Segunda Caida

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Friday, September 08, 2023


Negro Casas vs. Panterita del Ring CMLL 1/3/92

MD: This isn't long and it leads off with Panterita and a bunch of kids who had competed in an art contest in a ring. The winner (and they claim Panterita chose the winner) got a mask.

Of the match itself, we get about ten minutes. It's clipped, but hard to say how heavily as it was artfully done, as in we don't miss momentum shifts. They matched up well, Casas and a local hero. The underlying story that the rudo ref, Guerrero, and Casas had a whisper to start and then a nice hug at the start of the segunda and he let Casas get away with murder. That all built to an errant dropkick in the Tercera where Casas took him out and a bunch of phantom pins by Panterita until a ref finally snuck in and caught Casas sleeping. Along the way, everything was smooth and flowing as you'd expect. Casas had these nice short kicks to the ribs that were almost Kawada-esque and since it's him, that led to comeuppance where his foot got caught and he was swept out as he went back to that well. I do think we lost some of the verve and feeling of this one due to the clipping but not the overall sense. Some of the specialness was almost certainly left on the cutting room floor since Casas is about the big picture and not just individual spots (though him getting kicked up into the ropes and bumping feet over head, for instance, will always be spectacular).

Negro Casas/Emilio Charles Jr/Medico Asesino Jr. vs. Panterita del Ring/Volador/Angel Azteca CMLL 1991

MD: This though? I really enjoyed this. Total sprint but with enough super talented wrestlers to make it work and resonate, with the focal point being on Casas and Panterita. Look, when you're putting Casas up as the top top, as maybe the greatest wrestler ever, one of the criticisms is that he can disappear a bit in trios matches where he's not the focus. I think this notion is kind of crazy because, one, it's endemic of lucha, and two, I don't actually think it's true. It's a case where you have to go a little out of your way to watch him, but if you do, you see amazing reactions and subtle bits where he's still hugely engaging and entertaining without drawing attention off of the main focus.

When he's the main focus, however, it's pure joy, and that was the case here. You barely remember anyone else is in the match for the primera (and one of those guys in the match is Emilio Charles Jr!) as Casas and Panterita just go at it. There's a moment where they exchange big throws and then sell after the fact and it's like the world's best possible "fighting spirit" bit but in Monterrey and in 1991. They're just constant motion in and out of the ring, fists always flying, like a cartoon where you just see a ball of dust as two people are scrapping. In the segunda we get some other exchanges, and Emilio and Volador look great together with some beautiful stooging from Emilio. For the finish in the segunda and the tercera, he's just in absolutely the right place at the right time in a way that I'm not sure that many other people in wrestling history could have done as well. But really, this was the Casas and Panterita show and what a show it was.

Negro Casas/Comando Ruso/Corsario vs. Panterita del Ring/Gran Hamada/Super Astro (Monterrey 1991)

MD: I was going to lead off by saying this was more of the same but that really underplays just how awesome this one was. On paper, it was more of the same, but it never really settles down to exchanges. There are a couple times both in the primera and the segunda where it looks like it's going to settle down and we'll get Comando Ruso vs Super Astro or something, but it goes quickly from the threat of violence bubbling up to things getting absolutely out of hand. They replay some of the spots from the last match early on but with slight differences. Really, though it's more just constant swiping and striking from Casas and Panterita. There's a little more of Casas withdrawing and then rushing back in, but overall, it's just consistent chaos.

Every time they headed outside, things really opened up in the best way. Panterita would just grind Casas' head into a chair and then Casas would return the favor by lawn darting Panterita into the fourth rope and then following that up by a slam onto the chairs that almost looked like he was about to drop him with a martinete and end his career. The end of the primera actually had the tecnicos get an advantage because Panterita (having caught Casas with a great sweeping kick as he was getting dragged out of the ring after a trip) hit the seated senton off the apron Casas would later be known for on Casas.

Anyway, by the time things did settle down in the ring after the segunda beatdown and said slam onto the chairs, when they did make it back into the ring, Panterita's mask was torn open and given the VQ I had no idea if Casas was gushing or just drenched in sweat. Much of the end of this was Panterita trying to take Casas' head off with a submission before everything just devolved into fouls and some crazy brawling towards the back. A wild scene over all and a definite escalation from the previous trios. The other tecnicos had tried to assert themselves at one point (including Super Astro's little hop and Hamada dropkicking someone between the eyes) but there wasn't much they could do to stand out through the whirlwind of Casas and Panterita's chaos.

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