Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D, Sebastian, and other friends write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Monday, January 19, 2015

MLJ: Maximo Monday? Negro Casas' Birthday Bash? Maximo vs Negro Casas

Aired 2015-01-11
taped 2015-01-11 @ Arena México
Máximo vs Negro Casas (and check out OJ's review of this too)

Things have been busy enough that I've only seen two lucha matches this week. One was Virus vs Dragon Lee and my thoughts sync up pretty well with Erik and Phil on that so there's no need for me to write it up. The other was this, and this was one of those matches that you hear about and you can't wait to see. Normally, it'd be a fun match up, but this was Casas' 54th birthday match (google says his birthday's on the 10th but this is close enough), and you just knew he was going to make it something special because of that.

He did. The crowd's weird for this. I think that there were a lot more comps for this for some reason (maybe because a bunch of the roster is away in Japan so there was less of a draw?) and I'm not sure what they made of the match at first. By the end, though, the crowd, while split between the rudo-loving regulars and the bewildered stumblers-in, were loud and engaged and very much into what they were watching. Thus is the power of Negro Casas.

It was a great match, and past a couple of bumps (one off the top to the floor, one off a tope, and then the finish) and a couple of lightning darts across the ring to cut Maximo off, I think everything awesome that Negro Casas did, he could probably still pull off at eighty. Virus was awesome in the Dragon Lee match for doing all sort of maestro type stuff, the holds and tangible competitiveness and that level of drama in the tercera. With Casas, it was pure, unbridled character.

There's something so genuine to Casas and it's something I think is in the lucha I love the most. I've been seeing it lately with 2010 Hector Garza. I like tricked out matwork and dives and clever transitions and all that, but what really draws me into lucha is that ebb and flow, the emotional build to the comeback and the payoff, and luchadores can do all the right moves with the right timing and have a totally logical build and that'll move me a little, but it's when they wear their heart on their sleeves and really portray what's happening as genuine, that's when things really sing.

Casas is so good at that and he was good at that here too. From the very get go he started to kick at Maximo's leg and he never really let up. The entire primera he just chipped away at it, a kick, a yank, a twist, another kick, and then, faux limping around the ring to mock him, ending it with a pretty brutal STF. There's something primal about Casas unleashed; he's a malicious trickster god. Some of that is physical as there's an almost desiccated look to him at age 54 (and it drives OJ nuts, I think, but I love it because he's so damn confident in his own skin. It's sort of transcendent). He's what I picture you'd find in the desert after days wandering lost, a specter appearing offering you a glass of water for the small price of your soul. In some ways he's a more subtle Satanico than Satanico, but with a hint more Brer Fox. There's such a glee to the chaos he causes.

Case in point: Maximo came back, mainly due to Casas mocking him, hit two clotheslines and a roll up. Between falls, the doctor worked on Maximo's leg. Casas put his arm around the doctor, stole the spray for the leg, stole the doctor's tape, used Zacarias on the ropes as a distraction for the ref, sprayed Maximo in the eyes, used the tape to choke him around the ring and then, when Maximo finally rolled back in, furious and unleashed, Casas ate a tope suicida with one of the best bumps off a dive I've seen in ages, just tossing his back at full speed into the guardrail (ad-rail? You know what I mean). Then, getting up first, he kicked Maximo in the leg to take back over. Beautiful stuff.

They zoomed to a finish with chop-offs, false finishes on both the kiss of death and a few escaped casitas before Casas finally dropkicked the leg a couple of times in order to hit it. That was a kick out though, and they went on to the real finish, which was perfectly hit and Casas, on his birthday, was gracious and confident enough in who he is to put the other guy over. The false finishes didn't quite have the zing I'm used to out of Casas, but I still thought it was all effective. Definitely the most fun match you'll watch today.

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