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Grimmas

El Mesias/Ricky Banderas//Mil Muertes

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He has that great series with LA Park. I love him in Lucha Underground, especially the Ultima Lucha match. If he would to make his way onto the list, he needs some more.

 

How is his Puerto Rico run and the rest of his lucha run?

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Never really cared much for Banderas outside of his LU run where I think everything just came together perfectly in the Muertes role. His work in other promotions hasn't left a big impression on me. Haven't seen too much of his Puerto Rico stuff so I'm kinda interested in that.

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This guy flat out stinks outside of one LA Park match and the Muertes gimmick, which isn't even close to enough to get on my radar for something like this. Maybe i'm watching the wrong matches, but he comes off very lazy most of the time.

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This guy flat out stinks outside of one LA Park match and the Muertes gimmick, which isn't even close to enough to get on my radar for something like this. Maybe i'm watching the wrong matches, but he comes off very lazy most of the time.

 

All I've seen is the Park stuff and Muertes. Probably for good reason. Is there another match that even approaches this stuff?

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I remember liking his matches with guys like Slash Venom, Ray Gonzalez and even Vampiro in IWA PR. The Vampiro matches are closer to the LA Park matches with blood and weapons. I haven't seen those matches in years so they might not hold up. Banderas won't be on my list but he's not as awful as he has been in AAA most of the time.

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This guy flat out stinks outside of one LA Park match and the Muertes gimmick, which isn't even close to enough to get on my radar for something like this. Maybe i'm watching the wrong matches, but he comes off very lazy most of the time.

 

All I've seen is the Park stuff and Muertes. Probably for good reason. Is there another match that even approaches this stuff?

 

 

I've only seen AAA stuff. I guess try some of that stuff from PR that Tim Evans just rec'd.

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I nominated him, but he's more a guy worth exploring, than a guy I could see myself voting for at the moment. I do think it is very fair to say that the guy has incredibly high highs - there aren't too many people who have matches like the Park and Fenix bouts on their resume who aren't considered at the very least "good" workers. Still I would not have nominated him if not for the relatively large amount of his IWA Puerto Rico run that is now available via YouTube. He had a good rep working there as a guy who got the most out of turds, always worked hard, and delivered on big angles/feuds. I can't say for certain whether or not that is true, but the rep is there from people I respect. I agree that when he is bad, he is bad, but I have actually enjoyed a lot of his run in AAA even though it's nothing to build a resume for something like this on. I'm going to mine through some of that IWA stuff if I can, but I strongly believe in including territory/regional stars with reps from those who watched the footage and/or lived through their respective runs, so he felt like someone who needed a thread

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Watched a ton of IWA this week and well....turns out this guy was good as fuck down there to the point where if I was a week-to-week viewer of t.v. during his run I think I'd be hard pressed not to include him.

 

There are absolutely criticisms to be made and I will get them out of the way now. It's possible that what is uploaded to YouTube is merely a "greatest hits" and doesn't reflect what he did as a whole in PR during his peak. The style he worked is a style some might find dated, as it was sort of a hybrid of late era ECW and 80's WWC. While I have seen him in good non-gimmicked matches, I've not seen him in a very good one, let alone great one.

 

Having said all of that this guy had a BIG TIME aura in PR and projected it huge in his matches. He was super athletic and spry for a guy his size, but didn't shoehorn in "athlete" spots at the expense of the match. He was very strong as both a face and a heel in brawls, and did a great job mixing in big moments throughout while also putting together matches that had a since of escalation which is one of main things I look for in matches of that sort. If you are someone who puts a ton of stock in peak matches and peak performances the matches v. Glamour Boy Shane, Slash Venom, and Vampiro really are very impressive, and add to the argument that he's a legitimately great wrestler at least when stipulations are involved. I was also impressed with him against people like Apollo and others.

 

In IWA he was basically the best and most logical version of Mike Awesome you can imagine. If you are into guys who stand out and feel ahead of his time he's someone you should watch.

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Yeah I'm posting in this thread again, and I'm really trying to avoid recency bias, but this guy is close to playing his way into my bottom five. Went back and watched some of the Lucha Underground stuff and he is really magnificent in the Mil Muertes role. If you can make me buy into an intergender match as a monster you are doing something great, and Puma and Fenix matches from season one hold up tremendously on rewatch. I realize there are some lazy and bleak years in here, but a guy like Roddy Piper probably has a similar resume (very high highs, great character work, low lows) and I can't imagine dismissing him out of hand.

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I honestly think it's all at least decent, but I think the Venom brawl(s), Sewell ladder match, and amazingly enough the Vamp match might be my favs. The thing with Sewell v Starr Corp is cool too.

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So Banderas vs. Slash Venom from October 2003 was an insane, incredibly fun brawl with a spot at the finish that legit qualified as homicide. *THAT* was a money brawl.

 

Also checked out Banderas & Vampiro vs. Venom & Apolo in a cage from January 2004. This was fine but suffered a bit with the dubbed commentary replacing all noise from the building. A few solid spots and blood, but nothing outstanding.

 

Shane ladder match is on deck, but what's next after that? I know its the Mesias/Banderas thread, but that first Banderas/Venom match was sick. Open to any and all PR that are in the same universe.

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Well I would honestly give all that Banderas stuff a look if you are into him because I feel he had a really unique and transcendent quality on the island. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Sewell match.

 

If you are into the type of brawl found in Banderas v Venom, I really think Invaders matches with Perez and Embry are the most directly comparable. Have you arched the Colon v Ayala feud?

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Definitely need to find more Banderas. Why is there never a comprehensive playlist out there for times like these? :)

 

Ladder Match: Really enjoyed the early portions with the brawling in & outside the ring, as well as how they incorporated the ladder and did so judiciously. Back half of the match it felt like they fell under the spell of the ladder needing it for every spot and having someone (typically Shane) always regenerate their life bar in time for a save. Fun watch but nothing all that standout.

 

Remember reading about Colon/Ayala in Apter mags back in the day but haven't watched any. Where do I start if that's a fun place to pick thing sup?

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With Ayala the most famous match is the Inferno Match, which I like a lot, but it's not the first in the series and not my favorite.

 

I think the first of the matches is the Texas Death Match from 7/87 which is probably my least favorite of their matches, but again I like it a lot.

 

I believe the Barbed Wire match from Anniversario 87 is next which I think his a great match, followed by the aforementioned Inferno Match.

 

Not sure when the Loser Leaves Town match is. Maybe 89. I love that one too.

 

All of them are on YouTube, as is the crazy angle with Colon's wife. While it's not as good as the Hansen feud (nothing is), it's a pretty amazing feud considering the limitations of Ayala.

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You guys have the correct order. The Texas Death Match is first, with the story going into it being that Hercules Ayala had been working on a new mysterious move and he ends up unveiling it. It's an inverted figure four (the leg applies the pressure from the bottom instead of the top). The barbed wire match is Aniversario 87, Feud reignites with the attack on Carlos Colon's wife, which leads to the fire match at Aniversario 88. Then the Loser leaves town match is Three Kings Day 1989.

 

I was actually asked about the Slash vs. Banderas match this past week and I'm going to post some of the context of the match. The date is 10-18-2003 and the match took place at Cancha Pepin Cestero in Bayamon. It's basically the IWA's home arena. It's also Ricky Banderas' hometown. The week prior Ricky had been turfed from Savio Vega's La Compañía faction. There had been arguments brewing between Apolo and Ricky since both wanted to be the number one contender to Glamour Boy Shane's IWA World title. After several weeks of arguments and sabotaging each other, Savio had enough of it and called them to the ring saying that there was a rat in his organization. Ricky was the only one of the two to show up and Savio made a show of saying that the rat was Apolo and that he was kicking him out. All of a sudden, they start attacking Ricky and leave him laying. No one made the save since Ricky was a heel (despite the crowd chanting for Shane and Ray Gonzalez to make the save). Ricky was carted of on a stretcher to an ambulance. Later that night, Shane was wrestling Bison Smith and, when the match ended, Savio and company entered the ring to attack Shane. Various tecnicos came to try to help but the heels managed to contain them and continue the attack. After a while, an ambulance showed up in the arena and Ricky Banderas emerged and ran to the ring. He managed to get the better of David Flair, but was overwhelmed by the numbers. Eventually though, he and Victor the Bodyguard (who came in after Ricky to also try to make the save) managed to make a comeback and clear the ring. Ricky then grabbed a mic and told Savio that he had just opened the doors to his world and that he was coming after him. While the crowd cheered for Ricky to join the tecnicos, he left and headed back to the ambulance.

 

Because of this, a match was signed for Ricky to face a mercenary on Savio's behalf. It ended up being Slash Venom, who was part of Savio's faction. At this time, Slash's gimmick was that his matches were under Extreme rules, so those are the rules this match is contested under. At around the 4 minute mark the ring announcer says that the match is anything goes, no DQ. Since Slash actually tries to pin Ricky outside of the ring at one point, I'm guessing that falls also counted anywhere with regards to anything goes.

 

With regards to the end, Slash was legit out cold for like ten minutes. Savio's post-match attack on Ricky ended up busting his nose legitimately with the bat. Here's a video with some of the aftermath shown on TV:

 

 

Slash was taken to a hospital (although he insisted he was fine despite not knowing where he was, he thought he was in Indiana when asked where he was) and Ricky needed stitches to close the wound he got.

 

The following week (10/25) they're back in the Pepin Cestero, Ricky was in the ring when Slash Venom showed up in a wheelchair and with a neckbrace on after the fall from the previous week. He had been shown during that day's TV program in the wheelchair and telling Savio that he was ready to get back into things, with Savio blowing him off and telling him that he'll have to wait. After Slash showed up in the wheelchair, Savio also showed up and proceeded to insult Slash for not getting the job done, slapped him and pushed him to the ground. Ricky goes to protect Slash and wards off Savio. Then, to the absolute shock of everybody, Slash got up as if nothing had happened to him and proceeded to jump Ricky from behind. Slash and Ricky would feud for the next two months and it eventually involved Apolo and Vampiro. Here's a video with some highlights of the feud setting up their tag cage match:

 

 

A few final notes. Slash eventually had to be turned face since crowds found it tough to boo him (after all ,who could boo such a tough son of a gun, there was definitely respect for him after that fall). He would be given the nickname El Hombre de Goma (the rubber man) because of this. The incident is still remembered among local wrestling fans. For the tenth anniversary of the incident, they actually published an interview with him on one of the local newspaper websites talking about the incident and Slash's remembrances of his time here.

 

http://www.primeraho...shvenom-965262/

 

I'll try to post a little more about Ricky and some of the other PR work candidates between today and tomorrow,

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Ricky Banderas was someone that took me a while to warm up to. During the first year of the IWA, he was basically the promotion's Rocky Maivia. His nickname at the time was "EL Patriota", which should give you an idea of how they were pushing him as the next great young Puerto Rican tecnico idol. But like Huracan Castillo JR., Miguel Perez Jr. and Ray Gonzales before him, he really started developing a personality when he turned heel. He was paired with Los Boricuas and the Starr Corporation, which definitely helped his development as heel. And then he started calling himself the messiah of wrestling, which eventually evolved into the more complete dark El Mesias persona. The chair became a part of his arsenal in helping give him a harder edge and he turned around that Rocky Maivia-itis he had going on at the beginning.

 

A random selection of matches.

 

vs. Apolo in 2000 after he betrayed Apolo and joined the Intocables stable:

 

vs. the Kamikaze Clan in 2001:

 

vs. Super crazy in 2001, Crazy is going after Ricky based on orders from Savio:

 

Billed as the match of the century, in a rainstorm vs. Rey fenix:

vs. Hannibal in 2005:

 

4 way vs. Chicnao, Apolo and Slash for the IWA World title:

 

vs. Ray Gonzales in 2005:

 

vs. monster Pain in 2015:

 

And a video highlighting when he returned to aid his "Hermano in Dolor" Shane at the beginning of 2007. You can see how much the El Mesias persona had evolved at that point.

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