La Résistance (professional wrestling)
La Résistance members Sylvain Grenier and Robert Conway as World Tag Team Champions
|Billed from||Paris, France
The Province of Quebec
|Years active||2003-2005, 2007, 2008|
False start on SmackDown
The La Resistance angle had an unsuccessful start in February 2003. During a pay-per-view show in Montreal, the WWE mocked the Montreal Screwjob in the main event. Sylvain Grenier had been working as a referee for two months prior to the re-match between Hulk Hogan and The Rock. During the aforementioned match, Grenier served as the referee, who contributed to Hogan's loss. It was later announced that Grenier was French-Canadian, so essentially it was a Canadian who cheated the fans this time (overlooking that neither Hogan nor The Rock were from Canada, so neither was the hometown representative). Grenier would continue to serve as a biased official who decided matches to Mr. McMahon's wishes. The original planned result of this was for Grenier to continue playing in favor of villains long enough so that numerous fan favorites to be cheated and confront him. Claiming racial discrimination, he would call in friend René Duprée to help him enforce "cultural sensitivity". However, after Hogan defeated McMahon at WrestleMania XIX, the angle was changed completely, removing Grenier's role entirely before it could begin to go far enough to call in Duprée.
Rene Dupree and Sylvan Grenier were considered very green backstage
JR and Tom Pritchard have both publicly expressed that it was against many WWE principles to call them up from OVW but basically the opportunity to capitualise on the anti-French sentiment was an opportunity that could not be missed.
Debut on Raw
The stable was instead officially created on Raw, when WWE aired vignettes of Duprée and Grenier as two arrogant "Frenchmen" (rather than French-Canadians) attacking the United States and its foreign policy from a French news studio. In the early vignettes, the team was given the name "Les Nouvelles." The team's French nationality was intended to play off of anti-French sentiment in the United States at the time, due to France's opposition to the Iraq war.
Grenier and Duprée made their first appearance on the April 28, 2003 edition of Raw as La Résistance by attacking then-fan favorite Scott Steiner. Steiner had made remarks two weeks earlier comparing France to hell and Grenier and Duprée were offended. La Résistance went on to feud with Scott Steiner and Test who was forced to be Steiner's tag team partner by Stacy Keibler. La Résistance ended up defeating Steiner and Test at Judgment Day on May 18, 2003 in the team's pay-per-view debut. Their most notorious insult to the United States came on Memorial Day in 2003 when they interrupted Raw announcer Lilian Garcia as she was singing America the Beautiful. After several minutes of Grenier calling America barbarians and saying that France would not allow the US to be the police force of the world, the sound of glass shattering suddenly filled the arena when Steve Austin cleared the ring of La Résistance and said some unflattering remarks about the French nation.
On the May 26, 2003 edition of Raw, Grenier defeated Rob Van Dam in a Flag match to win a World Tag Team Championship shot. Grenier and Duprée went on to win the World Tag Team Championship from Kane and Rob Van Dam at Bad Blood.
Adding Rob Conway
In spite of the team winning the Tag Team titles after only 1 month (making Duprée the youngest title holder ever in the WWE), the pair failed to get over with fans. The duo made a number of silly mistakes during televised matches and skits, and fans were unable to take them seriously as a legitimate tag team. In mid-2003 the decision was made to add a third member. Enter Rob Conway, who, on the August 18 edition of RAW, posed as an American serviceman being abused by Grenier and Duprée. When The Dudley Boyz came out to attack La Résistance they brought Conway in the ring with an American flag. Once the Dudley Boyz had their backs turned to Conway, he attacked them with the American flag and then tore it off the pole and laid it on top of them. However, Conway's role was that of a manager at first. Backstage, the idea to have Conway join La Résistance came from Grenier, who was not enjoying teaming with Duprée and later said "René was not helpful. He was not fun to travel with. It's sad, but Rob made me love wrestling again".
Originally, the Dudley Boys were due to get revenge on La Resistance in a non-title match at Unforgiven, allegedly leading to a title match loss at the following pay-per-view. The match was announced as a '6-man Table Elimination match', declaring that the winning team would be the one to physically force each of their three opponents through wooden tables. La Resistance were due to team with Rob Conway to take on The Dudley Boyz (including Spike Dudley). A few days before the pay-per-view, La Resistance beat down all three Dudleyz after an unrelated match. Grenier and Dupree picked up Spike Dudley and tried to perform a spinebuster move which was supposed to result in Spike going over the top rope and through a table that had been set up outside the ring. The move was botched as Spike was not thrown far enough, and instead of breaking the table he hit his head on the edge of it as he landed suffering a concussion. Two minutes later Duprée and Grenier tried again with Bubba Ray Dudley and the move worked, although Bubba landed on the injured Spike.
At the Unforgiven pay-per-view, the match was changed to a 3-on-2 handicap match (with the Dudleyz losing Spike). And if the Dudleyz were to win, they would win the Tag Team titles. And as such, the Dudleyz did win the match and the titles.
La Résistance went on to feud with several other tag teams, including Hurricane and Rosey, and the team of Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak before Grenier suffered a back injury in October 2003. Conway was now inducted as a fully-fledged member of La Resistance, continuing the team with Duprée. However, the duo failed to make an impact as a tag team or singles competitors.
Grenier returned to the stable on the March 15, 2004 edition of Raw. One week later, Duprée was drafted in a lottery by WWE's other brand, SmackDown. While on SmackDown, Dupree retained the La Resistance theme song as his own. Conway changed his name to Robért Conway, and continued the La Resistance team with Grenier. Now that Dupree was on SmackDown, the stable stopped pretending to be French, and started representing French Canada (particularly Quebec). Conway and Dupree also debuted a new finishing move based upon Conway's spinning neckbreaker.
Conway and Grenier
While Duprée went to SmackDown and established his French Phenom persona, Conway and Grenier were left to keep La Résistance together as a unit. (Neither Duprée nor the La Résistance tag team changed their entrance music; Dupree and Japanese wrestler Kenzo Suzuki formed a short lived tag team that used a remixed version of it.) Conway and Grenier began being announced as hailing from Quebec City (later changed to simply the Province of Quebec) instead of France and wore new ring attire with the blue and white colours of Quebec along with the traditional fleur-de-lis. Several months after the loss of Duprée, La Résistance went on to defeat Edge and Chris Benoit for the World Tag Team Titles in Grenier's home town of Montreal, Quebec to a standing ovation.
With the help of Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff La Résistance managed to keep hold of the titles for five months. Towards the end of their run, La Resistance had become too dependent on cheating and Bischoff to help them retain their tag team titles. Both members of La Resistance had been included in an Internet poll for the first PPV Taboo Tuesday. The winner of this poll would challenge Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Title (being villains, neither man was likely to win). However, Bischoff told them that they were not representing the Tag Team Championship properly, and they were removed from the poll. There was another poll to determine who would challenge Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship (either Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit or Edge). La Resistance were told that they would have to defend the Tag Team titles against a team made up of the two men who did not earn the World Heavyweight Title shot.
During Taboo Tuesday the announcement was made that Shawn Michaels had been voted for a title shot with 38.72% of the vote compared to Edge's 33.42% and Benoit's 27.86%; this meant La Résistance would meet Edge and Benoit in a rematch of their championship victory five months earlier. They would lose the titles to Edge and Benoit, even though Edge left the arena half-way through the match leaving Benoit to win the match on his own. As Grenier and Conway invoked their rematch clause thirteen days later on Raw, the dissension between Benoit and Edge would continue and finally be their undoing as La Résistance won the titles back (Even though Benoit won and defended the titles alone, the WWE still recognises Edge as being the co-holder of the titles with Benoit). Soon after, on the November 15, 2004 edition of Raw, La Résistance lost the World Tag Team Championship again, this time to Eugene and William Regal.
Grenier and Conway managed to win the World Tag Team Championship for the third time together and fourth since the creation of the stable. This championship win was a rare one since it was won at a Raw-brand house show on January 16, 2005 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This time, La Résistance defeated Regal and Jonathan Coachman, who was taking the place of the legitimately injured Eugene (who would miss several months due to a left patella tear at New Year's Revolution). Grenier and Conway soon lost the belts back to Regal and his tag team partner Tajiri, on an episode of Raw taking place from Tajiri's hometown of Tokyo, Japan.
La Résistance repeatedly attempted to regain the gold (mainly on Sunday Night Heat) from Regal and Tajiri in many different matches but just fell short during each one. During their "last shot" for the gold the team thought they had won back the titles only to have the decision reversed by referee Mike Chioda due to La Résistance's Grenier pinning Tajiri, not Regal, who was the legal man. La Résistance went on to lose the match.
While this was to be their last chance to win back the gold from Regal and Tajiri, the team were given one more chance during a Tag Team Turmoil match during Backlash. In the match, La Résistance managed to eliminate the champions but were still unable to win the match and regain the titles as they were defeated by the winners of the match, Rosey and The Hurricane. The next night on Raw, La Résistance tried again to win the titles in a match against the new champions but were unsuccessful again. They would feud with Hurricane and Rosey, having various filler matches on multiple Pay-Per-View events.
Grenier and Conway went into singles competition with announcers claiming that the members of La Résistance were trying to "one up" each other in singles matches without the other man in their corner. This saw Conway defeat a jobber and Val Venis, while Grenier was defeated by both Val Venis and Chris Jericho before both men competed in a triple threat match (against Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin for the title), Benjamin won the match, not long after the La Résistance members began to argue and fight. This altercation between the two led to a taped main event match on June 6, 2005, for the June 12 episode of Sunday Night Heat. This match saw Rob Conway portray the heel character, and defeat Sylvain Grenier.
On June 30, 2005, Grenier and Dupree were last minute trades in the 2005 WWE Draft, which saw Grenier leave Raw to go to SmackDown! and Dupree come back to Raw. This seemingly marked the end of Grenier's already shaky tag team partnership with Conway, who remained a Raw superstar. The door was left open for Dupree to, once again, become a La Résistance member and team with Conway, but there was no attempt to take Dupree and Conway out of singles competition. All three men continued in singles careers with new gimmicks.
Dupree continued to use the original La Resistance theme as his theme music. Dupree would also claim he was from Canada and France simultaneously. After several months, Grenier started billing himself as the Embassador for Quebec. Conway changed his name back to Rob Conway and stopped linking himself to France or Canada.
While in WWE Developmental Territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, Conway and Grenier briefly reteamed as La Résistance in a match on November 15, 2006 to earn an OVW Southern Tag Team Championship match by defeating the reigning champions, Cody Runnels and Shawn Spears. However the team would not win the title match.
The original two members, Duprée and Grenier, returned to the main roster on February 20, 2007 as La Résistance, though this time they are wearing a Quebec-themed ring attire with the old French-themed La Résistance titantron. They briefly worked for Ohio Valley Wrestling and the ECW brand, but on March 1, 2007 Dupree was suspended due to a violation of the Health and Wellness policy. This left Grenier and Conway to team together again in OVW and dark matches for the next couple months until May 11, 2007 when Conway was released from WWE.
On July 26, 2007 Duprée was also released from his contract. On August 13, Grenier was released from his WWE contract officially ending the WWE careers of all three La Résistance members.
Grenier and Conway now take independent bookings, under the name "The Resistance".
On August 30, 2008, Grenier and Conway, as La Résistance, defeated Jay Phenomenon and Karl Briscoe to win the NCW Tag Team Championships.
- Finishing moves
- Grenier and Duprée
- Grenier and Conway
- Entrance themes
- "Final Force"
Championships and accomplishments
- Northern Championship Wrestling
- NCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – Conway and Grenier
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- Vicars, Mike (2006-11-27). "Ohio Valley Wrestling TV results: Cody Runnels, Joey Mercury, Beth Phoenix, La Resistance, Jack Bull & more". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- "Pro Wrestling Alliance (Booker T)". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- "Rob Conway's memories of WWE and La Résistance". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
- Meltzer, Dave (January 30, 2012). "Jan 30 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Gigantic year-end awards issue, best and worst in all categories plus UFC on FX 1, death of Savannah Jack, ratings, tons and tons of news". Wrestling Observer Newsletter (Campbell, California): 25. ISSN 1083-9593.