Brad Armstrong in his baby blue trunks and white jobber boots takes a stiff beating from Al Perez in this video from 1988 recently posted to YouTube. Brad’s weakness and vulnerability are highlighted as Perez whoops him very convincingly. I liked this Airplane Spin that converted this muscular young lion into a ragdoll jobber.
Much of the focus of the Heel’s punishment is on breath control. Perez hooks his arm around Brad’s neck repeatedly to apply tight Headlocks and Sleepers. Brad sells it by reaching out his fingers as if he is grabbing for the ropes to break the hold, his arms and hands falling limp as Perez maintains his deathly grip.
Al Perez was a swole, dark and handsome macho-man that I’m surprised I was not more obsessed with. Perez seemed too gentle and polite to be a Heel and too deliciously ruthless-looking to be a Baby-Face, and his matches lacked that chaos and danger that make wrestling seem sexy.
But here against Brad, we see Perez get rough and brutal, so I’m loving Al’s Heel work for once.
Each time Brad rises to his feet, Perez yanks him back down with a handful of mullett and re-applies the choke-hold.
This is a nice depiction of dirty cheating and unfair, frustrating, boner-inspiring helplessness by the fading Baby-Face unable to stay on his feet and escape this relentless strangulation. I’m sure if I saw this match when it first aired, I was on the edge of my seat, craving a cute Brad of my own to hug and hold.
The commentators graphically describe this scene of repeated smothering and hair-pulling, exaggerating the drama and danger to further fuel the heat of this match:
“He takes Armstrong again down to the mat.”
“Perez BLATANTLY pulled the hair, but not in view of referee Tommy Young…”
“A MONUMENTAL struggle right here fans, between two outstanding, conditioned, great athletes in the ring!” “
Perez taking Brad Armstrong right back down. Here’s got the Reverse Chinlock… That’s the SECOND time that Perez has broken the momentum, or attempted momentum, of Brad Armstrong by pulling the hair!”
“Well he doesn’t just slam him to the mat, but it’s a VIOLENT slam.”
Perez wraps a “steel chain” around Brad’s neck and proceeds to really throttle him. FINALLY Perez has manned up to inflict the cruelty and brutality that an uber-masculine Heel SHOULD inflict on the white-meat baby-faces.
This match just went from a fun one-sided fight to an attempted serial killing. Why will none of the other Baby-Faces run out here and stop this murder?!?
Poor Brad just never got any respect in wrestling. They rarely let him win a match after his rookie years. They gave him terrible gimmicks like the Arachna-man and Candy Man (Candy Ass?) And here they let Al Perez defeat him and choke him.
All of this piled-on humiliation and emasculation of the hunk with “Strong-Arms” was just such a turn-on.