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[1997-02-06-CMLL Japan] El Hijo del Santo vs Negro Casas

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Most of the yearbooks I've watched in the last year or so have been in the first half of the decade, so it's interesting to see Santo and Casas a little older and more grounded. I like that approach, because they spend more time on the mat and what they give us is really good. At this point, Santo is still a rudo so it's interesting to see them doing a tour showcase match (which maybe that's not what this is since CMLL Japan ran a few shows) with a role reversal, not to mention Casas getting the pin. Really good match. The small crowd that was a little on the quiet side hurt it some, but the work they were doing in the ring was really strong. Not in the upper echelon of their matches against each other, but a worthy addition to the canon.

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I kind of compare this to their early 1991 match as a travelling style match. That is not a bad thing per say as they still have a 3.5 star affair and we do get the wrinkle of Santo being the rudo here , but it didn't feel like we were treading new water and this only served as an appetizer for their feature matches coming up later in the year.

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Casas looking a bit thicker in body. I'll admit to not picking up Santo as being the rudo in the match. Crowd wasn't the best. Wait, that was the finish? A bit weak.

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I actually didn't get as much of a touring-match vibe from this--not as much as in '91, certainly. The audience is basically indifferent but they work this as a straight-up lucha brawl with some hate and energy and chaos, rather than running through familiar spots for an unfamiliar audience. Finish is weak and not well-executed, and I'm always jarred at these one-fall lucha-in-Japan matches. Santo shakes hands and raises Casas' arm afterwards, which *is* a little touring-match-y.

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They adapted to the different fanbase by working a little stiffer than usual with more struggling over holds as well. Stopping after one fall was a bit jarring, especially as it wasn't any longer than normal. Decent stuff while it lasted and a good showcase. Touring match perfectly sums it up.

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This felt a bit like a fun ten minute greatest hits version of Negro Casas v El Hijo del Santo. They hit the mat a little, brawled a bit, Casas tore at Santo's mask, Santo hit a Santo tope, they communicate the hatred, etc. More of a neat addendum to their eternal rivalry, but it's these two so you can't really go wrong. 

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