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ohtani's jacket

DVDVR 80s Project
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  1. ohtani's jacket

    French catch

    Al Hayes vs. Guy Robin (aired 3/22/57) This was a decent match. I wouldn't regard Hayes as one of the finer British technicians, but he was popular at the time and a regular at the Royal Albert Hall so it was interesting to see him in action. The only other footage we have of him from this early is the tag match from Paul Lincoln Promotions. Lincoln promoted a style of wrestling that had a real US influence with lots of colorful gimmicks. Hayes played the blue eye lead against this cast of characters, and you can kind of see elements of that in this match. As is so often the case, it was the heel that captured the imagination. We've seen Robin once before in the Bob ALPRA footage. He looked like a savvy performer. I liked the way he progressed from comedy spots to serious heel heat. I definitely want to see the rest of his footage since talented undercard performers are always a treat.
  2. ohtani's jacket

    French catch

    Eddy Wiecz (Edouard Carpentier) & Eddy Koparanian vs. Andre Bollet & Georges Gueret (aired 2/23/56) This was tremendous. Carpentier is a guy I've had mixed feelings about, but he was in his element here against guys who knew how to bump and sell for his offense. Bollet was incredible in this match. The first thing you notice about him from the Andre match is how quick and athletic he is. Then you start to notice the bag of tricks -- the counters, the selling, and the theatrics. He came across as a master. In the Andre match, I compared him to Mick McManus, but I've seen McManus matches from the 60s and Bollet looks even better here. I felt like I was watching Arn Anderson at times and that's about the highest compliment you can pay a wrestler. Gueret also looked like a talented performer and I enjoyed all of the heel antics in this bout. But it was the babyfaces that made this match. I've seen a lot of 50s matches where the heel cheats, the babyface retaliates, the heel cheats, the babyface retaliates. What I liked about this match was that the babyfaces were clearly the better, stronger team and it was all the heels could do to keep up with them. That was refreshing considering how good these heels were stooging. This was a great addition to the canon.
  3. ohtani's jacket

    French catch

    Kader Hassouni/Claude Rocca vs. Bernard Caclard/Albert Sanniez (aired 3/20/76) This was an absolute gem of a match. European tag wrestling hasn't given me many reasons to be a fan of it but this match was a glimpse into what might be possible with the right heel team. Caclard and Sanniez were super slick as the lightweight heel team with the matching trunks. Caclard came across as a vicious little shit while Sanniez matched technique with divine bumping and selling. Rocca and Hassouni were vanilla by comparison, but they fulfilled their core role which was to retaliate to the heel tactics. I loved Sanniez jawing with the fan in the crowd and the older guy getting annoyed with the fan for carrying on with it. And Caclard attacking Delaporte was gold. I am sure there were a lot of matches like this in the halls in England with the Hells Angels (Bobby Barnes and Adrian Street) or Sid Cooper and Alan Dennison but never made ITV in this form. If I was recommending a list of the very best Euro matches of the 70s, this would make the list for sure.
  4. ohtani's jacket

    French catch

    Andre the Giant (Jean Ferre) vs. Andre Bollet (12/68) This was another look at Andre as a young heavyweight star. His opponent, Andre Bollet, was a big name in French wrestling and resembled a French Mick McManus. It was a fairly predictable bout and not that exciting but it was interesting to see Andre work a standard heel vs face heavyweight bout and none of that monster heel freak show stuff. Like all matches of this ilk, the best parts where when Andre started get riled at the shots Bollet was dishing out. Andre had to hold back a bit since he was meant to be the face, but Bollet looked like he could be dynamite against the right opponent. Apparently, there are only four full length Andre matches in the INA archives but there is footage of him against the likes of Jack de Lasartesse which hopefully surfaces.
  5. New Zealand was slow to adopt television. The first official broadcast was in 1960 and the country didn't have network television until 1969. If there was any wrestling shown on TV during this time it would have been from overseas. During the 50s boom, wrestling events were broadcast on radio. The television show On The Mat didn't start until 1975.
  6. ohtani's jacket

    French catch

    Lino Di Santo vs Jack Van Doren (aired 1/11/57) I enjoyed this. When I went through the British style, I developed a real soft spot for the heavyweights. This had a ceiling since it was JIP but it was good while it lasted. It was a classic Euro bout where they can't better each other with technique so they start with the rough stuff. They didn't flesh it out like the Corn bout but it was clearly a go-to style even in the 50s. Di Santo is a guy we've seen before in the match with the young Horst Hoffman. So far he seems like a bit of a journeyman, but he was definitely solid. They way they wrapped it up kind of made you realize why it was a lower card match that was JIP but it was neat and tidy. Jacky Corn vs. Luis El Gayo (aired 1/11/57) I think this is the first footage we have of Corn. He was a prominent name in the 50s and 60s catch broadcasts. I'm pretty sure he was a middleweight (at least at this stage of his career.) This was faster paced than the heavyweight match with a lot of tosses and the odd wrist lock or head scissors. The Spaniard wrestler, El Gayo, was a lot of fun, especially when he started getting heat for himself. Corn was good but it's always hard to identify with the baby faces in this type of footage. It was clearly a showcase for him but he didn't exactly set the world on fire. The match was a lot of fun when it broke down and the forearm smash contest was well worked. I really liked the escalation in the final minutes.
  7. ohtani's jacket

    WWE TV 11/18 - 11/24 South American Coupamania

    New Zealand deserves some joy against England this year but I suspect the result will be a draw.
  8. ohtani's jacket

    RIP Harley Race

    Well, if Harley Race can die there's no hope for the rest of us.
  9. ohtani's jacket

    How much wrestling was on TV when *you* were a kid?

    I grew up in New Zealand. WWF Superstars began airing in 1988. We got to see the PPVs on television but we never got to see Saturday Night's Main Event aside from the clips that aired on Superstars. We were several months behind and were bombarded with spoilers in the TV guide, a trashy tabloid named "The Truth," the WWF magazine and the Apter mags. The video stores had a lot of random tapes with non-WWF stuff, and we also knew about the existence of other territories from the Apter magazines but I remember the territorial stuff seeming a bit bush league to me as a kid. The only guys who caught my imagination were guys like Sting or the Road Warriors because of their get-ups and face paint. The WWF aired until 1991. It was taken off the air because it was too violent and too many kids were copying the moves. The video shops still ordered the tapes but it was out of sight, out of mind for me. Worldwide began airing on Satellite TV in 1994 and eventually other WWF and WCW syndicated shows began to air as the mid-90s boom took over. Eventually, we had one-hour edited versions of Nitro and RAW, but on the whole, I think our wrestling experience was unique in that it really revolved around PPVs and magazines. I can't imagine too many fans who grew up with spoilers the way we did whether it was in the magazines, on the syndicated shows or later on the internet. We were such a small market, and so far behind when I was a kid (maybe six months or more), that you would literally tune into Worldwide to try to figure out the results of the PPV matches they had spent weeks building to. I used to really love it when they recapped the entire PPV with highlights because we couldn't get WCW tapes from the video store until 1997.
  10. ohtani's jacket

    [2001-04-30-ARSION] Ayako Hamda vs GAMI

    This was the semi-final of the ARS tournament. Quite a good match considering it was one-night tournament wrestling. GAMI scored the upset that they didn't portray it as a major shock. Instead, it was presented as something GAMI was capable of if she wrestled at her best. In the quarters, Hamada squared of against Yagi, one of my personal favorites, and that was also quite good. So not a bad night for Hamada work-wise despite bowing out early.
  11. I liked this match. It didn't pretend to be anything different than what it was. You had Kim Duk, who was older than dirt and had stolen Rambo's gimmick from IWRG, and a perpetually grumpy Tenryu vs. two midcard guys who are suddenly more important to the company than before because of the departures. I haven't enjoyed too many things about Japanese wrestling in 2001 but I am enjoying Taiyo Kea's sudden rise. it's fun watching Smith get a bigger role too. Both guys were up for the challenge and good enough workers to make it work. If you like Tenryu, he was in vintage form here. He spent most of the bout being snarly and throwing punch combos.
  12. Tournament final from the Toryumon show. This was given plenty of time but never really captured the imagination. There was a crappy reset at the beginning which didn't amuse me much. The upshot of the tourney was that Mochizuki proved he was the chief dog in Toryumon. Magnum was crying and pleading with CIMA after all. It was very emotional and poorly acted.
  13. ohtani's jacket

    [2001-04-14-Toryumon] Magnum TOKYO vs SUWA

    This was the other tournament semi from the Toryumon show. Fairly standard stuff but they made sure SUWA got enough licks in to look credible.
  14. This was a pretty cool match. It was a tournament semi so it was quicker and spottier than usual but it felt decisive.
  15. ohtani's jacket

    [2001-04-29-Jd'] Sumie Sakai vs The Bloody

    I liked this a lot. The premise was no different from an LCO match but it was interesting to watch Sakai scratch and claw her way back into the match. I thought she gave a tough, gritty performance. The match would have been better if The Bloody had been more expressive but I was impressed with Sakai's fight back.
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