Thursday, March 22, 2007

WCW:Jacques Rougeau

Jacques Rougeau (born June 13, 1960) is a French-Canadian professional wrestler from Saint-Sulpice, Quebec, best known for his appearances in the 1980s and 1990s with the World Wrestling Federation under his own name, and as The Mountie.

The Rougeau family as a whole has been very involved in professional wrestling; Jacques is the younger brother of Raymond Rougeau, the son of Jacques Rougeau, Sr. and the nephew of Jean "Johnny" Rougeau, all of whom have worked as professional wrestlers and promoters of wrestling matches. Jacques's sister Johanne also promoted wrestling matches in Montreal, and brother Armand wrestled for smaller federations.

Jacques Rougeau began his career in 1977, working in Stu Hart's Calgary, Alberta based Stampede Wrestling promotion. In the 1980s he began wrestling in the United States, achieving success in Alabama and Tennessee, and in 1985 he and Ray were signed by the World Wrestling Federation.

The brothers made their WWF debuts in February 1986 during a tour of Australia. During their first year with the company they faced and defeated such duos as The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart), The Moondogs, Jimmy Jack & Dory Funk, Jr., and The Dream Team (Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake).

Although they lost their match at WrestleMania III in 1987 to Valentine & Beefcake they did win the WWF Tag Team Titles later that year, albeit briefly. Jacques & Raymond upset The Hart Foundation for the titles at the Montreal Forum on August 10, 1987 but the championship was later returned since the challengers won the match after using Jimmy Hart's megaphone as a weapon. The title win was never mentioned on American TV.

After two years in the Federation, The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond) turned heel participated in an angle in which the Canadian brothers were announced as "From Canada, but soon to relocate to the United States," and had an intentionally annoying entrance theme in which they sang (partly in French) about being "All-American Boys" as well as now having Jimmy Hart as their manager. They also waved tiny American flags, infuriating fans, who questioned their sincerity. According to Jacques, the widespread antipathy of American fans inspired Vince McMahon to turn them into villains. They would feud with The Hart Foundation, The Bushwhackers and The Rockers during their heel run.

Ray Rougeau retired in 1990, and Jacques departed Federation for a year before returning as The Mountie, a client of manager Jimmy Hart. The Mountie was a corrupt, taser-wielding member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who would often boast that he "Always gets his man" in the ring. The Mountie had two entrance theme songs - the first, a French horn theme meant to highlight the Canadian heritage of the character, and the second, a heel marching theme sung by Jacques entitled "I'm the Mountie."

(To be sung with a sinister glint in the eye)
I'm the Mountie,
I'm brave, I'm tough, I'm strong.
I'm the Mountie,
and I enforce the law!

You can try to run,
but you can never hide!
The Moooouuuntiiiieeee
ALWAYS gets his maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! (I always do [spoken])

The character was eventually the subject of litigation in Canada, leading to Rougeau being enjoined from performing as The Mountie in his home country. Thus, while wrestling in Canada, he was billed using only his real name and did not wear his Mountie-inspired hat and jacket to the ring, although he did retain other parts of his costume such as red shirt, black pants, and boots. The Mountie began a feud with The Big Bossman after declaring that he was the sole legitimate law enforcer in the WWF, and on August 26, 1991 he spent a night in prison (kayfabe) after Bossman defeated him in a Jailhouse Match at SummerSlam 1991. The Mountie's greatest achievement as a singles wrestler came when he won the WWE Intercontinental Championship in an upset over Bret Hart, who was suffering from the flu (kayfabe). The Mountie won the IC title and then promptly lost it two days later to Rowdy Roddy Piper, in what was the shortest IC title reign in WWE history for several years.

Jacques held the WWF World Tag Team Championship on three occasions as part of The Quebecers tag team with Pierre-Carl Ouellet. The Quebecers characters were an extension of the earlier Mountie-theme, albeit with a more casual costume and an emphasis on bullying behavior. The pair (who were managed by Johnny Polo) emphasized their detachment from the earlier Mountie controversy by using a doctored version of Jacques's second Mountie theme song, entitled "We're Not The Mounties."

The Quebecers broke up at a house show held at the Montreal Forum on June 25, 1994. After a loss to The Headshrinkers, Ouellet and Polo turned on Rougeau. After a few minutes of Jacques being attacked in front of his hometown crowd, Raymond Rougeau (who by this point was an announcer for the WWF's French-language broadcasts) ran to the ring to save his brother. This angle led to Rougeau's first retirement match, which, over the next few months, was heavily promoted on WWF TV shows broadcast in the Montreal area, as well as in the local media. The match, which was held on October 21, 1994, drew a sell-out crowd of 16,843 to the Montreal Forum, and resulted in a victory for Rougeau, when he pinned Ouellet following a flying bodypress. Rougeau, who was accompanied by Raymond, used Queen's song We Are the Champions as his theme music for the night.

But as so often happens in wrestling, this retirement proved temporary. In the late 1990s, Rougeau and Ouellet went on to team again as The Amazing French Canadians in World Championship Wrestling. In 1997, Jacques joined a select few when he cleanly defeated Hulk Hogan in a singles match in the Bell Center in Montreal. Hogan insisted that he lose to Jacques, citing his deep respect for the Rougeau family. But Rougeau's pinfall victory was rarely referenced by WCW in order to protect Hogan's image. In 1998, Rougeau would return to the WWF for a final run teaming once again with Carl Ouellet in an updated version of The Quebecers. The team lasted for a few months. He and Oullet briefly united in WCW in 2000 in Lance Storm's Team Canada.

Jacques opened a professional wrestling school in the Montreal borough of Saint Leonard and also occasionally promotes shows. Every now and then, he steps back into the ring.

Jacques is a spokesman and supporter of SOS Suicide Jeunesse, an organization which offers support and information to the suicidal. In addition, he is an account executive for the Transport Pro Cam trucking company.

technorati tags: WCW, ecw, eddie guerrero, pro wrestling, wrestlemania, hulk hogan, ric flair, booker t, tna

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