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NJPW ‘CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019’ (1.16.19) Results & Review

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Night five, the second to be broadcast on NJPW World, of CMLL Fantastica Mania is another featuring only Japanese commentary. English will be provided on Friday and will continue to be present throughout to the finish of the tour. Let’s get started!

Forastero, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo def. Titan, Ryusuke Taguchi & KUSHIDA @ 7:41 via Forastero Triangle Choke on Titan – **3/4
Really strong opener. All sides of Taguchi were at play, starting with his goofball antics before shedding off the pharaoh mask and firing off both a springboard plancha and the ankle lock. Ishimori played up the threat of Taguchi’s submissions really well. Titan was landing a flurry of Hurricanranas and Tope con Hilos but Forastero was able to use Titan’s quickness to his advantage, locking him in the Triangle. Fast-paced, never a dull moment.

Fujin & Raijin def. Shingo Takagi & BUSHI @ 10:21 via Fujin La Casita on BUSHI – **1/2
The chemistry between SHO (Raijin) and Shingo continues to grow. They were the highlight of the match, both guys unloading on each other. BUSHI was focused on unmasking his opponents, feeling disrespected by their gimmicks as a masked man himself. That afforded Fujin (YOH) time to catch BUSHI in a pin and take the win. 3K finally picked up a victory over the tag champs but since they were masked, will the champions accept this defeat? Solid back and forth match, the chemistry is growing.

Angel de Oro, Soberano Jr. & Audaz def. Barbaro Cavenario, OKUMURA & Namajague @ 12:10 via Soberano La Bufadora on OKUMURA – ***1/4
First (and only) great match of the night. Fast-paced, more than half a dozen dives, everyone showcasing their strengths. Audaz has a wacky way of posting off the ropes that’s really creative and Soberano’s body type allows for some different looks. Speaking of creative, it doesn’t get more creative than Cavenario. He’s so wacky and fun, always making the most out of every moment. Both he and Namajague (Desperado) have fun clowning on OKUMURA being too old to keep up with the youth in the match. Soberano tripped OKUMURA in the ropes and quickly followed with a springboard Moonsault for the win. High energy and everyone was allowed to showcase. Great match.

Tetsuya Naito & Terrible def. Satoshi Kojima & Toa Henare @ 12:02 via Terrible La Terribina on Henare – **1/2
This stood in stark contrast to everything else on the show. No dives to the outside, just four guys beating the hell out of each other. Henare hit another standing Moonsault and Terrible had a Splash from the top but outside of that, it was a physical, no finesse match. Solid and fun for what it was, a nice breather between the madness.

Caristico, Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger & Tiger Mask IV def. Ultimo Guerrero, Gran Guerrero & Templario @ 11:21 via Caristico La Mistica on Templario – **
The majority of this match was a drag. The Guerreros seemed dissatisfied with the crowd’s response so they spent the majority of the match mean mugging them until they cheered. Everyone had slow moments where they just didn’t move until the crowd cheered them on. Tiger dove off the top to the floor with a Crossbody which was the match highlight and Liger hit his senton off the apron. Nothing else really worth noting.

CMLL Family Tag Tournament – First Round
Sanson & Cuatrero def. Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. @ 9:52 via Sanson Special on Atlantis Jr. – **1/4

These four met the same fate as the match before. They spent too long trying to get the crowd to react by staring at them rather than wowing with their wrestling. There was a flurry of backbreaker variations by both Atlantis and Jr. as well as a Springboard Plancha and Crossbody from the top to the floor. Sanson picked up the win with a Sanson Special from the second rope.

CMLL Family Tag Tournament – First Round
Dragon Lee & Mistico def. Volador Jr. & Flyer @ 14:35 via Lee Desnucadora on Flyer – **3/4

Definitely the craziest match in terms of the moves but they fell into the trappings of the last two matches. They focused on the lack of reaction and spent too much time trying to engage with the crowd, ultimately slowing the match down. There were crazy moments going from a flurry of Destroyers to a top rope Spanish Fly and Springboard Hurricanrana. Some real jaw-dropping moments but also a lot of staring at the crowd for approval and a few miscues sprinkled throughout that held the match down.

The show started strong but petered out as it went along. Whether justifiable or not, the last three matches were hindered by the wrestlers trying to get the crowd to clap along rather than just wrestle. Fairly disappointing overall. The Cavenario tag in the middle was the clear highlight of the show, that’s the match to watch. After that it’s a lot of frustrating matches with little glimpses of fun.

Recommended Match
Angel de Oro, Soberano Jr. & Audaz vs Barbaro Cavenario, OKUMURA & Namajague

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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