Jimmy Garvin was sitting at home in Charlotte, North Carolina when the call came this past summer. It was Jacques Rougeau Jr calling from Montreal, Quebec asking him if he would be interested in wrestling for his new International Wrestling 2000 promotion.
Garvin’s mind immediately flashed back to the summer of ’85 and the old International Wrestling promotion in Montreal. That summer, Jimmy and his ‘brother’ Ronnie took on Jacques and Raymond Rougeau in a series of matches that set the Quebec territory on fire. Just the sound of Rougeau’s voice over the phone brought back fond memories of Garvin’s tenure in Montreal.
Garvin agreed to work the date and ended up having such a good time that he returned last night to team with Ronnie in the main event vs the Rougeaus, rekindling their famous feud.
“Jacques called me up and asked if I’d be interested in coming up and I said ‘yeah’,” Garvin told SLAM! Wrestling over the phone late Tuesday night. “I’ve known Jacques for quite some time. It’s somewhat of a favour because I certainly don’t (wrestle) anymore.”
Since retiring in 1992, Garvin has served as a flight instructor and is currently a flight captain for U.S Airways. Although he had worked a handful of shots after retiring, his match in Montreal in August was the first in close to four years.
Still, after being away from the ring for a long period of time, Garvin felt as if he had never left.
“I was surprised because my timing was there and I really didn’t lose a beat,” confessed Garvin. “It’s just like riding a bike. I wrestled for 23 years so it’s ingrained in me to turn it off and on when I want.”
“Things just hurt a lot more than they used to,” continued Garvin. “And I had to try a little harder to get the character back because I’d been out of character for quite some time.”
Aches and pains notwithstanding, the entire experience was an enjoyable one for Garvin.
“It was pretty exciting. I really enjoyed it and I had a lot of fun.”
Because of his vast experience, most of the youngsters in Rougeaus roster approached him for some sage advice.
“Most of them were asking the best way to get into the WWF or WCW. It’s very difficult nowadays more than back then. It was very interesting to talk to the guys.”
After watching the current wrestling product put out by WCW and the WWF, with its emphasis on sleeze and shock value, Garvin is glad to see Rougeau’s promotion emphasizing actual wrestling.
“I’m really pleased with what he’s doing,” said Garvin. “He’s really trying from the bottom of his heart to put out a really good product. He tries to keep the wrestling like it was in the old days which is a real lost art now. I understand what he’s trying to do and if I can help him out I will.”
What Rougeau’s trying to do is rekindle a small portion of the business that the famed Rougeaus-Garvin feud of ’85 did. Looking back 15 years, Garvin has nothing but fond memories of his time in Montreal.
“I was in Minnesota (the AWA) at the time and during the summer Verne Gagne would close the territory down. I went up to Montreal and we ended up dong tremendous business.”
“We sold out the Montreal Forum a couple of times,” remembered Garvin. “After the first tag match with the Rougeaus, the Montreal newspaper the next day had a headline on the front page that read “La Massacre du Forum”. We carried that feud through out Quebec and the entire territory.”