Stan Hansen v Carlos Colon (Cage Match) (3/14/87)
How great was Stan Hansen? It's not like his rep needed a boost or anything, but I think this series shows him in a light we never really got to see him in elsewhere, at least not to the same extent. When I think of Hansen I think of that whirlwind of redneck fury, the guy who shows up, wreaks havoc, then leaves. He did all that in Puerto Rico, but over the course of this feud he progressively started to show ass like I've never seen before. This is probably my favourite of his Puerto Rico performances, because he got to be both those guys: the Hansen we all know, but also the Hansen who was prepared to just cut and run. There's a discussion going on at PWO right now about selling in the broader sense of not just selling pain or how much something hurt, but selling a character, a wider situation -- a reaction from the wrestler that's supposed to convey an emotion and in turn elicit a reaction from the crowd/audience/viewer. Well, Hansen was amazing at all of that here. It might honestly be his best selling performance ever, in that broad, all-encompassing sense. First half of the match is more of a straight up brawl, with guys getting their face raked against the cage, forehead biting, bleeding, everything you'd come to expect from a cage match in Puerto Rico. Colon is just all over Hansen, jumping off the ropes with headbutts and punches, so Hansen punches him in the dick to take over. Like the last match he's only on top for a little while before Colon makes his comeback, but this time you get Hansen hitting a kind of desperation lariat to Colon's forehead, and afterwards both guys are left lying in a bloody heap. Then Colon goes after the leg, and the back half of this is just phenomenal. I've never seen a better build to the figure four. Everything Colon does is geared towards putting on that hold, while Hansen decides he's had quite enough of this and simply wants to be gone. Everything HE does is geared towards escaping. The best thing he can do now is get out of there before Colon breaks his leg. Colon is relentless and won't be denied. Hansen's offence is basically limited to pot shots to try and create some distance, but they're the stiffest fucking pot shots you'll see, whether it's a punch to the temple or a knee to the face. If he can't get out the door he'll try and scramble up and over the cage, and I really can't stress how amazing he was at putting across how desperately he wanted out of there. While selling the damage to his leg. Colon deserves credit for all of this as well, because if Hansen is gonna run for his life then the opponent better make it look like it's warranted, but man was Hansen unreal here. The bit where he takes off his boot and tries to bludgeon Colon with it was amazing on its own, but the fact he just tried to run out the door afterwards made it stick out all the more. It's Hansen. He just wellied somebody with a cowboy boot. And now he's running away?! That right there should tell you the kind of badass Colon is. Fucking hell this was great.
Wendi Richter v Monster Ripper (Cage Match) (June 1987)
What chance have you got trying to follow Colon/Hansen? This was actually a pretty fun scrap, but I was still on a high after the last match. Monster Ripper is Bertha Faye of WWF fame and she managed to seem fairly imposing and dangerous in this. She drops big legdrops and sold Richter's stuff okay. Richter was giving off some Mayumi Ozaki vibes only not in insufferable ways. Some of her offence looked rough, but it was frantic and at points it felt like she was just trying to claw herself free of Ripper's GIRTH. I actually liked the finish as well, and because this is Puerto Rico I fully expected someone to get chucked down a stairwell post-match.