Saluting Longtime CAC Member Bertrand Hebert

Saluting Longtime CAC Member Bertrand Hebert
By Mike Lano

Celebrated longtime wrestling expert, historian, book author and much more; Bertrand Hebert outdid himself this past CAC/Vegas with his seminar on the wonderful Montreal wrestling scene(which spotlit the important Vachon Grand Prix and Rougeau La Lutte groups and their territorial rivalry there in the early to mid seventies) from it’s earliest inception to current indie promoters and shows. He and his book-writing tag team mate in CAC’s Patric Laprade are perhaps the greatest experts on wrestling in Quebec along with all the unique history involved there and beyond the Province. Paired with the seminar on Pacific Northwest Wrestling mc’d by CAC boardmember Ron Hutchison; these were amongst our best seminars ever, SRO packed and we were blessed to have them occur this year. Glory days territorial magic and wrestling history overall is a precious commodity for many of us. And few treat it with as much love and respect as Bertrand.

If all that he did in Vegas for CAC wasn’t enough, Bertrand also presented “Alexis/Alexia Smirnoff” with his CAC award this year at the podium as well.

Bertrand’s seminar(“Mad Dogs, Midgets & Screw Jobs:The Untold Story of How Montreal Shaped The World of Wrestling“) which is also the name of the must-read book he wrote with Patric) had many highspots like recounting some of Andre Rousimoff’s history. And how he got to Montreal’s Grand Prix(the Vachons, Carpentier and his old Paris pal Frank Valois) to begin with after his famous first Japan tour as Monster Rousimoff where he got the attention of Karl Gotch and other legends also there. Bertrand and his seminar guests like Michel “Le Justice” Dubois better known later as Alexis Smirnoff discussed how Andre ended up in Montreal after initially starting his wrestling career in France. And how then Montreal Grand Prix global stars like Killer Walt Kowalski, Don Leo Jonathon, Tarzan “Le Boot” Tyler, the Leducs, obviously Mad Dog & Butcher Vachon besides others carefully helped Andre get over like magic. Bertrand said these legends helped finesse Andre’s existing routine, while helping him make best use of his available skills and time-tested nuance to truly become and be “that giant.” The lecture/discussion’s crowd was at full attention when Bertrand then discussed his history with Vince McMahon Sr(his next promoter in concert with aide from Verne Gagne and others) and how Andre was eventually booked globally to become the biggest touring attraction exceeding prior ones ranging from Gorgeous George to Happy Humphreys and Haystack Calhoun.

But Bertrand’s seminar didn’t stop there or simply focus on what was one of the greatest territorial wars this side of Sheik/Dick the Bruiser going on at the same time down in Detroit. Without giving away everything in his book with Patric Laparde which the seminar again was named after, Bertrand and crew discussed wrestling history prior to the seventies’ magic period as well as beyond it with everything the Rougeau family did with their own promotional crew of superb stars and special attractions like Abdullah the Butcher; on up to the WWF-supported group and beyond to it’s most recent independent groups and stars. It was a masterful treatise in Montreal and beyond, pro wrestling history with plenty of unknown facts about the ups and downs in Vachon/Rougeau relationships. And on Dino Bravo’s devoted promotional work after Grand Prix folded but ultimately sad demise. And even discussion on how important and influential Vivian Vachon was to women’s wrestling overall.

In my regular column for the new CAC Ear newsletter, I wanted to salute relatively new wrestling book authors with books that were new to me like Teeny(on legendary Miss Christine Jarrett), Pro Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest, and the turn of the century great history book. Without the issue in hand, I believe I also gave Crowbar Press author/head publisher Scott Teal a plug as well since at his vendor table, he had several new wrestling history books I’d not seen from him before. But I stupidly failed to salute Bertrand and his book writing partner in fellow historian Patric Laprade. Pat and Bertrand haven’t missed a CAC/Vegas since 2012 other than Pat this year hoping to fly in last minute but stuck working hard doing Raw and Smackdown announcing the French version for WWE plus doing more p.r. for the Andre The Giant documentary that he was a co-executive Quebec, etc area field producer on as well as a major talking head in this HBO documentary film(still available on Video On Demand).

Bertrand also worked tirelessly at his vendor book area in our large nostalgia room meeting area the full three days and beyond. Journalists like yours truly were clicking away when Pat Patterson came over to meet with Bertrand and help him sell the book they did together on Pat’s life “Accepted.” Bertrand also of course co-wrote with Patric the ultimate Vachon book “Mad Dog: The Maurice Vachon Story” and he and Patric will also release their ultimate Andre biography in 2020, hopefully sooner! Bertrand also has classic but extremely rare Montreal tv wrestling on DVD he always makes available in Vegas and beyond bringing all existing elements of wrestling history back to life. Merci! Bertrand Hebert.

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One Response to “Saluting Longtime CAC Member Bertrand Hebert”

  1. Also Bertran was a great (Matchmaker) and story writer in Quebec Indy wrestling Federation.