Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tuesday is French Catch Day: Bordes! Leduc! Ramirez! Boucard! Mercier! Asquini! MacGregor! O'Connor!

Walter Bordes/Gilbert Leduc vs Paco Ramirez/Daniel Boucard 7/25/77

MD: We get a solid 20 minutes of action here, so while this is incomplete, there's a lot to see, and a lot of enjoy, and a lot to learn. For one, it's Leduc, the wrestler of the 60s, teaming with Bordes, who may well be the wrestler of the 70s. Ramirez, working sort of ebullient yet cowardly matador gimmick, was a great heatseeking heel and Boucard, more of a mugging, clubbering one. Leduc still had it, able to slug it out and do all of his signature spins and Bordes had such amazing energy, both when he was charging headlong into his own offense and eating Ramirez' charging headbutts to the guts. Sometimes, he went so fast that it went haywire, like when he tried to flip up into a 'rana off, but they always recovered; here it was with a nasty power bomb. The structure of this makes it a bit of a shame we dont' have all of it, as Boucard and Ramirez, after shaking hands politely, staged and ambush and actually pinned Leduc in the first minute. We only get the brunt of the second fall before the video cuts off, unfortunately, but it was very complete in the action we do have, exchanges and bits of heat and comebacks and the occasional slugfest. This will be our last look at Leduc so I saw it as something of a passing of the torch to a more than game Bordes.

Guy Mercier/Bruno Asquini vs Alan MacGregor/Marc O'Connor 8/1/77

MD: Michel Saulnier was an exceptional wrestler and trained Andre and Petit Prince if I'm not mistaken but he was an outright heel ref here, as heelish as we've seen, and while it absolutely got everyone in the crowd angry, especially as this was a crowd filled with more kids than usual, it ended up being a bit much in this one. Let me put it this way. It was okay this one time, because it certainly worked for what they were trying to do, but as someone watching 45 years later, hopefully they don't go back to the well again. On a social level it was interesting to see the announcer laughing and dismissing Saulnier's antics as good fun and patronizing the kids in the audience for taking it all too seriously. That gives you some sense of how all of this was taken in France on a macro level maybe?

It was all so over the top and comedic (with the comebacks being about Mercier and Asquini attacking Saulnier as much as attacking the Scots) that you really have to take it as its own thing and it makes it hard to compare to more conventional matches. That's almost a shame because this had more straight up heat than most French matches we see. The heels dominated almost the whole thing, mainly through control of Asquini's arm, cutting off the ring, some very credible offense, and of course, Saulnier missing tags and holding Mercier back. MacGregor had size and hit hard and O'Connor was a real mean mugging goon type. Asquini, older but spry, did very well as face-in-peril including setting up and paying off his hot tags rolling across the ring and Mercier, unsurprisingly, was able to knock everyone about when it was his time to come in. There wasn't really any meaningful selling of the arm but it still made sense as a was to control things. The celebratory last fall was shorter than usual though you got glimpses in the second and so much of it was about Saulnier getting his comeuppance. It was certainly fun, no question about that.

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