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Found 63 results

  1. 2/3 Falls match over about 25 minutes. Browsing through hundreds of French matches, and just out of nowhere a 22 year old Dave Finlay pops up in what is maybe his first ever televised match working like a seasoned veteran heel. Pretty cool. The saying about European tag wrestling is that they didn‘t quite know how to do it, but this match had pretty much the kind of structure you want: Fun babyface shine segment, followed by a heel beatdown before a series of cut offs before a comeback succeeds and then a finish. They fool you a bit here by doing a really long shine with the heels making several attempts at starting the beatdown and being cut off, but in the end the structure is there and even the 2/3 Falls formula is integrated well. This was a bit more holds and takedowns based and less about armdrags and ranas, similiar to what we know from British wrestling, but don‘t be fooled the pace in this match was lightning fast. These guys really do an absurd amount of stuff even in a long match, but everything is executed effortlessly. Guy Mercier is a former European champion and legit Greco roman wrestler with a look and aura that just screams tough old man, and while there wasn‘t a ton of extended wrestling in this match he looked like a classy worker. It speaks for the creativity of these old workers just how much they could do with moves like a body slam or hip throw. Finlay also did this cool thing where he misses a big splash in about the first minute of the bout and spends the next few minutes scurrying away while the faces twisted up his leg and launched him into the ropes. It didn‘t pay off in the long run, but it was a fun bit of selling to make the opening minutes more interesting. Once the heels got something going after what felt like 15 minutes of highly entertaining bumping and stooging, they basically focussed on getting the faces to the corner and stomping the crap out of them. Really simple and effective stuff that made me wish modern workers paid more attention to making simple things like a stomp look good, because Finlay had damn great looking stomps here. Another layer to the match was Michel Saulnier, who was grey and a referee by now. The match had some heel ref antics and comical amounts of babyface retaliation against Saulnier, while that is something that can ruin a lot of these Euro matches it was actually executed in a really fun manner here. The thing I loved most how delighted the fans were at the trick the heels used to get a pin here. No hard feelings, it‘s all good fun in France.
  2. A great match! Feels like something that should be a staple for the "joshi for people who don't like joshi" pile. It has the legwork/tease the Figure 4-story that so many wrestling fans can understand, plus a classic story with Aoyama having a go at the ace. It also has that "Wow!" factor with state of the art flying moves and big time bumps used for great drama. Aoyama is pretty overzealous, but Sato is pretty much her ideal matchup and Sato has such a tremendous connection to the crowd that anything she's in automatically becomes above average. The matwork is all freaked out and luchariffic with a ton of indian deathlock work and a bunch of twisting around to escape the Figure 4. I imagine this is how they mostly worked big matches at big shows. Notice how easily they fill the time while still ending the match early enough to leave plenty on the table for the future. Just a great main event that would work anywhere in the world.
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