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NJPW ‘CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019’ (1.20.19) Results & Review

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The second of three nights at Korakuen Hall, and the seventh night overall of Fantastica Mania 2019, sees its first night with English Commentary. Satoshi Kojima is featured in a singles match against Terrible and the main event sees this year’s Family Tag Tournament winners take on last year’s winners. Let’s get started!

Taiji Ishimori & Gedo def. Ryusuke Taguchi & Flyer @ 8:20 via Ishimori Ankle Lock on Flyer – **
Bullet Club did their best to keep the match in their favor, using a heavy amount of sneak attacks. Taguchi and Flyer would fire back with Planchas to the outside and various springboard Hurricanranas and hip attacks but they wouldn’t be enough. Flyer tapped as soon as Ishimori got ahold of his ankle. The match layout was a tried and true standard but Flyer’s inexperience caused some wonky moments that could have been executed better. Taguchi was unmasked post-match.

Angel de Oro & Titan def. Cuatrero & Templario @ 11:30 via Oro La Mecedora on Cuatrero – ***1/2
The type of match people watch Fantastica Mania to see. A match only enhanced by a wild Korakuen Hall, going big for everything they saw. Oro and Titan are two of the more established guys on the tour, both having several tours under their belt. The match was filled with crazy flurries of offense. Several Hurricanranas were countered into Powerbombs which came into play later on when the counter was countered back into a Hurricanrana off the second rope. Korakuen Hall knowing the guys doing the big moves, paired with the high energy from everyone involved, makes this the match to see from the tour. Great atmosphere for a great match.

Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI def. Toa Henare, Raijin & Fujin @ 11:17 via Rebellion on Fujin – **3/4
New Japan has been building the Shingo and SHO feud beautifully. These two have been attached to the hip since Shingo’s debut. Every tag match they find themselves in, they go after each other. It feels like there will eventually be a singles match between the two whether it be in BOSJ or for a title. Fans are chomping at the bit for it to finally pay off after four months of tags. BUSHI got his revenge on YOH’s roll up from last time. He and Shingo dropped him with Rebellion for the win. Strong intensity from all six guys.

OKUMURA, Sanson & Forastero def. Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. @ 10:12 via OKUMURA DDT on Atlantis Jr. – **
A fun match somewhat hindered by sloppy moments, including a bad moment where Forastero completely missed a Springboard Senton. The fun moments saw Liger suplexing the rudo’s valet as well as hitting a Crossbody from the top to the floor. Atlantis landed his Monkey Flips from corner to corner but junior’s inexperience was exploited by OKUMURA, who was able to pick him apart for the win. Unfortunately, the wonky moments threw a wrench into the flow of the match. They saved what they could with some fun moments.

Caristico, Barbaro Cavernario & Namajague def. Volador Jr., Soberano Jr. & Audaz @ 11:11 via Caristico La Mistica on Volador – ***1/4
Like the last match, this featured an awkward moment that caused some weirdness. On an attempted Destroyer, Volador unmasked Caristico. The two have a singles match tomorrow, so it makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is that after unmasking, Volador laughed, didn’t sell Caristico’s punches and hand-waved him off. I’m not sure what that was about. In any case, the match was next level. This was Audaz’s best showing of the tour. He flipped and flew all over, Volador had some strong moments with Cavernario, the match was fast-paced and fun. The weirdness between Volador and Caristico was off-putting, I don’t know what to make of it but my major takeaway was that I hope Audaz makes more appearances.

Terrible def. Satoshi Kojima @ 11:28 via La Terriblina – **3/4
The two heavyweight started with an overhand chop exchange before Terrible dropkicked Kojima out of the ring and followed him out to wear him down. Once they came back in, Kojima fired his Machine Gun Chops, Terrible bailed only for Kojima to follow him out with a Plancha. Terrible cut off Kojima’s comeback with a splash off the top and didn’t allow Kojima any room to fight back. A punch + overhand chop flurry in the corner by Terrible is the finished by the La Terriblina for the win. Nothing fancy but a nice, heated back and forth. It’s nice to see Kojima get this spot to showcase at this point in his career. LIJ come out to celebrate the win with Terrible.

CMLL Family Tag Tournament 2018 Winners vs 2019 Winners
Dragon Lee & Mistico def. Ultimo Guerrero & Gran Guerrero @ 17:11 via Mistico La Mistica on Gran – ***3/4

Top match of the tour by far. All four guys delivered big time. The rematch of last year’s family tag finals. The match opened with Mistico and Ultimo taking to the floor and trying to get the crowd to support their tea,. This lead to Mistico taking to the stage, leaping off and landing a Hurricanrana on Ultimo. The story on paper would look like power versus agility but the Guerreros looked to match the agility, Gran hitting a Tope con Hilo, followed immediately by a Senton from Ultimo to the floor. The bigger men then began to use their strength, stopping Hurricanranas with Powerbombs. That plan was used once too many as Mistico saw it coming once again and was able to transition back to a Hurricanrana off the second. Mistico quickly followed to the La Mistica and Gran wasted no time tapping out. High energy and a lot of fun from start to finish. Definitely the match to watch from the tour. Post-match, the winners tell the crowd they love them and Lee sends a shoutout to Hiromu Takahashi before giving the fans high fives on his way to the back.

An up and down show but the highs were the best of the tour. The main event was great, as were all of the CMLL featured tags. There’s still one more night to go, let’s hope they can finish strong.

Recommended Matches
Lee & Mistico vs The Guerreros
Oro & Titan vs Cuatrero & Templario
Caristico, Cavernario, Namajague vs Volador, Soberano & Audaz

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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