Segunda Caida

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

Monday, September 19, 2016

DVDVR Puerto Rico 80s Set: Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah the Butcher (9/21/85)

Disc 1, Match 11: Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah the Butcher (9/21/85)

There's such a wonderful purity to Colon vs Abdullah. The match up shows up a number of times on the set, and I wonder if I might grow sick of it. Somehow, I don't think so. It already feels familiar here, or more accurately, it feels seeped in familiarity. It's chemistry. Colon and Abdullah unlock something in one another, unlock something in the crowd. After two matches with them, I can already see it.

It's streamlined to some degree. There's no preliminary posturing. Sure, in this match Abdullah has JJ with him. Yes, Colon comes out out to We are the World. I actually thought this was Abdullah vs Dusty for someone reason (a match up that's not even on the set). I was groaning at the "branding" Dusty must have done ("The 1985 We Are the World tour, Daddy"). But no, it was Colon, and that familiarity bleeds through. There's a glorious bit of dissonance as the music is still playing even as he takes it right to Abdullah again. Then, when the first assault doesn't work and Abdullah just gawks at him after headbutts in the corner, it's back to the ear. This doesn't feel repetitive. It feels like the most natural thing in the world.

From there, it's how you'd expect, a lucha brawl with Memphis trappings, Colon taking it to Abby, Abby bleeding, eventually firing back, Colon's comeback with low blows and the little jump, a multi-angle assault from the ropes. There are moments that shock and surprise, like Abdullah's courtly bow after an even brawling exchange, like the Monkey Flip and the suplexes and the Santa Isabel Jam. There's a hugely cinematic moment, after the comeback where Colon hits a knee lift, creating distance that allows the crowd to really see him and the fact that he'd been opened up even more. They gasp, and Colon and Abdullah are such masters of their environment that they take advantage of this, working in another little bit of heat and comeback. If it was planned, which seems unlikely, they're masters. If it wasn't planned, they're even more so.

There's a strange feeling in watching these two, like nothing I've ever seen outside of maybe some of those interminable AJPW 90s classics. There's no natural sense for when the match should end. It shouldn't end. It can't end. I'm curious to see if there's an actual finish in any match between them on this set, because I almost can't imagine it. Even here, they do an elaborate finish with a ref bump (and trash thrown in because the fans know) and JJ blading and it all leads to crowd brawling, people scattering, and a count out. It's such a testament to them, to how they turn familiarity into a strength, that they're able to present this primordial struggle, Autumn giving way to Winter and Winter giving way to Spring, one that simply can't end, and yet it is still, somehow, fulfilling.

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