When Wrestling Was Real (volume 1) by Paul ‘The Butcher’ Vachon

November 28, 2019

One of the more underrated wrestling books out there, this is sadly difficult to track down.  This isn’t to be confused with Wrestling with the Past: Life In and Out of the Ring, a 2012 single volume autobiography from Vachon which (based on the opening chapter at least) is not as good.

Instead this is the first of a three volume set self-published by Vachon in the early 2000s and sold by mail order and in person at conventions. It mainly covers his early pro years across Canadian territories and then travelling around Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and India.

As much as this covers his in-ring activities, it’s also a genuinely entertaining travel tale as he attempts to scrape together enough cash to take he and his family back home. During this time he does everything from work as a singer in Lahore and hang out with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to spend New Year’s Eve on a perilous drive from Montreal to Calgary and operating full touring shows with just two men and two women to cover the wrestling, refereeing and box office. There’s also the tale of the Great Antonio falling for the infamous Mabel.

If you’re ever lucky enough to see this at an affordable price, be sure to snap it up.

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