Vachon was one of 13 children who grew up in Montreal and became one of Canada's premier amateur wrestlers, representing the country in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. After joining the professional wrestling circuit in 1954, the 5'9" Vachon took to the road and evolved into a legendary heel for the American Wrestling Association (AWA). Vachon defeated Verne Gagne in 1964 to capture the AWA World Heavyweight Title for the first time and later won several AWA World Tag Team Titles with his brother, Paul a.k.a. "Butcher" (Vachon's sister, Vivian, was a popular professional wrestler as well). Tragically, Vachon was hit by a car in 1987 and had to have his leg amputated. While viewing a WWF match in 1996, Vachon had his artificial leg ripped off by Diesel, who used it as a weapon against his opponent, Shawn Michaels, during a No Holds Barred Match. Michaels eventually won the match.