Bad Apple

A terrific Ouest Catch tag-team match from November (see it here) is a fine example of good storytelling (or the kind of storytelling I prefer) in the squared circle--a "pure scientific" contest that goes haywire because of one bad apple. 

Exciting standoffs occur between the two bigger guys (Tristan Archer and Paul London) and between the two smaller guys (Jack Spayne and Brian Kendrick), especially midway through the match when all parties are drenched in sweat. The most interesting plot point, however, is the fragile alliance of Archer and Spayne. Tensions between the honorable Tristan and the anarchic Jack complicate the plot and limit the effectiveness of their partnership.

The opening sets up the characters and crisis like any good first act. Before the bell sounds, Archer extends his hand to the two Americans, who reciprocate. Spayne, however, spurns the sportsmanlike gesture, eliciting an embarrassed scowl from his partner.

Compared to the perpetually manic Spayne, Tristan seems somewhat stiff at the beginning, but as the match wears on, he becomes more dynamic and glimmeringly heroic. He manages to maintain an air of integrity even when he runs illegal interference for his far less upright partner. However, even when he tries to block his partner's abuse of the rules, Archer sometimes inadvertently abets Spayne's flagrant wrongdoing (as at the 4:00 mark on the video). The match climaxes with one absolutely perfect bit of comeuppance, so well set up that, when it happens, it feels like the cold hand of fate. 

London and Kendrick tone down their typical stateside shenanigans, thus gaining the respect of the fans in Brittany. Both are in fine form as high-flyers, grapplers, and babyfaces. London looks like he's going to give Spayne a good spanking at one point. I would have enjoyed that very much, but what happens instead is even better. This match provides conflict, suspense, grand gestures, surprise reversals, and loads of macho hotness.


  1. I really hate it when the umpire "pretends" to get knocked out. That does it for me and I turn off the video.

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  3. Jack Spayne remains one of my favourite wrestlers, and although he now has chest hair, he seems to have the same pink jorts.


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