Édouard Ignacz Weiczorkiewicz (July 17, 1926 – October 30, 2010) was a French-Canadian professional wrestler better known by his ring name Édouard Carpentier. In a career that spanned from the 1950s into the 1970s, he garnered several world championships.
Weiczorkiewicz was born in 1926 in Roanne, Loire, France to a Russian father and a Polish mother. He joined the French underground resistance during the period of German occupation during World War II and was subsequently awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Croix des combattant medals by the French government at the close of the war. He moved to Montreal, Quebec in 1956, becoming a Canadian citizen. He also became an all around athlete with gymnastic skills.
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 against Lou Thesz on 14 June 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.
Carpentier headlined Madison Square Garden three times in 1962 with tag team partner Bobo Brazil. They had two main events against Buddy Rogers & Handsome Johnny Barend; another against Rogers & Killer Kowalski. He teamed numerous times with Antonino Rocca, as well as with Vittorio Apollo. In solo matches at the Garden, he defeated Giant Baba, Skull Murphy, Magnificent Maurice, and Hans Mortier.
After his retirement, Carpentier operated a school for teaching professional wrestling skills. 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 Québécois wrestler Raymond Rougeau in 1992.
On 30 October 2010, Carpentier died of a heart attack at his home in Montreal, aged 84. He had also suffered a heart attack in 2000. Carpentier had been in poor health for many years, battered from his acrobatic, high-flying style.
- Finishing moves
- Bob Langevin
- "The Flying Frenchman"
Championships and accomplishments
- Atlantic Athletic Commission
- World Heavyweight Championship (Boston version) (1 time)
- International Wrestling Alliance
- IWA World Heavyweight Championship (Chicago version) (1 time)
- Lutte Internationale (Montreal)
- Montreal Athletic Commission / International Wrestling Alliance
- International Heavyweight Championship (Montreal version) (5 times)
- Worldwide Wrestling Associates
1Carpentier was awarded the title by disqualification when Thesz could not continue the match due to a back injury. For 71 days, the NWA recognized the title as being in dispute between Carpentier and Thesz.
- Carpentier at the SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame
|NWA World Heavyweight Champions|
Orville Brown • Lou Thesz • Leo Nomellini • Whipper Billy Watson • Édouard Carpentier • Dick Hutton • Pat O'Connor • Buddy Rogers • Bobo Brazil • Gene Kiniski • Dory Funk, Jr. • Harley Race • Jack Brisco • Giant Baba • Terry Funk • Dusty Rhodes • Tommy Rich • Ric Flair • Kerry Von Erich • Ron Garvin • Ricky Steamboat • Sting • Tatsumi Fujinami • Masahiro Chono • The Great Muta • Barry Windham • Shane Douglas • Chris Candido • Dan Severn • Naoya Ogawa • Gary Steele • Mike Rapada • Sabu • Steve Corino • Shinya Hashimoto • Ken Shamrock • Ron Killings • Jeff Jarrett • A.J. Styles • Raven • Rhino • Christian Cage • Abyss • Adam Pearce • Brent Albright • Blue Demon, Jr. • Colt Cabana • The Sheik • Kahagas • Rob Conway (current)