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[1992-07-03-CMLL] El Dandy vs Negro Casas

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1992 is a year that is stacked with great lucha matches but this is my absolute favorite. It's an epic title match. The first fall is filled with incredible mat wrestling and is given tons of time. I love how they tease that it could break down when they trade chops on the floor only to slide back in and bring it back to the mat. It all builds to a final fall with the best nearfalls I've ever seen in a lucha match. I haven't seen it in a while but I think I might dig it up and watch it again sometime this week.

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My pick for Match of the Year at this point. Just a phenomenal match between two pros, wrestled in a great tradition, with both men at their zenith. I think what elevates this match from the pack so much is its universal appeal. While it's absolutely true to lucha libre, it's not as hard to grasp for those who are born and bred on American or Japanese wrestling as some lucha can be at times. The crowd pops when you expect them to pop. The pacing is similar to what you've seen in classic world title matches. The referee's pin counts are slow indeed, but not so slow that they require a parameters shift like you often have to do if you don't watch a lot of this stuff.

 

There are so many basic holds displayed, holds that anyone with semi-competent training could execute, that I'm left wondering why no one has bothered to steal and popularize them. Casas's forced do-the-splits hold on Dandy looked legitimately painful, wasn't difficult to execute, was sold believably and looked great. Dandy's spinning toe hold/bridge combo that won him the second fall has probably been used more commonly in lucha libre than the Casas hold, but it's not like it's a staple move, and it would work in any setting. Again, it is very simple to execute, and in some ways is very clever in its simplicity.

 

And that's what makes this match great. It's filled with mat wrestling that should be a staple of all pro wrestling because it's so logical and easy, yet for whatever reason it's not. To me, this is the wrestling match that you watch and wonder why no one else thought of this stuff. It's possible they did; we only have the footage we have. 70s lucha libre where title matches were a bigger focus may be filled with matches that are even better than this. My instincts tell me that's the case. Never say never, but it's likely we'll never truly know the answer to that. However, at least two of the best wrestlers in history continued the tradition as best they could and gave us a match that was every bit as good as anything else happening anywhere in the world at this point.

 

Plenty of great pro wrestling requires you to accept or ignore some things about the style, the promotion or the culture of which it's a product. The beauty of this is that there isn't that shift. I don't want to say this would look right in place on a UWFI or RINGS card. It wouldn't. I do think the matwork is every bit as sophisticated, believe it or not, but it's not the same style. It would look perfectly in place popping up on an episode of All Japan Classics, or as an NWA world title defense. It would easily engage a crowd at a U.S. indy show.

 

A match that this draws comparisons to in my head is one that I haven't actually seen, but from descriptions, sounds like it's the most similar -- Santo/Casas from 9/97. As I said, I haven't seen it. But I've heard the match described as a shooty match with lots of matwork. As tempted as I am to watch that match now, I'd rather wait until the 1997 Yearbook to make a fair comparison. This isn't a "shooty" match at all, it's just an epic, traditional pro wrestling match.

 

It's unfortunate that the only known copy of this match is grainy as hell, exists from one source and was never really talked up until a few years ago. That in itself serves as a reminder that there is boatloads of great lucha that aired on television that we simply have never seen. Watching this match makes me long for the day that the lucha superfan who recorded and indexed everything from the time he got his first VCR shows up one day and makes his collection available.

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.....so anyone know what title they were fighting for?

 

I wouldn't call this the MOTY up to this point but everything else Loss said I pretty much agree with, not much I can add but this def lived up to the hype.

 

Weird things amuse me sometimes, I got a big kick out of the fact that I immediatly knee Dandy must be the technico because he had Atlantis cornering him :)

 

There are so many basic holds displayed, holds that anyone with semi-competent training could execute, that I'm left wondering why no one has bothered to steal and popularize them. Casas's forced do-the-splits hold on Dandy looked legitimately painful, wasn't difficult to execute, was sold believably and looked great. Dandy's spinning toe hold/bridge combo that won him the second fall has probably been used more commonly in lucha libre than the Casas hold, but it's not like it's a staple move, and it would work in any setting. Again, it is very simple to execute, and in some ways is very clever in its simplicity.

Didn't think there were that many unique/rarely seen holds in the match but yeah, I get what you're saying. Dandy's leg bridge pin i'd actually never seen before, really cool. The split hold i've seen a bunch, lotta guys in old British wrestling did a variation using the legs to force the split instead of the arms, a few years back guys like Quack & Cabana who're big fans of WoS stole it and were using it a lot. Never caught on big outside of that click though.

 

A match that this draws comparisons to in my head is one that I haven't actually seen, but from descriptions, sounds like it's the most similar -- Santo/Casas from 9/97.

I've seen Santo vs Casas but it was so long ago that I don't remember anything about it, will have to re-watch that one sometime soon.

 

The match that came to mind for me as I was watching this was actually Jaguar Yokota vs Pantera Surena from 5/12/1985 which is one of my fav matches ever that sadly not many people know/talk about. It's an AJW match for the 3WA title but it takes place in Mexico and is wrestled 2/3 falls. Goes 35 mins and is wrestled in a simiar "big title match style" so anyone that enjoyed Casas/Dandy would love this too I think. [shill] it's avaialable for download on my match site, points at sig [/shill]

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This reminds me of the great Brazo De Oro/Satanico match from 90 without the blood. Casas and Dandy are just amazing here. The definition of a Lucha title match. Agree with everything Loss said.

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This is a classic. Easily in my top 5 Lucha matches of all time. I love how the mat wrestling is the base of the match. Through that we get an incredible 3rd caida that the crowd is going bonkers on all the false finishes. I think Meltzer gave this 4*. He really underrated this classic.

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We had a chance to watch a couple of matches before the PWG show on Saturday. This was one. It went over rather huge with Yohe and Hoback and me. I was a little worried that Yohe was going off on HOF tangents during it, but it appeared in the end that he was paying enough attention that various words like "great", "awesome" and the like came out when it was over. :)

 

John

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Watched this on the latest Schneider Comp this morning. Still amazing. Wrote about it on the old blog.

 

 

Pretty much a master-class. Two of the absolute elite tier level guys in wrestling history wrestling maybe my favourite kind of pro-wrestling match (lucha title match)...I've seen it about 6 times over the last few years, and I always find something else to love about it every time. The first caida is about as good a fall as you'll ever see in lucha. It goes about 15 minutes, and roughly 12 are entirely filled with matwork. There's a moment where they both roll out to the floor and trade a couple slaps, but they quickly roll back in and take it right back down to the mat -- this is about who's the better wrestler, first and foremost. I don't even think they hit the ropes once in the first 10 minutes. The wishbone spot is the kind of thing people who don't really like or struggle to 'get into' lucha will maybe be turned off by, but other than that I don't think anybody could watch this and think the matwork is "cooperative" or that the holds are came by too easily (which is the criticism of lucha matwork one tends to read the most). Things like Casas reversing a Fujiwara armbar by turning it into a seated abdominal stretch look pretty spectacular to begin with, but it's the struggle that puts it all over the top. Dandy tries to hook Casas in a tapatia, but Casas is having none of it and won't give up his arms. Dandy tries to take another route and go for a camel clutch, but again Casas gives him nothing. When Dandy eventually hooks it in proper, it feels like a victory all of its own. They're having to fight for everything, and Casas is especially great at making it seem that way. Dandy doesn't put a foot wrong, but Casas looks like the best wrestler in the entire world here. He comes out in the second fall and goes straight for the jugular. My favourite moment of the match might be the low blow he sneaks in when the ref' isn't looking. The entire match is more or less wrestled clean, but Casas is who he is...it's in his nature. The fact it came out of nowhere after he'd been behaving himself up to that point made it seem even more like a dick move. And the slow-mo replay...that shit was NASTY. When Dandy makes his comeback and drops Casas with that extra bit of force, it really feels like a big "Alright, fuck THIS shit" moment. Third caida really brings it home like you'd want. If you want to nitpick there's a couple transitions that might be a bit dodgy, but other than that it's right on the money. Dandy coming out the gate the same way Casas did in the second fall (right down the to the running dropkick) was a great payback spot of sorts, but Casas' sell of the fatigue was out of this world. There's points where it looks like he'd rather lay down and die than keep fighting, but his pride wouldn't let him. The way he struggles to get out of the majistral...that motherfucker is a fighter right 'til the end. Just an incredible match. If I tried to come up with an all-time top ten, this would probably be there.

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I am with you all that this is pretty awesome. Definitely near top for one of my favorite matches of the year so far. They sucked me in with the mat work which looked so smooth between the two. Really dug Dandy's submission where he was forcing Casas to do a split. By the third fall I'm completely into it and the close pinfall attempts where great. I don't get all of lucha but agree with Loss that this type of match can appeal to all wrestling fans. The video quality may not be the best but don't really notice it after a couple minutes in.

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So checked out the DVDVR rankings for the 90's and didn't see this represented at all. Was it just not widely available or has it just grown over time since those rankings where done? I have gone through some of the older threads on this website mentioning 90's rankings and seeing Lucha probably needs some updating. I just figure this one would have been ranked higher in the end.

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This was a pretty rare match. Obviously, the VQ isn't too hot, and it didn't really get into circulation much until about six years ago when a bunch of existing lucha was transferred to DVD. That's when the praise started.

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This was a pretty rare match. Obviously, the VQ isn't too hot, and it didn't really get into circulation much until about six years ago when a bunch of existing lucha was transferred to DVD. That's when the praise started.

Thanks. Makes sense as I think on a recount it would favor much higher on rankings. I generally hate crappy footage but this match was able to go beyond that.

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Actually, the source of pimping for this was none other than David Scherer.

 

A few years after the DVDVR poll Dean reviewed some 1989 CMLL and Rippa wrote about some 1990 CMLL. From there guys like Tim Cooke and Kevin Cook did some awesome pimping of early 90s CMLL. Tim used to write these awesome reviews of his Lynch purchases on the DVDVR board that were some of the best "what are you watching" style posts I've ever come across. Prior to that lucha was mostly viewed as the AAA hot period and the Santo turn and Casas feud. This was mostly due to tape trading trends, AAA being hot during the early stages of the Internet and perhaps more of an interest in the sheets and access to Galavision in the late 90s. I don't know how long Lynch and Alfredo had early 90s TV available for but it's more than a decade since I first bought it from them.

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Scherer rated it **** as a (fairly recent) correspondent of Sims' Lucha Libre Weekly, which is the same rating it got in the WON which leads me to believe Meltzer got it from Scherer as well (since Scherer did send in ratings for stuff up through the early days of ECW). It really wasn't pimped at the time: it was 1992 and there were several dozen matches rated at **** or above. Not pimped at the level of the highest rated Dandy-Charles match in those early years of lucha coverage and fandom. It also was before the push of AAA started: AAA had just opened up.

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Great matwork in the first fall that looks old school yet feels entirely refreshing, and almost all takes place in the middle of the ring without any use of the ropes. After Dandy works for a camel clutch they roll to the floor to exchange a few slaps and then its right back to the ring and the mat. Just seamless, natural transitions that are a real pleasure to watch while so basic at the same time. Some specific things I loved:

 

- Dandy's submission that's essentially a forced split.

 

- The heat for Casas' low blow in the 2nd fall, no doubt amplified by the fact that it stood out in stark contrast to how clean the rest of the match is.

 

- Dandy's pinning combo in the 2nd fall.

 

- The series of big moves and near falls in the final fall which were built to so well by the matwork and pacing early on.

 

One other note -- Will's listings state that the VQ on this match is poor. While its not exactly HD, it was never a distracting or difficult watch and is yet another reminder that the standards on these sets are higher than just about anything else out there.

 

****1/2

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It's unfortunate that the only known copy of this match is grainy as hell, exists from one source and was never really talked up until a few years ago.

A cleaner version just surfaced on YouTube a couple of weeks ago. I have to admit, though, that the graininess and darkness of the old one made the match seem even cooler and rarer when I first watched it.

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I have not seen the version on Youtube but I acquired a pretty decent version of the match from someone in Mexico last year. The VQ throughout the primera caida is very good with hardly any faults. After that a tracking a line develops and there's some occasional picture shake. I would still consider this an upgrade over the Jeff Lynch version that's circulating.

 

I have this available on DVD for anyone interested.

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Looks like most of this has already been covered. This wasn't one of my all-time favorite matches as I was watching it, even though I basically agree with everything else written so far. So therefore my MOTY still rests with Liger/Samurai and Liger is still in a semi-comfortable lead for Most Oustanding Wrestler. But this is a top 3-5 candidate. Not trying to slight the match, but the first half of 1992 has been just that loaded from pretty much every viable promotion on Earth. After spending most of his transcendent 1990 in either an outright rudo or heelish technico role, Dandy excels in the clean-working sympathy babyface here--the man really could do anything.

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Previously at PWO:

 

I watched Dandy vs. Casas from 7/5/92 over the weekend again and was blown away. Right now, it is my favorite lucha match (at least lucha title match) for being so well done (and like Jose said, nothing spectacular, just everything done for the right reason at the right time). The opening mat work is as good as the sections in Dandy/Navarro, Panther/Solar, etc. with my favorite thing being Casas reversing a fujiwara arm bar into a sitting abdominal stretch. Casas also does a little bit of heeling to make it clear that this is a heated title match and it becomes more apparent as the match goes on that Casas will cheat to win. Casas also has some of the most spectacular dropkicks, hitting them with vigor and force. Fans of flying will only get to see one real dive, but it is a very nice one from Dandy (which I haven't seen him do much). I think the next lucha comp that needs to be made is for Negro Casas, even before Santo (though Santo would obviously included in the Casas comp a bunch of times).

 

 

 

This was just an awesome match. These guys were working so hard. The mat work in the 1st fall was a thing of beauty. I looked at the time on my DVD and couldn't believe 12 minutes have passed. The finish of the 1st fall was great. The 3rd fall was really hot with near falls galore. Overall, just a great, great match.

 

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This wasn't my favorite lucha match, only because I prefer tags and trios, but I can still recognize how well done this was. Especially the early mat work, and the near falls toward the finish.

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I didn't initially put a review up for this as I'd been planning a rewatch. Finally I got around to doing so and as expected I'd underrated it the first time. Given the degree of love for it here I was hoping I'd underrated it by more than I had done. I've still upgraded it to a top 30 match in one of the greatest wrestling years.

 

I really dug the hard matwork in the primera. Excellent technique on display as two Lucha Gods showed their ingenuity and intelligence on the ground. The rivalry was so strong they were struggling to stay within the confines of the rules. Casas didn't need to cheat to get heel heat. The end of the 2nd fall and the 3rd were quality wrestling and exciting. Yet I didn't feel like both men were at the peak of their form. The move selection wasn't quite there, with some repetition. The execution wasn't always their best either. It was only minor things but they held it back for me. Still there were plenty of things to appreciate over the 30m duration.

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Well this had some spectacular replay value, and is the one match I wouldn't take down a notch. However, this match is more in line with the description I gave Dandy-Azteca than Dandy-Azteca is. But really, as great as El Dandy is in this match, Negro Casas's performance is on an entirely different level and he's the star of the match. How he's able to take so much of the match offensively and still seem vulnerable is a testament to his sense of timing (small Dandy comebacks at just the right moments and for just the right reasons) and his ability to create a great nearfall. I feel like each fall of this sort of works as a strong match on its own, but taken together you get the all-time classic.

 

Something else I'll credit Casas for is that stretch of nearfalls in the third fall of this. Each one got an electric pop and that was because of Casas' incredible sixth sense on knowing the precise moment to raise a shoulder to get the biggest reaction possible. I don't want to call this a one-man performance as I'm not sure Casas could have had this match with anyone else, but he was the guy carrying the load here.

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