Negro Casas vs. Charly Manson (CMLL – 10/15/2010)

Negro Casas vs. Charly Manson
October 15, 2010
Hair vs. Hair

This hair match from Manson’s “blink and you will miss it” 2010 CMLL stint is yet another example of the greatness of Negro Casas.

Manson showed up in CMLL at the end of July as a new member of Los Invasores, which was the group of independent rudos that “invaded” CMLL that April. He would be gone from CMLL – and back in AAA – about six weeks after this match. He had some others singles matches including mano a mano matches with Mistico and El Hijo del Fantasma, plus a title match with Averno. However, this match – when you take into account both the opponent and the outcome – was easily the biggest of his brief time with the promotion.

Tirantes is the referee and wastes no time demonstrating his partiality towards Manson. I would label this as a “good” Tirantes performance. In my non-expert opinion, the two main variables separating a good rudo referee act and a bad one are (1) whether there is a logical reason for the referee to be partisan and (2) whether the referee acts in a consistent manner throughout the match. Tirantes supporting one of the invaders makes sense because most of them made their marks in AAA shortly before invading CMLL so there is a commonality between them. You don’t have to bend your mind into a pretzel to come up with a sound reason why Tirantes might pull out his heel ref actin in this match.

As for the second point, one of the most annoying rudo referee traits is when the referee calls the match down the middle, shows favoritism out of nowhere, and then switches back to calling it clean again. In this match, Tirantes is consistent if nothing else. The match is wrestled straight – lots of submission holds – for the first several minutes so Tirantes largely stays out of the way. He eventually holds Casas’ arm back when Casas is about to throw a punch. That is not always a rudo ref spot – it is often the referee holding the tecnico to higher standards – but here it clearly is. Manson points to Tirantes to acknowledge his help and Tirantes shoots a “who me?” sheepish grin back. Early in the second fall, Manson goes for a pin and Tirantes counts about as fast as he can. Casas nonetheless kicks out at two but glares a hole through Tirantes. It is a great reaction by Casas. He looks both angry and concerned at the realization that he is going to have to fight this match two on one.

The first fall is pretty fun. In my experience, Charly Manson is a fundamentally sound wrestler; more so than the gimmick might suggest. The first fall is heavy on the submission holds and Manson is totally competent during this part. The offense from Manson – and Casas for that matter – is not high end but they are not just sitting in headlocks and chin locks either. They find that nice middle ground where the holds are interesting enough and that’s all I ask. The initial interference from Tirantes indirectly leads to Manson getting the first fall via submission.

The match turns on the aforementioned fast count at the start of the second fall. Manson controls as you would expect to build to a Casas comeback. The crowd is interested in Casas’ come back, at least enough that I would say the match had decent heat. Casas is always good for a fiery comeback and this one is no different. The second and third falls are really carried by his ability to rally his audience behind him. Tirantes continues to favor Manson but Casas keeps on fighting. Just when it looks like he is going to overcome the odds, Tirantes “accidentally” bumps into Casas, Manson takes advantage and another fast count seals the deal.

The fact that Manson won is another reason why I did not mind Tirantes playing a n active role in the match. In 2010, Manson should not have beaten Casas cleanly but at the same time, Casas going over cleanly would have not done much for anybody. Not suggesting that it is good to book for a surprise, but it made sense to put Manson over here and build him for something bigger down the line since his CMLL run seemed to have some gas left in the tank. Unfortunately for CMLL, AAA came calling shortly after and Manson bolted leaving his CMLL run as a trivial piece of lucha history.

I don’t think I have seen Casas have anything less than a “good” hair match, this one included. Manson holds his own and as long as you are not totally against all rudo referee shtick, I think you will find that that Tirantes did not detract from the match and possibly added to it. It is a post-blood CMLL hair match on a non-major show so the match is decidedly non-epic, but it is still very much worth watching.

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