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[1991-10-05-WWF-Barcelona, ESP] The Undertaker vs Tito Santana


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  • 3 months later...

This makes me wonder if they had big plans for Tito's El Matador gimmick at one point, as he actually gets a win over Undertaker here. There is nothing more WWF than trying to build up Tito Santana as a big star in Spain. Nothing. Undertaker tries to put Tito into a bodybag during the match, which is weird. Not a bad match at all, and the crowd definitely ate up the finish.

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  • 1 month later...

Why do you bother flying Mel Phillips to Spain? Tito is over, there's no question about that. The Spanish commentators gush over Santana to a degree that would make Jim Ross snap and yell, "Look, tone it down some." Nothing match but interesting viewing in a "This actually happened" kind of way.

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  • 10 months later...

I enjoyed this much over the Flair/Tito match. Taker looks dominant and Tito is more resilient. The bodybag stuff was weird and it was odd seeing Tito win even though he did it by cheating with the urn shot so I can excuse the upset. Crowd is molten at the finish.

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  • 1 year later...

This match reminded me of the Warrior/Taker body bag match from MSG, right down to the three piledrivers and the urn shot leading to the babyface's win. Come to think of it, Taker looked none the worse after that match, either.

 

You knew something screwy was going on when Tito got most of the offense in the first half of the match; unstoppable zombie Taker never sold for anyone else who wasn't Hogan or Warrior like that. To Tito's credit, he worked hard enough that the win didn't feel like something unfathomable; even the undead can have an off night once in a while, and it's up to his opponent to take advantage of it.

 

Percy's mugging at ringside is way too much. It was too much down in Dallas too, but at least he was playing something resembling a human being down there. Here, It looks like he's so hooked on/entranced by whatever's supposed to be in the urn that he doesn't even watch the matches. He certainly doesn't show any concern when Tito's clearly in control and Taker can barely stagger around the ring. I'm becoming less and less of a fan of his as time goes on, although the gimmick needs a manager and no other manager in the WWF even comes close to fitting the bill.

 

This win and the crowd's reaction to it supposedly put the idea in Vince's head that Tito might make a good short-term choice as WWF champion while they toured Europe the following year. According to Tito, it was himself, Bret, and one other babyface I can't remember right now. He was as surprised as anyone that Vince considered him after he'd had such a long midcard run, but was willing to take the belt for the duration of the tour and drop it when the tour was finished. Vince ultimately decided to go with Bret, though, and even Tito said that it was a much better idea to put the belt on someone with a long-term future. I'm not sure whether I believe the story, but take it for what you think it's worth.

 

Taker may have lost, but he certainly came out unscathed; this loss wasn't designed to hurt his push one iota.

 

Pete asked up above why Vince brought Mel Phillips to this card. I'm guessing that 1) He was already there, having served as the ring announcer for the London card two days before; 2) The match needed English introductions if they ever wanted to put it on Coliseum Video (I'm not sure if it made one of the "Around the World" tapes or not); and 3) Should Taker have gotten uppity for whatever reason, they could have shown this match back in the States, dubbed English commentary over it, and used it to bury (no pun intended) both the Taker character and the wrestler and manager behind it.

 

The Flair bout and this one may be Tito's last two really good, competitive WWF matches. From here on out, he was a slightly better version of S.D. Jones and Leaping Lanny Poffo as his career wound toward retirement.

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  • 2 years later...

I liked this more than the Flair match as well. Tito looked really scrappy against the clearly physically dominant Undertaker in front of a hot crowd. Could just be the Tito Santana fan in me talking too. But I also thought they stuck to a pretty good structure, minus the oddity of the Undertaker trying to put Tito in a bodybag. Shine, heat, comeback is there because it works. And this crowd definitely ate it up.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1991-10-05-WWF-Barcelona, ESP] The Undertaker vs Tito Santana

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