Negro Casas vs. Maximo, CMLL 1/11/15
This was the first pimped lucha of the year. Naturally, I was a bit dubious given I don't exactly love modern day Casas, but it was actually pretty good. For the life of me, I'll never understand what people see in this present phase of Casas' career with the parrot and the dancing and all of the carry on. Not when I've seen how great he was in his prime. But for the first time in a while, I was actually excited to see him wrestle someone who's not a fellow maestro.
Having said that, Jesus did he look old. Perhaps it's more noticeable after delving into his vintage stuff, but the Rush feud seems to have aged him about ten years. It was particularly noticeable at the end when they were issuing cabellera challenges and there were close-ups of his face. Of course he'd just finished a match, and I should look so good now let alone when I'm 55, but he looks like he's shrinking every time I see him. I guess the short hair plays a part, but he's looking leaner and leaner all the time. I hated him mocking Maximo's limp, because if I were Maximo, I'd just mock how fucking old Casas looks, and you know that strikes right where it hurts.
The early attack on Maximo's leg was good, but nowhere close to outstanding. I wouldn't pin that on Casas as everything he did was logical; Maximo simply isn't able to garner a smidgen of the sympathy his father elicited. To be fair, he's not morbidly obese, but he's also not as charismatic and nowhere near as beloved. Casas could have perhaps been more vicious, but the real problem was that you knew the payoff wasn't going to be very good and so it was with a weak segunda caida comeback. Scoring a flash pin off two clotheslines is weak sauce. Fortunately, Maximo sold the leg well and the focus was soon on the doctor patching him up, but I think a submission would have worked better.
Where the match came to life, as it so often does with modern matches, was in the third caida. Casas flying in with the dropkick was easily the best thing to happen to that point, and I love how the doctor kept taping up Maximo's leg regardless of what Casas tried. The spray to the eyes and the tape around the throat were spots from a bygone age, and I appreciate that. There's been a bit of talk in some places about Maximo dropping his selling, but to be honest I couldn't give a shit given how balls out his tope is. That is one hell of a tope and looks like a surefire concussion*. It wasn't as though he was better off for trying it either, as Casas caught him in that awesome looking choke submission. It's too bad he scratched his nose selling the after effects, but hey, even the greats like to fix this tights or pick their trunks out of their crack. Given he was crawling about on all fours, hobbling during the strike exchange, and even pulling at his bandage, it seems Maximo only dropped his selling for his dives and then again for the finish. Not a criminal offence. If fact, if the leg was so important then why wasn't Casas targeting it more apart from one dropkick to the bad leg while trying to take out the good one? The finish was worse as you were meant to believe an arm drag from the top was all it took to put Casas away. Mano a mano finishes are often weaker than apuesta falls, but unless he was winded, the alternative is that he was reeling from Maximo's kiss. Which, given the exoticos Casas has faced before, is not bloody likely. Casas sold it as though he was winded, Maximo hobbled about like people want him to, and the parrot was depressed. If I were a Casas fan, I'd spin the whole thing as his back playing up due to old age.
All told, it was a solid three star mano a mano that got me excited for the hair match. That's bound to disappoint if it's at Arena Mexico, but I will say it was great to see the babies and young couples in the crowd. A nice throwback to the AAA cutaways I loved so much during my early days a fan.
* His plancha is awesome too. Dude has fab looking dives.