Monday, 10 October 2016

Another Day, Another Puerto Rico Entry

Carlos Colon & The Invaders v Abdullah the Butcher, Ron Starr & Chicky Starr (4/26/86)

Man, this disc just keeps cranking out the hits. I thought this was an outstanding sprint and the second best match I've watched so far. The first half is a long babyface shine period and it was really excellent stuff. Invader I punts Chicky in the balls about thirty seconds in and every exchange between them makes me want to see that eventual blowoff even more. Ron Starr was on some Arn Anderson shit here, going from awesome stooging bump machine to stone cold killer after the heels take over. He hits a GREAT high knee, a bunch of suplex variations, a big running bulldog, viciously chokes Invader 3, and he and Chicky do the Beverly Brothers/World's Greatest Tag Team 'leapfrog onto opponent draped over the ropes' double team, which is never not a cool spot. Abby ruled yet again and I cannot believe how much fun he's been on this set. He just keeps getting better and better, doing something new in every match that I don't remember seeing him do before. This time he gets tangled up in the ropes Terry Funk style while Colon punches him, then later on he grabs Invader 3 by the mask and repeatedly headbutts him. He picks him up and body slams him onto the top rope, holding him in that position so Ron and Chicky can choke him and dig him in the ribs. Invader I's two-handed chop to the throat is such a good signature strike, the way he really springs forward and extends the elbows like he's trying to crush a guy's trachea. I liked how it was teased early that he'd end up being worked over, only for III to immediately rush over and drag him back to the babyface corner to make the tag. Crowd comes unglued for Colon's hot tag, and I like how ultimately it came down to him and Abby duking it out in the ring while the Invaders and Starrs brawled almost all the way into the dugout. Post-match Abdullah must've thrown a kilo of salt into Colon's eyes and I love how the ref' sold like he got caught in the crossfire. This is really my kind of wrestling.

Invader III v Chicky Starr (Scaffold Match) (May 1986)

Well damn. I never thought we'd get another scaffold match on the level of Dundee/Koko from the Memphis set, but this was a pretty fucking tremendous scaffold match. They also took it in a totally different direction from Dundee/Koko. That was mostly about shtick and Dundee using the tricks he learned working the high bar in the circus to scale and move around the platform. It was a little whimsical at times with some comedy thrown in. They never exactly beat the shit out of each other, because who in their right mind would want to have an actual wrestling match, never mind a full on brawl, up on a scaffold platform? Invader III and Chicky Starr, that's who. This started out a bit tentatively as you'd expect, with Chicky begging off and showing fear at being all the way up there, but pretty soon he gets busted open and it's like the blood forces him to cut loose. He knows that if he doesn't step up he might actually die, because that scaffold platform is HIGH and the guy he's on it with wants to throw him off it. Some of the stuff they did was batshit crazy. I've never seen anyone hit a dropkick in a scaffold match before, but sure enough Invader hits his all-time level dropkick and Chicky bumps himself almost to the edge of the platform. Invader hits a big vertical suplex, then they fight over a body slam at the shaky scaffold's edge and it's genuinely one of the most intense moments in a wrestling match I've seen in a while. I mean, if that goes wrong they are fucked. Chicky prematurely celebrating might've been a bit dumb, but Invader hanging on and dragging himself back up was impressive and Chicky's bump at the end was insane, like Batman dropping Sal Maroni off a balcony.

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