Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Tuesday is French Catch Day: Marquis! Shadow! Motta! Angelito! Lailee! Acesnsy! Gordon! Frederico!

Marquis Richard/Black Shadow vs. Marcello Motta/Angelito 8/25/85

MD: We're leaning on INA's youtube site for this one. It's next on the list as it is, and I might have skipped it (especially because we covered it for NFF back in 2019; look at how little we knew!) but this is the second to last week so... well, let's lean on them outright. Anyway, this stands on a strong foundation. Most of these 80s tags do. There were all the elements. Angelito was the heir to Le Petit Prince and he was flashy as could be, with things I've rarely ever seen like a body press into an armdrag or using the ropes to slingshot up and over on a hammerlock escape. He was a special talent and should be thought of as much. There are the other hits. Black Shadow still likes to get tossed out of the ring. Richard had the valet and he got heat (more on that later). The heel-leaning ref was annoying but in a way that got the job done. Motta was fiery and had the crowd behind him. They ran holds and sequences for the first two thirds, with a little bit of heat, broken up, in the middle. Then they leaned hard into it, due to the valet turning the tide, with endless stomps and clubbering, everything looking credible, Angelito selling huge. And finally, there was the comeback, probably one of the best actual comebacks we've seen in quite a while, with Richard tossing Angelito into the ropes, likely so the valet could sneak in another shot, only for Angelito to turn it into a massive, high octane dropkick, knocking the valet off the apron. The finish was sloppy but the fans didn't care. Hell, there was even a Martian type mascot on the outside, a dog named Alberic. I know this isn't the tight work of the 60s, but there was still a lot to enjoy in this faded reflection of grander times. And look at the difference between our 2019 review and this one. We had no idea what wonders were ahead of us!

Gaby Lailee vs. Acensy Del Oro 3/8/87

MD: Ok, so, welcome to 1987. We're just about done here. Here's what you need to know. The program opening has the wrestlers come out with synth music in the background and someone playing a trumpet. It's the whole promotion including Flesh in his 1987 singlet with one strap look and some guy with a K themed mask/outfit with a cape that we'll probably never learn about. Gaby has a Native American gimmick with a headdress she was gifted after she came back from the states. She came out with a huge guy with an Ivan Drago/Terminator type thing who was "the champion of Yugoslavia" and being trained by Flesh Gordon. Acensy is "a former champion of Spain" like every other Spanish wrestler we've ever seen in France. This was the worst of combinations to start: openly collaborative and sloppy all at once; Acensy was pretty clearly basing and helping Gaby do thing cartwheels and they badly blew a sunset flip. Once things got a little more heated and they went away from the wrestling, things settled dow a bit, but outside of one heated moment where Gaby chased her out into the crowd, it wasn't particualrly memorable. Definitely a far cry from what we saw with Lola Garcia at the end of the 70s.

Eliot Frederico vs. Flesh Gordon 3/8/87

MD: This entire episode feels like an attempt to force a revival in 87 to me. They talk on commentary about L'Ange Blanc and Le Borreau and Duranton and Firmin. They say that Flesh Gordon is the hope to lead them into the future. He's bill as a star all around the world. And, it's a last gasp, right? I don't think this match was bad. It was a fine sprint but it had none of the real art or flair. I think it would have matched well to a Prime Time Wrestling match from 87, but it also doesn't seem quite as distinct from that. Gordon didn't do any of his tribute spots. No headstand, no up and over, not even his flying flipping armdrag finish. You know what he did? Three matches before I'm done with this whole project? The first ever clothesline I've seen in French Catch. If that's not symbolic that the end has come, I don't know what is. Frederico remains a solid heel who hits hard and Gordon even hit hard at times too but this wasn't even a reflection, or if it was, it was maybe a reflection of something else that was happening across the Atlantic.


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