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Jim Londos vs Dick Shikat (Philadelphia 06/06/30)

Jim Londos Dick Shikat June 6 Philadelphia

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#1 Loss

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:15 PM

#2 Loss

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:35 PM

It’s about time I watched some Jim Londos, one of the biggest names in the history of American wrestling – on par with Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin. While this footage is also sped up, it’s in better condition and much easier to watch than Stetcher-Caddock. Londos is a spry guy who’s also short and stacked. He actually reminds me of Carl Greco. It’s interesting to see what type of stuff gets the biggest reaction – teased strikes, submission attempts and surprise counters. I suppose that’s not all that different from RINGS. Shikat gets Londos in a sweet short arm scissors takedown and Londos has some cool counters at his disposal. They also get a lot of mileage out of Londos’ short-arm scissors – they are able to work in and out of it multiple times, and they get over Londos’ ability to keep the hold on despite some nifty counter attempts. I don’t expect this to set anyone’s world on fire, but it’s really fun viewing and these guys are really good at earnestly working the mat. It really does look like proto-RINGS, with the biggest difference being that they do leave themselves more obviously open for counters. But you’d expect wrestling to evolve with time on that sort of thing, so that’s hardly a flaw.


This footage is really just highlights, so it’s hard to discuss or really figure out the match layout. But it does appear to be worked on a steady plane – you don’t see drama building as it progresses as much as you do just see them working from a pretty big reserve of holds and exchanges. Londos gets in some palm strikes and then does a snapmare as a highspot, which may not seem very thrilling, but it was, because it reminds me how even transitional moves can be cool. I’d imagine most people had never seen one in 1930, and for those of us who consume way too much wrestling, it’s easy to forget just how much appeal even the most basic moves can have if they are presented in an interesting way.


Remember what I said about the drama not really building to a crescendo? Yeah, scratch that. By the end of this, they are hitting a series of throws and takedowns that has the crowd popping like crazy, and suddenly this is Tamura vs Yamamoto before Tamura vs Yamamoto. I feel like on most of this old footage, because of all the edits, I’m not going to walk away with big takeaways regarding the match quality, but I can walk away with lasting impressions of the wrestlers involved. And Jim Londos is someone who I am eager to watch again.

#3 Gutenberger


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Posted 09 June 2016 - 02:01 PM

That surely was way easier to watch than the Stecher-Caddock matchfrom 10 years ago, and not only becaus of the (way) better quality of the film.


It's, understandably, still very basic and for the most time really just amateur wrestling, amped up by a few degrees. But you can see some of the modern mannerisms already seeping in, especially the play with the crowd. While not directly addressing them, Londos and Shikat knew what to do and when to do it to rally them up.


What stands out the most to me is the finish stretch, where you really start to feel an urgency and a need to go all out, throwing moves out there that must've been real high impact moves back in the day and were so different from pretty much everything we had seen earlier in the match.


Once more I'm really glad to see something of such high historical value and beeing able to get a grip of the foundation of this wonderful sport Sure it's not very aesthetic by todays values, but I do not regret watching this at all and time went by pretty quickly.

#4 fxnj

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 03:01 AM

Some background info on Shikat and his work with Londos


What an utterly fascinating match to watch.

Gymnastics have been around for a long time, guys. I'd argue the perceived lack of what would be considered modern day high spots is primarily a deliberate decision on the part of the workers to keep things looking realistic. On that note, I absolutely love the ruggedness of everything. That uncooperative looking way in which Shikat forcibly yanks Londos off his feet and into a headlock 9 minutes in is a great looking spot, and something I really appreciate after seeing so many guys jump straight into headlocks in modern matches.

On the point of whether or not the match builds to a crescendo, I think a better way of describing what Loss might have been getting at is that it does have escalation but not through the sort of control segments that we're used to. Instead of having one guy spend some time theatrically selling and eating moves, it's worked as more of shoot with one guy simply gaining a better position on the mat before an escape happens and the match effectively resets to standing.

Within that framework, though, I would say they do build in a good sense of progression as you see the bigger Shikat start out with a cocky grin, but then he starts to look more serious as he has a hard time dealing with Londo's quickness. The moment towards the end when they briefly bust out the strikes is also cool, and the finish with Shikat selling his hurt leg is really good. I think it's a great match even just based on the footage, though I admit it took me a few viewings to really appreciate what these guys were doing.

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