Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Charles (Loss)

[1996-12-06-CMLL] El Dandy vs El Hijo del Santo vs Negro Casas (Mask/Hair Match)

Recommended Posts

The beginning of this felt a little heavy on exposition and a little light on wrestling. But once it got down to Dandy vs. Santo, they delivered the kind of gritty violence you want from hair vs. mask. It was amazing to hear how little sympathy the fans had for Dandy, even after Santo's rudo turn. Dandy did a lot of great selling in the match, and I dug his attempts to fight out of Santo's submission. Santo was just vicious throughout. I liked a few of the CMLL trios from early in the year, but this still probably held up as my favorite lucha match of '96.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Santo loses the first fall and has to defend his mask. Dandy loses the second fall and has to defend his hair. Dandy's knee is injured, which he sells masterfully, and then we get to Santo vs Dandy, which is the meat and potatoes of this match.

 

Santo wastes no time in setting out to destroy Dandy's knee. Dandy fights back, but not enough, as Santo finishes him off relatively quickly with a surfboard. Dandy has an AWESOME fired up comeback in the second fall that is built up so well, because he keeps teasing it and then Santo cuts him off and brutalizes him again. Dandy is a bloody mess.

 

As Childs said, it's surprising that they did everything right and the crowd is still very pro-Santo. The only thing I can surmise from a booking point of view is that he got too much comeuppance already in the 11/29 trios match, then starts this match as the underdog being double teamed by the other two.

 

The final fall is tremendous. Dandy appears to have this in the bag, until Santo gives him a back body drop over the top rope. Dandy takes an insane bump and Santo immediately follows him to the floor with a beautiful tope. It's anyone's match, as Dandy gets in a figure four, a spot that is worked as well as in the best Flair match. Santo gets out and locks in a camel clutch to finally secure the win. And the building explodes.

 

I'm torn on this. Dandy/Santo taken alone is probably the lucha MOTY, but with the early Casas involvement and the crowd not responding as designed, it does lose something. It's still a classic match and one of the best of the year, but I think I'd still have Dandy/Black Warrior slightly ahead, but just slightly. I may change my mind by the time I do the final ranking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be interesting to ask Sims or Jose or Cubs Fan if they've ever heard or read anything on why the crowd reacts as it does. It was a big reason I couldn't really get into it back then: the narrative went one direct, the crowd went the other, and unlike Hogan-Rock they weren't quite able to rebalance things. Very much one I'm looking forward to on this set, especially with the other Negro / Santo / Dandy items leading into it.

 

At the time, the thought was that when push came to shove, the fans just didn't want to see the Santo Mask get lost. Don't recall if that was the WON version, or if it was gringos like myself pulling stuff out of their asses to try to make sense out of it.

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was interesting, in the post-match interview, Dr. Alfonso Morales asks El Dandy why did the crowd reaction change from the previous week. Dandy tries to argue that the crowd was split, that half the crowd were rooting for him and the other half were "villamelones" (crude way of saying casual fans that don't understand the sport). Obviously, the crowd was much, much more pro-Santo than Dandy makes out in the interview. Basically, in some way, Dandy was trying to say that the people cheering Santo had no idea of the storyline and were just there to see Santo in a big stip match, and he was claiming that the "real wrestling fans" (or the ones that were following the storyline) were the ones cheering him, and he does get a portion of the crowd to cheer him in the post-match interview.

 

Obviously Dandy was in character when saying all this, but I think there is some truth to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spoke to Jose about this years ago and he couldn't shed much light on it, either. Santo was only really a rudo in Arena Mexico and a technico everywhere else, and he never really embraced "rudoism." It was more a case that he was on the opposite side because of his hatred for Casas but even that wasn't expressed very well in the ring. As the feud continues, Casas and Felino behave like rudos half the time and Santo hardly ever gets along with Bestia or Scorpio whose out and out "rudoism" bothers him. He never really turned all the way despite how long he stayed on the rudo side, which is interesting considering how drawn out his technico turn was. As far as this match goes, they probably ran it too soon after the trios matches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always took the crowd reaction on 12/6 to be related with the year end show. You had more casuals show up for the annual year end show who didn't want to boo Santo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much got the same out of this as others. Great once it got down to Santo/Dandy but kind of forgetable until then.

Lucha's weird in that a noticable part of it always feels like a formality. Something the wrestlers do simply because that's how the rules of the match are set up so they just get it over with as quickly as possible rather then putting any thought or care into things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Santo rudo story continues. He had this awesome new entrance. It started off as triple threat nominally, or a handicap match in reality. Santo quickly fell. Negro then beat Dandy in a quick one faller. He left both opponents laying and having the rest of the night off was a major prize. This was all hot action and strong storytelling. Given what was to follow I might have preferred the two El's straight up. Or maybe it was better this way?

 

Hijo began with an advantage which increased further once Dandy did an absolute monster blade job. Not only was he a gushing mess, Santo's white outfit was stained red, the ring was covered in it and probably the floor too. Not a drop was wasted though. Santo fought as a rudo by stripping down his moveset. Any high flying was rare so had added meaning. The fight escalated into an absolute war, totally gripping and involving. The image of the beaten and bloodied El Dandy fighting for his life was so powerful. Even a little detail at the end was perfect with Santo applying the Camel Clutch over the bleeding wound rather than under the chin.

 

It was an outstanding performance by Santo to play against type. Yet for me this had to be the pinnacle of Dandy's career. He had many high points but surely nothing can top what he did here? Before reading the comments here I had no idea how strongly the fans had gone one way. My general impression was that they were supporting both men and that rudo/tecnico had ceased to matter towards the end. I've noticed in general that I place a lot less stock in crowd reaction than most posters. When I'm totally zoned into the story they're telling me it's only background noise. Dandy completely drew me into a bubble as he gave a magical performance in a seemingly impossible role.

 

Given that it's my three favourite Luchadors of all time fighting one another it had to be a classic. If this had happened recently it would be the match of the decade so far. On 12/6/96? It's not even the match of the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly wasn't too puzzled by the crowd reactions--the point about the presence of casual fans is well-taken, but I took it as the traditional fans simply not wanting to see Santo lose the legendary mask, regardless of his behavior.

 

Anyway, yeah, this is a tough one to rate because you can't just disregard the stuff with Casas, and both of those falls were rather perfunctory and even disappointing. But the entire presentation is incredible, from the video promos before the match to the promos *during* the match to the insane crowd. It's one of the best jobs either Mexican company has done at projecting a "big match" feel since the big bullring AAA shows. As a straight-up one-on-one, Dandy vs. Santo is as outstanding as you'd expect. I don't know if both guys bladed or Dandy's blood just got everywhere, but both guys are at about a 0.7 Muta by the end of things, and Santo's mask is a deep crimson. I don't think I'd quite call it Dandy's high point, as those Satanico and Azteca matches in 1990 were awfully good. But it's a fantastic renaissance performance from him after sort of fading to the background in recent years, while Santo crowd reactions aside proves himself to be a masterful worker worthy of his name and rep, as he continues to slip seamlessly into the rudo (or quasi-rudo) role. A great match, but not one I'm comfortable calling a MOTY--see above regarding the first two falls and I'm not sure the best action was quite as good as the previous two 6-mans. But this has been a hell of a day of wrestling nevertheless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are basically two minimatches within the one. The first bit is a three way elimination, with the winner getting to escape without putting anything on the line. The two wrestlers who get eliminated have to meet in the second bit, which is a standard 2/3 falls with hair and/or mask at stake. So Santo briefly leaves the match because his ticket to the final portion has already been punched, and Casas leaves for good because he's won the first portion and doesn't have to risk losing his hair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool thanks for that. I watched it really late at night and couldn't exactly figure out how they got from the three-way to the singles match and how many falls there were.

 

It was also awesome, by the way. I might need to give Dandy another look now that I'm a lot more comfortable with lucha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At first this was kinda confusing, but then I totally got IT, and the match got super awesome as the result. Negro Casas was really great the time he was involved, and once he got out of the match, El Dandy & El Hijo del Santo delivered one helluva brutal, bloody war. A lucha classic without a doubt. ****3/4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-50-1/2/

 

#25

 

Absolutely blown away. This is my my new favorite discovery from this countdown so far. Casas was fantastic as the heel in the first portion, then when it gets down to Dandy and Santo, it's incredible. El Dandy was fantastic selling the leg for Casas, then Santo, and the pain looked excruciating when Santo had his submissions locked in. ***** I loved this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A match I have been conflicted with over the years. It landed more for me this time mainly due to Dandy's performance. The blood just dripping from his greasy hair along with santo's attack is some gritty stuff that shows the stakes overall. The crowd reaction is one of those weird occasions where they sort of go into business for themselves and reading this thread about what Dandy says post match gains some interesting insight. Overall, this has to be the best day of wrestling in history as far as top matches and at the least, Dandy vs Santo is one of the more interesting segments in lucha for the entire decade of the 1990's. ****3/4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pretty much discount the beginning portions of the match and view this as just El Dandy vs. El Hijo del Santo. And for that, it's one of the classic lucha brawls. Great looking strikes and they really bring the blood here. Lots of hate and intensity, and toward the end the match really has that gritty, war of attrition feeling that just a handful of the very best lucha brawls reach. Wild crowd, Santo's over the top tope was incredible, and the final spot with the struggle over the Camel Clutch before Santo locks his hands over Dandy's bloody face and wrenches back is one of the best endings ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×