Former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Passes Away

Edouard Carpentier, The Flying Frenchman, one of pro wrestling’s biggest drawing cards from the late 50s into the early 70s, was reported as having passed away on Saturday night.

Carpentier was 84.

Details are still forthcoming.

Carpentier was part of a controversial NWA world title situation in 1957 where he defeated Lou Thesz for the title, but due to a falling out between the NWA and Carpentier’s promoter, Eddie Quinn, the situation turned into a mess and Thesz ended up regarded as champion.

Carpentier used that win to go to several territories including Omaha, Boston and Los Angeles, and lose the title that he won to create splinter world championships. A version of the AWA title history includes the back story of Verne Gagne beating Carpentier making him a rightful champion. The WWA title in California dated to Carpentier arriving billed as the world heayvweight champion.

After his retirement, Carpentier operated a school for teaching professional wrestling skills. His most famous student was André the Giant. 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 French-Canadian wrestler Raymond Rougeau in 1992.


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