El Hijo Del Santo vs. Negro Casas, NWA World Welterweight Championship, 12/1/95
This was the final of a 16-man tournament for the vacant World Welterweight title.
It wasn't a particularly long match (about 10-12 minutes), but felt longer due to how slow it was. I guess the most striking thing about the match was how different it was from the style Santo worked in AAA. Whether that was a conscious decision on the part of the workers or a Japanese influence, I'm not sure. There was a definite hybrid feel to it, but it would be wrong to say it was new since they were leaning that way in their January '92 match.
Anyway, I didn't like this at all. Maybe it's because I've been up to my eyeballs in mat wrestling lately, but I found it completely uninteresting. It wasn't that the holds were uninteresting, more the way they applied them. And I thought they completely effed up the hybrid elements. There was a lot of worked shoot stuff that they didn't know how to sell, and the ref had no idea what they were doing half the time. Mat wrestling has never been Casas' forte. He's more of an "all-action" worker, to quote the legendary Kent Walton, and I guess I've been overrating Santo's mat prowess on the basis of some pretty limited footage. That doesn't mean I think they're poor mat workers all of a sudden, I just think as an "all-matwork" match this was a colossal failure and somewhat ill-advised. The crowd was pro-Casas, and I don't think they wanted to see a third rate shoot hybrid.
Or perhaps I don't want to see that in my lucha?
The best thing about mat wrestling, when it's done well, is that both guys look like tough motherfuckers. Neither guy looked tough here. There wasn't enough struggle, nor was there any kind of maestro wrestling.