I had no idea. I had always heard Shu el Guerrero was very good, but the modern day Shu el Guerrero is a round guy who’s tough for someone still brought up on US wrestling to take totally seriously. He looks like a guy who might have been good, a long time ago, and you could still see flashes of it every so often, but it was hard to tell how good, and he wasn’t someone you saw much of because of his career path. Robin Hood was a guy who must’ve been good because Jose’s bio said he was good, but I really didn’t know myself because he passed away so long ago and it’s hard for me to justify getting old footage when there’s so much current stuff already available to watch.

They were great. I am tell you, they were incredible. Maybe it was just for this night but, the way they fought, they probably had a few other really impressive nights in them.

I was given the Robin Hood versus Shu el Guerrero mascara contra mascara match (February 4, 1990, El Toreo) while I was in México last year. I was given the match under two conditions:

  • I can not give this match to anyone else
  • I had to write a recap of this match.

chairs shot 90s Toreo version

I’m finally, pathetically late, making good on the second part. I’m also staying true to the first part. I’ve included gifs of the match here and I’ve tried to make the recap as detailed as possible, but this match has to stay with me from now. What I do know about the match is I have a copy, the person who gave me the match has a copy, and that person didn’t record the match themselves so there must be other people who have copies of this match in whatever constitutes the Mexico tape trading underground. I hope one of those people releases the match themselves at some point, because this match is one of the best I’ve ever seen and it feels cruel to tell you that.

The match is filmed on a what I’m guessing was a video camera; probably the old bulky household ones parents would shoot home movies on, definitely not a professional one. (UWA wouldn’t get regular TV until the following year.) There is no sound at all, the clarity is not great at times, and the video jumps a few seconds at times. It’s noticeable – there’s a dive which gets completely missed – but the match is still very watchable.

ooooooh, that’s why they had a pole there

Robin Hood and Shu el Guerrero go to war. Shu begs off from Robin early, is finally able to cheap shot him and throw him into the seats, and goes after Robin’s forehead when they get back to the ring. It took me a couple times of Shu doing this spot to realize he had snuck in some object and was ripping at Robin’s skull. I never could quite make it out. Maybe it was a pencil, maybe it was something else, maybe it was all in my mind. It did turn Robin in to a bloody mess, and gave two falls of drama with both the doctor and Robin’s second being unsure if they should allow this to go on, and Robin looking like maybe they shouldn’t but refusing to give up. Robin giving it all back to Shu in the third fall, including stabbing Shu as he had been stabbed and doing some impressively disgusting thing with the blood, was some glorious revenge and a moment where I really wish I could hear the noise of the packed crowd. The two men spent the first two and half falls beating each other to pulp, unconcerned with winning and barely concerned with losing by disqualification, before trying to put each other in the last five minute stretch of the match. There’s are big moves, including a bigger belly to belly suplex than expected by Robin, but they also demolished each other to such a pulp that even the most minor of near falls feel like genuine possible endings. Shu el Guerrero and Robin Hood are just two men, dealing with lots of damage and lots of blood loss, trying to outlast each other by the end. Robin can’t outlast his own mistake, and loses his mask for it.

This match an intense glorious blood bath. I appreciate I got the chance to watch it.

Match 1: Robin Hood vs Shu el Guerrero
Toreo de Cuatro Caminos, 02/04/1990

  1. Shu el Guerrero boston crab (9:13)
  2. Robin Hood modified Dos Caras Clutch (2:53)
  3. Shu el Guerrero pin (20:10)

 

Winner: Shu el Guerrero (2-1)
Match Time: 32:16
Rating: EXCELLENT
Notes: There’s no sound on the recording, a one camera ringside handheld shoot. There’s the occasional tracking and video quality issue you’d expect from a camera in 1990. Video picks up with Robin (red) entering the ring, Shu (blue) already there. Referee gives them and their seconds brief instructions, both back up to their corner, and…

1: Shu races out of the corner and charges Robin, but Robin spins out of the corner and catches Shu with a kick as he comes back. Dropkick sends Shu to the floor. Robin chases, but Shu gets behind the fans and the referee gets in between them. Robin is left to point. Fans, including a woman in a loud orange blouse that stands out among the dark clothes, are observing but calm. Shu slowly moves back towards the ring, slipping in before Robin, who chases him back in and gets punched in the face. Corner whip, Robin rebounding out and falling down while Shu raises his arms in celebration. Shu celebrate a little more, then picks up Robin. Corner whip, reversed, and now it’s Shu who goes down hard in the corner. Shu gets up, a little angry, and punches Robin the chest. Punch to the gut, punch to the side, referee warning Shu about the closed fists but he insists he’s staying legal. Video jumps a bit here, but Shu remains in charge until Robin sneaking a kick. Shu runs out to escape again, and begs off on the floor, but Robin kicks him without concern. Fans in the front row, at least how who didn’t flee, are cupping their mounts yelling. Referee backs Robin off, and Shu takes advantage to punch him down again. Shu is warned, but gets back in, while Robin staggers to his feet and circles around the ring. Shu’s ready to attack as Robin comes in, referee back Shu off, Shu sneaks past him again but Robin’s not moving in. Referee back Shu to a corner again, and Shu drops to his knees to waist. Robin comes in, is distracted by the referee, and Shu kicks him down. Knee to the side. Whip, clothesline misses, Shu dropkicks Robin in the side. Robin stands over Shu, crawling on his back to the corner and then fleeing or a third time. Shu begs off as Robin confronts him on the floor, the referee getting in again. Shu gets up, stops to taunt to the crowd, and look at Robin in the ring. Shu slips in, referee backs Robin up – and cut to Robin down, Shu ripping off Robin’s shirt and choking him with it. Shu drags Robin around around by his own shirt, stopping to flex his bicep. That’s enough of an opening for the referee to grab the shirt and throw it Robin’s second. Shu waits for Robin to get up, but Robin stomps on Shu’s foot, corks his body, and gives him a swinging kick to the side. Robin pulls Shu up by his mask and punches him in the side of the head. Referee warns Robin as Shu starts to go out, but pulls him back in the middle rope when he sees Robin turn around, rushing to forearm him from behind. Shu goes for Robins mask, ripping it up as the video cuts again. Shu smashes Robin’s head into the top buckle many times. Robin’s wearing the open top mask, but the left side of it has been ripped up enough to expose his eye on that side. He may also be bleeding at this point. Shu stands Robin up and kicks him out, then kicks him him more on the floor. Shu puts his hands up innocently when the referee comes over, but then takes Robin and throws him upside down into the seats. Shu grabs two seats – bolted together or otherwise – connected together, and smacks them on the top of Robin’s head. Robin falls back into the aisle a little ways, Shu standing over him but unable to do more before the referee gets involved. Fans appear to be cheering for Robin, one helping Robin off their lap. Robin’s hurting and slow up. The doctor comes over to check on Robin, as does his second. Robin is back on to his feet, and Shu runs in the ring – teasing a dive, then just straight taunting Robin. Robin walks around the ring. The camera has been behind him all this time, but Robin briefly leans backwards on the ring post, the camera gets ahead of him, and Robin’s upper torso is splattered with blood, as he’s bleeding from the left side of his face. Shu goes back out after him, grabbing Robin by the head and dragging him around in the sleeper, then raking his head (the cut?) in front of the first row. Shu throws his hands up in innocent again as the referee backs him off, and against he doctor and the Robin’s second check on him. Robin’s stumbling around like a drunk man. I’m not exactly sure why they can be letting him continue here, but Robin makes it back in the ring. Shu is immediately on him, forcing him in the corner, standing on the middle rope, and attacking the cut, I thin. It’s tough to tell, but he seems to be twisting a knuckle into the cut, just grinding it to widen it. The left side of Robin’s face is coated in coasted in blood when he done. Shu corner whip, Robin reverses, it, Shu hits the corner and gets right to be egging again. Robin stumbles over, but he’s too out of it to do anything but uses the ropes to stay up. Shu kicks him down, and goes viciously after the count again. Referee talks to a second as and Shu goes back to the cut. Shu slips something into his trunks just as the referee comes back – has he been using a pencil or a fork or something here? Referee checks Shu’s hand and can’t find anything, but obviously something is up. Robin is a horror show. Shu whip, spinebuster, Boston crab, Robin gives.

Robin is barely able to sit up between falls. The referee accesses Shu’s cut while Shu stands nearby. The match goes on, the referee signals for the whistle.

2: Shu goes right after the cut again. The camera is on the wrong side or too far away to tell exactly what’s going on, and Shu’s shielding it from the referee, but it’s for certain he’s got something in there. Something in Robin’s forehead, more like it. Shu passes it to his second this time. Robin can’t stand, but Shu pulls him up by the back of his mask, then sits him on the top rope falling out. This is el Toreo, so it’s not exactly out – Shu bangs Robin’s head into one of the large light posts which surround the ring. Referee warn Shu, and Robin falls off backwards to his doom. The doctor and I think Robin’s second having an animated conversation, with the doctor seemingly indicating it’s on the second to make a decision here. Robin’s second gets a close look at Robin when Shu throws him out. Robin’s spends his time trying to recover his face with his rapidly disintegrating mask, but Shu some after him and throws him over the first row into the second row of seats. Everyone wisely flees as they came close, and Robin falls in between the seats as he tries to recover. The fans help Robin, a mess, to his feet, and his second helps him back to the ring. Referee is counting out Robin, but he makes it back in, just to be greeted by Shu. Corner whip, Robin reverses again – maybe stop that Shu? Robin kick to the side, kick catch enziguri, modified Dos Caras Clutch (different arm hold) one two three! Robin gets a quarter step of celebration before collapsing in pain.

Robin’s second helps Robin to his feet as the ring announcer talks . Robins’ second carefully adjusts Robin’s mask and doesn’t seem sure this should keep on going but Robin insists on it. Robin’s second seems as to a lost as what to do. Meanwhile, the Doctor is instead checking on Shu el Guerrero’s left elbow. He seems to be in some pain, I guess from the armbar part of the cradle. Ring announcers blows the whistle for the third fall.

 

trapped!

3: Shu protects his left arm but can’t get up before Robin kicks him. Robin goes right for the left, arm, kneedropping. Shu crawls out of the ring and back away, but Robin chases and kicks him down with a jumping kick. Armbar and kicks to the arm. Robin tries to keep going, but the referee hammerlocks Robin and pulls him back. Robin is ready to hit the referee right now, but the referee orders Robin back to the ring – or at least goes around the other side to attack Shu as he leads on the ramp. Kick. Forearm to the bad left shoulder. Shu thrown back in, but Robin’s slowed by Shu’s second grabbing his leg. Robin kicks him away, kneels over Shu, and grabs at his mask. Robin rips at the mask, and threatens to punch the referee she he stops him. Robin headbutts Shu out of the ring. Can’t tell if Shu is bleeding or if Robin’s blood is wiped over his head. Shu rolls out, Robin gets behind Shu him, and Shoves him over the same set of chairs Shu sent him a fall before. Robing grabs a chair with intent to smack Shu with it, but the referee warms him not to do it. Robin gives the referee a long look with bad ideas in his mind, but the referee takes the chair out of hands. They have another argument up, and then Robin just finds another couple of chairs to smack Shu on the top of the head, the same which was done to in the first fall. Referee checks on Shu but that’s cut away from. Shu crawls back in, and a furious Robin tears up Shu’s mask more. Shu’s face is pretty well exposed and his chest is covered in blood. Robin takes some of the blood, I think puts it in his mouth, (hard to tell) and spits blood into the air, celebrating wildly after doing so. That’s a crazy man right here. Robin takes more of Shu’s blood on his chest and wipes out on Shu’s face. Shu’s face is the most visible I’ve are seen it – he’s basically wearing a bandanna around his face at this point. Robin, checking off his revenge spots, takes Shu to the top rope and rams Shu’s head into the ringpost too. Shu goes out of the ring, and the doctor checks on him. The doctor’s earing his heck tonight. Robin out of the ring too, looking in better shape then he has for a while, but wanting to get at Shu and not being allowed. Cut to Robin picking up a pallet from the floor, and just straight dropping it on Shu’s head. Shu gets trapped underneath!

 

blood mist

Robin brings Shu back into the ring, pumps his fist, rubs blood off Shu’s chest, rubs it on his face, and blows mist into the air again. He didn’t put it in his mouth, but still crazy. Robin pulls Shu up by his mask. Clip, and Rush’s standing and Robin’s grabbing his side as he gets up. Shu’s telling Robin to stand, begging for him to bring it, Robin’s drunkenly making a boxing pose, and Shu punches Robin before he can swing. Shu tries it again but this time Robin kicks him in the side and knocks him down. Shu, and knocking Robin down with a big ol’ punch. Shu forces Robin to the corner. Clip, and Robin’s down and struggling to get back up. Shu’s ready to swing again, but Robin leg kicks him. Robin looking a little stronger, but this is moment to moment. Robin adjusts hi mask. Robin smacks Shu into the turnbuckle many times. Robin kneels over Shu, and puts his fist into Shu’s chest – I think he has the weapon from before, though he doesn’t get far with it before the referee comes over. Robin stands Shu up, headbutts him, and they both go down. Shu up first to his knee, Robin tries to meet him, but Shu just punches him down. Shu demands Robin get up. Clip, and it’s Shu who’s struggling to get up. Shu punches Robin, pause, Robin punches Shu, and they both fall over. Both stand up, Shu punching Robin in the midsection repeatedly but Robin refusing to go down. Robin kick catch enziguri, and Shu goes down. Robin and Shu get up, Shu punches Robin in the side repeatedly, then seems to fall backwards off camera. Robin’s dropped to one knee in the corner. Both men stagger around the ring. Shu just collapsing and falling down while trying to fix his mask. Robin grabs Shu, by the back of the head and chokes around the middle rope. Referee puts a count on Robin and has to force him to back off. Robin walks back and get on Shu, but Shu punches Robin away. Shu keeps putting his fist up and lands punches, but Robin knocks him over with a wheel kick. Clip, and Robin has Shu on all four, trying for something. After another clip, Robin applies a standing octopus. It’s rare to see someone try to win in this match, rather than just murder, but Shu is able to break out of this one without too much of a fight, because Robin has not much of a fight left. Shu grabs Robin’s legs and turns him over for the crab, but Robin one give. Shu stands up and sits down to crank the back a few times, but Robin wont’ give, and Shu collapses to let go. Robin grabs Shu by the head, front facelock, DDT. Robin falls on top one two NO! Robin fixes what remains of his mask. Both up, Robin misses a limp dropkick, Shu moving out of way just in time. Video is iffy, but a corner whip sequence leads to a Shu sunset flip one two NO. Robin sunset flip, one two NO. It feels like both men are beating down so much that it’s not going to take much, but they keeping going. Robin belly to belly suplex one two NO! Clip Shu off the ropes, Robin casadora into a inverted campana, but Shu breaks away right away, crawling out to the ropes. Shu kicks Robin down, Robin rolls out. Video goes out here, and when it’s back, both men are down on the floor. Obviously a dive of some sort, probably a tope by Shu by the way both men are positioned. Robin makes it back in first, and Shu is slower even if he wasn’t adjusting his mask. Both come in on opposite corner, and Shu runs right into a backdrop. Dropkick knocks Shu into the corner. Robin charges in, Shu moves, and Robin leaps into the corner head first. One two NO. Shu slams Robin one two NO. Shu wants a faster count. Clip, Shu slam, Robin small package reversal, referee jumps over the pin then counts one two NO. Referee argues with someone outside about the count. Both men are slow up. Robin dropkicks Shu out, Robin runs, tope lays out Shu. Lays out both men, actually. Shu is first up, gets to apron, falls down trying to get in the ring, then gets back up and dives in as if they were close to the ten count. Didn’t feel that close, but they reacted like it was. Shu shoulderblocks Robin softly off the ropes, under a leapfrog Robin, runs, double shoulderblock, both men down, referee counts both done one tow NO. Clip, and Shu has Robin up in a tapatía, pumping his legs. Robin waves his hands no, waves his arms no, Shu leans back, double pin one two NO! Referee about falls out of the ring not making the three count. Clip. Camera pans over to one of the corner people, who grabs an item (video cassette case?) and pockets it. Back in the match, Robin and Shu and maneuvered to a near double pin, but they’re both on one shoulder. Clip, and Robin slams Shu. Camera guys maneuvers around the ring to show Robin going up to top the rope. Robin about falls off the top rope in a splash one two NO, Shu barely getting his shoulder up. Robin can’t believe it, and the referee throws Robin off off Shu. Oh, referee indicates Shu had a foot on the ropes (or maybe his second, in the area, put his foot there – we’re screened off from it.) Robin picks up Shu by the arm and slams him again. Robin goes to the ropes, running senton, no one’s home. Shu rolled out of the way in time. Shu gets up, stumbles around, and heads out another corner. Robin’s second grabs at Shu’s foot, but the referee breaks it up and Shu insists on going up. Top rope splash – no one home! Robin turns over Shu with his head, puts an arm on top, one two NO! Robin sunset flip, video cuts out, but both are down when they come back too. Shu gets up and stumbles wildly to the corner. I need more words for stumble. Robin hops not Shu’s shoulder, victory rolls, Shu blocks it for his own pin one two Robin rolls thru one two NO. You can see fans in light colored shirts jump out of their seats. Camera slowly zooms into the crowd but it’s tough to make out expressions, and tough to make out what’s still happening in to the match. Robin knocks Shu down. Kick to the side. Robin jumps on Shu’s shoulders, celebrates – and Shu drops him back wards into an electric chair suplex! Shu covers, one two NO! Shu picks up Robin, Robin slams Shu, Robin goes out and up one more time. Robin poses on the rope, senton con giro misses, Shu crawls back over and hooks both legs one two three! Wow, I was not expecting it to end on that.

 

please note how much the mat moves

Robin is down and not moving. Camera pans to stoic sad people in the crowd., though there are more expressive people shown briefly. I think that might be the Alvarados, but I wouldn’t really know. Robin’s second is clearly one of his younger brothers, though I can’t identify which. The doctor works on Robin while Shu rests in the corner. Shu gets his arm raised. The ring announcer comes in the ring to announce Robin’s name, and the referee is the one who starts to untie Robins’ mask. Robin stands, unties it himself, hold it over his face, and takes it off. Robin tells his name to ring announcer, who announces it.