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CMLL/New Japan FantasticaMania: Night Seven Preview
Alright sports fans, we’ve made it through two nearly sleepless nights and two good to excellent FantasticaMania shows. What’s one more for the road? Tomorrow night the tour concludes and the CMLL goes back to Mexico where…well hopefully its better looking than what most of us expect. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For now let’s see what Night Seven of FantasticaMania has to offer. Moses, just meme it!
Blue Panther Jr., Henare, Soberano Jr. vs. Cavernario, Gedo, Jado
What to Expect: Welp, it was fun watching Soberano tangle with the top guys while it lasted. Here he’ll be part of a match that’s likely to be mostly comedy now that Cavernario is injured. I hope it isn’t; Soberano has earned a shot to do more, I always enjoy getting to see Junior do his thing and Henare has proved to be an intriguing prospect when he’s been allowed to do something (which has been even less than Junior). This could be something decent; I just not sure anyone is going to be up for doing anything too serious. So it goes.
Winners: Soberano, Junior and Henare at least close the tour on a high note, winning the match after someone pins Jado. Just don’t ask me who; my brain is still too tired to process thoughts.
Jushin Thunder Liger, Stuka Jr., Tiger Mask vs. Hechicero, Okumura, Raziel
What to Expect: Welp…it was fun seeing Hechicero in the main event while it lasted! He too now finds himself in what looks to be a comedy match considering that’s all Liger, Tiger Mask, Raziel and even Stuka and Okumura have been doing to an extent. Look for more of those spots while Tiger Mask and Liger take it easy, another bit involving Okumura’s manager/wife, a couple of Stuka dives and…honestly I have no idea what to expect from Hechicero. Maybe he owns Liger for a good minute and it leads to us getting those two doing something in a sequence you never knew you wanted till it just happened. At least it’ll be better than what Raziel is doing. That dude may as well be flying back to Mexico to grumble with Cancerbero over the youngsters taking their spots.
Winners: Hechicero is rewarded for his awesome main event by pinning Stuka.
Dragón Lee & Titán vs. Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi
What to Expect: The first match with promise beyond being simple fun. Dragón Lee-Kamaitachi is in full effect these days so you know they’ll be going at it here, and judging from last night the two haven’t missed a step since their Arena Mexico days. My hope is that both Titán and Bush are given something to do. Titán looked like he was poised for a huge final three days thanks to his match with Kamaitachi; instead he was put in a match where his main job was to sell (which I still maintain he did a remarkable job at) and has basically disappeared since. I suppose that’s better than what Bush has been doing considering Bushi has never really had anything to do to begin with! Hopefully they get something to sink their teeth into with this match because this bout could really be something if CMLL/New Japan wants it to be. It’s well worth watching just because you know Kamaitachi and Lee are doing something worthwhile in it; get the other two going though and this could contend with the two singles matches for Match of the Show.
Winners: Way too close to call. Kamaitachi has won every match he’s had these past two nights (including one that featured Lee last night), but Lee has gotten the better of Kamaitachi at every turn. This is important to note considering they’re tangling at New Beginning in Osaka and this will be one of the last times they tangle before that fight, meaning this could indicate who wins that match. Ultimately it’s still a little too early for Kamaitachi to lose the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title and Titán deserves a bone thrown his way, so I say Lee gets the W over Kamaitachi thanks to Titán getting a pin on Bushi. Basically it’s a win by extension sort of deal.
Juice Robinson, Máximo Sexy, Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Ephesto, Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay
What to Expect: I’m honestly not too moved by this match, even more so than the earlier ones. At least those matches have combinations I could see doing stuff I like; I’m not really sure who I want to see interact here other than Máximo with Ospreay and maybe Okada. In the end I’ll probably be one over the first time Máximo goes for a kiss on Okada and Okada reacts to it (as it turns out, super relaxed and laid back lucha Okada is the best Okada) or when Ospreay does a cool as dive, but right now I can’t say I’m terribly excited. It really wouldn’t surprise me if this were one of the weaker bouts from the three days as a whole not to be an opener or second match.
Winners: Okada finally nails Taguchi with the Rainmaker to win it for his team. No I’m not giving up on that dream; Okada will hit that Rainmaker, Taguchi’s head will roll off and all will be right with the world. Don’t give up on it Okada! Don’t give in!
Atlantis, David Finlay, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kushida vs. EVIL, Naito, Rush, Sanada
What to Expect: This will be good. It’ll also be predictable; Ingobernables will beat down Atlantis, Finaly, Tanahashi and Kushida for about five minutes, one of the technicos will rally, Finlay will do that awesome running corner elbow spot he does, Tanahashi and Sanada will disappointedly not do as much as you’d hope they would do, Kushida will have a spot that makes us all go like this…
…and Rush and Atlantis will once more try to kill each other much to our delight. It’s that last point that I’m most interested in; how do they follow up that excellent match this morning? Does Atlantis just make a beeline for Rush? Will there be more weapons involved? It feels like they have to conclude this rivalry on the tour in some shape or form, especially since I unfortunately don’t see CMLL following up on this any time soon. As such I cannot wait to see what they do.
Winners: I actually think Atlantis doesn’t get the better of Rush in the end. That’s something considering I had him beating Rush just yesterday; instead he, Finaly, Tanahashi and Kushida will go down again after Sanada pins someone. Who? I don’t know, but he keeps getting the victories for Ingobernables on this tour and I doubt that stops now.
Mistico vs. Euforia
What to Expect: Once more (you open the door?) the semi-main looks to be the most impressive match on paper to me, though Volador and UG are most definitely going to get the most hype. Why am I more excited for this one? If you’ve been reading me the last few days you’ll easily know the answer; if not, it’s because of Euforia. I love Euforia. I wish I got to talk more about why Euforia is such a great luchador, only I (and many others) don’t get to because part of what makes him so good is that he does the things that go unnoticed. No one does a better job of protecting the high flyers on dies than Euforia does and few have better timing and instincts to react in the moment the way he does. It’s such an underrated skill set he possesses, and it’s also what leads to him being forgotten by casual and even hardcore lucha fans while his opponents, and even partners like UG, get to do the flashier moves. This won’t be the case here. Certainly Euforia will show off the skills that make him such a great base wrestler because Mistico, who I think we’ve proven is out of his gorram mind after last night’s spot, but there’s only so many Mistico high spots a match can have. We will get to see the full package of Euforia the luchador; not just the base luchador but a dude with tricks of his own up his sleeve. I’m super excited to see it and as such I’m super excited for this match. Will it challenge Atlantis-Rush or Máximo-Hechicero? I’m not quite sure, but it should be full of risks, full of aerial assaults and full of fun. I guarantee Euforia will do one spot that surprises people and Mistico will have one moment where we’re pretty sure he’s going to die.
Winner: Mistico Mistico Mistico MIIIIIIISTICO!!!! Sorry, just wanted to impersonate the CMLL announcers for a minute. In any event Mistico takes this one with La Mistica at around the 18 minute mark. Unfortunately he will not then go on to cut an amazing promo much like his predecessor to the Mistico gimmick does after every match.
Volador Jr. vs. Último Guerrero
What to Expect: Here’s the problem I have with this match, a match that I’m sure will get the crowd all fired up and will be pretty good when all is said and done; I’ve seen it too many times. I think I speak for plenty of lucha people when I say that Volador and UG fight way too much; the only person UG tangles with more is Valiente, which is only more frustrating than seeing this match up because Valiente isn’t Volador. As such, unless they completely surprise us and break a whole lot of new stuff this is pretty much going to be the same match they always have. I just can’t get too excited about it, even though I still think this match will be pretty decent. The best thing going for this match is that the Korakuen Hall crowd likely hasn’t been beaten over the head with this match, which means they should be hot throughout and could help make this match feel significantly better than it is.
Winner: Has Volador actually beaten UG in one on one competition? Well if not he will be this time. I say he takes it around the 22 minute mark with a Spanish Fly. I’d say a Poison Rana, but Cavernario broke that out a few days ago so I can see Volador leaving it in the bag this time around.
That’s the show folks! Currently my plan is to watch tonight’s Crash show, review tonight’s Crash show, then sleep, watch this show and review in the morning. Card is subject to change of course. Till whichever drops first, time for lunch!