Thursday, 6 October 2016

Still Watching Puerto Rico

Carlos Colon & Miguel Perez Jr. v Los Pastores (January 1986)

This was your traditional southern style tag with a Puerto Rican twist. By that I mean there was no real babyface shine at the beginning. Instead, everybody just brawled in and around the ring before it eventually settled into a Perez Jr.-in-peril segment. Colon was great working the apron during this. Like, really great. I'm a total mark for guys making it look like they're desperate to get in there and save their partner or generally start wrecking the heels' shit, and that was Colon in this match. At several points he decides he's seen enough and comes in and headbutts someone, which then prompts the ref' to try and get him back out so the Pastores can work some double teams on Perez. It wasn't always smooth, but it worked, and if anything the ref' not always being in perfect position added to the tumult. We saw Colon in a few different roles on disc 1, but this is the first proper look at him playing genuine hot tag. Shockingly enough it's another role he's good in. It's a shame the dubbed over commentary drowns out the crowd a bit because there's no way they wouldn't have been molten for the cartwheel upon entry and the extended stretch of babyface offence afterwards. And that's the second Puerto Rican twist. Rather than going straight to the finish after the hot tag - or even working back and forth for a spell - the whole last stretch is basically Colon and Perez wringing out every bit of comeuppance on the heels that they can. The Pastores bump and stooge, the babyfaces exact revenge, the crowd go home happy. Fun match.

Kamala v The Invader (2/22/86)

For a six minute extended squash, this was fucking tremendous. I'd seen a couple Invader matches before watching this set, but I had pretty much zero recollection of how good he may or may not have been. This is his second singles match on the set, though, and I already feel comfortable saying he's one of the best blood loss sellers I've ever seen. Kamala basically chops him in the head for the entirety of this and Invader just bleeds and bleeds and bleeds. By the end he's an absolute mess, but the selling is what really does the blade job justice. Sometimes guys will hit a total gusher and visually it'll look gruesome, but they don't really sell it to put it over the top. Like, they don't do anything differently than they would have had they not been bleeding all over the place. If you're a bloodthirsty vampire like myself then the blood alone is usually enough to keep you happy, but you'll appreciate it when someone goes the extra mile. Invader goes the extra mile. He stumbles and staggers, can't quite stand up properly, tries to fight back, but it's an uphill battle when he's losing blood like he is. The more he loses the weaker he becomes, the less he can put behind his blows, and on top of it all Kamala is relentless. Kamala was actually really fun in this as well. He's mostly about throwing chops, but he shows some vulnerability when Invader makes his brief comebacks and at one point he licks up some of Invader's blood Pirata Morgan style. I might end up overrating this on the final ballot, but it felt like one of the best matches of its ilk I've seen in a long time.

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