiet Riot as its background
music. The coolest thing I have ever seen. Please if anybody can tell
me where I can find this I would very appreciative.
When I was a kid in Florida in the 70s, a grappler came on to Gordon Solie's
Tampa-based Florida Championship Wrestling that made a lasting impact. Joe
Leduc, "The Canadian Freight Train" (Great Moniker!) was as exciting a
performer as they came. He seemed to alternate between hero and heel,
befriending or opposing greats such as Dusty Rhodes, The Assassin, Jack
Brisco, etc. I'd never seen a dude tough enough to shave his head and have
a beard - and back it up. I saw him live at the Robarts Sports Arena in
Sarasota, FL one time. I think he fought Pak Song but I don't remember. God
he was a crowd pleaser! Long live Joe LeDuc!
I punched in Joe Leduc on a search and came across your site, I'm glad
to not be alone in the world as a fan of Leduc's. Back around '77 or '78
Joe was wrestling in Memphis Tennessee. A tougher wrestler there has
never been. If Joe had a vendetta, he would take an axe, and carve about
a 4-inch cut across his forearm, a little reminder to him. His greatest
feud had to be against Jerry Lawler. Once, he threw Lawler so far out of
the ring it broke the top femur in Lawler's right leg, after surgery
about 3 weeks later, Lawler's guts were bigger then his brain and he
tried to get revenge on Leduc at a match in the Mid South Coliseum in
Memphis. Leduc beat the hell out of the fan favorite Lawler, ripped the
leg out of Lawler's tights and proceded to rip the stitches out of
Lawler's leg with his teeth. I can still remember the people getting sick
at ringside. No one bled more for the sport then Leduc, or terrorized
their opponents as much. Thanks for the graphic memories Joe.
T. Coleman, email@example.com
My biggest memories of big Jos LeDuc are from the 1984 Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling season when Jos was brought in
to battle Archie "The Stomper" Gouldie in an epic feud of big men. The Stomper was terrorizing the area, and LeDuc
showed up as "Crazy" Jos LeDuc, the angle being Jos was mentally unstable. But Jos was the babyface nontheless.
Stomper would make claims that LeDuc escaped from the Gray House in Quebec City, a supposed mental institution, and
the two would interfere in each other's matches on a regular basis. During a Grand Prix t.v. taping, LeDuc put on a
strength display, having six men on both sides of him pulling a rope that Jos was tied to. Suddenly, Stomper appeared
out of nowhere and bashed a metal trashcan over Leduc's head. Stomper then quickly left the studio, and Emile Dupre
rushed to LeDuc's aid. A bloody mess, Jos swore revenge against Stomper, threatening to "break his back" and "bust his
neck". That was basically the end of the feud, as the next week Stomper himself became a babyface as he was attacked
in a tag-team match by Sweet Daddy Siki and Cuban Assassin. Then LeDuc soon left the promotion. It was a great
pleasure to see this Canadian wrestling legend in action, brief as it was. Thanks for the memories, Jos.
John Greeley, Halifax, Nova Scotia
I remember Joe LeDuc very well. As a bloody rulebreaker/babyface he tore Kentucky apart in the 70s and 80s. Riding hard through Appalachia I can totally remember his lawless battles with Mongolian Stomper and One Man Gang Ron Garvin.If anyone has footage of LeDuc's era in the Appalachian region[Southeastern Championship out of Knoxville]I'd love to get some footage.
I also remember the famous scene when Mr. LeDuc took the blood oath to kill
Mr Lawler, it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen, I thought "Now here is a
guy that IS tough!" and a few years ago hearing Mr Leduc had passed away I was
saddened by it. My Sympathy goes out to the LeDucs on this loss.
In the early 1970s He was called the Freight Train. Around 1972 through 1974 he wrestled a lot in Florida .I remember when Dusty Rhodes was a bad guy and Jos Leduc was the good guy, he beat the hell out of Dusty Rhodes ( believe it or not). A few years later he just wasn't near as good and I saw him lose to Dick Slater in Jacksonville.
I have been a wrestling fan for more than 35 years. I was browsing
the web and came across an article on the SLAM! Wrestling site which
mentioned Jos LeDuc. After I read everyone's comments I was compelled
to email one of my favorite memories of watching Jos in action.
It was a match at the Coliseum in Evansville, IN. The Evansville
Coliseum was one of the major stops of the Memphis wrestling circuit
at that time. It was in the late 70's and Jos was facing off against
Jerry "The King" Lawler. At some point during the match, Jos put
Jerry in a standing full nelson. Jerry was in it for quite some time
and finally managed to get out of it by clapping Jos' ears, sticking
his arms up, falling straight down to his backside, and leaning back
to deliver a double foot thrust to Jos' upper body as Jos leaned over
to grab him. The match went on for a while and Jos managed to put
Jerry in the standing full nelson once again. Well, again after being
in it for a while, Jerry tried the same escape move. He clapped the
ears, help his arms up and managed to fall to his backside once
again. However, as Jerry leaned back to deliver the double foot
thrust, Jos grabbed him by the ankles and actually threw Jerry into
the air high enough that he was able to catch him back into the full
nelson on the way down. I don't believe there was anyone in the whole
audience who didn't join in on the collective "gasp" that followed.
The raw power that Jos must have posessed to be able to take someone
laying on the mat, grab them with one hand on each ankle and throw
them into the air was simply amazing.
Sincerely, Alan B. Cox