WWF Super Astros (December 13, 1998)

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It’s time for another exciting 20 some odd minutes of Attitude Era WWF produced lucha libre! Why am I reviewing a short lived Spanish language WWF program that’s nearly 20 years old? I don’t know, but it’s time for Los Super Astros!

We kick things off this week in the WWF Command Center. Marcelo Rodriquez is on hand to welcome us and give us a run down of the matches going down tonight as well as punch air and be way too cool. He then tosses it to a highlight of something that my non-existent knowledge of Spanish tells me transpired last week.

Highlights for Children!

Apolo Dantes and Negro Casas are shouting at each other in Spanish and shoving each other while the lovely and vivacious Maria Felipe hides in one of those doorless lockers they have in the locker room area of every WWF venue.

Back In the WWF Command Center…

Marcelo tells us that the main event is going to be Apolo Dantes going up against Negro Casas and then informs us it’s time for action and refers to me as a muchaco as tosses it to the ringside announce team to get things going.

Match 1: El Hijo del Santo vs Jose Estrada Jr.

Santo’s out first. He gets some high fives as he makes his way to the ring, but they’re still piping in fan noise. Jose Estrada has recovered from his broken freakin’ neck suffered at the hands, or perhaps more accurately ass, of Edge a few months earlier. He’s already in the ring.

Estrada attacks at the bell, laying some chops in and whipping Santo into the corner. He charges but Santo outquicks him and Estrada hits the ringpost shoulder first…and keeps going, down to the floor.

Santo hits a dive on the outside and then back in the ring, goes up to the top rope and levels Estrada with a dropkick. Santo hits a pair of bulldogs out of the corner and goes for a third, but Estrada overpowers him and gets him up in an ugly looking chokeslam.

Estrada takes control hitting some brutal chops and them whipping Santo into the corner where he flattens the masked man with a huge clothesline. TREE OF WOE! Estrada hits a running basement dropkick and the piped in audience noise gasps. He hits a backbreaker and goes for a pin. ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡No!

Estrada chokes out Santo in the corner. The ref is counting in Spanish. Santo comes back with some chops, but Estrada hits him in the gut with a hip and then goes to remove Santo’s mask. The ref stops him so Estrada whips Santo into the ropes and goes for some sort of power move but Santo flips out of it and lands on his feet.

Santo pushes Estrada into the ropes for maybe some sort of rope assisted rollup or something, but Estrada holds on to the ropes and then wrecks Santo’s shit with a clothesline as Santo is getting back to his feet. Estrada hits a body slam and goes up top for a diving headbutt but misses. Santo capitalizes and gets Estrada in some convoluted rollup for the win.

Post-match Santo jaws with Estrada, seemingly about Estrada’s attempt to remove his mask during the match. The look like they’re going to rumble some more but the ref keeps them separated.

Winner: El Hijo del Santo

This was an alright speed verses power match. I think Estrada got a little bit too much in, but by and large it was pretty decent for what it was. I liked the bit about Estrada trying to take off Santo’s mask. It’s such a good minor storyline thing for shows like this.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Maria Felipe is standing by with Apolo Dantes (Apollo Dantes here in the WWF). I do not speak Spanish. It seems like he’s hyping himself up though and then talking some shit about Negro Casas.

Match 2: El Torito vs Mini Nova

This El Torito cannot possibly be the same dude who was with the Los Matadors a couple years ago. Anyway Torito and Nova are minis…which means its time for some “comedy.” TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!

We come back from break and the match gets underway with El Torito attacking before the bell rings. It’s a classic power vs. speed mini match with El Torito having the definite size and power advantage. He’s also a rudo so there’s a lot of closed fist punches and ref admonishments.

Nova gets Torito in a head scissor into some airplane spin that sends the slightly bigger man to the outside for a massive piped in pop. Back in the ring Torito hits a medium-sized clothesline which for a mini is the same as a massive clothesline from a normal sized man.

Nova is able to recover and then it’s time to spam armdrags including weird “comedy” spots. Torito gets armdragged to the outside and Nova hits a springboard cross body block. They head back in and Torito does clubbering and sends Nova to the mat. He goes up top for a senton, but misses.

Nova capitalizes and goes up top and nails some weird Frankensteiner roll up thing off the top and gets a two count. Torito gets up and puts Nova down with a body slam and then goes up to the top rope and hits a plancha for the win. Some guy in red shirt in the audience is not pleased with this result.

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Winner: El Torito

This was a short match in every sense of the word. Lots of armdrags. Some power moves and a couple of lucha highspots, but there wasn’t anything all the memorable going on here. I’m kind of surprised that El Torito won here, even though Mini Nova got a jobber entrance I kind of expected them to do the small guy ekes out a win through speed and intelligence win here.

Meanwhile in the WWF Command Center…

Marcelo Rodriquez is here flexing his muscles and being affable. He says, and I quote, “(Spanish words I don’t understand)…ROCK BOTTOM…(Spanish words I don’t understand),” before tossing it to a video package about La Roca…which is Spanish for The Rock.  This is amazing…I’m learning Spanish by doing this.

Video Package!

I’m assuming this is running down La Roca’s various rivals because we are shown Mankind, El Enterrador (The Undertaker), Stone Cold Steve Austin, Los Forajidos Modernos (The New Age Outlaws), Ken Shamrock, and the Big Boss Man.

Back in the WWF Command Center…

Rodriquez does too many hand motions and smiles a lot and then throws it over to Maria Felipe who is standing by backstage.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Maria Felipe interviews/flirts with Negro Casas. She is impressed by whatever it is Casas says is going to happen since she says “Wow!” each time he pauses. Since he’s not talking about agua, El Enterrador, Los Forajidos Modernos, La Roca, or counting to ten, I have no idea what he’s saying, but his match with Apolo Dantes is coming up next!

Match 3: Apolo Dantes vs. Negro Casas

Apolo Dantes’ is in the ring when we return from break. Casas heads down to the ring and at the bell Dantes starts unloading with rights. He sends Casas into the ropes and hits a clothesline. He whips Casas into the corner and hits another clothesline. He does the arrogant heel “I’m the greatest!” thing after each move.

Dantes hits a spinebuster but the Casas makes a comeback. He hits some brutal looking chops and a jumping back kick. He hits a DDT and goes for a cover but only gets a count of two. He grapevines Dantes and goes for another pin attempt but Dantes kicks out.

Dantes lays in some chops in the corner and then does a fist pump to the audience. Casas explodes out of the corner with a lariat and then lays in some chops of his own. Dantes does a back kick which looks a little low and then scoop slams Casas to the mat.

Up to the top rope goes Dantes. He nails a waiting Casas with a dropkick and then goes for an arrogant pin attempt, but only gets a two count. He whips Casas into the ropes right into a big boot. He tries again, but Casas counters and gets in control. Casas hits a HUGE BIG BACK BODY DROP to the outside and then hits a plancha.

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Dantes gets back in the ring and the two men lock up in a test of strength as Jose Estrada Jr. makes his way down to the ring. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING! Or not…the YouTube video I was watching (the one linked above) cuts out here so I have no idea how this match ended. Maybe Cagematch.net knows. To the internet…Double DQ I guess.

Winner: N/A

Lack of an ending aside this was a pretty good match. Negro Casas is probably my favorite guy I didn’t know about before watching Super Astros. He’s got some good chops and looks pretty believable in the ring. I would gladly watch more matches with him in them.

Final Thoughts

Three short matches that were all more or less entertaining. The Casas vs. Dantes match was probably the best in terms of in ring action and storytelling. Estrada seems poised to be the big heel on the show which is a weird sentence to type.

Anyway if you like weird, extraneous Attitude Era programs and/or short lucha libre matches this episode is worth a watch, but if neither of those things tickle your face or you have a fear of midgets in masks, I’d probably skip this.

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