Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

THE MOTHERFUCKING INTERNET: 60's Lutte Libre- Gilbert Cesca v. Billy Catanzarro

This is a new feature on Segunda Caida where we take a road trip down the information superhighway and find weird and awesome wrestling matches that we would never get to see without the wonders of the World Wide Web.

Gilbert Cesca v. Billy Catanzarro

PAS: Some awesome guy is uploading 60's French Wrestling and this match is legitimately spectacular. I feel like I am being a little hyperbolic, but on first watch this felt on the level of an all time classic professional wrestling match, like Cesca v. Catanzarro needs to be in the conversation with Flair v. Steamboat or Dandy v. Casas or Tenryu v. Hansen. Thanks to an info video I can tell which guy is which, I can't promise the same in future New Wave Wrestling reviews. The first 12 minutes of the match was matwork and exchanges. It felt like a combination of lucha and british wrestling, it was really fast and really intricate. One of the really unique things was they way they locked up, it was kind of mix of a collar and elbow tie up and a knuckle lock, and they both had a ton of really interesting ways to work out of it. Catanzarro was the first to mix it up, as he counters a wristlock by flipping over and blasting Cesca with a really stiff forearm, he then quickly hit almost a snap ganzo bomb for the first big throw. The match was worked like that, mostly slick counters, ranas and monkey flips, with an occasional explosion. So much cool matwork, including the Santo spinning headscissors spot by Catanzarro, which gets countered into almost an Indian deathlock. By the end of the match fraternité has broken down and they are on their knees blasting each other with really stiff forearms, it had a real Lawler v. Mantell, exhausted brawl feel. Cesca is also hitting these great half pounce half topes off the ropes where he is just running full speed and smashing his head into the side of his opponents face. FInish was really great Cesca is viciously wrenching a hammer lock, with Catanzarro attempting multiple cool counters which are cut off, until he is finally able to flip over and land in almost a flash pin postion. I am exited to watch everything on this guys channel, because if the rest is even half this good this will be a goldmine of Black Terry Jr. proportions.

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Blogger Brian said...


Seriously, there is nothing not to love about this match. The mat work is silky smooth, but both guys are always working, always fighting either to get out of the hold or to keep the hold on. The strikes are stiff as fuck, the occasional big moves are big and well executed (Something like a cradle semi-ganso bomb. Then more or less a high angle powerbomb.)

The sequence you mentioned where the throw those European uppercuts on their knees is great, but you didn't do it justice. They hammer each other down to their knees, and then just keep going at it.

If this is the best match that guy has from France in the 60's, you will get no complaints from me. If it's not the best, then he is my new favorite person on the internet.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Mike187 said...

Gilbert Cesca vs. Billy Catanzarro

Actually thought this was a Catanzarro carry job. Catanzarro's the guy who looks like Sean Penn in I Am Sam, he also has a taped up leg. He did most of the work, even when he was on defense. I don't think any of Cesca's leg work came close to the greatness of Catanzarro attacking Cesca's knee joint. Catanzarro's reversals were either flashy and something I hadn't seen before (eg headlock escape, aggressively ripping arm away with other arm) or simply brutal (eg up-kicks). His moveset was excellent, too. Aside from the Santo spinning headscissors, I really liked his elbow strikes and uppercuts. He also showed great timing when he reversed a shoulder block with a hiptoss. Cesca was solid, his Zidane headbutts ruled, thought his unorthodox headlock-strike spot was amusing and liked how he'd grind his fist into Catanzarro's knee, but for the most part he was just going along for the ride. Pretty great match. Check it out if you're a WOS fan.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Tom Elliott said...

This is by far the oldest match I've ever seen, and the first time I've really watched half an hour of the real old-school mat-wrestling style. And it was fucking unreal. I've always struggled to 'get' matwork, mostly because so much of what is called matwork today is fucking token, rushed and contrived. This felt so natural and smooth, with both guys fighting for each hold, reversal and counter. If you'd told me yesterday that today I'd watch thirty-five minutes of French 60's catch and loved it, I'd have called you a liar. Easily the first time I've enjoyed the matwork more than guys beating the hell out of each other. Un autre, s'il vous plait.

10:34 AM  

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