Friday, 7 October 2016

Forks, Barbed Wire and Blood. It's Puerto Rico

Carlos Colon v Jos LeDuc (Barbed Wire Match) (2/22/86)

I love how everything in Puerto Rico is just so much more NASTY than everywhere else. No other wrestling territory does disgusting close-ups of someone getting barbed wire sawed into their face like Puerto Rico. I fucking love this promotion. In true Puerto Rican fashion this had someone bleeding from their forehead inside the first minute and a half, and then about twenty seconds later we get our first close-up shot of Colon digging barbed wire into the cut on LeDuc's head. LeDuc was pretty fun in a Luke Williams sort of way, like how he'd take a punch and bump either back or throat-first into the barbed wire. He takes over with a kick to the balls, which is another Puerto Rican staple, and that leads to a truly grotesque spot - complete with close-up camera shot - where he jams the barbed wire in Colon's MOUTH. I don't know if Colon popped a blood capsule or bladed his mouth like a complete fucking crackpot, but there was a bit later on where he was drooling bloody saliva while LeDuc tried to garrote him with a line of barbed wire. I wouldn't call this a great match by any stretch, but it was a spirited brawl with a few pretty gnarly spots thrown in, and nobody works the barbed wire like they do in Puerto Rico.

Carlos Colon v Abdullah the Butcher (March 1986)

Well, I loved this. Abby has been hugely enjoyable on the set so far (there's a bonus Abby v Al Perez match and Abby is an AMAZING bastard in it), but this time he really blew me away. On the surface it doesn't feel like he works a whole lot differently in PR than he did in Japan or Texas or wherever else he popped up. He still has the fork. He still bleeds. He more or less still has the same offence, with the elbow drops and the thrusts to the throat. But in PR it all feels like it's done with a little extra piss and vinegar. His thrusts and kicks are a little quicker, his elbow drops a little meatier, his headbutts a little stiffer, and on top of that he seemed to add a bunch of other mean looking shit to his repertoire. The close-up camera shots make all the fork-stabbings look even more nasty than usual, but there are times where, if the fork isn't close to hand, he'll just start gouging peoples' eyes or biting their ears (and I cannot stress enough how much the camera work adds to the ghoulishness of it all). In the Perez match he stabbed Perez in the head with the fork, then he whipped out a bag of salt and threw it in the cut! It was crazy. And man, some of his facial expressions in this were awesome. There was one bit where he was using the bottom rope to try and strangle Colon, while biting the middle rope and staring out at the crowd all bug-eyed and demented. Colon really is the perfect Abby opponent. I've seen Abby matches where his opponent will let him do just about whatever he wants, and it can lead to Abby doing a ton of fork shtick and not a whole lot else. There's no real urgency to what he's doing. When he's not made to work for it, it's not nearly as fun. Like, I get that Abby is a horrible creature who stabs people with cutlery just because he wants to, but it's better when you get the sense he's resorted to the fork because maybe he feels like he needs to. Colon makes him work for it, and when Abby pulls the fork out the boot it feels like he needs it to weather Colon's assault. That the ref' managed to actually grab it and take it from him this time, which led to Abby needing to find another way to take control, was another one of those cool wrinkles in this match-up. It's also a match-up with a ton of great payback spots. Abby takes control by punting Colon in the balls, so later on Colon punts Abby in the balls right back (though this is PR, where everybody punts everybody in the balls). Abby had his fork confiscated early in the match, but later Colon pulls out a fork of his own and stabs Abby in the stomach, then towards the end Abby somehow produces ANOTHER fork and carves up Colon's forehead. Eventually the ref' takes a crazy bump to the floor and Colon and Abby brawl around the place for a while before there's a Dusty Finish, which then leads to more brawling and stabbing. I had an absolute blast with this. Loved it.

Rock 'n' Roll RPM's v Don Kent & Dan Greer (3/29/86)

Nice, short, southern style tag. I'd never seen Greer or Kent wrestle before, but Kent was part of the Fabulous Kangaroos team that I kinda wish we had some footage of (or maybe we do and I just haven't been made aware of it yet). Greer apparently lost a hair match not long before this but instead of going fully bald he decided to keep his ridiculous rat tail ponytail. The RPM's were a pretty fun second-rate RnR Express here, with Lane playing Morton and Davis playing Gibson. Davis' running dropkick was awesome, just blasting Greer who took a big bump into the corner. We've had southern tag formula on the set already, but this is the first time it's been presented in its purest/most Americanized form. It wouldn't have looked out of place as a Great American Bash tour opener, for example.

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