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Tito Santana Appreciation Thread


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#41 FLIK

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:06 PM

Tito's a weird wrestler for me. I've seen a million of his matches and I own his El Matador action fig that's pictured on the 1st page but asside from that gimmick he never left much of a lasting impression on me. Been racking my brain for a while today and not 1 thing comes to mind when asking myself what was a really great Tito Santana match I saw. Not like I ever thought he was bad either...just forgetable to me for some reason...

#42 Al

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:27 PM

Tito's cage match IC title victory against Greg Valentine is oddly underhyped. Probably the greatest finish to a cage match in WWF history. Also a blowoff to a fairly hot feud with Tito getting hurt, having surgery and cutting a promo from post-op, and coming back to reclaim his title from the man who hurt him.

#43 Dylan Waco

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:33 PM

Tito has an awful lot of quality matches. There is a Tito v. Billy Robinson match from the AWA that pisses me off beyond belief because we only have about half of it but what is there is great. The Savage and Valentine series are awesome wrestling. Steamboat was a better wrestler in my view, but Santana was a far better fired up babyface. Incidentally Tito worked as Richard Blood underneath in Mid-Atlantic

#44 ADL

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 07:29 PM

Got to admit I have not seen much of Tito career due to the fact his WWF run ended before I became a fan but of the limited action I have seen him in I liked what I have seen including a match against Ric Flair on a UK Tour just after Flair came to the WWF.

#45 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 05:44 AM

To be fair, Ted's two Mania losses did little to hurt him, and they helped put over the victors in a meaningful way. He lost a match to Savage he should have (kayfabe) won, and the win made Savage a top guy and started the Megapowers angle. And it would have really made no sense or helped anyone for him to beat Virgil in their first match against each other, as Virgil needed as much credibility as a wrestler as he could get at that point.


And wasn't it a CO loss to Virgil after interference from Roddy?

Ted was booked very very strongly in early 91. At Rumble 91 he was booked to beat Dusty AND Dustin Rhodes pretty much single-handedly. Virgil was the ultimate underdog. That was at least number 3 feud in the company at any given time that year.

Tito hadn't had a credible win in AGES. All I'm saying is that Tito beating Ted would have been a massive deal FOR TITO.

He wrestled Virgil at 7.


Oh he did, didn't he? Good call. - Ted lost there too, btw.



Mike - I think you were thinking of Summerslam 90, which is the only PPV show I can think of on which Ted didn't have a match during his run -- it's the one where he "buys" Sweet Sapphire.

Also, Ted worked an angle with Hogan in 1993, I hardly think Hogan would have worked that angle if Mike Rotunda had been tagging with anyone else. Do you? Also, since win / loss seems to be important to you, Money Inc WON that match! :lol:

Personally, I don't think losses matter for a certain calibre of heel.

#46 shoe

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:29 AM

I have always been a fan of his work. He's been an underrated worker for some time. In the smarkchoice poll I had him in my top 100, but he didn't get a lot of traction. He has a large body of work out there to prove his greatness. I want to talk about his quality of work on a night to night basis. All I can say from 88-91 in Houston, Texas at the Summitt Santana had one of the better matches of the night. I saw him work Ron Bass, Curt Hennig, and Tito Santana are the ones I remember. They were all really strong matches. He lost so much the people didn't believe in him.

#47 MikeCampbell

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:35 AM

Tito's cage match IC title victory against Greg Valentine is oddly underhyped. Probably the greatest finish to a cage match in WWF history.


It should be considered the greatest finish to a cage match, with how often it's been ripped off since it happened.

#48 shoe

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 08:54 PM

I watched the match of Lawler vs Santana that Sagunda Caida reviewed a while back. Man is this a total blast. They worked a total Memphis style match in front of the MSG faithful and had the crowd eating everything up and asking for seconds. The audio made it seem the Garden was shaking from the rafters. Their is so much great bullshit on display. Lawler telling Tito to kiss his feet to Tito spitting on them. Lawler stalling and talking shit. After the match they are brawling into the crowd. Just a fun match with hardly and physicality to it.

#49 Guest_DWS_*

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 06:12 PM

I know DiBiase and IRS tagged a couple of times, but I don't think they became "Money inc." until the LoD match.

I'll back that up, for ya'. Yes, they did tag together a few times in late 1991, including a match on Prime Time in Dec '91 against the Bushwhackers (or maybe it was against Tito/Virgil). However, they did not have the team name then, nor did they have Jimmy Hart. Sherri was in their corner.

They officially became "Money Inc" and landed Jimmy Hart in mid-February 1992 on a "WWF Update" segment, where the tag title switch and the departure of the LOD was covered.


Tito was one of those wrestlers who was probably seen as "Our Guys" by the WWF crowd. The type that always seemed to get a decent pop no matter where they were on the card or booking order. The Bulldogs and Hacksaw Duggan in the 90's seemed to have this same sort of vibe.

Dumb question, but I tried searching around for the "talk about Tito being world champ in 92" and haven't been able to find it yet. Sounds interesting...

#50 Ricky Jackson

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:05 PM

Dumb question, but I tried searching around for the "talk about Tito being world champ in 92" and haven't been able to find it yet. Sounds interesting...


It's in the 92-96 WWF booking and Rumoured returns, arrivals, matches, etc. threads.

#51 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 04:54 AM

All right, let's fire this baby up. I dunno how often I'm gonna do one of these, but here we go:

TITO SANTANA VS. THE WORLD #1 -- Don "the Rock" Muraco

Tito Santana was the man who ended Don Muraco's reign as WWF Intercontinental Champion at the Boston Gardens. That match only exists as highlights, but there are two MSG matches from 1/23/84 and 2/20/84 that give you a fair look at their title feud. It was quite a disjointed feud as Muraco cut these awesome heel promos where he said a bunch of derogatory things about Santana and Mexican people in general, but Tito was in real challenger/title match mode so instead of the fired up Santana we love so much we got a bunch of leverage holds. There were good things about the MSG matches, particularly when they unleashed on each other, but nothing beat the intros from the first match with Tito's hair and jacket, Muraco's badass red hoodie and the MSG crowd. Those early 80s MSG crowds were a much different beast to later WWF crowds. I dunno if you'd call them a wrestling crowd or a New York crowd or what, but every time the camera pans the crowd there's an array of interesting looking characters. But as great as the crowds are, these matches are a little disappointing. I actually prefered the shorter, tighter matches they had in Philly in '85 and Boston in '87. They're nothing special, so don't trip over yourself to see them, but they have a more watchable structure than the messy MSG matches. They also had a match at the Wrestling Challenge in '85 which is skippable and some matches in ECW in '93 which I only skimmed through but looked lacklustre. The thing I took away from watching this match-up is that they could have had matches as good as the Santana/Valentine ones but instead were going for some kind of title match psychology that didn't pan out very well. Nothing here I'd really recommend watching, but that MSG crowd sure rocked.

#52 Frankensteiner

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 01:44 PM

That second MSG match from 2/20/84 I really liked. I agree it started slow with them working hammerlocks and what not. But I appreciated Muraco going on his run. Tito should have had a longer come back before they went to the finish with Muraco's head in the ropes. It's easy to assume the matches could have been better.

#53 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:57 AM

TITO SANTANA VS. THE WORLD #2 -- "Mr Perfect" Curt Hennig These guys wrestled each other a bunch of times. I watched matches they had from 5/1/89, 5/16/89 and 8/21/89, as well as the final of the IC title tournament in 1990 and their Saturday Night Main Event match from 7/16/90. This was a real workrate feud by WWF standards and I imagine wildpegasus was a fan of this series. The impression of Hennig I had from the last time I watched his 80s stuff was his over the top bumping, but this time he struck me as a workrate machine. Compared to guys like Rude or Dibiase, Hennig was relentless. It was a bit suffocating, to be honest, as it was almost like watching Kurt Angle if Kurt Angle had no offence. The 1990 matches are much more impressive than the '89 bouts in large part because Hennig wasn't sticking to his man so much. The SNME match is the one to watch if you're going to watch any of their matches as it's a hot bout with a great crowd and a ref storyline that works. The only downer is the finish, which is too clean (of all things.) Definitely one of the better Curt Hennig matches and one of my recommended Tito bouts as well. If it had happened on a PPV it would be a lot better known. Tito had this ability (habit?) of blending with whoever he faced, but he was a pretty good foil for Hennig, firstly in vying to be the guy who ended the perfect streak and then as a rival for the IC belt. I don't know if it's true or not, but in the youtube comments some guy said Tito told him the original plan was for Santana to win the IC title off Hennig, not Kerry Von Erich. Kind've makes sense except for the fact that there seems to be other "Tito was supposed to win the belt" rumours. One final thought while watching this matches was whether Tito was better than Bret Hart. They were very similar wrestlers and did a lot of the same moves and I think it's an interesting comparison at least for Bret's work prior to '94.

#54 El-P

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 09:10 AM

Kerry came in at the time Beefcake got injured, and was basically put in his spot, so maybe Beefcake was the one who would have got a run with the IC belt. He was quite hot in 1990. I enjoy your Tito Series BTW. Tito better than Bret ? Not in my book, not close. The best Bret stuff is better than the best Tito stuff. But Tito is still pretty underrated by people not familiar with his 80's work I think. Tito better than Hennig ? I would think so. Tito better than Michaels ? At points, yes he was. When Shawn was in his prime, probably not, but it's not as far fetched as some would think (well, considering I find Michaels to be very overrated, as in *very good*, but not *great*)

#55 Frankensteiner

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:04 AM

One final thought while watching this matches was whether Tito was better than Bret Hart. They were very similar wrestlers and did a lot of the same moves and I think it's an interesting comparison at least for Bret's work prior to '94.


Why would the comparison stop in '94?

#56 shoe

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 01:05 PM

One final thought while watching this matches was whether Tito was better than Bret Hart. They were very similar wrestlers and did a lot of the same moves and I think it's an interesting comparison at least for Bret's work prior to '94.


Why would the comparison stop in '94?



He's comparing them throughout the same time frame in the WWF. Tito was gone from the WWF I believe happened in 94 or late 93. It's a fair comp becuase they can use same time frame, same federation, a lot of the same opponents.

#57 Ricky Jackson

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:30 PM

Comparing 84-93 Tito to 84-93 Bret is interesting. As far as who had the best matches, Tito from 84-90 would have the edge, although Bret had many memorable tag and singles matches over that time. Survivor Series 90 was a turning point for both men, as Bret had his breakout performance with DiBiase, while Tito had his last real spotlight moment making it to the final match with Hogan and Warrior. Bret gets the big push in 91 and Tito slides into a JTTS role, so Bret has the edge from 91-93 (I really need to see more of Tito's El Matador matches, though). Both were great. Overall, who was better from 84-93? *Flips coin* Uh, Bret.

#58 Frankensteiner

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:28 PM

I think, as with all comparsions, you have to look at peak vs. peak. So for Tito it's '82-'87 and for Bret it's '92-'97. We can look at the area in-between for common opponents but Bret was on his way up and Tito on his way down so there's only so much you can gain.

#59 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:48 PM

TITO SANTANA VS. THE WORLD #3 -- The Barbarian The Barbarian didn't bring as much offense to his WWF matches as he did during his WCW run but he was still a pretty fun power wrestler. I always thought it was a bit weird how The Powers of Pain were broken up and repackaged as nothing singles workers. I mean, there's nothing to Barbarian other than some new threads, some hair and the fact he's managed by Heenan. Astute Tito Santana vs. the World readers will remember that Tito and The Barbarian had some history as Tito and Martel brought them in as hired guns to gain revenge on Demolition. As a kid, I thought it was badass that there was a team who might stop Demolition, but even I cottoned on to the fact that they were incredibly boring in the ring. I'm sure someone who take objection to that and point out the great Powers of Pain matches, but I think by the double turn no-one gave a fuck. Anyway, there's no reference to Tito and the Barbarian's previous history in this match-up, no baggage and no learned psychology. Just bear hugs. I watched three matches -- Wrestlemania VI, MSG 9/21/90 and a 12/2/91 El Matador/Barbarian match. All decent matches, but the highlight was Barbarian's clothesline to win the Wrestlemania match. Man did Tito eat that. One cool thing about watching Tito matches is that someone usually jobs as wins and losses in later Tito matches are inconsequential.

#60 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:52 PM

I think, as with all comparsions, you have to look at peak vs. peak. So for Tito it's '82-'87 and for Bret it's '92-'97. We can look at the area in-between for common opponents but Bret was on his way up and Tito on his way down so there's only so much you can gain.


Tito was one of the better workers in the company from '88 to '90 and didn't appear as though he had lost anything in his El Matador run. I think the key period of interest is when Bret started working more singles matches in the late 80s and early 90s as there are a lot of easy comparison points such as both of them having a ton of matches against Hennig. Yes, Tito was older and more experienced, but they were in a similar position company wise as midcard faces.




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