Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Tuesday is French Catch Day: Mann! Montourcy! Black Salem! Pellacani!

Tommy Mann vs. Claude Montourcy 10/17/57 - GREAT


PAS: Another week, another pair of awesome guys I have never heard of. Pretty classic French Catch heavyweight style match, with some really cool matwork a nasty cheating heel, and a finishing run full of violence. We even get a countout finish off a big bump, which seems to be a finish used a lot. I like well done formula wrestling, and this was very well done. Montourcy really works over the arm, including a great spot where he climbs Mann's back to clasp an arm. Mann is a guy with stiff cheapshots, and he had especially good looking uppercuts, landing right in the mandible. He looked like he was going to dislocate's Montourcy's jaw. The finish bump by Mann was a pretty big one, and I liked how he sold his arm like he cracked his forearm on the chair.

MD: Despite being billed as American, Mann is definitely British. He was on Benny Hill. He's a stocky grizzled, hard-nosed character and we're lucky to have any footage of him. Montourcy is a quick and fiery (when pushed) French babyface. I had some concerns in the first few minutes as the chain wrestling seemed okay but not particular dynamic relative to what we've been watching, but then Mann forearmed him out of nowhere and everything was okay once more. Mann either really understood or adroitly adapted to the crowd. Much like British rules, you have to chain your offense together in French Catch. If you knock someone down, you can't then go in and lock in a hold if bodily contact was broken and it wasn't all one movement. If you do, the ref will break the hold. Mann, however, kept going for unattached chinlocks, getting big boos each time. It's one of those things that probably wouldn't have worked in front of any other crowd of any other era but it made him reviled here. This turned into a good mix of slugging blows (including Montourcy affronted comebacks and bits of revenge) and punishing holds; Mann was especially good at turning one hold into the next as Montourcy shifted positions. Given the length of these matches, there are generally a lot of momentum shifts, which makes each individual comeback somewhat less memorable then it might be in a shine-heat-comeback formula, but there was a beautiful stepover (with the leg hooked every so slightly under the arm to give the flipping torque) cross-arm breaker with the leg clapping down over the face repeatedly, that really got the crowd up, including the Martian at ringside. Anyway, things escalated to some bumps out of the ring and a countout/TKO that protected Mann well enough while putting over Montourcy. We'll see the latter a few more times but Mann only once more I think.

SR: 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.


Jacky Corne vs. Rafael Blasco 11/29/57 - FUN

MD: This was something. We just get ten minutes of it but Blasco, who is a Spanish Light Heavyweight who I don't think there's any footage of but this, is an amazing striker and just pounds the hell out of Corn. He has this high torque twist out into a forearm or a punch that's brutal and he does it again and again. He also picks Corn up and charges him into the corner multiple time. Corn is a fighter as always and comes back to the crowd's delight, but ultimately it's too much. I liked the gamesmanship here: when Corn was coming back, Blasco tossed him out; when Blasco used the same tricks too many times, Corn was able to dodge away or deflect, but really this was all about the strikes and how much heat Blasco was able to generate from the crowd.

PAS: I am not going to complain about a match where a guy brutally punches another guy until the towel gets thrown in. It was pretty one-dimensional, but that is a hell of a dimension. The rainmaker into a punch was really cool, and it is fun to see how many 50s French Catch guys have cooler Rainmakers than Okada.

SR: About the ending of what looks like a pretty heated match. Mostly Blasco beating on Corn with nasty forearm shots until his corner man throws in the towel. Blasco also really likes a move where he puts Corn in a japanese strangelhold and spins him around like a Rainmaker. I would‘ve liked more Blasco as he came across mean and tough but this is his sole appearance.


Black Salem vs. Liano Pellacani 11/29/57 - GREAT

MD: Pellacani is one of the greatest heatseeking villains we've seen. Remember, he's the guy we saw someone throw a lit cigarette in one of our first matches. Here, he's not just facing Black Salem, but the ref and the crowd and the world itself. Ultimately, what that means is that we don't necessarily have a great match, but we do absolutely have an amazing performance. Salem was fairly big, with a great headbutt and some questionable strikes (kicks especially) and and throws/holds. He reminded me a bit of King Kong Taverne, where he could do the moves of the day, but not nearly as smooth as others. I get the sense that some of the technical masters we've seen could walk him through a really interesting match. That's not what Pellacani was there for though. He was there to enrage everyone in the crowd, especially the lady wearing the giant cross that may or may not have been a nun. Oh and the guy that pounded him when he was on the apron at one point. And the ref (though that was worked) who kept kicking him in the head repeatedly when he wouldn't break a hold. With almost every heel we've seen, there's a Tully-ian moment of at least trying to wrestle before going to the cheapshots. Not with Pellacani. He rushes right in at the bell and never looks back. If the ref hits him to break a hold, he makes sure to kick Salem in response. He jaws with the ref or the crowd as a distraction so he can lunge in at his opponent. When he hits something he's happy with, he'll do a little strut or a finger motion with a smug look on his face. Sometimes he even feigns contrition, as if it was an accident. And his shots all look nasty and brutal and sound even worse. Pellacani was truly the best at being the worst.

PAS: Pellacani continues to be great. You really don't need much on the other side, he is going to throw those big shots and try to fight everyone in the audience. He has some real shoulder separators for forearms, and knows just when to cool a crowd down and to heat them up.  I enjoyed Salem, his stuff didn't always land but he timed his stuff really well and that headbutt was class. I also like the spin kick, it didn't always land great but it looked cool.  Pellacani was the story though, he is really an all timer.

SR: 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.


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1 Comments:

Blogger Catcheur said...

The referee of the match with Montourcy is Henri Lambert. He was a wrestler himself. Any match with him ? When he left wrestling, he became an actor.

4:56 AM  

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