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 - Serge Niles

Welcome to this month's edition of Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling.  This month we will take a look at one of the most popular tag team, to ever wrestled in the Maritimes.

Ask any maritimer, who watched Grand Prix Wrestling from the 80's until it's closure in the 90's:  Which tag team, had the most success in the Maritimes?  These fans will probably answer "Big" Stephen Petitpas and Leo Burke. 

Both men achieved success as single stars, but also they where one duo, that all Maritime Heels would fear.  Burke, being from Dorchester, and Petitpas being from Shediac.  It was only natural for these 2 to team up together.

Burke and Petitpas teamed together for the first time officially in the Maritimes in 1980, as they joined forces an in attempt to capture the North American Tag Team Titles from the hated duo of "No Class" Bobby Bass & the Cuban Assassin.   2 weeks after teaming up together the captured the titles on TV, causing the Maritime fans to celebrate in happiness.  A new era in tag team wrestling in the Maritimes was beginning.   That year, they successfully defeated their titles against all comers, and all combinations possible.  From "Dr. D" David Shulz & The Cuban Assassin, to Bobby Bass and the Cuban, Bass and Shulz.  they all tried, but all failed as Burke and Petitpas where a force to be reckoned with.

In 1981, Burke and Petitpas started the summer on fire,  as they defended their titles with pride, but a new team would arrive in the Maritimes, that would give them some serious trouble, and also injure Petitpas.  That team was the Cuban Assassin and Dr. Hito.  Dr. Hito and the Cuban arrived in the Maritimes with one goal in mind, and that was to capture the Tag Team Titles.  They  achieved their goal in June 81, as they used some salt, and Hito's wooden shoe to take the titles from Burke and Petitpas.  

The former champions got several rematches, but where unable to get the titles back.  Later, that summer things got worst for Petitpas and Burke, as Petitpas injured his left knee, in a tag team match.  Petitpas didn't take much time off, but the injury was enough to stale their plans of regaining the titles.    

This would be the last time that Stephen and Leo would team up for a while.  Both men focused their carreers to single action, as Leo formed a great tag team with the Cuban Assassin, once Stephen Petitpas left for International Wrestling in Montreal.

10 years later, in 1991, Burke and Petitpas reformed their tag team, as they prepared for a long summer battling Team USA.  Team USA was Comprise of Ron Starr, Rico Frederico, Bobby Blaze, Eddie Watts & Goldie Rogers.  Frederico and Blaze held on to the Canadian Tag Team Titles, since the start of the summer, and became notorious for using a fireball, to gain a victory and injure their opponents.  

Well, in September, their reign of Terror came to an end, when Burke and Petitpas captured the Canadian Tag Team Titles, and began another run with the titles.  They fended off the challenges of Frederico and Blaze, also fending off the challengers of Watts and Starr, and other possibities of Team USA.  Burke and Petitpas closed out the summer, by defending their title against the young team of Todd McPhee and Soaring Eagle, in what featured some great tag team action.

1992 began kind of strange as the Canadian Tag Team Titles where held up, with no reasons or explanations given.  Burke and Petitpas won a tournament final by defeating Goldie Rogers and Eddie Watts.  They began another stretch of successfull title defenses mostly against the returning Cuban Assassin and Goldie Rogers.  They defended the titles with pride, as all fans in the maritimes where pulling for the local boys.  Things turned sour in June, when the team of Paul Peller and Butcher Vachon upseted Burke and Petitpas to capture the Tag Team Titles.  

That was the last time, that the great team of Leo Burke & Stephen Petitpas was together.  Later that Year, Leo Burke turned his back on the fans, and feuded with Stephen to finish off that summer.  This is the last memory, that the Maritime fans have of possibly one of the greatest and most popular teams in the Maritimes. 

Thanks for reading.  I'll be back next month with another great story from wrestling in the Maritmes.

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