The high flying legendary Edouard Carpentier was a frequent visitor to MLG and the Ontario scene for many decades starting in the 1950's right up to
the 1980's. Stan Stasiak also was a mainstay in these parts, beginning his career here in the early 60's and perfecting his craft as a regular on the weekly shows
through the first half of the decade.
The two would meet up twice here in Oct/Nov 1966, the photos that accompany this article we believe are from the Nov
17 1966 card as MLG Photog Roger Baker remembers meeting Johnny Rougeau in the dressing room on the same night.
Both wrestlers would achieve great success throughout their careers, Carpentier being recognized as a World Champ in the 50's , while Stasiak would
go on to be a bridge-type champ in the WWWF between the reigns of Pedro Morales and Bruno Sammartino in 1973 .
Stasiak who had borrowed his ring name from a 1920s era performer here, a Stanley Stasiak (see story at Gary Will's TWH - TWH-Stanley Stasiak) was a tough performer in the ring and would battle the heroes (and later villains) of the Toronto mat wars
from 1961 through 1978.
In fact his last appearance at Maple Leaf Gardens on Feb 19th 1978 was also Carpentiers last battle at MLG.
Flashback to 1966 and both were in fine form for a bout at MLG. Photographer Baker captures the best of their battle where we see some of
the classic maneuvers that Carpentier was known for. He was a skilled high flyer, always in great condition and with an encyclopedia of wrestling
Against the larger Stasiak, the Flying Frenchman pulls out all the stops to beat the big man from Arvida Quebec and put on another entertaining
bout for the fans.
Carpentier is rewarded with 2 straight shots at NWA champ Gene Kiniski on the next pair of successive cards, first one a loss then a draw vs the tough
Canadian World champion.
In addition to battles with The Sheik in the '70's Carpentier would also face WWWF champ Superstar Graham - and AWA champ Nick Bockwinkel on two cards in a row in 1977. One of those cards featured Stasiak vs Superstar Graham for the WWWF belt in a 2 Title night.
Stasiak would disappear from the Toronto scene after this bout not to re-emerge until June 1974 but would have some big bouts himself at MLG battling NWA champs Jack Brisco (Mar 1975) and Terry Funk (Dec 1976), WWWF champ Graham (Nov
1977), and AWA champ Bockwinkel (Jan 1978) to be one of the few - along with Carpentier - who battled for all 3 major titles at the Gardens.
In addition to several bouts vs The Sheik in the main events at MLG he would also do well on the Wildman circuit around Ontario holding the areas North American belt in 1974.
In 1977 Stasiak , a long time villain of the ring shocked local fans by teaming with Chief Jay Strongbow for a series of bouts including one vs another
interim WWWF champ Ivan Koloff and his partner The Wolfman while at the same time he was a villain in the WWWF - not unlike Angelo Mosca a
few years later.
There was a bit of a story in one of the magazines with Vince McMahon Sr commenting on the unusual Toronto only pairing of the 2
WWWF rivals. Stasiak would also wrestle solo vs the heels taking on Waldo Von Erich, Al Costello, and Geeto Mongol in his lead up to the WWWF
title bout vs Graham.
Thanks to Roger Baker for the use of the fabulous photos from this classic bout
Below is a selection of notable bouts in Toronto
1956/08/09 Edouard Carpentier W Pat O’Connor
1956/08/23 Edouard Carpentier D Antonino Rocca
1957/06/27 Edouard Carpentier W Fritz Von Erich
1959/08/13 Edouard Carpentier L/COR Don Leo Jonathon
1964/09/24 Edouard Carpentier/Whipper Watson D Professor Hiro/Fred Atkins
1966/10/23 Edouard Carpentier L Gene KInisk NWA Title
1967/01/22 Edouard Carpentier W Bulldog Brower
1967/03/19 Edouard Carpentier/Johnny Valentine W Bulldog Brower/The Beast
1967/12/17 Edouard Carpentier D Tiger Jeet Singh US Title
1968/11/03 Edouard Carpentier L Ivan Koloff
1969/09/21 Edouard Carpentier L The Sheik
1976/01/04 Edouard Carpentier L Terry Funk NWA Title
1977/12/11 Edouard Carpentier L Nick Bockwinkel AWA Title
1978/02/19 Edouard Carpentier L Superstar Graham WWWF Title
1961/04/06 Stan Stasiak L Whipper Billy Watson British Empire Title
1961/06/08 Stan Stasiak/Man Mountain Campbell WCOR Ivan Kalmikoff/Karol Kalmikoff in the final round of a tourny to win the International Tag Belts
1961/07/13 Stan Stasiak D Gino Marella
1963/01/03 Stan Stasiak L Bruno Sammartino
1975/03/23 Stan Stasiak L/COR Jack Brisco NWA Title
1975/04/13 Stan Stasiak D Johnny Valentine
1975/07/06 Stan Stasiak W/COR The Sheik US Title
1976/01/11 Stan Stasiak L Terry Funk NWA Title
1977/11/20 Stan Stasiak L Superstar Graham WWWF Title
1978/01/08 Stan Stasiak L Nick Bockwinkel AWA Title