Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tuesday is French Catch Day: Prince! Rocca! Tejero! Remy! Golden Falcons! Herve! Lamotta!

Gerard Herve/Tony Lamotta vs Golden Falcons 8/11/80

MD: Herve and Lamotta had matching tights. Saulnier was the ref. I read an article that may or may not have been BS where Herve said Jean Corne discovered him in the mid-70s and he was a Celt for a while. I saw no evidence of that but hey, it's possible. The Falcons were billed as Peruvian here, one larger who could hang a bit more with the faster rope running and spots and one who was smaller who hit a bit harder. Saulnier was the ref, which means Saulnier made his diminutive presence known.  

First third of this had Herve and Lamotta not necessarily control, but escape out of one hold after the next. There were some pretty elaborate exchanges out of wristlocks, but I'm not sure the technique was quite as tight as things we'd seen in years past. Herve's problem was that he was working big and loose for the back row but the back row really wasn't that far away in 1980. They could have brought him in as the French Von Erich cousin and he would have done very well in Texas. Most of the rest of the match was the Falcons controlling by doing nasty things behind the ref's back as Saulnier admonished the other stylist or yelled at the crowd. Not direct heat on Saulnier but certainly indirect. Lamotta, who was super agile and able to kip up a million times in a row, scored a quick roll up to win the first fall but either through Herve going to the mask foolishly or Saulnier intervening, the Falcons took back over. They won the second fall after a double team kick and back body drop which we haven't seen a ton of in the footage. Herve worked well from underneath, firing back to keep the fans in it and selling broadly. There were a couple of sufficiently hot tags here too but it maybe didn't come together as much as some of the other recent tags. Finish was yet one more hot tag to Herve and that amazing twisting armdrag thing we've seen a couple of the Panamanians and maybe Juan Guil Don use. I badly wish someone would steal it. Overall this was still well on the good side but there were some things I wouldn't have mind a bit tightened up.

SR: 2/3 Falls match going about 30 minutes. French pro wrestling was nearing the end, but tag team wrestling could still deliver, and this delivered. Fast intricate exchanges, a pair of masked guys who can stooge and deliver a beating... yeah, this is pretty much Lucha. Also, both teams wore matching outfits, so they understood the crucial parts of tag team wrestling. Gerard Herve is some young stud and a quite polished technico. Lamotta is balding and grey, but still really athletic with great looking ranas and flips, although he wisely leaves the bulk of the work to his partner. I didn‘t know what to expect from the Falcons (what kind of heel persona is that, anyways?) but they were ready to wrestle and bump and had good heel timing. There were some heel ref shenanigans with Michel Saulnier again, but to be honest he may have carried the heel beatdown section with his amusing ways to sabotage Herve. The european uppercuts landed loudly and the crowd was into this. The last fall is really short but the ending move is a good one.

Petit Prince/Claude Rocca vs Anton Tejero/Bob Remy 8/18/80

MD: This was as good as you'd expect. Some bonus heat to start as Tejero walked across the ring pre-match and ripped Prince's spectacles off his face. Once they got going there was a lot of Prince finding ways to fling Tejero to the floor, as he was always willing to get there the hard way, so revenge was had. More little bits of sputtering heat here in the first fall with a lot of comebacks, sometimes at the expense of the ref but often by simply stooging the heels. Prince really understood how to get sympathy and build to moments by this point. Remy and Rocca matched up well, Rocca with a lot of slick stuff and Remy more of a brusier where as Tejero could do everything under the sun. Towards the end of the first fall they really turned up the heat on Prince, with him, at one point, bumping into the third row. It wasn't until the ref missed the tag, a worthless moral victory for the stylists, did they actually pin him. Second fall had a molten hot tag which saw the ref get nailed as well, and then they soared into all of the fun celebratory stuff for the last fall. So it was a lot of what we've seen lately, but more of it, and with four excellent, excellent wrestlers working as hard as humanly possible. French Catch, still great in 1980, just in case anyone was confused about that.

SR: 2/3 Falls match going a little over 30 minutes. The guys were still absolutely killing it. It‘s the same formula as any of these late period French tags, two good guys who will armdrag hard, 2 rudos who will bump like crazy, and an incompetent referee who is made the butt of many a joke. It‘s really nice that we have footage of Tejero from the 1960s up to here. He was getting lumpier and greying, but still an insanely dedicated bumper. He flung himself out and across the ring like 20 times in this. I have no idea what kind of money these guys were getting to work this hard, but it‘s a trip. Rocca looked awesome just running the ropes and the Prince hadn‘t slowed down much since the 60s. I also really liked Bob Remy who was a real fucker tagging guys with punches and stiff punt kicks. This was all action until a pretty intense rudo beatdown kicked in with the Prince taking a beating,even getting flung into the crowd and carried back by a second who didn‘t bother removing his cigarette. The 3rd fall wasn‘t as intense as the first two, but this was a romp.

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