Wrestler of the Day – November 12: La Resistance

Time for one of those tag teams that dominated the company in a bad stretch: La Resistance.

There were three members of La Resistance at one point or another: Sylvain Grenier, Renee Dupree and Rob Conway. We’ll be looking at any combination of the three.

The original incarnation, which was also the most frequent pairing, was Grenier and Dupree. Here’s one of their first matches, from Judgment Day 2003.

Test/Scott Steiner vs. La Resistance

And you get to pay to see it! Test is a heel here while Steiner is all about AMERICA! La Resistance looks rather stupid but whatever. The French guys say theyre innocent in all this and that the American government promotes hatred. Ill spare you all a long political rant here. Stacy likes Steiner but Test is insanely jealous. This of course would turn into Steinerwinningher and turning heel.

Test and Dupree start us off and they slap it out while Rene dances. Resistance is Rene Dupree and Sylvan Grenier if the names are confusing you. Off to Steiner and its incredibly telling to see how far hes fallen since having the world title match at the Rumble. Steiner uses the power of AMERICA to take over. Grenier is sent to the floor but Steiner walks into a hot shot to shift the momentum.

Double suplex gets two on Steiner and we hit the chinlock. Middle rope clothesline gets two for Grenier and its off to Dupree. He comes off the top and jumps into a TBone suplex and both guys are down. Off to Test again and some rooms are cleaned. Pumphandle doesnt work but the full nelson slam gets two. Steiner gets sent into the barrier and Test steals a beret.

Grenier gets two with feet on the ropes and its a double team. Steiner is back in now and here comes the pumphandle from Test. The slam hits and theres no referee. Grenier gets a dropkick which knocks Test into Stacy who is caught by Steiner. Rollup gets two for Grenier and Steiner makes a blind tag. Downward spiral gets no cover as Test accidently kicks Scotts head off. A double spinebuster beats Steiner.

Rating: D. Why in the world is this, ANOTHER TV match on PPV? This is one of those matches that went nowhere as the people didn’t care in the slightest and everyone knew it. The French guys were the tag team of note for a few years and then they just went away and no one really cared. Weak match, as expected.

The team would go after the Raw Tag Team Titles after this, including a match at Insurrextion 2003.

Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Kane/Rob Van Dam

Grenier and Dupree here. Standard anti-whatever country we’re in promo from the French dudes. Dupree and RVD start us off. Van Dam destroys both guys before bringing in Kane. Double teaming works to a degree but Renee tries his dance thing and gets punched in the face for his troubles. Big RVD chant. Ah there’s your double teaming to give the heels the advantage.

The fans shout about hating Frenchies (their words not mine) as Van Dam is in trouble. Van Dam gets an enziguri to the shoulder which if you don’t know the meaning, translates to a head kick to the arm. Kane comes in to clean a few rooms as he doesn’t do enough to classify it as house. Everything goes insane and RVD gets crotched on the top rope. Double chokeslam sets up a Five Star from RVD who is just fine apparently. Does weed give you magically healing balls or something like that? Apparently so as he was fine seconds later.

Rating: D+. Just another boring match here as they never got going. It once again felt like nothing more than a long Raw match which is never a good thing. You would think this is just a random squash but the titles changed hands at Bad Blood in 8 days. Wow this division was horrid.

Time for the American rematch at Bad Blood 2003.

Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. RVD/Kane

You can more or less see the ending from here. The heels are Sylvan Grenier and Rene Dupree in case you didn’t know. To my complete lack of shock and dismay, this is nothing that couldn’t be on Raw. I mean there is nothing to note here at all. This could be at any house show or Raw but on PPV? Really? The heels are both on the floor and Van Dam dives, naturally hitting all three of them. A double flapjack ends this. It couldn’t have come faster.

Rating: D+. Again, WHY IS THIS ON PPV? That’s the problem with the whole first hour here. I could see an argument for the two title matches, but seriously, none of this has been PPV quality. The matches are ok, but that’s the problem: they’re just ok. Nothing at all here is making me want to watch this show at all and it’s never something I’m going to watch again. I just want to get to the end of this show and forget about it.

Here’s a slightly bigger stage: a title defense at Summerslam 2003.

Raw Tag Titles: Dudley Boyz vs. La Resistance

The Dudleyz are challenging and the EVIL foreigners are Rene Dupree and Sylvain Grenier. Bubba of course comes out with an American flag to hammer in the face status. The whole patriotism thing was a big deal in this feud as the third member of La Resistance, an American named Rob Conway, pretended to be a soldier to sneak up on the Dudleyz. It’s a brawl to start in the aisle with the challengers in full control.

D-Von chokes Dupree with the robe to start before armbarring Grenier down. A slam and a legdrop gets two on Sylvain and it’s off to Bubba for the power brawling. He puts Grenier in the Tree of Woe and stands on his crotch to make the French guy scream. The Dudleys clear the ring but Grenier gets in a cheap shot to give the champions control on Bubba. A double shoulder puts Bubba down for two as the USA chant starts up.

Back to Dupree for a bearhug, which isn’t often a move you see on a fat man like Bubba. Some headbutts break up hold but Bubba walks into a spinebuster for two. Bubba punches his way over to the hot tag (four minutes into the match) and D-Von cleans house. A rollup gets two on Grenier as everything breaks down. D-Von walks into a double spinebuster for two but it’s What’s Up to Dupree. The 3D lays out Dupree but Grenier makes save. Now a cameraman lays out D-Von with a camera to the head to retain the titles. It’s Rob Conway of course.

Rating: D+. That’s a pretty lame choice for an opener. Not only did the fans not get what they wanted but the match sucked as well. This was a dark time for the tag team division and there was no reason at all for there to be two sets of titles at this point. At the end of the day there wasn’t nearly enough depth and it made for lame matches like this. The Dudleys would get the belts next month.

Here are all three members (plus some partners) on Raw, September 8, 2003.

La Resistance/Rob Conway/Rodney Mack/Mark Henry vs. Dudley Boys/Hurricane/Rosey

Oh I’m SURE this isn’t going to get all messy. The good guys clean house and Spike is launched onto La Resistance (the tag champions at this point). Hurricane throws in a dive of his own and it’s table time less than a minute into this shindig. They’re only set up on the floor though as we finally start with Rosey and Dupree. The fat man (Rosey) misses a charge but clotheslines Conway and Dupree down with ease because he’s fat.

Off to Spike for his double stomp on Conway but since Spike is the anti-Rosey, Conway gets the tag off to Henry. Picture any match of Henry crushing someone smaller than him for about a minute and you have what you’re getting here. Mark misses a charge and Spike picks….Hurricane for the hot tag? You’re Spike Dudley and you pick the freaking HURRICANE to fight Mark Henry? Conway is brought in as Henry is down on the floor, likely out for months with an injury. Everything breaks down and Conway walks into the 3D for two via a save from Mack as Henry comes back in and powerslams Bubba for the pin.

Rating: D. Yep it was a mess. It amazes me that they’re so strapped for time that they have an 18 minute talking segment and then they have to put ten guys in one match to get them all on TV for that week. There’s nothing here to see other than another quick match tonight with way too many people in one match.

Now we have all three defending the titles at Unforgiven 2003.

Raw Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. La Resistance

This is a handicap elimination tables match as La Resistance have Sylvan Grenier, Rob Conway and Rene Dupree. This was supposed to be a 6 man but the heels botched a table spot on Spike on Raw where the threw him over the top and missed the table entirely other than the back of Spike’s head smacking into the table in a SICK looking spot. And we have tags in a tables match. Sure why not?

You can tell this is a long time ago as they’re only 16 time tag champions here. Sweet goodness that’s ridiculous sounding. D-Von and Grenier, who is by far the worst of the three, start us off. And now it’s Conway. Thank you for wasting our time like that. He’s an American that is a French sympathizer. We get the eternal question of why do the French love Jerry Lewis movies. That’s a great question and I’ve yet to get an answer to it.

For a tables match there is a severe lack of tables in it so far. It’s just a handicap match with the Dudleys being way ahead. The double neckbreaker hits and so does What’s Up. Still no tables. There are no disqualifications in this, yet they have to tag. I’ll never get that. Ah here we go. D-Von gets sent through so it’s only Bubba left. They’re not eliminated though. Bubba is WAY over here which is odd to an extent. There are a ton of tables here.

Bubba, from his knees, slaps the tar out of Sylvan’s chest. That sounded GREAT. He goes through the table so it’s 2-1 I guess you could say. Wait…are they eliminated? Oh does it really matter? Well there’s D-Von and the referee is fine with it so I’m thinking no. Wait it’s No DQ so it doesn’t matter if they’re eliminated or not.

Conway goes through it and in nearly the same spot he hurt Spike in, he hits HIS head on the table. FREAKING OW! It’s Bubba vs. Dupree here more or less and since it’s both Dudleys vs. him, what do you expect? Actually Rene wins for the most part and gets to set up a table. He’s 19 here but walks into 3D to give the Dudleys the belts.

Rating: D+. Well this wasn’t that bad but it could have been on Raw. Well maybe not as it actually got over ten minutes. This wasn’t anything special but it made the Dudleys look strong here which is the right idea. It’s nothing special but it’s fine for what it was supposed to be so I can’t complain that much.

Conway and Dupree had a shot at the Raw Tag Team Titles at Wrestlemania XX.

Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Garrison Cade/Mark Jindrak vs. Booker T/Rob Van Dam

Booker and RVD are defending and this is one fall to a finish. Booker has an AWFUL remix of his song here so hopefully they drop the belts so we don’t have to hear it again. Van Dam and Dupree get us going with Rob monkey flipping him down. Booker comes in with a side kick for two and a hip toss for an interfering Conway. Rene is knocked into the Dudley corner for a tag off to Bubba with the Dudley getting two off a neckbreaker. Booker comes back with a side kick but D-Von tags himself in before the cover. RVD jumps in with a kick to the face of D-Von but there was no tag so it’s Jindrak vs. Booker instead.

Cade and Jindrak take over on Booker in the corner but Rene steals a tag to take over. This match needs to end already. We’re four minutes in and I’m already bored. Conway hooks a bow and arrow hold which goes on WAY longer than needed. Booker fights out with a spinebuster for no cover but it’s not hot tag to RVD. Everything breaks down but D-Von breaks up the Five Star. It’s Booker vs. D-Von but Cade breaks up 3D. The scissors kick and Five Star are enough to pin Conway and retain the titles.

Rating: D. Sacre bleu what a waste of my time. No one card about this match because the tag division was so dead at this point that almost every team was just thrown together. Since this is Wrestlemania though, there’s ANOTHER four way tag match later tonight. Nothing to see here and the match sucked on all levels. Let’s get on to ANYTHING else.

Finally some new challengers at Backlash 2004.

La Resistance vs. Hurricane/Rosey

This is what we call a filler match to bring the crowd back down. It isn’t even for a title. Conway and Hurricane start and the crowd goes almost completely silent. A headscissors takes Conway down and it’s off to Rosey. That’s really only so he can throw at Conway and it’s back to the storm guy.

Conway hits a swinging neckbreaker and powerslam before tagging in Grenier. Grenier puts on a powerslam and here’s Eugene. Hurricane tags Rosey as Eugene plays with the flags. Rosey misses a corner splash but Hurricane dives on both French dudes on the floor. Eugene runs the ropes but does nothing else. Eye of the Huricane gets the pin on Grenier.

Rating: D+. The match could have and probably should have been on Raw, but dang I always feel sorry for the people in this match. They know no one is really interested in seeing them out there but they have to go out and work a match anyway, which no one wants to see and that no one is going to talk about, but they do it anyway. This was fine and Eugene didn’t add or subtract anything.

And some better ones at Bad Blood 2004.

Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Edge/Chris Benoit

Dupree is now replaced by Rob Conway. King is wearing a purple jacket. You can tell it’s a slow night as Benoit is pulling a double shift tonight. Good night Lillian looks amazing in blue. So we have two Canadians vs. a team from French Canada. Why must we always have Canadian on Canadian violence? Edge and Sylvan start us off.

The talent and championship differences amaze me here. Benoit gets a great pop coming in. This is the rematch from when Edge and Benoit lost the titles to the French guys after beating Evolution for them. DANG Benoit could chop like there was no tomorrow. Naturally the heels take over to prevent the fans from thinking we were doing anything other than the standard tag team formula. We talk about John Glenn for no apparent reason. Oh he’s from Columbus. That makes sense at least.

They’re keeping Benoit out which makes sense as you have to let him save up strength. Edge gets an AWESOME counter to a double suplex as he lands on his feet and hits a double neckbreaker. That was freaking sweet. Benoit gets the Sharpshooter but it’s broken up at the last minute. Benoit now gets the Crossface on Grenier and holds it for about 40 seconds without the tap.

Great way to plug the move there guys. Kane comes out for the DQ though which at least makes sense here. He chokeslams Benoit and I want to break that bell guy. Kane vs. Benoit sounds really good actually. Into the stairs goes the champion as Kane leaves.

Rating: C+. I like Benoit and Edge so this worked fine for me. It also tied into the main match later on so there’s some continuity there which is always a good thing. This was a nice little refresher to set up for later in the show, but it also shows that the rosters can’t manage to do a whole show by themselves. Also, there was no way the titles were changing here so there was no drama. Still though, not bad at all.

Now for some random ones at Vengeance 2004.

Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Eugene/Ric Flair

Take a guess as to who the champions are here. On a random note, Lillian in Go-Go Boots is AWESOME. Flair’s music cuts off the French national anthem to a huge cheer. The look on Flair’s face when he looks at Eugene is hilarious. Eugene and Conway start us off and the Kentucky guy struts. These two were a team in OVW called the Lords of the Ring who won like 10 tag titles there. He starts using a bunch of Flair moves resulting in the required freak out from Flair.

Flair hasn’t even been in yet. Flair finally comes in and Grenier is in trouble. He’s one of those guys that never actually did anything but had a job because he fit into a tag team. Flair for the most part probably used more basic stuff than anyone ever while making it work. I mean really, how many complex moves can you think of Flair using? He does really basic stuff but he does it so efficiently that he makes himself look great while at the same time making others look great. That’s a very rare quality.

The figure four goes on but Conway makes the save. Flair is RIDICULOUSLY popular here. For some reason this is getting some time. It says a lot when a guy like Flair, a member of the top heel stable, is getting cheered this much. There’s a massive row of signs that spell out WOO in the crowd. There are a lot more o’s in there though which I’d guess you figured out.

Why is it that you never see guys use the front facelock in singles matches but you see it all the time in tags? Without a tag, Flair gets hit by Au Revoir (the champions’ finisher) but Eugene Eugenes Up and beats the tar out of them. And then he knocks the referee down for the CHEAP DQ. Eugene hits a Stunner and Rock Bottom on them after the match.

Rating: C. I don’t think anyone was really expecting much here or a title change and that’s about what they got. This was by no means bad but it’s nothing great at all. Flair and Eugene were part of a far more important angle that would culminate with HHH beating up a retarded man on PPV. Still though, not awful at all but nothing special either

And now against a makeshift team at Unforgiven 2004.

Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Tajiri/Rhyno

Conway/Grenier here. Conway vs. Tajiri starts us off and Tajiri speeds around a lot to take over. Off to Grenier who hits the floor to avoid a Gore. Tajiri comes back in and takes over with a semi-botched tornado DDT. Conway beats on Tajiri and the fans just do not care. Off to a reverse chinlock as the fans chant USA for a Japanese comeback. Rhyno comes in and beats on both French dudes a bit.

This match needs to end like five minutes ago. It’s just boring but you could say that about every tag title match in this period. We hear about Rhyno looking everywhere for a partner as he walks into a double flapjack for two. The flag goes into Conway’s balls but a Gore only gets two. And there’s a flag to the face of Rhyno for the cheap pin.

Rating: F+. This had zero point in being on PPV. It wouldn’t even be a good Raw match, mainly because it went on way too long, getting almost ten minutes. La Resistance would be the heel team of the year for awhile as no one cared at all and it went nowhere at all. The tag division sucked BAD around this point and this is a fine example of it.

Let’s try a concept show at Taboo Tuesday 2004.

Raw Tag Titles: Chris Benoit/Edge vs. La Resistance

This is Conway and Grenier for you La Resistance fan out there. Grenier sings the Canadian national anthem in French to waste a ton of time. Benoit’s music finally kicks on to break up the “singing”. This is right around the time of Edge’s real heel turn and he was really getting good at it. He jumps Conway to start and there is no combination that the champions could use to have an advantage here.

I love that snap suplex from Benoit. That’s always so awesome looking. The crowd is, amazingly enough, dead for the most part here. Edge goes out in front of the barrier to argue with some fan that must have said something evil. I think he might not like Edge but I’m not entirely sure.

This crowd is DEAD. They aren’t moving at all and are barely making any noise at all. It’s like they’re working in front of a ghost town. Benoit has barely been in there at all but unless they pop like crazy for him, this match can more or less be considered a failure in the crowd’s eyes. Benoit comes in to about as great of a roar as the opposing team’s mascot would get.

King thinks the most important thing to the champions is to retain their titles. You can’t buy experience and analysis like that people! A depressing let’s go Benoit chant starts up and dies even faster. The referee doesn’t see the tag to Edge so it isn’t allowed. I love classic things like that. And there goes Edge as he leaves Benoit alone. Well alone with three other guys that is.

In the back Edge gets his bag and leaves. Back in the arena, Benoit hits a top rope suplex but can’t cover. Benoit reverses their finisher (Au Revoir) and shoves Grenier to the floor before locking in the Crossface on Conway for the tap out and the titles. Why look at this: champions that aren’t a real team that hate each other. NEW IDEAS RULE!

Rating: D+. This was like 17 minutes long and NOTHING happened. This was supposed to be big because of Benoit doing it on his own but when he’s on his own for like 3 minutes and the champions dominate for the rest of the time, it’s not a good match but rather just boring as all goodness. This wasn’t good at all.

Back to TV with this match on Raw, November 1, 2004.

Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Chris Benoit/Edge

Conway and Grenier this time. Edge isn’t here to start so the French Canadians pound on the Canadian whose Canadian partner isn’t here yet, prompting a USA chant. Or are they cheering for Conway? Either way he starts with Benoit who has to fight off both of them. Neckbreaker by Conway puts Benoit down and the challengers take over. Benoit goes off on both of them with release Germans and here’s Edge.

Edge is walking around the ring for awhile. And never mind as he’s on the apron now. Grenier pounds on Benoit but Chris breaks through, only to have Edge walk out on him. Back with no Edge in the ring because he’s on commentary now. This is when the commentary desk was near the entrance. Edge and Jerry are talking about the book at Benoit gets worked over even more.

Benoit hits a clothesline but there’s no Edge to make the tag to. Back to Grenier who stomps away. Benoit comes back and suplexes both of them with ease. He snaps off the Rolling Germans as Jerry talks about a picture of Edge’s puppy. Edge goes down to ringside because he thinks Benoit needs a hand. There’s the Swan Dive and Crossface to Grenier but Edge distracts the referee and Au Revoir (suplex/side slam combo) gives us new champions.

Rating: D+. This was a handicap match and on that front, it was pretty boring. That being said, this was all about the angle instead of a match, which is fine. This was around the time that the tag titles were rapidly dying in importance, and a lot of that is for stuff like this. Edge basically said “here you take this, it doesn’t mean anything to me.”

From Japan on Raw, February 7, 2005.

Raw Tag Titles: William Regal/Tajiri vs. La Resistance

Gee I wonder whats going to happen here. Conway and Grenier here. The place ERUPTS for Tajiri who is all fired up here. Regal and Eugene were champions but Eugene is injured so Regal picked Tajiri as his new partner. Massive Tajiri chant starts up so Regal starts off with Conway. Regal Stretch goes on but its off to Tajiri who adds the low dropkick as the offense is on.

Regal plays Ricky Morton for a bit here despite getting some shots in to try to break the momentum. The fans chant something but its in Japanese. Grenier punches Tajiri so when Regal takes him down theres no one to tag. STF is broken up quickly and theres the hot tag to Tajiri who cleans house. Let the kicks begin! Enziguri hits Grenier for two as everything breaks down. Double handspring elbow takes out the French dudes and its Tarantula time. Regal takes Conway down and theres the Green Mist and a Buzzsaw kick gives us new champions.

Rating: C+. The match totally doesn’t matter and is rated too high, but this is about giving the fans something to erupt for and that’s exactly what they did here. Tajiri and Regal would hold the belts about three months so this wasn’t just a fluke title reign. No problem at all with this and while it’s not great or anything, it was perfectly done as it made Tajiri look like a star.

We’ll wrap it up five weeks later on Raw, March 14, 2005.

Rockers vs. La Resistance

This is the Conway/Grenier version. Jannetty and Grenier get us going and after some arm drags by Marty, the EVIL Frenchmen take over. There’s the tag to Shawn and we get some signature Rockers stuff, although Marty can’t do the nip up anymore. Double dives to the floor take La Resistance out but Conway low bridges Shawn to give the heels control. Conway suplexes him for two and it’s back to Grenier. Marty tries to come in and La Resistance hits a Hart Attack of all things for two. Shawn comes back with his forearm and it’s hot tag to Marty. He cleans house and hits the Rocker Dropper on Conway for the pin.

Rating: C+. This wasn’t great or anything but it wasn’t meant to be. This was about having fun and some nostalgia and in that regard, it worked. On top of that, it wasn’t a half bad tag match. Having Marty get the pin was a nice touch because there was nothing for Shawn to gain here. The idea was to have Marty get a warmup for Angle on Smackdown and that worked well here. Good stuff.

As you might have picked up on, La Resistance dominated one of the worst times for tag teams in WWE history. This was a period where unifying the titles would have made a ton of sense as there was barely enough depth for one set, let alone two. The trio wasn’t bad, but they just had nothing to work with. Being so young didn’t do them any favors either.

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1 comment

  1. MikeCheyne says:

    I always thought these guys just had bad timing; they weren’t good enough to be the linchpins of the division, but they were fine heel jobber teams (particularly with the Conway/Grenier pairing, as as mediocre as Conway was, he was a good power man in a tag team).