Segunda Caida

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

Monday, December 19, 2016

DVDVR Puerto Rico 80s Set: Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah The Butcher (6/15/86)

Disc 2, Match 14: Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah The Butcher (6/15/86)

This was a complete and utter thought experiment. It's one of those things interesting to see in wrestling, because it validates certain norms. Sometimes you need a match to end on a random move to justify a two count having meaning. Sometimes you need a match to end with an early submission. Sometimes the heel has to hit that grounded axe-handle off the second rope. Sometimes Ric Flair needs to hit a top rope move. It all gives meaning to the ritual. This match, then, was the answer to the question of "what if Colon's early attacks upon Abby's eyes didn't get cut off?" The answer was a long, well-worked, one-sided mauling without much drama.

Colon and Abdullah work different matches structurally, but they all feel the same in key ways. They all feel like wrestling as religion, like the same circle going around. It feels like wrestling mythology. I'll use the word ritual again. I'm lacking context for these matches, and I know there are stories behind them, alliances and turns and affronts that need to be avenged. In a vacuum, though, this feels like the Puerto Rico crowd going to church, going to see that circle completed once again, the two cosmic forces clashing against one another once more in their eternal struggle. Sometimes the balance is in favor of one, sometimes the other. It's wrestling Zoroastrianism, with Ahura Mazda and Ahriman in eternal struggle.

Frankly, it feels like the most natural thing in the world. Nature drives the two of them, Colon charging in aggressively with his shots to the eyes, close in and unrelenting, Abdullah creating space with his retorts to the throat until he can utilize the fork or overpower Colon with sheer girth alone. Here, Colon got the fork out of the way early. Here, he opened Abdullah up early. Here, he refused the temptation to try a slam, laser-focused on the eye instead. On this night, the stars were aligned and the balance had shifted towards Good. Abdullah never had a chance to get going. Colon was cruel, biting, scraping, raking, driving his fingers in, utilizing the ropes, chairs, shoving the ref. Abdullah was giving. He'd try to fire back once or twice, but Colon always bounced back against the ropes with a shot. He was a master at knowing how much to sell, how much to stagger, when to start to sink.

In many ways this was a remarkable, cathartic match. Once the fork was out of play, the crowd didn't really have any reason to go up or down. They were just along for this one-sided ride, ever forward, ever onwards, a worship in blood and violence that took them further and further in a single direction. The match peaked with a monkey flip, one that didn't seem tricky or amusing, but instead strangely brutal. From there, with Abby fully down and Colon continuing on the wound, the doctors started to come in. From there, Abby tried to (valiantly, really) fight back up, but Colon wouldn't let officials or doctors stop him in continuing the punishment. They ultimately called the match, Colon drove Abdullah to the back, pounding on him the entire way, and the crowd carried their hero on their shoulders, evil thoroughly vanquished on this day. Sometimes, I suppose, people just need a win.

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