Negro Casas vs. Maximo
One day after turning fifty-five years old, Negro Casas celebrated by tearing up one of Maximo’s knees and wrestling the first notable lucha libre match of 2015. This is a really fun match worked around a straight forward leg injury story. Casas revels in picking apart Maximo’s leg and for his part, Maximo is excellent at selling the injury. He is also excellent at overcoming the obstacle in an entertaining and satisfying way. As fair warning, if you believe limb injuries should a wrestler down for the entire match after they start selling it you won’t get that here. What you do get is infectiously fun limb work from Casas, sympathy-drawing selling from Maximo, and a really fun third fall comeback.
maximo vs. kamaitachi
HAIR VS. HAIR
Type: Hair vs. Hair
A means to an end hair match that turned out to be far better than the match it built to. CMLL seemingly wished to headline Homenaje Dos Leyendas in March with future hair match opponents Rush and Volador Jr. on the winning side of separate hair matches. To get there, they used the New Year’s Day show to quickly build up their opponents. This was one of those matches but ended up being really strong in its own right. The match is centered on Maximo’s (possibly legitimate) injured leg. Maximo is a fine limb seller so the generic story worked well here. This match also provides a different side of Kamaitachi – a more grounded, focused side – but he still managed to get in some of his signature crazy high spots.
2016 Gran Alternativa Block A
March 22, 2016
Arena Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico)
CMLL tournament matches are so short that I think it makes sense to look at the tournament (or in this case, one block) in its entirety.
The Block A of this year’s Gran Alternativa tournament (a tag tournament where a CMLL veteran is paired with a “newcomer”) was the usual mix of legit newcomers and guys that are far more of a stretch for the newbie label. Triton is a former trios champion and Super Halcon Jr. has been in CMLL fulltime since 2011. Rocky Casas, Cuatrero, Magia Blanca, and Fujin fit the spirit of the tournament while Oro Jr. and Flyer are close enough. Of the youngsters, Cuatrero looked the best as he and his brother continue to impress. Magia Blanca was fine too and I like the Magnifico I stuff I have seen from Cara Lucha.
On the flip side, Rocky Casas is not ready for Arena Coliseo de Coacalco nonetheless Arena Mexico. He has a good look – he looks like a Casas – but his strikes were cringe worthy and he clearly was not comfortable moving around the ring. Speaking of not comfortable moving around the ring, Fujin is still trying to find the luchador within. He has some spots now but there is still a noticeable drop in fluidity between his young lion work in New Japan and his brief stay in CMLL. He also tended to overact when engaged in anything lighthearted in this match. I am sure he will get there at some point.
The highlight was probably Rey Escorpion who bumped his way through three tournament matches. He is a great base and a great catcher, both of which were on display here. He and Fujin looked good as a team visually and were the right choice to advance to the finals.
Posted in 2016, CMLL, Lucha
Tagged ** 1/4, 2016, Atlantis, cuatrero, flyer, fujin, magia blanca, Maximo, Negro Casas, rey escorpion, rocky casas, Ultimo Guerrero
Maximo © vs. Vangellys for the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship
January 18, 2016
Maximo is the standout in this enjoyable throw-away CMLL singles match from Arena Puebla.
Maximo seemingly has it all figured out these days. As CMLL Heavyweight champion, he has generally wrestled two types of singles matches. One is his dramatic, “major” match layout where he sells (and sells and sells and sells . . .) to garner sympathy leading to a big time comeback for the win. Last January’s match with Negro Casas (from right before he won the championship), the title win versus Terrible, and this month’s apuesta match with Kamaitachi are all examples of that match type. In situations that are more throw-away, Maximo goes to the basics with something along the lines of rudimentary opening fall mat work, a quick second fall, and a longer third fall where he peppers in his high spots while also attempting to trick the crowd with a big near fall (or two) for his opponent. That was more or less how he got okay to good matches out of Euforia and Terrible late last year.
This title defense with Vangellys is similar to those last two matches in that it is a relatively basic match that succeeds through hard work (from both guys) and an airtight design. Continue reading
Maximo vs. Kamaitachi, hair vs. hair
January 1, 2016
Last January, Maximo wrestled in the first great CMLL match of the year with the highlight being his opponent’s (Negro Casas) leg work. This January, Maximo wrestled the first great CMLL match of the year in a match marked by his opponent’s (Kamaitachi) focused attack on his injured knee.
Kamaitachi and Maximo put their hair on the line after feuding for approximately one month, which only feels like a rushed feud until you consider that it was roughly the same amount of time that CMLL took to build up the far more prominent Atlantis/La Sombra mask match. Kamaitachi is on his way out of CMLL after two years in Mexico and six months in Europe while on excursion from New Japan. New Japan wrestlers on loan to CMLL tend to leave Mexico after dropping both their masks and hair so the outcome here was not exactly a mystery. Continue reading