The Fantastica Mania tour is nearing its end as the second of three Korakuen Hall shows happened on Sunday. This was the first show on the tour that offered English commentary on NJPW World. Let’s go through the card.
Ryusuke Taguchi & Flyer vs. Gedo & Taiji Ishimori
The first match was a tag team battle between the team of Ryusuke Taguchi and Flyer and the team of Gedo and Taiji Ishimori. At the start of the match, Gedo and Taiji ambushed Taguchi and Flyer. Flyer was fighting a two-on-one battle, taking both Bullet Club members to the outside and then delivering a dive. Taguchi tried for a follow-up Crossbody but only landed on his teammate, Flyer. Taguchi did a Double Springboard Hip Attack and then did a B-Trigger many times. After Flyer seemingly was mounting some offence onto Ishimori, Taiji turned a roll-up pin attempt into an Ankle Lock to end the bout. After the match, Ishimori beat up Taguchi and took off his mask.
Templario & El Cuatrero vs. Angel de Oro & Titan
The second match had all CMLL wrestlers involved. Templario and Titan had a good starting combo of moves against each other. Templario delivered a nasty Powerbomb on the floor to Titan. All four guys were going fast from start to finish in this match. Angel de Oro landed a Springboard Moonsault for a two count on El Cuatrero. Templario and Titan had an impressive exchange of slaps, which made Templario land a Powerbomb afterwards. A second rope Powerbomb from Templario was reversed into a Huricanrana for a two count. El Cuatrero gave Angel de Oro a Crucifix Powerbomb for a close pinfall attempt. Angel de Oro put Cuatrero in a submission move to end the bout. What an exciting one this was!
Fujin, Raijin (RPG3K) & Toa Henare vs. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito
The next match was all NJPW talent if Fujin and Raijin count. As Naito was still in the process of being introduced, Los Ingobernables jumped their opponents. Henare was sent into the third row, crashing through chairs because of Naito. Naito and Henare also had some time in the ring against each other as that is the next IC title program. Henare hit a Samoan Drop on Naito for a two count. Naito landed a Draping corner Neckbreaker. Henare fought out of a two-on-one predicament against Naito and BUSHI and then tagged in Fujin. Raijin came in shortly after to join Fujin. They tried for the 3K on BUSHI but Tagaki and Naito came in to break it up. BUSHI and Takagi gave Fujin a Backcracker, and then a double team Codebreaker to win the match. After the match, Fujin and Raijin were unmasked, showing the crowd that they were SHO and YOH. BUSHI cut a short promo after the match. Henare also wanted to come back into the ring and go up to Naito but chose not to since Takagi and BUSHI were present. This felt like one of the only matches we’ve seen on the tour so far that had real storyline progression. We should have sensed that since CMLL had no involvement in this one. Naito called out commentator Milano Collection A.T. to take Naito’s hat and put it on his head. Very cautiously, Milano did this.
OKUMURA, Forastero & Sanson vs. Jushin Thunder Liger, Atlantis & Atlantis Jr.
In a six-man match, Liger and both Atlantis’ fought OKUMURA, Forastero and Sanson. During the match, OKUMURA’s manager came into the ring and got suplexed by Liger. This match had tons of moments with more than two wrestlers in the ring. OKUMURA did a back body drop DDT type of move to win the match. This match went a little too long in my opinion. After the match, OKUMURA, Saanson and Forastero cut a promo on Atlantis Jr. A brawl broke out afterwards where both Atlantis’ was unmasked.
Namajague, El Barbaro Cavernario & Caristico vs. Audaz, El Soberano Jr. & Volador Jr.
This next six-man tag match included El Barbaro Cavernario, who the crowd really likes. Volador Jr. also got a big reaction. He wore a Spiderman themed outfit for this match. Early in the match, the team of Audaz, Soberano and Volador did triple dives to the outside. There was a five-person Superplex followed right up by a Springboard Frogsplash by Volador. Caristico was unmasked while doing a Sunset Flip, and it seemed like maybe one side of the venue got to see his face for a good second. Caristico put in his submission on Volador Jr. to win. This match had the crowd absolutely amped up. I thought this was one of those fun matches where nobody seemed to ever relax.
El Terrible vs. Satoshi Kojima
Before the main event, we saw a singles match between El Terrible and Satoshi Kojima. I liked a spot in this match where both guys exhausted each other from trading chops. Kojima landed a Superplex for a two count. After clotheslining Terrible to the outside, Kojima did a Crossbody to the outside. After a Frogsplash, Terrible tried for a move but Kojima fought out of it. Kojima hit a Brainbuster for a two count. He took off an elbow pad and went for a Lariat but was met with a strike by Terrible. Terrible did nasty looking slaps in a corner and then did a Styles Clash for the win. This was a good match and a good change of pace with so many lightning fast tag matches on this tour. After the match, the Los Ingobernables de Japon trio from earlier came out to celebrate with Terrible.
Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero vs. Dragon Lee & Mistico
The main event was Gran Guerrero and Ultimo Guerrero facing Dragon Lee and Mistico. Mistico duped everyone during the match by taking off his mask to reveal a second, identical mask. Mistico also did a wild spot where he ran off of the first elevated row of Korakuen and did a Huricanrana. Lee and Mistico did Tope Con Hiro’s at the same time. In another great double team move, both of the Guerreros did double baseball slides to Lee and Mistico, who were on the apron. Ultimo did a jump off the top rope to the outside after Gran Guerrero went over all three ropes. Ultimo Guerrero did a face-first Superplex off the second rope for a close two count. The crowd was red hot at this point. Lee tried for a Huricanrana off the top but was reversed into a Powerbomb by Ultimo. Sitting at the top rope, Lee and Ultimo traded blows. Lee hit his Draping Double Stomp but Gran Guerrero came in to break the count. Lee hit a Tope Suicida to Ultimo Guerrero, and Mistico came in. Mistico was hit with a Powerbomb and kicked out at the pinfall afterwards. Mistico hit a top rope Huricanrana for a close count. Mistico put on the arm submission move to win the match. This was a truly great match, with a real main event feel. Great way to wrap up what was one of the better Fantastica Mania shows on this tour.