Huge stars in Quebec, Johnny from the 50s to early 70s, younger brother Jacques in the
60s and 70s. Both held the International title many times in the city. They
are the nephews of pro wrestler Eddy Auger, who also wrestled as Pierre Lasalle.
Johnny began wrestling for Eddie Quinn in 1952 and quickly became
a top draw. He was promoted as a protege of Yvon Robert
and initially used Robert's short-arm scissors as a finisher. Frequently worked
for promoter Larry Kasaboski. Defeated Harry Madison for
the Canadian light heavyweight title in 1953 and moved up to the heavyweight ranks
a year later. First won the International title by defeating
Hans Schmidt in Montreal in 1961 and held the belt off
and on until his retirement.
Johnny and Bob Langevin took over Quinn's Montreal promotion in the 60s.
Johnny retired as an active wrestler in 1971 to devote his time to junior hockey in Quebec and
running the Laval team (best known as Mike Bossy's team from 1973-77).
He continued to work as the TV announcer for the wrestling promotion, which competed
against Grand Prix Wrestling in Montreal.
Johnny died of cancer in May 1983. The trophy for the team with the best
regular season record in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is now
called the John Rougeau Trophy.
Jacques started wrestling in the mid-50s, and first won the International title in 1971
by defeating Abdullah the Butcher. As champion, he had
memorable feuds with Johnny Valentine, The Sheik, Tiger Jeet Singh,
and other wrestlers -- many managed by Eddie Creatchman.
A star in Quebec, but when he travelled through the NWF territory in the 70s, he often
worked low on the card, although he was always presented as a main eventer
(and did win their world title).
Jacques is the father of Raymond and Jacques Jr.
and Armand Rougeau, and came out of retirement for a match with his three sons in Montreal
in 1984, wrestling against Pierre Lefebvre, Richard Charland, the
Masked Superstar, and manager Tarzan Tyler.
"Seldom does a new wrestler hover on the mat horizon with as much promise as
Johnny Rougeau, youthful French Canadian from Montreal, Quebec. I don't
think there is any doubt that he will become one of the finest
competitors in professional wrestling. The good-looking, pleasant spoken
Montrealer is filling out rapidly. Johnny has a complete all-around knowledge
of mat science and specializes in speedy, powerful air maneuvers, such as
drop kicks, flying scissors, and tackles."
(By Barry Lloyd Penhale, WRESTLING AS YOU LIKE IT, June 12, 1954)
- Canadian Light Heavyweight champion (Montreal), 1953-54
- 6-time International champion (Montreal), 1961-70
- 5-time International champion (Montreal), 1969-75
- NWF World champion (Cleveland-Buffalo), 1973
- NWF tag champion, with Johnny Powers, 1973