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Edouard Carpentier (1926 - 2010)

      

Real NameEdouard Ignacz Wieczorkiewicz
Lifespan - 7/17/1926 - 10/30/2010
5’7” 210 lbs. - Montreal, QUE

Athletic BackgroundGymnastics

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional Background - n/a

AliasesEddy Wiechoski, Edouardo Wiechoski, Ed Weicz, Edouardo Carpentier

Peak Years - `56 - `63

Place in HistoryEdouard Carpentier can easily be heralded as one of the biggest stars of the “Golden Age of Pro-Wrestling” in the United States.  Strangely his early years are very similar to his fellow Frenchman Andre the Giant who is easily the biggest pro-wrestling star to ever hail from that country.  An exceptional athlete who had a bodybuilder-like physique and was the best highflying tricks and moves of the day, Carpentier exploded onto the North American scene in the mid-50s.  While his past is a lot of pro-wrestling ballyhoo, he was legitimately involved in the French Resistance during the Nazi Occupation and he received medals for his service.  He was neither an Olympian nor a relative of boxer Georges Carpentier.  Montreal promoter Eddie Quinn quickly pushed the new highflyer and did record business as a result.  Carpentier, like Antonino Rocca, was not a great technician, but had incredible acrobatics and great physical charisma.  He began touring throughout Canada, the Northeastern United States and Upper Midwest.  The “Flying Frenchman” was not only a well-protected, but he was seriously considered for a NWA World Championship run.  Although the deal fell apart for a number of reasons, Carpentier would emerge as a world title claimant and that lineage led to the creation of the WWA (Indianapolis and later Los Angeles) and AWA (Minneapolis) World titles.  Lou Thesz had never been much of draw in the Northeast, while Carpentier was a huge favorite.  In the late 1950s and early 1960s, his battles with Killer Kowalski, Hans Schmidt, Gene Kiniski and Dick the Bruiser did big box offices.  Carpentier was going all over North America as a main eventer and eventually had a falling out with Eddie Quinn who he felt was not compensating him fairly.  Montreal was home, but Carpentier spent more and more time on the road and this allowed for Johnny Rougeau to take over his top babyface spot and take over Quinn’s territory.  Carpentier was still a big card when he went with the Vachon brothers to form Grand Prix Wrestling in opposition to Rougeau in the early 1970s.  Despite nearing fifty, he still looked good, still could do his highflying and was still able to draw consistently under the right conditions.  It was here that Andre the Giant (billed as “Jean Ferre”) began working Montreal and he frequently paired up with Eduard Carpentier.  The promotional wars burned out Montreal, but when the city was rebuilt in 1978, its legitimacy largely came from Carpentier as their initial champion.  The aging Carpentier still worked a few more matches, but he had been transitioning into announcing, which he did until 1992.  Edouard Carpentier is certainly one of the major stars of the TV period, in which pro-wrestling became so popular across North America.  He was an innovative in-ring performer and transversed Canada and the US as a result and is worthy of his legendary status.

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