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El Boricua

Carlos Colon vs. Jos LeDuc (Barbed Wire Match) (2/22/86)

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LeDuc is always someone I’ve been interested in learning more about. LeDuc eats the barbed wire right away with Colon on fire hitting his awesome jumping headbutts and punching Leduc. Leduc keeps stumbling into the ropes as he normally would get “accidentally” hitting the wire. Great stuff there. LeDuc’s busted open right away. LeDuc ends up getting in control and in a HORRIFYING moment wraps the barbed wire around Colon’s mouth. FUCK. That’s intense. I’ll take a moment to look away from this shit and say how interesting the English announcing is. I REALLY like Hugo Savinovich in the Jim Ross/Gorilla Monsoon/Tony Schiavone role. LOVE him. He might be a top 10 announcer and better than a couple of those guys. Bobby Jaggers goes back and forth between being incredibly offensive to remarkably insightful. Colon ends up winning this a match that I had to look away in sheer disgust from a couple of times. This one was pretty fucking gross with Colon spitting huge amounts of blood out of his mouth.

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Yea the early stuff was fun with with leduc's shirt getting off and then getting hit into the cage a bunch. I didn't love it when Leduc was in control as it was a lot of him laying on top pushing him into the wire which was brutal but not exactly exciting. I can take a figure four finish as it was so brutal he was unable to fight back. Fun stuff; 7/10.

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I love how everything in Puerto Rico is just so much more NASTY than everywhere else. No other wrestling territory does disgusting close-ups of someone getting barbed wire sawed into their face like Puerto Rico. I fucking love this promotion. In true Puerto Rican fashion this had someone bleeding from their forehead inside the first minute and a half, and then about twenty seconds later we get our first close-up shot of Colon digging barbed wire into the cut on LeDuc's head. LeDuc was pretty fun in a Luke Williams sort of way, like how he'd take a punch and bump either back or throat-first into the barbed wire. He takes over with a kick to the balls, which is another Puerto Rican staple, and that leads to a truly grotesque spot - complete with close-up camera shot - where he jams the barbed wire in Colon's MOUTH. I don't know if Colon popped a blood capsule or bladed his mouth like a complete fucking crackpot, but there was a bit later on where he was drooling bloody saliva while LeDuc tried to garrote him with a line of barbed wire. I wouldn't call this a great match by any stretch, but it was a spirited brawl with a few pretty gnarly spots thrown in, and nobody works the barbed wire like they do in Puerto Rico.

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Colon vs. flannel LeDuc with barbed wire! LeDuc is someone I've read a lot about but never seen in anything significant so looking forward to this. LeDuc smartly comes with with taped fists and wrists to protect himself. He's bumping around for Colon early on and quickly bleeding from his forehead because Puerto Rico. After a low blow, LeDuc starts grinding the wire on Colon's head and we get double juice.

 

In the spot of the match, and maybe the disc or entire set, Bobby Jaggers says says LeDuc probably ties up his girlfriend with barbed wire. Really great intensity from both here along with outstanding camera work filming LeDuc using the wire. Match is almost nothing but punches and wire, but Colon sells everything so well, particularly having his shoulder ripped with the wire.

 

I actually thought they handled the wire to the mouth spot very well. Great visual -- particularly for the live audience -- but it looked like LeDuc was incredibly careful with it. Colon uses a couple low blows to put LeDuc down, then stomps away. LeDuc safely bumping into the wire for Colon's punches. Really fun match. Now attacking the knee and then Figure-Four. LeDuc soon submits. Really good, quick match. Blood, intensity, no wasted action whatsoever. Tops on this disc and contender for #1 overall thus far.

 

***3/4

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Good start to this, and then LeDuc takes over and it gets grizzly. The barbed wire in the mouth was, uh, something. Particularly crazy because no one's ringside! There's no way the fans can see Colon spitting up blood. Love Colon's cartwheel in the comeback, it's like a Hulk Up but somehow way better. Finish felt like it came a little too quick, but this was pretty fun.

 

***1/4

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Two discs in I think this is second to only Embry vs Invader I and closely followed by the scaffold match and Abdullah vs Victor Jovica. Unsurprisingly, the stipulation matches are really killing it in Puerto Rico. Before I watched this kind of pre-1990 wrestling, I would see pictures of Brody and Abdullah in wrestling magazines and online. My friends and I would speculate what those violent matches must have looked like. The reality of Brody in All Japan shattered that vision. This match however, actually looks like that speculation.

 

I guess I'm a little surprised that this hasn't been more lauded but I guess this kind of straight ahead deathmatch stuff is seen as sort of gauche. I prefer this sort of gritty brawl to modern high concept deathmatch strangeness. The barbed wire is the only weapon and it's used effectively throughout the match. It being raked over Colon's mouth is the grossest highlight. But really, the whole thing is gross.

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One thing I truly love about PR is that when they have a stip, they god damn well are gonna use it. Most barbed wire matches make nods to the barbed wired, but in PR it is front and center. The wrestlers are using it early and often, and usually in ways you don't see anywhere else. So while this was not going to blow you away with technique or highspots, it delivers on the promise of two guys trying to maim each other with barbed wire so they can get a win. Which is what a barbed wire match should be. For me it is one of the examples I would hold up as a reason that I love Puerto Rico as a territory.

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