Thursday, January 15, 2015

NJPW/CMLL Fantasticamania 2015 Preview

I really missed the boat on hyping up Wrestle Kingdom 9, on but everybody was doing that so I'm sure it's fine. And what I'm not seeing get as much hype is the two shows they have airing live this weekend the Fantasticamania shows they co-promote with CMLL. I'm a fan of lucha libre so this show or series of shows is always a favorite of mine to watch. I was hoping for another La Sombra vs. Shinsuke Nakamura match, but that's not to be at this point in time. I'd love to go match by match and give cool insight, but while I like CMLL, I'm not super well versed in all of the wrestlers. I know the ones I really like and a lot of those guys are going to be on these shows, but it's an imperfect knowledge, but I do know that there is a lot on these shows to get excited for.

The shows seem to be more of a CMLL showcase in Japan as there are quite a few matches that are just the CMLL competitors against each other under CMLL rules which means 2/3 falls which have their good and bad sides. I like the concept occasionally, but with CMLL using it for all of their matches it tends to fall into too much of a paint by numbers where the first two falls are pretty quick and then it's a long third fall so it might as well just be a one fall match without the first two. Still there's always the chance that a match can make the stipulation work in ways I don't expect so I still appreciate that. The NJPW guys seem to be mostly mixed in with CMLL workers in six or eight man tags which should be fun to watch. A lot of the NJPW guys have been on tours in Mexico and have some lucha libre influence on their style. KUSHIDA should definitely fit in well with the luchadores and I know Okada and Nakamura will work well with that style as well.

Both nights give us big tag matches where Tanahashi is teamed up with some of the luchadores against Okada and Nakamura which should result in some awesome matches. The first night has Tanahashi teaming with Mistico and Stigma. I haven't seen much of Stigma, but Mistico is Mistico II the guy who took over after the original Mistico left CMLL and became Sin Cara. He was Dragon lee, but his younger brother became Dragon when he became Mistico. What I'm trying to say is names in lucha can be really confusing. The Mistico who is going to be wrestling is awesome so with four really good wrestlers I'm sure the match will be one to watch. Especially with Okada having a chip on his shoulder about losing to Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom. Their match at the second night might be even better as Tanahashi will be teaming with Volador Jr (who is fucking awesome), Kota Ibushi, and Atlantis while Okada and Nakamura will have Ultimo Guerrero and Mr. Nieblas on their team. I don't know much about Nieblas, but I know Guerrero is really good. You may have been able to guess that by his last name. It runs in the family.

Night one has some singles matches for titles in the middle of the show that I'm really excited for. Volador Jr. is a great wrestler and going up against Gran Guerrero to defend his belt should really have him at the top of his game. He definitely has a good look and style and I would be surprised if WWE was interested in grabbing him at some point. There's also a light heavyweight title defense with Stuka Jr and Mephisto which should be fun, because luchadores know how to do fast paced exciting matches well.

I've seen a decent amount of Cavernario since he was in the Un Busco De Idolo tournament and I've only heard good things about his opponent Rey Cometa so that should be a fun match on the second night. The real reason to get excited about the second night is going to be the main event of La Sombra vs. Mascara Dorada. La Sombra is my favorite luchadore and one of my favorite wrestlers over all. He's had some amazing matches against Nakamura and Volador Jr. It should be a phenomenal close to the show and I'm hoping for La Sombra to win the match, and I'd love for him to start showing up in NJPW regularly.

This is a great way to get introduced to some of the CMLL competitors if you're mildly familiar to NJPW. And if you're not this should be a fun way to get introduced to what all of the wrestlers can do. You get to see everybody working with some styles they don't always work and showcasing what makes both CMLL and NJPW different from WWE If you want to find out more about lucha these are two of the people I follow on twitter who are always live tweeting lucha shows.

Here's the full card for the two shows and the results of the shows leading up to them Fantasticamania Cards

These should be some fun events and I'm looking forward to them. I won't be watching either live, but I'll be watching them after work and I should be giving some feedback about them afterward. And to follow up all these words here's some video evidence to back up how I feel about a lot of these wrestlers

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. La Sombra -
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. La Sombra 2 -
La Sombra vs. Volador Jr (mask vs. mask) -