Saturday, 28 April 2012

El Dandy v Negro Casas (CMLL, 7/3/92)

Pretty much a master-class. Two of the absolute elite tier level guys in wrestling history wrestling maybe my favourite kind of pro-wrestling match (lucha title match)...I've seen it about 6 times over the last few years, and I always find something else to love about it every time. The first caida is about as good a fall as you'll ever see in lucha. It goes about 15 minutes, and roughly 12 are entirely filled with matwork. There's a moment where they both roll out to the floor and trade a couple slaps, but they quickly roll back in and take it right back down to the mat -- this is about who's the better wrestler, first and foremost. I don't even think they hit the ropes once in the first 10 minutes. The wishbone spot is the kind of thing people who don't really like or struggle to 'get into' lucha will maybe be turned off by, but other than that I don't think anybody could watch this and think the matwork is "cooperative" or that the holds are came by too easily (which is the criticism of lucha matwork one tends to read the most). Things like Casas reversing a Fujiwara armbar by turning it into a seated abdominal stretch look pretty spectacular to begin with, but it's the struggle that puts it all over the top. Dandy tries to hook Casas in a tapatia, but Casas is having none of  it and won't give up his arms. Dandy tries to take another route and go for a camel clutch, but again Casas gives him nothing. When Dandy eventually hooks it in proper, it feels like a victory all of its own. They're having to fight for everything, and Casas is especially great at making it seem that way. Dandy doesn't put a foot wrong, but Casas looks like the best wrestler in the entire world here. He comes out in the second fall and goes straight for the jugular. My favourite moment of the match might be the low blow he sneaks in when the ref' isn't looking. The entire match is more or less wrestled clean, but Casas is who he's in his nature. The fact it came out of nowhere after he'd been behaving himself up to that point made it seem even more like a dick move. And the slow-mo replay...that shit was NASTY. When Dandy makes his comeback and drops Casas with that extra bit of force, it really feels like a big "Alright, fuck THIS shit" moment. Third caida really brings it home like you'd want. If you want to nitpick there's a couple transitions that might be a bit dodgy, but other than that it's right on the money. Dandy coming out the gate the same way Casas did in the second fall (right down the to the running dropkick) was a great payback spot of sorts, but Casas' sell of the fatigue was out of this world. There's points where it looks like he'd rather lay down and die than keep fighting, but his pride wouldn't let him. The way he struggles to get out of the majistral...that motherfucker is a fighter right 'til the end. Just an incredible match. If I tried to come up with an all-time top ten, this would probably be there.

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