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Wednesday, Dec 6, 2023

1 in 8700 - Meet Middlebury's resident piercing expert and pro wrestler

Body piercer, bouncer, professional wrestler, actor, stand-up comedian, glass-eater and guest star on Tila Tequila. These are just some of the various professions that Pierre Vachon has held during his lifetime. Currently the co-owner of Frog Alley Tattoo and Leatherworks and a bouncer at Two Brother’s Tavern, Vachon clearly likes to keep busy.

Vachon, who has lived in Vermont since he was four, is a licensed body piercer. He has had an avid interest in tattoos since he got his first tattoo — a comedy and tragedy mask on his left arm — in 1994. At the time of the interview, Vachon was in the process of getting his 10th tattoo. While “poor drawing skills” led Vachon to choose to pursue a career in body piercing over tattoos, his decision has obviously not held him back. Vachon apprenticed with body piercers in New York City and Malden, Massachusetts before returning to Vermont open Frog Alley Tattoo and Leatherworks this past April.

On select nights, Vachon can also be found at Two Brother’s Tavern, where he has worked as a bouncer for the past three years. He had previously been a bouncer in other parts of the country and in Montreal, though the scene was much different than in Middlebury.

“Everyone here is pretty chill,” he said.

But in Montreal he “was stabbed a bunch of times, you know, with broken beer bottles and stuff.”

Yet Vachon sees himself as “a pretty easy going guy.” When he has to kick someone out of the bar, it is never personal.

“As long as you’re cool with me, I’ll be pretty cool with you,” he said.

Besides working as a bouncer and body piercer, Vachon is also a professional wrestler. Starting to learn at a young age, he has been wrestling full time for almost 14 years. One could say it is in his blood, as both his father, Paul “the Butcher” Vachon, and his uncle, “Mad Dog” Vachon, were famous wrestlers during the 1960s and 70s. In addition, his sister was a pro-wrestler in the 1980s with WWE.

Vachon has spent time traveling all over the world for many wrestling companies. However, he has recently toned down his wrestling career considerably — while he used to wrestle six days a week, he now only works about three shows a month. Vachon says wrestling requires intense cardio and weight training, as well as a high pain tolerance. His experience with wrestling is what “lets him get a tattoo and have a conversation at the same time without being phased by it.”

Vachon also uses his high pain tolerance for things other than wrestling. In fact, he used to do sideshows during his wrestling tours, in which he would lie on beds of nails, eat shards of glass, act as a human dartboard and have cinderblocks broken on him. “There are no tricks,” said Vachon. “It is simply mind over matter.”

Impressive bodily feats, along with his long wrestling career, earned Vachon a spot on “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila” two years ago as a guest referee during a jello-wrestling competition. MTV paid for him to stay in California for a week.

Though Vachon is extremely busy with his tattoo shop, work at Two Brothers and wrestling career, he has not settled down. Still managing to find time to explore the entertainment world further, he has recently taken up stand-up comedy. Vachon has also acted in minor roles in many action films in which he often plays “warehouse thugs.”

It is clear that Vachon’s many professions have provided him with a myriad of rich experiences. He has continued to challenge himself throughout the years, building a long, unique resumé perhaps no other Middlebury resident can claim.