Segunda Caida

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

Friday, October 07, 2016

DVDVR Puerto Rico 80s Set: Invader III vs. Eric Embry (1/6/86)

Disc 2: Match 2: Invader III vs. Eric Embry (1/6/86)

Ok, this one's on me. Look, I've got a blind spot when it comes to Dallas based wrestling. It's the crowds. I just can't stand the Von Erich hero worship. I've seen my share of 1984 because you almost have to, but in general? Nope, not even the USWA combined stuff. Nothing until Global. That means my major exposure to Eric Embry has been bland 1980 Portland Babyface Embry. "May be confused for Brian Adidas" Embry. Sometimes I do it to myself.

He was tremendous here. There's a category of wrestler I love, that Rip Rogers, Chris Colt, Bobby Bass, Eddie Mansfield, Buddy Landell stooging, sleazy, stalling, goony sort, and Embry's perfect in that role here, puffy cheeked facial expressions, reacting big and broad to everything that happens to him, strutting his way ridiculously into danger, waggling his finger to draw the ref in so that he can complain about imaginary slights. Then when he's on top, he cheats like crazy to stay there, grins enjoying every second of it, and draws so much heat.

Which means, of course, we don't get a proper comeback moment in this first part due to a commercial break. Incomplete again. That said, once again, you almost don't care because what comes after is so good, with Invader III targeting the leg, tearing off protective gear and whipping out a nice, varied bit of offense as Embry squirms dramatically. He stays alive only through eyepokes and punches from his knees, and a great pulling, one legged pile-driver out of nowhere. There's a moment where he heads up the ropes to get thrown off, and unlike when other people do it, everyone in that crowd knew he'd be too slow due to the weak leg, so there's this awesome moment of anticipation for the doom that's about to come to him. It felt totally natural though, just desperation and hubris and the stupid of his character in that instance.

Anyway, this just keeps on building and building, with a lot of kick outs but none of them feeling egregious, all of them just ramping up the heat until Invader pays it off with the first real dive on the set, a crushing tope suicida that leads to the crowd counting along with the ref and Embry with his shattered leg not able to beat the count. I wish we didn't lose that first comeback moment because I bet it was great, but what followed it was more important and moreover, what we do have here is all really tremendous.

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