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Saturday, September 03, 2016

DVDVR Puerto Rico 80s Set: The Invaders vs. Los Pastores (Barbed Wire Match) (9/21/85)

Disc 1, Match 10: The Invaders vs. Los Pastores (Barbed Wire Match) (9/21/85)

So, this was where they were hiding the blood. I haven't seen too many barbed wire matches in my life. They're generally not something I seek out. I do think that I'd look at them as I look at most cage matches though, with the idea that the wire/cage should be built to, and should have an impact every time it comes into play, the ultimate equalizer and point of escalation. With that in mind, I did like the use of the wire here.

It played a major role three times in the narrative of the match, twice to allow for the Sheepherders to take control through isolation, and once in the comeback between the two, as a catalyst to introduce the (frustratingly obvious) blade jobs and the revenge bleeding. In the early going, they were heavily avoiding it, which is always nice in establishing it as a threat. Shortly thereafter, one of the Invaders (We'll say I? I and III are in this match, but given the VQ and the fact that I'm not super familiar yet, I had troubles) ended up trapped in the wire, his forehead worked on with it through the mask. That allowed for isolation and double teaming. Late in the match, one ended up in a tree of woe, which allowed for a second bit of isolation and heat leading into the finishing stretch, so much as the match had one.

Those two moments served as the support beams for the story of the match, and it's good that they were there, because there wasn't a lot holding this up otherwise. The comebacks were relatively unfocused. The finish lacked build. I liked the moment, towards the end, where the Invader in the tree of woe got out and hit a big cross body. Since they didn't go to a more traditional comeback/finishing stretch, but instead ended with a similar moment, a roll up out of nowhere with the other Sheepherder distracted, they probably should have just ended the match there instead.

There's not much more to say here. I was glad to get away from Hugo and Jaggers (well, Hugo was there, but you get the idea), as it made this seem somehow more organic and gritty. We couldn't hear the crowd as well as I would have liked though. The Invaders were emotive enough in their selling but that's not too hard when barbed wire is in play. The mid-match comeback was fiery but most of the action felt somewhat constrained and reluctant due to the wire. It was an environment that benefited Luke's more over the top bumping more than Butch's constant motion. Really the comeback was a set piece that allowed for the Sheepherders to blade as much as anything else. The end result is a match that could have been far worse but that built to a high point in the middle, went around for another lap, and never quite made it over the finish line.

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