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Charles (Loss)

[1990-06-07-Hamada's UWF] Negro Casas vs Yoshinari Asai

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I think Casas had a much better understanding of what Japanese fans wanted than Santo. It's not that this has way more heat than Santo/Fuerza or anything, but Casas made a bigger adjustment to his style to accommodate the style in Japan. I appreciated him bringing his mat game so that Asai's highspots would stand out more. And those highspots look beautiful, but I really enjoyed the struggle behind their stuff on the mat so much more, despite it being pretty basic by Casas standards.

 

My favorite moment is the battle for the surfboard. Ultimo makes a big effort, but Casas gives him nothing and ends up winning that exchange by attrition, as Asai finally gives up on applying the hold. Some highspots still look great, and some have aged, but the stuff like that never gets old.

 

The match picks up in the final few minutes when Casas tears apart Ultimo's knee pretty aggressively. In some ways, it feels like he watched some Choshu tapes and decided to emulate him in this match. Big credit to Casas for showing some Regal-like detail in applying holds, and the end result is a terrific grappler versus high flyer match that I enjoyed way more than I expected. One of my favorite matches of the year.

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Match of the night, hands down. Casas twists Asai up and Asai has to play hit-and-run, mostly to no avail until the end, when he hits an absolutely gorgeous Asai moonsault and then straitjacket suplexes his way to victory. Good sort of body-part-based build up to the finish, as Asai whiffed on his first springboard moonsault attempt and jiggered his knee, giving Casas an opening to work it over.

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I also have this as my match of the night but only one spot above Fuerza/Santo. I like style contrast matches a lot when they tell a full story and lead to a conclusion and this match did this really effectively.

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This was pretty good. I liked Casas rugged matwork. It really made Asai's smoothness really stand out. I thought the bout dragged a little, but overall was really good.

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Casas going with the all white look. Don't think I'm as high on this as you guys. Do agree that he does a better job in adapting to Japan than Santos. Casas was good on the mat.

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Casas did a great job of guiding his young opponant. This is even more commendable when you consider he was out of his element. The Mexican adapted very well and brought several nice touches, he exudes style and quality. With a structure put in place for him Asai was also able to play his role well.

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I enjoyed this. Cases did a very good job as the rudo technical ace, controlling the match on the mat, which made Asai's high flying comeback moves stand out in a good way. Loss pointed out the surfboard struggle, which was also one of my favorite things of the match. Say what you will about Ultimo, but his stuff always looks as fluid as water. Fun match.

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This was a good. I liked it wayyyy better than Santo/Guerrera. This reminds me of the Dragon/Regal match from Slamboree 97 in that one guy is really working to hold the match together and is constantly trying to keep it good while Asai is actively bringing down the match whenever he's not restrained. Asai is all about atheltic spots with no semblance of meaning or selling. In the final stretch he just shrugs off all the damage and just rushes into all of his moves like nothing has happened. Dragon gets away with a lot of stuff that Tiger Mask would be condemned for. I do like him more than Tiger Mask though.

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I liked the matwork too. The Japanese style of lucha seems a lot more accessible to me than its Mexican counterpart so far on this set.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that Asai blew off the damage done to his knee just before the finish. I'm not as much of a stickler for continued selling as some, but that was too obvious not to notice. This is something Asai definitely needs to work on going forward.

 

The Mexican imports are really showing their mat skills here, which is something that's hit-and-miss in their matches at home. I wonder if the Japanese stars adapted as smoothly when they toured Mexico?

 

This promotion continues to deliver solid bouts.

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I can't even remember, have we seen a Casas singles match yet? This didn't feel like a lucha match to me, it felt much more like a Japanese match, struggling on the mat, escalating near falls etc. Casas seems really tough and it feels like a real victory when Asai is able to get him into a hold.

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I am in agreement with the Dr on Dragon 100%. The guy simply has no clue on selling when it's his turn on offense. BUT he always makes his offense look good and I also agree that Casas provides an excellent base for all of the highspots. Best match of this show for sure.

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Rewatching some 1990 stuff and this held my interest even more than I remembered. The contrasting mat work was great as Casas was seen as dominant and Asai was going to have to find an opening for his highspots. When he did, he hit them wonderfully. The flurry of matches I watched this morning featured a heel dominating leading to a babyface comeback and win and this one pulled it off more organically than the others. ****1/4 

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