Segunda Caida

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

MLJ: Sombra Spotlight 29: La Sombra vs Negro Casas [NWA Welter]

2012-02-13 @ Arena Puebla
Negro Casas b La Sombra © [NWA WELTER]

There's a small chance I might have covered this one before, but I don't think I have. Regardless, it's a fit chronologically and I sat through the Volador title match, so I consider this one my reward. Casas was over 50 here and about to draw Blue Panther in an apuestas match at the next big show. Sombra was more or less at the height of his power, having won the Universal Tournament a few months before. It had to seem very unlikely that Casas was going to walk out with the belt. I do feel that sometimes CMLL's booking geniuses do that, though, giving someone about to lose their hair a bone in that regard.

So, this was good, pretty much as good as you'd think. For one thing, the crowd at Puebla is somewhat different than Arena Mexico, so even though the latter had started to turn Casas face and Sombra heel (while still being a rudo and tecnico in the booking), that wasn't the case here. Sombra was well-cheered. Therefore, when Casas tried to appeal to the crowd, it had the more desired effect of just getting him more heat and making him come off as flippant and frankly "wrong."

They also had a really solid primera. It was straightforward in that the matwork wasn't extremely tricked out or anything, but it was heavily focused, and felt worthy of being part of a title match. The best stuff was centered around them dueling over cross-arm breakers. It was a more focused struggle than I was used to in a match like this and that just made it stand out more.

If the Volador match was more, more, more, this match was far better at whetting appetites. Casas, for instance, took the segunda in part by running down the entrance way to freeze Sombra on a dive and throw him off his game. Just as important, it meant that the big dive was pushed to the tercera so (again) when it happened, it had build behind it and actually meant something.

The tercera was dynamic, building on the damage throughout the match to justify the selling. It had some really nice counters and inversions too, like the best camera-caught version of someone blocking Casas' seated senton dive.

It also had its share of really good near falls before Casas locked in just a beautiful pulling back pin after countering the second double jump moonsault of the match. Not only was it a call back spot, as that was how Sombra took the primera, but I'd never seen Casas (or maybe anyone else) break out that exact pin before. Sombra lost, but he looked just as good coming out as he did coming in, which was important for how they were using him at the time and is always an accomplishment.

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