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NJPW ‘CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019’ (1.18.19) Results & Review

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The sixth night of Fantastica Mania but the first to take place at Korakuen Hall. Tonight sees a singles match between Barbaro Cavernario and Soberano Jr. as well as the CMLL Family Tag Tournament Finals. Let’s get started!

Ryusuke Taguchi, Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger & Audaz def. Taiji Ishimori, Templario & Gedo @ 6:31 via Audaz Cross Armbreaker on Templario – **1/2
More wrinkles added to the upcoming junior title match between Ishimori and Taguchi. Ishimori received help from a sumo wrestler in a crowd who smacked Taguchi across the chest/ The babyfaces were all on fire, each hitting a dive to the floor. Ishimori draws the ire of the crowd by unmasking Taguchi. The finish saw Audaz catch Templario in a headscissors and bring him down into position for the armbreaker. Nice pace, everyone went at a good clip. Nice opener.

Angel de Oro & Titan def. OKUMURA & Forastero @ 8:41 via Titan Titanica on Forastero – **3/4
I’ve really been enjoying seeing Titan and Oro back. Their comfort level in front of these crowds is noticeable. They landed a Hurricanrana to the outside, multiple Moonsault variations and a Sasuke Special. OKUMURA and Forastero did their best to try and put the fire out but they came up empty. Titan caught Forastero’s aggression and rolled him into a cradle for the win. Strong follow to the opener.

Black Cat Memorial Match
Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare, Raijin & Fujin def. Tetsuya Naito, Terrible, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI @ 11:45 via Kojima Lariat on Terrible – **3/4

Black Cat was a twenty year veteran, his career in NJPW spanning from 1981-2001. He sadly suffered from a heart attack in 2006. BUSHI’s attire paid tribute and there was a small ceremony before the match. As for the match, it started hot with Terrible and Kojima trading overhands and slaps to the face. LIJ took control of Henare for a good portion until he was able to reverse a Slingshot DDT to a Brainbuster. The chemistry between juniors is continuing to grow. That eventual singles match between Shingo and SHO will be wild. The match ended with another showdown between Kojima and Terrible, Kojima coming out on top with a lariat. Another good match. They kept the intensity up and are building up the heat between Kojima/Terrible nicely.

Ultimo Guerrero & Gran Guerrero def. Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. @ 11:44 via Gran Guerrero Sitout Powerbomb on Atlantis Jr. – **3/4
The Guerrero’s start off the match with a brawl to the outside, wearing down the older Atlantis and capitalizing on the inexperience of junior. This prompts junior to power up, hitting both a top rope dropkick and pop-up Hurricanrana. Atlantis feels inspired by the youth and shoots through the ropes with a dive, monkey flips Ultimo over the top and lands on him with a crossbody from the top rope to the floor. The Guerreros still manage to capitalize on the inexperience, putting the break on a Hurricanrana from junior and turning it to a Powerbomb for the win. The show is moving at a good clip by this point. Nothing has been out of this world but everything is good.

Caristico & Namajague def. Volador Jr. & Flyer @ 9:49 via Caristico La Mistica on Flyer – **1/4
A little bit of a slog after the last few matches. The inexperience of Flyer showed a bit and wasn’t aided by the lack of ring awareness by the rudos. Volador had a few flurries that helped keep the match moving, hitting a big Hurricanrana from the top. Again, it was Caristico picking up a win with the La Mistica. He has a singles match with Volador coming up on Monday.

Barbaro Cavernario def. Soberano Jr. @ 15:40 via Cavernaria – ***1/4
Great match and the show’s highlight to this point. Cavenario ties Soberano up in the corner twice, once for a Codebreaker and another for a Lungblower. Soberano picks up control by kicking the leg out, setting Cavernario up on the second and lands a springboard Moonsault while Cavernario is draped and follows with a Tornillo from the top rope to the floor. Cavernario soon fires back with a splash, also from the top rope to the floor. This breaks down and turns into a heated strike exchange in the ring. Soberano puts the breaks on a Destroyer, drops Cavernario with a sitout Tombstone, looks for another Piledriver but this time eats the Destroyer. The finish comes when Cavernario avoids a Moonsault, kicks out both knees and stretches Soberano out for the win. Two really wacky wrestlers doing some equally wacky moves. Soberano’s limbs are longer than most which gives him a unique way of moving compared to everyone else on the tour. Cavernario is just a weirdo in general. Fun and creative match.

CMLL Family Tag Tournament Finals
Dragon Lee & Mistico def. Sanson & Cuatrero @ 14:05 via Lee Desnucadora on Sanson – ***

Sanson & Cuatrero start off with a double team dive to the outside before the bell. They grind their opponets and throw them throughout the crowd. The faces fire back with a flurry of Hurricanranas which leads to a strike exchange by all four, no one wanting to tag out, no one wanting to give an inch. Mistico is taken to the top, fights out and teases looking for a double stomp, instead Moonsaults to the floor and it’s Lee who hits the stomp. Lee then finishes the match with a Desnucadora, the Guerreros come out after and the match for Sunday is set. The rudos did great at trying to keep the match grounded while both Lee and Mistico wowed the crowd with their athleticism. A fun main event to close the show but not quite at the level where I’d say it’s a must-see match.

This was the best night of the tour so far. Outside of the one match in the middle, everything else here was good. The lone singles match is the one to take time to watch. Both Cavernario and Soberano Jr. are so uniquely them that it’s impossible mistake them. Soberano is only going to get better, there were good glimpses of that here tonight.

Recommended Match
Barbaro Cavernario vs Soberano Jr.

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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