CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019 Day 1: 2019-01-11 

Atlantis Jr. doing things

Recapped: 01/11/2019

All matches from Osaka Prefectural Gym.


Gedo, Taiji Ishimori, Templario beat Audaz, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask
(7:53, Templario sit down powerbomb Audaz, ok, NJPW)

Forastero, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru beat Flyer, Jushin Liger, Titán
(7:29, Forastero triangle armbar Titan, ok, NJPW)

Okumura & Sansón beat Atlantis & Atlantis Jr.
(10:17, Okumura reverse spinning DDT Atlantis Jr., good, NJPW)

Cuatrero, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero beat Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Místico
(12:13, Cuatrero crucifix powerbomb Angel De Oro, ok, NJPW)

Bárbaro Cavernario, Carístico, Namajague beat Kushida, Soberano Jr., Volador Jr. in a relevos increíbles match
(8:39, Carístico la Mistica Volador Jr, ok, NJPW)

BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, Terrible, Tetsuya Naito beat Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare  
(13:11, BUSHI bridging cradle Fujin, ok, NJPW)

What happened:

Sanson & Okumura unmasked the Atlantis Family after the match, though the Young Lions put up a fight to stop it.

Forastero has the most inexplicable music of all the replacement themes.


Audaz coming thru

The main event felt slower paced than I’m used to in a CMLL match. It really was Terrible guest staring in an NJPW match, so I guess that makes sense. It was the longest match of the night with plenty of Shingo & Henare in particular and a finish that seemed to come out of nowhere despite all that time. Terrible and Kojima seemed alright together but there’s no spark that makes me want to see that singles match. It wasn’t a big priority here anyway.

The semi-main had some good moments but didn’t really stick with me at all. Caristico seemed to be motivated to do well in this tour, showing the most effort in the time he was in. Soberano and Cavernario matched up promisingly but didn’t get too deep in what they did.

The fourth match seemed like it was on the verge of being spectacular at times and didn’t just get there. They were looking just a bit off. The big Dragon Lee & Místico stuff was good enough for the live crowd but they weren’t really hitting their marks as well as they often do. Similarly, I have no idea what was supposed to happen between Cuatrero & Angel de Oro but it didn’t really happen. Their own standards are a little bit higher they delivered here. It seems too obvious that Guerreros are going to be facing Dragon Lee & Místico in the tournament winners against tournament winners match, which would suggest some sort of set up in another promotion.

pay attention caveman

Atlantis Jr.’s debut is the match worth watching, both for the fascination of finally seeing him in action and because it’s a fun match. I’m fixated on comparing Atlantis Jr. and Santo Jr., as sons of legends who’ve debuted in recent times. It comes up here because Santo Jr. debuted outside of Mexico (on a Todo x el Todo show in London.) This isn’t Atlantis Jr.’s actual first match, but it’s still pretty close, and he looks far more natural than his peer. The rope grab headscissors looked smooth and fluid, something Santo Jr. has a problem within his limited action. Atlantis Jr. didn’t radiate star charisma but still showed enough to be a respected midcard técnico. He’ll get the chance to be much more, but that’s a good floor to start with.

The opening couple of matches had a lot of the NJPW wrestlers wrestling against each other, the CMLL wrestlers against each other, and never the two should meet. Flyer had about once nice bit with Kanamaru and that was it. Forastero and his partners having no chemistry didn’t really help the situation. Titan was a ghost until the ending sequence, and that was mostly about trying to introduce Forastero. An easy match to skip.

The seemingly sixty seconds of Audaz & Templario was fun in the opener. Audaz really wowed this crowd early with his dive, especially since they weren’t expecting something that spectacular at that point. They seemed to fade into the background of a Taguchi/Ishimori build-up match, which was not as interesting.