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NJPW ‘CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019’ (1.21.19) Results & Review

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The 2019 edition of Fantastica Mania comes to a close at Korakuen Hall with a singles match between Volador Jr. and Caristico. The Mexican National Trios Championship is also on the line and there is a promotional match for the DVD release of My Dad is a Heel Wrestler. English Commentary is provided, let’s get started!

Barbaro Cavernario & Templario def. Audaz & Flyer @ 9:35 via Cavernaria on Audaz – ***1/4
Talk about closing their tour out with a statement. These four finished strong, making a huge impression on their way out. All the flips, all the dives. Nothing was left on the table. Cavernario had arguably the spot of the match, hitting an incredible Springboard John Woo Dropkick. Other highlights included a Sasuke Special and Spanish Fly from the top. All four guys showcased big time and started the show off with a bang. Audaz is my pick for this year’s Best of the Super Juniors.

Atlantis Jr. def. OKUMURA @ 7:39 via Atlantida – **1/2
The match started hot with Atlantis Jr. landing a Dropkick before the bell. OKUMURA bails but Jr. stays on the gas, hitting two dives to the outside. They brawl up in stairs of Korakuen where Jr. is able to take OKUMURA down with a Hurricanrana. Back in the ring, OKUMURA uses his veteran tactics to gain the advantage. He admonishes the referee for his slow count which prompts the referee to fast count when it’s OKUMURA who is pinned for a fun moment. After three attempts, Jr. secures the Atlantida to pick up the win.

Tetsuya Naito, Terrible, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI vs Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare, YOH & SHO – No Contest – **3/4
Gone were Fujin and Raijin and back were YOH and SHO. The faces were looking to end the tour off strong, taking it to LIJ from the jump. This was the same tag we’d be seeing all tour but this time it ended with Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado coming out and attacking everyone in sight. Taichi took Naito’s IC title and laid him out, Kanemaru misted Shingo and Desperado unmasked BUSHI. As always, the crowd was split on Taichi. He took the microphone and said his peace while LIJ were left laying in the ring. He tossed the championship over his head, mirroring Naito’s feelings towards the IC title.

Mexican National Trios Championship
Cuatrero, Sanson & Forastero (c) def. Atlantis, Angel de Oro & Titan @ 14:28 via Cuatrero Bomb on Oro – ***

An exciting finishing stretch to what was a match filled with puzzling moments of ring awareness or lack thereof. I’m not usually a stickler for ring awareness but it was jarring that the rudos kept making mistakes and the tecnicos would no sell moves for quick tags. The actual moves were fun to watch though. Atlantis hit his big Crossbody to the outside, Titan faked a Moonsault back in the ring and instead dove with a Crossbody of his own to the outside. Oro took a Monkey Flip Cannonball in the corner and was put away with the Cuatrero Bomb. Definitely an exciting second half of the match but overall their were some head scratching moments that took my out of the flow.

Ultimo Guerrero, Gran Guerrero & Namajague def. Dragon Lee, Mistico & Soberano Jr. @ 13:25 via Ultimo Guerrero Special on Soberano – ***
A lot of Ultimo Guerreo mean mugging the crowd but a lot of exciting moments scattered throughout as well. Gran Guerrero played a great base for both Mistico and Soberano. Those two were flipped off his shoulders, Mistico came off the top with a Hurricanrana to the floor, really exciting highlights. Lee and Namajague had an extended overhead chop exchange, a shoutout to the Hiromu Takahashi feud. The finishing Guerrero Special was extremely brutal and capped the match off beautifully. Without a doubt a fun match but while the Guerrero stalling is a signature of his and I’m normally fine with it, this match would be more exciting if it passed quicker. The tour is long and on the final day I could’ve gone with less stalling.

Dragon George & SweetGorilla Maruyama def. Gokiburi Mask & Ginbae Mask @ 13:05 via Dragon Maker on Ginbae – ***1/4
The only way fans can treat Tanahashi as a heel is when he’s under the persona of Gokiburi Mask. He starred in the movie ‘My Dad is a Heel Wrestler’ and the match was to promote the movie’s upcoming DVD release. Dragon George was played as Kazuchika Okada, SweetGorilla as Makabe and Taguchi was Ginbae Mask. Tanahashi and Taguchi were cockroach characters, coming out with trash and cleaning supplies. They attacked their opponents with plungers and trash cans, Tanahashi’s character even receiving a friendly ‘go home’ chant by the playful crowd. Everyone’s moveset was the same outside of the weapon use by the cockroaches. This was silly fun. You could tell how much Tanahashi enjoyed being booed.

Volador Jr. def. Caristico @ 17:55 via Avalanche Spanish Fly – ***1/2
A constant mirroring back and forth in true ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ fashion. They never blew the lid off in the pacing and instead kept the match controlled, neither having a significant edge at any point. It played like a match where Caristico had to prove himself as to be able to hang with Volador. The entire tour saw Caristico winning tag matches over Volador with La Mistica. This time, when it mattered most, Caristico couldn’t get it done. Volador blocked the move twice and rolled through to the ropes. When it came time for Caristico to avoid Volador’s big move, he came up short. Volador won with the Spanish Fly off he top, cementing himself as still being the man to beat. As someone who doesn’t follow CMLL, I found the match to be very interesting in how it was laid out. Nice cap off to the tour. Post-match everyone comes out to celebrate Fantastica Mania before going off air.

Strong finish to the tour. This show in particular started hot and finished hot, nothing to really complain about. Some of the nuance in certain places could’ve gone over my head but ultimately I found this to be an enjoyable show all around.

Recommended Matches
Volador Jr. vs Caristico
Dragon George & SweetGorilla vs Gokiburi Mask & Ginbae Mask
Cavernario & Templario vs Audaz & Flyer

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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