MLJ: Rush vs Negro Casas 1: La Máscara, Marco Corleone, Rush vs Negro Casas, Ripper, Shocker
Aired on Terra: 2014-03-28
taped 2014-03-28 @ Arena México
La Máscara, Marco Corleone, Rush vs Negro Casas, Ripper, Shocker
Well, I couldn't stay in 2006 forever, though there still was more to see. I had some ideas on what I wanted to tackle next, but really CMLL decided it for me when they went ahead and ran with the Rush vs Negro Casas hair match. People seemed to like the Rush vs Shocker series, so I'm going to carry on from the immediate point after and run through the matches with both Casas and Rush in them between then and the hair match on 8/1.
This was a fun little match, full of character work and hard-hitting, a way to sort of transfer the fued back from Shocker to Casas, though really it never left the latter and it would stay with the former. It was also my first look at Ripper (Reapper, Psicosis II), who's someone that if I do go back to 2010, I'll see more of. Here he came out with a snake and the little alien mascot, so that was pretty cool, and paired up with Mascara most of the match, which was fine but hardly memorable. The entrances were all great, actually. They gave them five minutes and it gave the match more of a big feel. Shocker, bald, had his full entrance with the tron and everything. Casas came down with Zacarias and was in his full glory. The ring girls were really jamming along to the Benoit theme for Rush.
This just went two falls. We rarely get such matches for obvious reasons. If one side goes over two in a row then, at least on paper, they really crush their opponents and make them look bad, which sort of defeats the parity advantage to multi-fall matches, necessary when you have to keep heat going week to week in front of the same crowd. In the matches I've seen, there's one great way to get past that, to allow for things to be occasionally switched up, to feel different, and to also make sure the losing side not just keeps their heat, but maybe gains some.
In lucha, the beatdowns are sometimes so dominant that the refs will call a fall off, with the dominant side the winners. I've never seen this for a final deciding fall, but it feels a lot like a lack of forward momentum stopping a play in football. If there's nowhere to go, that's it. It can be a confusing moment. In fact, probably about half the time I get completely lost, still, it's when this happened and it takes me a little bit to figure out why the ref is suddenly raising hands. The flipside is that if the dominant side continues to attack after the refs try to call a fall off, it will get disqualified and lose the fall. This is a little more common in the US (Shamrock and Rock got months of feuding out of it, for instance, and for Lawler and Bret Hart, years), but not generally as part of a 2/3 falls match. The idea is simple. You can put one side over in two straight falls while making the other look strong and vicious. Sometimes this is to make the rudos look reprehensible and fearsome while still letting the tecnicos beat them. Sometimes it's to give the tecnicos an overly fiery comeback but not the satisfaction of winning the match, which makes the fans want to see another rematch. Here it was sort of in the middle given the shades of grey affiliation of the sides.
It was fun because the nature of the match meant that we had two long falls instead of two short ones and a longer one. So, even though Shocker and Casas rushed Rush during the introduction, it wasn't just a beatdown in the primera. The brawling early on was great. Shocker looked very good as the humiliated old bastard looking for revenge. Towards the end of the fall, Rush was able to fight back with some dropkicks, there's no one more explosive in wrestling than him. Mascara hit a perfectly acceptable tope on Ripper but then was accidentally hit by a clothesline off the apron by Marco. This allowed for the rudos to outnumber Rush, with Shocker hitting a German on Rush from behind. The best moment here was Ripper desperately trying to get Casas and Shocker to stop beating on Rush so the ref wouldn't DQ them. He failed.
The segunda kept it all rolling. After beating on Marco and Ripper a bit, they reset to give us Rush vs Casas and Shocker vs Casas, with chops all around and Rush ending up with a massively red chest. Some of this was pretty wild, and it was contagious, with later Casas vs Mascara exchanges feeling particularly heated with hair and mask pulling because of it. In the end, Mascara and Marco were paired up against Casas and Ripper and after Marco got back body dropped onto the ramp, he rushed back in with the superman leap, tossed Casas into a sort of standing octopus hold, and Mascara rolled up Ripper for the win. The post match was great as Rush got to gloat in the ring with his music playing in the background.
An enjoyable start to the mini-project. Shocker came out with something to prove, Casas and Rush were as great as ever, Mascara and Ripper were fine, and Marco, while not doing much, served well in his role as catalyst. Add in the slight structural change and I liked this quite a bit.