El Dandy/Pierroth Jr./Chamaco Valaguez vs. Negro Casas/Mogur/Black Magic, CMLL 7/30/93
This was a fun Arena Coliseo style match. You won't find too many guys at their best at Arena Coliseo as it was very much the secondary show to the main Arena Mexico cards, and the matches were more about heat than great work, but when the crowd get behind a match as they do here, it makes for a fun environment where the charismatic workers can really shine.
Smiley was in his element here really lapping up the heat and bumping around like a gazelle. As long time readers will know, I've never been a fan of foreigners in lucha (aside from the Puerto Rican guys), but this was a spirited performance from Smiley, who took to Mexico like a duck to water. From a Casas perspective, the match was slightly disappointing as it was one of those bouts where he's in no mood to lock-up, robbing us of quality Casas/Dandy exchanges; but it was full of the character work and audaciousness that made him so popular.
There were several story lines going on at once, the primary one being a feud between Mogur and Chamaco Valaguez that never really went anywhere. The mental image I have of Valaguez is from his luchawiki profile where he's the picture of youth, so it was odd seeing him look middle-aged when he was only in his mid-30s. I have a soft spot for post pushed-to-the-moon Mogur, so I enjoyed the Valaguez exchanges, but to highlight the vagaries of CMLL booking, Valaguez wound up losing his hair to Cachorro Mendoza instead of the grudge match they were building to here. As well as the ongoing Smiley vs. Pierroth feud, there was the faint hint of a Casas/Dandy hair match, which was a giant missed opportunity during the lost years. They also teased a Casas technico turn, but in true lucha fashion it took more than a year to materialise.
Initially, Casas preferred to let Smiley and Mogur lock-up with Dandy so he could deliver cheap shots at his rival. When Dandy finally retaliated, Casas took a spell on the outside wandering into the crowd and blowing kisses to his adoring public. He didn't want a piece of the Valaguez inspired comeback and played janken with Smiley to decide who would brace the onslaught. Smiley had scissors and Casas paper, but still Negro refused to enter the ring. Pushing and shoving ensued and Casas gave Smiley a chop before getting in the ring. A painful exchange with Pierroth followed and Casas decided to knock Smiley silly with a forearm smash. In most cultures that would be a full blown face turn, but in Mexico passions run deep. An argument broke out on the outside with Casas using Dandy as a shield to keep Smiley at bay. This led to an inexplicable moment where Casas and Dandy were needling each other and Casas hugged him to make peace. Dandy gave him this classic WTF look, and if you can lip read Spanish had a few choice words for Negro. Casas had a bee in his bonnet after that. Again he wouldn't lock up with Dandy (much to Smiley's disgust), and not only did he encourage the crowd to taunt Smiley with Mexico chants, he publicly reprimanded him for faking a foul, which is rich coming from Casas. I think the gist of all this was that Casas took objection to Smiley calling the shots as a foreigner and thought he and Dandy should band together as brothers, but it was wonderfully unclear as he continued to beat on Valaguez. The great thing about all this was that Dandy didn't give a fuck and drop kicked Casas off the turnbuckle all the same. Afterwards they had a post match scuffle where Casas scored a bunch of headlock takedowns before bailing on the fight. That seemed to turn Casas rudo again, or at least ended his little play acting, and the rudos were back tagging with each other in no time at all.
The incongruities of lucha libre can be difficult to understand at times, but sometimes you've got to bask in the inexplicablity of it all and enjoy the moment. It certainly wasn't dull and was an interesting back drop to the Mogur/Valaguez narrative.