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DVDVR Best of the 80s #5

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ohtani's jacket

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Americo Rocca vs. El Talisman (3/29/85)

 

This was a nice little title match. Nothing fancy just solid lucha.

 

It didn't have a huge arc in terms of dramatic structure, but the narrative was decent enough. Rocca and Talisman were frequent rivals in the welterweight class and ended up having a hair match a few years later. This date was Rocca's chance at reclaiming the title Talisman had taken from him months earlier, and more or less pit Talisman's strength against Rocca's skill. I liked that it built to a key dive in the third caida and the final submission was one of the best on the set. I'm so used to the workers submitting straight away that it was a real surprise to see someone hold on. You could sense the crowd willing Rocca on and they waited the perfect number of beats before Talisman gave in.

 

Rocca continues to be one of the better babyfaces on the set, partially because of his wrestling ability, but also because of his babyface charisma. It's a difficult thing to describe, babyface charisma. With rudos you can write screeds about why they're so great, but what makes a babyface likeable? For some it may be their ability to play the underdog, for others it may be their take no bullshit attitude, but Rocca was neither. What struck me about him in the Cota matches was that he never let Cota get under his skin. Cota talked an amazing amount of trash in those matches and Rocca just smirked as though he enjoyed it. He was obviously a guy with a lot of confidence in his ability. He didn't have the greatest foil here as Talisman wasn't an overly skilled worker and not the most charismatic of the rudos, but my interest in Rocca as a babyface was enough to overcome all that.

 

This probably would've been better if they'd worked more dives and nearfalls into the third fall, but it still did the trick.

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