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Found 38 results

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 2/3 Falls match going roughly 25 minutes. Holy lord, King Kong Taverne is a massive, massive man. Big, bald, hairy, built like a gorilla, he had the quintessential look of a guy you don‘t want to piss off. Delaporte, in the span of 7 days, goes from hated prick to almost a comical babyface as he tries not to get squished by the mighty Taverne. Some really amusing cat and mouse play and Delaporte going for clean wrestling holds ensue. This is our first taste of Delaporte in a singles match and he looks like a really good character worker allowing both his charisma and ability to shine. Taverne, despite his size, is quite good both at scurrying out of positions aswell as stooging and working sequences. He also just runs over Delaporte when he tries to get cute and throw punches, then makes sure to forearm him in the face in the ropes. Delaporte soon gets what‘s coming to him as Taverne locks on the mother of all bearhugs before throwing Delaporte like he was 20 pounds for the fall. The match took a drastic turn in the 2nd fall, as an overzealous Taverne misses a few charges, banging his head against the steel post and flying out of the ring. Before soon Delaporte is at him just trying to rip his eye out, biting and attacking a blinded King Kong with nasty forearms and punches to the face. Quite a return to form for Delaporte to go back to being such a violent prick. Before soon he has forearmed the referee and the match is thrown out. I am going to assume that French wrestling was booked like US studio wrestling except the matches were longer, because I can see this setting up the most epic arena brawl ever for Taverne to get his revenge on Delaporte. We don‘t have such a match, and Taverne only shows up once more which seems to be the theme of this French footage, we have hundreds of matches of great forgotten workers going 20-30 minutes and it‘s still not enough. Atleast we‘ll have plenty more Delaporte, maybe we‘ll see him meeting the guy to give him his comeuppance on TV for once. The ultra vicious streak he showed in this match was some of the most intense wrestling I‘ve seen in a while for sure.
  12. 1 fall match with about 20 minutes shown. There seems to be some clipping, but nothing too annoying. This was like the French version of a bomb throwing sprint. I could see this exact match happening in Korakuen Hall and the crowd going bonkers for all the ultra stiff european uppercuts and upkicks they did. It also helps that Ami Sola is a gentleman looking dude with a classy mustache and Couderc is balding and cleary muscular but a long way from having visible abs. There wasn‘t a ton of hold for hold work here, but the bits they did were great and felt really fresh. There was an awesome body scissors spot, a great wrist stretch from Couderc and some nifty leg trips amongst other things. Couderc also turned a headscissor sequence into a series of deadlift powerbombs that would make Takaiwa wince. Couderc may have been the man of the match but Sola held up. He uncorked some brutal headbutts and what may very well be the nastiest leg stretch I‘ve seen in any match ever. He looked like he was about to pop Coudercs hip with that. And, I feel compelled to say that these guys were bumping hard as motherfuckers. The ending crescendo was also damn great with these guys eating upkicks and bumping around like mad. The upkick is such a basic spot that nobody remembers these days but hot damn it looks awesome in these matches and these guys will fly face first into it. It was nice to see that the crowd seemingly filled up to watch this match. True to form, Couderc does not show up again, but it‘s save to say he made his mark in this sole appearance. This was a mix of high end technical work, brutally stiff and with a sense of classy athleticism. Exactly the kind of awesome unexpected match to remind us all that French pro wrestling was fucking awesome.
  13. 2/3 Falls match going nearly 40 minutes. JIP and the fans are already pelting the ring with garbage, enraged at the tactis of Delaporte and Robin, who were pulling every dirty trick in the book. This was an all out fight from beginning to end, no shots pulled. The Fishers did almost nothing but forearm and throw the shit out of their opponents, but it was some great looking forearms and throws. One thing I really appreciate is the chinlocking the guys will do to pull others away from a scrap, it‘s such a small detail but it aids to the barfight feel. Delaporte & Robin are constantly jumping on the Fischers 2 on 1 and it‘s natural for a 4th guy to join the fray and try pull one of these bastards off. Aside from all the guys fighting, tumbling and climbing over each other you get some nasty armwork which while not being played up in the long run leads to a pinfall. I probably liked Robin the best of all the guys in the match, he did this awesome in ring tope to break up a hold, and he was always sneaking around to kneedrop someones throat. Delaporte was no slouch either and the faces convincingly play their role. It‘s a bit hard to rate this kind of match since it‘s basically a brawl worked like a sprint going 40 minutes with 2 breaks, it didn‘t have the kind of build I am normally used to from a wrestling match where it ebbs and flows, but as a heated slugfest it was quiet grea
  14. 1 Fall match going a little over 20 minutes. We go from Bernaert stirring shit up in a big way against Dauthuille to Bernaert doing a surprising amount of wrestling in this match. Although he did go back to his kidney punching, neck elbowing ways soon. Bernaert doesn‘t do much to truly set my world on fire, but he is solid enough to always be good for a niggly bout. Chaisne is notable for bringing really good babyface fire. Not quite as much here as he did in his match against Dr. Adolf Kaiser, so I guess Belgian jock who acts like a massive dick isn‘t quite as stirring as evil German Doctor of Philosophy. Once again, I felt the match ended a bit abruptly. This had such a lengthy build and we see so many matches where the heel ends up bumping like a maniac all over the place that the match just ending like that made this feel like a prelim bout.
  15. About 13 minutes of 30 are shown. Rinaldi is said to be Italian, which of course may be a complete fabrication. Moine doesn‘t show up again, and Rinaldi only shows up in these JIP matches, which I‘m a little salty about because both guys did some quality shit here. There was a particular cool sequence centered around leglock reversals that was the brainy type stuff I associate with European style matwork. There was also a great keylock escape that lead to a giant swing. They never threw strikes and then it goes to a time limit draw without ever heating up, so I guess it was that kind of scientific match. Still, it was cool to watch.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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“.
  25. 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.
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