Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Tuesday is French Catch Day: Angelito! Alami! Roux! Cavillier! Magnier! Zarzecki! Montreal! Delaporte!

Angelito/El Alami vs. Guy Cavillier/Andre Roux 9/3/73

MD: Tons and tons to like here. We haven't seen a lot of Angelito yet but he'll be in the footage more and more. This is, apparently, our only look at Alami and Roux (Roupp? Rouchet?) and both of them were very good. Alami was Moroccan and a fiery lightweight stylist with great rope running and some tricked out spots. And Roux is one of those "greatest wrestlers we only have one match of." He could go, could hit hard and lean on his opponent, but his stooging was top notch. The announcer called him the Rudolph Valentino of the Ring or something like that and he did have that Ed Wiskowki look, lanky with the world's most pullable mustache.

The other wrinkle was Babette Carole, the female referee and much of the match was build around the heels running circles around her with illegal double teams and then running into throws or shots from her. They'd end up in sequences during comebacks when they'd tag after every punch and get hot with one another and it led to a number of miscommunication spots in the corner or the ropes, some novel ones and some old classics. My favorite bit might have been Alami dragging Roux all the way around the ring by his mustache, but Roux mocking the quick kneeling exchange opening that guys like Ben Chemoul did only to get dropkicked in the face was a classic too. The pacing on this one was a bit better than usual too: we came in JIP but the falls were broken up at ten minute intervals in a thirty minute match which felt better than the usual long first fall we get. The heels took the first fall too (which was deserved considering how well they were cheating. Add in a hot crowd you get something that was better than the sum of its parts, which isn't always the case with these tags. Very good stuff.

Warnia de Zarzecki vs. Fred Magnier 10/12/73

MD: We get the last five minutes of this one out of thirty. It's been forever since we've seen Zarzecki and if I'm reading it right, he might be the bad guy here. Magnier was billed as a former legionnaire, the Mercenary of Catch. In a lot of ways, it felt like a 50s match in the back quarter, with a lot of momentum shifts and big shots and slams, just with, you know, a swimming pool for both guys to fall into. This actually answered one of the questions I had in mind: whether or not there were whole cards for these swimming pool matches or just a featured match. It seems to be a whole card which has to explain why the fans are elated for a big heel getting his comeuppance in the matches we've seen but not quite as elated as you'd expect: they'd seen it already earlier in the show! I wish we had this whole thing because the bit we got here looked good and it is our last look at Zarzecki. We'll see a bit more Magnier later. Oh, also of note here? The referee was Duranton's old valet, Firmin, in very Dastardly Danny Davis style, though he didn't do anything outwardly heelish despite the commentary suggesting the possibility as such. That guy got more heat than anyone else in all of the footage, so good to see him still employed.  

Mr. Montreal vs. Roger Delaporte 10/12/73

MD: I sort of answered my own question on why the fans would care about multiple swimming pool matches on the same card. This went the full thirty or close to it before anyone hit the water. They only teased it a couple of times but that's plenty of time to reset the clock in the fans' minds. Anyway, this was Montreal billed with his real name as well, Marcel Chaveau and Delaporte, who was 45 going on 75 here, looking ancient and moving gingerly at times (though how much of that was an act is anyone's guess; he was quick to attack when the moment presented itself). I liked this more than I was expecting as the first half were fairly tight and close up holds and the back half more scrapping and interacting with the ref. Delaporte was such a master. You had the sense that he could really stretch someone with small and straightforward things; it was how he'd turn Montreal's bridge on the reverse headlock right back into a cravat or the torque on an armbar. Meanwhile, when they were up and scrapping or he was laying in cheapshots, he always looked to the crowd first, always set the stage, always milked out the most possible resonance and meaning. Just a master, with Montreal more than game to hang with him. The whole match here had Firmin, once a valet, now a ref, getting involved more and more but really just the poor guy doing his job. Sure, Delaporte would take advantage but that's only because Montreal was taking liberties. Still, when the time came, he hit the water first, with Delaporte not far behind him. Obviously, Delaporte was limited by this point in his career but the man could do so much with so little. One of the best heels of the 20th century no doubt.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Blogger Bremenmurray said...

The crowds for these matches seem to have changed as the 1970s progress.In the early years of this footage the crowds were predominately working class men some of whom looked as tough as the wrestlers..Now there seem to be a wider age group and wider cross section of society.Supose the youg men attending the matches in the early years were looking for the legit fights that in the present century fans of MMA and Bare Knuckle Boxing enjoy

5:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home