NJPW Fantastica Mania 2019 Day 8 Results and Review

After many days of Puroresu and Luchador action, the tour sadly came to a close. But before it ended we got one final day with a packed card. Let’s look at the final day of Fantastica Mania.

Templario & El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Audaz & Flyer

The first match was a traditional tag team match with CMLL wrestlers. Early in the match, Templario did a dive, with teammate Cavernario doing a top rope crossbody to the outside as well. There was a nice move where Cavernario got slammed and then Flyer gave Audaz a Headscissors, making him land on Cavernario. Flyer did a Spanish Fly off the top rope but got the pin attempt broken up by Templario. Back on the ropes, Templario landed a Gutwrench Powerbomb. Audaz came into the equation and gave Templario a Springboard Dropkick and Huricanrana off the top rope. Cavernario came in and put his back stretching submission move in to win the match.

OKUMURA w/ Mima Shimoda vs. Atlantis Jr.

This next match was Atlantis Jr.’s first singles match of his career. Before the bell, Atlantis started the fight and did tow Tope Sucidas. OKUMURA dodged the third one and then brought Atlantis Jr. into the rows of Korakuen Hall. Atlantis landed a Huricanrana in-between two sections of seats. After this, the fight went into the right. OKUMURA landed a Draping Cutter off the top rope for a two count. OKUMURA got Rana’d to the outside and then hit with a top rope Crossbody. Atlantis Jr. wasn’t missing a beat. There was some antics with the referee where he tried giving OKUMURA a quick count after he protested a pin attempt. After not being successful the first time, Atlantis Jr. won the match with a submission move. This was a great tour for Atlantis Jr., and this match was obviously the high point.

SHO & YOH (RPG3K), Toa Henare & Satoshi Kojima vs. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & El Terrible

After Fujin and Raijin were unmasked and revealed as SHO and YOH at the show before, the masks for RPG3K are gone. They teamed with Toa Henare and Satoshi Kojima to face Los Ingobernables. Even though Naito and his team would usually be the ones to jump their opponents, it was the CHAOS team that did that. Terrible gave Kojima a Frogsplash that Kojima kicked out of. YOH kicked out of a dropping elbow from Takagi. YOH got out of a Dragon Screw and did his own. Shingo and YOH had a good combo where YOH landed a Superkick but got taken out with a Clothesline. Naito and Henare got the hot tags. Henare landed a Samoan Drop for a pin attempt that Terrible broke up. Naito was setting up for a Destino on Henare, but then Taichi came in the ring and hit him with the IC title. El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru joined the ring and beat up everyone from both teams. The match was ruled a no contest. BUSHI was unmasked and then Taichi cut a promo. I was kind of surprised by this since there haven’t been many angles done on this tour so far.

Atlantis, Angel de Oro & Titan vs. Forastero, El Cuatrero & Sanson (Mexican National Trio Championship Match)

This next match was for an actual championship. The Mexican National Trio Championship was put up in a six-man tag match. It was mentioned before the match that Forastero, El Cuatrero and Sanson have been champions for over 500 days. Atlantis did a Crossbody to the outside onto everyone which got a big crowd reaction. Angel de Oro did a good combo on El Cuatrero, when he did a Superkick and then Moonsault. There was a five-man Superplex spot with Angel de Oro landing a Frogsplash right after. Cautrero landed a Crucifix Powerbomb to win the match. I hardly covered every big move in this match, but it was absolute chaos. It’s worth watching for sure.

Gran Guerrero, Ultimo Guerrero & Namajague vs. Soberano Jr., Dragon Lee & Mistico

The next match was a six-man tag team bout. I want to tag this moment to appreciate the “raise the roof” dance that Gran Guerrero and Ultimo Guerrero do when entering. Namajague and Dragon Lee traded rough chops for a very long time during this match. After Dragon Lee did a Tope Suicide and Mistico did a Moonsault, Ultimo Gerrero did a great Superplex type of move to end the match.

Ginbae Mask & Gokiburi Mask vs. SweetGorilla Maruyama & Dragon George

Before the main event, we had an interesting match where we saw four wrestlers dressed as different characters to promote the “My Dad is a Heel Wrestler” movie. Kazuchika Okada was Dragon George, Tomoaki Honma was SweetGorilla Maruyama, Ryusuke Taguchi was Ginbae Mask and Hiroshi Tanahashi was Gokiburi Mask. Gokiburi Mask had a bug spray that he used as an attack on both George and Maruyama. This made the crowd boo heavily. Outside the ring, Ginbae used a fly swatter to hit Maruyama. They also used a toilet plumber and a brush. They put a trash can on George’s head and then did a hip attack and a punch. As the ref was distracted Ginbae Mask gave George a low blow, and then Gokiburi mask went to the top rope for a High Fly Flow that was reversed into a Dropkick. A Rainmaker attempt was reversed into a Swingblade. Later on, as George was down, Maruyama gave both Ginbae and Gokiburi a Clothesline. George landed a Dropkick, Tombstone Piledriver and then a Rainmaker to end the match. This match was good, but what really added to it was the absurdity of the commentators trying to make sense of what was going on, and the wrestlers playing different roles.

Volador Jr. vs. Caristico

The main event of this show was Volador Jr. versus Caristico. In the first few moments of the match, Volador Jr. was hit with a Tope Suicida. Volador followed this up by dropkicking Caristico to the outside and then did a Tope Suicida of his own. Minutes later Volador did another dive, over all three ropes this time. Caristico did the same thing after. Later on, Caristico tried for a Moonsault but Volador put his legs up to block it. Caristico did a Crossbody off a corner turnbuckle into a walking area in Korakuen. Volador did a Springboard Moonsault to the outside after that. Both guys were on the ground in the ring after Volador responded to a corner Clothesline with a Superkick. On the top rope, Volador Jr. landed a Huricanrana for a two count. The crowd was super loud for that. He landed a Canadian Destroyer for another two count. Caristico landed a Canadian Destroyer of his own for another close count. Caristico put in his submission move but Volador Jr. found his way to the ropes. On the top rope once again Volador Jr. landed a Spanish Fly to end the match. This was a good match, even though I thought the diving at the start felt a little excessive. The Fantastica Mania tour, in general, was pretty good, with the final two days being the best when it came to top to bottom cards. New Japan returns on the 28th for the start of the Road to The New Beginning tour. In a feel-good moment, mostly everyone from the tour came into the ring and rejoiced as the show ended.

NJPW Fantastica Mania 2019 Day 5 Results and Review

Let’s look at night five of the NJPW Fantastica Mania tour. A full review of the first night can be found here. Here are the results of the four non-televised nights of the tour:

Night 2 – 1/12/19 – Imabari, Ehime, Japan:

  1. Audaz, KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi def. Gedo, Taichi Ishimori & Templario
  2. Flyer & Titan def. Forestero & Taichi
  3. Okumura, Sanson & Yoshinobu Kanemaru def. Atlantis, Atlantis Jr. & Tiger Mask
  4. El Barbaro Cavernario, El Cuatrero & Ultimo Guerrero def. Andel de Oro, El Soberano Jr. & Mistico
  5. Dragon Lee, Jushin Thunger Liger & Volador Jr. def. Caristico, Gran Guerrero & Namajague
  6. BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, Tetusuya Naito & El Terrible def. Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima & Toa Henare

Night 3 – 1/13/19 – Kyoto, Japan:

  1. Gedo, Taichi Ishimori & Templario def. Audaz, Jushin Thunder Liger & Ryusuke Taguchi
  2. Angel de Oro & KUSHIDA def. El Cuatrero & Taichi
  3. Atlantis, Atlantis Jr. & Flyer def. Okumura, Sanson & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  4. El Soberano Jr., Mistico & Titan def. El Barbaro Cavernario, Forastero & Ultimo Guerrero
  5. Caristico, Gran Guerrero & Namajague def. Dragon Lee, Tiger Mask & Volador Jr.
  6. BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito & El Terrible def. Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima & Toa Henare

Night 4 – 1/14/19 – Gifu, Japan:

  1. Audaz, Ryusuke Taguchi & Tiger Mask def. Gedo, Taichi Ishimori & Templario
  2. El Cuatrero & Taichi def. Angel de Oro & Flyer
  3. Atlantis, Atlantis Jr. & KUSHIDA def. Okumura, Sanson & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  4. Dragon Lee, El Soberano Jr. & Titan def. El Barbaro Cavernario, Forastero & Gran Guerrero
  5. Jushin Thunder Liger, Mistico & Volador Jr. def. Caristico, Namajague & Ultimo Guerrero
  6. BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito & El Terrible def. Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima & Toa Henare

KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi & Titan vs. Taichi Ishimori, Gedo & Sanson

The first match had four NJPW wrestlers and two CMLL luchadors. Taguchi is still wearing his emperor outfit, and KUSHIDA is still walking out with a huge robot head. Very early on Titan did an impressive dive to the outside onto Sanson. KUSHIDA and Taguchi tried following suit, but both came up short. Sanson being the rudo he is, tried unmasking Sanson only minutes deep into the contest. Sanson put Titan in his finishing move to end the bout. This was a very short bout with no real substance besides the diving spot early on. After the bell Ishimori and Gedo continued their submission moves outside the ring. Taguchi had a face-off with Taguchi after the bout as well.

Fujin & Raijin (RPG3K) vs. BUSHI & Shingo Takagi

While at first glance this match seems like it has a crossover in it, it doesn’t. SHO and YOH from RPG3K are masked and under the aliases of “Fujin” and “Raijin” for this tour. They faced BUSHI and Shingo Takagi at this event. Late in this match, Fujin and BUSHI got hot tags, with RPG3K trying for the 3K but not landing it. BUSHI did a double Huricanrana to fight off RPG3K. BUSHI and Takagi picked on Fujin, with BUSHI delivering a Backbreaker at the end of a combo. While BUSHI was laid out Takagi gave both RPG3K members a Clothesline and then took Raijin out of the equation. Fujin gave BUSHI a roll-up to end the match. This match felt disappointing from start to finish.

Namajague, OKUMURA, El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Audaz, El Soberano Jr. & Angel de Oro

This six-man tag was one where I wasn’t too familiar with anyone in it. I thought that Namajague’s mask looked very pretty. Soberano Jr. delivered a Huricanrana at one point where he got so much air that it was amazing. Soberano Jr. did a Springboard Moonsault onto OKUMURA who was hanging on the ropes to end the match. The time that he got in this match really made him stick out. The match kicked into it’s highest gear around 10 minutes in, and then just went full speed to the finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Toa Henare & Satoshi Kojima vs. Tetsuya Naito & El Terrible

In the next match, El Terrible teamed with Tetsuya Naito to face Toa Henare and Satoshi Kojima. Naito took this fight into the crowd quickly. Naito hit Henare with a chair. Henare and El Terrible had a good spot where they traded slaps. El Terrible ended the match with a Styles Clash on Henare. This was a fun match with Naito and El Terrible working well together.

Templario, Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero vs. Tiger Mask, Jushin Thunder Liger & Caristico

This was the final match before the two tournament matches. We saw quite a bit out of Tiger Mask in this matchup, with him doing a Crossbody to the outside at one point. Caristico did his Armbar move to win the match. The stock music he was given for this broadcast was horrible.

El Cuatrero (Horseshoe) & Sanson vs. Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. (CMLL Family Tag Team Tournament Semi-Finals)

The two final matches on this card were part of a four-team tournament running on two shows of the tour. The tournament is for families from CMLL. The newly debuted Atlantis Jr. teamed with Atlantis to face El Cuatrero and Sanson. Sanson did a dive to the outside onto Atlantis Jr. early into the match. The match ended in the corner when Atlantis Jr. and Sanson were on the top rope. Sanson reversed whatever Atlantis Jr. was planning and turned it into a slam of some type. Like I said in the first report, Atlantis Jr. looks very good despite being only days into his debut.

Flyer & Volador Jr. (Blue Spider) vs. Dragon Lee (White) & Mistico (Gold & Silver)

In the main event, Flyer and Volador Jr. faced Dragon Lee & Mistico. Dragon Lee and Flyer had a good exchange at the start. Flyer did a Moonsault off the ropes, and Volador Jr. did a Tope Suicida right after. Minutes later, Dragon Lee and Mistico returned the favour, delivering dives of their own. Dragon Lee gave Volador Jr. a double stomp in a corner of the ring, and then took a DDT from Flyer. Mistico and Volador Jr. both landed Canadian Destroyers like it was nobodies business. Dragon Lee was going to do another double stomp, but Flyer came up to the top and turned it into a Spanish Fly. This got a two count which was broken up by Mistico. Mistico got a close count by doing a Huricanrana off the second rope onto Volador Jr. He followed it up with a Moonsault outside the ring. Flyer landed a Canadian Destroyer in the ring on Dragon Lee for a two count. Flyer also kicked out of a Powerbomb from Lee. Lee landed a knee strike and then another Powerbomb to end the match. This was a very fun main event, and I have no complains at all.

NJPW Fantastica Mania 2019 Night 1 Results and Review

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.

NJPW Fantastica Mania 2019 Tour Preview

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.

Untelevised Nights

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.