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Match of the Week: 2/17 - 2/23: Carlos Colon vs Stan Hansen (Bullrope Match) - WWC - 1/6/87

Matt D

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Dylan's pick. Also one of his favorite matches ever.


Context is king here and he might write up a paragraph for us to help prime for the match. For now though, all I've got is that Hansen dominated the first match and left Colon laying in the second, so this is the big revenge blowoff. It's also probably the best strap/bullrope match I've ever seen.


Colon dominates, easily. There's one point in the middle where it becomes a little tedious but just one and it's right before he really tries to win the thing. With a bullrope match, like a last man standing match, you can sort of buy that since you really need to incapacitate your opponent.


I know Will is going to really highlight the violence and all the wound targeting and the hate, but to me, the most interesting stuff are the transitions and the struggles over the rope. Hansen is never on offense for long. He's in full survival mode and I think every time he takes back over it's really smartly done. It's some great use of the bell/rope/match gimmick, such as him getting it up at the last second to counter the corner charge, or an ambush while Colon is going for the corners, or him just yanking Colon down while he's going for the win. That said the absolute best transition is when Hansen has Colon in the bell-assisted chinlock and gets clobbered huge for his effort.


I think it's a great performance by Hansen. Almost everything he does, from attacking right at the beginning, desperately putting on an early choke to try to contain Colon, to showing a massive amount of bloody-faced frustration when he can't end the match, is very well done. Colon holds up his end too, for the most part. The selling throughout the match is top notch. A bell shot early on will stagger. A headbutt late in the match floors both guys. There's a huge sense of escalation.


Again, the key thing you have to remember with this is that it's a blowoff. That's why the blood comes so quickly. That's why Colon takes so much of the match. I definitely wish I had seen the first two matches first. On its own it was well-executed but not quite as satisfying as a match where the heel gets a bit more of the offense and the face has to fight back. Hansen does vulnerable and frustrated and desperate extremely well. He did so on the AWA set vs Bock too, but it wasn't what I expected coming in.


Anyway, this has one of the best, most exciting finishes you'll ever see in this sort of match, and you get the sense that Hansen was just glad it was done and over with and he could leave with what was left of his scalp. Very good match for what it was.

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Here's my review of the match when I watched it two weeks ago:


Stan Hansen v. Carlos Colon - Bullrope Match 2/87

Wow. Just wow. What an unbelievable match. That's one of the greatest matches I've ever seen. It's very important to watch these matches in order. It makes this one that much better. These two make it essential that they destroy one another before even trying to go for the corners. It makes sense two ways but with the second being more important. The first reason is that the objective of the match is to of course incapacitate one's opponent so that they may touch all four corners. The second and most crucial reason is that these two have been beating the living shit out of each other for the past few months and hate each others guts so they won't miss out on the opportunity of once again violently mauling one another. So, in the beginning fuck winning the match right now. This is a chance to totally end someone I hate with an undying passion. Therefore, Hansen and Colon bloody one another with the cowbell on the rope and have this really great opening moments of just trying to almost kill one another. There is this great spot when Hansen's in control as he's trying to nail Colon in the head with the cowbell but Colon just Hulk's up and uses all of his might to counter. It's a really tremendous spot. Colon soon gets a good hold on things and starts wailing away some more on a bloodied Hansen. In another out of this world spot, he lassos Hansen's neck and chokes him ruthlessly. Hansen's selling is so realistic that it looks eerily similar to a graphic crime scene. Colon then starts the journey for reaching each corner. He gets the first few but doesn't have the strength to pull a larger man like Hansen. Hansen's desperate struggles as he uses all of his weight to prevent Colon from reaching each corner is phenomenal attention to detail. Hansen is able to stop Colon and beats him senselessly so that he can try to win. This part is important as Hansen is able to pull Colon whereas Colon wasn't able to pull him. Again, fantastic specifics that matter in these sorts of settings. Hansen is unable to succeed and at some point in the match there is this really great sequence on the floor where Colon whips Hansen around with all of his force and strength into the ring post and elsewhere at ringside. Specifically, there is a really awesome spot where Hansen hangs onto the refs leg and Colon just grabs Hansen by the hair and smashes him head first into the refs foot. I've never seen anything like that before. Back in the ring, both continue to gain the upper hand and yet can't seem to muster up all the strength to get to the final corner. Then, in one of the greatest spots I've ever seen Hansen easily gets the first three corners and is getting right up to the last one. Then Colon finds himself at the corner across the ring, wraps his legs around the ring post and pulls with everything he's got. Hansen fights for his life and reaches with one last heave but gets pulled back on his ass. Finally, the camera pans to Hansen's bloody face and I swear to God it's one of the greatest reactions to failure I've ever seen in a wrestling match. Hansen just sits there with his face covered in blood and screams out loud in angst, swearing like no other. It's almost like he's in tears. What does he have to do to beat this motherfucker? What a moment. Colon gets in a few really great close calls and Hansen ends up back on the offensive. Hansen gets down Colon for what it seems to be the end but Colon gets back in it only to get viciously clocked with the cowbell in a great spot. Hansen is doing everything he can to reach that final corner after knocking down Colon but still can't get it. He realizes he's going to have to brutalize him more and takes a fatal charge that sends him flying over Colon in a back body drop leaving the final corner wide open for a tremendous swan dive to end it all. Colon hits the corner and the match ends. The post-match brawl was a blast too but I can't stress how great of a match this is. Everyone needs to watch this. Do your best to watch these matches in a row because everything fits perfectly in the story being told. It's an absolute classic and one of the greatest matches ever. Watch it.

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I have to say this is definitely the best bullrope/strap match that I've ever seen. I don't think anyone else was able to catch the drama and struggle to touch the four corners to win the match quite like Colon and Hansen did here. This match was brutal with both guys just beating the piss out of each other with the cow bell. One thing that I didn't see mentioned in the other reviews was the crowd. The crowd was fantastic for this match. They were into everything and I really think they helped in elevating this match to the next level. I've never really been into Puerto Rico, but after watching this I definitely want to see the other matches in the Hansen/Colon feud.

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