El Dandy vs. Negro Casas (CMLL on Televisa 7/3/92)

Match Reviews

This review was commissioned by Tim Cooke over on my Ko-fi account.

One of the more famous championship-style lucha matches that I’ve come across, and for very good reason. Dandy and Casas both are experienced hands at this kind of thing by this point, and the talent on display is just so clear from the get go. The first fall especially is filled with all the sensible, patient chain wrestling that one could ask for. Some of it falls under the trickier stylings of llave, but a lot of it is just the real simple stuff that wouldn’t feel out of place in an older NWA World Championship match. They give it all of it ample time to breathe too, really working the most out of each possible hold, selling when they’re in one, then moving on to the process of thinking through an escape and then moving to the next move. I’m especially a fan of the wishbone leg split that both guys have the chance to apply and work.

Where much of that first fall can feel like a riff session, the more long term construction can soon be soon towards the finish. For one, Casas as the rudo has a habit of trying to test Dandy with striking when things don’t go his way on the mat. He first attempts this on the floor when they both spill out, but he commits to it much more in the final stretch of the first fall. Not only does he slap Dandy to escape a submission attempt, he then moves to keep the action on their feet and it’s running the ropes that Casas is able to catch Dandy with a pair of uranages and a backbreaker which set up a submission win with a Scorpion Deathlock.

From there, the match starts to play on the themes of the first in really interesting ways.

The second fall starts with Casas trying to press the advantage by rushing in with a dropkick. It works for a while, but Dandy’s able to gain a measure of revenge here by nailing two backbreakers of his own which give him the pinfall victory here.

In the third fall though, Dandy’s forced to learn a bit of a lesson about overextending himself. Much like Casas in the second, Dandy rushes in for the final fall with dropkicks. On first glance, it feels very much justified in all in all. The tecnico’s finally getting the chance to return the favor in tenfold, first with the backbreakers that won the second fall, and now by dropkicking Casas repeatedly into oblivion. The problem comes when Dandy moves to escalate–he dives from the top to the floor, and then he moves into nailing missile dropkicks to Casas in the ring. On one of those dropkicks, he seems to catch Casas (who bumps to take it), but doesn’t recover fast enough to capitalize. It reads as Dandy feeling the effects of the back work that lost him the first fall on the big bump, having gone too far with trying to punish Casas. I don’t think I would have noticed it when I first saw this match, but now I can’t help but wonder if it perhaps inspired a similar plot beat from Danielson vs. Garcia at 2022’s Fight for the Fallen.

The best part of this little twist though is that Casas falls into the same trap. After regaining control from Dandy taking the bad bump, Casas also overextends his advantage by trying to get Dandy up on the top rope for a big move. It’s up there where Dandy’s able to counter Casas and get back into the swing of things. Even then though, one gets the sense that Dandy’s still a bit of a wounded animal, as the final moments see him going for quick, basic pin attempts. It’s a great little punishment for him, having hurt himself trying to go fancy, he’s now forced to take things back to the mat and rush to get the win. Our hero ends up prevailing and it’s a great little end to this championship bout that does more with its runtime than just flex some cool grappling.

Rating: ****1/4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *