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NJPW FANTASTICA MANIA 2019

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So lineups got announced for this thing and it is weirder than usual. 5 shows will be streamed this year and full lineups can be found here: https://www.njpw1972.com/schedule/

Not going to re-post them, just some points of interest, in my opinion obviously.

  • Kushida will be working first two shows and this is probably his send off. Both of his matches are with Taguchi and opposing team has Gedo/Taiji so I wouldn't be shocked if his send off will be "got killed by Taiji".
  • Some NJPW wrestlers are reverting back to their CMLL gimmicks: Sho/Yoh -> Raijin/Fujin and... Desperado -> Namajague. This one is weird in particular.
  • Kanemaru and Taichi are booked as well. And obviously LiJ are in, as well as already mentioned Sho/Yoh so safe bet that they'll do interactions and build towards their New Beginning matches.
  • Okada and Tanahashi appear only on last night... as their My Dad is a Heel wrestler movie versions. Weird, right?
  • Kojima will wrestler Terrible on 20th of January show. Last year Kojima lost to Rush so this year he'll try to get revenge on his friend.
  • Sobernaro Jr. will wrestle Cavernario on 18th. Cavernario is likely winning, but this might be an attempt to showcase Sobernaro more after his less than stellar performances last year outside of Mexico.
  • Volador Jr. will wrestle Caristico on 21th. This is weird one, it is biggish Lucha match, but Caristico is not really a workrate guy so I wonder how crowds will react to this match.
  • Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Titán vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón for trios titles on last day. Should be great if they don't give too much time to Atlantis.
  • They'll do family tag team tournament again, winners will face last year winners (Gran and Ultimo Guerreros). Teams are: Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. vs Cuatrero & Sansón; Dragón Lee & Místico vs Flyer & Volador Jr.
  • As seen above Atlantis Jr. is debuting here and those who care about Lucha will probably find it interesting to see how he does. On last day he'll have singles match against Okumura as well.
  • Overall there are more NJPW wrestlers booked on this show than last year.

 

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Kevin Kelly trying to do hype video for Lucha Libre is best thing I have ever heard.

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Who in the hell's voice is that? Did they say Lucha Libradors? Did somebody make a speech program based on import PS1 game announcers and train it on Kevin Kelly? Then they have a different Japanese guy to say the wrestler's names? CMLL ROWSTERS COMING TO NEW JAPAN FOR THE FIRST TIME

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1546889041134.jpg

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Does... does his shirt say Cock?

Edit: OH, Cockroach. Whoops.

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Just now, Godfrey said:

Does... does his shirt say Cock?

Cock roach. Tana will be the heel in that match.

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So it'll be a good match then.

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First show in the can:

It gets a bit weird to hear so many dubbed themes and I think it hurts flow of the show a bit. And I get why they are dubbed, but at the same time maybe not every CMLL guy has to enter to his theme.

This wasn't actually Atlantis Jr. first match if I'm not mistaken, he was doing a bit of work "hidden" in Mexico till he was ready to start as Atlantis Jr. That being said I think he wasn't anything spectacular, but at the same time we often get complete garbage from family members and he didn't feel like that either so probably might be really good couple of years later. And I hope that he didn't hurt himself with that table.

Namajague  looked and acted funny. Speaking about funny, Taguchi was extra serious in his match against Taiji. Maybe with Kushida leaving he'll get pushed up the card a bit?

Kushida's goal probably is to do something weird on every show till he leaves. No, it wasn't as creepy as little kid Kushida, but it was weird enough.

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There's no way New Japan schedules these shows during contract season on purpose, but it really is exactly what I need. Less time chasing twitter rumors; more time watching ~good lucha things~. (Alas, I will not log off.)

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Meltzer said something about Atlantis Jr working under a different name before this a couple days ago, but he didn't mention what the name was.

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From last show two main matches are worth watching. Atlantis Jr. continues to look decent and main event was fun because Dragon Lee, Mystico and Volador, duh.

Weird thing is that Sho/Yoh got a win over LiJ. I hope they are not planing about making another three-way. But even then, maybe champions shouldn't lose non-title matches before already announced title defence.

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Friday's show also had two worth watching matches: Sobernaro vs Cavernario and tournament finals.

And I had a weird train of thoughts that is somewhat related to this tour and somewhat isn't:

1. Rush, after signing with RoH, said that there are some news coming for Dragon Lee as well.

2. Kushida was #1 junior in New Japan Army. Taguchi can still go when he feels like it, but at the same time it looks like he has more fun in undercard matches with his coach gimmick. And well undercard would definitely be less fun without him.

3. So lets add these two happenings together and... Dragon Lee to sign with NJPW and will get Kushida's spot?

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Tour concluded with strong Volador/Caristico match. For the most part things that looked like they'd deliver delivered.

Atlantis Jr. singles match got mixed reception from what I saw, but I'm not certain if him failing and getting too excited during the finishing sequence wasn't intentional. Like to me it looks like he still is a bit green, but maybe thats exactly what they want to show him as. Or maybe it is just one of those cases where reality and kayfabe align with each other.

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How was the "My Dad is a heel Wrestler" match?

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In terms of workrate nothing spectacular, but whole thing was funny. And you know, when else are you going to see Tanahashi low blow Okada?

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ShowImage.asp?i=00008856&ex=1&ci=00011&p

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Tanahashi looked like he was having a fucking blast.  Props to the crowd playing along.

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yeah Cock Roach & Blue Bottle vs. Dragon George & Sweetgorilla was fun. Not quite as great as when Tanahashi went heel in DDT against Harashima & Ken Ohka but the same kind of slightly postmodern and fun audience stuff.

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