If you ask me, people watch too much maestro Casas and not enough of his vintage work, so here's a new feature on the Great Lucha blog that will hopefully encourage people to check out his glory years.
Ciclon Ramirez, Oro, Ultimo Dragon vs. Bestia Salvaje, Felino, Negro Casas, CMLL 3/12/93
This was part of the three-week build to the 3/26 UWA World Middleweight Championship bout between Casas and El Ultimo Dragon. Casas vs. Ultimo Dragon isn't the first match up that springs to mind when you think of guys who click, but this was some seriously great TV. Ultimo is a guy who I've always said wasn't very good in his early Mexico runs, but I need to take a good look at what I wrote and apologise to my parents because this was shit hot.
The match started off with a series of lucha exchanges between Ultimo Dragon and Casas, Bestia and Oro and Felino and Ciclon Ramirez. None of the match ups were show stealing, but deliberately so, as they were really giving folks a tease of how good these match ups could be. And as teases go, this was the desert before you've had the main. Just decadent. Halfway through the primera caida, they teased the dissension between Casas and Felino that would eventually lead to the great towel throwing angle, but here they attacked the technicos instead and I was reminded of how inventive rudo beat downs used to be. Casas went after Ultimo on the outside and split his legs like a wishbone. As the rudos came up with new ways to work over Oro, Dragon had his leg stretched out over the front row seats receiving attention. He was in no mood to head to the back and instead hobbled over to the technico corner. The second fall technico comeback ended up being Ultimo hooking Casas' leg, dragging him through the ropes and kicking the shit out of him until he would up with his leg stuck between the front row seats. It was a tremendous fiery comeback from the technicos, which of course the rudos claimed was too violent. The finish was the most fired up three way moonsault/hurricanrana/enzuigiri pinfall combination you'll ever see; and while Casas' enzuigiri bump probably wouldn't fly in Ultimo's homeland, his face plant was done with all the panache of Ric Flair in the Royal Rumble.
A schmoz seemed on the cards when Casas faked a foul in the final caida. It was touch and go for a second as the refs gave serious thought to disqualifying Ultimo, but sanity prevailed and we got to see Ciclon's tope and Oro's top rope plancha; the tope alone being worth the price of admission. Finally, it came down to Ultimo v. Negro, and they worked a classic sudden death exchange. The speed with which Casas moved and the height he got on each bump was breathtaking. The match could have swung either way, but Ultimo came up trumps on a dragon suplex and Arena Mexico lost its collective shit.
Like I said, Casas vs. Dragon -- not a natural match-up -- but this was sensational and Vintage Casas of the Day is off to a very good start.