Longtime WWE And AWA Wrestler Rene Goulet Passes Away

He was 86...

The Cauliflower Alley Club announced Wednesday that longtime wrestler Rene Goulet passed away back on May 25, at the age of 86. His death was not publicly announced until today.

Goulet began his career in 1957 in his native Quebec. Throughout the sixties and first half of the seventies, Goulet was a mainstay in Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association, while also wrestling in San Francisco, Florida, and for Vincent J. McMahon in what was then the World Wide Wrestling Federation.

Along with Karl Gotch, Goulet was part of the second World Tag Team champions in WWE history, when he and Gotch defeated Luke Graham and Tarzan Tyler at Madison Square Garden in December 1971. They reigned for two months with the belts.

In 1981, Goulet co-won what is today the World Tag League of New Japan Pro Wrestling alongside Andre the Giant. Together, they defeated Antonio Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami in the finals.

Goulet spent his final years as a wrestler with WWE, working alongside various younger performers in the undercard of many shows. His opponents in this period included Bret Hart, Ricky Steamboat, Tony Atlas, and The British Bulldogs, among others.

Goulet also holds the distinction of being the first man to ever defeat Ric Flair in a match, doing so on December 13, 1973, in what was the future "Nature Boy's" second-ever bout.

After retiring at the end of 1986, Goulet worked for the younger Vince as a backstage agent, where he was often visible breaking up brawls and other melees alongside other officials. He remained with WWE into 1997.

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.