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Csonka’s FantasticaMania Review 1.20.17

January 20, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s FantasticaMania Review 1.20.17  

Csonka’s FantasticaMania Review 1.20.17

– Blue Panther Jr. & Henare defeated Ephesto & Will Ospreay @ 6:50 via pin [**¾]
– Jushin Liger, Soberano Jr., Tiger Mask defeated Gedo, Jado, Raziel @ 6:55 via pin [**½]
– Hechicero & Okumura defeated Máximo Sexy & Stuka Jr. @ 7:30 via pin [***]
Black Cat Memorial Match: Los Ingobernables defeated Tanahashi and Friends @ 10:55 via pin [***½]
– Euforia, Okada, Último Guerrero defeated Juice Robinson, Mistico, Volador Jr. @ 12:45 via submission [***¾]
Non-Title Match: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi defeated Titán @ 15:21 via pin [***½]
World Lightweight Title Match: Champion Dragón Lee vs. Bárbaro Cavernario @ 20:30 via pin [***½]

Blue Panther Jr. & Henare vs. Ephesto & Will Ospreay: Panther and Ephesto started things off with some grappling, they then picked up the pacing, and did some back and forth passes until Henare and Ospreay tagged in. Ospreay showed up Henare, and dabbed; this was not appreciated as Henare tried to pummel him. It quickly broke down, panther did his sexy dance for Ephesto, they did some comedy and Ospreay returned the fun returned as panther worked over Ospreay, the crowd is into this and sounds like they are having fun. We got dive from Ephesto, Henare worked the young lion crab on Ospreay, but Ephesto made the save. Ospreay busted out the fosbury flop on Henare, but that allowed Panther to attack and submit Ephesto. Blue Panther Jr. & Henare defeated Ephesto & Will Ospreay @ 6:50 via pin [**¾] This was a pretty good opener, it had its fun spots but felt as if it was just getting going when it ended.

Jushin Liger, Soberano Jr., Tiger Mask vs. Gedo, Jado, Raziel: These dick bags cut all the music, denying me of Liger’s sweet jam. Liger and Gedo kicked things off, Gedo looked to play by the rules but Liger wasn’t buying what he was selling and then messed with him, offering a handshake and constantly pulling it away. Soberano came in, did random flips and then sent Jado to the floor. Gedo and Raziel quickly cut him off and took the heat. Raziel then hit a falcon arrow (HE DID THE DEAL!), it broke down with Gedo and friends tossing Tiger Mask & Soberano to the floor, and then working over Liger in their corner. Soberano tried to make the save, but old man Jado used some underhanded tactics to cut him off. Soberano fought back, hit a dive as Tiger Mask fought off Jado and Gedo, Palm strikes by Liger, Tiger Mask then hit a dive. Raziel countered a head scissors into a flapjack, but Soberano fought back and hit a guillotine moonsault for the win. Jushin Liger, Soberano Jr., Tiger Mask defeated Gedo, Jado, Raziel @ 6:55 via pin [**½] This was solid stuff, But felt as if it ended just a bit to early, and was just missing something. Soberano was a lot of fun, and I love me some New Japan Junior Dads,

Máximo Sexy & Stuka Jr. vs. Hechicero & Okumura: It broke down right away, with Stuka and Sexy working over Hechicero and then hitting dives. Stuka and Okumuraa traded strikes; Hechicero and Sexy did some back and forth counter work; Hechicero to the floor, but he moved and Sexy wiped out Stuka with a cannonball off the apron. Back in, Hechicero and Okumura took control, double teaming Stuka; Sexy made the save. Stuka sends Okumua to the floor, slams Hechicero down and then hits a wild dive to the floor onto Okumura; Sexy hit the splash on Hechicero for the near fall. Hechicero seemed to tweak his knee, Sexy made the big comeback including a dive to the floor onto Hechicero. Okumura then ripped off part of Stuka’s tights and hit the reverse DDT for the win. Hechicero & Okumura defeated Máximo Sexy & Stuka Jr. @ 7:30 via pin [***] Good match, they worked with a good intensity since they were setting things up with the post match angle. It was fun and I appreciated the set up for tomorrow.

– Post match, they did some promo work and Hechicero & Okumura beat down Máximo Sexy & Stuka Jr. Hechicero wants Sexy’s title (they also face off tomorrow). Stuka and Okumura face off tomorrow.

Black Cat Memorial Match: Atlantis, David Finlay, Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Los Ingobernables (BUSHI, EVIL, Naito, Rush, SANADA): Black Cat’s wife was in the ring, holding a picture of him as the babyfaces paid respect. Atlantis started for Tanahashi and friends, which was a poor choice as Rush beat his old ass down. Taguchi and Naito did some comedy, Naito quickly had enough of that shit; it quickly broke down and Los Ingobernables took control. Rush ripped off about half of Atlantis’s mask, BUSHI then attacked KUSHIDA and took the heat, working his taped up arm. Los Ingobernables cleared out his partners; Atlantis grabbed a new mask so he could sell the old one for many yen. KUSHIDA got the hot tag to Tanahashi, he cleaned house and cleared the ring, fighting off everyone on his own. Atlantis tagged in, hit some back breakers and briskly jogged wild, hitting a suicide dive. He could barely walk after than, tagged in Finlay, who hit the uppercut train on EVIL. SANADA returned to help, as he and EVIL double-teamed Finlay. Finlay managed to fight him off, KUSHIDA and Tanahashi worked with Taguchi, hitting as attacks, but they missed planchas. Finlay was left alone, ate kicks and then a lariat from EVIL; the STO followed and Los Ingobernables picked up the win. Post match, Rush beat down old man Atlantis again and ripped off his new mask.Los Ingobernables defeated Tanahashi and Friends @ 10:55 via pin [***½] This was very good, it had a lot of energy and there was good heat on Los Ingobernables. Finlay got a lot in at the end, and looked good surviving on his own for as long as he did. They did great work setting up Rush vs. Atlantis for tomorrow, but I am not sure Atlantis working a long singles match is a good idea. He looked rough after that dive, I’m just glad he didn’t turn to dust.

Juice Robinson, Mistico, Volador Jr. vs. Euforia, Okada, Último Guerrero: Último Guerrero used his ring jacket to hit Volador, basically because he could. There is something humorous about both Guerrero & Volador being unmasked for so long, and then coming to Japan and always starting out with the mask on and then treating it like a big surprise when they remove it. They did a big dramatis double unmasking, and then accidentally put on each other’s masks. After their mask fun, Mistico and Euforia did some back and forth, leading to Okada and JUICE working spots in the year of out lord 2017! Okada is a ton of fun during these shows, his work is so care free because there is no pressure on him. Okada and friends cleared the ring and isolated Juice as Volador and Mistico had their asses handed to them on the floor. Okada and friends triple teamed Mistico, hitting a version of the AWA special and then celebrating. Robinson saved Mistico, Volador then also returned for the big breakdown spot, including dives. Guerrero and Volador worked a tremendously fun closing stretch; leading to more Juice vs. Okada. Juice hit the cutter out of the corner and then the cannon ball. Mistico and Euforia got their shit in, not nearly as fun or as well done as Volador and Guerrero. Mistico hit a springboard RANA, Okada fought off Juice and hit the dropkick and then a plancha. Guerrero caught a Volador dive and then KILLED HIM with a powerbomb on the floor. That allowed Euforia to score the submission on Mistico for the win. This was to set up Mistico & Volador Jr. vs. Euforia & Último Guerrero for tomorrow, as well as Mistico vs. Euforia Euforia, Okada, Último Guerrero defeated Juice Robinson, Mistico, Volador Jr. @ 12:45 via submission [***¾] This was the best thing on the show so far, it had Okada working in a fun and different environment, playing heel and doing wacky dances. This just felt more complete than the previous matches; I guess it had more of that lucha vibe I was looking for. Plus I dig 44 year old Último Guerrero kicking ass.

Titán vs. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi: They worked a spirited beginning, spilled to the floor and Titán took control, hitting a RANA. Back in, Takahashi attacked the knee of Titán, slammed it of the post and then sent him to the floor. This led to the count out tease, Titán beat the count but when he returned, Takahashi not only worked the knee but talked tremendous amounts of shit to him. Nice work by Takahashi on the knee, he’s usually such a wild and frantic worker that it’s nice to see this side of him. Takahashi then entered fill dick heel mode, trying to rip off Titán’s mask. Titán would fight back, send Takahashi to the floor, hit a limping dive and then a springboard moonsault. Back in the ring, Titán hit a version of the burning hammer followed by a springboard splash for the near fall. They worked up top, PELE by Titán and then he ran up the ropes, only to be tossed to the floor. Titán returned, but nearly killed Takahashi on a RANA to the floor spot from off the top. Some bad miscommunication there as it appeared Takahashi wanted to block it. Takahashi took the ref and then got a near fall off of a roll up. Titan fired up with strikes and kicks, and the backslide got 2. Takahashi hit an overhead belly to belly into the corner, and then the wheelbarrow driver off the ropes. The running DVD to the corner and then the timebomb followed and Titán was done. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi defeated Titán @ 15:21 via pin [***½] This was a very good match that could have been much better if they had !) skipped the keg work or 2) had Titán actually sell the legwork. I know this is lucha and all, but don’t spend a bunch of time working the leg and setting a part of the story only to drop it because you need to do flippity shit. I would have rather that they skip it all together, get to the flippity shit and call it a day instead of pretending that there may be some form of psychology. I love flippity shit, they could have done flippity shot for 15-minutes and I would have loved it, but that work the knee and immediately drop it shit annoys me. And no, limping a title bit in-between fives is not selling, that’s Dean Ambrose.

World Lightweight Title Match: Champion Dragón Lee vs. Bárbaro Cavernario: Cavernario is a fucking wild LUCHA CAVEMAN and is awesome. Nice back and forth to begin, leading to the standoff/stalemate. Lee then sent Cavernario to the floor and followed with a dive. Cavernario back in, he fired up and fought back, doing the work and hitting a basement dropkick before removing the corner padding. The missile dropkick followed and then a suicide dive. Cavernario took control, they traded German suplexes; lots of nice back and forth here as lee hit a running RANA to the floor. Back in the ring, Lee hit the northern lights into the dead lift suplex for a near fall. Cavernario worked back, cutting off Lee and hitting a running razor’s edge to the corner. He sent Lee to the floor and then hit his insane splash off the top all the way to the floor. That caveman ain’t right. Lee managed to beat the count, but ate a shotgun dropkick when he returned to the ring. Lee fought back, hitting a snap suplex to the corner. They battled up top, Lee knocked Cavernario into the tree of WHOA and hit the double stomp. Back in the ring, Lee again went for the double stomp but Cavernario suplexed him out of the corner. Cavernario escaped the arm bar, but Lee looked to go up top, they again traded strikes up top; Cavernario into the tree of WHOA again and Lee hit the double stomp (I hate that set up because the guy has to hold himself up for it to work). Lee hit a cool sitout/dump suplex for a near fall, Cavernario then hit the reverse RANA for a near fall. They traded chops, Lee then hit a cradled belly to back suplex for the win. Champion Dragón Lee vs. Bárbaro Cavernario @ 20:30 via pin [***½] This was a very good, fun at times, but flawed match. They should have caped this at 15:00. The match simply went too long is where the real issue is; as it got longer it got sloppy down the stretch, a little repetitive and the finish was beyond flat. It was like, “well, I haven’t done this yet, lets call it the finish.” I love Dragon Lee, I find him to be very gifted, but I feel he works his vest in shorter, sprint style matches.

– Post match, Takahashi tried to attack but Lee fought him off to set up their upcoming title match.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
Today’s FantasticaMania was a good and fun show. I look forward to these shows all year; I get to see CMLL stars I usually don’t get the chance to follow as much as I would like, I get to see the NJPW guys out of their comfort zone and the shows tend to deliver something a bit different in their vibe. There’s nothing must see on the show, but the final four matches were a strong way to close out a B-Level style show.