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 - Steve Petersen

The Latin Lover - Al Madril

Al Madril was a veteran mainstay of the last years of Don Owens promotions, and given my perfect 20/20 hindsight I can see  how valuable a wrestler he was.  Al Madril, at least according to all I have been told was in the 70's and 80's an outstanding wrestler.  During the period I remember him being in Portland, 1988-91, he was at the tail end of his career at this time and perhaps he was not as good in the ring as he had been, but, then was obviously a pro, because man was he entertaining.

His matches were not what I would describe as comedy matches he was definitely a comedic heel, and what was funny about Mr. Madril was the things he hated.  First of all, Al hated promoter Don Owen, often referring to him as, "you baldheaded promoter."  In one memorable angle, Madril had been all over Don Owen, calling him names, saying that he wanted to slap his bald head, and that Owen was so old why didn't he just die already.  Owen signed Madril to a Lumberjack Strap Match with Beetlejuice, and initially Madril thought that only the faces would be around the ring with straps.

Naturally, old Al wanted NOTHING to do with this and the interviews that followed were comedic gems.  Al said that he had nothing against Owens and in fact, he thought that Owens was holding up very well for his age and was quite a handsome older man.  He also begged out of the match saying his father used to hit him with a strap and to be in such a match would be tremendously threatening and damaging to his tender psyche.  The Grappler came out and told Al to not worry that men like he and Buddy Rose would also be around the ring with leather straps, and they would see justice was carried out.  Of  course this caused Al to change his tune.

Al Madril hated kids, or in his words snot nosed little brats  In fact often promoter Don Owen, never known for the smoothest ring intros in the world, would often refer to him as "The Latin Lover who hates kids" or the "The Latin Lover who thinks I should retire."  At this time although the wrestling and angles were top notch I believe that the promotion was not drawing what it once had, so often Owen would allow kids in for free, "as a favor to the parents" knowing that most of the kids who got in would eat their weight in concessions and the house would still make a buck.  This infuriated Madril who thought that everyone, especially 'the snot-nosed brats' should pay to see him wrestle.  Madril, in the angle, went so far as to get his lawyer to slap an injunction against the promotion and the Sports Arena to not allow kids in for free, which of course made Madril into a Grinch-like heel.

Al Madril fought dirty.  Well, you may say, of course, that is what old school heels did, but Madril did it so well, and with such a sense of style and humor that although I do not remember many of his matches I sure remember how he cheated.  Al threw fire, when he couldn't throw fire, he would jam a Bic into the faces throat, Al used foreign objects, which he kept hidden always one spot ahead of where befuddled referees looked, he hid them in his boot, then his kneepad, then his trunks, then his mouth, then the turnbuckle.  Now, this may have been standard operating heel procedure, but with his gestures to the crowd, his rooster strut, and the pointing to his head, to show how smart he was, Al was able to pull it off.  More...

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