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Friday, October 21, 2016

DVDVR Puerto Rico 80s Set: Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah the Butcher (March 1986)

Disc 2: Match 6: Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah the Butcher (March 1986)

I've watched this one twice now, more by accident than anything else, and I'm still not entirely sure what to say about it. There is a lot of sameness in the Abdullah vs Colon matches we've seen so far, but I think that it becomes more of a strength than a weakness. There's a level of familiarity between the two of them that lets them maximize their narrative opportunities.

There are two specific moments I'd point out here where it's obvious Colon knew how to work with Abby. The first is early on, in the shine/opening back and forth, where Colon takes the fight to him once again and Abdullah tries to fire back with the throat shots when he can. At one point, Colon has him staggered, but positions him perfectly in the ropes so that he can sit on the second rope and get a breather while he's being beat upon. It makes it seem like he's being rocked all the more when he's actually taking a second for himself. The second is much the same, but on the floor and in the comeback, where Colon positions Abdullah in a chair outside to better beat on him. It's obviously to let Abby catch his breath but they're able to work it in as an almost iconic moment of Colon unleashing righteous fury upon him.

I think it's also worth noting, at this point in the set, how Colon's selling is different than Invader's. Whereas Invader's goal seems to be to draw sympathy and build to his comebacks, Colon's is laden with him bouncing back against the ropes to score another hit, even from underneath, and constantly struggling to get back into the fight. It's more aggressive and aimed to portray his toughness and how he's an ace.

Ultimately, this was as solid as anything else. They showed the usual intensity and weight in the opening exchange. I liked Abby working over Colon's eye and Colon getting revenge later on. The comeback beating on the floor was good. It loses a few points for an overly BS-heavy finish but some of that probably has to do with context I don't have. It's a great rivalry but I'm not entirely sure I need to see it six times on a set.

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