Segunda Caida

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

Friday, October 04, 2019

New Footage Friday: Porky vs. MA2K for HAIR, Negro Casas, Great Sasuke, Gypsy Joe, Takashi Ishikawa

Dream Machine/Gypsy Joe vs. Takashi Ishikawa/Akio Sato AJPW 1/20/83

MD: This was good stuff. I really like the team of Dream Machine and Gypsy Joe. Joe's so matter-of-fact, just a meat and potatoes, pound and stooge stalwart of the wrestling world. Dream Machine in Japan is a constant treat. He puts a little extra into everything. That may be an extra reversal on an armdrag or the oomph on a knee drop when he could have just gotten away with a stomp or that nasty (really just unnecessary for the match but over the top vicious) chairshot on the outside. This was mainly back and forth but I liked how Joe/DM controlled matters when on offense and the escalation felt surprisingly flashy, including the Sato/Ishikawa veg-o-matic (1983, folks), and the near deadlift German that ended it.

PAS: I am a big Ishikawa guy, and it is really fun to watch him and Gypsy Joe mix it up. Those are a pair of guys who throw hard down the middle shots, and Joe especially always feels like he is taking liberties. Loved the idea of Jimmy Hart's First Family invading japan, and that Ishikawa and Sato were willing to go along with the ride and give as good as they get. Finish with Onita attacking Joe makes me sad we never had a Gypsy Joe run as a top heel in FMW.

Negro Casas vs. Great Sasuke CMLL 7/7/96

MD: This is not 100% new, but it's definitely 100% rare and absolutely 100% worth watching. It's just an amazing Negro Casas performance. The first fall has him working pretty evenly on the mat with Sasuke, though they're both emphasizing the pain and the struggle very well. As I was watching, my thought of them really letting things build and breathe was disrupted by an out of nowhere superplex, but it worked, because of the 2/3 fall structure and because it operated as a tonal shift. That let Sasuke get the first real advantage of the match and take the first fall.

While that first fall was technically competent, things start to sing in the second as Casas the beloved troublemaker rudo is fully unleashed. It starts with chinlocks and headscissors and Casas, at each and every point, claiming it's a choke and getting the ref to break it. Ultimately, Sasuke gets frustrated and starts stomping, but Casas then trips himself in the corner (repeatedly) whenever he's near Sasuke's second, until the ref gets wholly distracted and Casas is able to slip in a perfect foul.

The tercera has Casas pressing the offense, including some immediately blown off legwork (this is the big flaw of the match, but you sort of forgive it because of who Sasuke is and the fact that Casas could only get so far with it before eating an asai moonsault), and then, after more chicanery and fouls (wherein he claims to be fouled himself), he ultimately takes a far too nonchalant approach to things, pays for it, almost loses, and comes back at the last second with la casita for the win. Sasuke has some fire in this, but he generally comes off as an out-of-his-element tourist who's getting fleeced by a savvy local. There's no one else in the world who could have done what Casas did in this match in 1996. I can count on my hand the people in all of history that I think could marry this level of technical skills and emotiveness with presence and just a sheer mastery of every moment without having anything feel contrived and over the top. What's crazy is that he could still probably have 95% of this match today.

ER: What a little treat! Two legends I have never seen face each other, on Casas' home turf, with Casas turning in one of the most generous rudo performances possible. This is a dominant Sasuke performance, Casas gives him at least 90% of the match, and it totally works. This is black tights Casas, which is my favorite Casas look ever, playing not so much a sniveling rudo, but a rudo who is going to focus his energy on cheating even when his focused energy could potentially win decently. It's great. Sasuke dominates the entire primera with matwork, and it's cool seeing Japanese juniors matwork in a lucha ring, nicely stretched half crabs and hard armbar attempts, and Casas is someone really great at putting over that kind of matwork. He repeatedly gets outclassed by Sasuke, and this is last time I'll mention how unselfish he was here, just a luchador with the most confidence possible, letting a flashy junior come in and show off all his coolest stuff. The segunda is where Casas - while still letting Sasuke handle almost all the offense - focuses much of his attention on making Tiger Mask look like a cheating son of a bitch, and it's hilarious. He had four different moments where he would act like TM was swiping his leg from the floor. The first time I actually thought TM had just missed his mark and Casas was a pro and just be the guy committed to pretending he got hit by a pitch to take his base. When he went back and did it again I saw what he was doing, and LOVED it. Casas was using imaginary trips to distract the ref while Casas could then go punt some ninja in the balls and I was 100% here for it. Sasuke kicking out of a ball kick in Mexico feels like a pretty big deal, and kicking out of a second shot was beyond the pale. Who is this ninja with the invincible scrotum, whose second has the fastest hands in the west? The Sasuke highspots were expectedly impressive, with his big Asai moonsault into the narrow entryway, always connecting so cleanly chest to chest; he hit his tumbling moonsault in ring, and a Bruce Lee style kick off the top to the floor that sent himself into a seat and Casas sprawled down an aisle. Casas hit a gorgeously cocky senton off the top rope (taunting fans as he climbed the turnbuckles), and had a couple big bumps: one fast to the floor off a dropkick, the other late in the match flying off the top rope to the floor off another dropkick, with Casas landing directly on a photographer who humbly gets up and scampers off. But the star of this was Casas repeatedly making Tiger Mask defend his honor, the innocent man accused of guilt, sounding only more and more guilty the more he defends himself. Casas was writing a Hitchcock script around leg swipes and dick kicks.

PAS: All timer by Casas, what an incredible performer. We get to see all of the facets of Casas as a world class rudo, the technical back and forth mat work of the first fall, leads into an award winning performance as a trolling heel, loved how when he fouls Sasuke, he fakes a foul on himself just to muddy the waters and confuse the ref. Later Casas is a generous base for all of Sasuke's crazy highspots, and a violent bastard as he tears up Sasuke's knee. He delivered it all and it was great. Sasuke was a fine dance partner and loved when ever he was ripping apart Casas' knee. Really wish we could have seen Casas against other imports at this time, you get sense he could deliver a great match which virtually anyone.

Super Porky vs. Mascara Ano 2000 CMLL 8/7/98

MD: Super minimalist affair, and generally I'm ok with that because you know it'll be super primal as well, but here I wanted a little move of everything. That's not because I felt unsatisfied but because the bits and pieces we got were so good; unfortunately, they were just bits and pieces. Porky came out charging, just bullying MA2K around the ring and it's a sort of triumphant, dominant Porky that you rarely see, just meaty shots and no mercy. He just took the primera too quickly. He was so dominant that you had to wonder how MA2K could even get back in it, and it went the only way it could, with a missed move off the ropes. The heat here was very brief, the comeback definitive but also too sudden to really enjoy. That led to MA2K loading up the arm-brace and smashing Porky repeatedly until he couldn't fight back. All good ideas. All good execution. We just needed more of it.

PAS: Really hard hitting heavyweight apuestas match, which didn't have enough juice or time to get really great. Porky comes out like a freight train and bowls over Ano for the entire first fall, which is an interest look for a technico in an apuestas match. It reminded me of Dusty Rhodes or Bill Watts walking tall over bumping heels. I loved the dominant first fall, and was fine with the banana peel segunda, and liked the finish with the loaded brace, and Porky's spasmodic selling. I just wished we got some real back and forth before that finish, it feels like we were robbed a dramatic Tercera, and instead they just went right into the finish at the beginning of the fall. Still a fun discovery

ER: I LOVED THIS! Now, there is one absolutely cruel moment to start, and that is that this is a big apuestas match, and we did not get to see ring entrances. You need that pomp, you need to see Mascara coming out with Universo wearing their dusters and suits, and Porky appeared to have a cape with a head and chest piece, and we saw next to none of it! And that is the only mistake they made, because the match itself features another flat out brilliant Super Porky performance. Phil has called Porky arguably the most entertaining wrestler of all time, and you see performances like this and it's hard to argue. What's amusing is Porky has long been a favorite of mine, but this and the other Porky match we've reviewed for NFF have been among my absolute FAVORITE Porky matches. Which means I loved the guy without ever even seeing some of his greatest work, and now I am just over the moon. I have never seen Porky work the mat like he does here, and it's the best. It's so cool seeing him break out these skills, stretch that muscle memory, and even use his belly to his advantage! That Indian deathlock spot was class, the way he locked Mascara's leg and applied pressure while rolling through, and after when he held Mascara's legs in place with his stomach! All of Porky's exchanges looked fantastic, just momentum and charisma crashing into Mascara. His energy level was really a sight in the 90s, and then seeing him drop a nice vertical suplex and following with a Perfect Plex is just next level? Super Porky, dropping someone with a Perfect Plex? YESSSSS. He is just so damn fun here. I am a big Mascara fan as well, and he knows to lay back during this one, total foil for Porky's antics. He lets Porky handle the offense, because Porky has spectacular offense, capitalizes on things like Porky missing a huge senton off the top. And I loved all the shenanigans around the loaded arm wrap. I loved how obvious Universo and Mascara were being about it, the very concept of a discreetly hidden weapon trick thrown out the window. But I loved the Snidely Whiplash dastardly gall, and Mascara comes in a clocks Porky right in the throat, and then does it again. I dug Porky's spasm-y selling while Mascara struts around the ring, brazen in his rudo behavior. This was great.  

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Blogger Discotortoise said...

The German sites list Dream Machine as being Kazuo Sakurada under a mask and not Troy Graham which is... disappointing, even though Dragon Master whips ass. They're wrong all the time but it IS a different mask.

12:08 PM  
Blogger John Belt said...

Ishikawa is so awesome in the NJ-WAR feud.

11:21 PM  

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