WWF Super Astros (November 22, 1998)

super astros

On a Sunday afternoon in either late 1998 or early 1999 I was flipping through the channel when I came across some wrestling taking place within a WWF ring, though I wasn’t familiar with any of the guys involved in the matches…and the commentary was in Spanish. The show was Super Astros; part of the then WWF’s attempt to break into the Latin American market. The other day while randomly YouTubing, I discovered what appeared to be the entire run of the show uploaded in full, so why not randomly review episodes of a WWF show from the late 90s that aired on Sunday afternoons on Univision?

We kick things off with an Attitude Era intro video that’s a bit different from the norm since it cuts from Stone Cold and the Undertaker to random lucha dudes doing flips n’ shit.

Meanwhile In The WWF Command Center…

A dude named Marcelo Rodriquez is in the WWF Command Center that Todd Pettengill used to host Live Wire from. I seriously think it’s the same set since there’s a New Generation era WWF logo in the background rather than the scratch logo.

I don’t speak Spanish beyond what I learned from Sesame Street as a child and the spare word here or there that’s similar to something in English or French so I’m assuming he’s welcoming us to Super Astros and telling us about all the exciting action we’ve got going on. He kind of looks like a Hispanic Bruce Campbell wearing a leather jacket. He winks and dances and does air kisses and stuff. I have no idea what is going on, but in 20 seconds I already think he’s a better announcer/host than David Otunga.

Marcelo tosses it down to the ringside area where we are introduced to the team calling the action.

At Ringside…

We’ve got Carlos Cabrera and Hugo Savinovich on commentary. I recognize both dudes from scrambling out of the way when Undertaker chokeslammed various dudes through their table in the 90s and beyond. They are joined by a midget dancing on their announce table who is apparently named Mini Max.

Match 1: Armando Fernandez vs. Scott Taylor

Armando Fernandez is out first. The crowd does not seem particularly lively but that’s nothing that couldn’t be fixed in post-production. The dead crowd now roars like a lion. His opponent is Scott Taylor, the man who would become Scotty 2 Hotty, but here he’s just a guy in a vest and wrestling tights. The tights say Too Hot of them so he must have been allied with Brian Christopher by this time.

The two had a decent back and forth match with both guys going for big top rope moves that missed early on in the match. Scott Taylor would dance each time he score a big move to garner heel heat, though he never went for the worm.

Fernandez looked pretty good throughout the match, hitting a beautiful tope con hilo and shortly thereafter picking up the win.

Winner: Armando Fernandez

This was a pretty decent way to kick off the show I thought. Scott Taylor was a known entity to the fans in attendance watching it live so they’d be into the match at least a little bit and he was also quick enough that he could work the style that people watching on Univision would want to see.

Post-Match Interview

Following the match Fenandez gets interviewed by a lady named Maria Filipe. I assume she congratulates him on his victory and then he probably says some stuff about how he’s going to do his best to keep winning on Super Astros. He kisses her on the cheek as the interview ends.

Meanwhile In The WWF Command Center…

Marcelo gives us a primer on The Rock, telling us who his ancestors were and some of the events in his career that lead to him becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. A title that Stone Cold Steve Austin wants…

Meanwhile Backstage…

El Hijo del Santo is working out in preparation for tonight’s main event.

Match 2: El Merenguero vs. Christopher Martinez

El Merenguero is the luchador equivalent of Disco Inferno. He’s got a half unbutton silk blouse on and he does random dance moves as he makes his way to the ring. It looks like he’s wearing bowling shoes. He dances with Maria Filipe before he gets in the ring.

His opponent got a jobber entrance which is a shame since he has the craziest gloves on. Gloves that tremendous deserve more than a name card as their owner stands in the ring. Martinez lays in some chops with his crazy ass gloves, but this match is pretty much all Merenguero. After a short squash he picks up the win with some crazy inverted superplex deal.

Post-match more dancing happens and El Merenguero makes his way to the back.

Winner: El Merenguero

The outfits were honestly the best thing about this match. Gotta love a dude who wrestles in bowling shoes and a blouse.

 

Meanwhile Backstage…

Mini Max attempts to interview Giant Silva. Mini Max is short and Giant Silva is a giant. Mini Max climbs onto climbs onto a roadie case to put the microphone in Giant Silva’s face. This is supposed to be funny I guess.

Meanwhile In The WWF Command Center…

Marcelo hypes the next match and does fight poses and stuff. This guy’s great. I wish I actually understood what he was saying.

Match 3: Super Loco vs. El Hijo del Santo

El Hijo del Santo is the son of El Santo. Super Loco is the non-Americanized version of Super Crazy. He’s already in the ring as Santo makes his way out. I think this was like a month before he showed up in ECW.

This was a short match, but both guys got a chance to get their shit in. Santo got Crazy in a head scissor but Crazy got to his feet and got Santo in a pinning predicament so Santo did some breakdancer head spin bullshit to escape.

WWF_Super_Astros_1_11_22_98.gif

Crazy eventually got in control and laid out Santo and then hit a springboard moonsault and went for the cover, but it wasn’t enough to put the masked man away so went back for another springboard move and either botched the fuck out of a second moonsault or did some crazy double leg drop thing.

WWF_Super_Astros_1_11_22_98 (1).gif

TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING! We come back from break and Crazy goes for a corkscrew, but misses and Santo gets back in the driver’s seat, hitting a pair of bulldogs and a flying headbutt before locking in the camel clutch for a submission victory.

Winner: El Hijo del Santo

This was a pretty good match that allowed both guys to get their shit in before Santo locked in the camel clutch for the win. It’s easy to see why Super Crazy would go on to be such a big deal in ECW. The shit he was pulling off in this random 3 minute match was just insane.

Meanwhile In The WWF Command Center…

Marcelo raps at us some more in Spanish and then we get a promo from El Negro Casa in the locker room. I’m assuming it’s the generic, “I’m coming to Super Astros soon to wreck house!” sort of promo. Back in the command center, Marcelo bids us a fond farewell and tosses it down to ringside one last time.

Meanwhile At Ringside…

Mini Max and Maria Filipe are dancing to close out the show.

Final Thoughts

For a random 30 minute wrestling show conducted entirely in a language I don’t actually know this was a lot of fun, though you mileage may vary depending on how much you like 90s style lucha libre, dancing midgets, lower card Attitude Era WWF wrestlers, guys in leather jackets, and sexy Latina interviewers. The matches were kind of short, but given that the show’s only 20 something minutes long after commercials that kind of makes sense, and if short matches are the price I have to pay to see honest to god lucha libre matches in a WWF ring, it’s a price I’m willing to pay.

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