Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lucha Worth Watching: Fresh Casas Match-Ups! Tournament Lucha?

1. Negro Casas/Canelo Casas vs. Valiente/Astral (CMLL 6/9/17)

ER: Leave it to Casas to make a 1st round tournament lucha match something approaching meaningful. It's 5 minutes but plenty enjoyable, with Valiente breaking out weird World of Sport matwork that he doesn't normally break out, and Astral getting a big chance to shine against normal sized people, while Casas has a long showdown with the former/current mini. This is the first time Casas and Astral have ever had reason to be in the same match, and fresh match-ups/new allegiances are the one saving grace of tournament lucha. Casas hypes it up all match and make it feel like a huge deal that he's going toe to toe with this kid who's half his age. He stooges around for him, keeps pace, and gives Astral moments to shine. Astral makes the most of it, hits a wild double jump tornillo, Casas set him up to look like a big deal and he did. Canelo isn't great but he spends his segments dedicated to being a rudo instead of shoehorning highspots, and I appreciate that. Tournament lucha should be a little more like this.

2. Negro Casas/Canelo Casas vs. Caristico/Soberano Jr. (CMLL 6/9/17)

ER: Another fresh Casas match, as Soberano has been lingering in the undercard for a few years, prior to his 2017 push up the cards. At his best he's shown to be a bump freak with some cool movement, at his worst he's a bad Volador clone. But he's never squared off with Casas (they were in a decent Cibernetico in 2014), and that's obviously the money combo here. Casas is great throughout, and I loved his stiff body/timberrrr selling of Caristico's superkick, loved his stiff forearms and lariat on Soberano (and Soberano lands some nice kicks to the chest later). Casas brought interesting character to strike exchanges, we build to a fun moment of Casas snapping off a nice 57 yr. old rana, but Soberano cartwheels out of it and hits his nice long-legged version. The home stretch was really wonderful: Soberano finding multiple ways out of La Casita, with Casas getting more and more desperate as he became more obsessed with beating him. Casas starts with a simple drop toehold to lead to La Casita, but Soberano yanks his arm out, so Casas dropkicks his knee to get him back into position but Soberano shoves him away, back off the ropes and Casas dropkicks him to the knee again, but Soberano rolls through to his own pin! Generous performance from Casas here, truly the theme of the day.

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