Negro Casas vs. Volador Jr. (CMLL – 02/15/2016)

Negro Casas vs. Volador Jr. © for the NWA World Historic Welterweight championship
February 15, 2016
Arena Puebla
*** 1/2

I have a confession to make. In a recent moment of weakness, I allowed myself to think that time finally caught with the inimitable Negro Casas and his days as a good pro wrestler were behind him. This match proved me wrong.

I do think the 56-year old legend is slowing down and is a couple of paces behind where he was even a few years ago. However – as this match clearly demonstrated – Casas is still about as good as anyone could reasonably expect a wrestler his age to be. There has been a drop off in production from him going back roughly to the end of the feud with Rush in August 2014, but that almost certainly as has much to do with CMLL not giving him much to work with as it does a significant decline in skill.  At least, this match would suggest that was the case.

They rushed the first two falls as one would expect, though the first fall – and both falls taken as a whole – had enough to them that they did not feel like a total waste. The third fall (also no surprise) is where most of the action was. In other words, it was the usual modern (non-Virus edition) CMLL title match from a general structure standpoint. What elevated it above the pack was that Casas and Volador Jr. substituted big moves (though there still were some) with a hectic finish centered on the budding rivals trying to outsmart each other. I will not spoil the last sequence of moves, but it was very well done and a great payoff to the feud up to this point.

I cannot stress enough how good Casas looked here. Trading Volador for Jr. no doubt has had a positive impact on Casas’ performances. Volador Jr. is the best tecnico in Mexico right now (looking at all aspects of his game) and that shined through against Casas. He was crisp on offense and worked really hard in the third fall. The match also had a lot of the smart little touches that Casas has demonstrated throughout his storied career. I don’t want to overdo it; the match was not a classic performance. It was however a very good “older Casas” performance which in and of itself is a rather major accolade.

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