Backstage Heat: Jacques Rougeau & The Dynamite Kid
August 29, 2005 by Ralph A. Eichenlaub
Any person who calls himself/herself a wrestling fan knows about the present Edge/Lita/Hardy situation and how it lead to the firing and re-hiring of Matt Hardy and now their upcoming match at Summerslam. Also any person who calls himself/herself a wrestling fan knows about Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels and their rivalry in the 90s which led to the most controversial night in wrestling history that I need not mention. Both incidents were born out backstage heat. One short feud, though, that many might not be aware of is from the late eighties between Jacques Rougeau and the Dynamite Kid. The long and short of it is one night Dynamite attacked Jacques and the next week Jacques attacked Dynamite. The situation ended up with both men in fear for their lives, worrying how far the other would go for revenge. Luckily the heat was extinguished when the British Bulldogs left the company after Survivor Series in 1988. Both men have different stories on what lead up to the incidents and what happened afterwards.
I am here to give you both sides of the story straight from the wrestlers' mouth/written words. I will leave it to you (the reader) to decide what story seems more convincing.
Part I: The Dynamite Kid: The following commentary I am giving is summarized and paraphrased from The Dynamite Kid's book Pure Dynamite. According to Dynamite, he never liked the Rougeau brothers. He felt they were arrogant and ignorant. Before Summerslam 1988, it was decided that the Rougeaus would face the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs did not want to lose to this particular team, so it was decided that they would give the crowd a 20 minute match which would end when the time expired. Some time after this a rib was played on the Rougeaus by Curt Hennig that backfired on the Bulldogs since they were notorious for backstage pranks. Apparently it is an unwritten rule backstage that you should always have someone watch your clothes when you are not around. The Rougeaus had asked Hennig to watch their stuff while they wrestled and he decided to cut their clothes to ribbons. When the Rougeaus returned, he quick ran in the bathroom and came out looking at their stuff pretending to be just as surprised. The Rougeaus instantly blamed the Bulldogs and yelled at them and even threatened them and left their dressing room. Dynamite waited a few minutes (and he remarks he does not know why he did it, even today) and went over to the dressing room the Rougeaus were in. Jacques had his back to him and Dynamite gave him a "flat hander, straight across to the ear". Jacque was both yelling "what's going on", but trying to fight back, but Dynamite laid him out. Raymond tried to get in the middle saying, "Jacques, he's had enough of you", but Dynamite warned him to back off and said "this has nothing to do with you", but Raymond would not back down, so Dynamite knocked Raymond out too. He left the dressing room leaving both Rougeaus on the floor. Days went by and the Rougeaus had done nothing to make Dynamite think that they were out for revenge. He would see them and they would not say a word and just go about their business or bury themselves in a book; at least until a TV taping at Ft. Wayne.
Dynamite was just returning from lunch when he saw the Rougeaus talking with Pat Patterson and suddenly the thought came to him "they could not be planning something now, not in front of Pat". But Dynamite was wrong as when he passed them (as Pat started walking away) and Jacques hit him square in the mouth, knocking four teeth out. Patterson turned around and started yelling "stop, stop" as Jacques continued to hit him. Dynamite would not go down though. He then saw Raymond getting ready to blindside him as he thought to himself "it's over, I cannot handle two people", since he was not aware of how far they were going to take this. Luckily Bad News Brown showed up to break up the fight, and from Dynamite's stand-point, saved his life. The Rougeaus sprinted out of the building after this. Pat, trying to calm things down, gave Dynamite some money and told him to go to the hospital and get stitched up. He went and returned to the arena upon which he was told that Vince wanted to see him. Vince first remarked to Dynamite that he was in disbelief on how he did not go down. Dynamite came back saying how he would fix the Rougeaus, but Vince warned him against it because they "knew certain people" in Montreal that could make the situation a whole lot uglier. Dynamite left for a tour of Europe after the incident and discovered that when he arrived that Davey Boy had been in contact with their families already telling a different version of the story on how he "saved" Dynamite's life by fighting off the Rougeaus.
The story came to a close with Vince arranging a meeting between the two teams. Dynamite said he would leave the situation be, if Jacques paid for his teeth (even though the WWF had already paid). Jacques adamantly refused cursing up a storm, but Raymond stepped in as peacemaker and settled his brother down and said to Dynamite to get the bill from the dentist and give it to them and they would pay. According to Dynamite the Rougeaus paid and he had 1,800 extra dollars since the bill was already settled by the company. Shortly after the Bulldogs gave their notice for many personal reasons and the last match they had (as a team) was in the tag-team elimination match at Survivor Series 1988.
Part II: Jacques Rougeau: The information I am supplying here is summarized and paraphrased from a shoot interview with Jacques compliments of RF video. According to Jacques, at first he tremendously respected the Bulldogs for their talent, but disliked their bullying of other workers and pranks. Jacques even suspected that they were jealous of him because he was very goal-oriented and was on his way up. The incident began at a house show in Syracuse, NY. The Rougeau's saw that the roster said there would be two tag-team matches, the third and the eighth match. Now a ride from Syracuse to Montreal was very short, so they asked if they could wrestle third and leave to Montreal from there to have one more day with their families. Since their trip was so short, and the Bulldogs would not being able to go home anyway since they resided in Calgary, they saw no reason that it would bother the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs even said to them that it was ok, but the Rougeaus later had their suspicions that they were not ok with it. Jacques asked Curt Hennig to watch his bag when he wrestled. When Jacques returned he said Hennig just looked down at the bag and then looked at the into Jacques's eyes and repeated going back and forth Jacques checked his bag, but everything seemed in order. He went home later realized his work-out gear was missing, but that's all. After they had left though "the shit was stirring around the dressing room" with how the Rougeaus had rearranged their match time and various other things, but it all led to the confrontation in Miami.
Jacques was in the dressing room playing cards when suddenly he was punched from behind. When he saw it was Dynamite he kept yelling "what's wrong", but Dynamite kept punching. Raymond (who was on crutches) tried to intervene but Dynamite punched and knocked him over too. Raymond remarked "Oh, you're going to beat up a guy on crutches", to which Dynamite replied "No, I'll wait for you to heal and then I'll beat you up".
The incident took place in Miami, where the Rougeaus father lived. Jacques did not talk to his brother or father for three days. When they were on a plane leaving Miami, an announcement came on the speaker saying "Ladies and gentlemen, we're thrilled to have wrestlers from the WWF on board this flight and we want to congratulate Jacques Rougeau on his recent boxing match". It was at this point that Jacques broke his silence to Raymond and said "Wednesday is when I'll get my revenge".
For days, Jacques and Raymond kept to themselves, trying to convince Dynamite that he had won over them. Dynamite would walk by them looking confident and strong and Jacques gave the impression that he wanted nothing to do with Dynamite and was in great fear of him; all to make their plan for revenge unexpected. During this time of silence, Jacques even noted that people were treating him with less respect, for not trying to get back at Dynamite. The primary person he mentions was his best friend Dino Bravo, who would simply nod when Jacques said greeted him. Meanwhile Raymond was prepping Jacques for the upcoming "attack", by having him practice jabbing all night in the hotel rooms. Jacques broke the silence with his father and called him the night before all of this went down, to which his father said, "get a roll of quarters and hold it in your punching hand, when you deck him".
This led to a TV taping at Ft. Wayne. Unbeknownst to either the Bulldogs or the Rougeaus was that Vince and the powers that be had a meeting that came to the decision that the next person who starts a fight is fired automatically. Vince had then approached the Rougeaus and said he wanted to see them later. Jacques knew his attack had to happen before this meeting took place. They waited by the corridor of the hallway as wrestlers were coming back from lunch. Things could not have been more perfect for the attack because all the people that Dynamite was usually with (Davey Boy, The Hart Foundation, Bad News Brown, and Don Muraco) had walked by already, so they knew Dynamite would be alone. Up until Pat Patterson came by and started talking to them, but this did not deter Jacques's determination to do what he wanted to do. As soon as Pat was walking away Dynamite walked by he started doing his cocky little strut by Jacques, to which Jacques simply said "Hi Dynamite" and punched him square in the mouth knocking four of his teeth out. Jacques kind of lost focus, because he was expecting Dynamite to go down from that punch and not expecting Dynamite fight back. Raymond was screaming for him to start jabbing to which Jacques did repeatedly. Finally Bad News Brown grabbed Jacques to break up the fight and Jacques offered no resistance to being pulled away.
After the incident, Pat Patterson had sent Davey Boy to take Dynamite to the hospital; Jacques looked to Raymond and said "Now we'll go see Vince". When they knocked on Vince's door, Vince opened the door, but could only see Raymond to which he said "I said later guys". Jacques said fine until Vince saw the blood all over him. Hogan was in the office with Vince and took one look at Jacques and said "I'm outta here brother". Even Randy Savage opened his dressing room door and saw Jacques's condition and just shut his door. Vince did make time to talk to them then, and despite the meeting with the higher ups he said that they were not fired. He said he was going to go get the Bulldogs, and told them to lock the door behind them. The Rougeaus' did more then that as the broke they legs off of chairs in the office in case the Bulldogs entered and a fight started again. Vince came back to the office by himself and said he was sending the Bulldogs to a tour of Europe. The Rougeaus would be going home to Montreal after some house shows in NY. Nobody talked to them the rest of that day and Vince even escorted them to their car.
Sometime later, Dino Bravo went up to Jacques and said "I have good news and bad news. The good news is the Bulldogs gave their notice. The bad news is the Bulldogs gave their notice". Jacques realized the situation he was in with how they are leaving, but now they have nothing to lose. Jacques was in fear of his life so he made some calls to "some people" in Montreal and pulled Dino Bravo aside one night "since he knew what type of person Dino Bravo was" and said "I call my family every night by midnight. If ever I don't call . . ." and then he showed Dino that he had Dynamite's home address and Dino nodded, understanding what he meant.
The final night for the Bulldogs was Survivor Series 1988, where both teams were involved in a tag-team elimination match. The Rougeaus were a little nervous since they did not know what was going on that night and nobody talked to them until about 90mins before the show. Vince asked both teams into his office and it turns out that Dynamite had a high spot he wanted to go over. He wanted to gorilla press Jacques and teeter backwards towards the ropes and as Raymond would come to attempt to make a save, Dynamite would toss Jacques onto Raymond. Jacques immediately said "That's a good idea", but in the back of his mind did not discount the fear of Dynamite dropping him on his head on the concrete on the outside. After the meeting Vince asked the Rougeaus if they would mind leaving as soon as they were eliminated from the match, not even stopping to take a shower. He did not want to take any chances since it was the Bulldogs' final night.
In the end Jacques still thinks of Dynamite as a "piece of shit", but says if he had the opportunity, he would have a beer with him and say "I'm sorry the whole thing happened between us". Finally he remarks that he never paid Dynamite any money for his teeth.
Well there you have it folks, both points of view. You can make the call on which story seems more true.
by Ralph A. Eichenlaub ..
Touhoua Yang wrote:
Well, I'm responding to the column that was written here. I have Dynamite Kid's book and have read it all and it's a great read. But Dynamite Kid comes off as cocky, arragont, and a bully. If you read Foley's book, Foley talks about being stiffed up in the ring by Dynamite back in the 80's in a match with the British Bulldogs. So from there, all I have is an opinion that has been formed. That opinion is that, as great a wrestler he was (the greatest wrestler under 6' and 225 lbs), chances are he was a bully and deserved what he got and I believe there's truths in both stories but side more with Rougeau. That's just my opinion and I'll wait to see what others have to say.
philip wright wrote:
The first thing to say is that you fail to mention that in the "Pure Dynamite" version of events, Dynamite Kid said that Rougeau was wearing Brass Knuckles when he hit him, hence the loss of four teeth and the heavy cuts inside the mouth/gums which led to Rougeau being covered in blood. It also explains why everyone is surprised that the Kid did not go down. I am not sure if Jaques Rougeau is claiming that he was indeed holding a roll of quarters at the time of the incident, or if he is saying that to cover up the fact that he was really wearing Brass Knuckles.
The upshot is, depending who you believe, that both Jaques and his brother backed down against the Kid in the locker room, and then blindsided him with a sucker punch later. The incident was many years ago and the only people who could possibly add more would be Raymond Rougeau, Pat Patterson and Bad News Allen, whose intervention led to the other three making a quick exit.
I have nothing against Jaques or Raymond Rougeau, but I would be more impressed if I read that Jaques had said to the Kid, "ok, gloves on in the ring, let's sort this thing out once and for all, best man wins", or "me and you in the car park later, afterwards we shake hands and no hard feelings", rather than reading that he waiting until the Kid was walking past and then hit him with Brass Knuckles or a roll of quarters, or whatever (by the way, I don't think a roll of quarters would take out four teeth and they would probably lead to you hurting your own hand) but anyway, it is water under the bridge.
Finally, does anyone else think it's time that the WWE brought in the British Bulldogs and the Hart Foundation into the Hall of Fame" These teams were the two best of the 80's and have never been beaten really, go and take a look at some old matches and then watch todays teams, no comparrison. The perfect blend of skill, technique and power, with the Bulldogs just edging out the Harts (in my opinion) due to the fact that both were better wrestlers. The Dynamite Kid was (and still is) a legend in the USA, UK, Canada, Japan, Europe.
It wasn't a lie apparently about both being sort of cocky and arrogant. I've heard this story in different versions from Bad News Allen fighting Jacques to Bad News Allen helping Jacques. But apparently in my opinion, Jacques always seemed to be the cheap shot type to me for some reason. Although the whole deal is confusing with Mr. Perfect incident back firing, I'd say this is just a classic misunderstanding. Dynamite was just playing around with him, but Raymond had to step in seriously with it and didn't back down, which lead to Dynamite beating him. The parking lot deal was cheap shot of course, knocking out four teeth" Come on. Jacques went too far on that in my opinion, and should be fined even more. But anyway, I think the real thing here is just that pranks go too far obviously for some people to handle. Now whether or not Dynamite knew or thought he would react that way to the thing, I'm not sure. But I wouldn't blame anyone for what happened, rather than that Jacques went too far.
The edge,Lita,Matt Hardy situation I could underdstand why things got to far the Hart scandal is something worth fighting over but this situation I can't understand. I will never know how people could fight over silly things like misunderstaandings. Dynamite Kid is a legend and the Rougea's were a good team as well it a shame.
Ok, I have read Part of Dynamite's book, and in it, he says that he prefereed to wrestle the Japannese style, as opposed to the American style, and actually lay their stuff in. so the incident about Mick Foley, that's understandable, he was just laying it in. The Jaques Rougeau incident, I do beleive that Jaques was laying in wait for Dynamite, and tha'ts not right. In my opinion, if this happened, he's a coward. If it was the way that Jaques said it happened, then Dynamite was a bully, but taking into consideration that he does work stiff, I side more with Dynamite Kid. Again, just my opinions.
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