Reviews

NJPW/CMLL Fantastica Mania Day 3 Review

Air Date: 20/1/16

Jushin Thunder Liger and Stuka Jr vs. Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu

This match started off as your typical young boy stretching match, but then Tanaka and Komatsu started getting in a lot of offence and had you actually believing they could win. Of course in the end they didn’t, but this was a great performance regardless. Stuka Jr pins Yohei Komatsu with a splash ***

Bobby Z vs. Panther

These two men started off grappling with each other and then very quickly started diving all over the place and this match developed into a god damn great sprint. Bobby Z was just trying to kill Panther, who threw some amazing dives of his own. Really great little match. Bobby Z pins Panther with a sitout powerbomb *** ½

Guerrero Maya Jr vs. Okumura

This match was built very similarly to the last one, except with far better grappling at the start and some shenanigans with Okumura’s wife that really hurt the flow of the match. Some cool moments but nothing special match. Okumura pins Guerrero Maya Jr with a hangman DDT ** ½

CHAOS (Gedo and YOSHI-HASHI), El Barbaro Cavernario, and Hechicero vs. Jay White, KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Titan

This was a short little match given the amount of people involved, I don’t think YOSHI-HASHI for example even tagged in, but Cavernario was far and away the star as he has been all tour. Cavernario submits Jay White ** ½

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

One of the main stories of this tour has been Atlantis and Dorada taking on LIJ with a new partner every time in building to a big BUSHI/Dorada match, and this is another match in that series. All of these matches have been very good so far, and this might have been the best one so far. Fuego really stood out with an awesome mix of comedy schtick and fantastic wrestling, and Dorada continued to prove how incredibly underutilized he has been this past year in NJPW. Hell of a match with a slightly screwy finish. Tetsuya Naito pins Fuego *** ¾

As always Naito unmasks Atlantis after the match and the trio go after Dorada. I can’t wait for his match with BUSHI.

Shinsuke Nakamura, Ultimo Guerrero, and Mephisto vs. Juice Robinson, Mistico (II), and Volador Jr

This match started off very schtick heavy, as you would expect from a Nakamura house show match, but once things got going it was a lot of fun. Juice Robinson continues to impress a lot, and got a surprising amount of offence in against Nakamura before ultimately taking the fall. Shinsuke Nakamura submits Juice Robinson with an armbar ***

Dragon Lee and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Virus and Kazuchika Okada (w/Gedo)

Another fun tag match here. Dragon Lee and Virus worked their asses off here, with Virus firing the fuck up against Tanahashi at one point and completely holding his own. We also got a lot more Tanahashi and Okada interactions than I expected and they were obviously great. Dragon Lee pins Virus *** ¼

Overall: 6.5

Fantastica Mania shows are always just goofy fun, with some good but not great matches and some of the regular NJPW guys having some fun with the luchadors and this was another in those fun shows.

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