WWF Super Astros for November 22, 1998
Frank Erwin Center – Austin, Texas
I’ve always been fascinated by this program that goes by Super Astros. It’s the most underground episodic show produced by WWE. If I were to survey 100 wrestling fans, the percentage of those that know this exist would be low. It ran from 1998-1999 as a vehicle to promote the (then) WWF in the Latin America market. It featured lucha at its core, using talent from AAA and CMLL, with guys like El Hijo del Santo, Negro Casas, Super Loco, and more being featured (sometimes against other luchadores, and sometimes against WWF talent like a Sho Funaki or a Val Venis). I’ve recently obtained a Blu-ray of the entire run of the show, with the duration being November 22, 1998 to September 5, 1999. I don’t think a timeline review series of any form exists on this show. Our own Izzac has written about a match from the show before, but that’s all I’ve seen, wrestling website wise. Without further ado, let’s start our adventure as it pertains to the coolest hidden gem of them all; WWF Super Astros! This is the November 22, 1998 pilot episode.
The intro of the show is glamorous, switching from WWF talent like Rock and Austin, to a Santo or Sagrada. We begin in the television truck with host Marcelo Rodriquez. I don’t speak Spanish nor understand 99.9% of it, so my reviews will lack translation.
Carlos Cabrera and Hugo Savinovich will be on commentary for the whole series.
Mini Max is dancing on the announce table during Armando Fernandez’s entrance.
Armando Fernandez vs. Scott Taylor
What better way to kickstart a Latin America push for the WWF than by using Scott Taylor, eventually-to-be lightweight division sensation, who didn’t even get a nameplate. The show started out strong with this mini banger. Fernandez looked very impressive upon first watch, where as Taylor led him through a lot of the match. Taylor was his Too Cool persona before the breakout, never hitting the worm, but going over the top in a lucha-pander-to-Arena Mexico fashion. This was a hybrid lightning match in a WWF ring. Both guys took some unselfish bumps with Fernandez wiping out a few times on the floor, also missing a moonsault. The highlight of the match saw a beautiful tope con hilo hit by Armando. Fernandez hit Angel’s Wings on Scotty for the victory. Fun back and forth opener.
Maria Filipe interviewed Fernandez.
Back in the studio we got an introduction to The Rock, who he’s related to, a few clips of him, and more. Also foiled into the segment was Stone Cold, which like the order of the intro, cut to El Hijo del Santo who’s working out prior to the main event tonight.
El Merenguero vs. Christopher Martinez
El Merenguero had on a button up cotton candy colored shirt with the collars peaking all the way out, with the bottom half of his attire looking like he’s going bowling. Hell, maybe he just got here from the lanes after bowling with his club. 2/2 matches on the show so far with a Martinez name. I thought it might have been someone from The Brood, but upon proper camera examination, it’s just a dark dressed looking rudo here to ruin the fun. This ended up being a quick squash. Martinez got in a few chops with his really weird gloves on, but Merenguero stole the momentum, hitting the super Merenguero plex which consisted of him getting a reverse choke on and hitting an inverted superplex for the victory. I did not expect this from him. As a lady in red danced on a chair, Merenguero strutted to the back.
Mini Max was backstage with Gigante Silva. He got on a platform in order to stick a mic in his face. I LOVE THIS SHOW.
Super Loco vs. El Hijo del Santo
The son of El Santo takes on Super Loco in the first ever Super Astros main event. This was a super short squash but showcased both like madmen. Loco was outdone by his maestro, as Santo had him stuck in a head-scissor, yet Loco tried to get his feet on the ropes to pin him in a unique trade off. Loco hit a beautiful springboard moonsault and an absolutely mental springboard fallback double leg drop. I wish I could make GIFs right now but fancam’ing by TV is the best resort at this point. I can only watch on my PS4 right now. He then missed a corkscrew, Santo hit two bulldogs, his trademark flying headbutt, and locked in La de a Caballo (camel clutch) for the victory. Best match on the show clocking in at, like, two minutes. Loco pulled off some out of this world offense while Santo stuck to the popular babyface not have to do much formula.
Negro Casas cut a promo that he’d be coming to the show soon.
From the TV truck, we’ll see you next week on WWF Super Astros.
End scene is Mini Max and Maria Filipe dancing the night away.
WWF SUPER ASTROS (NOVEMBER 22, 1998)
Good - 7.5/10
The pilot episode of Super Astros smoothly sailed at 30 minutes run-time. All of the matches were very short, but fun, and to see Super Loco and Santo, among other newly found gems like El Merenguero lit up my television. Each standout brought something to the table in ridiculous fashion, essentially everyone on the show. Not too many dive/dive trains yet, but what we got is literal lucha in a WWF ring. Mini Max bantering everyone. Lots of dancing. It will be amazing to continue to explore Super Astros during its run. The first show was a major home run. I can't wait for more.