“Vive la Lutte Libre”

As you all know, I’m big into professonal wrestling. Well, not really but there’s a bloody fascinating article in this month’s Maisonneuve magazine detailing not only the history as well as the current state of pro-wrestling in Quebec and how it has taken a political edge recently.

Quebec has always been a cradle of colourful wrestlers: Dino Bravo, Rick Martel, The Rougeau Brothers (one of whom also performed as The Mountie), Andre the Giant, “Mad Dog” Vachon, etc. Today many Quebec wrestlers perform with the Internet Wrestling Syndicate – a grassroots, down n’ dirty, adults-only answer to the more corporate WWE and includes such promotions as “Fans Bring the Weapons Night.”

The article details how two wrestlers, seeing that their current gimmick wasn’t working, decided to perform as FLQ supporters. The crowd loved it and now IWS events featuring “The Quebeckers” see crowds of anglophones and francophones in the audience all yelling insults at each other and waving their respective flags – all, according to the IWS, in good fun.

The big revelation is that recent vandalizing of the Baie D’Urfé town hall in which separatist slogans were spraypainted on the building was not conducted by some kind of FLQ splinter group, but by IWS fans.

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