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Santo vs. Casas (1992)

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ohtani's jacket

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El Hijo del Santo vs. Negro Casas, UWA 1/12/92

 

This is the famous "no sound" match that was wrestled almost completely on the mat. (Well, famous to me.)

 

The more UWA Santo I see, the more I feel like I'm watching a completely different wrestler. This was the absolute peak of Santo's work and the closest he came to wrestling like his father. It's becoming harder to watch latter day Santo knowing he was once like this. The creativity and inventiveness in this match is staggering, such as the camel clutch spot with the fighting, twisting & turning. Working one hold into another, faking a match yet having reall skill. Actual skill. Knowledge of holds and how to apply them. Here Santo was a worker who could literally do anything.

 

I think it would surprise people to see Santo slip in the kind of shots you'd expect from Euro workers pre-97, but I guess he'd been traveling to Japan and was a bit awed by some of the work he saw over there. This was a little Japan-ccentric for my tastes, as even the submission variations showed some outside influence, but in terms of matwork and guys really working in the holds, this was a great little match. The only problem was that it was over too soon. For that reason I don't think it was as good as the Espanto Jr. match. Nor did I think it had that special lucha vibe (i.e. a match you could only see in Mexico), but if you like Stephen Regal or Ishikawa and BattlARTs, for example, this was a similar sort of hybrid concept. Think of it as the best match possible in the Hamada UWF style.

 

I still think Santo and Casas never had the blow away match they were capable of, but lucha tends to not have blow away matches, just incredibly satisfying ones to appease the endless appetite of its fans.

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