Al Perez vs Paul Roma, 15 January 1990, Madison Square Garden (WWF)
I could hear but not see the last few minutes of this contest on the LEGENDSKINGDOM channel*. I tried it out on two different browsers with the same results. But what there was to see is luscious. I always liked Roma (in red trunks), but Perez (in classic black) steals the show with his brutal energy and top-shelf heel attitude. There's just more to Al's performance. Paul paces through the match like an actor who has memorized his lines and blocking, and that's it. Al gives soul to every move. Each one seems spontaneous and motivated. I even like Perez's muscle better. It suits a pro wrestler, though Roma is closer to the ideal as a bodybuilder.
What Al does beautifully is work his man. A shot like this one has intensity, which I prefer to the high-energy off-the-ropes stuff, which I still admire, even enjoy, though it's basically sexless (01:38).
That knee to the handsome jawline: I feel it (01:44).
Paul elbows his way out of Al's grip. Al neither oversells nor undersells the pain (02:22).
Giving credit where credit is due, Paul's block and reversal are hot, in no small part due to the red spandex hugging his butt (02:54).
Again, Al gives me all the hurt I can stand (04:40).
Nice fall, Al. Eyes rolling, knees turned to jelly, and legs spread wide.
I get it, Paul. I want to jump him, too. Now get on top of that bad boy!
* This is the February cablecast of the match.