Never one to wear a costume, and a wrestler who actually had the type of athleticism to entertain, a great wrestler has passed away. I got the chance to see him perform, as well as a student of his Andre The Giant. Wrestling has lost a true pioneer...
An early proponent of "scientific” wrestling, Carpentier was a crowd favorite who delighted fans with acrobatic leaps from the turnbuckles and a variety of other aerial maneuvers such as the rope-aided twisting headscissors. He was one of the first wrestlers to regularly use such maneuvers. He was always a fan favorite in his bouts and was matched against numerous villains, perhaps the most well known of whom was the legendary Killer Kowalski.
The highpoint of his career was his NWA World Heavyweight Championship reign from 1956 to 1957. He won the title in a disputed contest between Lou Thesz on June 14, 1957. Some NWA territories and officials recognized the disputed win as a legitimate title change, while others did not. This led to the split of the NWA and led to the creation of the American Wrestling Association and other organizations, all with their own world titles. He was later recognized as the first holder of the AWA's Omaha version of the World Heavyweight Championship. He eventually dropped the belt to Verne Gagne.
After his retirement, Carpentier operated a school for teaching professional wrestling skills. His most famous student was André the Giant. He also operated in the early 1980s as a babyface colour commentator, alongside heel play-by-play host Guy Hauray, for the Montreal-based Grand Prix Wrestling, and then, together for the World Wrestling Federation, when the WWF bought the Montreal territory in 1985. They hosted the French edition of the WWF television show Superstars, sold to French-speaking countries. He was replaced by former French-Canadian wrestler Raymond Rougeau in 1992.