The first night of the Fantastica Mania tour took place on Friday at the Osaka Prefectural Gym #2 in Japan. Let’s go through the card which included CMLL and NJPW talent.
Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask & Audaz vs. Taiji Ishimori, Gedo & Templario
For the first match, Ryusuke Taguchi was wearing some sort of Egyptian emperor outfit. Taguchi and Tiger Mask teamed with Audaz to face Gedo, Taiji Ishimori and Templario. Ishimori was sporting his NEVER Openweight 6-man belt along with his NJPW Jr. Heavyweight Championship. Tiger Mask and Gedo started the match. Gedo was wearing a Jay White t-shirt. Very early into the match, Audaz did an impressive dive to the outside onto Templario. This made both of them crash into a commentary table. Audaz and Templario were of course given a pretty big spotlight in this match. There was quite a bit of time where both guys were specifically battling each other. Templario landed a Powerbomb onto Audaz to give his team the win. Taguchi also had some pretty good spots on this match, doing a Crossbody of some sort to Ishimori at one point.
Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Forastero vs. Jushin Thunder Liger, Flyer & Titan
The next segment started off amazing because we were treated to a live performance from Taichi. If you aren’t a fan of how you can’t heat Togi Makabe’s music, you would hate this show. A chunk of the songs on the program was muted because they were CMLL songs. The CMLL fighters weren’t used to Suzuki-gun’s attack before the bell tactic and fell victim to it. Taichi took his fight against Liger to the ringside seats. Fly did a Springboard Moonsault to the outside onto Kanemaru during this match. Forastero was trying for a Powerbomb off the second rope, but Titan reversed it into a Huricanrana for a two count. The match finally came to a stop after Forastero put Titan in an Armbar of some sort for the submission. This match felt a little too short since all of these guys were really pulling off some pretty good stuff.
Okumura & Sanson vs. Atlantis & Atlantis Jr.
This match was a big one, as Atlantis Jr. made his pro wrestling debut. It was the original Atlantis that started in the match against Okumura. Jr. seemed to have a good amount of experience, being able to do moves, including dives. His second dive was followed up by a crossbody from Atlantis. His moves inside the ring seemed a little rough around the edges, but it felt like a good debut. In the ring, Atlantis did another Crossbody off the top. He then had to fight off both of his opponents at once. He tagged in Atlantis Jr., who traded chops and strikes with Sanson. Atlantis Jr. got hit with a reverse Cross-Rhodes from Okumura for the win. This was because he was distracted pleading the ref to count three when hit in the back by Okumura. I guess he has some more to learn about turning his back on opponents. After the match, Sanson and Okumura unmasked their opponents and flaunted the masks to the crowd. This was a pretty good match to be quite honest.
El Cuatrero, Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero vs. Angel De Oro, Dragon Lee & Mistico
After the last match, we saw something that we haven’t seen a while in NJPW, an intermission. The first match back was an all-CMLL wrestler match. Out of all of the six, it sounded like Dragon Lee got the biggest reaction. Although it’s hard to tell for sure since Mistico’s reaction couldn’t be heard over the broadcast’s very loud altered music. The match started with Mistico and Ultimo Guerrero. There was an interesting move where both of the Guerrero’s slammed Mistico from the top rope. Angel De Oro, Lee and Mistico all faked dives to the outside at one point. At some point I lost track of all of the dives and other crazy moves that were done in this match. It was an absolute ball. Angel De Oro and El Cuatrero were in the ring with everyone else outside the ring. Cuatrero did a Powerbomb to end the match.
Namajague, El Barbaro Cavernario & Caristico vs. KUSHIDA, El Soberano Jr. & Volador Jr.
In the next match, KUSHIDA was fighting. KUSHIDA will be leaving NJPW at the end of the month. Soberano Jr. and Barbaro Cavernario started the match with a good exchange. After a few dives from both parties, Caristico put Volador Jr. in an Armbar for the win. This, like another match earlier was way too short. I felt that Kushida didn’t get much time to shine.
Fujin (SHO) & Raijin (YOH) (RPG3K), Toa Henare & Satoshi Kojima vs. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & El Terrible
The main event of the show was CHAOS versus Los Ingobernables in an 8-man match. El Terrible started in the ring against Kojima. SHO and YOH were dressed as Fujin and Raijin, the characters they played when working for CMLL. At one point in the match, Takagi was on a roll against RPG3K, giving one of them a Rock Bottom, throwing him on their teammate. Kojima did a crazy amount of chops to El Terrible then went to the top but got stopped. Fujin and Raijin both worked on BUSHI, giving him a Double Knees, but not being able to follow up with the 3K. After that, it was a wild amount of people who came in the ring and did a move. BUSHI got the win with a roll-up to end the match. While it was a decent match, the roll-up felt somewhat disappointing, especially for the main event. It felt like it was missing one more exchange that would have given the match a truly grand finale. After the match, Takagi and BUSHI had a face-off with Fujin and Raijin. BUSHI spoke as well.