Jacques Rougeau vs Dynamite Kid

Jacques Rougeau vs Dynamite Kid

Date: September 29, 1988 and October 5, 1988
Location: Miami, FL and Ft. Wayne, IN
Source: WWE Legends of Wrestling, Get in the Ring radio, Armpit readers Tom Hogan & Nicholas Argirakis, OnlineWorldofWrestling.com, Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Hannibal TV

The legit heat between the Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond) and British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith) was legendary for a short period of time. While the two teams never faced each other in the ring very often, there was incredible tension backstage to the point Gene Okerlund once called it one of the most intense WWF rivalries he had ever seen.

The irony is that it was all due to a misunderstanding, stemming from a rib by the real culprit in all of this: Curt Hennig. Hennig stirred the pot, without a clue as to what kind of people he was dealing with. His actions led to a family feud that could’ve ended up a lot worse than it did, and it still ended up pretty badly.

Much has been written and said about the two fights between Dynamite Kid and Jacques Rougeau. We’ve researched as much as we could find, and the best way to document the events is to go through a detailed timeline based on the locations of each phase of the story.

SummerSlam, Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY (August 29, 1988)

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British Bulldogs: Davey Boy Smith (L) and Dynamite Kid (R)

The WWF was still on fire in 1988, and in grade school all the kids were religiously watching WWF Superstars and Challenge every weekend, with the occasional Saturday Night’s Main Events and of course the pay-per-views. The popularity of pro wrestling was so high that even the casual fans at school were following the NWA and AWA. It was a good time to be a wrestling fan, although the smaller territories were dying out.

The WWF planned a new pay-per-view event called SummerSlam, and it took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The opening match pitted the British Bulldogs against the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers.

The Dynamite Kid never liked the Rougeaus, thinking they were ignorant and arrogant. Indeed, when Jacques heard they were facing them on the PPV, he was at first surprised because by that point the Bulldogs were no longer pushed as one of the top tag teams, while the Rougeaus were getting a push as heels with new manager Jimmy Hart.

The Rougeaus were booked to go over, which didn’t sit well with the Bulldogs. They voiced their complaints, and the match was changed to a 20-minute draw. Aside from that, there was no real heat yet, and the match occurred without incident.

Lanny Poffo later said that Dynamite told him he was thrilled to be working against the Rougeaus, because he couldn’t wait to “get ’em.”  Poffo asked what he meant, and Dynamite inferred that he was going to hurt them.  Clearly there was some sort of tension from the start that had been brewing.

Syracuse, NY (September 25, 1988)

A month later, the WWF was running a house show in upstate New York. There were two tag team matches booked for the show; the Bulldogs in the third match and the Rougeaus in the eighth match. The Rougeaus lived in Montreal, which is a relatively short drive (or flight, as Jacques has said both in different versions of the story) from Syracuse. The Bulldogs lived in Calgary, so they wouldn’t be able to go back home that night anyway. The Rougeaus therefore asked if they could switch spots on the card, thus giving them time to leave after their match and spend an extra night at home with their families.

The Bulldogs agreed, but according to Jacques, they did so begrudgingly and he could tell they weren’t too happy about it. Perhaps they felt the Rougeaus came off as whining, but nonetheless, they agreed. Still, Jacques felt the heat really started on this night because of their request to go on first.

When Jacques returned to the locker room, he went towards his gym bag. Hennig was there and looked at him, looked at the bag, looked at him again, and looked at the bag again. The expression on his face was such that Jacques assumed he knew something, and that someone had messed with his bag. He later noticed a few items from his workout gear were missing, and figured it was the Bulldogs. He didn’t confront anyone about it, but he knew the Bulldogs were ribbers and this was their way of letting the Rougeaus know they didn’t like what happened that night. Little did Jacques know that it was Hennig who had actually taken the stuff from Jacques. Hennig just wanted him to think it was the Bulldogs.

Jacques didn’t think Hennig was a ribber (ironic, since when Hennig passed away, it was said how much of a ribber he was), and based on things he heard, he definitely thought it was the Bulldogs.  This was actually Hennig’s first night in the WWF, and he had known Jacques from Minneapolis.

The Cast

Before going any further, it’s important to note the personalities involved. Dynamite had a reputation as a bully, with what Bret Hart later described as little man’s complex. He wasn’t very popular, was feared in the locker room despite his relative small size compared to some of the giants there, but was certainly very tough. As a worker, he was still incredibly well respected as one of the best.

Davey Boy Smith was more jovial and easier to get along with. While even more of a powerhouse than Dynamite was, he was not known for being a bully. He and Kid were definitely notorious ribbers, but with Kid it was more mean spirited and with Smith it was more light hearted. Above all, Smith was funny and liked to laugh. Kid, on the other hand, rarely smiled or laughed unless he was making fun of someone.

Raymond Rougeau was described as someone who knew how to take care of himself. While on the shorter side, he was thick and powerful. Pat Patterson said he had witnessed him defend himself, but didn’t go into detail. Jim Ross took what Patterson said and translated it as Raymond being a “badass.” Bret said that even though Raymond had boxing experience, he’d still put his money on Dynamite if the two ever got into it.

Jacques Rougeau was not known for being tough, even though he was physically larger and taller than Raymond, Kid, and even Davey Boy. He was known for running his mouth and being talkative, which some (like Dynamite) saw as being arrogant. As workers, both Rougeaus were respected as being very good, although not quite the level of the Bulldogs.

As part of their recent heel turn, the Rougeaus had a gimmick of acting arrogant on camera. It’s possible this may have translated into their personas backstage. As far as steroids go, this was a time in which almost everyone backstage was thought to be using them. The Bulldogs were huge and jacked by this point, as they had been for years. The Rougeaus were not quite as muscular, but they were still big. They weren’t cut and didn’t have bodybuilding physiques, but they also didn’t have the genetics for that anyway.

Miami, FL (September 29, 1988)

Just a few days after Syracuse, trouble started brewing. After the Syracuse incident, Jacques asked Hennig to watch their stuff during their match. According to Dynamite, Hennig opened their bags and cut all their clothes to ribbons. According to Bret Hart and Jacques, Hennig had double locked their gym bags. Perhaps Hennig did both. What is known is that Hennig told everyone else in the locker room about it, so they were in on the joke against the Rougeaus.

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L to R: Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Raymond Rougeau, Jacques Rougeau

When the Rougeaus returned from their match, they saw the lock. Hennig came out of the bathroom and pretended to be just as shocked as they were. Jacques had enough, and made the mistake of telling everyone in the locker room that he was going to call Vince McMahon and/or Pat Patterson in the morning and complain about the pranks the Bulldogs were pulling.

Hennig heard what Jacques said, and went to tell Dynamite. Hennig came back and started playing cards with Jacques. After some time had passed, Dynamite walked into where they were and slapped him hard in the ear from behind. Jacques kept asking “What’s wrong?” and went to tackle Kid. Jacques, not a tough guy by any means compared to his brother or the Bulldogs, ended up with Kid on top of him throwing two more punches before Ray stepped in. Kid also may have thrown a couple kicks to the face of Jacques, with one version (likely exaggerated) that he busted his nose wide open.

Both Jacques and Kid have said that Kid knocked Raymond down too, with Jacques saying he was on crutches. Ray told Kid to back off, and then went to check on his brother as Kid explained to some of the other wrestlers what happened. Raymond then felt Kid strike his neck, and said it had all the power and force of a 10-year-old girl. Still, Raymond was on crutches, could barely walk, made a remark to Kid about how he was going to beat up a guy on crutches. Kid remarked that he’d wait for him to heal and then they’d go at it. Ray answered, “Fine!”

In the Wrestling Observer’s obituary of Davey Boy Smith, Dave Meltzer wrote that Raymond was knocked out. Ray denied that and said the blow barely hurt at all, but he was smart enough not to start something knowing he was handicapped.

Kid left the room with both Rougeaus on the floor. Jacques worked his match later in the show with a swollen face.

The Aftermath – Part I

Kid believes that Jacques told Pat Patterson (the two were close since they were both from Montreal) about it, and then Pat told Vince. Whether that’s true or not, Vince definitely got wind of it and wasn’t happy. He came up with a plan and was about to lay down the law, and at the next TV tapings, was going to tell everyone that the next person who starts a fight will be fired.

After getting smacked from behind by Kid, Jacques had three days off. Raymond told him that they needed to give Kid a receipt, and that if Jacques won’t do it, he’ll do it himself. But he said that if Jacques wants him to do it, he has to wait because he needs to heal from his leg injury first and isn’t about to fight Dynamite with one leg. Jacques said No, it’s okay, he’ll do it himself because he has to.

On the plane leaving Miami, an announcement came over the speaker saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re thrilled to have wrestlers from the WWF on board this flight and we want to congratulate Jacques Rougeau on his recent boxing match.” That was a rib set up by the Bulldogs, and it was at that point Jacques decided he needed to get even. He had been silent all evening, and finally spoke when he leaned over to Raymond and said, “Wednesday is when I’ll get my revenge.”

Wednesday was when the next TV tapings were scheduled, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Jacques’s ominous comment to Raymond wasn’t the only warning sign that he was about to crack. He had also told Jimmy Hart, “You know what, Jimmy? I swear I won’t get mad, not now, but somewhere down the line, I will get even.”

The father of the Rougeaus, Jacques Sr, was a Golden Gloves boxing champion. Jacques Sr had taught his son Raymond how to box, not so he could be a bully, but so he could defend himself if he ever needed to. Ray himself had Golden Gloves experience, and said it came in handy a few times in his career. For whatever reason, Jacques Sr never taught Jacques Jr how to fight. Because of that, Ray spent the next several days teaching Jacques how to punch properly to really put his weight behind it.

To say the tension was building would be an understatement. Jacques became obsessed with how he was going to get back at Dynamite. At first he remained quiet and went out of his way to be inconspicuous. If he saw Dynamite (who was now walking more confidently and becoming even more of a bully backstage), he wouldn’t say a word and just bury his nose in a book or something. He wanted Dynamite to feel like he had won, so that when Jacques was ready to strike, it would happen when Kid least expected it. This was all part of a deliberate plan conjured up by the Rougeaus, because they knew there would be rumblings about a receipt, and he wanted to lay extra low so that those rumors never gained traction. And it worked, because despite warnings, Kid never suspected they’d do anything for real.

Backstage, other wrestlers were treating Jacques with less respect. Kid wasn’t popular among the boys, and they saw Jacques as someone who could fight back on behalf of them. Dino Bravo, in particular, was a close friend of Jacques and would just nod whenever he greeted him. The tour started up again in Chicago, and Kid would make fun of Jacques in the dressing room, to which he just sat silently and took it. The Bulldogs ramped up whatever pranks they usually pulled, and the whole locker room lived in fear of them as morale sank.  If Dynamite was near Raymond, he’d ask him, “Hey Ray, how’s your knee?” in hopes he’d heal so they could go at it.

The only one to sense something bad was about to happen was Bret Hart. That’s because he and Jim Neidhart worked a few matches with the Rougeaus that week, and he could sense Jacques getting a shorter and shorter fuse, and was about to snap. Bret even went to Dynamite and told him to watch his back. But because of how Jacques was moping around, Kid likely never took Bret seriously. Raymond has also said that Dino Bravo warned Kid as well, saying he knew Ray well and that he knew a receipt had to be coming.  Kid just told them, “Let them try,” as he actually wanted another confrontation and kept provoking the situation.

As Jacques was giving the impression he was internally defeated, he and Raymond were plotting their revenge privately. Jacques would practice jabbing every night in his hotel room, even standing the mattress up and using it as a punching bag. Raymond was coaching him, almost like a Rocky movie. He even practiced acting calm and then punching out of nowhere. He knew it had to be quick and unexpected, because Kid was so tough that he’d likely only have one chance to get a good shot in.

Jacques called his father, who was a former wrestler as well, and a noted old school tough guy. Jacques Sr completely supported his son’s plan to make a comeback in Ft. Wayne, and even told him, “Get a roll of quarters and hold it in your punching hand when you deck him.” The Observer also reported that Jacques called his uncle, Johnny aka Jean Rougeau, another noted tough guy. Decades ago, Jacques Sr worked at one of the most dangerous bars in Montreal, and got into fights on almost a nightly basis. That was how he was “discovered” and became a pro wrestler and huge star.

The stage was set.

Ft. Wayne, IN (October 5, 1988)

The WWF would tape Superstars of Wrestling every three weeks back in those days, and the next taping was on this day. Jacques had mentally prepared to get his revenge in front of all the boys, and at this point the only people who knew of his planned attack were himself, his brother Raymond, his father Jacques Sr, and his uncle Johnny.

What the Rougeaus did not know is that Vince held a meeting earlier in the day, warning all the wrestlers that they’d be fired if they ever start a fight. The Rougeaus were supposed to go to this meeting, but opted out. They were sitting near the interview podium and Jimmy Hart told them Vince wanted them all to get together now. Jacques replied, “Jimmy, we’re not going to the meeting. But we just want to tell you – thanks for everything you’ve done for us. You’ve been so wonderful to us, and we love you very much, but if you don’t see us anymore, well, we just wanted to make sure you knew that. You’re one of the few people who’s always been there for us.”

Jimmy didn’t know what to make of that. But he would find out soon.

After the meeting, Dynamite was sitting with Dino Bravo. They then went to the cafeteria, so the Rougeaus waited in the empty arena, sitting on the ring apron. McMahon walked up to them and said he had a meeting with Hogan now, but wanted to meet with them later. He was probably wondering why the Rougeaus weren’t at the meeting, since they were partially responsible for it in the first place. But perhaps not, since Patterson had warned McMahon that something bad might happen. Jacques had a hunch they were going to get in trouble at the meeting, or perhaps a warning, so he told Raymond that if they were going to execute their plan, they had better do it before they see Vince. They went to the corridor of the hallway to wait for Dynamite to come back from the café. Raymond asked Jacques if he was sure he wanted to do this, and as what was about to happen showed, he was more than ready. Raymond agreed, saying you need to stick up for yourself in this business or else you’re going to get walked all over.

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Pat Patterson

Patterson said he remembered talking to both Bulldogs in the dining area, and then left towards the locker room. The Rougeaus were looking to see where Dynamite was, and they saw him inside and decided to wait for him in the hallway. Pat left the café and saw the Rougeaus walking in the opposite direction, from the locker room to the cafeteria. The Rougeaus asked him (in French) if he wanted to join them in the café. Patterson politely declined, saying he had just eaten. Ray and Pat then started having a conversation, and Jacques stood about two yards away, pretending to read a book while nervously waiting for Dynamite.

Ray was so pre-occupied with what was about to happen, that he wasn’t paying attention to what Pat was saying. At some point Ray answered something that made no sense in the context of what Pat asked him, so he told Ray, “Are you listening to me??” Meanwhile, Ray and Jacques saw most of Dynamite’s allies in the company already walking out of the café (Davey Boy, Don Muraco, Badnews Brown, Ultimate Warrior, etc), which meant when Kid came back, he’d be alone. This was exactly what Jacques had been hoping for. Raymond, however, was worried because he didn’t want Patterson there because of the power he held in the company. Kid then started leaving the café. And right then, Ray heard Jacques say quietly to him, “I’m gonna do it.”

Patterson ended up agreeing to go with the Rougeaus to the cafe, saying he’d just get some coffee. As Patterson and the Rougeaus walked toward the café, Jacques looked down on the floor. Dynamite was walking out. Ray didn’t turn his head towards Kid, as it might’ve tipped him off. Kid greeted Patterson, and Jacques greeted Dynamite and asked how he was doing. As Dynamite answered, that’s when it happened. Jacques drilled him with all his might, punching him hard in the mouth, with the aforementioned roll of quarters in his hand. Four teeth immediately got knocked out, and blood was spilling out.

Pat was in shock. He couldn’t believe it and asked what the f*ck he was doing. Ray had grabbed Pat by the collar and held him against the wall saying in French, “Butt out, this doesn’t concern you!” Pat kept screaming at them to stop. Ray, still holding Pat, acted as the corner man and shouted instructions to Jacques. “Jab! Jab!” he’d yell, as Jacques never claimed to be a fighter who knew what he was doing.

Amazingly, Dynamite didn’t go down. Jacques, in shock himself that Kid didn’t go down, then hit him with a left jab, as he had practiced all week. Kid was not expecting this, especially in front of Patterson, who at that time was Vince’s right hand man. On one knee, Dynamite held onto Jacques’s tights as he got in a few more jabs. Kid later recalled Raymond egging Jacques on to keep hitting him, and thought Ray was going to hit him as well. Kid remembers fearing for his life because as tough as he was, he could not handle two people and he didn’t know how far the Rougeaus were going to take this. That’s how tense the heat was. Jacques’s version is that Raymond told him he had enough and tried to get him to stop.

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Badnews Brown

Davey Boy pulled Dynamite away, while Badnews pulled Jacques away. Badnews, who was one of the toughest guys in the company based on his judo background, took Jacques by the throat and started cursing at him. Badnews and Jacques also had a little bit of heat with each other on their own. Jacques offered no resistance when Badnews pulled him away from Kid. He turned to Ray and said, “What is this, two on one?” Ray told him his hands were clean and it was just between Jacques and Dynamite.

Some have said the Hart Foundation was involved in breaking them up, but that isn’t true.  Bret and Neidhart were booked the same day (October 5) in Chico, CA against the Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov and Nikolai Volkoff).  Bret has confirmed this in a shoot interview, and historical records of house shows in 1988 prove him out.

Jimmy Hart was doing an interview at the other end of the building with the Honkytonk Man. People started running around, screaming, “Oh my God, you won’t believe it, Jacques Rougeau just beat up the Dynamite Kid!”

Kid and Jimmy Hart both said the Rougeaus left the building right after this, but the Rougeaus said that didn’t happen. Instead, Patterson gave Dynamite some money and told Davey Boy to take him to the hospital to get stitched up.

The Aftermath – Part II

As the Bulldogs left for the hospital, Jacques turned to Ray and said, “NOW we’ll go see Vince.” They knocked on his door, and Vince opened, but only saw Ray. He said, “I said later, guys.”

Jacques said, “Fine,” until Ray showed him Jacques’s bloody hands. Vince had an “Oh shit,” look on his face. Hogan, who surely knew all the scuttlebutt between the Bulldogs and Rougeaus, immediately sensed what had happened and said, “I’m outta here, brother.” Randy Savage then opened his dressing room door, saw the blood on Jacques, said “Whoa” and shut his door immediately.

Vince made time to talk to them. The Rougeaus told him that if he fires teim today, that’s okay because at least now they can finally look at themselves in the mirror when they shave and know they stuck up for themselves. Surprisingly, Vince said nobody was going to be fired. He told them to lock the door behind him, not to let anyone in, and that he was going to bring in the Bulldogs.

After Vince left, the Rougeaus broke off the legs of the chair and held them in case the Bulldogs returned and wanted revenge. Five minutes later, Vince returned and said the Bulldogs had gone to the hospital. He decided he would keep the Bulldogs on the upcoming WWF European tour, with some of the shows taped for European television, and then sent the Rougeaus back to the hotel and told them to be in Toledo tomorrow for the next show. Before they left, the Rougeaus told Vince that their bags were in an area of the locker room where allies of Dynamite were, and how it might not be safe for them to go there because of what might happen. Vince agreed, and escorted them to the locker room himself. With Vince there, nobody dared to try anything, and some of them gave nasty looks. He then escorted them to their car and said he’d see them tomorrow.

Jacques then called his father to tell him what happened, and he was probably a proud papa after hearing about it. It was the best possible news, since Jacques got his revenge, earned respect from the locker room, and got to keep his job. When the Bulldogs returned to the arena after the hospital, Dynamite told he was gonna “fix” the Rougeaus. Vince advised him against doing that, saying Jacques knew certain people in Montreal who could make the situation worse. While not saying so, he was implying the mob. Jacques was close with Bravo, who had mob ties due to being married to a woman who was from a mob family. In fact, it’s strongly believed Bravo was later murdered (in 1993) because of his dealings with the local mafia.

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Dynamite Kid

Vince told the Bulldogs it needs to stop now. He told them that if they give a receipt, then the Rougeaus will just deliver another receipt after that, and it would go back and forth endlessly. So he said it stops now or else everyone is getting fired. He later told the Rougeaus he didn’t mean that, but admitted he told the Bulldogs that in order to put the fear into them.

When the Rougeaus got to Toledo, an agent was waiting for them and escorted them into Vince’s office. He gave them update on Dynamite’s condition and informed them of what he had told the Bulldogs. The Rougeaus then flew home to Montreal, where they worked a house show that Sunday against the Hart Foundation.

Davey Boy, meanwhile, as sort of a rib, intentionally lied to his family and Dynamite’s family by telling them he saved his life by fighting off the Rougeaus.

While the Bulldogs were on the European tour, they got word that Vince didn’t fire Jacques. Dynamite was furious, and told Davey Boy they were quitting the company. Davey Boy went along with it, as Kid had always called the shots for the Bulldogs since he was older and more experienced. Dynamite was able to get the Bulldogs a spot in both Stampede Wrestling in Calgary and All Japan Pro Wrestling. Stampede was dying and it was thought the Bulldogs could save them, and Stu allowed them to work there in between tours of All Japan.

Dino Bravo went up to the Rougeaus and said he had good news and bad news. Ray asked to hear the bad news first, so Bravo told him the Bulldogs had just given their notice. The good news was the same thing, that the Bulldogs had given their notice. Jacques knew right away what he meant. If the Bulldogs had just quit, then they had nothing to lose. That meant Dynamite could get the ultimate revenge without fear of losing his job, because he was losing it anyway.

Jacques got in touch with “some people” he knew in Montreal, which were the same people Vince had warned Dynamite about. He pulled Bravo aside and said, “I call my family every night by midnight. If I ever don’t call…” and then showed Bravo that he had Dynamite’s home address. Bravo simply nodded, understanding what he meant.

Vince also formally called the Rougeaus into his office backstage at Madison Square Garden, which would’ve been October 24. He told them what Bravo already had, that the Bulldogs gave their notice. Ray looked at the booking sheets and saw they’d be on the same shows with the Bulldogs and didn’t think that was a good idea. Vince agreed, and knew he had to do something.

San Francisco, CA (November 15, 1988)

Following the incident in Ft. Wayne, the Bulldogs had been kept apart from the Rougeaus. This wasn’t difficult, as the WWF ran split crews back then, basically two shows a night with different guys on each show. The Rougeaus continued their program with the Hart Foundation, while the Bulldogs were booked against tag team champs Demolition, losing every night.

Before a Superstars taping at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, Vince called a meeting with the Rougeaus and Bulldogs at a VIP room at SFO Airport. Jacques remembered Kid’s swelling had gone down, but he was still missing his four front teeth. Many have recounted the story saying it was “three weeks” after Ft. Wayne, but the historical results show it was more than a month later. The Bulldogs were not booked for the tapings, so Vince flew them in specifically for this meeting before they went back to Calgary. It was the first time the two teams had seen each other since the brawl in Ft. Wayne.

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The Hart Foundation: Bret Hart (L) and Jim Neidhart (R)

Vince sat in between them, and it was said to be very tense in the room. He started off by giving a two minutes speech about everything, and said Dynamite had given him his word that this rivalry is over. Dynamite continued, saying he didn’t appreciate being suckerpunched but that he understood why Jacques did what he did, due to the “tough guy” reputation of the Rougeau family, which Jacques had shamed by getting pummeled in Miami. Ray replied that Jacques only did it because Dynamite started it in Miami with an attack on Jacques that came out of nowhere and was totally unjustified. The two teams talked it out, with Jacques saying they wished it never happened. Vince told them they’d have to work together, or not work at all. Ray said that if Dynamite had given Vince his word, that was good enough for him (he later said he didn’t totally mean it, but felt he had to say it). Ray then also gave them his word that this was over. Ray told Davey Boy that he understood he was caught in the middle, just like he was, and gave him his word too that it was over.

Dynamite said he’d let it go as long as Jacques agreed to pay for his new teeth. What Jacques didn’t know (and perhaps Vince didn’t either) is that the WWF already agreed to pay for his teeth. Jacques refused, and started cursing. Ray calmed him down and told Dynamite to send them the dental bill and they’d take care of it. Dynamite also said that he gives Ray all the credit for the receipt, and gives Jacques zero credit. Jacques got hot at that comment, and Ray again calmed him down and told him (in French) to keep quiet. In fact, Jacques was saying lots of things that Ray thought where making the situation worse, and he kept telling Jacques, again in French, to quiet down because Ray felt he’d be better at soothing the situation.

Once that was taken care of, Vince told them the Bulldogs would finish up at Survivor Series on Thanksgiving. They’d be on opposing teams and Vince demanded they work together in the match professionally. He forced them to all shake hands, and the meeting was over.

Jimmy Hart stated that Jacques and Dynamite were booked in a battle royal not long after that, and that it was booked so that they’d have to face each other one on one just before the finish. There is indeed a record of a battle royal in Fayetteville, NC on November 20, and both the Rougeaus and Bulldogs were on the card, but we’ve not found confirmation that they faced off as Jimmy suggested.

The Rougeaus purposely stayed at different hotels the last week the Bulldogs were there, just to make sure there was no trouble. Ray and Jacques still watched each other’s backs, not trusting anyone. When one showered, the other stayed close by as a lookout. They wanted to wait it out before the Bulldogs left, as rumors were flying Dynamite wanted to get even no matter what he told Vince.

We’re not done…

Survivor Series, Richfield, OH (November 24, 1988)

By the time Survivor Series rolled around, rumors were running rampant that Dynamite was going to go for revenge in a very, very bad way. Vince and Pat knew they had to keep the teams separated for the Rougeaus’ own safety. The finish of the tag team elimination match was changed so that the Rougeaus would get eliminated early and leave the building while the Bulldogs were still in the match.

Jacques was concerned because everyone had their matches laid out except them. Finally they were called into a room with Vince and the Bulldogs. Dynamite simply wanted to go over a high spot in which he’d press Jacques over his head, and then Ray would come get him, and he’d throw Jacques on top of Ray. Jacques thought it was a good idea, but had reservations and thought maybe Dynamite planned on dropping him on his head on the concrete. But they all agreed to it.

After the meeting, Vince told the Rougeaus to leave as soon as they were eliminated. The match went as planned, with no problems, and the Rougeaus did in fact high tail it out of town after they were pinned.

This is what was written in the Observer that week: “Hart cradled Raymond Rougeau in 5:22. The Rougeaus were in for a brief spell with Dynamite Kid, and that was their first time on the same card (Armpit: that isn’t true, as noted regarding the match in Fayeteville) since their last dressing room incident several weeks back in Indiana. It was pretty much assured that any legit violence was not going to occur in the ring (although it was wrestling’s worst kept “secret” that Dynamite had revenge planned, although Jacques is still among the ranks of the living so it didn’t occur), however Titan (WWF) didn’t take any chances and got the Rougeaus out of there after making basically a cameo appearance.”

The Aftermath

Jacques is on record now as saying both that Dynamite is a “good guy” and also a “piece of shit.” He does feel sorry that Dynamite’s physical condition deteriorated, and said the whole thing started because of Curt Hennig. He also said he never paid the $1,800 dental bill to Jacques, but Dynamite disputes that and said he did. Perhaps Raymond paid it.

Bret Hart, who was close to all four men, said: “In fairness to the Rougeaus, Kid had been a bully and cheap shot artist for years. Every dog has his day, and finally he was on the receiving end of getting back what he had given everyone else.” Bret also believes it was this whole incident that started the downhill slide that Kid never recovered from.

While both suffered serious injuries, in hindsight it’s a miracle nobody was hurt beyond that. There was nuclear heat between Dynamite and Jacques, and it sounds like Raymond and Davey Boy didn’t want to be involved beyond supporting their teammates. The Rougeaus had jobs for a few more years in the WWF, and later Jacques continued on as The Mountie with a decent push. Ray worked as an announcer for international broadcasts, saved his money, and retired early to focus on real estate. Dynamite never did recover and retired in the early 90s. Davey Boy flourished for years before his own premature death. But it was indeed this family feud that led to the end of the Bulldogs in the WWF. Behind the scenes, it really was, as Okerlund called it, one of the most intense rivalries anyone had ever seen.

Raymond Rougeau gives his version of the story:

Jacques Rougeau tells his side of the story:

Jimmy Hart tells his side:

Lanny Poffo tells his side:

Bret tells his side:

Dynamite says he gave Jacques a smack for being a “prick:”

“Superstar” Billy Graham could feel the tension between the teams from afar:

More from Raymond Rougeau:

And more from Jacques:

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