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El Boricua

Los Invaders (I & II) vs. Chicky Starr & Ron Starr (5/25/88)

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Talk about a dream match. OH Invader II. Took me a second. Colon comes out with the Invaders and there’s some tension with the Starr cousins to say the least and Colon ends up cutting a promo. Wild brawl to start. Invader I immediately kicks Ron in the balls and II seems inspired to get Chicky as well. Awesome Invader II punches and a fucking brutal forearm just nails Ron. Chicky comes in and the schtick goes up to 11. Invader I tags in and his slapping sequence on Chicky is AMAZING. Back from a commercial break and Chicky tags out. Damnit. Ron comes in and its more schtick and fucking awesome until he takes an Invader II kick to the balls and Ron as to tag out to Chicky. EVEN MORE great babyface bullshit making the heels look like idiots. The Starrs are finally able to take over when Invader I puts his head down to early on a backdrop. Great stuff as Ron turns I’s mask around so he can’t see and they just beat the shit out of him. I’v selling is, guess what, great. Finally he just rips the mask off and the crowd goes crazy as he makes a hot tag. Phenomenal. So now we get a crazy brawl with Invader I dragging Chicky around outside the ring posting him. Back from commercial and the Invader’s are double teaming a bloody Chicky in the ring. Rambo Ron is outside the ring bleeding. Ron gets I outside the ring and brings a chair into this. DQ as Ron brings the chair in the ring. Invader I is lying in a pool of blood outside the ring and the Starrs are taking Invader II apart. Carlos runs in and eats chair as well. This is AWESOME. Starr’s are killing people. Colon blades right away. Invader has not moved. They’re trying to break all of Invader II’s bones as he’s just lying there motionless getting hit in the ribs and arms and legs with a chair. Fans are throwing shit. Babyfaces are totally taken apart by Team Starr and are left laying. Infinity stars.

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I'm not sure infinity stars is enough. But it will have to do. I mean, the shine, the heat, absolutely perfect. Nobody is missing a beat. Ron Starr's selling of low blows is phenomenal. Invader 2's punches are ridiculous good. Chicky Starr can't be in enough during the shine. Let's just let all 4 of em be in there? Pretty please. Invader 1 getting his ass kicked while his mask is on sideways is such a great little detail, and the crowd goes fucking bonkers when he rips it off. Ron Starr nails Invader 1 with a chair outside and all of his chairshots after are clearly pulled way more. I can't possibly describe to you the nature of Invader 1's blood loss post-match. It is...well, it depends on how you feel about blood. If you love when a match gets bloody, go watch this on youtube right now. I am all about wrestlers bleeding all over the place and I was wondering aloud (again) why they hadn't gotten Invader 1 medical attention. If you don't like blood, stay far away. The Starrs are killing everything that moves in the ring and thankfully leaving 1 alone. Invader 1 finally gets help and things get more gory. Trust me when I say you better like blood if you watch him get picked up and walked back. Invader 2 gets stretchered out and I officially love everyone involved in this match. It was my reason for going back to watching PR and it was actually better watching it the second time around.

 

Edit: Pre-match is pretty amazing too. The Starrs complaining the Invaders have a third guy there only to menace Colon when he's alone outside the ring. Then back off when the Invaders come back down. Such a great cowardly heel thing to do.

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To me, this was all about balance. Not every tag team match has to be worked exactly the same. That said, I do think the end result has to be balanced. The heat has to work relative to the shine. The comeback has to properly pay off the heat. If you have something in the pre-match (like, let's say stalling, or in this case a promo) or a post-match beatdown, it all plays into this. I wouldn't say that this was the perfect tag match, but I would say that it was perfectly balanced. Hopefully I can make that make sense.

 

All that said, the shine was perfect. Yes, Invader 2's pokey punches were the best. Chicky's physical reactions were amazing. He could be in there bumping like Curt Hennig and it'd be all wrong. Instead, he had the physical grace of a guy stepping on a rake and getting whacked in the head and it worked so well. I'm not going to say it took as much skill as what Hennig did, but it did take skill and control and even more than that a willingness to look ridiculous and it worked. Again, though, there's balance. The transition was Invader 1 putting his head down and Chicky getting his foot up. Sure, the tide really doesn't turn 100% until Invader 1 reversed a whip into the corner and Ron got his knee up to catch him, but they made Chicky look canny and dangerous like a cornered rat, even in the midst of it all. That's important.

 

Then, just to drive the point home, all the points home really, the brunt of the heat was Invader 1 getting mauled with his masked turned. It worked, but in the moment I wished that it could have been longer. It felt like they spent as long turning the mask as beating him down. Ultimately, it was the right call though for a few reasons. The first is that while it was a smart temporary ploy, it was ultimately flawed. The whole time I'm watching this, I'm thinking to myself that I want to love it, but it kind of makes no sense. This isn't Atlantis or Hijo de Santo. We know what Invader 1 looks like. The mask is something he puts on as part of a tag team solidarity thing. As cool as a notion as it was, I was sort of doubting the whole thing. So after about two minutes, when he gets the first real chance to do so, what does he do? He pulls the mask all the way off and starts to fire back. It's like an explosion, the impact of the comeback. Even so, in a normal situation, you'd want longer heat somehow. Here, it was fine and balanced because what would come.

 

The comeback wasn't long but it was definitive, with Chicky and Ron both bleeding. Ron carried around such an air of competence to him and him pulling down the rope on Invader I and grabbing the chair that ended the match felt like the most natural thing in the world. Again, they got stooged at the beginning, only controlled the match by turning Invader 1's mask, and lost control the second he pulled it off, but they maintained their heat brilliantly here with the post match, utilizing a chair, yes, but using it and the numbers advantage to take out three men when they were only two (and not just any three). Invader 1 ended up in a pool of blood on the outside; Invader 3 was just decimated by repeated shots to the throat, brutal; Colon was so smart as an Ace, making sure it took three chair shots for him to stop fighting back, but ultimately, he was left a bloody mess too. The understanding of how pro wrestling works and should work here was just brilliant. Because of the way the match was worked, the Starrs came out of this looking like they could and would get destroyed the next time the babyfaces got their hands on them in any sort of fair fight, but they were the ones who were left standing, making the crowd want to see (and pay to see) that destruction with every iota of their being.

 

Great pro wrestling.

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Pretty awesome Puerto Ricofied version of your southern style tag. We got the best of both worlds here, with a great shine segment, a short but great heat segment, then a bit of Puerto Rican wildness to round it off. Basically as soon as this starts both Starrs have been booted in the balls and for the next few minutes they get taken to the cleaners. Invader I holds Chicky so II can blast him, then when Ron comes in to make what looks like the save Invader I quickly spins around with Chicky still held. Ron manages to stop short of clocking his own partner and trudges back onto the apron. A few seconds later Invader I grabs Chicky again, offers II a free shot, and this time when Ron comes in to help he can't quite pull back quick enough to not deck Chicky by accident. When the Starrs do eventually take over the heat segment doesn't last too long, but I love them turning Invader I's mask to the side to effectively blind him while they beat on him. Of course everybody knows his identity anyway, so when he gets a chance he just rips the mask off completely and if that's not an amazing comeback spot I don't know what is. This leads to a brawl where a chair gets introduced, Invader II gets smashes in the throat about twelve times and Invader I is left in a pool of his own blood. Even Colon gets waffled several times for trying to intervene and the close-ups of blood pouring from Invader I's forehead are truly disgusting. This ruled. 

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