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[1967-01-29-France] Vassilios Mantopolous vs Billy Catanzaro


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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.

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