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  3. Jetlag

    French catch

    Yeah, the actual air date here is June 19, 1959. Not sure how that mess-up happened since I listed everything in order, but it's bound to happen when you have to process hundreds of files.
  4. When you see a matchup with names like this, you expect everything. We ended up getting some really swank stuff. Lots of nifty throws, swank headscissors and smooth matwork, at one point both guys exchange fast leg trips. Comanche is a spindly guy with some eccentric mannerisms, and his physique adds to his matwork allowing for some cool escapes. Peruano continues to look like the real deal, at one point he does this transition where he hooks Comanches legs with his own legs and spins around almost like a double leg nelson, and his headscissor from the ropes – which he does slick and out of nowhere like a shootstylist – is one of my new favourite moves. He also busts out the Octopus Hold. Peruano eventually starts sneaking in inside shots and the bout gets chippy, with Peruano throwing punches to Comanches skinny body and Comanche firing back with neck chops. Comanche also has some cool looking non-standard dropkicks and a great victory roll. Once again, there were some intense pin attempts. Could‘ve built to a bigger crescendo, but what a neat match to watch in itself.
  5. JIP, but we get about 10 minutes. Mostly Zarzecki taking the Doctor to the pay window. Zarzecki wasn‘t kidding, he hit some pretty violent looking kneelifts and stomps. The Dr. is really fun at sneaking in cheapshots and his calculating behaviour is entertaining, he also busted out another cool double armlock. The finish has Warnia escaping the dreaded nerve hold with a nasty headbutt, only for Kaiser to spin him into a Dragon Sleeper in the middle of the ring. I didn‘t think they meshed quite that well and the match could‘ve picked up the pace a little, but it was a nice reminder that the Dr.s chokeholds will put anyones lights out.
  6. 2/3 Falls match going a bit over 30 minutes. This is a match with lots of wrestling that‘s gonna stay in your mind because of the parts where they beat the hell out of each other. Not that the wrestling was bad, Laroche looked like a classy worker, but it just wasn‘t that exceptional and as soon as Joachim kicked him in the kidney you wanted more where that came from. It‘s like you slotted Tenryu or Takashi Ishikawa into a European style grappling affair. Most of the first 10 minutes are built around Laroche evading the Mexican, with Joachim La Barba attempting some double stomps which was rather interesting. As soon as Joachim found his opening he wasn‘t letting go of the chance to beat the crap out of Laroche. He also took the chance to bump all over the place once again. It all builds to an especially big bump to the outside. Little hard to rate for me, it‘s clear that this was good shit and smokes most 2020 pro wrestling in a cakewalk, on the other hand the baseline for this French stuff is getting really high.
  7. One fall match that goes about 30 minutes. The fact that Billy Catanzaro has two televised singles matches almost exactly 10 years apart is surreal. A few things change in 10 years, and in 1967, Billy Catanzaro was a thick veteran heel. You could still see his brilliance in his work, even when he was more interested here in kicking his opponent in the spine and grimacing to the crowd. Even though it was very obvious that this was gonna get chippy, there was a ton of ridiculously high end technical work here. Mantopolous was a wrestling dynamo, no kidding about it. Just a ridiculously fast moving worker with a ton of tricks in his bag. Most of this was wristlocks and armlocks, largely built around Mantopolous holding on to a hold while Catanzaro was trying to get out. Bread and butter euro stuff, but these two execute it in such a high end manner it‘s not even funny. Catanzaro is a joy to watch, as he always finds neat twists on the most basic things, such as using his foot to win a test of strength on the ground. This was getting chippy here and there, with guys throwing unexpected bitchslaps and using the face scrape, but they mostly stuck to working holds with a few blindingly fast, well timed rope running exchanges thrown in. My one issue with the match was that it could‘ve used a bit of a bigger heat section on Mantopolous – Catanzarro did go to town at one point, lacing the Greek up with gnarly kicks to the spine and nifty backbreaker variations, but Mantopolous was soon back to making a fool of Catanzaro. Guess it wasn‘t 1957 anymore. It‘ll happen to all of us. Hell of a match with a sick finish, regardless.
  8. Another night in Paris where lumpy 50s gentlemen forearm the shit out of eachother. Bury is introduced as the champion of Belgium, I guess everyone wrestling in France was a champion then. Bollet is someone who will be a recurring figure to this project. With his thinning hair and greasy look, he has the vibe of a Kurisu or sleazier WAR heavyweight. This, like most of these matches, was a cool mix of wrestling and guys really laying into eachother. Bury brought some classy wrestling, doing cool escapes and athletic bridge up spots. Soon Bollet found his opening though when Bury was on the ground and the fun began with Bollet landing a big kick to the spine. Bury was less stoic than the French workers we have seen, he had really good, decently expressive selling, sometimes barely managing to beat the 10 count from Bollets beating. When it was time to fire back he would hit big beautiful dropkicks or savate kicks which were trippy to see. It‘s also clear that Bollet can wrestle, but he would rather punch you in the kidney. This goes 30 minutes but it‘s really good, nice wrestling and when they beat on eachother, they really beat on eachother. Nice finish with a series of badass strike exchanges leading the winner almost landing a lucky shot and sinking into the pin.
  9. Roger Trigeaud is Cheri Bibi. A stumpy legged bald guy with a massive upper body. Roland Barthes was right when he wrote that at most 1 in 5 wrestling matches is „fair“. This followed the same formula as usual, wrestling to start, Cheri Bibi would start throwing, and they would keep the heat up until the finish, but it was a very good match with both guys adding to it. Ami Sola is a bulky looking guy with a mustache and wrestles similar to what we saw Gilbert Cesca and Billy Catanzaro do – cool flying headscissors, solid european uppercuts and kip-up headbutts. Cheri Bibi would do a spot where Solas dropkicks were bouncing off of his massive chest, and he also found an answer to some of the stuff Sola did. They didn‘t go for an all out european uppercutfest and went back to the wrestling. At about 20 minutes, this was pretty lean as well with a neat finish.
  10. JIP with 6 minutes shown. I would‘ve liked to see this in full, because these are two of the more unique workers showing up on French TV at the time. Inca Peruano has been a heel in other matches but easily becomes the babyface against the nefarious Doctor of Philosophy, Adolf Kaiser. This was a fun match up with Kaiser having cool ways to lock in his dreaded Dragon Sleeper and Inca having cool ways to escape from it. Peruano works some submission nearfalls of his own, and there are some cool hold escapes. I also really like Kaiser diving all over the ring trying to catch his opponent like an animal, and Peruano really gives him the business with fast uppercuts and kicks.
  11. 2/3 Falls match over about 25 minutes. We see Luis El Gayo again. Rene Gerber is introduced as Swiss, but not a champion. After using some foul tactics against Jacky Corne, Luis El Gayo gets to play face in this match as Gerber pretty much foregoes the usual hold for hold work and goes for brawling almost immediately, landing tough looking kicks and knees and it‘s a big hit and get hit contest from there. The bar for heels working France in 1957 was pretty high, Gerber had nice kneelifts and I liked the spot where he did a chinlock and kept switching around so he could punch Luis in the kidney, and he also does the amazing „pretend to tie your shoelaces but go for the attack“ spot. Luis is veritable in the babyface role and provides some slick wrestling moves. Most notable here were the fan reactions with excited teenagers and working class joes threatening to storm the ring when Gerber got too cute. We understand this kind of match is bread and butter French material by now, although it is really fun to watch, basically a 25 minute sprint with lots of violent shots and moments.
  12. 1 Fall match that is a little over 30 minutes long. Bob Anthony is someone we saw before in the twilight years of his career working World of Sport, and here he is in his mid 20s only a few years after making his debut. Although he didn‘t look green at all here and was doing many of the same spots as 19 years later, so I guess back then in European wrestling things changed slowly. This was a clean contest for the purists with no unfair tactics from Anthony. I‘ve noticed that while the athleticism is quite high end, French wrestling didn‘t get as brainy as the British stuff when it came to matwork. That is minor complaint though when you get 30 minutes of classy back and forth technical work. Ben Chemoul is probably at his best when he is being charismatic and uppercutting the fuck out of a stooging heel, but of course he is also a maestro and this type of match fits him like a glove. This didn‘t really kick into next gear and the finish looked a little too easy but I enjoyed it greatly.
  13. 2/3 falls match over 30 minutes. Hayes & fellow Englishman Ray Hunter are apparently introduced as „Australians“. There is also a giant robot watching the match from the crowd whom the announcer calls a „martian“. And the French team of Delaporte (champion of France, even!) and Guettier gets a big heel reaction. All the absurdities aside, this was a very good match. The last time Hayes showed up he was a real highlight, and he is really fun here again coming up with fun counters to all the holds. It‘s funny how you can watch a ton of old French/British wrestling and still see new things. Hunter is really tall and likes to upside down chop people, so he‘s basically Baba in this match. The two Rogers won‘t blow you away if you‘ve been keeping track of all the awesome heel workers we‘ve seen in this project so far, but they did a good job working over Hayes back with Fuchi-like rope stretches, big backbreaker moves and knee drops to the spine. It builds to a pretty hot 3rd fall with the Brits masquerading as Australian going for near finish after near finish with the Frenchmen breaking up pinfalls as much as they could. I‘m not sure whether it cut off before the finish or if the deciding pinfall simply came out weird, but since that‘s all there is of this match we‘ll have to go with „came out weird“.
  14. JIP with about 8 minutes shown. Not getting a full match of Parmentier is probably among the biggest misses in this footage, but at least we now know he existed. Frisuk is a good looking babyface and has good fire. I imagine if we had the build up this would be a really good match because they were both happily dishing out receipts and inside shots. I am still getting used to how violent French wrestling is compared to the British stuffs. I mean British heels are nasty but they won‘t full on running punt a downed opponent like Parmentier does here. Love Parmentiers rugged aura and these two guys killing each other with massive elbows was awesome to watch briefly.
  15. 1 Fall match going about 27 minutes. Well, seems we have hit a friendly stride in the French TV year, because this was another clean, fair contest. Maybe even the friendliest match so far, because not a single forearm smash or European uppercut was thrown until about 25 minutes into the match. This wasn‘t as good as the match between Leduc and Zarzecki the week before, but it was a neat match in it‘s own right: you had the theme of grizzled, older looking Lino di Santo trying to deal with his young, athletic opponent. Lots of good technical work throughout as we know it from the French grapplers. The key moment came when Allary locked in the short arm scissor and Di Santo, after trying several one armed deadlifts was unable to escape. Di Santo looked mentally defeated at that point, he tries to hit some uppercuts, but is too worn out. One of the coolest uses of such a simple hold I‘ve ever seen. Di Santo narrowly avoids defeat, sinking in a double leg nelson and hitting his brutal neckbreaker, but Allary has him on the ropes soon. In the end, Di Santo was able to survive just long enough until the time limit runs out. I‘m not sure whether this match had a 27 minute time limit or something, but it seems complete enough. This kind of „young, good looking guy gets the rub by going to a draw against a veteran“ is a staple of European wrestling, and Di Santos performance made it very worthwhile.