Name: Maurice & Paul Vachon
Year Inducted: 2004
Induction Category: Tag Team

The Vachons - Mad Dog & Butcher

Maybe because of their age differential, perhaps because of their Mutt & Jeff-like size disparateness (Maurice's 5-foot-7 to Paul's 6-foot-4), or perhaps because of the fact that Paul was away on globe-girdling tours for much of his early years in the ring, wrestling fans in North America didn't get to see these two colorful, Quebecian brothers together all that often.

Blood brothers, too, are these dynamic Canadians, unlike so many other notable, so-called sibling tag teams. On the rare instances when they did find themselves together in a territory, the Vachon Brothers inevitably gathered up all area tag-team title claims. (For instance, they teamed at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens in the summer of 1959, but did not return there as a duo until 1971.) So, it was as singles performers that most are likely to remember "Mad Dog" (always growling, "itŐs a dog-eat-dog world!") and "Butcher" Vachon.

For a man who became a living legend in the '60s and '70s, and sprang from such a pure wrestling background (1948 Canadian Olympian and 1950 British Empire Games gold medalist), Maurice was nearly a decade as a professional grappler before exploding into the headlines as a top-flight heel in Verne Gagne's AWA and Don Owen's Pacific Northwest territories. It was Owen who named him "Mad Dog," and the monicker seemed to inspire Vachon. From then, until he so senselessly lost a leg to a hit-and-run driver in 1987, the Mad Dog was always "on top."

Meanwhile, big brother Paul, though the baby of the huge Vachon family that included wrestling sister Vivian, had already grappled his way around the world and become a founding father of MontrealŐs Grand Prix promotion. Fans in the states will not forget his high-profile runs with the WWWF/WWF, which not only included title jousts with Bruno Sammartino, but being married in the ring.

Today, Maurice lives in Omaha - scene of many of those early, AWA triumphs - and Paul, busy selling mat memorabilia and therapeutic magnets, resides in Huntington, Vermont. Together, at various nostalgia functions, they present a picture of two happy, enthusiastic and proud brothers - as well they should.

- J MICHAEL KENYON



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