Negro Casas vs. El Dandy
CMLL World Middleweight
Type: Title Match Style
The match has quite the history in terms of it was viewed and received by fans outside of Mexico. The match was praised at the time – Dave Scherer rated the match at **** and apparently Dave Scherer rarely rated lucha matches that highly back then – but in somewhat of a curiosity the match did not receive any votes in the DVDVR 90’s lucha poll. The video quality of the only known copy (possibly Scherer’s copy) was very grainy which likely played some role in the the match flying under the radar after the initial airing. As the story goes, the match was also not traded much from the initial airing up until the mid-2000’s when old lucha libre tapes were transferred to DVD. The match was praised by those that saw it then and again about five years later when it was included on the PWO 1992 Year Book. In recent years, a version of the match with higher video quality surfaced as well. Some combination of all those factors have led to Casas/Dandy being viewed as one of the classic lucha libre singles matches of all time.
This title match is a definite contender for the best lucha match of all time and is among my favorite matches ever. Like any matches that receive that level of acclaim, the work is both high level and varied. This is a match that fans of all styles of wrestling should seek out. The execution is near spotless and the match builds from exquisite opening mat work to a third fall finish filled with high end junior heavyweight style offense. Rarely do two wrestlers as great as Casas and Dandy have a match together that lives up to their individual abilities, but this one certainly does.
Lucha Libre Weekly (July 8, 1992)
El Dandy, considered by many serious lucha libre aficionados to be one of the the finest luchadors in the world today, defeated Jose “El Negro” Casas, considered 1# best, in the final of a tournament to crown a new CMLL Wor1d Middleweight Champion in the main event of the EMLL card held Friday, July 3. 1992, at Arena Mexico. Casas, whose real name is Josa “Pepito” Casas Ruiz (junior), waa bidding to hold the world middlweight championship of two of the four sanctioning bodies in Mexico, the UWA and the CMLL (The NWA champion is Atlantis. The WWA title is vacant. The AAA has not declared any champion. The Mexican National Middleweight Champion is Octagon.) El Dandy, whose real name is Roberto Gutierrez Frias, has been both a NWA Wor1d and Mexican National Middleweight Champion as recently as 1990. This was his first title match for the CMLL belt. The CMLL belt had been first awarded in a tournament final in Acapulco, Guerrero, in December 1990. The Blue Panther had won the tourney final over El Satanico, but had had his title stripped on June 12th, 1992, for jumping to the rival AAA promotion when it split off from the EMLL on May 7th, 1992.As reported by Lucha Libre Weekly correspondent David Scherer of Seaville, New Jersey [who by the way (plugola time) has six-hour, three-show sets of EMLL and UWA tapes for sale (very recent, off satelite) for $16.00 per tape-write him at P. 0. Box 612, Marmora, NJ 08223-0612], the match between Casas and El Dandy was said to be fabulous.From the beginning ring entrances to the post-match celebration, the television time allotted to this match was over forty minutes. El Dandy was seconded by NWA World Middleweight Champion At1antis, while Jose “El Negro” Casas was seconded by CMLL World Light Heavyweight Champion Pierroth Junior. The referee was Roberto “El Guero” Range, “Mister Justicia”.The first fall went to Casas, as El Dandy submitted to the scorpion death lock cleanly. The second fall saw a Dandy clean pinfall victory. The hold he used was the indian death lock, but then flipping himself (Dandy) backwards into a bridge while still holding the death lock. El Dandy won the third fall and the match with his patented finisher, the Dandina Cradle (also known as la magisteral). Alter the match, in a show of sportsmanahip, El Dandy handed the belt to the exhausted Casas (All Japan just ran the exact same storyline in a title match between Stan Hansen and Toshiaki Kawada) after Casas had presented the belt initially to El Dandy. The grade of **** given by Scherer is the highest grade he has given to a lucha libre television match since he started reporting for Lucha Libre Weekly.
Lucha Libre Weekly (July 22, 1992)
Roberto Rangel, in his Super Luchas column, said he was proud to referee the “great exhibition of wresting” as the Dandy/Casas 7/3 match was.
Tim Cooke Review (February 8, 2007)
I watched Dandy vs. Casas from 7/5/92 over the weekend again and was blown away. Right now, it is my favorite lucha match (at least lucha title match) for being so well done (and like Jose said, nothing spectacular, just everything done for the right reason at the right time). The opening mat work is as good as the sections in Dandy/Navarro, Panther/Solar, etc. with my favorite thing being Casas reversing a fujiwara arm bar into a sitting abdominal stretch. Casas also does a little bit of heeling to make it clear that this is a heated title match and it becomes more apparent as the match goes on that Casas will cheat to win. Casas also has some of the most spectacular dropkicks, hitting them with vigor and force. Fans of flying will only get to see one real dive, but it is a very nice one from Dandy (which I haven’t seen him do much). I think the next lucha comp that needs to be made is for Negro Casas, even before Santo (though Santo would obviously included in the Casas comp a bunch of times).
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