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El Boricua

The Invaders & Mil Mascaras vs. Ron Starr, Dory & Terry Funk (12/18/86)

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Any time Invader I and Ron Starr are matched up I want to see it. Invader III has been fantastic on the set. Terry Funk had an unbelievable 3 day stretch earlier in the year. I actually think Mil is underrated as a worker as I tend to like him. And this also has Dory Funk Jr participating. It’s a tag match so Invader I is wearing his mask which is such an awesome running psychological trope. CAN I PLEASE GET INVADER VS TERRY FUNK! PLEASE! That’s the new ultimate holy grail. This starts with Invader III vs Dory Jr, which is certainly the most bizarre pairing possible in this match. Babyfaces all tag in and out quickly doing the classic babyface armdraggy tag work. The Invaders are awesome at this stuff and Mil is slower but he knows what to do. You really wish this was Terry or Ron Starr in there because the selling would be so much more theatrical. Dory is basically just existing in there early on. Invaders do the fun masked partners switching places spots. Finally Dory manages to tag out to Terry and Invader I tags in! YES! Dream with me. They do the boxing spot and since its Invader I, Funk sells big with a quick knockdown before spilling outside the ring. Invader I tags out and my heart breaks. But Invader III comes in and he is pretty damn awesome. He slams funk into the turnbuckle and Funk does the awesome spot where he keeps slamming his head into the turnbuckle after Invader III has stopped because of the momentum. Love it. Ron Starr comes in and we get some more great babyface shine spots. Starr’s selling is ridiculously over the top in the way that absolutely hits the spot for me. This eventually devolves into a pier-6 brawl with everybody in the ring and the match getting thrown out when the ref loses control. Really fun match. I couldn’t help but think if you replaced Mil with Colon and Dory with Eric Embry and gave this 5 more minutes it could have been a classic. But this was still really fun. The babyfaces basically forced the opening Dory section to be interesting as Dory just stood there and let them do stuff to him. Funk & Starr were on point as usual.

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I thought Funk was great hear with his over the top selling and intensity. I loved him continuing to headbutt the turnbuckle after his opponent had stopped. I kind of figured this would end with everyone brawling in the ring and it did! And it was awesome!

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This was such a fun, refreshing change of pace after the wild Funk & Hansen action. The babyfaces work quick tags and armbar action so there's a ton of movement and activity early on. Love Ron Starr jawing with Invader #3 on the apron and then taking a fun bump to the floor after being crotched. Terry enters to eat a bunch of bunches and provide some comedy as Invader #1 is repeatedly smashing his head in the corner and Terry's momentum sees that continue even when Invader lets him go, until Dory is over to put an end to those shenanigans.

 

Now its Starr's turn to pinball around for the babyfaces as this extended shine gives everyone in the match an opportunity to perform. Brief heel control on Invader #1 before a quick hot tag to Mascaras and we get a 6 way brawl that ends up as a double DQ. This was a really hot, brisk match that felt like stage one in setting up a bigger, hotter feud.

 

***1/4

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"The possibilities with that Terry/Starr tandem are endless. Maybe Dory will be okay as well." That was what popped into my head when this match came up on the screen (I don't really comb through match lists for these 80s sets, preferring to go in blind so that when something like this shows up I get all giddy like a superdork). You see that team and on the opposite end you have three guys in masks, two of whom are wearing identical gear, and you can't help but expect to see Terry Funk lose the rag at some phantom babyface tag shtick. Ron Starr has been a waaaay more fun stooge than I ever would've imagined (you know, from those whole two Ron Starr matches I'd seen before watching this set), but he's not quite Funk. I expected him to be good, and he was, but this is Terry Funk in Puerto Rico so naturally I'm gonna be drawn to him first and foremost. And of course Terry was great. It's like being in Puerto Rico let him cut loose his chains and be as much of a screwball as possible. He wants a boxing match with Invader to start, and obviously he loses, but the sell and face-first bump he takes off Invader's right hook is just beyond words. They also do the bit where Invader rams Terry's head into the turnbuckle a bunch, then when he stops Terry keeps rocking back and forth, head bouncing off the turnbuckle, until big brother comes in set him right. Dory was fine enough, mostly as the recipient of the early babyface shine, taking a few really cool Ted DiBiase-ish bumps off Invader's double chop, but when you look at that heel unit he's not the guy you want in there the lion's share of the time. I would've liked to have seen a longer FIP spell and a proper finish, but I'll take absolutely everything I can get of Terry Funk working Puerto Rico. You'll hear no complaints from me that this made the set.

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My thoughts on this.

 

Dory moves around great for a 23 year veteran, taking all the armdrags and arm work smoothly. Like Dory's oversell of Mil's double chop and his arm being stretched when he tries to go for the tag. They actually get across the psychology of why arm work is a smart idea in a tag match very well. Terry tags in and we see his famous comedy punch selling.

 

We see all Terry's comedy bumps compressed into two minutes. Ron Starr comes in and he looks ten years older than the Martimes footage I saw two years older than this. Takes good bumps though, the heels are really ping pong balling it for the faces. 6 way brawl and the match is thrown out. This was fun, but the faces really ate up the heels throughout.

 

2 and a half stars

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What really made this match for me was Ron Starr doing everything he could to out-Terry Terry when it came to shining up the babyfaces. I mean, obviously he didn't. Because it's fucking Terry Funk and he's more amazing than usual in PR. But Starr gives it such a good attempt and with so much energy put into it that I love him just as much. This match could have used less Mil and Dory, as both were more "standard" than their partners when it came to what they brought. They did fine in their respective roles, would just prefer a more energetic pair. Really fun match that I'll probably rewatch more than once just for Terry and Ron Starr's stooging.

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