“Mad Dog: The Maurice Vachon Story” by Bertrand Hebert and Patric Laprade
Wrestling, professional, biography
September 5, 2017
4 of 5 stars (very good)
Growing up in the Twin Cities, I would watch wrestling every weekend on television and would occasionally attend wrestling cards in the old Minneapolis Auditorium. One of the big stars in the business at the time was Mad Dog Vachon. So when I saw a biography of the man was available for review, I jumped at the chance to do so.
Starting with his childhood in Quebec in which he was considered a trouble-maker, the book follows Maurice’s venture into wrestling, from his amateur performance that earned him a trip to the Olympics to his somewhat nomadic life as a professional wrestler to his life afterward. There are many interesting stories along the way about Vachon’s professional and personal life. At times it seemed amazing that with all the travel and all the issues in his personal life that he became such a star in wrestling.
But it was Vachon’s work ethic and willingness to help other wrestlers to succeed that helped make him the successful heel (villain) that he became. He put on a great show for the fans, while remembering that it was them who were the most important people in the business. The reader will get a glimpse into what Maurice was like through his interactions with wrestlers, promoters and his brother Paul, who under the name “Butcher” became Maurice’s partner in the ring and later in the business.
What made this book a good read was the research and writing about the inner workings of the professional wrestling circuit. There are many more smaller organizations than the big ones with which many people are familiar. Much like real estate, one’s location can determine the success of a wrestler. This was certainly the case for Mad Dog as his career took off when Vern Gagne brought him to Minneapolis. Reading about his matches in the Twin Cities brought back a lot of memories and made the book a fun one to read.
I wish to thank ECW Press for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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