Reviews

NJPW/CMLL Fantastic Mania Day 2 Review

Show Date: 19/1/16

Fuego and Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu

Fuego and Taguchi came out dancing, and all four men danced in the ring in a cool little moment. A fun, fast paced match here with the young boys getting in a good amount of offence. Nothing special, but fun nonetheless. Fuego pins Yohei Komatsu ** ¾

Okumura vs. Panther

This was one hell of a sprint. Panther is so good at mixing high flying and mat work, while Okumura was very good at keeping up with him. There was a lot of shenanigans with Panther and Okumura’s second but it made sense and didn’t take much away from the match, which is often the case with manager schtick. Panther submits Okumura *** ¼

Bobby Z vs. Guerrero Maya Jr

This was a fine match, Bobby Z does nothing for me as a wrestler but I really enjoy Guerrero. Some cool spots, but totally skippable. Guerrero Maya Jr pins Bobby Z with a piledriver ** ½

David Finlay, Dragon Lee, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Titan vs. El Babaro Cavernario, Hechicero, Virus, and YOSHI-HASHI

Virus and Liger grappled to start this match and I can’t wait for their eventual singles match because that is going to be god damn amazing. Overall this was a great, heated tag match with the heels systematically taking out the faces until Liger, Lee, and Titan make a comeback. Lee and Titan especially were really good on their comebacks, with Dragon Lee just blowing my mind with his big dive. Titan submits Hechicero *** ½

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, and BUSHI) vs. Atlantis, Mascara Dorada, and Stuka Jr

Atlantis and Mascara try again to defeat LIJ, this time teaming with Stuka Jr. Hot start to this as with most Ingobernables trios matches, I really love the heels bullying Atlantis and Naito’s obsession with his mask. Towards the end BUSHI hit Dorada with a crazy looking ddt onto the apron. LIJ work so well as a trio, I am excited for all of their undercard tag matches to come. Naito pins Stuka Jr *** ½

After the match Atlantis and Dorada are both unmasked again like the first night, it came off a lot better this time with the heels also attacking the young boys.

Gedo and Ultimo Guerrero vs. KUSHIDA and Mistico (II)

KUSHIDA came out wearing a giant watch mask, he’s officially the greatest wrestler in history. This was a fine tag match, Mistico and Guerrero worked for long portions and Mistico was a little botchy at times. KUSHIDA and Gedo had some super fun interactions, albeit not for very long. KUSHIDA submits Gedo with the Hoverboard Lock ** ½

CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada and Shinsuke Nakamura) and Mephisto vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, and Volador Jr

Volador Jr and Nakamura both came to the ring masked and unmasked mid match, which led to a fun little moment where Mephisto teased unmasking and was stopped by Okada. This was a really fun match, with Nakamura clearly goofing off and everyone else working incredibly hard. Even Juice Robinson was great in this, at one point having a completely believable pin attempt on Nakamura. Nakamura pins Juice with a Boma Ye *** ½

Overall: 6.0

This was another fun card, better than day 1 for sure. The thing about these Fantastic Mania cards is you can tell the NJPW guys are just out there having fun and that rubs off on the matches.

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