Broadcast Run: 1952 to 1960
Broadcast Medium: Television
Beginning in the fall of 1952, the Radio-Canada TV network presented wrestling every Tuesday night live from the Verdun Auditorium. The time slot changed in January 1953. The matches were then broadcast on Wednesdays at 21:00, live from the Montreal Forum, right after the TV soap opera La Famille Plouffe.
The appeal of this sport-spectacle was such that in the Province of Quebec, as well as all across Canada, La Lutte became one of the most popular programs on the Radio-Canada network. In the fall of 1955, La Lutte ranked seventh of the 20 most watched programs in Montreal. Meanwhile, according to a poll conducted by Radio-Canada between November 1957 and February 1958, La Lutte attracted an average of 1,495,000 viewers per program.
Thus, until 1960, hundreds of thousands of TV viewers were glued to their TV screens to witness the exploits of the gladiators of the period: Yvon Robert, Yukon Eric, Lou Thesz, Bobby Managoff, Wladek Kowalski, Don Leo Jonathan, etc.
Dow Breweries was the sponsor of these wrestling nights presented by Radio-Canada.
The play-by-play announcer, Michel Normandin, left his mark in the history books owing to his vivid description of these matches. He was hence a founding member of the first generation of Radio-Canada sportscasters. He began his career describing hockey games on the radio in 1936. Thanks to his unique style and spirited commentary, Normandin would play a key role in the development of several local sports, including boxing and wrestling.