Segunda Caida

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Monday, December 07, 2015

MLJ: Charly Manson vs Negro Casas [hair vs hair]

2010-10-15 @ Arena México (Entre el Cielo y el Infierno)
Charly Manson vs Negro Casas [hair vs hair]

Thought I'd try to find a Charly Manson match worth watching since he just was released from jail and worked last night's Elite show. I hadn't gone deep enough into Los Invasores to find him in 2010. Now I am. Plus it's a Casas apuestas match I didn't even know existed and it links into what I had been watching in 2010.

According to Cubs, this was part of a grand CMLL plan. An Invasor goes over in an apuestas match. A CMLL guy (Rey Buccanero) goes over a few months later, and then they face off. Unfortunately for Rey, really, part of a long string of unfortunates in his career, Manson left shortly after this. I can't imagine that made Casas too happy considering.

This was interesting though, and in part it was interesting because CMLL was introducing the insidious notion of the rudo referee, Tirantes in this case. It was very blatant, very straightforward, and while I loathe the concept in general because it dilutes the heat and is heavily overused, here it felt novel (to CMLL at least), and Negro Casas' reactions made it work when in general, it shouldn't have. That's not to say it was sustainable, but here the goal was to build heat for something later, and in that and through a quality performance or two it suited.

Manson's gimmick, in 2010, as a Marilyn Manson clone, was a little surreal. His hair was thinning at this point. He did have two-three pockets in the crowd either dressed in his facepaint or carrying his a banner for him. I think it was less support than they made it seem by cutting to these people all the time. The gimmick felt like he'd had it so long that it was self-referential now, kind of like how Hijo del Fantasma isn't exactly linkable to a newspaper comic strip in any discernible way.

This began with Los Invasores coming out with Manson and a bevy of CMLL tecnicos (including Sombra) coming out with Casas. There were people dancing and Zacarias being kind of awesome. It was a fun scene.

And here are the Manson fans, who we'd see again and again:

While there was a competitive your team vs my team feel to the first two falls and I think a novelty to the pairing, a freshness to it, it was really lacking the sort of heat and hatred you'd expect from a match like this. There was a bit too much wrestling in the primera and while there was a sense of fight, it felt almost more like a title match at first than an apuestas match. Really, the primera was just there to build to a big moment, Manson faceplanting Casas with running kicks to the corner and then Casas catching the foot only for Tirantes to distract him. That allowed for Manson to take over, hit the pick up/drop down (clumsily), and lock in a nice submission for the fall. It wasn't a huge twist or anything but it was a definitive moment of Tirantes asserting himself that'd set the stage for the rest of the match. The segunda was still heated but hardly in a bloodfeud sort of way. Casas launched Manson with a couple of armdrags and then hit La Casita for the three. Tirantes counted slow but still made the count.

So the primera and the segunda were just sort of there. Manson held his own and was a very different sort of opponent for Casas but it didn't stand out. The tercera, though, with Tirantes being a focal point, did. That was because there was a real sense of desperation out of Casas. After one more kick to the face, Manson put his foot on Casas for a pin and Tirantes counted as fast as he could. The look of exasperation on Negro Casas' face afterwards was gold. He tried to do the same in return and the count was as slow as you could imagine. From there on in, it was all he could do not to get pinned again and to try to get a submission out of Manson since he knew it'd be almost impossible to pin him.

And this was a lot of fun. Casas kicked out some submissions I'd never seen him do, from simple ones like la Cavernaria to some complex rolling ones Tirantes helped Manson whenever he could and the crowd and the announcers veered more and more into a state of disbelief. There was a great camera angle on a Manson tope and a fun moment where Casas went for the spin kick one too many times and had his leg jammed on the rope for it. Ultimately, Manson was too cocky and lost his control of the match to an out of nowhere Saito suplex, but Tirantes jammed two or three Casita attempts allowing Manson to lock in his own with another fast count and steal the win.

Given how outlandish this was relative to CMLL at the time and Casas' sheer charisma, I'm kind of amazed there wasn't some sort of riot here. I think that while the first half of the match wasn't much and the last half, while being quite a bit relied so much on smoke and mirrors, it was still hugely effective in doing what it was supposed to do and the eventual Rey Bucanero vs Charly Manson match could have been a surprisingly big deal, even if it was 2011 Rey we were talking about. Ah well, it's CMLL, what do you expect? Still, this is a good match to watch if people want to get a sense of what Manson can do in a CMLL context.

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