CMLL FantasticaMania Tokyo Day 1: 2018-01-19 

Soberano Jr.

Recapped: 01/19/2018


Okumura beat Fuego  
(6:49, reverse DDT, good)

Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, Tetsuya Naito beat Dragón Lee, Hirai Kawato, Satoshi Kojima, Star Jr.
(15:57, BUSHI boston crab Kawato, good)

Atlantis, Drone, Mistico, Volador Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Disturbio, Puma, Último Guerrero
(12:33, Atlantida on Puma, good)

Cuatrero beat Ángel de Oro © for the CMLL World Middleweight Championship
(11:42, spinning crucifix powerbomb, good)

Soberano Jr. © beat Sansón for the Mexican National Welterweight Championship
(11:16, fire driver, great)

Niebla Roja © vs Gran Guerrero for the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship
(16:14, super Furia Roja, excellent)

What happened:

when things were going well for Angel de Oro

Cuatrero won the middleweight championship in a surprise.

Los Ingobernables beat up Kojima and Star Jr. after their match

Disturbio pulled up a little lame near the end of the match, appearing to have pulled a hamstring.

The second match was the annual Black Cat memorial match.


back at it again

The final two matches are worth going out of your way to see. I thought the main event had a little more to it and felt a little less like an exhibition. Sanson/Soberano had more athletic amazement, a better pace, so I could see people enjoying it more. It’s closer in my mind than the great/excellent difference up there.

No one rose to the occasion more than the two guys in the main event. This was a really tough ask for guys who’ve not been in that position a lot, but Niebla Roja & Gran Guerrero put together their personal best match and the best built match of the night. It was hot from the start by the powerbomb catch, and they found little ways to keep escalating it. The clothesline/spinning forearm exchange was the moment where it was clear they had something, and the Japanese crowd loved Roja’s spinning forearm even more than I do. Both men really leaned into taking their opponents big moves in the most destructive looking ways. They also showed more offense than usual; I don’t know where Gran Guerrero got the super Michinoku drive but it looked great here. Everything pretty much went well, and you can say that for a most of this show – it was especially clean show given some of the youth in key positions. Niebla totally won over the crowd by the time it was done. Hope he can get that feeling in Arena Mexico too.

The Sanson/Soberano match was a super Soberano showcase, with him unloading all the biggest dives in his arsenal. He nailed every move had had to, with all his tornillos coming off well and the rare in-ring move going OK too. Sanson’s much more of a personality than his brother, and he’s also got much more he can do in singles matches at this point. I liked how they surprised with his near finish at the end, and they gave Sansón enough spots where he looked almost as good Soberano.


fair catch

The fourth match seemed all the world like a good Angel de Oro match, and a safe way to use Cuatrero in a single match. Angel de Oro picked up a knee injury, which didn’t stop him from doing his extended dive package, and it seemed like he was cruising to the campana win, until he lost it. Cuatrero winning clean with his crucifix powerbomb was an absolute shock. Cuatrero was fine for his first televised singles matches. His strikes, his stomps and small kicks, look really on point and painful. He could’ve used a bit more offense and he had one dropkick that looked horrible. Cuatrero didn’t come off as an undeserving champion, but a more overwhelming performance would’ve made more of an impact. He was more just moving around for Angel de Oro’s spots for a lot of this.

The second atomicos was more a getting to know you match than one going full out, but they accomplished their goal well. Disturbio’s done well for himself on this tour, showing more aggressiveness. Mistico & Último Guerrero continue to play a lot to the crowd on these shows, which gets over and their big moves later in the match get over. Cavernario seemed to talk to the crowd in-between every move, and the crowd really liked it, so I’m not going to stop him. Atlantis looked fine, which is probably partly due to Puma. It’s possible they could’ve had a better match but this worked for what they were going for.

Sanson bomb

This played out a lot like the Day 1 tag, just with slightly longer Dragon lee/Takahashi and Kojima/Rush segments to build that latter match. (You’d think they were doing the other one too soon, but that’s it for them as a combo on this tour) Star Jr. had an an eye opening performance for new fans, with the beautiful tornillo and surviving long in the match with his mask ripped. Rush destroyed Star Jr.’s mask pretty completely, and he had to kind of just work thru it or a while, then Star got crushed by a Rush chair shot to the head. Kawato shows some good fire and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when he gets to do some moves.

The opener worked for me. Fuego did so much more in an opener here than he does in an average match in Arena Mexico, though that’s not much of a surprise. It was nice to see the fosbery dive back for one night. Breaking out the springboard moves explained why he went thru his crowd playing moves so early. Okumura slapping Mima got the wrong kid of heat, and I think they quickly realized they had messed up there.

everyone dropkick

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