Hey, I’m alive! And we’re back with match #4.
Silver King/Villano III/Villano IV vs. Felino/Negro Casas/El Hijo Del Santo (12/11/98)
Silver King (pre-Black Tiger, other than that, the same)
Villano III (still has his mask)
Villano IV (same)
And we already covered the tecnicos.
This is the first round of a one-night, four team tournament that also included Atlantis & Emilio Charles & Lizmark Jr. and Dr. Wagner Jr. & Blue Panther & Black Warrior. All twelve men come down to the ring to decide who fights who first. As you can expect, there are tensions with twelve wrestlers in the ring. Warrior and Felino get into a shoving match on the floor while Wagner and Charles exchange some punches. Finally everyone is separated and we get a coin toss, leading to the above listed match.
As are most tournament matches, this is one fall only.
Interesting story: King and the Villanos were in WCW at the time (King even wears an lWo short for the early portion of the match), while Santo, Casas, and Felino were set to work the WWF’s Super Astros program, so this is actually an interpromotional match years before the Invasion.
I’m sure I mixed up the Villanos about a thousand times in this match. You’ve been warned.
A Una Caida: The other two teams take their sweet time leaving the ring, and when the do, the rudos attack to kick off the match. King takes out Santo and Felino while the Villanos take Casas outside and ram his head into the announce table, then drop a row of stairs on him. This injury is so devastating, Santo actually goes outside the ring to cover up his partner. Then they go back in the ring and leave Casas lying on the floor (?). Felino gets in the ring with Silver King but is quickly beat down by all three rudos. Santo comes in and fares no better, getting planted by a DDT from Villano III.
Santo ends up in the rudo corner and gets a beatdown of his own. Silver King tries a move where he jumps onto the second rope and spin kicks Santo in the corner, but hits more of his partner than Santo. Villano IV tags in and hits Santo with a back elbow, which allows him to tag Felino back in, who promptly gets beat down some more.
Villano IV, apparently bored, heads outside to beat up Casas some more. He’s joined by III, and they ram Casas into the steel pole battering-ram style. Santo checks on his partner while Casas makes the questionable decision to get in the ring, where he is promptly met by the Villanos. After a slam, Silver King comes off the top with a big elbow, but only gets two.
Casas tries fighting back with chops, but King trips him with a drop toehold and tags in Villano IV. IV tries a back bodydrop, but Casas hits him with a kick and clkothesline him to the floor in a nasty bump. King comes in and takes out Casas with a dropkick, which brings in Santo to dispose of SK with a satellite headscissors. Now III is in the ring and takes out Santo with something, bringing in Felino who tries a dropkick and misses. Felino gets whipped to the ropes but counters with a jumping armdrag to clear the ring.
Rudos regroup on the ramp and tease walking out, but eventually come back. We get Santo and Villano IV, and Santo inexplicably turns his back on Villano, and the end result is another beatdown. Felino gets the tag, but Silver King gets the advantage with the Rick Steiner “catch the guy in a leapfrog and powerslam him” spot.
Santo gets tagged back in and beat down some more, until his partners grab him in the ropes during a whip, allowing him to hit both Villanos with a double facebuster. Silver King tries a corner splash but misses, allowing Felino to flatten him with a moonsault press. Now it’s the tecnicos turn for a three way stomping. Villanos IV comes in and gets the same result. III charges at Santo, only to miss and splat on the floor. King’s back in the ring, and he nails Santo with a superkick, only to get back bodydropped himself onto III on the floor. IV tries to whip Santo into the ropes, but he flattens III with a tope on the floor! Felino knocks IV to the floor with a spinkick, but when he tries a somersault dive from the apron, he flattens Santo!
Now we’ve got Casas and King in the ring. Casas quickly drops King with a drop toehold and locks in the Casita, but Villano IV makes the save. King hits a big powerbomb but only gets two. He puts Casas up top and tries a top rope Frankensteiner, but Santo grabs his partner and King does a header off the top. A second casita with Santo on top of the pile seals the deal (10:49).
Tecnicos celebrate as the rudos ask “Wha happn’d?” We get replays of the ending.
Interesting match. Usually these one fall tournament matches are compressed down to three-four minutes, but this one got some room to breathe (because it’s only a four team tournament?). Didn’t follow the usual formula—rudos control a fall, tecnicos make a comeback, go the finish. Rudos controlled a good portion of the match, but the momentum switched back and forth quite a bit. And I liked Negro coming back from his earlier beatdown. Good action overall.
I’ll continue with the rest of the tournament, uh, later.