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1980s Portland and Puerto Rico


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Starting to blow through the extras on PR before the matches get set up on here. Terry Funk gives a totally lunatic promo about how he wants to disfigure the ("former") Invader, there are training montages, and Colon gets beaten mercilessly out of nowhere by Jos Leduc! Los Mercenarios, if you want to know, are the original Cuban Assassin Angel Acevedo and "Champaign" Jerry Morrow. Now excuse me while I watch someone's larynx get crushed in a bench press battle. 

Thank you so much to Will and whoever dug through this stuff and picked it out, you are saints among men one and all. 

EDIT: OH SHIT Piper just cut two promos in a faux Spanish accent and ended by calling Puerto Ricans MEXICANS. I don't know how he made it off the island.

EDIT II: Still watching the first disc of extras and caught some mistakes (sorry to be the bearer). The Embry interview/Starrs and brawl footage comes on right before the Davis interview/Starrs ranting bit, unlike listed. Also, after the extremely gnarly "Mike Davis gets sliced" footage (where poor Mike, who actually looks presentable sans mustache and with shorter hair, puts on a stone-etched face of pure mourning while his shoulder gets stuck and stitched) the disc cuts and on the next disc the Terry promo starts. Missing is the Trinidad footage of Abby/Brody. 

EDIT III: The same Brody/Invader match as earlier shows up after the Abby/Delgado bloodbath on disc 9

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Oh. Man. 

The Dory Jr. video isn't set to "Desperado" or "Camptown Races". It is set to...

Spoiler

 

Yeah. That. Him wrestling at half-speed like he is wont to, to that. I think if you drink enough before watching you might piss yourself.

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Coming to the end of the PR extras right now and there is some really insane shit on here. Every other segment has blood in it and there is a super morbid part where they show Brody's last match ever match (against Abby) with extremely somber announcement to start where Brody chokes Abby with a cable for several minutes straight and it's creepy as hell. Then immediately after there's a long written announcement that Hugo reads about Brody's death and the one-two punch of that actually put a bad taste in my mouth and made me stop watching for a minute. They also mention Brody in passing during the improbable WWC Awards Show (hosted by Gordon Solie and the gal from Pro Wrestling USA!) and it is really brief and Gordon doesn't look pleased. Of course the ceremony ends with Hercules Ayala attacking Colon in front of his wife and everybody in their best duds. The matches on here are gonna be nuts. 

Oh yeah, apparently they really liked the theme from Friday the 13th Part 3D (the disco one) because it shows up in a bunch of these clips. 

Here's some additional material from the DVDVR archives where DEAN and Phil review a bunch of stuff that made the set, too!

http://www.otherarena.com/nCo/dvdvr/dvdvr65.html

From DVDVR #72:

Spoiler

&*&*&*&*&*&* BLOODY, BLOODY BATTLES OF THE CARRIBEAN COMMERCIAL TAPE
-PHIL! 

Carlos Colon vs. Joe LeDuc - Barbwire match:
Carribean barbed wire matches are different from barbwire matches in Japan. The Barbwire is wrapped around the ring ropes, so you don't see the big bumps. On the Isle of Puerto Rico, it is all about pushing someones face into the spikes and watching the blood squirt- nothing fancy, just gore. This match was kind of an appetizer to the main course of vampiristic bloodletting later in the tape as both men were covered in a fine red mist, rather then the full blown strawberry shake syrup canister poured over the head. 

Invader 1 vs. Kamala:
Kamala is not a good wrestler. In the pantheon of big fat black guys from Chicago given demeaning African savage gimmicks by racist asshole promoters, he is right at the bottom. Invader 1 is a shitty wrestler too and he killed Bruiser Brody so he belongs in the deepest pits of hell. This match consists of Kamala chopping Invader 1 in the head, and the Invader bleeding a whole bunch. Invader's head is so covered in blood by the end of the match you actually can't see his facial features. 

Abdullah The Butcher v. Al Perez:
In the pantheon of big fat black guys from Chicago given demeaning African savage gimmicks by racist asshole promoters, Abdullah The Butcher is right at the top. This is an Abdullah match by the numbers. He stabs Perez in the head with a fork and throws powder in his eyes. Perez does an average blade job. Abdullah slams Perez into the television truck which leaves a nice red splotch on the side. Nothing special and not enough plasma to make it stand out. 

Mike Davis Award Ceremony:
The Rock N' Roll RPM's were the 713th-best, mid-1980's Rock and Roll Express ripoff- just behind the Southern Rockers and one step ahead of the Todd Morton helmed New Rock N' Roll Express. Mike Davis of the RPM's is celebrating his 6th wedding anniversary in the ring, when Chicky and Ron Starr come in and bust a picture frame over his head- this in front of his wife and two young daughters (who, I am sure, are recounting this to a psychiatrist right now. "And then these horrible men with feathered, dyed-blond hair just smashed this FRAME over his head.... and the outfit my dad was wearing! Ohh the horror!). The true nastiness was the post incident stitching of Davis's shoulder; they had closeups of the Novocain needle and the open wound. Raunchy. 

Carlos Colon vs. Hercules Ayala:
This was a Texas Death match, which basically consisted of Ayala and Colon punching each other in the head and attempting figure fours. Ayala uses brass knuckels to get an advantage (which Hugo Savinovich gets all righteously indignant about- even though it is a fucking Texas Death Match). Colon starts really spraying goo and then ends up lying face down in a puddle of blood. Top ten bladejobs of all time, the juice was loose, Wagner power sprayer level red, more color then an explosion in a paint factory, more cranberry sauce than a Lee Marshal-Fred Ottman Christmas dinner. BTW the referee for this match was Victor Quinones, so obviously he ignored the brass knuckles because the holy triumvirate of Yakuza/Puerto Rican Mafioso/Freemasons obviously wanted Ayala to have the belt so he could serve as the point man to damage the virility of American men through the use of fluoridated water. The truth is out there. 

 

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I noticed some parts that weren't in sequential order on the PR extras list aside from what I already mentioned, but if you go by the date you're good. Nothing else missing. 

The question now is, when do we get individual threads for the matches because I'm ready to start reviewing these suckers.

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Disc One of Puerto Rico down, spoilered because there are spoilers. Thoughts:

Spoiler

 

- Opening with Abby getting his head stitched up is the best parental advisory warning ever.

- The Gran Apollo/Dick Steinborn match is gonna be a good sleeper. No blood, just solid work from both guys, perfect 10 minute TV match.

- Abby/Andre is short as expected. I'm sure Boss said "let's hit the bar" and they immediately wandered off to the dugout. It's still great getting a glance at the malevolent grin of Andre in his prime. 

- Dusty sucks. I don't mean to disrespect the dead, but beyond the almost Hogan-level performance, even though this is Puerto Rico HE DOESN'T BLEED. Fuck that. 

- Hercules Ayala is equally horrible but Savage is as good as Flair is with Dusty at working around his schtick. Afterwards Tim Brooks (who I only remember from the great "matriculating" Gary Hart promo in Texas) actually gets a better match out of him, which is amazing. 

- The Sheepherders (AKA Los Pastores) are basically the '80s version of the Gangstas: they can cut a good promo, bleed a lot, brawl a little, sell wacky. Put them in a wrestling match and all bets are off. You might fall asleep watching them stall at the beginning of the Youngbloods match. 

- The crowds are flat-out insane. During the Ambulance Match at the end of the disc you can see them taking turns trying, and succeeding, at hitting Luke Williams. No wonder there were cops/military guys with truncheons all over the place. The second Colon/Abby match dissolves into chaos for this fact. 

- There is some really weird stuff with the audio having a huge echo which I'm sure is just the shoddy PR recording studio, which can irritate. As are some of the video choices/errors, and Hugo and "Mr. X" (Bobby Jaggers) on the announce table, but it's all part of the charm. As it is I'd buy the set for the extras alone; I'm sure getting into the '86-'88 era is gonna be gold. It's a mind bender, though. 

 

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On August 19, 2016 at 2:32 AM, Curt McGirt said:

Oh yeah: Tully Blanchard RULES.

EDIT: So does Carlos Colon, who comes out way above a lot of the other #1 wrestlers of his day (Dusty, Hogan, Inoki aren't even close as it looks so far)

Jerry Lawler was pretty good too. 

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Lawler's up there with Colon as far as promotion-heading babyface for sure. I guess the only other guys to compare to would be Verne Gagne, Bill Watts, and your pick of Von Erichs. And Baba, who from what I've seen is pretty close to Inoki in having a solid early career and then badly falling off. It's a shame we don't have footage of guys like Dory Funk Sr. and non-movie El Santo (well, I guess both of them worked heel which disqualifies them). 

Ugh... Lawler and Hogan have both worked heel too, and Hogan was never an actual owner. Whatever, I give up

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PR Disc Two thoughts: 

Spoiler

- Some of this I'm gonna have to go back and watch because I was in a bit of a haze and was either too wasted or fell asleep, but I got most of it down. I think the first four are the major culprits.

- Jos LeDuc bleeds a BUCKET. Victor Jovica bleeds a BUCKET. Eric Embry in his second match with Invader I bleeds a BUCKET. Meanwhile, in the latter of the Colon/Abby matches, Abby literally blades himself over a dozen times (you can see it every time the right hand jumps to forehead because he kept his blade sticking out of his hand and wrist tape somewhere, likely the thumb) but not until the very last seconds does he finally get a good faucet going, even though he splashes a couple dots of sangre on the fucking camera lens earlier, which incidentally stay there the entire match. It's like his forehead is made of leather by that point. By the way, those closeups of Carlos trying to apparently try and take his eye out in that match... yuck.

- The majority of this disc is a tag tournament. You get the Rock 'n' Roll RPMs (most off-brand Rock'n'Rolls ever), one of the Fabulous Kangaroos and some guy that was demasked from being The Mummy/La Momia (wish I could see that gimmick), the Zambuie Express' big asses, Los Invaders and Los Starrs. Oh and some guy named the Crusher who ain't Da Crusha with Eric Embry. The best match as I can recall of all of them was Invaders/Starrs which I think had a super nasty assisted DDT that finished it off. Everything else is pretty middle of the road but solid enough. This might give the best idea of what normal, non-bloody PR wrestling was like. At the very end of the disc though our not so lovable Invaders and our not so lovable Pastores happen to have a super high-paced match that smokes all of the others out of nowhere. It's like all four guys just said, "we are going to cover all our faults here by working at top speed, then finish with a huge blade job and injury angle". It works. 

- In two consecutive matches the crowd engulf Invader I, then Colon, lift them over their heads and run to the tecnico dugout in celebration. No wonder the former got off with killing Brody. BTW, Brody does actually sell for the Invader and bleeds a whole lot more than Invader does in their match. 

- The second Invader/Embry match might be the first or second table piledriver spot ever after Savage/Poffo vs. Rock'n'Rolls. The whole match is very incipient ECW-style in general as well. Also, a shaved young Embry looks a mighty lot like Dynamite Kid, believe it or not.

- The scaffold match might've been the safest looking one I've ever seen as it gave both guys enough width to work with and though the height looked gnarly, it didn't look like it would've killed either guy after the drop. They also worked it really well, even doing a suplex up there. To take back something I wrote before in a compare and contrast, Chicky Starr is immediately a better worker than the Miz because he has Great Punches~!

- There are times when you will want to strangle Hangman Bobby Jaggers (like when he emits his sub-Beavis and Butthead laugh) and times when his drunk ass actually comes off knowledgeable. The best matches tend to be Spanish-only or sans commentary. 

- If you have a problem with blatant, non-disqualified nut shots, don't buy this comp. They're as Puerto Rican as Mofongo on this set.

 

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Been watching the first disc of Puerto Rico.  This is my review

 

Everybody in the crowd has the passion and love of a shoe wielding granny that goes to every show.  Then, the real pro-wrestling grannies that go to every show swing heavy canes and release gigantic plumes of smoke.  When Flair gets the figure four on, all the guys workin' security at ringside clench their buttholes and have twelve nervous breakdowns.  Referees have loaded pistols in their boots.

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That took you way too long man haha

I decided to be more particular about this considering how many beers I've drank and done specific match reviews (because there still aren't any damn match threads up)

DISC THREE

 

 

Invader I vs. Ron Starr (Street Fight) (8/17/86)
Well, this is pretty disappointing. Both guys come dressed in their street fight duds (Invader in tank top/jeans/sneakers, Rambo Ron in his camo pants and army boots) to a quarter-full Roberto Clemente or Hiram Bithorn Stadium and have a wandering brawl. It looks pretty hype when they get in the middle of the fans who scramble to engulf them but they literally sprint out of the crowd, probably out of fear Ron will get stabbed. They fight on top of one dugout then fight out on to the top of the other where the stationary camera can't pick up anything until the guy hoists it overhead to look at them. Then we get a little in-ring action before both collapse motionless in the ring and get stretchered out to a DDQ. Ron stooges and bumps well and uses his belt to whup on Invader but that's all this has going for it. You kinda have to give Ron the win for taking a bump out of the stretcher back onto the mat to laughter whereas Invader just lays there forever before they take him out.


Super Medico vs. White Knight (9/19/86)
Seconds in I can tell this is already ten times better, a hot crowd in a packed gym with goddamn basketball hoops hanging, with Dick Steinborn (the White Knight) and Jose Estrada Sr. (Super Medico) going at it. I guess this is a gimmick vs. gimmick feud because they're dressed exactly alike. If you have any trouble telling them apart, clearly you are deaf because you don't need your eyes to figure it out. This is Wrestling 101 until the end where you have a *SHOCKING* highspot with a toprope throw, a ref taking an absurd cartwheel bump, and the infamous knucks made out of wrapped up pieces of paper. Then White Knight actually does a flying bodypress (or is an elbow)?! I suppose they wanted to continue the feud with the end there when Medico could have just won with a rollup. You also have to wonder if it was Steinborn under the Knight mask as dude has some hair creeping out the back of it and I can't see anyone (and haven't seen anyone so far) flying off the top rope across the ring in PR. Yet, at least.


Invader I vs. Ron Starr (9/19/86)
This is from the same show as prior. Ron is in full duds and stalling just enough to cheat with some short elbows and a real nice STO but Invader is game and fights back. We get more stalling but Invader surprisingly busts out a sudden arm-twist into hammerlock that was as lucha as you might get on this set. Each guy are really good jumping each other out of nowhere to get the advantage... then you get Ron's wife walking out of nowhere to chair Invader so he can blade. And Ron is bleeding too so who knows what happened during the commercial break. After Invader stumbles around in the crowd for a minute he gets back in the ring and both guys do their best punch-drunk Terry Funk selling in between sharing dominance. Ron finally wins with a great DDT. He's such a talented guy that you have to wonder what he would've done if he didn't spend his career in backwaters like Calgary and PR, but then you also have to think that the man did two tours in the latter period of the Vietnam War. Him getting into wrestling in places out of the way of bougeous society could have been him being patched into the Hell's Angels or the Outlaws and running a meth ring instead. 


Terry Funk vs. Barry Windham (9/19/86)
This has to be the beginning of the Universal title tournament (in the extras promos others are mentioned like Baba but those matches didn't get on). Wish we could hear the jawing between the two when Barry steals Terry's cowboy hat and puts it on before the bell rings. Otherwise, someone else can nitpick this, it's not my gig. This is prime Terry and more than prime Barry in the ring and I could watch it every day and enjoy it as much. Funk even gets to cut ANOTHER deranged promo on Martel afterwards. Terry, we love you.

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The "ballot" for Portland is up at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lo1AeeS7jtyJ6DpbfUQat2gZ5ybf10Z-1tl3Uze81LY/edit?usp=sharing

You can either download a copy of the spreadsheet in Excel format or you can choose "File->Make a Copy" if you want to create a version of the Google Doc on your own drive.

Send your ballots to [email protected] and be sure to include "PNW" in your subject line!

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More Disc Tres

Spoiler

 

Terry Funk vs. Rick Martel (9/20/86)
Martel and Terry jaw before the bell; Martel puts Terry's hat in the center of the ring and drops a knee on it. Terry, outside, wanders about with his chaps falling off bemoaning his hat. It sounds stupid and it is but I laughed. Terry is in a rare way here, crotching himself on the top rope, throwing chairs at the crowd (that are deflected by a net), literally showing ass. After he gets done clowning around he piledrives Ricky on the grass and Ricky does his best to imitate Funk being piledriven. Later on, Funk takes a piledriver with a chair on his head that he puts on himself. That about sums up this one.  The echo on Hugo's voice... gah... 


Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah the Butcher (9/20/86)
Gary Hart is in the house! He does his job by sneaking Abby a foreign object during the announcements then skulks off looking like a semi-retired middle-aged businessman at an annual company party. I think the camera catches a closeup of Colon blading Abby or passing him a blade; in any case seconds later both guys are covered in the red red krovvy. Abdullah is actually willing to not only do Colon's monkey flip but takes a suplex! And after the finish we get the RPMs and Tony Atlas in for the save. This was (so far) the least of the Abby/Colon matches but they kept it short and Abby actually bumped a bit. There's also a spot where Gary slips Abby something shiny and hits Carlos in the dick with it. There's little to no effect on him. Go figure. 


Carlos Colon vs. Terry Funk (9/21/86)
TERRY GOES WILD!  He does his best impression of a Cops special guest before the match. His schtick is way more on point here than his last match, mixing the goofiness and the stalling with the sudden viciousness. Pulling on Carlos' afro in the sleeper is especially mean and something I've never seen before. All said though, there are two cartwheels and at least three nut shots and Dory coming in with thee worst interference ever. At the end of the match the crowd have invaded the floor at Hiram Bithorn and started to rumble themselves while the rain starts to pour, which is more interesting than the match itself really.


Stan Hansen vs. Carlos Colon (10/12/86)
Hansen completely does not give a fuck and beats up the ref at the start. Now THAT is how you start a match in Puerto Rico. He proceeds to beat Carlos like a red-headed stepchild through the match but Colon has a comeback AFTER a Lariat in the corner. He's finally put down after Al Perez shows up and slips Stan something to put in his armpad for another Lariato. That just ain't right. Still, this was a world-class ass whooping and both guys bled.  Only two nut shots and one cartwheel this time.

 
Invader I vs. Al Perez (Street Fight) (10/26/86)
So I guess this is the Invader trying to get revenge for his friend? If so it's well done because this is just a straight up fight. It also has one of the best nut shots of all time, Invader kicks one right through the goalposts. As much as I hate Invader, he had an awesome match here playing the angry construction worker pissed off at the buff guy that works at Men's Wearhouse giving him a hard time for taking too long in the line at Subway. Al finally retreating after each of them took turns trying to toss each other down the stairs is the cherry on top. Great match. 
 

 

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The rest of Disc Three

Spoiler

 

Carlos Colon vs. Stan Hansen (11/9/86)
This is way better than their last pairing as Hansen immediately gets the "gunshot to the eye" blade job and Carlos is all fired up. The match turns into an angle as Hansen loads the elbowpad again, Invader (I think) interferes to tell the ref about the bunk pinfall, and then gets slaughtered outside with a Lariato while he's sitting on the ground. Hansen flips off all of Hiram Bithorn and retreats. It's beautiful. This could've easily went in the extras section though. 


Carlos Colon vs. TNT (11/15/86 TV)
Savio Vega has arrived with a poor-man's-Muta moveset and a mean Cobra Clutch. It's a breath of fresh air even if he needs El Profe to be his interference. Him and Carlos have a fine short match which ends in an extended Cobra Clutch which has Carlos foaming at the mouth before he gets revived. The way the doctor is shaking him is not at all AMA approved. 


Carlos Colon Vs TNT (11/27/86)
For the blowoff we have El Profe and his briefcase in a cage raised above the ring. Savio has great limbwork, returning to the arm again and again. The real story of the match though is Cobra Clutch vs. Sleeper but as usual we get a bunch of brawling and Carlos bleeding. Savio breaks out a long Cobra again but Colon returns with the trusty nut shot. Eventually they brawl out and poor El Profe is left up in his cage. I had higher hopes for this but the psychology bit the dust. Still, very solid and Savio is gonna be a boon on this set. He can wrestle, he has a cool gimmick, and he's more than willing to bleed so there you go. 


The Invaders & Mil Mascaras vs. Ron Starr, Dory & Terry Funk (12/18/86)
Oh god it's Mil Mascaras. Let's watch him and Dory tie up and all fall asleep en masse. Of course he's fine with letting Invader I start the match. I don't get the gimmick of the Invaders doing "Twin Magic" in their tags; one is clearly smaller than the other. The ref not realizing that is flat-out stupid. Surprisingly Dory takes the majority of the time in-ring to start. Finally Terry takes his place and goes complete cornball, with Dory coming in to calm him and rub his head like the loving brother he is. Ron joins in on the fun with equally goofy selling. Because this is PR (or because a former NWA champion and Mil are in the match) everything dissolves into a brawl. 


Carlos Colon & Huracan Castillo Jr. vs. Stan Hansen & Chicky Starr (12/21/86)
Stan Hansen and Chicky Starr are the best tag team you never thought existed. It's the ultimate ass-kicker and weasel team. I guess that's why the match lasted all of five seconds; the ring couldn't have contained their greatness. Hurican has next to no involvement in the proceedings. Carlos has a great dropkick. 


Carlos Colon vs. Stan Hansen (Texas Bullrope) (1/6/87)
Fantastic. Probably the best match on the set and a verified lock as one of the best gimmick matches ever. It gets so good that even Hugo has to shut up on commentary. The story is simple and the violence is fierce. Will Carlos regain his belt, or will the insane cowboy stomp him into dust? You have to watch to find out. The crowd is the third great part in this equation; I never feared for Stan Hansen's life before this. 


Invader I vs. Jason the Terrible (1/17/87)
Shockingly good match which ended with a preposterous amount of bullshit. Both guys were pretty spry but I wanted Jose's blood all over Jason's hockey mask and didn't get it, sadly. Oh well. 
 

 

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I'm trying to get as much in before I start a new job this week. Since I have all this time off at the moment, I can drop in for a marathon session (maybe half a disc or so) and then crash out. Portland is probably gonna be a bigger roadblock given the length of the matches. 

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