Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Monday, February 22, 2016

MLJ: Black Terry Boot Camp 8: Atlantis, Blue Panther, Negro Casas vs Black Terry, Negro Navarro, Solar I (CMLL)

2013-08-16 @ Arena Mexico
Atlantis, Blue Panther, Negro Casas vs Black Terry, Negro Navarro, Solar I

I dropped the few dollars for the 2015 Hechicero vs Black Terry match and while I liked it a lot, I'm going to wait on Wednesday for that so I can do it more justice. Also, I don't like having too long a string of matches that people can't watch for themselves, so let's hotshot this one in.

This was part of Blue Panther's 35th Anniversary celebration and he introduced the now BP, Jr. and The Panther here. He also wore his mask for the night, which CMLL had let people know about a week before, just to prepare them. He took it off, after the fact. It was a maestros match and the fans were generous with money after the fact, but it was absolutely lacking something compared the stuff from the indies I've been seeing. I don't want to outright say that Atlantis was the weak link in the match but there was a sense of everything being slowed down for him in a way that stood out even though you didn't want it to.

I'd rather focus on a few positives. I jumped at this, not just to see Navarro and Terry in a different setting, but to see Negro Casas against both of them. When it comes to Terry, there aren't a lot of opportunities, though they feuded back in the early 80s over titles and what not, and we live in a hugely unfair world that I can't watch those right now, but that's the UWA for you. No Tv, nothing taped. Thankfully, here, they rotated the pairings throughout the match and both Casas match-ups were as good as you'd hope for.

First, something about Navarro in 2013. He's just not as flexible as he once was. You'd think this would be a hindrance but there's something about his obstinate charisma that makes it a plus. There's the sense that he's pushing himself a few extra inches to wrap his leg around someone's head, or twist his legs in, and it makes everything feel more painful and grittier somehow. I'm not sure I've ever seen a wrestler that actively defies his age in this way quite like Navarro and it's fascinating and hugely compelling. He and Casas were the biggest characters in the match, like watching the King of Siam butt heads with Old Stick. It was iconic.

Terry vs Casas was even better, though. They didn't pair off until the tercera, but by that point, things had escalated enough that in the midst of this maestros celebration match, they could just tear into one another. It was about two minutes of everything I'd want from them. Given his size and look, Terry fights with the unexpected intensity of a cornered animal and there are very few people in wrestling who can trade blows as dynamically as Casas. They kept it mostly simple with holds, but the two of them working front facelocks was somehow still awesome. And Casas, like in almost every match I've ever seen him in, did something I'd never seen him do before. Look at the way he just crushes the leg:

This was fun for what it was, but what it was just made me appreciate what I have been watching from the indies all the more.

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