Last weeks List of Lists of Lists inspired some nominations of other rabbit holes into which you might descend, such as this one from Silverback Todd (Greenback SBs), who wrote:
“Hi Stephen — Love this List of Lists of Lists. Also check out Wiki Portals!” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Contents/Portals
So, I did. That’s where I met Vivian Vachon.
My first stop was on Geography and Places. Next, I went to Provinces and States, and then, of course to Vermont. In the Vermont portal I scrolled down until I was stopped by the category of Professional Wrestling in Vermont. Maple syrup, yes. Fall foliage, yes. Ben & Jerry’s, yes. But professional wrestling? Gotta check this out.
Inside were two entries, one for John McMahon and the other for Vivian Vachon. Being a good Silverback, I chose Vivian.
Vivian Vachon was born as Diane Vachon in Newport, VT on January 23, 1951. Newport is a town that abuts the Canadian border, and in those days citizens moved seamlessly across the border.
Although a Vermonter by birth was a Canadian citizen. She grew up on a farm in southern Quebec. She left school in the tenth grade, briefly attended Charm School and even did some stints as a model in Montreal. The Vachons had a reputation as a wrestling family with brothers Maurice and Paul performing as “Mad Dog” and “Butcher” respectively. It was Maurice who suggested to his younger sister that she enter the ring, and she moved to South Carolina to train under the auspices of The Fabulous Moolah. It was Maurice who also suggested the name change from Diane to Vivian.
By 1969 she had turned pro and joined the World Wide Wrestling Federation and often found herself paired up with Beth Boucher in opposing Toni Rose and The Fabulous Moolah herself. In November, 1971 Vivian defeated Kay Noble to become the American Wrestling Association’s Woman Champion.
In the early 1970s she starred in a documentary film called Wrestling Queen and also released several records in her native French. She also continued on the professional circuit and even toured Japan, finally retiring in 1986.
She married twice and had two children. Tragically, she died in 1991 when the car she was driving was hit by a drunk driver. Her nine-year-old daughter perished in the accident as well.
Vivian Vachon and her niece Luna Vachon were inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in the Lady Wrestler category in 2015 and 2020 respectively. If you are inspired to visit the Hall of Fame, it is located in Wichita Falls, Texas.
It started as a simple rabbit hole excursion, but it left me wanting to know more about the too-short, but remarkable life of Vivian Vachon.