Reviews

NJPW/CMLL Fantastica Mania Day 5 Review

Air Date: 23/1/16

Mascara Dorada and Titan vs. Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu

This was another standard young boy match, aided by some fun high flying from the luchadors. Tanaka and Komatsu have been booked to look a little stronger on this tour, which makes sense as this is their last tour before heading on their excursion, and have really risen to the occasion. Titan submits Sho Tanaka ** ¾

Fuego, KUSHIDA, and Juice Robinson vs. CHAOS (Gedo and YOSHI-HASHI) and Hechicero

Fun, chaotic six man tag here with everyone getting some time to shine. Gedo and Fuego had a fun little interaction to start things off, with Gedo and his asshole act working well with Fuego’s fun loving act. Meanwhile Hechicero looked like a complete monster against his smaller opponents, and YOSHI-HASHI was very much just there. Hechicero submits Fuego ***

Guerrero Maya Jr and Panther (c) vs. Okumura and Bobby Z (CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship)

Perfectly fine tag match here. These guys have been working hard on undercard matches on this tour and this very much felt like the culmination of those matches. I really enjoyed the heel schtick of Okumura and Bobby Z especially in this, it was classic old school heel work with them begging off and often embracing each other. Maya pinned Bobby Z ***

Ryusuke Taguchi and Stuka Jr vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and El Barbaro Cavernario

Nakamura is having the time of his life on this tour, he came out dancing around with bone nun chucks and a caveman mask while Cavernario was dressed like Fred Flintsone and had King of caveman style on his back. This was a super fun sprint, everyone was working pretty hard, especially Nakamura who rarely puts in much effort in these house shows, and delivered a solid match. Cavernario submits Stuka Jr *** ¼

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, and BUSHI) vs. Atlantis, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Tiger Mask (IV)

Another match in the series of LIJ against Atlantis and friends. Amazingly Tiger Mask looked the best on his team, he was fired the hell up and really took the fight to BUSHI and Naito. The masked men were defending the honour of lucha libre, but they again weren’t able to overcome the tyranny of the ungovernable one. Naito pins Tiger Mask *** ¼

Dragon Lee (c) vs. Virus (CMLL World Lightweight Championship)

Virus came into this match trying to ground the highflyer, and when that didn’t quite work he took to the air like the champion. These two had a very good back and forth match, I wanted to rate this a lot higher but I felt like the finish was very abrupt and with an extra five minutes this could have been a classic. Dragon Lee pins Virus *** ½

After the match Dragon Lee is attacked by the returning Kamitachi, who has had an incredible feud with Dragon Lee in Mexico. Kamitachi got a good pop from the crowd and challenged Lee to a title match and the next show which should be another classic match in their ongoing series.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Mistico (II), and Volador Jr vs. Kazuchika Okada, Mephisto, and Ultimo Guerrero

Another fun, spotty tag match. There was some goofiness at the start of the match but things got exciting in the last five or so minutes of the match. Mephisto, who I am not normally a fan of, looked really good here which makes sense with the post-match. Mephisto pins Volador Jr *** ¼

After the match Mephisto challenges Volador Jr to a title match tomorrow.

Overall: 6.0

Even though everything on this show was at least worth watching, the show as a whole felt like a step down compared to the rest of the tour. Luckily the final show is set up to be really special.

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