Frenchy Martin

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Frenchy Martin
Birth name Jean Gagné
Born (1950-05-25)May 25, 1950[1]
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Died October 21, 2016(2016-10-21) (aged 66)
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Cause of death Bladder and bone cancer
Children 2
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Don Gagné
Frenchy Martin
Pierre Martel
Pierre Martin
Pierre Vigneault
Mad Dog Martin
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[2]
Billed weight 245 lb (111 kg)[2]
Billed from Quebec City, Quebec[2]
Debut 1971[3]
Retired 1990[3]

Jean Gagné (May 25,1950 – October 21, 2016) was a French Canadian professional wrestler and manager, best known under the ring name Frenchy Martin. During his World Wrestling Federation heyday in the 1980s as the manager of Canadian wrestler Dino Bravo, he was known for his trademark sign that read "USA is not OK". Gagné, however, began his career in Canada, primarily in Stampede Wrestling, and Puerto Rico's World Wrestling Council. In 1990, Gagné left the WWF and retired from professional wrestling.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Canada and Puerto Rico[edit]

Jean Gagné began his career in 1971 in Quebec and in Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling.[3] In June 1977, Gagné, under the name Frenchy Martin, won the IW North American Heavyweight Championship in Trans-Canada Wrestling. In July, he lost the title to Leo Burke.

In Stampede Wrestling in February 1976, he held the Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship under the name Don Gagné. In October 1977, Gagné, still wrestling under the name Don Gagné, won the Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship in a tournament final after the former champion Dan Kroffat retired and vacated the title. In January, however, he lost the title to old rival Leo Burke. Gagné defeated Burke for the Stampede Championship in November 1979 but lost it to Mr. Sekigawa in December.

Meanwhile, Jean Gagné also wrestled in Puerto Rico's World Wrestling Council under his own name, and in the first half of 1978, he and partner Huracán Castillo traded the WWC World Tag Team Championship with the tag team of Invader I and José Rivera, holding the title once. He also held the WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Championship and the WWC North American Tag Team Championship, the latter he held four times; one of the times was with Michel Martel as part of a tag team called The Mercenaries.[3][4] While in Puerto Rico, he wrestled Ric Flair in a match to a 60-minute time limit draw.[3] Gagné also wrestled under the name Mad Dog Martin in Australasia and the South Pacific during the mid to-late 1970s. On September 28, 1978, he won the NWA British Empire/Commonwealth Championship from Steve Rickard and defended the title for several months before dropping it to Leo Burke the following year.[5]

World Wrestling Federation[edit]

Martin debuted in the WWF in October 1986. Initially a full-time wrestler, he would primarily be used as an enhancement talent, losing the majority of his matches. In August 1987, he began to be the host of a WWF's skit "Le Studio" (presented only in Canada, during Superstars of Wrestling). Martin began managing Dino Bravo in late 1987. During his alliance with Bravo, Martin regularly carried a sign down to ringside that read "USA is not OK".[6] In March 1988, he managed Bravo at WrestleMania IV in a match against Don Muraco. During a rematch at SummerSlam in August, Martin distracted Bravo's opponent Muraco to allow Bravo to get the victory.[7] In October at the King of the Ring, Martin managed Bravo in a loss over Jim Duggan in a flag match. He also appeared at Bravo's side at Saturday Night's Main Event XVII at the end of October for Bravo's match against Ken Patera. On Thanksgiving night, he also appeared at Survivor Series.

Martin also managed Jos LeDuc in 1988, but LeDuc's run in the WWF was short and he made very few appearances on television.[8]

At the Royal Rumble in January 1989, Bravo, accompanied by Martin, teamed with The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond) but lost a two out of three falls match against Jim Duggan and The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart).[9] At WrestleMania V in April 1989, after Bravo's match with Ron Garvin, Martin attacked Garvin, and as a result, Garvin performed his signature maneuver, the "Garvin Stomp" on him.[10] Bravo replaced Martin in favor of Jimmy Hart in April 1989.[11]

Later, Martin appeared as an occasional enhancement talent on weekly WWF television broadcasts, reviving his initial role with the company when he joined the WWF in 1986. By mid-1990, Gagné retired and eventually became head booker for the IWA in Puerto Rico. Until his death he continued to make guest appearances for indie shows across Canada and the US.[3]

Outside the WWF[edit]

In Montreal's Lutte Internationale in January 1984, Gagné won the Canadian International Tag Team Championship with partner Pierre Lefebvre from the team of Gino Brito and Tony Parisi, but lost them in a rematch on February 20. In June, Gagné and Lefebvre won the title back, but lost it to Raymond Rougeau and Jacques Rougeau, Jr. in the beginning of July.

In 1980, under the name Masked Cyclops, Gagné won the NWA Pacific International Championship from Tor Kamata, but he lost it later that year to Siva Afi.

At the International Wrestling 2000 card at the Centre Pierre Charbonneau, Gagné as Frenchy Martin managed Richard Charland in the semi-main event against King Kong Bundy.[12]

Personal life and death[edit]

He has a son and a nephew who have wrestled, Jean Gagne Jr. and George Martel. He also has a daughter.

On September 8, 2016, Smith Hart announced that Gagne was afflicted with bladder cancer and had been moved to hospice care.

On October 21, 2016, Gagne died after nearly a year of bladder and bone cancer; he was 66 years old.[13] His death was reported by Rick Martel.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hébert, Bertrand; Laprade, Patric (2013). À la semaine prochaine, si Dieu le veut !: L'histoire inédite de la lutte professionnelle au Québec. Montreal: Free expression. ISBN 978-2764809471. 
  2. ^ a b c d Shields & Sullivan, p. 106.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Canadian Hall of Fame: Frenchy Martin". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  4. ^ Oliver, Greg (October 11, 2004). "Michel Martel: Forgotten great". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  5. ^ "British Empire/Commonwealth Heavyweight Title". The Great Hisa's Puroresu Dojo. Wrestling-Titles.com. 2003. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Miedzian 2002, p. 214.
  7. ^ Shields 2006, p. 174–177.
  8. ^ a b "1988 WWF results". The History of the WWE. WWE. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Royal Rumble 1989 official results". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  10. ^ "WrestleMania V official results". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  11. ^ "WWF SUPERSTARS (1986-97)". The History of the WWE. WWE. Retrieved October 23, 2016. 
  12. ^ Oliver, Greg (August 3, 1999). "Rougeaus to battle Garvins, Dubois". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved January 21, 2009. 
  13. ^ Rueter, Sean (October 21, 2016). "Former WWE manager Frenchy Martin passes away". Cage Side Seats. United States: Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 

Sources[edit]

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