Former Intercontinental Champion Jacques Rougeau has recalled his mother doing her utmost to keep kayfabe alive by lying about why Abdullah the Butcher was visiting his house.
In the history of professional wrestling, few competitors have garnered a reputation for violence that quite matches that of Abdullah the Butcher. The Canadian hardcore legend is known for participating in some of the most violent matches of all-time, feuding with the likes of Terry Funk and Sting among others.
So as a child finding this mountain of a man stood in your living room casually chatting with your dad, must have been quite a sight. But it’s one that Jacques Rougeau says he saw on a regular basis. The former WWE star hailed from a wrestling family, and his father engaged in a rivalry with ‘The Butcher’ while he was growing up.
“Well, my father was having these grudge matches with Abdullah the Butcher and then, I’d see Abdullah come to my house and they’d go into another room and my mother would always say, ‘Don’t worry, they’re not gonna fight. We’re just making sure that the rules are written a certain way and everything is good.’
“We were a wrestling family. She had a code of honour to live by.”
Rougeau explained that he didn’t get “smartened up” to the business until he was 13-years-old. The former Intercontinental Champion said that his dad has broken his leg, but was preparing to work an angle at a house show that involved Jacques. This led to him breaking down what was going to happen, causing the penny to drop for the teenager.
“When I was 13, the wrestler who later became Alexis Smirnoff was working as Michel “Justice” DuBois, this obnoxious lawyer character. My father had broken his leg and was supposed to wrestle Smirnoff at this house show close to where we lived. So when we got to the arena, my father says, “Listen, I want you to come to the ring with me. I’m going to take my jacket off. And when I do, Dubois”—who was my father’s worst enemy—”is going to offer to shake your hand.”
So I looked at my dad, like, confused completely. How does he know that Dubois is going to shake my hand? And I started to have a feeling like, “Hey, I think the business is a work.”
The man who would later find fame as The Mountie detailed how he simply did what his dad said and the angle went off perfectly. He also recalled being bodyslammed by Tarzan Tyler in another angle shortly after.
“I did what my father said. We went to the ring, Dubois offered to shake my hand, and when I stuck my hand between the second and the third rope he just slapped me really hard, and I took a bump. And then, my father turned around and knocked him out with one straight punch. He didn’t have to get in the ring with a broken leg, and the people were so happy, After that, there was an angle between my brother, Raymond and Tarzan Tyler. I was still very young and Tarzan Tyler bodyslammed me. And people were shocked. “He bodyslammed a kid!” So now, I was in the business.”
Jacques Rougeau began his own career properly in the late 1970’s before joining the WWF in the mid-1980’s. It was during the following decade the Rougeau found the majority of his success becoming a Tag Team and Intercontinental Champion.