Saturday, 22 October 2016

More Puerto Rico, More Hansen v Colon

Stan Hansen v Carlos Colon (2/28/87)

Another incredible match between two guys who can do no wrong together. One of the things I really love about this series - and there are many - is how they build upon previous matches in fairly obvious ways (they don't mess around with the "learned psychology"), while adding layers to the overarching story every time out. In their first match Hansen jumped Colon at the bell and went on a big run of offence, so in the second match Colon made sure it was he who got the early start. He learned quickly that you can't let Hansen get settled. It worked for him in the second match, so he does the same this time. Except this time he goes at him even harder. Hansen gets almost no respite in the first six/seven minutes and can't even take off his chaps. He fought much of the bullrope match on the back foot, but he's on defence for even more of this, practically fighting the whole second half from his back. I think it's time we talk about Colon's headbutts. He has some great headbutts. His punches can sometimes look a bit like they're with the heel of the hand, but his headbutts are always forehead square on forehead. There was one awesome bit during this early stretch where he dragged Hansen out the ring and just started battering his head off the stage. It was a real mauling, and a position we rarely see Hansen in. The transition to Hansen going on offence was really great. He takes Colon down with a double leg and tries to roll him up with the feet on the ropes, which is pretty crazy in and of itself because when the hell do we see Stan Hansen resorting to that inside ten minutes? but when the ref' calls him on it Stan just blatantly drops the knee on Colon's balls. What's also great about that is the fact it'll lead to a revenge ball shot later on, because this is Puerto Rico, and in Puerto Rico no good ball shot goes unpunished. Hansen's only on top for a little while before Colon takes over again, and this is where we get the next building block of the feud. They tried to kill each other with the cowbell in the last match, so now Colon thinks maybe if he breaks Hansen's leg he'll finally be rid of him. Both guys were really awesome during this stretch. It starts with Colon throwing a few kicks to the leg to sort of create some distance, then Hansen misses a high knee in the corner and a knee drop on the canvas, so Colon zeroes in on it and makes it his one point of attack for the rest of the match. Hansen's selling ruled. He's always dangerous because of who he is, but he's wounded with his back to the wall and that makes him even worse. At one point he disappears limping into the crowd, and as Colon goes out to look for him you hear a shriek from a pocket of fans as one of those non-foldable chairs comes flying at Colon. Another thing I really like about Colon is how tenacious he is. That's probably something WWE commentators have said about a thousand wrestlers over the last few years, but I can't imagine many of them capturing a sense of tenaciousness like Colon. He's a street brawler and he'll do whatever he needs to to survive, like biting Hansen's fingers or blatantly grabbing the ropes while applying the figure four. He's in there with Hansen after all; sometimes you need to take liberties. I thought the finish was a tiny bit flat, but the build to Colon finally putting Hansen in the figure four was great, coming a little closer each time with Hansen getting more desperate in fighting him off, and you knew the place would go apeshit when it was finally locked in. I might have four Hansen/Colon matches in my top 10 by the end of this.

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