CMLL & NJPW announced the names for the 2016 FantasticaMania tour Monday night. The FantasticaMania tour runs from January 17th to January 24th, six shows in seven days. CMLL luchadors going this year:
- Mistico, CMLL trios champion
- Volador Jr., NWA Welterweight and CMLL trios champion
- Atlantis, Mexican Light Heavyweight champion
- Guerrero Maya Jr.
- Dragon Lee, CMLL Super Lightweight champion
- Stuka Jr.
- Mascara Dorada, CMLL Welterweight champion (and on loan to NJPW until the end of this tour)
- the Panther
- Ultimo Guerrero, NWA Middleweight champion
- Bobby Z
- Barbaro Cavernario, Mexican Welterweight champion
Ring announcer Ivan will be on the tour as well. This will be the NJPW debut of Dragon Lee, Guerrero Maya Jr., the Panther, Hechicero, Bobby Z and Virus.
This is an excellent roster for putting together exciting CMLL matches, with some guys I’ve really wanted to see make the trip to Japan but wasn’t sure would make it. The final four from last year’s En Busca de un Idolo – Cavernario, Hechicero, Dragon Lee, and Panther – go to Japan as a group after only Cavernario got the trip last year. Guerrero Maya Jr., who was runner up in En Busca de un Idolo goes anyway; it’s illogical but he deserves it. Stuka, Fuego and Titan have done well in previous trips and Virus should do the same.
Many of the big FantasticaMania matches are usually around title matches. Ultimo may defend against someone. Cavernario/Titan fits. Dragon Lee/Virus as well, though Kamaitachi is already teasing one match against his rival on this tour. A rematch of Dorada/Volador feels like the proper tour ender match, but they could also do something with two luchadors challenging for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles too.
The big news is the omissions. No Ingobernables. No one was really expecting Marco or La Mascara, but Rush & Sombra have been on this tour every year they’ve been healthy and are among the biggest stars of the CMLL crew in NJPW. They’re the only ones who are treated as threats to the NJPW heavyweights. Rush missed last year, so this will be two straight for him. Sombra was supposed to be in the World Tag League, was not. There was recent word going around that Sombra was going to be on this tour and so everything had to be OK with him and CMLL and there was talk of him being the CMLL guy who goes to Japan for a year. Sombra’s not on this tour after all, so he won’t be going to NJPW for a year. Maybe this’ll change when they put up the Puebla lineup for next week, but Sombra’s currently not booked anywhere in Mexico either. There’s definitely something going with Sombra for all these things to be happening.
We know it won’t be Sombra who’s going to NJPW. Who will it be?
Unlikely: Okumura (does not compute), Mistico (better in small dodes), Volador Jr. (CMLL needs him to much), Atlantis (he and Tiger Mask and Lyger could wrestle in trios all year, but nah), Virus (would be great but nah), Ultimo Guerrero (same as Mistico), Mephisto (same), most of the new guys (too new!)
Outside possibilities: Stuka Jr. & Fuego (could do everything Dorada did without being wasted, but seems more likely NJPW would want someone they could build up), Mascara Dorada (just did it, but who knows)
Best candidates: Dragon Lee (is really great, but this is his first time in Japan and is really young, they may want to wait a year to see how he progresses), Titan (is really great, but this may be wishcasting; doesn’t have as a high profile as the other guys), Barbaro Cavernario (is really great, may have to sacrifice a bit of accounting education for wrestling education)
As of November 16, at 11:46 PM, I guess I’d put my money on Cavernario. But not much money, I don’t really know.