Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D, Sebastian, and other friends write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Tuesday is French Catch Day: Asquini! Manneveau! Saulnier! Torres! Kaiser! Mercier

MD: As best as I can tell, this was at an outdoor venue in Chantilly. There's talk repeatedly of a national wrestler's collective putting on the show. I'm fairly sure the venue drove the format, but this went around 12 minutes and is really one of the most watchable, accessible matches we have on the set so far. If you want to show someone some French Catch, this is a great choice. We rarely (if ever) have gotten to see Manneveau on his own and here he was able to stretch a bit more. With Gessat, he's relegated more to stooging. This moved quickly but I wouldn't call it a sprint as they worked holds, blocked counters, a push over the top, moving into hard shots and big spots, then back into holds. I'm not kidding when I say they were hard shots either. Asquini was a hell of a striker and Manneveau was really laying in the kicks and knees. They weren't out there for long relatively so they worked every hold and escape attempt with everything they had. In the end, Manneveau stole one with the ropes and I swear it's the first time we've seen such a thing in a decade and a half of footage.

PAS: Yeah this was really cool, it was like a TV studio version of the much longer matches we normally get. I really liked the leglock spot with Manneveau smacking Asquini every time he tried to raise up, only to get felled by a nice ax kick. I also liked all of the spots where they tied each other in the ropes. It was strange to see a grab the ropes finish, it is such a classic wrestling spot, but have matches end on straight cheating is really rare. 

Michel Saulnier vs. Ricardo Torres 5/2/70

MD: If Manneveau vs Asquini was a middleweight war with technical holds and big shots, this was absolutely a lightweight sprint. These two were constant motion. There were holds but they were reversed quickly often in the most spectacular way possible. There was something I had to go back and watch three times, where a slip through the legs was followed by a trip and a headlock attempt, but where Saulnier was able to pick out an arm for a wristlock at the attempt. The match was full of little moments like that and for the most part they didn't feel cooperative. Everything switched at the ten minute mark when Torres ended up accidentally choked in the ropes. Saulnier was quick to help him out in a sportsmanlike manner, but things went a lot chippier after that even as they kept the crowd up with pin attempts and spots as they rushed to a finish. Ultimately, this was another 15 minutes and another great match to show people, as it was a snapshot of the breathtaking French lightweight style.

PAS: This was the kind of style which really blew us away when we first saw French Catch. Lots of super fast counters and and great looking ranas and armdrags. Saulnier hits a fast handstand into a rana which would be the coolest highspot on a PWG or AEW show, much less something from the 70s. The flip into the rope choke was really cool looking too, unclear how Torres's head didn't pop off his body

Kurt/Peter Kaiser vs Guy Mercier 5/2/70

 I think this was set up as a different show, but it's likely the same venue. Kaiser's now called Peter instead of Kurt (maybe one by the ring announcer and one by the commentator actually). They reference him previously winning in less than two minutes against Bayle and note that this is a catchweight as he's much bigger than Mercier. Mercier got a few of his really great leg picks in (some spinning and some just dropping down and one as he was rolling backwards out of a hold), his spin out headscissors, as well as some fun holds like a short leg scissors. He probably took a little too much of it actually, even though Kaiser was good at coming back with slams or a looming nervehold at every point. It was a banana peel finish where Mercier got over-exuberant on a comeback and Kaiser was able to side step him. They never really went for big heat here, even shaking after the match. I'm not sure if that had to do more with the venue or what but it wasn't quite the follow up to the Bayle squash I was expecting.

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Blogger Catcheur said...

Thank you for providing us with such a good historical material. Happy New Year to your team !

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Phil Lions said...

Not too long after this Ricardo Torres started working as the masked Angelito. The gimmick was that Angelito was the son of L'Ange Blanc.

1:50 PM  

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