One of the YouTube channels I follow recently posted an episode of Puerto Rican wrestling that included a Batten Twin match I’d never seen before. I’m always in the mood to watch me some Batten Brother suffering, and they certainly did not disappoint!
I remember the Batten’s being fairly chubby for most of their matches, with clean-cut short hair. But at this point in their careers, they were looking especially lean — really sexy actually with their long wavy hair and well-groomed beards. Then they wore these high-cut black underwear trunks that had me on the edge of my seat even before the bell rang.
t’s interesting how the twins’ physiques stay in sync — both of them lean and hard-bodied at this time, and later both would become rotund and beefy. They must eat together and exercise together to always stay identical.
I think the Battens were meant to be playing Heels at this time in their Puerto Rican careers, but I’m going to refer to their bigger, uglier, nastier opponents as the Heels for this article.
For me, much of the appeal of this match is the placement of these two cute Gringos in the violent and frightening Puerto Rican wrestling ring. They appear to be out of their element, like they wandered away from their fancy and well-guarded resort into a bleak Puerto Rican barrio where they were attacked by these goons.
Keep in mind that this match took place in 1989, just a year after Bruiser Brody was murdered in Puerto Rico and nothing was done about it. So this match dances on the line between reality and fantasy.
Most American wrestlers had left the island following the Brody incident for their own safety and there was much tension and bad blood between the Puerto Rican and mainland federations. But the Batten Twins stayed in that dangerous environment, continuing to suffer these brutal beatings while their opponents, the officials, and the audience did nothing to protect them.
I’m afraid for them because they’re alone and vulnerable in a violent place where apparently they may kill you if they don’t like you. And their peril makes their agony in the ring even more electrifying to the brutality-loving pleasure centers in my brain.
The silly Batten boy complains that there was “no tag” after the Heels traded places in the ring illegally. You stupido gringo — Do you think the ref is gonna help you by enforcing the rules? After what happened to Brody??
Poor Batten #1 is just now realizing that this isn’t like his high school wrestling meets. This is a land where pretty, privileged boys like him are torn limb from limb in the ring, the ref will do nothing to stop it, and the audience will have zero compassion for him.
Poor Batten tosses his long locks around and cringes in pain as the arm torture continues.
That’s hot — I’m sure glad to be able to check out these rare foreign matches that I never had access to when they first aired!
The sense of lonely isolation we feel for the Battens is further depicted in their inability to make a tag for most of the match. Poor Batten #1 is just a few feet away (just as Puerto Rico is a short flight from Miami), but he remains just out of Batten #2’s reach.
Meanwhile the Heels are able to tag in and out with ease, or even trade places without bothering to make a tag, and the ref does nothing to stop them. We sense that the Battens are in big trouble when the ref throws the book at them while ignoring their opponents’ dirty tactics.
This just adds to our sense that these poor studs are out-matched and need to come home where they’ll be safe.
The Heels would go on to win the match, of course. The Battens fought back a little (breaking the rules themselves for a while), but they were ultimately humiliated in various ways, including some ball-busting on the corner turnbuckle.
This was good ring psychology, to show these sexy gringos being degraded and destroyed unfairly, so soon after the Brody murder. I’m not sure if this was intentional, or if I’m reading too much into the story-telling, but I do know I got off on it.