Segunda Caida

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

Friday, April 22, 2016

MLJ: Two Years of Lucha: Atlantis, Máscara Sagrada, Pantera Del Ring vs Jerry Estrada, MS-1, Negro Casas

1991-10-27 @ Arena Coliseo
Atlantis, Máscara Sagrada, Pantera Del Ring vs Jerry Estrada, MS-1, Negro Casas

My first actual review here on SC, as part of the lucha journey, was on April 21, 2014. Since then, I've written three match reviews a week, every week, without fail. That's two years and just above 300 reviews. Three hundred is a lot of anything. I never expected to actually stay on schedule. I never thought that I'd still be doing this two years later.

Once again, thanks to Phil and Eric for letting me playing in their sandbox. While I'd read the site for years (and have been attached at the online hip to DVDVR since I was 17 in 1999), I think it surprised me a little how much our collective views tend to sync up. We all piss off the same people for the same reasons, basically. That was a happy accident. Thanks, also, to everyone who takes the time to read these. I started this for myself, as a way to wrap my head around lucha, but it's appreciated when anyone leaves a comment or posts about them on twitter, or links to them, like Cubsfan does religiously. Thank you.

I do think I've hit the realm of diminishing returns. It took me maybe 100 of these to figure out how things like trios matches really worked. After that it was exploration up and down, especially when a new bit of footage popped up, and there are still thousands of matches out there for me to watch, but I think the value in me moving forward as I have been is sort of limited. I'm going to finish the Sombra Spotlight over the next few weeks. It doesn't make much sense to go past 2014 since I already covered those matches. I plan on making a Master List early next week because I do think people who follow NXT but not lucha will be curious and this might give them an in. After that, I think it's time for me to start looking at things that aren't lucha as well, and maybe not with the 3x a week regularity.

So, this is what I picked for the two year anniversary. I wanted some sort of Casas vs Atlantis singles match, after the trios I saw the other day, but they are few and far between. I thought about the Casas/Mistico vs Atlantis/Olimpico tag title match, but this just jumped out at me more. Panterita del Ring is Ephesto, which makes this interesting. That it had an all time rudo side makes it interesting too. MS-1 is the ultimate rudo goon and Estrada, in 91, was just so over the top and dynamic, constant motion with the tassles flowing this way and that.

The match is a beautiful Casas showcase, with him being as nasty and craven as possible. This gif sums it up really well:

Atlantis giving the thumbs up, Cass walking over and casually kicking Panterita between the legs. Panterita selling as he rolls into the crowd. That's the match. It's primarily a Casas vs Panterita focus, with Casas stooging, heeling, ducking and dodging. They have a signles match in January of the next year and I presume this, in part, builds to that. Let's get the big thing out of the way first here. Something happens relatively early in the match (it could be that water is tossed into the ring) and they have to stall for a while. Normally, that's a match-killer. Here, though? They stall by Negro Casas locking in the nastiest armbar that the world had ever seen in 1991, just grinding it back against the metal connective bits of the turnbuckle. It's awesome. The problem is this. He had to lock it on for close to five minutes while his partners play crowd control.

(That's the guy with the mop to clean the ring, by the way).

It's cool enough to be compelling and even if it wasn't, Casas' performance and his intensity and charisma are enough to make it work. It worked well enough that people kept on throwing things into the ring in anger at him. The problem comes in the fact that Panterita totally drops the arm selling the second he's on offense and then for the rest of the match. Generally, that's fine in lucha. It's all about momentum shifts, not that high level consistency. This was such an abberation, though, and the hold was on so long, that it really stood out as a blight upon the match.

It was okay for a while though, with the rudos in control Casas using it as an opening to beat Panterita around the ring, and to his credit, he did sell the big picture stuff well for a time. Really, Casas was just a joy here. He's so good now. He was so good then, but he was so good with just more energy and playfulness and a chip on his shoulder. Estrada was a perfect partner for him too. I love this rudo side.

Eventually, of course, the tecnicos come back, and yes, Panterita just ignores the arm completely. You end up not caring too much because in the midst of the comeback, Casas decides to run and hide behind a cameraman and it's the best thing since the armbar:

Sagrada and Atlantis are in this match too, sure, and they play their parts well enough, especially in the comeback, but this was all about the rudos. When it ends, it ends in a satisfying way. It's a weird one but I'd suggest watching any pairing of Estrada and Casas in this era. It still boggles my mind that I've seen hundreds of matches with Negro Casas and there's something new and fascinating in every new match I see.

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