Rene Goulet, Wrestling’s Number One Frenchman, Has Died

The Cauliflower Alley Club confirmed on Wednesday the passing of wrestling veteran Robert Bédard, better known as the ‘Number One Frenchman’ Rene Goulet. The confirmation included the note that he’d actually passed back in May, but that his death had remained private until today. Goulet’s career spanned 30 years in the AWA, WWWF, and WWF.

Sad news to pass along. We learned that Rene Goulet passed away back on May 25th of this year, but it wasn’t made public until this morning. Rene was a long tenured wrestler with the WWF/E, tag champ and road agent. The CAC offers our deepest sympathies to his family and friends

For modern fans who might be unaware, Goulet’s resume includes a lot of prestigious firsts. He was the first man to defeat future 16-time World Champion ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair, in what was Flair’s second match. He, along with Tito Santana, participated in the first wrestling match on the USA Network. He also held championship gold in WWE, holding the then-WWWF World Tag Team Championship alongside Karl Gotch — only the second team to hold the title — in 1971. He stayed with the company as a road agent after his retirement in 1987, sticking around until 1997, so you might have seen him as one of the random suits running out to the ring to help break up early Attitude Era fights.

Our condolences go out to the Number One Frenchman’s family and friends. Here are a few videos to help you remember him.