Couple of interesting articles on French Wrestling
This is part of a website for a wrestling school which has existed in France since 1968.
Great find, David, thanks for sharing.
A few points that struck me:
- N'Boa the Snakeman often entered the ring accompanied by his wife in safari suit, kissing her before wrestling. I think in UK only the snake accompanied him?
- Scarface Laval. An enigma for me, I had always assumed Scarface was a name invented for British rings, but no, the French knew him as Scarface. Might open up doors to further research.
Willy Wrestley! What a name - and he has three. Never heard of him. Seems like a French Walthamstow Bear!
- The French Kent Walton was a rugby commentator "who knew nothing about wrestling technique". Makes me think how the BBC decided to plump for Eddie Waring as commentator in 1965. Roger Couderec seemed to carry it off nevertheless with a great sense of justice against the villains. Our Kent preferred to bamboozle us with science like his "semi-Jap-stranglehold".
That's a great post. Thanks David. It brings back memories of my tme in Paris. I lived just a hundred yards or so from the Cirque d'Hiver and I saw most of them pictured in the articles. When Bordes and Chemoul who were Algerian French appeared against a villainous French pair the mainly Algerian crowd went wild. The cry (accomanied by a rythmic stamping) was Re-ne-Ben-Chem-OUL.(repeat regularly) Happpy Days.
There is more at
Posters photos links videos etc
Quite a few of "our chaps" there too......Bert Royal,Judo Al,etc etc
Oddly enought the first article says wrestling was screened on French TV on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
1) I was previously under the impression it was on Friday nights?
2) Wed and Sat - hang on, weren't those the days for the midweek slot and WOS also
I'd love to see an English language edition of this Christian-Louis Eclimont's book Catch - L'âge d'or 1920-1975 - perhaps with an introduction by Simon Garfield
When I was there it was definitely on a Saturday night.
The article says Friday nights were the traditional tv time. It must have moved around as the ratings slumped!
A few early matches of Andre the Giant-Jean Ferre have appeared