CMLL/NJPW FantasticMania 2012, night 2

taped 2012-01-22 @ Korakuen Hall



Máscara Dorada vs Kushida for the CMLL World Welterweight Championship: a battle for survival for Dorada. He spent most of his last defense doing anything he could think of, while this match was more about surviving everything Kushida could do before slipping out a win. Both were about Dorada’s toughness, just different ways of going about it. Still, this felt more like a Kushida match than a Dorada match that I’m used to Mexico – Dorada only got in small bursts of offense at opportune times, and I wasn’t into it as a I thought. It was good but not especially so. I assume a rematch to come.

these .gifs are fun for spots, but aren't great at capturing the feel of a match. This is as close as I got.

Hirooki Goto vs Rush: and this was kind of the opposite. Goto got less than the match than Dorada, easily so. Rush just crushed him for the first five minutes before Goto started getting anything in. This is so clearly what they were going for with the two Terrible/Rush matches, but haven’t been able to achieve yet (Goto is better at this than Terrible, which is not a big surprise.) Rush held his own as a luchador the whole way, the rookie mistakes long gone or at least just not showing up here, and seemed to impress the fans. This is about as good start as he could’ve had. Like everyone else, I’d like to see what Rush could do in a G1 situation; I don’t know that he’s got a lot more to show that he didn’t do here, but that kind of environment could force him to develop a bit more.

the end

La Sombra vs Volador Jr. for the NWA World Welterweight Championship: Great. They worked this differently than every other match on the show – no chop fights, no slow down, really nothing but action. There was a minute or two of first fall work, but this was mostly the longest third fall possible with both guys pulling everything they had. I kind of would’ve liked to see three falls just so they – more so Volador – could get a pin with another finish to make it seem bigger later, but they fans did tremendously get into to the match. This was a complicated well executed match in their style, and it was one that seemed like it was better than the matches the previous two years. These two keep getting better together.

Devil's Wings


peace, out

In the other matches: I thought Nakamaura wearing the Mephisto (which is actually the Kahoz) eyes and mouth on his hood was a really neat touch. The Japanese likely have a higher opinion of Diamante than the Mexicans. He wasn’t that much different, but here he was the singular super young future star of the company, instead of one of dozens who all might (or might not) turn out that way. Liger is the best. Yoshihashi actually seems worse off in NJPW than he was at the end of CMLL; just sort of lifeless and more limited. Anyone willing to spend a year and a half a hemisphere from home just to get better is someone who deserves to make it, but I don’t know that he will.

CMLL on SamuraiTV: 2012-01-21

taped 2012-01-21 @ Korakuen Hall


YOSHI-HASHI as Yoshihashi

I’m not going to do the traditional short description per matches here, because I basically did that for the recaps. This is going to be shorter than short. You still get your moving pictures.

Misterioso STRONG

Goto/KUSHIDA versus Mascara Dorada/Rush was that match of the night. Team Jalisco came out roaring and just took it to their more established team. This was finally getting to see Rush as a rudo, while weirdly also getting the same of Dorada. Rush came off looking like a monster in his first appearance and both singles matches were built well. This was a total success.

team Dive

I’ve watched very little NJPW this year. I went thru some of the CMLL participation early this month, but the entire Sombra G1 run is still sitting on my DVR, waiting for a day when I’ve somehow managed to exhaust all the lucha I have to watch. Tama Tonga was totally new to me and a nice little surprise. “Son of Haku” turns out to be less Haku islander and more excitable Jimmy Snuka islander. He really has a good sense of his character and the fans seemed to be getting into him. I’m also always trying to figure out how CMLL could use these people when they randomly bring them in for three weeks. They’ve been using the NJPW guys exclusively as rudo so far, but Tonga would get over great as a tecnico.

and then there was the time Diamante almost killed Yujiro
Volador Spiral

It appears they’re going to do Dino/Maximo vs Taichi/? every year, which is fine. Misterioso and Diamante fit in well in their roles and were surprisingly well accepted by the crowd. Mephisto could probably hang out with Chaos full time. I wanted more Volador vs Tanahashi, just because Volador versus any popular tecnico is a good time right now, but they did the right finish to set up Day 2 well. Okada kept reminding me of WWE’s Jack Swagger, appearing to be a physically talented guy but missing that extra spark to be a top guy. He did not seem near Tanahashi’s level. Not that I’m the first or last to say that.