Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Bushwhackers in Puerto Rico

Los Pastores v Jay & Mark Youngblood (Spring 1985)

If I'd read a synopsis or review of this match before watching it I'm pretty sure I'd have been psyched about the prospect of it in execution. Early stalling to rile the crowd? Extended heat segment? People throwing shit at the heels? Out of control finish? All of those things are gravy to me. But I've watched this twice now and it hasn't really hit the spot (though I liked it better the second time, tbf). The early stalling with the New Zealand and Puerto Rican flags was amusing, but it wasn't Jamie Dundee/Tracy Smothers-level heat-garnering. I thought it kind of dragged, honestly. The Youngbloods shine segment had some nice stuff built around working Luke Williams' arm, and Butch is always fun reacting to things, but then everybody seemed to get their wires crossed on something and the ref' was left floundering trying to pretend he missed the interference that led to the Sheepherders taking over. I liked the idea of some of the things they were doing during the heat segment on Mark, but there wasn't really any point where I bought Jay being TRULY pissed. One of the Sheepherders would run a distraction while the other took cheapshots at Mark, sometimes with a chair, then Jay would grab a chair of his own and kind of intimate that he was going to mess someone up with it...but never in a way that actually convinced me. He just, like, stood there holding it while Luke and/or Butch had to cower or run away. The whole thing was pretty messy as well, and then there was a finish after some all over the pace timing. Butch being thrown into the crowd prompting a pack of security guards to sprint over and make sure he didn't get jumped was the best part. Match was alright, but probably my least favourite so far.

Los Pastores v The Invaders (Barbed Wire Match) (9/21/85)

This just FEELS like Puerto Rico to me (Puerto Rican wrestling, I mean. I'm not suggesting guys running around dicing up other folks' foreheads with barbed wire is customary over there). I've barely seen any wrestling from Puerto Rico, but this is the setting most familiar to me based on my hazy memories of the few matches I watched years ago. I don't really know why but there it is. Anyways, this was fulla blood. As a match it wasn't mindblowingly amazing, but there were several close-ups of guys getting their foreheads carved up with barbed wire and the Sheepherders bleed everywhere. Luke Williams was really fun in this. His big, exaggerated bumping looked pretty gnarly considering he was often doing those big, exaggerated bumps neck first into barbed wire. It felt like the Sheepherders took a ton of this and the Invaders would take over for spells a little out of nowhere, like a switch just went and it meant it was their turn to go on offence. I should probably try and figure out which Invader is which. Right now I have no idea.

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