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Found 30 results

  1. Awesome, awesome fight. I was excited to see Bert Royal, a really neat WoS guy with all too little footage, showing up as a young lad in France 13 years before his WoS material. Tony Oliver is, I assume, another Spanish worker, and like all Spanish workers we‘ve seen so far he is really awesome. This was nasty, grinding title fight, 1 fall over 35 minutes. The wrestling equivalent to seeing Ali slugging it out with someone over 12 rounds. Great mix of wrestling and beating the shit out of each other. Oliver was the kind of worker who was all about inside shots and grinding his knuckles really hard into his opponent. Anytime he got an advantage he would dig his fist into Berts face, elbow to the stomach , bite, or hammer him in the ribs. There was a lengthy section where he was just trying to pull Royals knee apart. He also has really awesome mannerisms, like he gets so upset at the audience booing his tactics in hilarious ways, he is totally the hero of his own story. Later he takes the chance to stomp the referee, which was such an amusing psycho move. When Royal gets fed up and starts firing away with those forearms, Oliver is really awesome flopping around wobbly headed, it was amazing to watch. Royal is mostly on the receiving end of Olivers cheapshots, but he busts out some really cool fast movements here and there, he also has his awesome signature backslide submission hold and a really cool Tiger Mask spin into a victory roll. I loved how intense they worked the pin attempts, I am so mad workers nowadays have no sense for that kind of thing. Oliver also really knows how to escalate things, he is basically throwing shots the whole match, but when he drops his knee on Royals throat or stomps him in the back of the head it really feels like he crossed the line. It builds to this really intense frenzy, Royal taking bumps to the outside, Oliver getting pasted with a big palm strike (!!), both guys trading forearms on the floor, nasty use of the ring ropes, awesome finish. Post match Oliver shows some class, which I guess is a nice conclusion to his story, since we seemingly won‘t see him again. It‘s really amazing that we all got interested in French wrestling by guys doing improbable athletic shit in black and white matches, and then France keeps throwing completely different things at you that end up being really awesome.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 1 Fall match going about 15 minutes. Humez is one of the great French boxers. OJ theorized that this may be his debut match, and it had the feel of a debut match. It felt like French pro wrestling, but there was no overlay elaborate stuff. Feels weird to see a middle aged guy with bald spots working a rookie match. Instead the match just turns into this nasty fight with Humez reacting to Debusne's shenanigans by tagging him and Debusne trying to gouge Humez eyes. It wasn‘t a Roger Delaporte level eye gouging, but it served to get Humez sufficiently fired up. Debusne ends up busted open and Humez takes him to the pay window. Humez has these cool left-right european uppercuts and Debusne was really good doing some noodle legged selling. It wasn‘t an epic spectacle, more like a fun way to debut Humez as this no-nonsense hitter, but it was really enjoyable and not having more Humez feels like a big miss.
  13. 2/3 Falls match going roughly 30 minutes. Karl von Chenok was another Hungarian wrestler, although he was billed as „the German strangler“ here. His son, Jörg Chenok, was a decent middleweight working the German scene in the 1980s and early 90s and appeared on British TV at least one time. As far as evil fake-German guys with strangler gimmicks go, von Chenok sure was no Dr. Adolf Kaiser, as he reeeally liked the nerve hold, but he looked a decent grappler and his european uppercuts sure were stiff as hell. Tarres was a Spanish worker with the legend saying he had metal plates implanted in his head, giving him the nickname „Iron Head“. His headbutts in this were tremendous. This was even further removed from typically beautiful French style pro wrestling than the previous match between Debusne and Humez. It was basically scrappy and uncooperative the whole way through and built around von Chenoks nerve hold vs. Tarres‘ headbutts, with both guys having good ways to avoid the other signature moves. Tarres was really brutalizing von Chenok with those, including a spot where he had him in a surfboard and rammed into the back of his head. Tarres also did a great job fighting out of von Chenoks nerve holds and tossing him around by his bald head. Von Chenok ended up busted open and KO‘d losing the first fall. Through this we learn that unlike in a British wrestling, in France a KO doesn‘t end a 2/3 falls match immediately. If the match had continued in the vein of that 1st fall I could have seen this being really great, but instead we were subjected to a lengthy nerve hold routine from von Chenok. Tarres sold like an absolute champ and you could tell he was a superstar quality worker though. If he had mounted some kind of epic comeback against von Chenoks tactics this really would‘ve been awesome, but I guess it wasn‘t in the books that night. At least we get some more matches of Tarres, including one against Dr. Adolf Kaiser who is the rich mans evil German strangler, so that is something to look forward to.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. I have read about Dr. Adolf Kaiser, aka Hans Waldherr before. A german reporter, I think from Der Spiegel or Stern, saw him on TV in France and then wrote a rage filled article about Dr. Kaiser, who was portraying an evil German on French television, which supposedly had a toxic effect on the relations between France and Germany. I assume this was maybe the earliest appearance of Dr. Kaiser, since he gets a respectful reaction from the crowd at his introduction. I was expecting Adolf Kaiser, Doctor of Philosophy to be this outrageously evil and brutal character, but he was a fairly classy worker and he wore leopard trunks of all things. He surprised Chaisne with a nice leg trip and wrist attack, later he locks in a cool double armlock that a luchador could steal. It made me wonder how technical German and Austrian workers could get, I guess simply everyone in Europe then was some awesome wrestling genius. However, it soon became apparent where the bout was gonna go, since Kaiser was eager to show ass, bump big and throw inside shots. His animalistic body language and antics also had „evil“ written all over them. Chaisne soon started to give Kaiser the business with some nasty nasty knee scrapes and laying in the uppercuts. I almost thought it was too much too early, since Kaiser hadn‘t done anything that nasty compared to the heels we saw on French TV before, but I guess when you‘re a German named Adolf Kaiser working in France you gotta be prepared to eat some uppercuts. Wrestling wise there was some cool body scissors work and the Dr. showing he could wrestle even when he would gladly take shortcuts. Chaisne is another worker we‘ll see many times until the very 80s and he looked veritable here. He seemed to have the match in the bag until Kaiser launched him outside and rammed his head into the ringpost. Chaisne came up bloody and fell to an Indian Deathlock coupled with the dreaded nerve hold from the Dr. Afterwards Chaisne has to be carried to the back with everyone acting all concerned. Really nifty TV bout which was oozing with character all the way through.
  22. 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.
  23. Weirdest damn thing I‘ve ever seen. They‘ve got springs at ringside and using them to catapult the wrestlers into the ring at incredible heights. I can‘t find words to do it quite justice. Before the match, both teams come out dressed as corny sci fi movie astronauts while early electronic music blares. Amazing. Tags are signaled by raising a fist and to tag in, the other wrestler catapults into the ring. To make things even weirder, the match has rounds, which I‘ve never seen in a tag match. Perero & Dos Santos were announced as „Portuguese“ but that may not be true at all. Aside from the insane gimmick, the wrestling wasn‘t blow away, although there were a few beautiful armdrags and headscissors. All these guys moved slick as cats. Seems they couldn‘t focus much due to having to do all these jumps while trying not to blow their knees out. They actually didn‘t use the catapults for many moves, though there is the crazy spot where one guy catches the other flying and hits a body slam, not something I would‘ve believed possible before seeing this. Also, guys kept bumping on their back while flying into the ring and they just got up and kept moving. How am I supposed to buy a body slam as a finisher after seeing that? Anyways, this felt like a true crossover of wrestling and acrobatics. I‘m sure a couple AAA guys could do way more with the insane gimmick, but that would be riddled with thigh slapping moves, Canadian Destroyers and backcrackers. What we got here was classier, basically Catch in Space, and it was fairly nice.
  24. I got stupidly excited when I saw this match in the archives. Two guys who had an awesome match series in the 1980s (when Franz was nearing 50 and had recovered from a paralyzing back injury, while Lasartesse was looking like a corpse) fighting each other in their prime, what could go wrong? However, the match was lacking focus, and didn‘t play to either guys strength. They were noticeably struggling to kill time, so I guess they did get wiser with age. Still, there was plenty to be enjoyed here: the match takes place in a ring that is floating in a swimming pool, and they send the wrestlers there in tiny little boats while a young Atsushi Onita was furiously taking notes at ringside. Of course the whole match was building to someone getting thrown into the water. For something that could have been a light hearted spectacle, the match was quite violent. After some initial feeling out, Lasartesse quickly took over the match and started working over van Buyten's throat with nasty stomps and elbows. He also busted out plenty of offense, too much offense really, he uncorked like 5 Tombstone Piledrivers on Franz which no matter how much they tried to cover up the following pinfalls should have ended the match. Also, Lasartesse is notorious for not being very good at the actual wrestling and his suplexes looked like shit. Once Franz made his comeback, a heel ref got involved to kill more time. Even when Lasartesse hit the dreaded diving knee to Franz, he couldn‘t end the match. It‘s very strange for a match between two guys who stood out before working no frills story driven matches to suffer from 2019isms such as too many finishers, but here we were. At least we got to see Franz hitting his cool in-ring topes and throwing the evil referee headfirst into the shallow pool.
  25. A 30 minute contest 2/3 falls contest, JIP about 7 minutes into it and both guys are already at each others throats. It‘s a battle between rather mysterious figures. We‘ve seen Inca Peruano before as a bumping rudo, although he is in the tecnico role here. Joachim La Barba is mentioned as „The terrible champion of Mexico“ on a fanpage. Genickbruch.com lists him wrestling in Germany as „Abdul Khan“ and in Mexico as „Pancho Zapata“. No guarantee about these facts since there was also another luchador named Pancho Zapata. I really wonder about the background of Inca Peruano – is he actually Peruvian? A Mexican worker with an Inca gimmick? Was he trained in France? No matter where he came from, he shows up a lot in this footage and is clearly a great worker. This was an absolute slugfest. The kind of match you‘d never see on British or German TV at this point. But here, the announcer was cackling like a madman at these two trying to put some serious hurt on each other. Both guys were really laying in those trademark European uppercuts, cracking each others ribs with thudding kicks and using holds so they could hit the other guy from a safe position. Joachim La Barba was an absolute beast here, throwing punches to the back of the head, constantly stepping on his opponent, walloping him with kicks. At one point, he was driving knees into Inca while holding on to the ropes like a PRIDE fight. He came across as a guy it really sucks to fight, and Peruano's stoic selling performance enhanced the grittiness of the match. Between beating on each other, they work the mat (usually leading to more shots on the ground) and other nifty spots. One of the things they do that you can‘t just do in modern wrestling anymore is the use of the ropes, which were really loose to allow for tying up spots. The „tie up the other guy as revenge“ spot is a staple of German wrestling, but they did some pretty unique shit here. Peruano takes the horrifying looking spill into the ropes where he gets his head tied up and is nearly strangled, later he uses the ropes to hit several Toyota style dropkicks to Joachim's chest, there is also a really swank and well timed head scissor over the ropes. I am absolutely amazed how workers from nearly 70 years ago find unique twists on spots we‘ve seen plenty of times in other matches, such as said rope trickery or La Barba unexpectedly landing on the rope when they went through the classic „pull them off his torso-armbar“ sequence. Also, there is a real sense of bomb throwing towards the end of the match. Both guys hit some flying moves off the top rope which set up the finishes to the falls, and one guy takes a big missed back bump that is put over in a big way. I especially liked how they seemingly improvised Inca Peruano who was slow to get to the rope working a fun cutoff before Barba could catch him. Even though this was by far the least pretty of all the matches from France we‘ve seen so far, this was a baffling and amazing match, great mix of a violent fight and some pretty unique wrestling, with state of the art finishes.