great first day of Fantastica Mania in Tokyo, Rush/Euforia tonight, OWE/The Crash

Cavernario & Soberano

CMLL , NJPW (FRI) 01/18/2019 Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan [CMLL, NJPW, Lucha Central]
Fantastica Mania, 2019 Toyko Day 1
Attendance: 1526
1) Audaz, Jushin Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi b Gedo, Taiji Ishimori, Templario
6:31. Audaz tornado armabr Templario
2) Ángel de Oro & Titán b Forastero & Okumura
8:41. Titan pinned Forastero with his new entanglement cradle, which NJPW called Titanica.
3) Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare b Bushi, Shingo Takagi, Terrible, Tetsuya Naito
11:43. Kojima pinned Terrible after a Western Lariat, finally picking up a win on the tour. Black Cat Memorial match. Black Cat’s widow posed for a photo with the tecnicos before the match.
4) Gran Guerrero & Último Guerrero b Atlantis & Atlantis Jr.
11:44. Gran Guerrero pinned Atlantis after a package powerbomb.
5) Carístico & Namajague b Flyer & Volador Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]
9:49. La Mistica on Flyer.
6) Bárbaro Cavernario b Soberano Jr.
15:40. Barbaro Cavernario submitted Soberano Jr. to the Cavernaria after evertyhing.
7) Dragón Lee & Místico b Cuatrero & Sansón [CMLL FAMILY, final]
14:05. Dragon Lee beat Sanson with his suplex powerbomb. Los Guerreros came out to talk up their match on Sunday.

Top two matches lived up to the hype and a bit more. Cavernario/Soberano was Soberano’s best match in Japan and up there will the strong matches Cavernario has had on this tour in the past years. The main event felt different enough, taking advantage of the tag format for a lot of team moves and saves. It was going to be really hard to follow a singles match that had everything, and they built enough excitement to make it work.

The rest of the show was fine. Flyer’s nerves hurt his match. I think Atlantis is moving slower as the tournament is going along. Angel de Oro & Titan versus Okumura & Forastero was the best match of this tour for many of those wrestlers.

The next CMLL show is Sunday morning Mexico Time. (Korakuen Hall has boxing Saturday.) The show will include Kojima versus Terrible, Los Guerreros versus Hermanos Lee, and a lot of matches which won’t be announced until late tonight.

I’ll likely have a recap of this show sometime this evening.

For what it’s worth, Dragon Lee & Mistico didn’t do a post match interview, so no one got to ask him about Rush signing with ROH or about the possibilities of Dragon Lee doing the same. They didn’t appear to be ducking the media, they just had an autograph signing right after the show. Also, no intermission – does NJPW not do intermissions any more?

CMLL continues on tonight in Arena Mexico. It’s the first match for Rush since he’s signed with Ring of Honor. Don’t expect many changes. CMLL’s message is nothing has changed with Rush’s participation in their promotion, and they’re not going to contradict that by having him lose to someone he probably wouldn’t lose to under normal circumstances. Euforia’s best matches have come in team situations against high flyers. This is a drastically different setup, so maybe we’ll get to see a different side of him. It’s an interesting match in a time where CMLL’s Mexico shows haven’t been interesting, at least not for the right reasons.

The semi-main includes the returns of both Gilbert el Boricua and Diamante Azul. Ephesto, Mephisto, Valiente, and Niebla Roja will orbit around that heavyweight battle. Hechicero & Stuka have had recent issues and are together again in the fourth match, with Kraneo, Volcano, Shocker, and Rey Bucanero scheduled to be in the match. Shocker doesn’t seem a sure bet for any match right now though.

Los Revolucionarios (Dragon Rojo & Polvora) team up with Virus against Esfinge, Guerrero Maya and Rey Cometa in what has the potential to be a good match. Amapola, Dalys and new champion Metalica face Princesa Sugehit, Marcela and La Jarochita in a match that seems familiar but hasn’t happened exactly in that configuration before. Switching around the junior members on each side creates a lot of ‘new’ matches. Akuma wrestles in CMLL for the first time since losing his mask – he’s teasing a Demus like facepaint in a recent Instagram Story – teaming with Espanto Jr. & Metalico against Arkalis, Astral and Magnus (who hasn’t been on a Friday since September.)

The show will air at 8:30 pm on Marca (Mexico only right now) & Facebook (no link yet). I’ll be streaming on YouTube if my internet connection sustains in the blizzard about to hit.

AAA debuts in the Mexico City’s Pepsi Center Saturday. They’re expecting a full house. MedioTiempo talks to the promoter of the event, Daniel Morales, who says the building will be set up for 4,800 people. He’s happy to have sold out about 60% of those tickets already. Usually, they sell 50-60% on the day of the show, so they’re ahead of pace for a sell out. Morales says AAA’s given him a return date for 2019. They’d like to run a third time, but there may not be room for it on AAA’s schedule depending on their international plans (and if they actually happen.)

AAA’s Toluca promoter says they’ll have a TV taping soon. No date announced. Toluca is a usual February AAA start. Earlier this week, the government officials who run Gimnasio Agustin Millan in Toluca (my favorite AAA venue for the sound) say they expect to have wrestling back this year. AAA’s been running Salon Rojo instead the last couple of years; the Gimnasio got remodeled and they weren’t in a hurry to have wrestling rings scuffing their floors.

OWE & The Crash announced their current alliance has been formalized after a meeting in Shanghai. The Crash will send wrestlers and TV content to OWE as part of the deal. The Crash doesn’t have a dedicated roster as it is, but they do have contacts into the Mexico indie world and have been using those as a pipeline to send interested luchadors to China. Arez, Latigo, Tiago, and Torito Negro have gone over to help train and wrestle on OWE shows so far, and Skayde has quietly been helping with training. TV content probably means taping matches featuring OWE talent, and The Crash taping matches is good news for the rest of us.

There’s no mention of AEW & OWE’s alliance. AWE’s said nothing about Mexico in their plans; even when they’re talking about looking for talent in different countries around the world, Mexico seems to be skipped. AWE’s top priority seems to be an alliance with NJPW, which makes The Crash probably the company they’d make the most sense working with. There’s exciting luchadors in AAA and more of them, but it’d be tough working with AAA & NJPW at the same time given the politics. There wouldn’t be the same political issues with The Crash and the Crash’s less informal setup probably would make it easier to get out of down the line if they had to for CMLL reasons. The one thing we know is you’re not getting out of a deal with AAA easy.

MDA has a show in Mexico City on 02/17 with Juventud Guerrera’s Super X promotion .

Juventud Guerrera will be bringing a MAD group to this show. Guerrera is no longer working with AAA, so he’s going back to where he (and Konnan and others) started that group to do it again. My impression is AAA is still going to have their own MAD group. I’m not sure anyone really cares in either place, and even less sure about who owns the right.

Speaking of group names being brought back for maybe ownership reasons, Kaoz Lucha Libre seems to be introducing a new Klan Kaoz. The old Klan Kaoz was the Zorro/Ciber/Sharly/Gilbert group, who switch to CL4N when Zorro fell out with the people behind Kaoz Lucha Libre. The new group will likely be revealed on their 02/17 show, which has a lot of people and maybe a couple of good matches. The main event has a very rare La Bestia del Ring booking on a show his sons aren’t working.

Mexa Wrestling on 02/23 (“New Idols” in Arena San Juan)

Diamante Azul told Marca that his biggest win was defeating Pierroth for his mask.

Lucha Libre London appears to be running on May 11th in London. This is the group that’s brought in Hijo del Santo and Casandro in the past, though no one is specifically announced at this point. It does fit with Hijo del Santo saying he was going to do something with Todo x el Todo this summer.

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report.

Lineups

CMLL (TUE) 01/22/2019 Arena México
1) Acero & Aéreo vs Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Violencia
2) Arkalis, Magnus, Retro vs Cancerbero, Espíritu Negro, Raziel
3) Robin, Star Jr., Súper Astro Jr. vs Disturbio, Kawato San, Virus
4) Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Pegasso vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Hechicero, Pólvora
5) Euforia, Rey Bucanero, Shocker vs Kráneo, Rey Cometa, Volcano
6) Niebla Roja vs Mephisto

No title on the line either way. That seems to clinch CMLL is going to have 18 champions for 16 spots, since the Universal field would seem to be locked after this show. (They’ll start announcing people for it on 01/25.) This is also the last night before the Fantastica Mania people start to get added.

CMLL (TUE) 01/22/2019 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Explosivo, Luminoso, Metatrón vs Demonio Maya, Paymon, Sádico
2) Astral, Príncipe Diamante, Vaquero Jr. vs Guerrero de la Muerte, Inquisidor, Metálico
3) Avispa Dorada, La Jarochita, Lluvia vs Dalys, La Metálica, Tiffany
4) Blue Panther, Esfinge, Tritón vs Ephesto, Felino, Luciferno
5) Diamante Azul, Stuka Jr., Valiente vs La Bestia Del Ring, Máscara Año 2000, Rush [Relevos Increíbles]

We’ve probably been spared a lot more Diamante Azul versus Rush by Azul’s groin injury, but they manage to get in one of those trios matches before things go back to normal. It is a little weird that Blue Panther wrestles in Guadalajara when he no longer seems to wrestle in Puebla. It’s a lot longer bus ride. It’s probably a lot longer even just flying. Maybe he just has plans on Mondays.

2 thoughts to “great first day of Fantastica Mania in Tokyo, Rush/Euforia tonight, OWE/The Crash”

  1. Perhaps Panther just has too much to do as acupuncturist on Mondays. Medical jobs are always more busy on Mondays because of all the people who got problems over the weekend.

  2. For what it’s worth no NJPW live events on World no longer have intermissions. Started last year I think no having them. RIP Hot Pocket Halftime.

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