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Maurice 'Mad Dog' Vachon passes away

By Scott Fishman

The wrestling world mourns the loss of Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon, who passed away at age 84.

New wrestling fans may not be familiar with the former Canadian Olympic grappler's work. However, if you are a heel today in this business, you followed "Mad Dog".

He the menacing character with the frightening mug came from the great Vachon wrestling family. His siblings Paul and Vivian also laced up the boots. Then there was his niece Luna, who went on to become one of the greatest female women wrestlers in history (WWE Hall of Fame worthy no doubt).

During his career that spanned four decades and after his retirement in the late 1980s, he no doubt stood a survivor. He was unpredictable, violent and made opponents shake in their boots.

The longevity he had in such a competitive and physically demanding business is incredible. Vachon went on to win the AWA tag team titles, as well as the AWA heavyweight title on numerous occasions.

Remarkably in the twilight of his career and more than 30 years after his first match, he reached the promised land of WWE.

Sadly, a hit-and-run driver struck Vachon in 1987, forcing the amputation of his leg. He soldiered on even making an appearance at a 1996 In Your House event. Diesel (Kevin Nash) used his prosthetic leg as a weapon against Shawn Michaels. I remember it being one of the most shocking moments when Diesel took the leg form the legend, who was sitting ringside.

The "Mad Dog" got one last shot in during a segment involving himself and a former hated rival in the Crusher at another WWE event in 1998. I'm sure it was a moment Jerry "The King" Lawler will never forget.

Vachon was honored for all he had accomplished during his career when he was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010. The five-time AWA champ was presented the distinction by fellow Canadian Pat Patterson.

It was nice Vachon got to have one more moment in the spotlight before he rode off in the sunset.

RIP "Mad Dog"

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