Reviews

NJPW/CMLL Fantastica Mania Day 4 Review

Air Date: 22/1/16

Fuego and Stuka Jr vs. Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu

This was a great, fast paced opening match. Apart from a few awkward looking moments, mostly from Tanaka, everything looked good and things never really overstayed their welcome. Great way to open the show, with Fuego again looking like a god damn star. Fuego pins Komatsu *** ¼

CHAOS (Gedo and YOSHI-HASHI), Bobby Z, Hechicero, and Okumura vs. David Finlay, Guerrero Maya Jr, Jushin Thunder Liger, Panther, and KUSHIDA

Some goofy spots in this, but overall we got another pretty fun multiman tag match. Finlay especially showed some great fire in the finishing sequence and impressed hugely. This guy is ready to graduate from young boy. Hechicero submits David Finlay ***

After the match Bobby Z and Okumura challenge Guerrero Maya Jr and Panther to a title match, which the champions accept.

Atlantis and Juice Robinson vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito and EVIL)

The feud between Atlantis and Naito continues here, with Naito again being obsessed with Atlantis’ mask. That added a lot of heat to this match, which was pretty good and featured some really good stuff from Juice Robinson. EVIL has really been the third man in LIJ so far this year and he continued that run of being very meh here. Tetsuya Naito pins Juice Robinson ***

El Barbaro Cavernario (w/Hechicero) (c) vs. Titan (Mexican National Welterweight Championship)

Cavernario has been gaining a lot of new fans on this tour, both for his awesome character work and impressive in ring work. He and Titan had a great athletic match here, including a crazy splash from Cavernario to the outside. Titan worked from underneath very well, and showed some awesome fire towards the end but when all was said and done this was a dominant title defence for Barbaro who truly deserved it. Cavernario submits Titan *** ¾

BUSHI (w/Tetsuya Naito) (c) vs. Mascara Dorada (w/Atlantis) (CMLL World Welterweight Championship)

After some boring crowd brawling and some shenanigans with Naito, these two had a very good back and forth match. BUSHI has become one of the most exciting wrestlers in the world to watch and he did an incredible job here against Dorada, who himself is proving himself one of the best in the world right now. I would rate this match a lot higher if not for the LIJ shenanigans, but even with them it was a really great match. Mascara pins BUSHI with the Dorada Driver ****

Ryusuke Taguchi, Dragon Lee, and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. CHAOS (Shinsuke Nakamura and Kazuchika Okada w/Gedo) and Virus

This was your standard goofy undercard six man tag match with a few exciting spots and a hot finishing stretch. Tanahashi and Nakamura had some awesome interactions, as did Dragon Lee and Virus. The most interesting thing about this match to me was Okada acting a lot cockier towards Tanahashi now that he has finally bested him, this match was meant to remind us that Okada now believes he is the man in the company. Virus submits Dragon Lee *** ½

Mephisto and Ultimo Guerrero vs. Mistico (II) and Volador Jr

This match was all about Mistico and Volador flying all over the place and Ultimo and Mephisto beat the crap out of them. This felt like it went a little longer than perhaps it needed to, but everything was got was pretty good if not great so there isn’t much to complain about. Ultimo Guerrero pins Mistico (II) *** ¼

Overall: 6.5

The previous shows on this tour have been fun but missing that one great match. This, the first show that was broadcast live on NJPW World instead of on Samurai TV later, had that one great match in BUSHI/Dorada and that really helped push the show up.

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