THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a European wrestling show, so for this review we’re going to take a look at French promotion Force Francophone de Catch (2FC) and their Renaissance DVD release from July 2005, which includes an eight man tournament to crown the first 2FC champion.
The first tournament match saw two Brits in action, Aviv Mayaan and former ROH star Jody Fleisch. I’d forgotten just how good these two were. This one began with some solid chain wrestling, before the inevitable happened and Jody brought out the high flying moves. Plenty of near falls followed, until Jody got the pin after the one bad moment in the match, a sloppy looking 720 DDT off the ropes. Apart from that this was a very good match.
There were more Brits in the next match, as former TNA star Jonny Storm took on British luchadore El Ligero. Well, that was the plan until Steve Douglas came down to the ring and complained about not being in the tournament, demanding that he be instilled into this match. Ligero and Storm readily agreed to Douglas’ demands. So while I was a little disappointed that this was no longer a singles match between the two high flyers, it was enjoyable nonetheless, with plenty of fast paced action, and Storm getting the pin after taking Ligero down with his Wonderwhirl finisher. Douglas wasn’t finished there though, taking out his frustrations on Storm by clobbering him with the WXW title belt he was carrying.
Next up was Claudio Castagnoli’s Swiss Money Holdings partner Ares against another British former ROH star in the form of Spud, before he adopted his rock star persona. It’s almost always a speed versus power battle whenever Spud’s involved, and this was the case here. The plucky underdog role suits him perfectly, especially against an opponent as good as Ares. This was a great little match, with Ares tossing Spud around like a rag doll, until the Brit made his comeback, only to meet defeat as he fell to Ares’ sit down power bomb.
The final first round match saw current WWE NXT star Bryan Danielson against Alex Pain. Pain was described before this match as the best wrestler in the world, and while he put in a good performance here Danielson was clearly on another level, putting in another great performance, with Pain passing out as Danielson applied the Cattle Mutilation, giving Danielson the win, and making the four way final a mouth watering prospect.
Then it was on to non-tournament action, beginning with Shaka Zula against Shoubeen. It’s not the best match I’ve seen, and it had the feeling of a training school encounter. These two were clearly in the early stages of their careers, and they looked a little lost at times, Shaka won this one, getting the pin after a hip toss.
The action continued with Violent Tom against Chris Ramirez. Now while this wasn’t up to the standard of the tournament matches it was a lot better than the previous match. Some of the action was good, some not so good, and the finish seemed a little soft as Ramirez caught Tom’s foot and simply pushed him back down so he could get the pin. That was definitely a “hmmm” moment.
Three way ladies action was next with Jersey, Shadow and Olga. This began with Olga interrupting Jersey as she addressed the crowd. The two girls began brawling in and around the ring, until Shadow appeared on the scene and saved Jersey’s bacon. The two black clad ladies doubled up on Olga until the inevitable parting of the ways which saw Shadow storming off backstage, before Jersey got the pin with a Fisherman’s Suplex. Now I’ve seen Jersey before. She’s good, but this match was very disappointing.
The last match of the evening was the tournament final, with the winner becoming the new 2FC Champion, with Jonny Storm, Ares, Jody Fleisch and Bryan Danielson going for the prize. Contested under four corner elimination rules, this was a very entertaining encounter. Surprisingly, Danielson was the first man eliminated, the first of Ares’ two victims, the other being Fleisch. This left Ares and Storm as the final two, and the exchanges between them were the best thing in this match, with Storm getting the title winning pin after the second Wonderwhirl of the evening.
In conclusion – this is definitely a mixed bag here. The tournament was great, nothing wrong with that, it really can’t be faulted. The non-tournament matches, however, just weren’t that good, and compared to the tournament they just weren’t up to standard.
Production wise, it was okay. The camera work was a little shaky at times, and the lack of on-screen graphics to introduce the wrestlers may hinder those not familiar with their work. As for the commentary, I can’t really offer any opinion, as my French is extremely limited.
So if you’re willing to take the bad with the good, then Renaissance may be of interest to you.
With thanks to the powers-that-be at 2FC for supplying a copy of this release. Renaissance can be purchased online by visiting www.2FCcatch.net.