Negro Casas vs. Rey Hechicero (Arena Coliseo Monterrey 4/24/16)
This was a decent match, but would have to have been a hell of a lot more dramatic to be in the running for Match of the Year contention.
The match peaked with the primera caida, which isn't a great place for a two-out-of-three falls match to peak. The idea of Casas working holds with Hechicero appealed to me. Casas isn't a great mat worker, but he knows how to hang in there, and I thought the flow of the matwork and Casas' selling made for an excellent first fall.
Unfortunately, they moved away from the submission-based stuff right after Hechicero's dead weight lift of Casas and from there on out worked a match that was neither here nor there. It wasn't the small, maestro style match that you'd expect from a indie date like this nor was it a traditional Monterrey style brawl. Hechicero tried a bit too hard to get the crowd into the match by imploring them to make more noise while Casas did stuff like posing for the camera while he had Hechicero in a hold. Something he would have never done in his prime, but which seems to amuse him these days. The end result was that the match wasn't quite gritty enough for its surroundings and a bit too exhibition-y. It was mano a mano, which usually has a smaller arc than matches where the stakes are higher, but it wasn't a blood feud mano a mano and there weren't enough dramatic near-falls or near-submissions in the third fall to make it better than your standard Lucha Memes or Chilanga Mask match. If they'd upped the ante from the opening fall it would have been a different story, but the intensity level wasn't there. Not something I'll remember as fondly as Terry/Aeroboy or Lupus/Trauma even if it's an unfair comparison.