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El Boricua

Invader I vs. Ron Starr (9/19/86)

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Really fun opening section with Invader controlling Starr with hiptosses. Starr apparently invented Naoya Ogawa’s gimmick because he hits a nasty STO and goes into a side headlock. Invader shows he isn’t Hashimoto by getting out of it pretty easily to continue controlling the opening moments. Awesome moment with Starr covering up to avoid a punch in the corner and then bailing out to avoid another one off the ropes. Starr works in some great punches of his own and attempts a DDT and Invader hits an awesome counter at the last moment. Starr takes over with a footstomp on a rope running spot. We come back from commercial as Starr tosses Invader out of the ring, and Invader gets blasted by some blonde woman with a chair. Invader is busted wide open and bleeding all over the place. From here this match goes from being really fun to being beyond all words as Invader’s stumbling and bleeding all over the place selling is one of the single greatest sell jobs I’ve ever seen. He fires back with punches and chops but continues selling and it is just…I mean I don’t know what to do with something like this. Anything I say is going to come across as completely over the top hyperbole. But this is one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen. I don’t mean to sell Ron Starr shot by not mentioning him at all because he is awesome in this and fast becoming one of my new favorite workers. But this is all about Invader. Utterly fucking mindblowing performance. Best match on the set so far and one of the best matches I’ve ever seen on the strength of that performance.

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Some fantastic work from two guys who have become real highlights on this set. Invader's selling is indeed awesome and Starr looks incredible in this one too. Invader countering the DDT is beautiful and Starr hits a fantastic looking back suplex late in the match. I'm a big fan of punches and both guys hit some great looking ones throughout this bout. A good wrestling match becomes something very powerful after that chair shot.

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Rambo Ron looks incredibly grimy here. Given that attire and the stadium brawl that this followed, they oddly work a rather straight match with Invader using a hammlerock on the mat. Where's the blood? Starr kicks out at 1 off a chop. I love a 1 count kickout when not overused. Starr bailing for cover as Invader winds up for a huge punch arguably puts it over stronger than taking the punch. He then tells the crowd he's so smart and its great to see that kind of heel work.

 

A woman is out to interfere by nailing Invader with a chair shot which brings the requisite blood and we eventually build to Invader's comeback with punches that pop the crowd. The finish here also held this back for me as it seemed rather sudden, but yet another fun, fast brawl leading up to it.

 

***1/4

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Rambo Ron looks incredibly grimy here. Given that attire and the stadium brawl that this followed, they oddly work a rather straight match with Invader using a hammlerock on the mat. Where's the blood? Starr kicks out at 1 off a chop. I love a 1 count kickout when not overused. Starr bailing for cover as Invader winds up for a huge punch arguably puts it over stronger than taking the punch. He then tells the crowd he's so smart and its great to see that kind of heel work.

 

A woman is out to interfere by nailing Invader with a chair shot which brings the requisite blood and we eventually build to Invader's comeback with punches that pop the crowd. The finish here also held this back for me as it seemed rather sudden, but yet another fun, fast brawl leading up to it.

 

***1/4

 

This is the first match I'd call 5 stars. I seriously think Invader 1's selling after the chair shot all the way to the finish might be my favorite selling I've ever seen.

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Rambo Ron looks incredibly grimy here. Given that attire and the stadium brawl that this followed, they oddly work a rather straight match with Invader using a hammlerock on the mat. Where's the blood? Starr kicks out at 1 off a chop. I love a 1 count kickout when not overused. Starr bailing for cover as Invader winds up for a huge punch arguably puts it over stronger than taking the punch. He then tells the crowd he's so smart and its great to see that kind of heel work.

 

A woman is out to interfere by nailing Invader with a chair shot which brings the requisite blood and we eventually build to Invader's comeback with punches that pop the crowd. The finish here also held this back for me as it seemed rather sudden, but yet another fun, fast brawl leading up to it.

 

***1/4

 

This is the first match I'd call 5 stars. I seriously think Invader 1's selling after the chair shot all the way to the finish might be my favorite selling I've ever seen.

 

 

Yeah, I actually went back and gave it another look. I liked it, but it just didn't connect for me as any kind of classic. But hey, different strokes and such, right?

 

The stadium brawl was a more engaging watch and the the street fight vs. Al Perez blew both out of the water. Hope to comment on that one tomorrow. LOVED it.

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When I first watched Invader I vs Ron Starr my immediate thought was "Wait...was that the best match ever? I gotta watch that again. " :)

 

Invader's selling & comebacks just work for me on a level really only Sangre Chicana can compare to.

 

I was sending Dylan a message about how much i liked the set and especially the match while I was watching Invader vs Perez and I said something like "ANd now I'm watching this AL Perez match, are you fucking kidding?"

 

Those are my #1 & 2. Glad you dug the Terry matches too. Disc 3 is where its at! :)

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Elliott made me watch this too, and I came down on his side:

 

I looooooooved the early moment where they back into a corner, Invader goes to punch and Starr covers up. This was played so big, Invader stared at him for like a full hour like "You done skated this close to death boy." And then the reversal into the corner, where Invader blocks the punches and then FINALLY nails one of his own! I'm assuming that Invader has some gimmick as a lethal puncher or something that would explain this, and I was sold in a minute with one punch.

 

So, there are many ways in which I envisioned Invader could be busted wide open during a brawl like this. A random blonde sheila running in with a chairshot outta nowhere was not one of them.

 

But Holy Shit if Invader selling this chairshot wasn't totally fucking phenomenal. The epic struggle to get up (punctured by Starr losing patience and going out to throw some more front facelock punches) only to stagger around wildly and end up obliterating himself on a row of chairs. And then the process starts again until he finally, eventually, ultimately made it back into the ring. You've never seen a chairshot sold more brutally, and he was hit by some skinny blonde bird!

 

I enjoyed the ensuing punch-off between them, ending in the most magnificently sloppy clothesline from a guy who can't remember his own name right now ever. I liked the structural play on the double knockdown by actually doing two double knockdowns, one after the other, and the second one where their heads clashed was fucking DISGUSTING. Seriously Invader's head bounced back like three feet off of the guy's skull. Sickening. From there it was just whoever could survive the brawl and Starr finally hits his DDT for the win by attrition.

 

Yeah this was fucking great. Invader was out of this world selling the chairshot and the rest of the match. Starr was a great scuzzball. Great brawling and punches, and the grittiness and brutality that one can only expect from a Puerto Rican brawl.

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Starr apparently invented Naoya Ogawa’s gimmick because he hits a nasty STO and goes into a side headlock.

 

Not sure if it was supposed to but that made me laugh.

 

 

I have only seen stuff from Disc 1 so far but had to pull out Disc 3 to watch this given the praise above. Very good, dramatic match with an outstanding selling performance from Invader *** 3/4

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Starr apparently invented Naoya Ogawa’s gimmick because he hits a nasty STO and goes into a side headlock.

 

Not sure if it was supposed to but that made me laugh.

 

Good! It was :)

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Wonderful match, with one of the most unfortunate, annoying clip jobs imaginable. What we have is a pre-commercial stretch that's awesome and a post-commercial stretch that's even better, but at some point in between then Ron Starr ends up tapping an artery and not seeing that middle portion of the match is one massive kick in the nuts. The pre-commercial stretch is way more tentative than the stadium match, but they traded the wild brawling for a really cool slow build. This is a title match, not a street fight, so they actually have to adhere to a rule or two...at least for a while. Invader goes to the hip toss early and Starr eventually counters one with an STO, but his control is always short lived as Invader keeps finding ways to come out on top of exchanges. I loved the bit where Starr blocks a few punches in the corner and Invader slowly backs up, refusing to engage him any further, staring him down with contempt. The coolest spot during this part was when Starr went for his DDT, really throwing his hips into it, but as he's about to fall back Invader slips out and takes him over with a slick hammerlock takedown. They go to the commercial break at this point, and I don't know how much we miss exactly, but when we come back Starr's Rambo vest has been torn off and the blood's flowing freely, so you know you want to see what led to that. Everything after the break is amazing, though. Almost right away Starr throws Invader out to the floor, and I have no idea who she is or why she was there, but some woman comes over and smashes a chair over Invader's head, then casually walks away as fans pelt her with trash. Invader hits yet another gusher and this might be his best selling performance yet, struggling to his feet before collapsing into a cluster of seats, staggering around selling the blood loss. It's a truly exceptional sell job, from a guy who makes lying on the floor bleeding utterly compelling. When they went into the finishing run I was thinking it was going to end the same way as the street fight, but they went another few minutes after that and everything they did felt like the last gambits of two warriors destined to die on the battlefield. The selling, the desperation, the nuclear crowd heat -- this was just tremendous stuff. And I loved the decisive finish, with Invader's attempted cross body being that one bridge too far and Starr caputalising with his DDT, the crowd in near shock. I think I'd already take Ron Starr over a bunch of his more highly pimped peers (I mean, I've never seen a Dick Slater performance I enjoyed more than Ron's in this or the street fight), and Invader is undeniable at this point. If we had this in full I could see it being my outright #1, but even as is it'll still go high.

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I think I'd already take Ron Starr over a bunch of his more highly pimped peers (I mean, I've never seen a Dick Slater performance I enjoyed more than Ron's in this or the street fight),

 

Ron gets even more impressive. By the end of the set I was thinking of him as a top 50 sort of guy. Incredibly underrated. He was able to do so much. Obviously he's an amazing brawler, but also he's a terrific tag worker either doing vicious heel in control segments or bumping and stooging. I started to think of him as one of the best guys in the 80s and like a top 50-60 all time candidate.

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I think Ron is incredibly impressive in the same way guys like Arn Anderson and even Terry Funk are, where they go from complete stooge with sort of comedic bumping to stone cold killer at the drop of a hat. He's done that in a few matches on the set. That six man tag with him, Chicky and Abdullah against Colon and the Invaders on disc 2 is probably the best example of it so far. And yeah, also brawls like an absolute motherfucker.

 

He was really, really good.

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I think Arn is a really interesting comparison especially with Chicky Starr right there later on in the Tully Role. All I know is I need a comprehensive Ron Starr set.

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When you find that Ron Starr set let me know. Early on is really good shine, but Puerto Rico style. I love that the heel gets enough offense to make you think he's got things under control and then gets cut off again. Makes for a sense of the babyface working to stay in control and the heel working for his eventual turnaround. Invader's counter to the DDT is incredible. That they cut the portion of the match out they did is criminal. Given that Invader 1 did not punt Ron in the nuts during the televised portion of the match I assume it happened in there. The bloody brawl with both guys stumbling around on their last legs was so incredibly awesome. The part where they run their heads into one another is ridiculous good. I normally hate that spot because it is usually executed very poorly. Here I'd agree that they might have put a little too much into making it look good. I'd say this or the earlier street fight are easily the best two matches on the set to this point. Uncut I get the feeling this might be a ***** classic, but we'll never know.

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