CMLL FANTASTICA MANIA 2020 (Night one)
FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, 2020
By: Gary Schweder
FANTASTICA MANIA is a show that NJPW runs with their working partner Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). The tradition started in 2010. It spotlights less seen talent and helps break up the monotony of the schedule. CMLL’s rules are observed, mainly tag team rules. I don’t expect many tags, but do expect fast paced action from fresh faces…and rudos.
Jushin Thunder Liger came out first in his Mask and T-shirt. After addressing the crowd he joined the commentary desk.
1) Ryusuke Taguchi & Fuego def DOUKI & Yoshinobu Kanemaru:
Taguchi & Fuego did a choreographed pre-match dance. Watching Taguchi dance his heart out was worth the price of admission. Yoshi trapped Taguchi in an endless Irish whip, only to eat his hip attack. Taguchi tapped Yoshinobu in an endless Irish whip, only to miss on the drop kick. Fuego frustrated Suzuki gun with a mix of acrobatics and dancing. His speed allowed him to score a schoolboy for the win. (8m 00s)
2) Namajague, Luciferno & Euforia def Yuya Uemura, Guerrero Maya Jr & Audaz:
Guerrero Maya Jr has cool NJPW themed gear for the event. Namajague, Luciferno and Euforia immediately start picking on Uemura as soon as he enters. Uemura got Audaz with the old “your shoe’s untied” bit. Guerrero Maya Jr and Audaz captured the momentum with high flying double team maneuvers. This gave Uemura a chance. As he furiously attempted multiple pins, Uemura got planted with a bridging German suplex for the loss. (8m 34s)
3) Flyer, Soberano Jr. def Tiger & Negro Casas:
I was impressed with how Negro Casas can move for 60 year old. He left Soberano an empty pool on a tope suicida. Negro also Performed a flying cannon ball off the apron. Eventually Soberano Jr.’s speed and athleticism was too much. He scored the pin after a flurry of high flying good lucha things. (6m 30s)
4) Titán, Niebra Roja & Ángel de oro def Forastero, Cuatrero & Sanson:
Titán’s denim vest reminds me of ones worn by new kids on the block fan girls in the early 90s. Niebra Roja came out with a knockoff Sword of Omens. Forastero, Cuatrero & Sanson have matching team gear, but that makes it hard to tell them apart. Titán has skills. He stuck a landing on a tope, only to fall victim to a triple team. To the delight of the female fans Ángel de oro scored a submission with a La Campana. (10m 10s)
5) BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito def Yota Tsuji, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Dulce Gardenia:
Tanahashi has neat face paint. There is an adorable child in the crowd dressed as Naito, complete with two belts. Dulce reminds me of Hank Azaria’s character in the Birdcage. He started off by frustrating BUSHI with an offense that consisted mostly of blowing kisses. Naito got fed up with the antics and jumped in. Tsuji did a great job selling a Hiromu superkick. Tsuji, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Dulce had there opponents trapped in a three way submission. LIJ escaped and Hiromu showed Tsuji how a Boston crab is properly applied for the win. LIJ Wanted to take a photo with their championship belts, but couldn’t agree on how the belts should be arranged in the photo. Naito gave his child doppelgänger a fist bump on the way out. (10m 8s)
6) OKUMURA, Bárbaro Cavernario & Último Guerrero def Stuka Jr., Carístico & Satoshi Kojima: They first presented an award to OKUMURA celebrating his 25th anniversary. Bárbaro Cavernario is dressed like a Halloween store Fred Fintstone. There was a cool exchange between the hard striking veterans Guerrero and Kojima. Most men in this match performed moves that their body type should not allow. Even Koji got in the act with a Plancha. After one of these high flying flurries, OKUMURA scored the victory with the top rope cutter. Kojima appears to want a shot at Guerrero’s CMLL World Heavyweight Championship, which would be awesome. OKUMURA Took us home and the microphone, followed with a winners press conference. (11m 30s)