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French catch

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Hey! Doing some research on something that has got nothing to do with wrestling I came across the webpage for INA (French National Institute of Media). If you go to their webpage http://www.ina.fr and search for "catch" or "catcheur" you can find a few clips, nothing much and no entire matches, but really interesting so I thought I'd share it here with an audience that will appreciate it.

 

Most of you probably have no idea about this, but France is one of the few remaining "treasure trove" collections left anywhere in the world that we have nothing about other than a couple of clips. The French being French, meaning very well organized and protective of their history, keep films of everything ever shown on their national TV stations.

 

I can guarantee that the reels are in perfect storage conditions somewhere in a Sports Institute vault in France (perhaps there is more than one copy, I don't know). I know the catch was restored, cleaned up, timed and catalogued a few years ago. I could be wrong but I believe that France is the only country (other than the UK) that taped wrestling and showed it on TV for decades.

 

I know people who have been chasing this footage for a decade but dealing with the French administration you have to go through a lot of loopholes and once you have charmed a person then it's replaced and you have to start over again. It's not a matter of money either (the people chasing this collection are, without going into specifics, very well off). So we may never really see the full collection of footage anywhere.

 

According to the Spanish wrestling historians I know, the finest technical wrestlers in Europe were the French, second the Spanish, and third the British. This may be a matter of opinion and indeed the footage doesn't show the style to be like World of Sport, but nevertheless it's an interesting piece of history.

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French wrestling looks to be WACKY. There's some sort of mud MEN'S battle royale, and a match where the ring is in the middle of a pool or something and people come into the ring using little boats (eat that Onita).

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That is awesome. I have been out of the loop for years so I had no idea. I was shocked that in the era of youtube NOTHING had ever showed up. There's even been a lot of Olympic Auditorium from the 80s in LA and mystery Guadalajara or whatever lucha showing up. The problem of youtube is that if you like something you better download it using jdownloader because it may disappear someday.

 

If somebody's got a copy online I'd be interested in seeing it.

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Didn't know you guys captured that match! Yeah it was the most actively interesting find both in terms of both historical value and a visual demonstration of a largely unseen style in recent memory.

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Something perhaps slightly out of topic but it's odd how A LOT of the weird youtube stuff is showing up on the collections of Bear/Gay wrestling fans that watch it to talk about the bodies of the wrestlers and rank matches based on bearhugs and head scissors applied. I mean, you can find a neat Negro Navarro vs Mando Guerrero brawl in a collection next to Billy vs Johnny wrestling in flashy pink thongs in a mat in someones garage, and a Nick Bockwinkel match vs a jobber where he's described as a hairy macho mature hunk (and I'm not taking about Khawk's uploads here). God bless the wrestling fetish community, I mean, how can't you be tolerant when they are bringing THE GOODS. When is the last time that you saw an ultra conservative Christian upload unknown 80s lucha?

 

Phil - you are a star! Thanks.

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I feel like this is quickly heading in the direction of Danny The Jobber talk.

 

Having said that I never got to see any of that LA stuff because I'm an idiot and forgot to save it. If anyone has a link post it or PM me with it.

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Danny the Jobber? Should I ask?

 

I'm also an idiot and I didn't save the L.A. wrestling that jellybeans had. Bix? There was a Perro Aguayo vs Mil Mascaras match from 1980 or so that I never got to watch, I am always interested in seeing early years Perro.

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Jellybeans178's account was closed? FUCK. He should've stuck to uploading non-WWE stuff.

 

I didn't grab any...someone must have, right? RIGHT?

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Jellybeans178's account was closed? FUCK. He should've stuck to uploading non-WWE stuff.

 

I didn't grab any...someone must have, right? RIGHT?

If you link to his videos it says that he closed it (unlike the French match which said that youtube closed it after requests by NJPW). I didn't save anything.

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I seriously want to know about L'Ange Blanc's credentials for the Observer HOF (insofar as I want L'Ange Blanc info as opposed to pimping him for the HOF outright). From what little I understand he had near-Big Daddy levels of fame in France at his peak but was also an elite worker. To the extent that you can judge a guy's workrate by still photos, which AFAIK is all we have, he's clearly miles ahead of Daddy, with lots of tricked out European submissions.

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Jellybeans178's account was closed? FUCK. He should've stuck to uploading non-WWE stuff.

 

I didn't grab any...someone must have, right? RIGHT?

If you link to his videos it says that he closed it (unlike the French match which said that youtube closed it after requests by NJPW). I didn't save anything.

 

I've seen some weird bogus copyright claims on YouTube but that might be the most out there.

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i've been teaching myself french over the summer and spent a couple of days mucking through the french internet to try to find some good video, but nothing much came up. we need an eccentric millionaire wrestling fan willing to drop unrefusable money on these ventures.

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There's also this guy that has got a lot of very short clips from newsreel footage:

http://www.youtube.com/user/sdkpatoche

 

Tim, it's not a question of money. One of the people who is chasing this footage is very well off. It's up to the INA to open up their library of footage, which isn't going to happen, or for them to allow it to be transferred to somebody else who may share it and risk getting in trouble.

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Looks like someone grabbed it and put it up as a hidden youtube file with classical music overdubbed.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgOdNO-aY18...player_embedded

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgayO4ZPGrA...player_embedded

That French match is the best ROH match I've seen all year.

 

I didn't get to check out the whole thing but what I saw was awesome. Did anyone notice the wacky lock-ups? Never seen that before. If that's any inclination, I'm pretty sure I'd be all over french wrestling.

 

To be honest, I'm surprised that France had a rich wrestling history as I've never even heard a thing about it.

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I alluded to the EWF promotion in the 1990 hype thread which was on TV in Europe during that period. I'd love to find some footage of it. I believe it was French based.

 

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I'd love to see French wrestling and one of the guys I've also been intrigued to find footage of is the grotesque Thauvin, the 'perfect bastard' who Barthes described in Mythologies.

 

Not sure of what circumstances led to it, but interesting to note that in the early 90s the luchadors Herodes, Carlos Plata and Rambo wrestled in France. Rambo wrestled as Sgt. Mendieta, since there was already a French Rambo.

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Sup Herodes. Great name.

 

The EWF hookup was Plata, who is a Spaniard and got the call from one of his Spanish wrestling colleagues, I believe Rocky Nelson (a Latin American who has lived in Spain forever and wrestled in the EWF as Angelito le Vigie, a vigilante/security guard gimmick carrying a dog to the ring - funny as he was a security guard in real life).

 

ButchReedMark : Jeff Lynch has got all the EWF there is. We got several discs from him more than half a decade ago in an Europe bulk buy. Basically everything that sounded interesting and/or had internationally known good workers. I have them in Spain and no access to them as I live in the UK, but I am sure some of the guys on the board may be willing to sell or trade you some discs if you ask around.

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