Tarzan Tyler
Birth nameCamille Laurent Tourville[1]
Born(1927-12-04)December 4, 1927
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedDecember 24, 1985(1985-12-24) (aged 58)
Laurentides Wildlife Reserve, Quebec, Canada
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Tarzan Tyler
Tarzan Tourville
Billed height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)[2]
Billed weight270 lb (122 kg)[2]
Billed fromMiami Beach, Florida, United States[2]
Trained byJacques Rougeau, Sr.
Édouard Carpentier
Yvon Robert Jr
Debut1949[2]

Camille Laurent Tourville (December 4, 1927 – December 24, 1985), better known by his ring name Tarzan Tyler, was a Canadian professional wrestler and manager. He was one-half of the first WWWF World Tag Team Champions, along with Luke Graham.

Professional wrestling career

Tourville competed as an amateur wrestler until he was spotted by local promoter Sylvio Samson, who started booking him.[1] He began wrestling in Montreal throughout the early 50s as Tarzan Tyler.[3] His first bout in the Montreal Forum saw him compete against Don Leo Jonathan as a face.[1] Tourville also competed as Tarzan Tourville, and under this name, wrestled in Maple Leaf Gardens for the first time in 1958.[4] On May 27, 1960, Tourville teamed with the Mighty Ursus, defeating Oattem Fisher and Luther Lindsay to win the Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship, and dropped it in July to Jim Wright and Gypsy Joe.[5] Tyler moved to the United States during the 1960s after having spent nearly 10 years wrestling in Canada.[2] He found success while wrestling in Texas, winning the NWA World Tag Team Championship with Jay York among other titles.[1] In 1964, he would wrestle as a heel in Florida and also served as a booker.[1][3]

By 1965, Tyler began to wrestle for the WWWF, challenging Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF Championship albeit unsuccessfully.[6] He often competed for world championships against such stars as Verne Gagne, Lou Thesz, and Dory Funk Jr.[2][4] On June 3, 1971, Tyler and Crazy Luke Graham defeated Dick the Bruiser and The Sheik to become the inaugural WWWF World Tag Team Champions.[2][7] Later that year, he would also face Pedro Morales at a show in Madison Square Garden during the main event for the WWWF Championship.[4] On November 12, he and Graham defeated WWWF International Tag Team Champions The Mongols (Geto Mongol and Bepo Mongol) for their titles.[8] They lost the World Tag Team Championship on December 6 to Karl Gotch and Rene Goulet.[7]

In 1973, Tyler was injured during a match with André the Giant, and as a result, he was paralyzed for months.[3][9] Once he returned from injury, Tyler would start using a loaded boot, where he tapped his boot on the mat three times (to slip a foreign object) before kicking his opponent; this earned him his nickname of "The Boot".[3][4][9] By the 1970s, he returned to Montreal and worked for Grand Prix Wrestling initially before it shut down, then appeared as a top heel for George Cannon's Superstars of Wrestling.[4] Tyler was a manager for Gino Brito's Lutte Internationale before his death.[4]

Personal life and death

Tourville grew up in Montreal and his friends nicknamed him "Tarzan" by the age of ten.[1]

On December 24, 1985, Tourville died in a car crash along with fellow wrestler Pierre 'Mad Dog' Lefébvre and referee Adrien Desbois in Laurentides Wildlife Reserve upon returning from a wrestling event in Chicoutimi, Québec.[10] Their car had slid on a curve, killing them after they hit a tow truck. He was 58 years old.[11]

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Gleason, Daren. "Tarzan Tyler: Decades of Glory, Day of Tragedy". Kayfabe Memories. Archived from the original on August 8, 2004. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 298. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
  3. ^ a b c d "Wrestler Profiles: Tarzan Tyler". Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on March 2, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Tarzan "The Boot" Tyler". Canadian Pro Wrestling Page of Fame. Archived from the original on June 30, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on October 8, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  6. ^ "Ring Results: 1965". The History of WWE. Archived from the original on March 23, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c "History of the World Tag Team Championship". WWE. Archived from the original on February 7, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  8. ^ a b "WWWF/WWF International Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on June 20, 2004. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  9. ^ a b Gleason, Daren. "Tarzan Tyler: Decades of Glory, Day of Tragedy: Part 2". Kayfabe Memories. Archived from the original on August 16, 2004. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  10. ^ Laprade, Pat (December 24, 2015). "30 years later: The car crash that killed Tyler, Lefebvre and Desbois". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Archived from the original on January 8, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  11. ^ "Two wrestlers, referee killed in car crash". The Gazette. Montreal, Quebec. December 26, 1985. p. 3. Archived from the original on July 6, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  12. ^ "Midwest Heavyweight Title (Nebraska)". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on June 19, 2023. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  13. ^ Duncan, Royal; Will, Gary (2000). "Texas: NWA World Tag Team Title [Siegel, Boesch and McLemore]". Wrestling title histories: professional wrestling champions around the world from the 19th century to the present. Pennsylvania: Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  14. ^ "NWA Central States Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on May 24, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  15. ^ "NWA Florida Brass Knuckles Title". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  16. ^ "Florida Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on May 27, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  17. ^ "NWA Florida Television Title". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on March 21, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  18. ^ "Southern Heavyweight Title (Florida)". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  19. ^ "NWA Southern Tag Team Title (Florida)". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  20. ^ "NWA World Tag Team Title (Florida)". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on February 10, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  21. ^ "NWA International Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on January 20, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  22. ^ "Georgia Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  23. ^ Duncan, Royal; Will, Gary (2000). "Georgia: NWA World Tag Team Title [Gunkel & Barnett]". Wrestling title histories: professional wrestling champions around the world from the 19th century to the present. Pennsylvania: Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  24. ^ "International Tag Team Title (Georgia)". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on December 1, 2022. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  25. ^ "IWA North American Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on April 5, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.