I’m not doing pbp recaps for this set of shows. (There’s a strong argument I shouldn’t be doing any of those.) I do have thoughts on each match and maybe some moving pictures.

This was the least intersting day of FantasticaMania since they’ve started to them. There’s not one match I’d grade as “GOOD”. The Devitt/Rojo seemed like the best of the day but it’s an easily skippable day. Attendance on all three days seemed down – even more than NJPW claimed – and the crowd wasn’t as responsive. It doesn’t seem like it was a great idea to extend this to 3 days. Maybe that was a tradeoff to bringing over more guys.

taped 2013-01-18 @ Korakuen Hall

Rush attempts to remove Yoshihashi’s head from his body

Tama Tonga & Titán vs Euforia & Shigeo Okumura: OKAY/GOOD – putting Titan and Euforia together on the opening show was a good way to introduce Titan, who seemed to do well with the crowd here. I wasn’t as interested in Tonga and Okumura but they seemed fine.

Bushi, Diamante, Ryusuke Taguchi vs Ishii, Rey Escorpión, Yujiro: OKAY – this one didn’t do much for me, probably because more guys I’m not that interested in. Diamante included, who didn’t seem particularly impressive here. Chop fight to start was totally random, but it overall felt like Rey Escorpion wanted to make sure he did stuff that would get over with this group of fans, and that was one of his idea.

Rush vs YOSHI-HASHI: OKAY – Got better in the last few minutes, but could’ve been cut down earlier. Yoshihashi has improved a bit, but his best role here was getting beat up by Rush. Rush looked strong.

huge Devil’s Wings

La Máscara, Máscara Dorada, Máximo vs Taichi, Taka Michinoku, Volador Jr.: OKAY – TAKA Michinoku must be tricked in to doing a tour in Mexico. I have no idea why he’d want to do it at this point, but it’d be fun for me. The stuff with him and Dorada before Dorada’s big dive was good. No one picks up their effort level more in Japan than Máximo and the Taichi/Maximo stuff still seems over with this crowd, but I was very disinterested in it here. It felt played out and dragged down the match. This one isn’t linked because DM keeps rejecting it, but you’re okay skipping it.

Atlantis, Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask vs Gedo, Jado, Mephisto: OKAY – Huge bump for Atlantis to take at the end. I drifted away from this match in the middle portion. It seemed alright but nothing I needed to go back and rewatch.

 

Misterioso is a load

Prince Devitt vs Dragón Rojo Jr.: OKAY/GOOD - I liked this better than their title match, but do recall I did not like that title match much. That one seemed exclusively based around clumsily looking double stomps. There was a bit more to this one (and the double stomps weren’t as clumsily) About as a good match as I’d expect with Dragon Rojo and this amount of time.

Hiroshi Tanahashi & La Sombra vs Misterioso Jr. & Shinsuke Nakamura: OKAY/GOOD - The worst thing to happen to Misterioso in this match was for the crowd to actually chant his name when he demanded it, because he spend the rest of the match focused on trying to get that sort of reaction that way, instead of on the people he was actually working with. Between his struggles with Tanahashi early and not going up for the Brillante Driver, it was not a good match for him. Sombra and Nakamura looked promising and Tanahashi/Nakamura was as you’d expect.