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Jetlag

[1957-02-22-France] Bert Royal vs Tony Oliver

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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.

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This was awesome. Oliver was not interested in friendly sportsmanship. He was more interested in grinding Royal’s knee joints into dust.  Oliver adopted sneaky tactics such as grinding his fist into Royal’s limbs while locking on any hold that was available to him. Royal’s revenge spots were amazing. The crowd hated Oliver so any time Royal would crack his face with a forearm, they were cheering or Royal like crazy. Excellent match. This is something that I should check out more often. ****1/4 

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I did not like this nearly as much as you guys. Tony Oilver does show good heel offense here and I liked the back and forth exchange with weird roll ups. But this was very long for what it was and outlasted it's welcome with me. And I really didn't like the spots where the ref armbarred Oliver or puched him in the face, it took away from Royal's comebacks to have things like that kick them off.

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