Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Monday, August 08, 2016

DVDVR Puerto Rico 80s Set: Disc 1: Carlos Colon vs Abdullah the Butcher (9/19/81)

Disc 1, Match 1: Carlos Colon vs Abdullah the Butcher (9/1981)

My game plan is to do write ups of every match on the set. We'll see how far I get. I've seen a spattering of PR matches, but I'd say less than ten Colon ones, for instance, and maybe less than thirty in general, so I'm not entirely sure what to expect, especially watching chronological like this. For the first few of these reviews, at least, I'm going to go fairly general on my impressions.

And what a way to start the set, with the ghastly minute of Abdullah's head divots being sewn up. What a way to set the mood. This isn't AWA or New Japan or even Lucha. This is Puerto Rico.

The match followed suit, being an extremely focused first act shine that devolved into heat and comeback spiraling in a circle of blood and brawling that didn't craft a compelling narrative so much as created a flow of forward momentum, held together by escalating selling and body-fluid loss. It was enough to make me worry about a desensitizing danger of binging here, but in the moment made for an enjoyable enough match.

Two things stood out immediately. The first was the shine. Colon rushed right across the ring, working over Abdullah's ear, very specifically, for minutes, punches, biting, yanking. This was believable and effective, an equalizer to Abdullah's size that seemed completely on the level for a babyface. Abdullah, to his credit, would sell more and more, staggering, to screaming, to barely being able to stand. I loved him slamming Abdullah's head on a table, causing a cup of coffee to go flying, and that, ultimately, he lost control of the match because he became more focused on making Abdullah bleed than keeping on the ear.

The selling in general would be the second. That's not just selling the damage either, but also the effort and the positives. When Colon was attacking the ear, he'd grit his teeth and his eyes would go wide and you couldn't help but buy into his fury. The same was true during his late match comebacks. There was absolutely the sense that he was putting everything he had into it, which creates a connection to the crowd and the viewer. Abdullah I've seen in plenty of six minute AJPW matches from this period but this seemed more personal somehow. He sold like a wounded animal and when it was time to strike back, with his crazy fast hand speed, repeat elbow drops, and general biting and scraping, there was, occasionally, this look of pure glee in his eyes and a wide smile on his face.

I wish that he had gotten a little more distinct a heat segment after taking over. As it was, they rushed to Colon's low-blow/cartwheel comeback and then just brawled around for the rest of the match. Abdullah took more and more of it, leading to the stoppage finish but ultimately, it was more about bathing in a mood than creating a narrative. It felt like a very appropriate start to the set though.

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Anonymous bucky said...

Nice. I like your description of how many PR matches you've seen. I've seen some of the Stan Hansen v Carlos feud, and also one time I watched Chicky Starr v Invader 1 or 3 in a scaffold match. Hope you keep up the good shit.

10:41 PM  

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