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1980s Portland and Puerto Rico


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Ah the dog's breakfast of '80s PR wrestling. Here are the three matches from October '88; I'll get to Thanksgiving tomorrow or the next day. DISC 7

Spoiler

Chicky Starr & Hercules Ayala vs. Invader III & Carlos Colon (October 1988)

After the marathon run of the last disc it's nice to come back with fresh eyes. The match starts out surprisingly fast but after a brief burst of action it all comes down to stalling from the heels. Chicky gets busted open by an errant kick from Colon and yells at the camera in complaint while Ayala will have none of Colon at all after the fire match, splitting at the first sign of contact with him, because Carlos is still pissed and will run in at random to try to get to him. Ayala bails from the ring about a dozen times, which is probably for the best. You have to appreciate how spritely he is in his escapes though, for a big man he can skin the cat pretty well. Eventually the heels get ahold of Invader and post him and man does he get to leaking. Everything breaks down after and the heels retreat. Long match for this set; your MVP is Chicky (of course) because he can hold anything together. Pretty good and I prefer Hugo in Spanish to Hugo in English on commentary immensely. 

Invader III vs. Chicky Starr (Axehandle on a Pole Match) (October 1988)

Not having seen too many "On A Pole" matches (shows how much TNA or Russo-era WCW I've watched) this is new to me. III and Chicky make a really good scramble for the axehandle. They seem desperate as hell to get that thing, even crawling over each other while the other is on the pole to get at it. The audio is really shoddy but if it's that or listening to Rip I'm down for tape hiss. They do a great job fighting to get up the pole but once the axehandle is off they go home in a hurry with Chicky doing a quick bladejob and nutting III for the pinfall, which makes the stipulation seem much ado about nothing, especially when most of the time they're crotching each other to get the advantage. Chicky, of course, splays out on the turf after and they freeze on him laying there. 

Huracan Castillo Jr. & Miguel Perez Jr. vs. Bobby Jaggers & Dan Kroffat (Double Dog Collar Match) (October 1988)

Apparently from the same tape/show and for the belts. Dan has a creepy resemblance to Dynamite Kid with his hair shaved. This is just a straight brawl with the blood flowing immediately. Dan gets rolled up in no time flat for a pin and the ref even fast counts? I just don't understand how some of these matches are so short. It's like the exact opposite of Portland. The Barrio Boys barely even got any work in on the Jayhawks before they went home, you'd think they'd at least make them bleed a bit more because Jaggers had barely cut himself before the pin. 
 

 

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NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER '88

 

Carlos Colon vs. Ron Starr (November 1988)

Ron is pretty good as the methodical, brawling, cheating heel -- raking the eyes with his boots, fishhooking the mouth, pulling the nose. He has some nice weeble-wobble selling too, like when he headbutts Carlos and falls right on his butt. We cut for no reason to him using a chair and a table to bloody Colon. Of course Carlos rallies, there's a ref bump, Chicky interferes, Carlos picks him up for a slam and his feet hit Ron who bumps out of the ring causing him to argue with Chicky and get counted out thus losing his chance at the Universal title. I guess this is the Ron leaving the Sports Club angle which the crowd is really hot for, but they never come to blows. 

Bart & Brad Batten vs. Bobby Jaggers & Dan Kroffat (November 1988)

Bobby should not do commentary on his own matches. Well, he shouldn't do commentary period, but still. One of the Battens kicks the bottom rope to crotch Bobby who's standing with his crotch on the middle rope? Oooooookay... Bobby actually has a good point about the Battens cheating with Twin Magic. I thought they went heel but I guess anybody against the Hangmen makes them automatic faces. Dandy Dan accidentally squashes Jaggers who stall and bickers; there's a good closeup of one of the Battens' face which has this hilarious look on it like he's thinking "can you please get back in the ring". Of course Bobby accidentally clotheslines Kroffat and it's his turn to complain. Kroffat runs into Bobby's knee that's hanging through the ropes too, then runs his shoulder into the ringpost. Jayhawks have a nice doubleteam move where one of the Battens gets powerslammed into Bobby's belly then gets elbow dropped. The 20 minute time limit expires (?!) so the Battens beat up on the Jayhawks. Sore losers. I might've mentioned this before but how weird is it that a guy from the Pacific Northwest with a Minnesota accent is teaming with a Canadian and they proclaim to be from Kansas? Why would Bobby even choose the gimmick of a Kansas cowboy?

Jason the Terrible vs. TNT (11/12/88)

Jason starts by refusing to be checked by the ref for whatever reason. He acts wary of TNT which is very not Jason-like of him. Chicky's shirt says "Cartagena" which I presume he pimps to the camera saying "that's where I get my coke from daddy". We get our biggest highspot of the set as TNT busts out a plancha from the post to the floor. Another random cut? WTF? Just as I was about to trash Moffat he busts out a pretty sweet German and a flying side elbow. He's even willing to bump right on his face attempting the flying headbutt. The finishing run is nice but short and ends with Chicky distracting TNT so Jason can use the loaded mask to headbutt him for the win. Savio blades and Jason gets to take home a belt. I'm guessing the clipped part was just restholds. Savio also busts out a sweet kick at one point. 

Carlos Colon vs. Ronnie Garvin (11/24/88)

Ronnie comes out to a Southern rock song and seems to have the support of the crowd so this might just be face vs. face. Carlos comes out to Whitney Houston! This is also for the Universal title which Hugo is announcing and everyone stands for the Puerto Rican national anthem so this has the total Japanese big match feel. Then they play "The Star Spangled Banner" on flamenco guitar too which is equally cool. Nevermind that Ronnie is Quebecois, of course... probably has dual citizenship though. They also trot out some dude (ex-boxer?) who briefly says he's happy to be there on the mic and then leaves. Lots of US pro style wrestling here, headlocks and working the arm, an abdominal stretch (which Hugo thankfully reminds us is called a Cobra Twist as well). Everything is tense and well sold and you know they're gonna come to blows at some point. BUT WAIT! As Dean once said with PR "there is always baffling twist" and while Ronnie appears to have injured his leg and the ref is checking he suckerpunches Carlos and wins the belt. Then it is revealed that Garvin was a Sports Club pawn the entire time as Chicky comes out to congratulate him and they leave together. That was gearing up to be a really awesome match but they decided to anglefy it and that stinks. Still, what's there is great. 

Ron Starr vs. Chicky Starr (12/17/88)

THE STARRS EXPLODE~! Chicky is already bleeding from the time they roll tape. This is a whole lot of Chicky begging off and getting beaten on. One funny moment has him grab a headlock in an attempt to defend himself but Ron just grabs him by the hair and slings the back of his head into the mat. Another has him Irish whip Ron and collapse; Ron does a round of running and when Chicky sits up off the mat he flat kicks him in the side of the head. His only hope appears to be the dreaded sleep hold but the real Rambo jawbreaks to end that. Chicky rallies with some good knees though and we have a competitive match after all. Chicky even throws up the horns in triumph while Ron sells on the outside. Yet another cut and Ron uses tape to the throat to go on offense; Chicky goes tit for tat and goes to his throat. Then all of the sudden there's a mad rush of fans to a fight off camera, someone throws a chair in the ring which Chicky uses, then somebody chucks ANOTHER chair in the ring and Ron uses it! Chicky bails and the crowd rushes the ring. Ron drags him back and everyone jumps out. Finally Chicky nuts Ron and bails again in a hurry for the countout loss, probably because he knows that crowd is gonna be pissed. Pretty fun but not enough blood and despite the crowd the end fizzles.


 

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I'm gonna have to come back to it but TNT vs. Abdullah is AWESOME. A true Clash of the Titans kind of match with Abby giving Savio all he's got and Savio works to his level perfectly. The blood flows like a river. 

 

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JAN/FEB/MAR '89

Abdullah the Butcher vs. TNT (1/6/89)  

Starts off nice and slow and the announcers do a good job referencing both mens' martial arts experience. Abby goes for his special Tae Kwan Fork but Savio hits a kick that sends the fork dramatically flying in the air which he retrieves to do some Karate Fork Thrusts to Abby's Judo Forehead. He fights back and both guys are bleeding like mad. All the offense is pretty much karate chops and thrusts and kicks. The reactions Abby is busting out are great; Savio goes low on him and his eyes bulge out, Savio kicks him in the eye and he screams "AAAAAAAAOOOOWWWW" all high-pitched. At one point he puts his boot on Savio's throat and slowly pushes him through the ropes and all the way out of the ring. Savio survives the Sudanese Meat Cleaver and gets all kinds of offence in including four solid superkicks in a row. However, he stupidly drags Abby out of the ring and they brawl to countout. So much for wanting to win his belt back. Despite the finish this was a really solid match with some of the best commentary on the set. And two buckets of blood, of course.

Carlos Colon vs. Hercules Ayala (Loser Leaves Puerto Rico) (1/6/89)

There's a huge mass of bodyguards covering Ayala and Chicky and some tag team to the ring so they don't get dirty diapers and dead batteries hitting them in the face. For some reason there's a smoke machine going off outside the ring -- are they trying to blind the audience? This is also apparently a title match. The crowd is a great combination of Mexico City and Memphis as you have the horns going off and you have them yelling every time Colon punches back. As good as Carlos is at taking offense and building to his comeback, Ayala has next to nothing in his repertoire. Luckily he throws him outside to pound his head on the table and hit him with a beer can so we get some blood. Carlos responds in kind by taking him to all four posts, banging him on the table, and popping him with the ring bell. Ayala misses a kneedrop and the crowd explodes for Carlos attempting the Figure Four. It's countered by rollup which starts a nice series of back-and-forth two counts to build suspense. We can certainly do without a goddamn bearhug but I think it pushes all the blood in Carlos out of his forehead. Woof! Uh oh, he misses a kneedrop too and now we have Ayala looking for the FF. He gets it and nearly all of Colon's white singlet is red by now. After awhile he finally reverses the hold and Ayala submits to a huge reaction. Unfortunately we don't see Ayala getting hustled out of the building while people chase him with rocks and knives. This is the quintessential Colon match, even with a load like Ayala he can squeeze drama out of a match just like he can blood from his head. 

Ricky Santana vs. Kensuke Sasaki (February 1989)

Ricky is Jr. Heavy champ and Sasaki is Caribbean Tag champ with Profe as his second. Santana is such a side of beef that I wouldn't call him junior anything, while Kensuke doesn't look anything close to what he'd blow up to later. Ricky is all over him like a cheap suit to start, fast moves, hard chops, trying to take the arm out. Cut to commercial and Sasaki has a chinlock. Nice of them to cut out that whole chunk of the main event. Sasaki gets to choking with wrist tape and a nerve hold (sigh) and a sleeper. Ricky gets his comeback but Kensuke throws salt and gets DQed. As late as '89 they were still doing this shit. Well, then, so was the WWF. How far we've come these last couple years...

Huracan Castillo Jr. & Ricky Santana vs. El Exotico & Dan Kroffat (March 1989)

Ricky has picked up the pace in his matches so things have changed a bit. The faces are dicks making like Exotico is responsible for hitting Dandy Dan. Just when thinks stay the same with the heels arguing they change when Castillo hits a big plancha through the ropes on both of them. He also busts out a sweet Northern Lights and some kinda trapped arm suplex on Exotico. You can tell Huracan has been working in Japan recently, his strikes are stiffer too. Him and Kroffat together makes me want them to have a singles match. Kroffat has an awesome snap Fisherman to add to the suplexes. Exotico seems perfectly capable but his moves are kinda sloppy, probably on purpose due to the gimmick. The double offense reversals ("do-si-do"s as Santana calls them on commentary) are pretty cool and your faces get the win. Perfectly fine tag match. 

Carlos Colon vs. Jason the Terrible (Barbed Wire Match) (3/11/89)

Dick Slater kinda sounds like Steve Austin on commentary. This is exactly what you think it is. I guess this is still Moffat behind the mask. Watching the wire press directly into Colon's back looks painful but isn't very bloody. Yep, it's Moffat, because Carlos takes it off and uses it against him. He has some pretty fun broad selling to hitting the wire and being busted open (AND BUT HOW) by Carlos. Going back to the Ayala match Jason misses a kneedrop so he gets the Figure Four which is reversed but Colon rolls it back for the submission. Slater is just like Ol' Stone Cold rambling at high speed the whole time and we end with a grisly closeup of Jason's gore-covered melon draining onto the mat. 

I'll get around to Santana/Embry later

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My rankings for Portland Disc 1:

Buddy Rose vs. Rick Martel (2/3 falls) (4/26/80)
Buddy Rose vs. Rick Martel (2/3 falls) (5/10/80)
Roddy Piper & Rick Martel vs. Luke Williams & Butch Miller (2/3 Falls) (5/31/80)
Harley Race vs. Rick Martel (2/3 Falls) (1/12/80)
Buddy Rose & Ed Wiskowski vs. Roddy Piper & Rick Martel (2/3 Falls) (8/2/80)
Roddy Piper & Rick Martel vs. Luke Williams & Butch Miller (2/3 Falls) (5/3/80)
Ed Wiskowski vs. Rick Martel (2/3 Falls) (7/12/80)
Buddy Rose vs. Butch Miller (2/3 Falls) (6/7/80)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's two before I go to bed, I'll do the other two to finish the disc in the morning

Ricky Santana vs. Eric Embry (3/25/89)

Perfectly fine sleazy Memphis heel vs. babyface match. Embry gathers as much heat as he can carry on his shoulders without getting shanked and Santana is pretty much carried as well, but is peppy enough in his comebacks to not look so. Embry is still the star here and I so wish I had the Texas set to see more of him. This is also before he gained weight and has a pretty suave short haircut... for a wrestler, at least. Tricky rollup loses him the match so he can escape without too much abuse from the crowd. All the little things he does in this match are so good. 

Carlos Colon vs. Abuddadein (April 1989)

Abuddadein is not the Abudda Dein that Kevin Sullivan prayed to, instead it's some big dude that looks like a Sheepherder on steroids who is apparently from "Palesteen", according to Hugo. Most of his offense is cheating with a foreign object that he sneaks in and out to Profe but he does attempt a Vader Bomb that gets blocked for Colon's big comeback. Carlos wins with a backslide to keep the Universal championship. Not much to this one, if you need a shorthand to Colon matches (but why would you) then this is it: beatdown, comeback, shine, struggle for the win. The cartwheel is in there too. There's more blood and better opponents doing the same thing on this set. 

 

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Abuddadein vs. Invader I (5/14/89)

Invader isn't wearing the mask and has lime green tights while Abby is imitating the real Abby with the curly-toed boots and the finger thrusts. Invader keeps controlling with headlocks but Abby stuffs him with a nice back suplex that makes Invader spit in the air. Of course he starts to target the bandage on his forehead so Gonzalez can do what he does best (aside from evading prison), bleed and sell. I swear Ray Candy is the ref for this match but I haven't seen enough of him to really know. Abby busts out all kinds of moves including a nice belly-to-belly that has kind of a deadlift look to it, like his back suplex. Eventually Invader shoulderblocks the fuck out of Abby on a rope run to go back on offence and hits a totally blatant kick to the nuts that ref watches with no reaction. Hey, Invader has some nice stiff chops and forearms. Finally Abby, who keeps arguing with the ref, gets pushed into him and they knock noggins allowing for a rollup. Totally middle of the road match.

TNT vs. Rip Rogers (6/17/89)

We open with Rip hiding an object in his kneepad outside the ring so you know exactly where this is headed. Damn, whatever belt TNT is holding looks shoddy, there's a plate hanging sideways on it when they film a shot of it. And yes within moments we get color and a nutshot! Ah Puerto Rico, never change. Rip tosses Savio head over heels over the fence holding back the crowd and bashes his head into some long wooden contraption (I can't really explain what it is) that he positions on the floor. Savio is of course a champ, falling all over and taking all of Rip's cheapshots like gun shots until he comes back and kicks Rip right in the face in closeup. Rip loses after Savio rolls over on a toprope crossbody. 

Now hold the phone... all of the sudden this is on here? My prayers for more Embry are answered? It must be 

Chicky Starr vs. Eric Embry (July 1989)

which is supposed to be on the next disc. Oh well, mistakes happen. Eric is all fired up from the jump and Chicky takes a clothesline like he's trying to give himself a neck injury which is fantastic. Greasy babyface Embry is as good as greasy heel Embry and when you put Chicky in there you might as well have just emptied the grease trap in the ring. If you squint real hard Chicky looks like Pequeno Magnum TA. Oh he is such a fabulous bastard, getting down on his knees for a handshake, pulling faces and begging for the show of honesty. His little strut after Embry misses a crossbody is maybe even better. He goes after Embry's leg but Embry drops the straps and goes Lawler on him, then hits a beautiful DDT and flying headbutt. He even gets in a Three Stooges eyepoke! The fall makes absolutely no sense though as Embry hits a back suplex, pins Chicky for three with his foot on the middle rope, and the ref calls the match for Chicky and gives him his belt? I don't get it, they should have continued the match. This is the first time I've ever seen one guy lose on a three count because the other guy got his foot on the rope. Alright then. Otherwise this was perfect, everyone needs more of both of these guys in their lives. 

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In the home stretch here! 

Huracan Castillo Jr. & Miguel Perez Jr. vs. Bart & Brad Batten (July 1989)

The Jrs. have apparently lost a hair match to the Battens and they are PISSED, running straight in to beat the crap out of the twins. Perez hits a huge powerslam on the outside and another brother gets tossed over the barricade which has a fan taking a shot at him. The Battens are both great here being stooging pinballs, getting distracted by the crowd and bumping all over the place. Huracan and Miguelito with their heads shaved look like two guys you seriously don't wanna fuck with. Right before the break there's a great spot where the twins get dropkicked into each other and one goes through the ropes and slides across the floor on his belly like a hockey puck. However, their adept cheating along with the aid of Profe (who does his best JJ Dillon impression here) gets them back in the game and the crowd is just at a froth. When the cameras pan to the outside you can see the the floor is littered with thrown garbage, like this was WCW in 1997 during an NWO beatdown. Eventually Profe interferes but gets chased off by ostensibly Castillo Sr. or Perez Sr. and one of the twins gets rolled up for the belts. Hot match and both teams are kings in their respective roles. 

Rufus R. Jones & Super Medico vs. Bart & Brad Batten (August 1989)

Hey, it's the Freight-Train again. He actually throws an armdrag and a hiptoss! One of the Battens gets his arm worked on for a long time, as in all the way to commercial, at which point they manage the tag and then we've got Twin Magic going on. Poor Rufus makes a pretend hot tag with him not being really hurt and just falling down in the ring to fake it which looked terrible. We get another crossbody reversal for the pin, which seems to be a go-to PR finish. Profe's switch from JJ-style tux into full red Adidas workout gear is the most interesting thing about this one. 

Steve Strong vs. TNT (Barbed Wire Match) (August 1989)

Sadistic Steve Strong is Steve DiSalvo AKA the Minotaur AKA Billy Jack Strong. He looks to be one of the first wrestlers to use the Spear as a finisher, which is a dubious qualification, but hey getting saddled with the Minotaur gimmick means all is forgiven. Apparently he also feuded with Dandy Dan in Stampede where they argued over who had the better physique (read: how many steroids each could inject). The barbed wire looks really nasty here from certain angles. Ivan Koloff shows up on the screen-in-screen with Profe to cut a promo which is only a small distraction from the same old PR wire match with both guys trying to gig the other. Savio finally taps a vein and his kicks are always on point so there's that. Then they show a screen-in of Ivan chain whipping the Invader for no reason... guess this being a barbed wire match didn't mean too much to the production crew. Strong wins after he hotshots Savio on the wire. Standard affair with Strong eerily reminding one of Rhyno facially and in body style and attire. They even share the same finisher, maybe he's the older Canadian cousin. 

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Alright, here it is... cue Europe playing their New Year's classic... its '80s PUERTO RICO HOME OF THE BLOOD FINAL MASSACRE~!

Steve Strong vs. Abdullah the Butcher (August 1989)     

So it looks like this is gonna round out just like it started, with Abdullah, Carlos, and bodies dripping with sweat and gore. Rhyn-... ahem, Steve Strong is the bloodbank for our last three match matches here. He comes out sporting a pirate flag and a belt and a really bad haircut. Abby, spry as he's ever been, runs out and pops Steve with a 2x4 and here we go! Steve is apparently gassed more than Abby within moments, which is the most absurd thing ever. Abby actually waits for him in the ring while he sucks wind on the outside. When he finally gets back in the Butcher busts out his super fast handwork, but Mr. Strong takes over after a Strong Grab of Abby's hairy sack of magic (god, that brings up some awful images). He gets receipted with a couple low blows though. Strong keeps throwing up some kind of Rockafella/DDP hand sign while the announcers waffle on about conspiracy theories involving the promotion. Mercifully Abby busts out the fork and they brawl to countout (interestingly, PR does a 20 count like Japan, which I had no idea about before this). Hiram Bithorn Stadium enjoyed it all, at least. 

Carlos Colon vs. Steve Strong (Barbed Wire Match) (10/7/89)

We're JIP to both guys already trying to push each other into the wire, and Chicky is out there in his windbreaker seconding Strong. Steve has a good shoulderblock and looks like he could have been a solid power wrestler. He's willing to bleed (sometimes) and willing to sell, it's just that he has no cardio and lumbers around like Khali most of the time. He horribly botches a DDT that they redo too and my goodwill is immediately extinguished. Colon amazingly tries a middle-rope legdrop which as high as I can recall him flying. Steve then does the same thing with a middle-rope elbowdrop that he also misses. Either Strong tore his hamstring or his legs are too big for Carlos but they botch the Figure Four twice before getting it on. Chicky sprays him in the face with an aerosol can and sticks it down his pants but TNT and some old duffer in a tracksuit choke Chicky to get the can and show it to the ref; the match is immediately restarted from Strong's pinfall and Colon wins via back suplex in seconds and the crowd EXPLODES, I mean just fucking erupts like Mount Vesuvius for that win. At least two chairs are thrown to ringside and Carlos is doused in champagne. That end is kind of worth the whole watch but damn: Steve Strong sucked. 

Carlos Colon vs. Steve Strong (11/23/89)

Okay, last match. Let's see if Colon can drag anything out of our erstwhile power lifter/PED connoisseur here. Coloseo Ruben Rodriguez is your venue for the evening and this is yet again for the Universal title. Apparently Strong was hanging out with Embry because he's went from the almost Tenzan-esque cut to something far closer to Eric's hairstyle. We also have an interesting above-the-ring crane camera that reminds of when AJPW used to do that. Pretty telling that this whole review so far is name dropping... Anyway, I dunno if it's Steve's lack of cardio or what but this starts slow as molasses with a lot of stalling and Colon avoiding Strong's lunges. Carlos works on his leg and the stalling continues. At this point one starts to pine for the activity of Hercules Ayala. The big bastard finally gets back in the ring and is put in the Figure Four. I'll say this for Colon, he knows how to milk the FF reversals as well as Flair, only it works better because he's a babyface. The crack referee allows Strong to keep the hold on though Colon grabs the rope several times before he finally just rolls out of it on his own accord. Strong gets a run on offense which is briefly interrupted by the expected trio of 'rope leap-cartwheel-nut shot'. Finally Strong goes for an overhead backbreaker hold but Carlos reverses it into a backdrop and pinfall. Aaaaand here comes the crowd! The cops/military dudes with the truncheons have almost no chance as everyone storms in to congratulate Carlos. For good measure he goes back in the ring to kick Steve out and look angrily on on the outside as we face to black. This match stole literally everything from the Ayala Loser Leaves PR match except for the blood but wasn't nearly as good.

So, that's the end of of that. Verdict: despite the shortness and, honestly, lack of quality of many of the matches on display, this was a blast to wade through. Sometimes you hit a run of several matches that want to make you throw your beer at the TV, but then there'll be a couple that are shockingly good, or at least wildly entertaining if you're a total vampire like myself. The extras disc is really worth the price of purchase alone. MVPs of the set are Carlos, Abby (who is totally at home in PR and ups his game accordingly), Profe (when he shows up it's always a treat), TNT (best worker), Invader I (best seller and bleeder), Perez/Castillo (best tag team), Embry for the short time he's on, and by far -- BY FAR -- Chicky Motherfuckin' Starr. He embodies the entire vibe of Puerto Rico and is the flint that sparks the fire of almost everything in the territory, and only Invader is equal in bleeding and selling on here. I'll rank and list when the time comes, but for now, on to the Pacific Northwest! 

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Matt D reminded me that Ron Starr is pretty well impervious here. A match with him in it rarely suffers, and he has the best double teams on the set when he's in with Chicky.

EDIT: Hey I was wrong and thought Strong was Mantaur, here he is squashing someone who is probably not from Calgary. Mesias must've been paying attention as a youngin' cause he has the same contacts

 

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Alright, I'm only a quarter way through the first Portland match with Harley vs. Martel (and a little extras footage too) and I can already tell that this set is gonna be special. The laid-back announcing with reading of phone numbers for ticket sales along with the super hyped reaction of all the fans makes this seem so local and somehow nostalgic for an era I never grew up in. This is wonderful to come into after only watching foreign-language sets the last three times (NJPW, Mexico, Puerto Rico). It feels so homey and down to earth. Plus you've got great wrestling so, yeah, I'm gonna unpause this and watch the match

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Might as well start a few short reviews just to keep up. These won't be real-time like the PR matches.

Harley Race vs. Rick Martel (2/3 Falls) (1/12/80)

Solid Harley match where he comes in as three-year NWA champ and works with the best guy in the territory. I love the announcer with his terms like "flail kick" and "wing-lock". Also, the stogie-chewing cop who leads everyone out. This is as good as you think it is. 

Buddy Rose vs. Rick Martel (2/3 falls) (4/26/80)

This was on a Phil comp and I don't think I ever got through it until now. Man the Rose mask is creepy, this white latex thing holding on a wig in imitation of his hair, its the kind of thing that would make little kids run screaming. Martel finally rips it off and the Sheepherders run in to cover him up and the camera doesn't catch the actual mask removal, almost like it was censored for television. 

Roddy Piper & Rick Martel vs. Luke Williams & Butch Miller (2/3 Falls) (5/3/80)

The verdict on the Sheepherders is still out. They're solid meat and potatoes tag workers with good selling but not much in the way of offense. Maybe because Don Owen and Vince McMahon paid them so much they didn't have to do much more than stooge for the camera and bleed. Piper and Martel cheat their asses off and it's supposed to be okay because the Kiwis do it all the time, so turnabout is fair play. Sandy Barr takes a ridiculous Jerry bump over the top (he apparently is fond of this) and calls the match for both teams who have a collective count of twenty or so on their opponents at the same time, so the belts go to nobody. Alright then. 

Buddy Rose vs. Rick Martel (2/3 falls) (5/10/80)

You know those famous matches with the two wrestlers... what were their names.... Flair I think, and Rick Steamboat? Yeah they ripped off all their stuff from this because they do the exact same spots back in 1980. I mean exact same, it's eerie. And Rick Martel busts out a fucking hurricanrana in 1980 too. He's given flowers by a lady in the crowd and Buddy rips them up, what a great heel. Gotta love Buddy's selling for the sleeper on the second fall where he plays dead and Martel has to wake him. The Kiwis run in for the screwy finish and Martel retains (or wins? I'm not sure, that doesn't make sense though) the Northwest title via DQ. 

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Hey, are you depressed as fuck too? Go watch some Pacific Northwest! 

Roddy Piper & Rick Martel vs. Luke Williams & Butch Miller (2/3 Falls) (5/31/80)

Beginning to get a better grasp of the Portland style. After each fall the winning team takes a break to cut a promo on the other. Sheepherders are here because they lost a Coal Miner's Glove match (which strangely isn't on here) so Piper and Martel get a shot at the belts. Luke seems to be the worker of the team as he's in most of the time. Lots of limbwork on display. This ends up being the big angle to dissolve Rose's Army as he mistakenly hits Luke with the flagpole and then says "fuck it" and pops him a couple more times, I guess because Buddy's just a jerk. Luke blades and Buddy finally gets run off with a chair. Butch cuts an awesome promo where he smears Luke's blood on his face and chest; Don Owen comes up and makes the match while everybody holds Butch back from killing Buddy. More mic time than match time here but still fairly long. 

Buddy Rose vs. Butch Miller (2/3 Falls) (6/7/80)

Another specifically Portland thing is the crowd chanting "We Want (insert wrestler)" in support of them even though they're already in the ring. And guess what, the Northwest does a 20 count on the outside too. Rose has his shirt ripped up and tries to stall but Butch beats him up and takes the first fall. For some reason Sandy Barr tries to stop Butch from pulling off Buddy's mask as if this is Mexico and he's gonna lose a fall to DQ. Buddy takes big, enthusiastic bumps, even for Butch's "flail kick" kickouts. After he wins the second fall he goes up to the crow's nest and says he's "the J.R. Ewing of wrestling" and has a plan to run out all the top babyfaces. Miller blades off a posting and there's a DDQ so all the jobbers come out to separate the two. Butch says that Don Owen doesn't want blood on television while wearing the crimson mask which is pretty disingenuous. 

Ed Wiskowski vs. Rick Martel (2/3 Falls) (7/12/80)

Rick is billed as being from Paris, I guess because his accent is so thick. Wiskowski is a good partner for Buddy; he's blonde, he's bigger than him, and has the sleazy mustache and condescending smirk that makes you wanna slap him. Martel is high flying again with a headscissors but the Polish Prince grounds him. As Ed wins with a flying headbutt they for no reason show a picture-in-picture of some random old guy watching the match. Then they do it again, focusing on a woman who is super into the match. Ed is also similar to Buddy in that he bumps wildly and has really broad selling. At one point he goes literally head over heels for Martel. Hey Sandy, way to not break the hold when Ed grabs the rope, guess he was the American Joe Higuchi in that regard. Martel takes the second with a picture perfect rana but we get a DQ for the last after he accidentally dropkicks Sandy. Well, that was a crappy way to end it.

Buddy Rose & Ed Wiskowski vs. Roddy Piper & Rick Martel (2/3 Falls) (8/2/80)

Rose and Wiskowski have run the Sheepherders out of the territory so now they've got Piper and Martel solely in their sights. Because the Herders are gone both teams are wrestling for the absent tag titles. The crowd is super hyped for this match, giving everyone flowers and being very vocal in their support of Piper who is playing the role of Ricky Morton here. The opposition puts him in a body scissors to exploit his injured ribs and keep dragging him off when he's literally a finger's touch away from Martel. When Martel does get tagged he busts out the rana again for the fall. For revenge Ed and Buddy work over Martel's back with a bearhug and a "suplay carry" (over-the-shoulder backbreaker hold); fat-ass Buddy busts the bottom rope from jumping on it. He gets all innovative with a catapult into a hold where he's got Martel by the ankles and has his knees in the small of his back and craftily uses the loose turnbuckle to pop Martel in it. He gets pinned after they've sufficiently tormented the back. Now Martel has turned into Morton and Piper wigs out when he gets the hot tag but the heels retaliate with a neat catapult-into-backdrop to send him over the top. Which, of course, leads to them brawling outside and there's a no contest. Each team steals a belt but the rainbow-bedecked Sandy takes them back. A pissed-off Don Owen announces a no-DQ match with lumberjack rules and they have a wild dust-up in the crow's nest. This has won Segunda's 1980 crown and IMO isn't as good as Bock vs. Billy but it's a fine little match. Also pretty smart of Owen to use a screwy finish on TV to set up the apparent house show rematch (it isn't on the set, so I'm just guessing). 
 

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Okay - it is probably easier for me to just ask this than keep searching (and I am sure it has already been answered somewhere but whatevs)

Oh mookie's WON awards doc - it lists a Buddy Rose/David Schultz "Chain" match as finishing 3rd in the MOTY balloting.

Considering I can't find any reference to a chain match between the two but the CAGE match occurred in 82 - is that the "same" match

Or is there this amazing Rose/Schultz match that didn't make tape?

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30 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

Okay - it is probably easier for me to just ask this than keep searching (and I am sure it has already been answered somewhere but whatevs)

Oh mookie's WON awards doc - it lists a Buddy Rose/David Schultz "Chain" match as finishing 3rd in the MOTY balloting.

Considering I can't find any reference to a chain match between the two but the CAGE match occurred in 82 - is that the "same" match

Or is there this amazing Rose/Schultz match that didn't make tape?

I'm pretty certain that in this case they ran the chain matches around the loop a week before they ran the cage matches. I'm not sure they ever did the chain match in Portland though, just in Seattle and some of the other towns. Even if they did run it in Portland, it might have been on one of the Tuesday night shows which are the ones we don't have.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This nasal infection sucks so bad, and showed up right in time for the weekend. The only cure is vodka and more Portland

Roddy Piper vs. Ed Wiskowski (2/3 falls) (8/23/80)

This is at least on the level of the prior tag match. Piper is super fired up and both guys have nice cheap shots. At one point Piper gets hit in the throat and does the weirdest sell ever, he just stands there kind of convulsing before he drops. At another they get a good shot of his face and the announcer notes his dead-on resemblance to Jack Nicholson. Speaking of faces, the one that Wiskowski makes when a fan pushes him or something and he invites him in the ring is downright sinister. These guys both work simple and some of the most outdated of holds -- spinning toe hold, neckbreaker, nerve hold -- somehow work. They also target each other's legs pretty effectively in the first fall. Wiskowski takes the second fall with a deadfall flying headbutt that looks crushing. Of course Rose ends up interfering so Piper wins by DQ and they bloody him up so he can point and rave on the mic. 

Roddy Piper vs. Buddy Rose (2/3 falls) (9/13/80)

Buddy's hair is back! I guess Ed got ran out by Piper, Rose ran out Martel, so these two are gonna have a loser leaves town too. That's what Buddy says but this one is for the Pacific Northwest title that Piper's holding. Don Owen bitches about the loser stips again like in the last match. Buddy's wearing a Superman shirt, takes that off to reveal a shirt saying "CHAMPION", takes that off to reveal one saying "TRUEST CHAMPION", then shakes his ass while he takes off that one. Not as cool as Piper's "Satisfaction Guaranteed" shirt. Piper takes the first with a sleeper pretty quick. He juices immediately off a posting which is just how it should be. Rose wipes his blood on Sandy Barr's face, what a prick. Despite that Piper rolls Buddy up for two straight falls! Rose brings a chair in but Piper takes it away and wears his ass out with it and we get a big schmozz in the ring with a bunch of guys running in. They make the loser match one fall, add Red Bastien as second ref, and wrestlers are banned from interference. This was clearly just a setup for that match (which again, we sadly don't get) but it's a pretty hot angle. 

Buddy Rose, Little Tokyo & Billy the Kid vs. Jonathan Boyd, Lone Eagle & Cowboy Lang (12/13/80)

Dachshunds! Ed's back and Buddy gave him a couple doggies flown in from Germany as a gift. Buddy apparently has the title now and his crew includes Destroyer (not Dick Beyer) and Rip Oliver. Well this is different, I can't recall there ever being a midget match, much less a mixed midget match on any of the sets. Cowboy Lang has a shit-eating grin and likes to shake his booty. Of course this is broad comedy with Lang and Eagle getting shots in on Rose and Rose being a dick to his teammates. Eagle is barefoot and the crowd chants "Indian Power" for him. It's weird that Billy the Kid isn't on Boyd's team because they look about as haggard as each other. Good lord, Buddy actually kneels down and gives Lone Eagle a back bodydrop. Then, they play chicken on each other's shoulders including the little dudes holding up their bigger counterparts! Pretty bizarre and nothing that'll make you forget Mascarita Sagrada but it's cool that the minis get an airing here. 

Buddy Rose vs. Jay Youngblood (2/3 falls) (1/3/81)

Buddy's got a pretty young thing wearing bunny ears to comb his hair; this is for the PN belt. Buddy works the arm and works the arm, getting all Finlay on Jay's fingers. The psychology is that Jay had arm surgery a couple years back and Buddy knows it. He's got some cool offense on it, hammerlocking it with his legs, flying into armbars when Jay gets away and starts rope-running. Turnabout is fair play though and the crowd erupts for Jay getting ahold of Buddy's arm to chop it and bash it against the ropes and the post, which makes Rose actually submit. Haven't mentioned this yet but the PN ropes/cables are real thin and jiggly. like bouncy Twizzlers the wrestlers are coming off of. They both go back to the arms and at some point Buddy's mouth gets busted open by an errant turnbuckle bump. Finally Buddy can't take it anymore and pops Sandy to get DQed and Chief Jake Youngblood (? is this Chris or Mark?) runs in to attack Buddy. Until the fuck finish this was a masterclass in armwork. 

Jay Youngblood vs. Rip Oliver (Apache Strap Match) (2/14/81)

Buddy, always sticking his nose in, is threatened to have his license permanently suspended if he interferes, so he falsely asks to take over the match then balks and leaves. Oliver isn't very happy about that. Ten feet of rawhide connect the two and Jay goes right to it which ends up in Rip blading in closeup at ringside. Damn man, at least duck beneath ring level. He goes all Puerto Rico with the low blow to break a count. This isn't quite as PR as it could be for a strap (or chain) match, not enough blood and Youngblood wins pretty handily in not much time. 

Jay Youngblood vs. The Destroyer (Apache Strap Match) (3/7/81)

Just for reference, the Destroyer is Fidel Sierra/Cuban Assassin (we have another PR connection), and the commentator is Don Coss. Pretty much the same match down to the low blow except Destroyer is smart enough to go lower to blade. Suitably he's changed from black mask to white mask so we can see the blood. For that I'd give this match the preference over the last one. Also dug Destroyer dragging Jay by the wrists and tagging the corners with his head. After the match he comes up to ask for a title match and calls Youngblood an egg-sucking dog. The camera quality seems to have improved on this one. 

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On 6/14/2016 at 10:29 PM, goodhelmet said:

Chicky Starr vs. Invader III (Scaffold Match) (May 1986)

Point of order - pro wrestling history list the match as taking place on the 15th Anniversary Show which was 9/10/88

But then I know people are saying that "evidence shows it was May 1986"

But the internet won't explain what that "evidence" is (but I assumed someone on the project would know)

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22 hours ago, RIPPA said:

Point of order - pro wrestling history list the match as taking place on the 15th Anniversary Show which was 9/10/88

But then I know people are saying that "evidence shows it was May 1986"

But the internet won't explain what that "evidence" is (but I assumed someone on the project would know)

The match from the Aniversario 88 show is a different one, it is Invader 3's return after being put on the shelf by Manny Fernandez and after Invader 3 brained Chicky with an axe handle during a Sports Shop segment. I initially thought that the scaffold match was from this time period, but after viewing the WWC discs that are out there, it becomes clear that the match is from spring of 86 with a best guess of May. Why? The TV episode on the WWC tv discs that airs the match is from 1986 (it is during the lead up to the Aniversario 86 weekend of shows). It's on an episode where Hugo has Invader 1 as co-host and as they introduce the match they mention that it took  place a few months ago.

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Yeah - I was able to at least figure out that the 88 Anniversary show was a different match when I was searching.

I mean I wasn't complaining THAT much about seeing more Chicky/Invader blood

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  • 6 months later...
  • 5 months later...
On 11/24/2017 at 9:59 AM, Curt McGirt said:

Who knows if we'll ever finish these two. I crushed PR because I was unemployed at the time but haven't even gotten through the second disc of Portland, personally. 

I've seen as much PR as I need to over the years, and I get bogged down with Portland, because I remember so much of it that it becomes hard to be objective about what I'm seeing. 

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  • 1 year later...

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