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Tarzan Tyler (1927-1985)

  

Real NameCamille Tourville

Lifespan - 12/4/27– 12/24/85

6’3” 285 lbs. - Montreal, QUE


Athletic BackgroundWrestling

Teacher(s) - n/a

AliasesTarzan Tourville, The Champion, The Executioner, Tarzan Bolo

Peak Years`63-`72


Place in HistoryTarzan “The Boot” Tyler may be the greatest heel in the history of Montreal wrestling.  A local boy with impressive size and plenty of ambition, he broke into the sport in 1949 and spent a decade learning the trade, adopting the nickname “Tarzan.”  While the Montreal scene always featured hometown boys on top, it was a tough place for young French-Canadians to climb the ladder.  So, he headed South to the United States, changed his surname to “Tyler” and quickly found his way to the top of the cards.  His deep tan and bleach blond hair were hardly unusual in that era (although his white eyebrows were), but he became a top heel almost everywhere he went.  Although Tarzan Tyler found success in Dallas and Kansas City, frequented Houston and St. Louis, it was in Florida and Georgia that he found his greatest success.  Although he had not been a top heel for long, he took over the book in Florida and worked on top against Eddie Graham, Sam Steamboat and Bob Orton Sr. as a cheating heel.  Tyler adopted a loaded boot gimmick, likely borrowed from the Infernos several years prior, but took it to a new level and became known as “The Boot” (or “La Bottine” back in Quebec) for the rest of his career.  Curiously, Tarzan Tyler formed a brief team with his little “brother” Tim, who went on to use the Tyler name elsewhere, so people like Rip Tyler, Randy Tyler, Buzz Tyler and Troy Tyler (Dream Machine) were indirectly tied to the original, making the Tyler family one of bigger kayfabe families in pro-wrestling.  It was a member of another kayfabe family, Crazy Luke Graham, with whom he partnered to become the first tag team champions of the WWWF in 1971.  In the 1980s, Tarzan Tyler reinvented himself back in Montreal as a heel manager who would occasionally step in the ring.  He was a good promo who denounced his Quebecois heritage, brought in outsiders to challenge the local heroes.  Tyler, along with Mad Dog Lefebvre and Adrian Desbois, died in a car accident while returning to Quebec City on Christmas Eve of 1985.  It was a sad end to the careers of one of the most underappreciated heels in pro-wrestling history.  During the 1960s, Tyler challenged NWA Champions Lou Thesz and Dory Funk Jr. on multiple occasions, he battled Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF title at Madison Square Garden and Verne Gagne for the AWA title.  He could play almost any role from the dastardly cheater to the effeminate agitator and enjoyed a long career and much of it as a top player in the premier promotions across the United States as well as Japan, Australia and his home country Canada.


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