Paul “Butcher” Vachon passes away at 86

Photo Courtesy: JOURNAL DE QUÉBEC

Paul “The Butcher” Vachon, who was a major promoter and wrestler out of Quebec, has died.

The influential Vachon wore many hats throughout his career and was part of a successful tag team with older brother Maurice and one of the key people behind Grand Prix in Quebec during the ‘70s.

Vachon was born on October 7, 1937, in Ville Emard. In addition to Maurice, his sister Diane entered the industry and wrestled as Vivian Vachon. His adopted daughter was the late Luna Vachon.

Maurice gained national recognition by representing Canada at the 1948 Olympics in London, England as an amateur wrestler. Paul followed his brother in the amateur ranks, wrestling at 191 pounds but did not reach the Olympic level.

While Maurice & Paul were linked throughout their careers, they did go their separate ways for several years as Paul toured the world as a performer. It included a multi-year stay in Australia throughout the ‘60s and other countries abroad.

With Maurice, the two traveled to territories including Calgary, Texas, and Georgia, but made their biggest mark in the AWA for Verne Gagne along with their home province. They held titles in Mid-Atlantic, Georgia, Texas, and Stampede throughout their stays.

Paul would also team with Eric Pomeroy, who assumed the role of Stan Vachon in Georgia.

The brothers became AWA tag champions on August 30, 1969, defeating The Crusher & Dick the Bruiser, and held the belts for nearly two years. They lost the titles on May 15, 1971, to focus their efforts on their promotional aspirations.

The Vachons joined Yvon Robert Sr., Edouard Carpentier, Lucien Gregoire, Gerry Legault, and lawyer Michael Awada to launch Grand Prix out of Quebec and begin a promotional war with The Rougeaus’ All-Star Wrestling.

Grand Prix ran weekly events at the Verdun Auditorium with Paul being the visionary when it came to distribution and securing a Sunday morning time slot on CFCF while also retaining the rights to their programming to syndicate in various provinces in Canada.

The promotion had a three-year run and wrapped up in the fall of 1974 with the Vachons launching a concept called Celebrity Wrestling in the wake of Grand Prix.

Once Paul was out of the promotional side, he worked for the WWF with stints in Los Angeles and Portland before returning to New York and ending his wrestling career in 1985 as the company was expanding nationally.

Vachon was part of a memorable wedding segment on an edition of Tuesday Night Titans, which was broadcast on the USA Network.

After wrestling, he was involved in politics as a member of the NDP.

Vachon is a member of multiple Hall of Fames including the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, Nebraska Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, and Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, and was honored at the Cauliflower Alley Club in 2008.

Vachon had multiple cancer battles and had been living in a retirement home at the time of his passing.

About John Pollock 5564 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.