Coming off New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest annual show of the year, Wrestle Kingdom, is the Fantastica Mania tour. The tour occupies most of NJPW’s January schedule and follows the theme of NJPW collaborating with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, also known as CMLL. The Mexican Lucha promotion sends over some of their wrestlers for crossover matches with New Japan.
When it started back in 2011, the tour only ran two shows. Now this year it will run eight shows, making it only the second time they have done this. Five of the shows are shown on New Japan World, with the final two offering English commentary. Let’s look at the tour date by date.
Night 1 – 1/11/19 – Osaka, Osaka Prefectural Gym #2 (Edion Arena Osaka)
The first night of the tour is in Osaka, with the main event being an eight-man tag match. SHO and YOH from RPG3K will go under the temporary names of Fujin and Raijin when they team up with Toa Henare and Satoshi Kojima to face Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito and El Terrible. Before that, the soon to depart KUSHIDA tags with Soberano Jr. and Mistico to face Barbaro Cavernario, Namahage A.K.A El Desperado and Caristico. Also on the show is the debut of Atlantis Jr., as he tags with Atlantis to face Sanson and Okumura. The announcement of his debut was broken in late October and early November in Mexican media. Jushin Thunder Liger also competes on this show after not having any involvement in Wrestle Kingdom or New Year Dash.
There are three shows in-between the first and second televised events. The first two of those share the same main event as night one. After the tour goes through Ehime and Kyoto they go to Gifu for the final house show. On that show RPG3k face the same main event opponents, but they team up with Volador Jr. and Mistico.
Night 5 – 1/16/19 – Chiba, Makuhari Messe
Cameras are back on the talent on Wednesday in Chiba. This show kicks off a tournament that will take place over the course of the tournament. The “CMLL Family Tag Tournament” will hold it’s semi-final matches on this show. The first match is the newly debuted Atlantis Jr. and Atlantis versus Cuatrero and Sanson. The main event of the evening will be Dragon Lee and Mistico versus Flyer and Volador Jr.
Night 6 – 1/18/19 – Tokyo, Korakuen Hall
From night 6 until the end, the rest of the shows are held at Korakuen Hall. So far only three matches have been announced for this show. The two winning teams from the first round of the Family tournament will face off in the finals. In a special singles match, Soberano Jr. and Barbaro Cavernario will fight. In a memorial match for Black Cat, the same eight-man match from night one will be done.
Night 7 – 1/20/19 – Tokyo, Korakuen Hall
On night seven Satoshi Kojima will get his first singles match since September, as he faces El Terrible. The winners of the family tag team tournament will get one last challenge as they get to face Gran Guerrero and Ultimo Guerrero, the winners of the brothers tag tournament.
Night 8 – 1/21/19 – Tokyo, Korakuen Hall
The final night of the tour is the only one to include a championship match. The Mexican National Trios Championship will be defended by Forestero, Cuatrero and Sanso. The trio challenging them will be Angel de oro, Titan and Atlantis. To promote the Japanese movie “My Dad Is A Heel Wrestler,” wrestlers Kazuchika Okada and Togi Makabe will operate under different names for one match. Okada will be known as Dragon George, and Makabe will be SweetGorilla Maruyama. They will face Ginbae Mask and Gokiburi Mask.
At the end of the month New Japan will split into two tours at the same time. The first is will be their “Road to The New Beginning” tour in Japan, with the other one being “The New Beginning USA,” which goes through California, North Carolina and Tennessee.