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Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Angel Blanco

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ohtani's jacket

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Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Angel Blanco, WWF Junior Heavyweight Title, UWA 12/19/79

 

This was from a Mexico vs. the Rest of the World show at Palacio de los Deportes that drew 27,000 according to Matt Farmer. The Palacio de los Deportes is an indoor area that was originally constructed for the Olympic basketball competition at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games and was used by the LLI as an alternative venue to El Toreo during their run as the top promotion in Mexico.

 

Here is the card for that evening:

 

Dorrel Dixon & Masanobu Kurisu beat Babe Face & Fishman by DQ

Gran Hamada & Satoru Sayama beat Ray Mendoza & Rene Guajardo by DQ

Tiger Jeet Singh beat El Solitario

Canek beat Riki Choshu

WWWF World Junior Heavyweight Title

Tatsumi Fujinami © beat Angel Blanco

 

That's a typically stacked card for UWA in this era, taking advantage of their talent sharing agreement with New Japan. Fujinami was the WWWF Junior Heavyweight champion at the time, and as I said in my recent Lucha History Lessons for the DVDVR 80s set, his run as champion really set the belt up as the world's premier junior heavyweight title.

 

Angel Blanco had been a huge star in the late 60s to mid 70s, first as a member of the trios La Ola Blanca with Dr. Wagner Sr. and El Solitario, then by turning on Solitario as well as feuding with guys like Ray Mendoza and Dory Dixon. Blanco lost his mask to Solitario on 12/8/72 at a sold out Arena Mexico, but was charismatic enough to continue headlining as a rudo through the first part of the 70s. By the time he challenged Fujinami here, he was a lesser draw compared to the likes of Canek, but was still a respected vet.

 

This wasn't a true lucha match as Fujinami didn't know the style, but there was enough matwork for it to pass as a lucha title match. It as more cool than great, but you won't hear me complaining about a mat flavoured title bout. There was the annoying 70s tendency of ditching the matwork to work a flash fall, but you take that on the chin. Blanco looked solid and his matwork was fine. The finish was one of those shitty double pins, which was questionable in terms of how much they actually needed to protect Blanco, but overall it was a decent bout. Karl Gotch was in Fujinami's corner to add that extra element of legitimacy that the UWA was so fond of and generally it was one of those neat time capsule matches that at least give you a feel for the era. If that sounds like I'm disappointed then you're probably right, as I wanted Blanco to be something special, and I'd definitely recommend the Fujinami/Mendoza match ahead of this, but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to old school lucha footage so definitely check this out.

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