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El Boricua

General Puerto Rico Set Thoughts

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How come so many matches are available with English commentary? Didn't expect nearly that much coming into the set.

 

It's due to where the matches were sourced from. Many of the complete matches with English commentary come from VHS releases the promotion did. These releases typically had two versions: one with Spanish commentary (sometimes with the original aired commentary, sometimes with redone commentary by Hugo and whoever his co-host for the tape was) and one in English with commentary by Hugo and whoever the co-host for the video was. For tape traders in the U.S., the English commentary version was the one they were most likely to find. Also, Capital Sports Promotions did have an English version of their TV program that aired in English speaking markets. The perception tends to be that the promotion only was available in Puerto Rico, which is not correct. CSP had an English version of their show since the early 80's, hosted by Hugo Savinovich. This was what would air in the English speaking countries of the Caribbean that CSP would have house shows in, such as Trinidad, Bahamas, and US Virgin Islands. Later on the show would also air in certain US markets branded as Caribbean Championship Wrestling (also a source for a number of matches from the late 80's). In short, it's due to where the available video was sourced from.

 

As an aside regarding the Spanish version of the show, this version also aired in more markets than you would expect. Hugo Savinovich, at a certain point of the show during one of the matches, would say 'Hello to all of the viewers that are watching us from...' and then list off the countries where the program was airing. An example of this is during a Hercules Ayala vs. Nikita Koloff match that they aired on TV in November of 86 (the match had taken place in December of 85), where Hugo during the match sends a hello to the viewers watching them from the following markets: Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, U.S.A in New Mexico, Los Angeles, Texas and Chicago. The program would also eventually air in New Jersey and in New York (on channel 41 I believe). And I think Bottomless Jack mentioned that when he was putting together his set he sourced a bit of the 82-83 material from American Samoa or the Philippines (not completely sure, but he could confirm if I'm remembering incorrectly). So quite a farther reach than what people usually assume.

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I made it to Bronco Boricua. From the opening seconds it just looks like a battle royal?

It's a battle royale, but it's come as you are and you can bring one weapon with you.

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I'm really enjoying Hercules Ayala. He's not going to blow you away by any stretch of the imagination and isn't one of the 15 best guys on the set so far, but I expected him to be my least favorite guy on the set with a lot of matches and that hasn't been the case at all. I've actually reached the point where I'm like "oh cool, Hercules Ayala" which is totally different from my initial "Oh god, Ayala, maybe it'll be short, nope its not" reaction when his matches popped up. He has gotten to wrestle Colon, Invader I, Savage, & Super Medico who are all great (well, I haven't seen enough Medico yet to call him great but he was great in the Ayala match) so his opponents probably have a lot (or all in the case of the Savage match) to do with it because the Killer Brooks match wasn't good. But, he's generally been enjoyable and bringing positive things to the table in those matches. If we did GWE again I wouldn't even nominate him, but I'd argue him above guys like HHH, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Steen.

 

Through 5 discs my top 10 workers on the set so far have been:

1. Invader I

2. Chicky Starr

3. Carlos Colon

4. Stan Hansen

5. Terry Funk

6. Eric Embry

7. Ron Starr

8. Abdullah the Butcher

9. Invader III

10. El Profe (gets the final spot even though he was only in 2 matches so far but his performances are terrific)

 

I really wanted to rank Abdullah and Embry higher. If Profe had 8 more matches like the one's he's already had he'd be up around the top 3.

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The 1988 Anniversary Show looks SO good on paper:

Ricky Santana v. Mr. Pogo (9/10/88)

Batten Twins v. The Sheepherders (9/10/88)

Chicky Starr vs. Invader III (9/10/88)

Ron Garvin vs. Iron Sheik (9/10/88)

Huracan Castillo Jr. & Miguel Perez Jr. vs. Bobby Jaggers & Dan Kroffat (Hair vs. Hair) (9/10/88)

Hercules Ayala vs. Carlos Colon (Fire Match) (9/10/88)

 

I know a lot of people would see that and say "that doesn't look good on paper at all." But believe me. If you've made it this far that is a fucking awesome looking lineup.

 

edit:

It was even better than I hoped. Which should be the subtitle for the entire set.

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Finished the matches! Man, what a fucking set. I can't wait to see what everyone thinks.

Glad you enjoyed the matches. Hopefully as I add some more context it'll add some more flavor to some of the ones you've watched (as well as allow you to enjoy the extras).

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Finished the matches! Man, what a fucking set. I can't wait to see what everyone thinks.

Glad you enjoyed the matches. Hopefully as I add some more context it'll add some more flavor to some of the ones you've watched (as well as allow you to enjoy the extras).

 

I am basically guaranteed to rewatch this entire set all over again in order with all the extras after absorbing all of your history lessons. I wanted to go in as uninfluenced by external forces as possible in terms of thoughts on the matches. I watched every other 80s set after the voting process occurred so I could set where matches were ranked as I watched them which can always influence opinions on matches. This was an awesome opportunity to watch a bunch of stuff that I didn't know anyone's opinion of other than Colon vs Hansen. Getting hit over the head with something like the Colon vs Strong barbed wire match is pretty awesome.

 

Watching this set reminded me of driving through the mountains in Utah. Each long bend in the road we had no idea exactly what amazing sight we were going to see with these incredible mountains looming over the highway and then we'd round the bend and say "Oh look, its the most beautiful thing than I've ever seen before." That's how this set was. "Oh Hercules Ayala vs COlon in a fire match, I wonder how this will be HOLY SHIT ITS BEAUTIFUL."

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Yeah, Puerto Rico was a massive blind spot for me and I had almost no idea what to expect going in. I'm only just past the May '86 Colon/Abby match so I've got about 95 matches still to watch, many of which feel like potential top-ballot types. And I'm absolutely loving all of this. Guys like Invader I and III, Chicky Starr and Colon who I had no real opinion of before have been awesome. Ron Starr, who as far as I could tell had pretty much no rep to speak of, has been in two matches so far and I've loved him in both. Abby has been unbelievably fun in everything and he might actually be the guy I've enjoyed most out of everyone so far. Before this I was neither here nor there on him. Eric Embry has shown up twice and been phenomenal both times. The crowds living and dying with the bayfaces, the grizzly close-up camera shots, everyone punting everyone else in the balls, Hugo and Jaggers on commentary -- just ridiculously fun. And I haven't even watched any of the extras yet.

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Some awesome stuff so far, I'm almost at the end of disc 7.

 

Invader 1 is great with the exception of a lot of his offense. It's just a bit lacking compared to Colon, Abby and Invader 3. His selling and BLEEDING are ridiculous. I can't believe that was all his blood after that match tagging with Invader 2 against Ron & Chicky Starr. I'm pretty sure losing THAT MUCH blood from your head would kill you dead. I will say the blatant punt to the balls when the chops aren't knocking a guy down is a genius bit of fiery babyface offense.

 

As mentioned above, Invader 3 really impresses with the offense. I don't know that he's in the same ballpark as Invader 1 on selling or getting the crowd behind him, but damn is he fun to watch when he gets going.

 

I'd seen the Colon vs. Hansen feud, not the Colon vs. Abby feud. I still prefer the Hansen feud, but it's really impressive how much Colon and Abby vary things up between their different matches to keep it fresh.

 

Ron Starr is a really, really good worker. I don't know if I'd give him great, but I'm right up next to it. Doesn't seem to matter who he works, he brings the goods. Also, HUGE points for crowd brawling in the stadium against Invader 1. Ballsy move there.

 

Chicky is pretty damn incredible. His stomps look really weak, but I can forgive that just the same as I do Invader 1. He is such an energetic bumper and stooger. And I love how much he completely commits to the chickenshit heel stuff, no thought of saving face whatsoever. He also will get vicious at times when he gets the upper hand. Somebody made a comment on Satanico's promos for the lucha set that I think applies here. I don't understand Spanish, but damn if I don't have to pay attention when Chicky Starr starts talking.

 

Dan Kroffat is nowhere near as good in PR as Japan. He's just...missing something. It's like he lets Jaggers bring the douchey heel persona and just goes out there and wrestles for the most part. Jaggers is not bad, but nowhere near a highlight unless he's on commentary.

 

Colon is great at working gimmick matches. He never seems to ignore the gimmick for very long, always making the match, the stip, the circumstances seem more relevant than anyone I've ever seen. He gets how to make things mean something and that's probably part of his mystique with the fans.

 

I dig the idea also that nothing is off limits even for the tecnicos. If you're going up against low down and dirty Chicky and Ron Starr, you better be ready to take just as many shortcuts if you want to win!

 

I think the MVP of everything I've watched so far is the god damn crowd. Whatever venue they go to, there is this insanely rabid crowd that will go as far as throwing punches at the rudoswhen they get within reach. And the reactions when whoever the babyface in the match is starts their big comeback make me want that crowd watching every Southern tag I've ever seen. Also, some of those people are just insanely accurate or lucky in just how much of the garbage they throw at the rudos hits.

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1) Who's on English commentary with Hugo Savinovich? This guy is a riot and has the most hilarious heel laugh ever.

 

2) Why does Invader #1 wear a mask when teaming with #3 but not when working singles?

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1) Who's on English commentary with Hugo Savinovich? This guy is a riot and has the most hilarious heel laugh ever.

 

2) Why does Invader #1 wear a mask when teaming with #3 but not when working singles?

Depends on the video release, but he's had Bobby Jaggers, Rip Rogers, and the Battens as cohosts. The video releases are from 88 through 92, so virtually all of the English commentary is made for the video releases.

 

As for Invader 1, he actually does wear the mask sometimes as a single. There are some singles matches on the set where he wears it as a single. When teaming up with Invader 3 he'll typically wear the mask to keep a uniform team look. When he wears it as a single, it's typically when a feud has escalated and he uses it as a psychological warfare tool. The idea is that it makes it harder for his opponent to read his emotions and face, so that it becomes harder for his opponent to anticipate what he may be planning or feeling in the heat of the match.

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Boricua, thanks as always for the info. We're definitely talking Bobby Jaggers here after watching a bit more. He sounds like something straight out of a Grand Theft Auto game. Really enjoy them together on commentary.

 

Finishing disc 2 today and will post some specific thoughts on the matches and the set more broadly then. After a slow start I am loving the set now.

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Disc 3 so far has been amazing. Terry Funk working Puerto Rico is something everyone needs to see. Just batshit insane and awesome.

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Disc 3 so far has been amazing. Terry Funk working Puerto Rico is something everyone needs to see. Just batshit insane and awesome.

 

There is an awesome Terry promo on the Extras building to a match against Invader I where he threatens to scoop out Invader's eyes. It is my new dream match. Terry was born to work PR.

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Yeah, amazing promo. He was gonna "jerk" out his eye but then reconsidered because he wants Invader to be able to look in the mirror and see his disfigured face after Terry bites his nose off. Terry coming to Dory's aid and throwing guys around ruled as well. And I'm with you on that Invader match. No way that wouldn't have been awesome.

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This might be something obvious I'm missing but is there a reason why sometimes the Invaders have masks and sometimes they don't? Does Invader I only wear in tag matches or is there a mask match that happened sometime and the matches are a little out of order?

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This might be something obvious I'm missing but is there a reason why sometimes the Invaders have masks and sometimes they don't? Does Invader I only wear in tag matches or is there a mask match that happened sometime and the matches are a little out of order?

It's related to something that happens in 1982 (which I'll try to post in the history thread tonight), but the only one of the Invaders that wrestles without the mask (at least when billed under the Invader name) is Invader 1. When teaming with another Invader, Invader 1 will almost always wear the mask to keep the uniform team look. Singles wise it's unmasked more often than not.

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Disc 2

 

1. Invader I vs. Eric Embry (June 1986)

2. Invader III vs. Eric Embry (1/6/86)

3. Carlos Colon and The Invaders vs. Abdullah the Butcher, Chicky and Ron Starr (4/26/86)

4. Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah the Butcher (March 1986)

5. Rock n Roll RPM's vs. The Crusher & Eric Embry (3/29/86)

6. Chicky Starr vs. Invader III (Scaffold Match) (May 1986)

7. Invader I vs. Chicky Starr (1/6/86)
8. Kamala vs. The Invader (2/22/86)
9. Los Pastores vs. The Invaders (8/2/86)
10. Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah The Butcher (6/15/86)
11. The Invaders vs. Chicky Starr & Ron Starr (3/29/86)
12. Invader I vs. Bruiser Brody (6/15/86)
13. Carlos Colon & Miguel Perez Jr. vs. Los Pastores (January 1986)
14. Abdullah the Butcher v. Victor Jovica (Chain Match) (July 1986)
15. The Rock n Roll RPM's vs. The Zambuie Express (3/29/86)
16. Rock n Roll RPM's vs. Dan Greer & Don Kent (3/29/86)
17. Carlos Colon vs. Jos LeDuc (Barbed Wire Match) (2/22/86)

Crazy good disc. Disc 1 felt like a taste of what's to come, and this was where we well and truly arrived.

 

Embry was amazing on this disc. Both Invaders were as well, but Embry had a hell of a 1-2 punch at the top of the disc (Embry/Invader I is still my very tentative working #1 halfway through disc 3).

 

The Abby/Colon series has been way better than I would've expected. I loved the March match and that June massacre is unlike just about any match I've seen in a long, long time.

 

I'll probably be the high voter on the six-man, but that kind of match is just way up my alley I thought it was really awesome.

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Also, that six man has some serious talent involved. When Invader 3 and Ron Starr are the "weak links" for their teams, it's hard to imagine bad things happening in the match.

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And before watching this set and seeing those guys in the lead up to the match, if I'd seen that on a match list I wouldn't have been hyped for it whatsoever (which was probably the case when I originally skimmed the listing for this set, in fact). Part of that is because I wouldn't have ever seen Chicky Starr before and Ron Starr and the Invaders would've been guys I'd seen maybe twice in my life, and certainly not recently enough to have a feel for how good they were. But then you get a disc and a half into this and you see those names and you realise that, in actual fact, that is a pretty damn stacked six man tag.

 

And that's kind of the beauty of this set.

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DISC 2:
1. Chicky Starr vs. Invader III (Scaffold Match) (May 1986)
2. Invader I vs. Bruiser Brody (6/15/86)
3. Invader I vs. Eric Embry (June 1986)
4. Invader III vs. Eric Embry (1/6/86)
5. Kamala vs. The Invader (2/22/86)
6. Invader I vs. Chicky Starr (1/6/86)
7. Los Pastores vs. The Invaders (8/2/86)
8. Rock n Roll RPM's vs. The Crusher & Eric Embry (3/29/86)
9. The Invaders vs. Chicky Starr & Ron Starr (3/29/86)
10. Carlos Colon vs. Jos LeDuc (Barbed Wire Match) (2/22/86)
11. Abdullah the Butcher v. Victor Jovica (Chain Match) (July 1986)
12. Carlos Colon & Miguel Perez Jr. vs. Los Pastores (January 1986)
13. Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah The Butcher (6/15/86)
14. The Rock n Roll RPM's vs. The Zambuie Express (3/29/86)
15. Rock n Roll RPM's vs. Dan Greer & Don Kent (3/29/86)
16. Carlos Colon and The Invaders vs. Abdullah the Butcher, Chicky and Ron Starr (4/26/86)
17. Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah the Butcher (March 1986)

Really great bunch of matches as I think everything from 10 or so higher I imagine would be in the top half for me if the disc keeps up and the top 3 feel like all top 10/15 matches for me. Also I'm probably going to be the lowest on the Butcher/Colon matchups as I'm just not feeling the matchup anymore; I understand why it's a go-to legendary feud; just the matches themselves don't particularly excite me.

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