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Édouard Carpentier

Biography by Claude "The Duke" Leduc

 

One of the most spectacular wrestlers ever to compete in the squared circle, Édouard Carpentier was never meant first to become a wrestler.

Born from immigrant Polish parents, young Édouard Wiecz studied Physical Education. He lived the horrors of the Second World War where he joined the French Résistance and risked his life. He got decorated for his heroism.

After the war, Wiecz got a degree in Physical Education and represented France in Mens' Gymnastics in the 1948 Olympics in London. A short while after, he joined late actor Lino Ventura's stunt team. He mostly doubled for actor Eddie Constantine in his action movies. But Ventura was also a pro wrestler in France (the sport is called "Catch") and saw the fighting abilities of young Édouard. He convinced him to try in that sport.

In a short while, Wiecz added and adapted his gymnic abilities with the basic wrestling moves and became a big attraction in wrestling rings in France.

Champion wrestler Yvon Robert was on tour in Europe at the time Eddy was becoming popular. He heard about him and was very impressed with his performance. Robert invited him finally in Québec, where he could become a sensation. In 1954, Wiecz arrived in Québec and didn't deceived the demanding wrestling fan over there. He changed his name to Carpentier to maintain a French flavour. His rivalries were against big time heels such as Wladek Kowalski, Don Leo Jonathan and Maurice Vachon.

In the 1960's, Carpentier became champion. In the meantime, he started to teach pro wrestling to young Québec hopefuls. He travelled a lot between the U.S. (AWA), Canada (with the Hart's STAMPEDE WRESTLING) and Japan.Once in a while, though he never went back to his homeland, he invited other wrestlers from France to tour in Québec. Among them were Jacky Wiecz and Édouard Éthifier. He also asked a future superstar to try his luck in North America with his giant stature. His name : André Roussimoff, better known as André the Giant...

Carpentier worked in the Grand Prix promotion in the 70 's, then when the promotion closed, Carpentier often toured with Gino Brito and several wrestlers in hope to revive a major wrestling promotion. It happened in 1980 with INTERNATIONAL WRESTLING, managed by the late Frank Valois. Along with his wrestling activities, he became the host for the promotion's television show LES ÉTOILES DE LA LUTTE in Québec's regional TV networks (the french show was blacked out in the Montréal area for unknown reasons...). This successful show shown on Sunday mornings was the main vehicle of success for the promotion until the end of 1984.

In 1985, Vince McMahon hired Carpentier and his analyst Guy Hauray for the French version of WWF Superstars of Wrestling. Then Carpentier took a retirement from the ring activities to concentrate in his TV host activities as well as teaching pro wrestling to future hopefuls. In the beginning of the 90's, Carpentier left the WWF microphone to retire definitely from the sport.

Carpentier teached wrestling in a Gym in a Montreal Sports Center, did a comeback as special interviewer for the Rougeaus at INTERNATIONAL WRESTLING 2000 and remained in top shape until his age came back as he has an ACV in the beginning of this century. He recovered and these days, Carpentier takes it easy and promotes a geriatric vitamin made from deer horns.

Copyright 1999, Productions Leduc 2000 ltd, Montrèal, QC.


[ Edouard Carpentier ]

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