NJPW/CMLL Fantasticamania 2011 Night Two
January 23rd, 2011
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
January 23rd, 2011
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This is the second part of a double-shot of shows that New Japan and CMLL ran in co-promotion with one another. The big matches tonight include Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega defending the IWGP Jr. Tag Team titles against Prince Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi in the main event, a 2/3 falls match between Mistico and Averno, a Mask vs. Hair match with Tiger Mask IV against Tomohiro Ishii, and a 3/5 falls CMLL 6 Man Tag Team championship match. Great looking card so let's get to it.
Before the show we get a mariachi band in the ring playing a catchy little rendition of La Bamba. I'm not sure if this is cheesy as hell or just fun, but the mariachi band is actually quite good and the crowd likes them so it works.
Jado/Gedo vs. Danshoku Dino/Maximo
Oh good God this is going to be comedy match hell here. Maximo is from CMLL and Dino is a DDT regular, and both play exagerrated homosexual characters similar to the great Adrian Street while Jado and Gedo are longtime veterans and members of the New Japan booking committee. Maximo starts off with a few dropkicks on Gedo, sending him to the floor and leading Jado and Dino into the ring. Dino forces Jado to touch his crotch (seriously), which greatly angers him. This is just terrible with the commentators laughing heartily at completely unfunny homoerotic comedy wrestling. Gedo dominates Maximo for a bit, beating him down while some jerk in the crowd blows nonstop on an airhorn. Are they allowing that because of the CMLL co-promotion? Because that can get annoying in the wrong hands. The match breaks down eventually with all our men fighting in and out of the ring and Dino continuously trying to kiss Jado until Jado slaps on a crossface and makes him tap out at 10:39. I really dislike these matches, just average comedy wrestling, hit the skip button. ½*
Jushin Liger/Giant Bernard/Karl Anderson vs. Atlantis/Dragón Rojo Jr/Taichi
This should be a decent six man here. Liger and Rojo start us off with Rojo working on Liger's leg. Liger's got a red wig tonight to match Rojo, which is a strange visual. Anderson tags in and delivers an armdrag that pleases him so much he screams "LUCHA LIBRE!" at the crowd to reward himself. Rojo tags in Atlantis and they give him a sunset flip/dropkick combo that sends him out to the floor and prompts Giant Bernard to come in. Taichi is the only one left in the ring with him, but his weak attempt at open-palm strikes barely phase Bernard who just shrugs thems off and then destroys Taichi with a shoulderblock. Liger tags back in and is met with a trio of dropkicks from all three members of the opposing team. Atlantis delivers tilt-a-whirl backbreakers to both Liger and Anderson which puts them down briefly. Rojo and Atlantis try to suplex Bernard but he ends up suplexing the both of them and easily fighting off Taichi again. Bernard splashes all three of them for a quick two and the match breaks down from here with all six men coming and going in and out of the ring as they please. Liger, Atlantis, Rojo, and Anderson all deliver big topes outsie and then Bernard climbs to the second turn buckle and comes off with a big flying body press, taking out all of the wrestlers and about 4 or 5 NJPW trainers nearby in the process! Crowd loves seeing the big guy fly like that. Back inside Bernard finishes Taichi off with the Bernard Driver at 11:08 to end the match. Fun little six man tag here that basically just serves to fill some time up while we're waiting for the bigger matches tonight. **½
CMLL 6 Man Tag Team Title 3/5 Falls Match
La Sombra/Mascara Dorada/La Mascara (C) vs. Tetsuya Naito/Yujiro Takahashi/OKUMURA
This is a 3/5 falls match which is a rarity for most American wrestling fans, so this should be a unique match to watch and grade. It seems kind of strange that neither New Japan or NOAH have 6 Man Tag Team titles when they hold six man tags on practically every single show they run. Dorada and OKUMURA start us off, trading armdrags and feeling each other out with a nice wristlock-takedown sequence. Naito and Sombra both tag in now and the pace quickens with each man exchanging rapid armdrags. Crowd is heavily behind Sombra here as they do a nifty leapfrog-dropkick sequence that garners a round of applause from the crowd. Takahashi and Mascara both tag in now, and hopefully Mascara is better tonight than he was last night, where he was seemingly botching every move he attempted. Hurricanrana sends Takahashi out to the floor but OKUMURA hits the ring, which prompts Sombra back in (remember in lucha six man tags whenever someone is sent to the floor, two new wrestlers can enter the ring and become the new legal men in the match instead of tagging). Springboard hurricanranafrom Dorada sends OKUMURA outside and Mascara follows him out with a tope that he miraculously doesn't botch this time. Big split-legged moonsault from La Sombra gets the first pinfall on Takahashi at 5:18, and Dorada comes out of nowhere and hits a big swinging DDT on Naito for a second quick pinfall at 5:31. Sombra/Doarada/Mascara are up 2-0. After a brief rest period Dorada and Takahashi start us off for the second fall. OKUMURA quickly tags in but gets sent to the floor with a hurricanrana, and then Naito gets tossed outside to join his partners and totally clean the ring. La Sombra and Takahashi tag in now and Sombra takes Naito to the floor witha headscissors, prompting OKUMURA in. They take WAY too long to set up a hurricanrana spot off the top from Sombra, with OKUMURA blatantly just waiting there staring at Sombra, waiting for him to come off the top rope. Come on guys you can't take that long to set up a minor spot like that. Sombra teases a tope but tags in La Mascara instead. Mascara gets sent to the floor, and OKUMURA follows him out with a big somersault plancha! Inside the ring Naito rolls up Dorada for a quick 3 count at 10:06, and then Takahashi gives Sombra a big ace crusher for a second quick fall at 10:20 to even up the match at 2 falls apiece for each team. After a brief rest period we're off on the final and decisive fall with the heels all ganging up on Dorada and Mascara in the ring, triple-teaming him at will and taunting the crowd at the same time. Things settle down a bit and Mascara and OKUMURA are the legal men, trading stiff kicks. OKUMURA gets sent to the outside and Mascara follows him out with a beautiful plancha to the hardwood floor. Naito and Takahashi exit the ring now and Dorada follows them out with a big somersault plancha. Not to be outdone, Sombra climbs to the top and delivers a beautiful moonsault to the floor, taking everyone out! Back inside Mascara puts OKUMURA into a reverse Mexican Surfboard and OKUMURA quickly submits, giving the decisive fall to the champions at 14:34 total (not including rest periods)! Fun little six man tag here but the rules were kind of confusing towards the beginning with no immediate rest period between rapid-fire falls. Fortunately they kept it moderately short and everyone was on their game here, so the end result was an entertaining if forgettable contest. **¾
Mask vs. Hair Match
Tiger Mask IV vs. Tomohiro Ishii
TMIV and Ishii have feuded on and off throughout 2010 and things came to a boiling point last night during a tag match involving both men in which Ishii nearly ripped Tiger's mask clean off. Ishii stalls a good deal to start, walking idly around the ring and breaking the count every so often, annoying the crowd. Finally they start the match with the ref taking a small bump, giving Ishii the chance to grab a chair and start choking Tiger Mask in the ring with it, garnering boos from the crowd. Ishii tries to unmask TMIV early but to no avail. Tiger starts laying in shots and slaps to Ishii much to the crowd's approval. A dropkick sends Ishii to the floor and he takes his time coming back in, catching his breath. Back inside he powerslams Tiger right out of his boots and then starts dominating TMIV, knocking him around at will and hitting a big superplex off the top for a two count. Release German suplex from Tiger and Ishii lands right on his head! Back on their feet both men trade forearms and stiff slaps. Tiger driver from TMIV gets another close two count. He follows it up with a tombstone piledriver and then comes off the top with a diving headbutt, but Ishii moves out of the way just in time. He tosses TMIV to the floor and then follows him out, tossing him into the steel ring post and a small prop table at ringside. Both men barely make it back in at the count of 18. Ishii again tries ripping TMIV's mask off, but he can't quite get a grip on it. Tiger gets a crucifix rollup for two and tries for another, but eats a big lariat instead for a close two count. Big brainbuster from Ishii. 1-2--NOO! Tiger kicks out just barely. Tiger hits a big Tiger Suplex though and gets the 3 count at 12:16! Fun little match here as this wasn't supposed to be anything epic and it didn't try to be. After the match Ishii steals Tiger's mask anyways and then runs out of the arena before he can get his hair cut. **½
2/3 Falls Match
Mistico vs. Averno
This should be great, Mistico and Averno have feuded on and off for awhile and wrestled eachother in the six man tag main event the night before, where things got very heated. Nice armdrag sequence to start us off with both men zipping around the ring. They trade wristlocks and then Mistico delivers a hurricanrana, taking Averno to the outside where Mistico quickly follows him with a huge somersault plancha, landing perfectly on his feet! Mistico is really over here. Back inside Averno hits a big tiger driver/facebuster combo however and gets a quick 3 count, winning the first fall at 3:06. After a brief rest period they do a great counter sequence, leapfrogging over eachother before Averno takes Mistico to the floor with a headscissors and then follows him out with a big somersault plancha of his own! Mistico springboards back in with a big hurricanrana, landing perfectly on his feet afterwards and then quickly rolling Averno up with a sunset flip for a 3 count to win the second fall at 4:59. After another quick rest period both men are going at it full-speed, trading hurricanranas and counters before Averno gets sent to the floor again. Mistico dives after him with a big tope suicida, strongly resembling a white missile. Mistico springboards back in and gets another sunset flip, but only for two this time. Hurricanrana-rollup combo gets Mistico another close two count. Mistico gets dropkicked to the floor and Averno follows him out with a big Asai moonsault, laying both men out on the hardwood floor! Averno took a wee bit too long to set that spot up but that's forgivable. Both men barely make it back into the ring before the 20 count. Mistico springboards looking for a hurricanrana but Averno catches him in a power bomb! 1-2--NOO! Mistico kicks out. A standing moonsault gets Averno another two count. Averno tries for another tiger driver/facebuster combo but Mistico counters into a vicious armbar, wrenching away on Averno's left arm. Flying headscissors takes Averno outside and Mistico dives off the top rope with a flying body press, wiping Averno out on the floor again. Back inside Averno hits a huge tiger driver off the top rope! 1-2--NOO! Crowd was buying that near fall. Mistico hits a springboard swanton bomb for a close two count of his own. Mistico leaps to the top rope---but he slips and falls on the rope in an embarassing botch. Ouch, too bad. Big powerbomb from Averno for two. Mistico misses a moonsault and they trade wristlock-rollup combinations for another pair of hot near falls. Huge flying headscissors and then Mistico locks on that nasty armbar once again and Averno has no choice but to submit at 16:50 total. Just the kind of high-flying, fast-paced encounter you'd be expecting with some excellent near-fall sequences. Aside from one minor botch, this was a damn good match. ***¼
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match
Kota Ibushi/Kenny Omega (C) vs. Prince Devitt/Ryusuke Taguchi
This should be a great as everyone in this match is a young, incredibly talented star with a title belt of some kind around their waist. Omega and Devitt start us off with a nice wristlock feeling out process. Taguchi and Ibushi both tag in now and the crowd starts up the "Ibushi" chants already. Big dropkick takes Ibushi down and Taguchi tags Devitt back in quickly, who applies an armbar. Things break down pretty quickly and both teams exchange pairs of simultaneous hurricanranas and dropkicks in a stunning sequence that fires the crowd up. Ibushi slaps a chinlock on Devitt briefly and then tags Omega back in. Omega starting ripping away at Devitt's face, raking the eyes and laying in shots. Omega lifts Devitt into the air for a suplex, but he just starts curling Devitt up and down like a dumbell in an incredible show of strength from Omega, who then finally delivers a big brainbuster on Devitt for a pin that's quickly broken up by Taguchi. Ibushi tags back in and he and Omega both leapfrog over Devitt, who tags in Taguchi. Taguchi grabs both Omega and Ibushi then and gives them a DDT/reverse DDT combo, which the crowd loves. Big dropkick gets Taguchi a two count. Three Amigoes attempt by Taguchi but Ibushi counters out into a victory roll for two. Ibushi rolls through a pin attempt and delivers a huge German suplex to Taguchi! 1-2-NOO! Taguchi kicks out. Devitt gets the tag now and sunset flips into the ring on Ibushi while Taguchi simultaneously delivers a somersault plancha to Omega outside the ring! Devitt, not to be outdone, follows them all out with a springboard somersault plancha, wiping everyone out on the hardwood floor again. Back inside Ibushi hits a double pele kick on both Devitt and Taguchi and Omega follows it with a double-bulldog. Devitt and Taguchi spill outside and Ibushi and Omega meet them with a pair of sychronized springboard moonsaults! Incredible aerial maneuevers in this one. Back inside Ibushi breaks up a superplex attempt from Devitt on Ibushi with a handspring back pele kick! Omega elbows Devitt off the top rope and Ibushi catches him mid-air, delivering a release German suplex! Wow that's a great spot. Ibushi and Omega hit an assisted double-team Tombstone piledriver, and then follow it up with a pair of double 450-splashes! 1-2--NOO! Taguchi breaks it up with a doublestomp off the top! Omega hits a big kick on Devitt but eats a tiger suplex from Taguchi, which he shakes off and then full-nelson slams Taguchi. Iffy selling from Omega there. Superkick facebuster combo gets Taguchi another close two count. Devitt hits a big reverse celtic cross(back-to-belly piledriver) on Omega and then follows it with a roundhouse kick. He and Taguchi give Omega a double backbreaker, but Omega SOMEHOW kicks out at 2! Finally Taguchi and Devitt put Omega away with the Bloody Sunday (double-team wheelbarrow suplex/DDT combo) at 16:32 to win the IWGP Jr. Tag Titles! Damn good match here as all four of these guys were at their high-risk best, flying all over the place. Omega and Ibushi's impressive little title reign is ended, and now Devitt and Taguchi now each have two belts on both shoulders. ***¾
After the match suddenly TAKA Michinoku and NOSAWA Rongai storm the ring and challenge the new champions to a title match. Sounds great to me, I'll be a TAKA mark for life. After the show is officially over all of the NJPW and CMLL wrestlers hit the ring and exchange pleasantries and pose for photos in the Japanese press as the crowd empties out of the building. Backstage Prince Devitt accepts TAKA's challenge and looks pissed off that he ruined their big title win celebration.
Bottom Line: Another fun show here from the New Japan/CMLL crews, and while nothing on the card was so good that you should go out of your way to seek it out, there were some good matches and a very fun main event. Pretty much the same story as the first show, I'm going to go with a thumbs slightly up for NJPW/CMLL Fantasticamania 2011 Night Two.