Paul “Mad Dog” Vachon was a terrifying heel whether he worked alone or with brother “Mad Dog” Vachon

Paul Vachon Death – Undisclosed Causes

1937-2024 (Age 86)

Paul Vachon took sibling rivalry to new heights when he sought to outdo his brother in the violence department. Paul adopted the nickname “The Butcher” after his brother Maurice broke him into the business.

Whether he teamed with his brother or worked independently, Paul carved out a reputation as one of wrestling’s most fearsome opponents.

Violence, Vachon Style

Paul Vachon was born outside of Montreal, Quebec, on October 7, 1937. He was the seventh born of twelve children. Paul, like his older brother Maurice,  trained and competed as an amateur wrestler. Like Maurice, Paul was also successful at amateur wrestling.

However, Paul gave it up after Maurice told him there was no money in it. Maurice, who would become “Mad Dog” Vachon, guided his younger brother into a successful wrestling career.

The man who would become notorious as “The Butcher” started as a manager. Paul managed his brother Maurice. Paul quickly got over with fans thanks to his heel tactics. Before long, Paul was an active wrestler.

Two Burly Brothers

The brothers were quite different in size. Paul stood 6’4” compared to Maurice’s 5’7.” However, Maurice lived by the adage, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog (or in his case, the Mad Dog).

This came in handy for both brothers. Whether they were dealing with rowdy fans at an arena or troublemakers at a bar, both could dish it out and take it.

Maurice and Paul were one of several famous brother tag teams during their heyday. “Mad Dog” and “The Butcher” scrapped with The Scotts (George and Sandy), The LeDuc Brothers (Paul and Jos), and The Torres Brothers (Enrique, Alberto, and Ramon) in the 50s and 60s.

Although The Vachons had memorable runs as tag teams, Paul also had a successful singles career. “The Butcher” embarked on an international wrestling campaign. He left for Australia in 1962 and returned home in 1966. During this tour, he worked in New Zealand, Australia, India, and Africa. By his count, Paul believes he worked in 33 countries total.

More Mayhem with His Brother

Paul eventually reunited with Maurice in the ring. However, he also worked with a kayfabe brother, Stan Vachon (aka Eric Pomeroy) for several years in the 60s. Paul and Stan briefly teamed with Maurice for six-man matches.

One of Paul and Maurice’s best-known runs was in Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association. The two held the promotion’s World Tag Team Championship. They had highly-profitable matches against Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher.

Making Money in Montreal

Maurice was offered a partnership in Montreal’s Grand Prix Wrestling promotion during the Vachons’ AWA run. Although the Vachons were bringing in the dough, Maurice wanted to give this a try.

Reportedly, Maurice also wanted Paul to stop drinking alcohol. Paul’s big brother was going to offer him a share in the promotion. However, Paul obtained a share on his own. Nevertheless, he gave up drinking.

The Grand Prix promotion was successful, thanks to great talent and Paul’s innovative ideas. Paul arranged for the promotion’s TV to air across Canada and some historians believe he could have booked the promotion across Canada.

Paul’s Pivotal Role in Andre the Giant’s Career

Although that didn’t happen, fans got to see some bloody and brutal battles between The Vachons and The LeDuc Brothers. They also saw newcomer Jean Ferre (aka future WWE Hall of Famer Andre the Giant). Paul booked Andre into a feud with big man Don Leo Jonathan. This series proved very successful.

Paul also helped Andre craft his persona as an immovable object. “Mad Dog” helped Andre adopt a style where nothing short of a bulldozer could slow him down.

Regrettably, Paul and Maurice lost their stake in the Grand Prix promotion. The details are unclear but rumor has it they were ousted after a business disagreement.

A Family Dynasty

Paul and Maurice Vachon weren’t the only Vachons that wrestled. Paul and Maurice’s sister Vivian was a successful star. In addition, Paul’s adopted daughter Luna Vachon found success in the squared circle. Although the Vachons may not be as well-known to contemporary fans as the Anoai’a famly, the Harts, or the Guerreros, their contributions are many.

Paul’s Last Days in the Ring

Paul Vachon ended his career in the WWF. Longtime fans will remember his involvement in a marriage ceremony and reception on a 1984 episode of the WWF’s Tuesday Night Titans.

The reception broke down into a wild affair as food flew everywhere. Guests included an array of colorful characters that fit Vince McMahon’s vision of sports entertainment. These included David Schultz, Sky Low Low, Captain Lou Albano and even Lord Alfred Hayes.

Wrestling legend has it that Paul and his bride-to-be broke up before the wedding. Vince McMahon wasn’t going to miss out on this scenario, so he hired a fill-in wife.

Toughing Out a Tough Life

“The Butcher” was rock-solid in the ring, and after he left it. Cancer would try its best to down “The Butcher,” but Paul fought hard. Vachon overcame colon cancer in 1992 and throat cancer in 2003.

After wrestling, Vachon kept busy with various projects. He campaigned for federal office in Canada. Paul also wrote his memoir, When Wrestling Was Real.

The Death of Paul Vachon

Vachon kept in touch with his fellow wrestlers and traveled the country with his companion Rebecca (stories differ on whether they were married).

In 2023, Paul was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Paul Vachon died on February 29, 2024. The man nicknamed “The Butcher” was 86.

Do you remember the career of Paul “The Butcher” Vachon? If so, what are your favorite memories? Let us know in the comments below.

Other wrestlers who died in 2024 include Ole Anderson, Ice Train, Chris Markoff,  and Virgil.