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Frenchy Martin (1947-2016)


Real NameJean Gagne
Lifespan7/19/1947 - 10/21/2016

6’2” 245 lbs. - Quebec City, QUE

Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional Background - n/a

AliasesYoung Gagney, Pierre Martel, Francois Marquis, Pierre Martin, Don Gagne, The Destoyer, Mad Dog Martin, Pierre Vigneault, Masked Cyclops

Peak Years`73-`78

Place in HistoryTo a generation of pro-wrestling fans, Jean Gagne is remembered as Frenchy Martin, the bereted and blue smocked artist manager of Dino Bravo in the WWF in the late 1980s.  It would seem like he was a strange footnote, but in reality, the WWF had mainly signed him on as the heel commentator for their French broadcasts as well as the host of “Le Studio.”  Gagne started in Quebec, following his friend, and future brother Michel Martel, into the business.  Bouncing between Stampede and the Maritimes, Gagne gained experience and within a couple years was in a heel tag team with Martel.  The two, working as Quebec separatists or French Legionnaires, got over everywhere they went.  Curiously, it was in Puerto Rico that they achieved their greatest success in 1975.  They battled with Carlos Colon and Jose Luis Rivera and the Invaders in a tag matches with a variety of gimmicks attached to then.  Pierre Martel had a brief run with the WWC’s top singles title, but Los Mercenarios (as he and Michel were known) meant the most as a pair.  Concurrent to their success there, the Mercenaries worked for the IWE in Japan and against each other in Stampede.  Their run ended tragically in 1978 when Michel died of a heart attack after a match.  The death springboarded Invader #1 into a top slot and the blood rivalry between Martin and the Invader remains one of the island’s most famous.  He brought in Daniel (Danny Babich) and Michel’s actual younger brother Rick to revise the team.  It would be safe to say that he was one of the biggest foreign stars in Puerto Rico.  Rick Martel brought him to New Zealand to work as the top heel.  He also had a run on top in the Maritimes, feuding with the Cormiers.  While many might not consider him a top heel, the man certainly made his mark everywhere he worked.  After years of building his name around the world, Frenchy Martin came back to Quebec.  He formed a new heel team with Mad Dog Lefebvre and under the guidance of manager Tarzan Tyler in the mold of the Mercenaries.  Tragedy struck again when Lefebvre and Tyler were involved in a fatal car accident.  Frenchy Martin caught a break with the WWF because he was a fantastic heel and due to the influence of Pat Patterson, the company always catered to the Montreal market very deliberately.  He had a good run before a heart attack ended his in-ring career in 1990.  Martin hung around for many more years and was popular amongst his peers for his outlandish pranks and hilarious storytelling.