Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Tuesday is French Catch Day: Gastel! Williams! Remy! MODESTO ALEDO~!

Modesto Aledo vs. Bob Remy 7/29/67

SR: 1 fall match going a bit over 20 minutes. Not a superclassic like the other Aledo match we've seen, but pretty good technical work. Of course Aledo is ultra smooth and looks a step above. His standing headscissor is just insane. Remy is stocky and another solid French technician. They didn't seem to be super familiar, but most of the wrestling was slick and the gnarly bits were cool. Dug Aledos backbreakers. Remy launched a nice assault on Aledos arm, throwing him around and then locking in some tight short arm scissors. Aledo sold it pretty nicely, collapsing after hitting a forearm. It was one of the better bits of selling we've seen so far and made the ending more dramatic. Elegant finish.

MD: I thought this bit of footage was lost but it turned up and we're glad to have it. It's another look at Aledo, though one that shows a slightly different side of him than before. He still could be lightning quick, imaginative, and moved across the ring with confidence and mastery but he worked this much more from underneath, almost basing for Remy to really make him shine. That's not to say Remy wasn't bringing stuff to the table. He kept his holds interesting, including the back half where he grounded Aledo with long short arm scissors and then hammerlock exchanges with some great selling between holds. My favorite thing he did here was a neckbreaker though, where he just wrenched Aledo's face to get him into position for one of the meanest ones I've ever seen. They didn't quite take it into the gear that we knew Aledo could from our previous look at him, but it was nice to see this as contrast to really show off his range.

PAS: Aledo is one of those super maestros who you know was incredible because of reputation, and I was happy to get another surprise chance to see him. Like Matt and Sebastian said, this is an all time classic like the Teddy Boy match, but you could definitely see some of what made Aledo a legend. French Catch is a style with a lot of smooth movement, but Aledo is really on another level, just simple stuff like a armbar reversal is awesome. His deep roll up pin to win the match was about as great looking as I have ever seen that move applied. Remy was a real grinder, trying to keep Aledo bottled up with short arm scissors and hammerlocks, everything he did looked like it really hurt which is something I am always going to have a ton of time for.  

MD: JIP, a little less than three minutes here. Valois was big and bruising, trapping the arm and sneaking in cheap shots and later tossing Wiecz out. Wiecz was billed as Carpentier's nephew and we'll see him once again in 68 in a longer match against Bollet and he was spirited and fiery with the crowd very much behind him. The big turning point was him grabbing Valois' foot to cut off the King of the Mountain and the fans went nuts for it.

MD: I liked the back half of this more than the first half, probably because Williams got to do more in the back half. That's not to say that the early stuff was bad. It was just by the books with holds, Gastel starting the inside shots early, and the ref being more of an annoyance than usual in cutting off Williams' comeback attempts. There were times where I think Gastel was even telling him to lighten up so that he didn't steal his heat, though a lot of that would pay off later on with a big collision spot with the ref that the crowd loved and then Williams just getting fed up and clocking him. Williams brought vulnerability and intensity and some strength spots and of course the headbutt towards the end. By the last few minutes there was a real sense of his momentum and the crowd, which we knew from the last match was a good one, was very much behind him. Gastel's the guy I could watch again and again though. He lives on that perfect line between mean and credible bruising and being a brilliant, reactive stooge. All of his stuff looks so good and all of his reactions and facial expressions and feeding is just so spot on. He's larger than life while just being this dumpy, nondescript lump of a guy. This might be our tenth match with him, but I feel like I know him in the ring as well as I know Dick Murdoch or Buck Robley. Just a great, great pro wrestler and I'm glad we were able to meet him through this footage. I'm also glad the ref in this one got clocked.

SR: 1 fall match going about 30 minutes. Man, Robert Gastel is such a joy to watch. Even when he is doing super simple stuff, he is supremely entertaining. This had simplistic grappling, armlocks and headscissors, but they kept it interesting. Eddie Wiliams is really athletic - super height on his dropkick - and has nice headbutts and forearms. And I just love Gastel. I'm sure if he popped up more he'd emerge as a Satanico-like superworker. This was more of a houseshowish match and a bit long here and there, but I enjoyed it. Worth watching for Gastel grimacing and punching Williams in the face.

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