Saturday, 9 November 2013

Lucha 80s Set

So I got this about a month or so ago, and this is me finally cracking it open. Set list looks incredible, of course. I will now watch it (over the next eight months) and write about what I feel like writing about, I guess.

Gran Hamada & Satoru Sayama v Perro Aguayo & Baby Face (4/13/80)

Perro fucking ruled this. His caveman boots are spectacular and he was surly as all get out. I don't even remember the last time I watched a Perro Aguayo match, but I'll assume he's always had great knee strikes and I just never realised it. He throws knees right to the sternum of standing opponents in this and they looked super nasty. His senton off the top in the segunda was even more rib-crushing than the knees. He also has this aura of condescension and "you are beneath me" about him, and there's a great bit where he and Hamada end up the ring together so he just strolls out because what is Gran Hamada to Perro Aguayo? The escalation of their exchanges from the first fall through to the finish is a cool theme. Hamada is as graceful and sharp as ever here. There's an awesome bit where he comes in and runs rings round the rudos with armdrags and flips, and it ends with him mule kicking out of a Baby Face full nelson, rolling forward up to his feet and instantly clocking Perro in the chin with a right hook. Sayama was fine here, too. He does his stuff and he does it really fast, and for a change most of it comes off looking like it actually connected. I'm not sure what he was doing at the end of the first fall though, just kind of running through submissions that he couldn't apply properly before finally settling on something that might've been a cross armbreaker. "Alright, fuck it, this'll do." He also looks a bit like Luis Suarez. Unfortunately he did not bite or racially abuse anybody (that I could tell, anyway). Match really had a bit of everything, from nifty sequences to bloody brawling to Perro Aguayo's incredible boots. Perro's punt to the plums for the finish was fucking grade A as well. Great way to start off the set.

Andre the Giant & Cien Caras v Sangre Chicana, Herodes & Alfonso Dantes (1981)

I think this is the only time I've ever seen Sangre Chicana where he isn't bleeding and brawling all over the shop like a fucked up lunatic. He's still just about the most charismatic fucker you've ever seen, though. His posturing in front of Andre pre-match is so awesome. You want to crack him in the teeth just from the way he chews his gum. Match is pretty much a total Andre showcase. All the early stuff where he hoists Herodes and Dantes up off the ground while they apply top wristlocks was cool, and the crowd seem totally into it. Chicana has that genuine star aura about him, though. No matter what's going on I can't help but have my attention drawn to Chicana, which is a massive compliment considering Andre is in there for 90% of the match. Herodes and Dantes bump and stooge and play along like they mean it. Those guys are at worst "good" in this match. But Chicana is just everything that is RIGHT about pro-wrestling, and to me this was basically fifteen or so minutes of Chicana being Chicana, albeit on a much smaller, less chaotic scale. Cien Caras also participated.

Gran Hamada v Centurion Negro (2/14/82)

At first I thought Frasier Crane was refereeing this. Then the camera zooms in a bit and it's actually Lou Thesz, which is sorta random and cool. Matwork to start isn't exactly Navarro/Solar levels, but then not much is, I guess. It was solid enough and I was definitely into it, though. Centurion Negro reels off about four underhook belly-to-belly suplexes in this and every time it looked like he was trying to bridge into a pin attempt but could never bridge high enough or get Hamada's shoulders down properly. Then as the match went on it looked like that might've been deliberate, and instead of trying to pin Hamada he was actually applying some kind of Cattle Mutilation/chicken-wing submission. The camera shot of Negro's dive in the tercera wasn't great, but it definitely pasted Hamada like you'd want. They're in an outdoor arena and the floor is filthy (must've been raining), so Hamada comes up looking like he's just rolled around in dirt. Centurion Negro literally toped Gran Hamada to shit. Hamada's flip out of a back body drop is probably the best in history.

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