New Japan Presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2015
A Casual Review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  January 15th, 2015
Location:  Kyoto KBS Hall in Kyoto, Japan
Announced Attendance:  850

Oh goodie, another CMLL Fantastica Mania event has appeared!  It will actually feel a bit fresh since it has been a few weeks since I watched one of these, but this event is a house show style with no title matches or singles matches so I have low expectations.  Here is the line-up for the event:

- KUSHIDA and Yohei Komatsu vs. YOSHI-HASHI and El Barbaro Cavernario
- Ángel de Oro and Stigma vs. OKUMURA and Mr. Niebla
- Gedo and Polvora vs. Tiger Mask and Mistico II
- Captain New Japan and Stuka Jr. vs. Kazuchika Okada and Mephisto
- Jushin Thunder Liger, Máscara Dorada, and Tritón vs. Tetsuya Naito, Taguchi, and La Sombra
- Shinsuke Nakamura, Ultimo Guerrero, and Gran Guerrero vs. Tanahashi, Atlantis, and Volador Jr.

These matches are pretty short, which means this review will be as well.  My apologies.

KUSHIDA and Yohei Komatsu vs. YOSHI-HASHI and El Barbaro Cavernario
KUSHIDA and Cavernario start off and they trade holds which KUSHIDA gets the better of.  Armdrag by KUSHIDA and he hits a seated senton out of the ring.  Komatsu and YOSHI-HASHI are up next and Komatsu hits a headscissors.  Komatsu elbows YOSHI-HASHI in the corner but YOSHI-HASHI knocks Komatsu out of the ring.  All four men brawl on the floor, Cavernario rolls Komatsu back into the ring and he hits a reverse splash.  Cavernario and YOSHI-HASHI grab KUSHIDA and throw him into an exposed corner.  YOSHI-HASHI puts KUSHIDA on the ropes and he delivers a dropkick.  YOSHI-HASHI chops KUSHIDA out of the ring, Komatsu comes in and he gets chopped as well.  KUSHIDA gets back in and he gets stretched by YOSHI-HASHI.  KUSHIDA hiptosses out of it but Cavernario dropkicks him out of the ring.  Komatsu gets back in to get assaulted, but KUSHIDA runs back in to help.  He is knocked back out to the floor and this match is just awful.  Komatsu is chopped in the corner but Komatsu throws Cavernario into the exposed corner.  Komatsu kicks back YOSHI-HASHI and hits an elbow followed by a jumping spinning elbow.  Cavernario kicks Komatsu out of the ring, KUSHIDA gets on the apron and hits a swandive chop to the face.  KUSHIDA hits a standing moonsault on Cavernario, and then one on both Cavernario and YOSHI-HASHI but the cover gets two.  Catapult dropkick by Komatsu and he hits a pescado onto YOSHI-HASHI.  KUSHIDA kicks Cavernario in the ring and Cavernario dropkicks KUSHIDA when he goes for a handspring elbow.  KUSHIDA falls out of the ring and Cavernario hits a nifty tope suicida off of the apron.  Komatsu gets in the ring, Cavernario slaps the Cavernaria on him and he gets the three count.  This match put me to sleep, who thought this would be entertaining?  There was one nifty spot that I appreciated but beyond that it just wasn’t fun to watch.  Score:  3.0

Ángel de Oro and Stigma vs. OKUMURA and Mr. Niebla
Mr. Niebla and Stigma start off, they trade waistlocks and Mr. Niebla tags in OKUMURA.  Oro tags in too and Oro dropkicks OKUMURA.  They take it outside the ring briefly, but Oro and Mr. Niebla return as Mr. Niebla chops Oro in the corner.  Mr. Niebla ‘runs’ across the ring and he slaps Oro but Stigma dropkicks Mr. Niebla.  OKUMURA chops Stigma but Mr. Niebla hits a back bodydrop on Stigma.  Mr. Niebla tags in OKUMURA and OKUMURA hits a back elbow.  OKUMURA tags Mr. Niebla back in, and Mr. Niebla chops Stigma in the corner.  Stigma manages to get away and tags in Oro, and Oro hits a thrust kick on OKUMURA.  Mr. Niebla walks in and lariats Oro and Mr. Niebla chops Oro in the corner.  Mr. Niebla does a sexy dance but Stigma hits him with a missile dropkick.  Mr. Niebla and OKUMURA start fighting but they make up, and Stigma hits Mr. Niebla with a headscissors.  Mr. Niebla falls out of the ring and Stigma hits an Asai Moonsault.  OKUMURA and Oro get in the ring, and Oro hits a thrust kick followed by a quebrada for a two count.  Michinoku Driver by OKUMURA and he hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two.  Rolling dropkick by Oro, OKUMURA falls out of the ring and he hits a Sasuke Special.  Mr. Niebla and Stigma get in the ring and Mr. Niebla hits a lariat.  Mr. Niebla grabs Stigma and he hits a Death Nucadora for a three count.  I am glad they isolated all the useless people into one match.  I know that is a bit of an exaggeration but none of these four do a lot for me so while the match wasn’t bad it sure as hell wasn’t entertaining.  Mr. Niebla seems to have stopped caring awhile ago and Oro was the only one that did anything pretty.  And on a lucha card, I want to see things that are pretty.  Not very good but better than the last match.  Score:  4.0

Gedo and Polvora vs. Tiger Mask and Mistico II
Gedo and Tiger Mask start off, Tiger Mask gets Gedo to the mat and then hits a pair of arm drags.  Tiger Mask dropkicks Gedo out of the ring and new wrestlers come in.  Mistico is wrestling in a hoodie, there must be a reason why.  Polvora knocks Mistico into the corner, Mistico hits an armdrag and Gedo looks awkward.  Tilt-a-whirl armdrag by Mistico and he hits a slingshot hurricanrana out of the ring onto Polvora.  Polvora slams Tiger Mask into the ring post, back in the ring Polvora puts Mistico on the top turnbuckle and tries to take his mask off.  Polvora dropkicks Mistico in the chest, Tiger Mask comes in but after a moment he was kicked back out of it.  Mistico gets in the ring but Polvora attacks him from behind.  Polvora dropkicks Tiger Mask but then Tiger Mask dropkicks Gedo.  Polvora lariats Tiger Mask but Mistico comes in with a headscissors to Polvora.  Mistico flips out of the ring onto Polvora, while in the ring Tiger Mask kicks Gedo.  High kick by Tiger Mask and he hits a Tiger Driver to Gedo for a two.  Tiger Mask goes up top but Gedo avoids the diving headbutt.  Thrust kick by Gedo but it gets a two count.  Jawbreaker by Gedo but he falls out of the ring and Tiger Mask hits a tope suicida.  Mistico and Polvora get in the ring, hurricanrana by Mistico but it gets a two count.  Polvora drops Mistico on the apron, kick by Mistico but Polvora dropkicks Mistico as he goes for a swandive move.  Polvora Driver by Polvora and he picks up the three count.  I can’t do this anymore, it is just wrestlers taking turns coming in and hitting some moves.  There is no psychology, no structure, no selling, I don’t understand the appeal.  I am not saying that all lucha is like this, but the tag matches on this tour have been in this style and I don’t find it entertaining.  Score:  3.5

Captain New Japan and Stuka Jr. vs. Kazuchika Okada and Mephisto
Stuka and Mephisto begin the match and Stuka flips Mephisto around the ring.  Mephisto tags in Okada and Okada slams Stuka before hitting a senton atomico.  He tags Mephisto back in and Mephisto prevents Stuka from making  the tag.  Irish whip by Mephisto but Stuka hits a backbreaker.  Okada goes outside the ring trying to take off Captain New Japan’s mask while in the ring Mephisto goes for Stuka’s mask.  In the ring Okada applies a chinlock to Stuka, Mephisto comes in the ring as does Captain New Japan, and Captain New Japan slams both Okada and Mephisto.  Okada and Mephisto are knocked out of the ring and both their opponents do fake dives.  Mephisto and Stuka square off and Stuka hits a monkey flip.  Stuka kicks Mephisto back and he rolls him up for a two count.  Stuka and Captain New Japan apply leg submissions to Okada and Mephisto, and Stuka hits a hurricanrana on Mephisto.  Okada slides in the ring and Stuka hits an armdrag.  Okada drops Stuka on the apron and Stuka hits a plancha out onto Mephisto (which he misses).  In the ring, Okada puts Captain New Japan in the Red Ink and he picks up the win with it for the first time since 1997.  They are just hell bent on putting on subpar matches, I legitimately don’t understand how people could find this enjoyable.  Same complaints as the last few matches, except I like Mephisto.  Score:  4.5

Jushin Thunder Liger, Dorada, and Tritón vs. Tetsuya Naito, Taguchi, and La Sombra
Maybe Liger will save this event.  Liger and Taguchi start off, and Taguchi hits a hip attack.  Taguchi takes a nap and Liger covers him for two.  I have no idea what Taguchi is doing.  Shotei by Liger, he steals Taguchi’s mask and puts it on as Taguchi scurries out of the ring.  Cannonball off the apron by Liger while Naito and Triton get in the ring.  Armdrag by Triton and he hits a hurricanrana.  Dorada is tagged in, so Sombra comes in the ring.  Dorada and Sombra trade elbows  and they flip around the ring.  Hurricanrana by Dorada but Sombra returns the favor and does a fake dive.  Taguchi and Liger come back in the ring and Taguchi hits a hip attack.  Naito comes in too and Liger is double teamed.  Triton comes in the ring but he is triple teamed.  Dorada comes back in, Taguchi clubs on him and he is attacked in the corner.  Sombra lariats Liger and covers him for two.  Naito comes in and he clubs Liger and they do a poorly contrived spot on Liger.  Liger is thrown in the corner but he avoids Taguchi and hits a Shotei on Naito.  Liger hits backbreakers on everyone and he tags  in Sombra.  Missile drop by Dorada and he kicks Taguchi off the apron.  Sombra catches Dorada with a powerbomb but Dorada avoids his charge and hits a dropkick out of the corner.  He tags in Triton, and Triton hits a swandive crossbody onto Sombra.  Powerslam by Sombra and he hits a double jump moonsault for two.  Sombra lariats Triton in the corner but Triton snaps off a dropkick.  Springboard hurricanrana by Triton and he hits a flip powerbomb.  Dorada comes in the ring and he hits a tope con hilo down onto everyone (including Liger).  In the ring Sombra grabs Triton and hits a swinging side slam for a two count.   Shadow Driver by Sombra and he picks up the three count.  This was a better.  A bit of drama, less just random people running in the ring to hit spots, a bit more traditional but still with some nice high spots.  Nothing awesome but still a breath of fresh air on this card.  Score:  6.0

Shinsuke Nakamura, Ultimo Guerrero, and Gran Guerrero vs. Tanahashi, Atlantis, and Volador Jr.
Nakamura and friends attack their opponents to start the match  and celebrate in the ring.  Tanahashi gets in the ring to face off with Nakamura and they trade armdrags and submissions before Ultimo Guerrero and Atlantis come into the ring.  Ultimo Guerrero has his mask on which seems to annoy Atlantis, so he starts untying it, Gran Guerrero hits Atlantis from the apron but Atlantis grabs Ultimo Guerrero’s mask and yanks it off.  This leads to a brawl as the action spills to the floor, the bad guys get into the ring with Volador and triple team him.  You’ve seen this before, Tanahashi comes in the ring to get triple teamed, then Atlantis rolls in the ring so he can get triple teamed too.  I actually typed that before it happened because I knew it was coming, and I was correct.  Atlantis gets the triple shaky leg in the corner but Volador hits a swandive hurricanrana on Gran Guerrero before diving out of the ring onto him.  Elbow by Tanahashi to Ultimo Guerrero and he snapmares Ultimo Guerrero but Ultimo Guerrero chops him in the corner.  Rebound crossbody by Tanahashi and he hits the Sling Blade.  Atlantis and Nakamura get into the ring and Atlantis hits a crossbody.  Swinging kick by Nakamura and Atlantis hits a backbreaker.  Volador and Gran Guerrero get into the ring and Gran Guerrero hits a dropkick for two.  Thrust kick by Volador but Gran Guerrero hits a chokeslam for two.  Enzigieri by Volador, then Ultimo Guerrero and Atlantis get in the ring and Ultimo Guerrero hits a front suplex off the second turnbuckle for a two count.  Ultimo Guerrero rolls up Atlantis but Atlantis applies a stretch hold.  It is quickly broken up.  Nakamura kicks Ultimo Guerrero by accident and he with Atlantis knocks Ultimo Guerrero out of the ring.  Atlantis hits a tope suicida onto Nakamura, then Tanahashi dives out onto Ultimo Guerrero with a plancha suicida.  That leaves Gran Guerrero and Volador in the ring, Volador puts Gran Guerrero on the top turnbuckle but Gran Guerrero hits a Guerrero Special and he picks up the three count.  This had the same silly formula for most of the match (the end did open up a bit), the main difference is the quality of wrestler in the match went up.  Nakamura and Tanahashi are of course awesome, and both Atlantis and Ultimo Guerrero have really been putting a lot of effort into their matches on this tour.  I don’t know why, but they are.  So the first half was a waste but it cranked up towards the end, even if it was short for a main event.  Not a bad match overall.  Score:  6.0

Final Thoughts:

This is probably the worst New Japan event I have seen in years.  The issue is that the CMLL/New Japan thing is already not built to have great matches, it is more of a lucha exhibition.  Then on top of that, this was a house show, so no matches went longer than 12 minutes and every match was a tag with the same formula.  It wasn’t designed to be good, and it wasn’t.  Even if you enjoy the CMLL/New Japan events, and some have been decent, you don’t need to watch this one too.  Trust me.

Grade:  D-

Back to New Japan Review

event reviewed on 2/18/15