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DVDVR 80s Project
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  1. This is a stone cold all time great match. The only flaw is that they didn't go longer. The Cicloncito/Damiancito match ups has to be up there with the very best. We've been watching a lot of French Catch and praising the crazy athleticism, but I think this crew just blows it all away (not to disparage the French workers of the glory days, though). The complexity of these exchanges is just unreal. They start out creative and then they just keep turning it up a few notches. The last fall with the technicos cranking submissions for nearfalls and the rudos trying to turn the tide is so epic. Damiancito (Virus) is the champion here and he really carries himself a step above everyone else.
  2. Nasty, seedy psycho brawl as is Ians forte. Lots of disgusting punches and headbutts in this. I've never heard of Jason Dukes, but he handles himself well in this. He takes some absolutely stupid bumps including an absolutely reckless dive, and he generally had the right idea. He jumpes Ian at the bell and punches at his bandage (Ian is always bandaged), but soon finds himself eating a nasty beating that may have given me Hep C from watching. I really liked how he punched his way out of an armbar and then proceeded to take a Flair flop on the floor. As usual with Ian there are some amazing meth lab BattlARTS moments, such as ragdolling Dukes into the chairs with an arm drag, chairs getting flung into guys faces, and some really nasty, visceral legwork. Of course the crowd is mostly silent in this while folks scurry away to not have these seedy dudes bleed all over them, giving this the kind of surreal feel these matches need. The only thing that keeps me from nominating this in the all time project is the finish, although it's funny to see the TNA Tag Champions~! in IWA Mid South. This was certainly the best X-Division title match I've ever seen.
  3. Jetlag

    [2001-05-10-BATTLARTS] Yuki Ishikawa vs Kazunari Murakami

    Yeah, I thought this was underwhelming. It's not like a sprint like their 2000 match and it feels like it ends just as it seems to get hot.
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  6. 1 Fall match going a little under 20 minutes. I didn‘t expect to see so many Hayes matches in 2020. Gasparrini managed to mount a bit more offense than someone like Jean Casi. It still wasn‘t a ton, though. You can tell Hayes was a class above most wrestlers and liked to sho off. Who can blame him. I like that his style is distinctly British while retaining a judo touch. He had some ridiculously smooth movements here. Gasparrini was game to go along, but didn‘t do a ton more. He even quit the match just before he could get something going against Hayes near the end
  7. 1 Fall match going a bit over 20 minutes. Last time we saw Taverne, he a quasi-face going after Delaporte. Now, he is fighting tall, handsome Ray Hunter. Taverne being shorter than Hunter kind of makes the King Kong name pointless. This was more of a standard heel/face heatmongering match. With Taverne doing a convincing job looking mishappen and evil. He had some pretty fast takedowns and dropkicks for a big guy. This was also the most I‘ve enjoyed Hunter. He ditched the Baba chops and just kept retaliating against Taverne, who made him eat some nasty boots in return. Houseshow-ish match, but I had fun.
  8. 2/3 Falls match going a little over 20 minutes. Jean Casi sure has a weird figure. Huge, upper body, and spindly arms and legs. He came across as bony. He came across as a sort of old style fighter here. He sure was trying, but Hayes with his flashy technique gave him not much breathing room. Casi wasn‘t lost in the contest, but Hayes wasn‘t backing down. Casi got in a few good licks, but the deceisive manner in which Hayes ended the contest drove the point home that Casi wasn‘t on Hayes level at all.
  9. 1 Fall match going almost exactly 20 minutes. Tommy Mann was a British grappler who was looking quite lumpy and aging in this, while Montourcy is a slender young technician. Odds that this was gonna turn into a brawl were high, but they engage in some quite good grappling. It soon became apparent Montourcy would have the upper hand, so Mann decided to crank up the viciousness with nasty forearms and clubs. Really liked his backbreakers and the finger bending that he did which is exactly what you‘d expect from a crusty old veteran carny. Montourcy was slick as hell and looked like one of the better workers around. Predictably good match.
  10. With a name like Black Salem, you hope for some kind of esoteric mat wizard, but this turns into a brawl pretty much from the get go with Pellacani barraging Salem with his stiff forearm blows, punch combos and thudding kicks. Black Salem fought back with good looking dropkicks and big headbutts. Pellacani looked good in the Takashi Ishikawa role of psychotically potatoeing a guy, at one point he even started doing these stiff low kicks. Also liked Pellacani taking swings at the audience which gave the whole thing a vibe like something was about to break out. Pretty short at about 15 minutes and felt like it could have been more. Atleast we got a rough looking end sequence leading to the pinfall.
  11. 1 Fall match going a little over 20 minutes. The first sighting of Chemoul from the footage we have (chronologically speaking). He is already the formidable champion here. I get the sense is more akin to a Vic Faulkner type wrestler rather than some intense technician, and while his technique is stellar, I wish this match had been a little more serious. You know what you are getting from this match up, La Barba rudoing it up and Rene Ben Chemoul having the edge with technique before eating some shots and then turning the match into a bump-a-ton with Joachim stooging like crazy. La Barba is great, and while did get some shots in, I would‘ve loved to see Joachim La Barba crank up the violence and give Rene all he could handle.
  12. 1 Fall match going a little over 20 minutes. I‘ve sort of grown to see Guy Robin as the Jim Breaks/Terry Rudge type of French wrestling. That is a pretty awesome descriptor, and he really rules as short tempered nearly bald guy who will put the hurt on his opponents and bump outrageously. This wasn‘t much worse than Robin/Hayes from earlier. Taylor (Dave Taylors father) is another not super charismatic guy, but he was sharp, up to the task and knew to drop bombs on Robin. He busted out the legbreaker – not a move I would expect in 1957 – precise dropkicks, and a quite awesome torture rack. Robin wasn‘t super expressive here, but he once again looked quite great trying to make his opponents life as miserable as possible. Kidney punches, jabbing the throat, kicking him in the ribs, even sort of proto-curb stomping him into the ropes – a stealworthy spot for sure. At 20 minutes this feels like it wasn‘t enough, but the surprise pin was cool.
  13. 1 Fall match over roughly 25 minutes. Inca Peruano, baby. Cheri Bibi, aside from hitting like a truck, is probably one of the less interesting heels to show up on French TV. But the Inca is a joy to watch. He pretty much made this whole match watchable with his unique trips and throws, out of nowhere Santo headscissors and clinical holds. One of my favourite things they do in old euro matches is the hammerlock behind the back, which Inca Peruano uses to set up moves from the ropes in cool ways. I also really liked him really bending the fuck out of Bibis wrist while stepping on his chin. It was a really simple move compared to everything else he does, but it stood out. Cheri Bibi seemed slow to bump for the Incas moves and the finish seemed to come after a series of blown sequences, but I will alway relish in a chance to see Inca Peruano go to work.
  14. JIP 2/3 falls match with about 25 minutes shown. Jack Laskin wrote a pretty interesting book on his experiences as a wrestler. He also told a somewhat disturbing story about befriending a wrestler who worked in a death camp during the war. So, having him on film is a nice historic achievement. And this was a really cool match. Drapp was another really formidable wrestler. He came around quite a bit, one or two of his US matches are even online already. Drapp was a physical specimen with a bodybuilder look, but he could go like a motherfucker. He did one escape out of a leglock that was like something Virus would do. Later he dodged an attack from Laskin and dove underneath fast as lightning for a freestyle takedown. It‘s that kind of wrestling ability I really appreciate. Laskin looked like a fun US pro. His US style made for a nice stylistic difference compared to the euro heels. He was throwing punches and had some fun ways to hurt his opponent, such as scraping his knees across his face, or throwing weird high kicks. Of course, Laskin would also bump and stooge, and show ass in just a slightly more comical way than what we saw from most of the euro guys. Drapp had some freaky moves, such as a like a standing shiranui into a pin. Finish was pretty spectacular as well with Drapp busting out several bulldogs which Laskin takes right on his head before eating a big piledriver for the KO.
  15. 2/3 Falls match at about 20 minutes. Pierre Bernaert is a heel we are going to a see a lot from now on. Laurent Dauthuille is a former world class boxer whose most famous achievement is getting knocked out in the 15th round of a world title match by Jake La Motta. It wasn‘t unusual for boxers to become catchers at this time. Instead of the „Which martial art is stronger?“ theme that would be exploited in mixed fights, these matches were more about how the boxer was going to adapt to wrestling. Dauthuille did the usual French holds and moves, but also made it clear that he damn well was gonna punch Bernaert if he was gonna get too cute, which made Dauthuille a bit more interesting than your usual French babyfaces. The whole match had this Memphisesque 20 minute long build to Dauthuille throwing the first punch. Meanwhile was Bernaert was throwing cheapshots and taking shortcuts like mad. It builds to the eventual explosion when Bernaert gets cocky open hand striking Dauthuille and the boxer fires back with a flury of punches. With Bernaert kneeing his opponent in the balls a bunch and Dauthuille really taking him to the pay window this felt really intense. The problem was that it ended almost too early with the match ending on a technicality instead of the epic showdown that it deserved. That setup def feels like something Mexican or US territory workers would‘ve turned into an amazing last round. Still, it‘s to these guys credit that they could work a 20 minute match and it still was far from enough.