New Japan "FANTASTICA MANIA 2014" on 1/18/14
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: January 18th, 2014
Location: Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Announced Attendance: 1,900 (Super No Vacancy)

We are on to another day of the New Japan/CMLL joint tour. This has pretty much the same wrestlers as the last event I reviewed, but they are paired up differently to give new match-ups. Here is the full card:

- Jado vs. Maximo vs. Taichi
- Stuka Jr. and Rey Cometa vs. Yujiro Takahashi and OKUMURA
- Escorpión, YOSHI-HASHI, Niebla Roja, and Vangelis vs. Tiger Mask, Titan, KUSHIDA, and Fuego
- Máscara Dorada and El Desperado vs. Volador Jr. and BUSHIROAD
- Rush vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, and La Sombra vs. Okada, Ultimo Guerrero, and Tomohiro Ishii
- Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship: Mephisto vs. Mistico II

And away we go!

Jado vs. Maximo vs. Taichi
They all circle each other to start, the crowd chants for Maximo so he does a twirl.  Maximo goes after Taichi and smacks him on the ass, Jado charges Maximo but Maximo moves out of the way.  Maximo rubs Jado’s chest as Jado gets away from him, Taichi tries to get away from Maximo but Jado attacks him from behind and Maximo dropkicks him out of the ring.  Jado does Maximo’s little dance with him and then punches him in the stomach, chops by Jado but Maximo takes him down, Maximo goes off the ropes and hits a running headscissors.  Maximo kisses Jado, and Jado does a Flair Flop before exiting the ring. Maximo gets a running start but Taichi trips him from the floor and drags him out.  Taichi hits Maximo in the head with the edge of the chair, gets the ring bell mallet and hits Jado in the head with it.  Taichi chokes Jado with the mallet but Maximo has recovered and clubs Taichi in the back.  Taichi tries to get away from Maximo and gives Maximo the commentator, who of course Maximo kisses.  Taichi attacks Maximo and rolls him back into the ring, he picks up Maximo and gives him a hard slap on the ass. Taichi throws Maximo into the corner and stomps him low, Jado comes back in the ring but Taichi chops him in the corner.  Irish whip by Taichi and he hits a lariat before kneeing him low.  Cover by Taichi but the referee doesn’t see it. 

Maximo returns to the ring, kick by Taichi to Maximo and he rakes him in the eyes.  Irish whip by Maximo and Maximo hits an armdrag.  Armdrag by Taichi and both men lariat each other.  Powerslam by Maximo but Taichi catches him with a superkick.  Jado comes back into the ring, he covers Taichi but it gets a two count.  He then covers Maximo but it gets a two as well.  Crossface of JADO to Maximo but Taichi breaks it up.  Taichi covers Jado but Maximo breaks it up.  Maximo goes off the ropes, kick by Taichi but as he goes for the powerbomb he is hit by a Jado lariat.  DDT by Jado, cover, but Taichi breaks it up.  Taichi goes off the ropes but Jado hits him with a lariat.  Jado charges Maximo but Maximo moves and kisses him, Irish whip by Jado, reversed, Jado goes for a sunset flip but Maximo sits on him for a two count.  Irish whip by Maximo to Jado, reversed, but Maximo hits a rebound hip attack out of the corner.  Jado rolls out of the ring but Maximo sails out onto him with a tope suicida.  Maximo gets back into the ring as Taichi does as well, Maximo ducks a Taichi lariat and pulls Taichi’s pants down.  Maximo tries to kiss Taichi but Taichi re-directs it and he kisses the referee.  Finally Maximo is able to kiss Taichi, dropkick to the knee and he applies La Magistral to pick up the three count!  Your winner:  Maximo

Match Thoughts:  Ok, I just got done watching DDT, I have reached my “men kissing men” humor for the day.  No mas.  It is an interesting character, I mean that pretty much is his shtick but the crowd loves him.  To me, it gets old really fast… I’m not personally disgusted, I just don’t understand the humor when it happens five times in one match, it would be funnier if it was just once a match to throw off opponents or something.  But the crowd enjoys it so he has that anyway.  Solid action otherwise.  Score:  4.0

Stuka Jr. and Rey Cometa vs. Yujiro Takahashi and OKUMURA
Cometa and OKUMURA start things off.  Cometa and OKUMURA circle each other, tie-up, OKUMURA trips Cometa but Cometa hits an armdrag.  Single leg takedown by OKUMURA and an armdrag, but Cometa hits an armdrag of his own.  Armdrag by Cometa, they trade tripping each other and both men return to their feet.  Cometa tags in Stuka Jr. while Takahashi is also tagged in.  Takahashi and Stuka Jr. tie-up, side headlock by Takahashi, Stuka Jr. Irish whips out of it and they collide with no result.  Takahashi goes off the ropes but Stuka Jr. ducks the lariat and hits a shoulderblock.  Stuka Jr. goes off the ropes, Takahashi throws him into the corner but Stuka Jr. flips himself onto the apron.  Stuka Jr. grabs Takahashi’s arm and hits an armdrag from the top rope.  Stuka Jr. charges Takahashi but Takahashi back bodydrops him out of the ring.  Takahashi goes off the ropes but Stuka Jr. bails, leading to OKUMURA taking Stuka Jr. out at ringside.  Takahashi gloats but Cometa comes off the top turnbuckle with an armdrag to Takahashi.  Takahashi falls out of the ring, Cometa goes off the ropes but Takahashi ducks the baseball slide and slams Cometa into the ring apron.  Stuka Jr. and OKUMURA get in the ring, Irish whip by OKUMURA, Stuka Jr. flips off the ropes and hits a dropkick.  OKUMURA falls out of the ring as Takahashi comes back in it, Stuka Jr. slams Takahashi in front of the corner and goes up to the top turnbuckle, but instead of diving onto Takahashi he dives backwards and drops onto OKUMURA outside the ring. 

Cometa hits a moonsault onto Takahashi, cover, but it gets a two count.  Cometa charges Takahashi and hits a hurricanrana followed by a pair of dropkicks.  Cometa goes off the ropes but OKUMURA trips him from ringside and pulls Cometa out of the ring.  Takahashi goes off the ropes to do a dive but Stuka Jr. grabs Takahashi’s legs from the outside and pulls him out of the ring as well.  Cometa gets back in the ring and goes for a springboard tornado plancha onto Takahashi, but Takahashi moves and he hits Stuka Jr. on accident.  Takahashi slides Cometa back into the ring, he picks him up and kicks him in the stomach.  Chop by Takahashi, he picks up Cometa, Irish whip, Cometa goes for a hurricanrana but Takahashi rolls through.  Cover, but Stuka Jr. breaks it up.  Takahashi rakes Stuka Jr. in the eyes, then he hits a German suplex hold onto Stuka Jr. while OKUMURA hits one onto Cometa for a two count.  All four men slowly get up, Cometa and OKUMURA gain the advantage, OKUMURA slides out of the ring but Cometa hits him with a tope suicida.  Meanwhile in the ring Takahashi goes off the ropes, drop toehold by Stuka Jr. but Takahashi blocks La Magistral.  Stuka Jr. slams Takahashi to the mat, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but OKUMURA hits him with a chair from the floor.  HOT WIFE was on the apron to distract the referee but she eats a superkick from Cometa and flops to the floor.  OKUMURA attacks Cometa while in the ring Takahashi hits a Fisherman Buster onto Stuka Jr. for a two count.  Takahashi picks up Stuka Jr., hits the Tokyo Pimps and picks up the three count.  Your winners:  Yujiro Takahashi and OKUMURA

Match Thoughts:   They did a lot with the small amount of time they had and made the most of it.  There was literally no down time at all, they were just moving from start to finish.  I loved Stuka Jr.’s random dive to the outside, it caught everyone off-guard and was a neat visual.  A fun tag match, just wish it was a bit longer.  Score:  6.5

Rey Escorpión, YOSHI-HASHI, Niebla Roja, and Vangelis vs. Tiger Mask, Titan, KUSHIDA, and Fuego
Escorpión and KUSHIDA start things off.  KUSHIDA asks for a handshake but Escorpión wants no part of it.  Tie-up, waistlock by KUSHIDA and he rolls him up, but Escorpión applies a quick submission before KUSHIDA rolls out of it.  Back up, hammerlock by Escorpión, reversed by KUSHIDA, side headlock takedown by Escorpión but KUSHIDA reverses it into a headscissors.  Back up, single leg takedown by Escorpión and he rolls up KUSHIDA for a quick two count.  KUSHIDA tags in Fuego while YOSHI-HASHI is also tagged in.  YOSHI-HASHI and Fuego tie-up, waistlock by YOSHI-HASHI and he throws Fuego to the mat but Fuego gets back to his feet.  Back elbow by YOSHI-HASHI and he goes for an Irish whip but Fuego avoids it and does a little dance.  Fuego flips YOSHI-HASHI out to the floor, he goes off the far ropes and sails out onto YOSHI-HASHI with a tope suicida.  He then quickly gets back in the ring and hits a second one before returning and tagging in Titan.  Vangelis comes in the ring as well, and the two trade chops to the chest.  Vangelis goes off the ropes and he slaps Titan hard in the face, Irish whip by Vangelis but Titan flips out of the way and hits a spinning headscissors.  Titan goes off the ropes but is tripped from ringside and pulled out of the ring.  Vangelis then goes out after him but meanwhile Tiger Mask and Roja get into the ring as the legal men.  Kick by Roja but Tiger Mask hits a delayed snapmare, Roja goes off the ropes but Tiger Mask hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.  Monkey flip by Tiger Mask from the corner and he dropkicks Roja out of the ring. 

Escorpión comes in the ring in Roja’s place, then Vangelis attacks Tiger Mask from behind.  YOSHI-HASHI comes in as well and all three men hit a big boot onto Tiger Mask.  Tiger Mask falls out of the ring, so they get Fuego.  Fuego is Irish whipped to the corner and all four of his opponents hit running strikes on him.  KUSHIDA comes in to help, but he gets kicked by Roja.  Irish whip to KUSHIDA and he is double teamed by Roja and Escorpión.  Titan gets in the ring, Irish whip to him but he is able to connect with a rebound handstand kick to Escorpión.  YOSHI-HASHI kicks Titan out of the ring but Tiger Mask comes in the ring and hits a Tiger Drive onto YOSHI-HASHI.  Vangelis hits a spinning heel kick onto Tiger Mask, then Fuego knocks Vangelis out of the ring with a swandive missile dropkick.  Escorpión comes in the ring and hits a lariat onto Fuego, but KUSHIDA comes in to take his place.  Escorpión kicks KUSHIDA, Irish whip to the corner but KUSHIDA moves as he charges in and applies a submission hold in the ropes.  Meanwhile Roja comes in the ring to kick Tiger Mask out of it, Vangelis joins him, they give KUSHIDA an Irish whip but he kicks them both back.  KUSHIDA hits a standing moonsault onto both of them, cover, but it gets a two count.  Escorpión comes off the top turnbuckle to try to help but he accidentally lands on Roja and Vangelis.  Scoop slam by KUSHIDA to Roja, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but jumps out of the ring onto Escorpión.  Tiger Mask gets in the ring, he picks up Roja, Irish whip, reversed, but Tiger Mask avoids Roja’s dropkick.  Roja falls out of the ring but Tiger Mask hits a tope suicida onto him.  This leaves…. YOSHI-HASHI and Titan in the ring, as Titan comes in with a swandive missile dropkick.  Vangelis comes in the ring to take YOSHI-HASHI’s place, Titan avoids a Vangelis dropkick but Vangelis drops him onto the apron.  Titan then hits a top rope Asai Moonsault down onto YOSHI-HASHI outside the ring.  Fuego hits a swandive crossbody onto Vangelis, he goes off the ropes but Vangelis catches him and it’s a German suplex hold for the three count.  Your winners:  Rey Escorpión, YOSHI-HASHI, Niebla Roja, and Vangelis

Match Thoughts:  This was clearly just a free-for-all exhibition type match, they basically just took turns doing moves to each other, swapping who was in the ring, and repeated that for eight minutes until the match ended.  Which isn’t bad per se as it was fun for the crowd and certainly was fast paced, but it didn’t really feel like a match and no one really got a chance to shine since there were so many people in the match.  Good for spots, but if you like anything resembling psychology then I wouldn’t recommend it.  Score:  6.0

Máscara Dorada and El Desperado vs. Volador Jr. and BUSHIROAD
Dorada and Volador Jr. start things off.  Tie-up, waistlock by Dorada but Volador Jr. gets out of it, armdrag by Volador Jr., they trade kip-ups and both men return to their feet.  BUSHIROAD and Desperado are tagged in, and BUSHIROAD knocks Desperado to the mat.  Irish whip by Desperado but BUSHIROAD rolls over him, Desperado hits an armdrag which sends BUSHIROAD out of the ring, but Volador Jr. hits a swandive missile dropkick onto Desperado.  Dorada then comes in the ring with a hurricanrana on Volador Jr.. Volador Jr. goes off the ropes, he flips off the ropes but Dorada hits a hurricanrana which sends Volador Jr. out of the ring.  Dorada then goes off the ropes and sails out onto Volador Jr. with a corkscrew tope con giro.  Desperado and BUSHIROAD return to the ring, and BUSHIROAD avoids a Desperado dropkick.  Desperado drops BUSHIROAD on the apron, BUSHIROAD punches Desperado back and goes for an Asai Moonsault, but Dorada grabs his foot.  Desperado then goes off the ropes and flies out of the ring with a tope con giro.  Desperado gets back in the ring, Volador Jr. gets on the apron and he kicks Desperado back.  Volador Jr. goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody and dropkicks Desperado in the head.  Dorada suddenly comes in the ring with a swandive body press onto Volador Jr., but BUSHIROAD hits a missile dropkick onto Dorada.  BUSHIROAD and Desperado face off again, Desperado goes off the ropes and hits a spear.  Mounted punches by Desperado and he hits a headscissors onto Volador Jr. while Dorada kicks BUSHIROAD.  German suplex hold by Desperado onto BUSHIROAD but Volador Jr. breaks it up. 

Dorada and Desperado stay in the ring with Volador Jr., double Irish whip but Volador Jr. ducks the lariat attempt and kicks them both down.  Dorada tosses Volador Jr. over the top rope to the floor, he then goes for a pescado but Volador Jr. moves out of the way.  Desperado doesn’t miss his tope con giro though, then BUSHIROAD goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a tornillo onto Desperado.  BUSHIROAD goes to get back in the ring but is grabbed by Dorada and Desperado as they all fight to get back in the ring.  They decide instead to brawl up into the stands. Volador Jr. gets up on the entrance way and hits a diving crossbody onto Dorada while BUSHIROAD does the same thing to Desperado on the other side of the crowd.  They make their way back to ringside, and BUSHIROAD throws Desperado hard into the ring post.  Volador Jr. gets back in the ring first, he goes off the ropes but Dorada kicks him from the apron.  Dorada hits a swandive seated senton, cover, but it gets a two count.  Codebreaker by BUSHIROAD to Dorada, then Volador Jr. hits a backstabber.  Desperado goes up to the top turnbuckle but Volador Jr. kicks him while he is still on top.  Volador Jr. joins Desperado and hits a Super Frankensteiner.  Cover by Volador Jr., but Dorada barely breaks it up in time.  BUSHIROAD charges Dorada but accidentally dropkicks Volador Jr., knee by BUSHIROAD to Dorada, Irish whip to the corner but Dorada avoids BUSHIROAD’s attack and hits a rebound dropkick out of the corner.  Desperado then grabs BUSHIROAD and plants him with the Guitarra de Angel.  Cover by Desperado and he picks up the three count.  Your winners:  Máscara Dorada and El Desperado

Match Thoughts:  Certainly the best match on the card so far.  It had the high flying and fun spots, but they also had time to go a bit deeper than that as well.  The spear/mounted punches for example was a nice change of pace and made it look like Desperado really did want to hurt his opponent and not just find creative ways to toss him to the mat or the floor.  I am really liking Desperado so far, I hope that he doesn’t get his legs cut out from under him in his upcoming title match.  Score:  7.5

Rush vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
They circle each other to start and start trading elbows, knee by Nakamura but Rush catches a kick and pushes him down.  Nakamura rolls out of the way of the stomp attempt and returns to his feet, tie-up, Rush pushes Nakamura into the ropes, Nakamura reverses positions with him and he gives a clean break.  Chop by Rush and he punches Nakamura in the stomach, Irish whip, reversed, Rush blocks the hiptoss but Nakamura pushes him to the mat.  Rush moves out of the way of the kneedrop attempt but Nakamura avoids Rush’s kick and both men are back to their feet.  Nakamura offers Rush his hand for a handshake but Rush charges him, knees by Nakamura and he goes off the ropes, but Rush catches him with an overhead suplex.  Rush kicks Nakamura out of the ring and gets a running start, but Nakamura kicks him in the head before he can dive out.  Nakamura then positions Rush with his head hanging over the apron and hits a running knee from the floor.  Nakamura slides Rush back into the ring, Nakamura picks up Rush, snapmare, and he hits the kneedrop.  Cover, but it gets two.  Nakamura kicks Rush lightly in the head and then in the chest, Rush gets back up and manages to catch a kick, powerbombing Nakamura to the mat.  Kick by Nakamura and he goes off the ropes but Rush does as well and hits a diving lariat.  Rush kicks Nakamura in the ribs, he picks him up and throws Nakamura in the corner.  Chops by Rush, Irish whip, and Rush hits a lariat in the other corner.  Rush then gets a running start again and delivers a dropkick.  Cover by Rush but it only gets a two count. 

Rush stomps Nakamura before kneeing him against the ropes, Irish whip, but it’s reversed and Nakamura kicks Rush into the corner.  Stomps by Nakamura, he picks up Rush and places him on the ropes in the corner.  Running knee to the ribs by Nakamura, cover, but Rush kicks out.  Nakamura knees Rush as he tries to get up and applies a sleeper,  Rush elbows out of it and goes off the ropes but Nakamura knees him in the midsection.  Nakamura charges Rush but Rush hits an overhead belly to belly suplex, sending Nakamura out of the ring.  Rush gets a running start in the ring, Nakamura moves, but Rush goes out to the apron and hits a dropkick off the apron to the floor.  Rush throws Nakamura back in the ring, cover, but it gets a two count.  Back up they trade strikes, a chop by Rush sends Nakamura to his knees, Rush picks him up and goes for the Rush Driver but Nakamura back bodydrops out of it.  Nakamura goes for a lariat but Rush ducks it and hits an Olympic Slam.  Senton by Rush, cover, but Nakamura gets a shoulder up.  Rush is up first but Nakamura knees him in the midsection.  Superkick by Rush, he picks up Nakamura and goes for the Rush Driver again but again Nakamura blocks it.  Roll-up by Rush but Nakamura rolls through it and hits a jumping kick to the head.  Boma Ye by Nakamura, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Shinsuke Nakamura

Match Thoughts:  A good match that I would have liked better if it went a little bit longer.  This is the most I have seen of Rush but he is fun to watch, he is a bigger guy but has a nice range of high flying moves and power moves.  It really felt like if he had just hit the Rush Driver he would have won, but without it he was overmatched by Nakamura’s striking ability.  Nakamura really emphasized the knee here but since his finishing move is also a running knee it made sense that would be his main weapon.  Nothing really wrong with it at all, it just felt like there was more they could have done.  I enjoyed it while it lasted though.  Score:  7.0

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, and La Sombra vs. Kazuchika Okada, Ultimo Guerrero, and Ishii
Tanahashi and Guerrero start things off.  Tie-up, side headlock by Guerrero, Tanahashi reverses it into a front facelock, but Guerrero reverses that into a wristlock.  Tanahashi snapmares out of it but Guerrero hits him with a chop.  Irish whip by Guerrero to the corner but Tanahashi elbows him as he charges in and hits a rebound crossbody out of the corner.  Guerrero responds with a lariat and he chops Tanahashi into the corner.  Irish whip by Guerrero but Tanahashi moves as he charges in and Guerrero falls out to the floor.  Tanahashi goes up to the top turnbuckle but Guerrero has run too far away for Tanahashi to do a dive.  Tanahashi gets back in the ring and tags in La Sombra, and Okada joins him. La Sombra and Okada circle each other, tie-up, Okada pushes La Sombra into the ropes and he gives a clean break.  Tie-up, La Sombra pushes Okada into the ropes this time and he gives a clean break also.  Okada goes for a kick but La Sombra catches it, Irish whip by La Sombra and he hits an armdrag.  Chop to the chest by Okada and he hits an armdrag after running up the corner.  He then poses as he is quite proud of himself.  La Sombra goes off the ropes and hits a hurricanrana, which sends Okada out of the ring.  La Sombra goes to dive but Okada has moved so he flips himself back into the ring.  La Sombra tags in Naito as Ishii comes in the ring, dropkick by Naito to Ishii but Ishii avoids the elbow drop.  Ishii ducks the enzigieri but Naito hits a pair of armdrags.  Shoulderblock by Ishii and they trade elbow strikes.  Naito gets the better of the exchange, he goes off the ropes but Ishii catches him with an elbow.  Irish whip by Ishii, reversed, and Naito hits a hiptoss.  Naito picks up Ishii and elbows him into the corner before headbutting him down.  Naito picks up Ishii, Irish whip, reversed, but Naito kicks Ishii as he charges in.  Naito charges Ishii but Ishii catches him with a powerslam. 

Guerrero and Okada come in the ring, and they kick Naito in the arm.  Irish whip by Guerrero and Okada and they hit double big boots.  Tanahashi comes in the ring but he is outnumbered, double Irish whip from the corner and Okada hits a jumping elbow strike.  Guerrero then follows with a handstand seated senton in the corner.  La Sombra is thrown in the ring, Guerrero throws him into the corner, reversed, La Sombra gets out to the apron but Guerrero dropkicks him from the apron to the floor.  Ishii and Naito brawl up into the crowd while Guerrero slides La Sombra into the ring, Okada gets a running start and kicks La Sombra in the head while he is in a seated position.  Guerrero picks up La Sombra and puts him onto the top turnbuckle as he attempts to take off his mask.  Okada comes back in the ring as does Ishii, double Irish whip to La Sombra but La Sombra dropkicks Guerrero.  Okada kicks La Sombra down but Tanahashi dropkicks Okada.  Ishii hits a lariat onto Tanahashi, but Naito catches Ishii with an enzigieri.  Dropkick by Guerrero to Naito, but La Sombra hits a swandive hurricanrana and is alone in the ring.  He gets a running start and jumps out onto Guerrero with a tope con giro.  Tanahashi and Okada get back into the ring to square off, Tanahashi goes off the ropes and hits a jumping elbow.  Irish whip by Tanahashi, reversed, Okada goes for a big boot but Tanahashi catches it and hits a dragon screw leg whip. Tanahashi goes off the ropes but Okada catches him with a flapjack.  Okada picks up Tanahashi and drops him with a DDT.  Back up, scoop slam by Okada, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving elbow drop.  Okada grabs Tanahashi, Tanahashi elbows him off but Okada delivers a dropkick.  Okada goes for the Rainmaker but Tanahashi ducks it and hits the Sling Blade.  Tanahashi goes up to the top turnbuckle but Ishii comes in the ring and joins him.  Delayed superplex by Ishii, he picks up Tanahashi and goes for a powerbomb but Naito comes off the top turnbuckle with a dropkick.

Naito picks up Ishii and elbows him into the corner, Irish whip by Naito and he hits the slingshot dropkick.  Naito picks up Ishii, snapmare, he goes off the ropes and hits the rolling senton.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Naito picks up Ishii and applies a waistlock, Ishii elbows out of it and charges Naito, hitting a delayed vertical suplex.  Ishii grabs Naito and goes for a powerbomb but Naito punches out of it.  Ishii goes off the ropes but Naito catches him with a dropkick.  Naito  tries to tag out but Ishii stops him and hits a backdrop suplex.  Lariat by Ishii, cover, but it only gets a two count.  Ishii picks up Naito, Irish whip, but Naito hits a jumping elbow strike and tags in La Sombra.  Guerrero comes in as well, La Sombra puts Guerrero up on the top turnbuckle and hits the Misteriorana.  Cover by La Sombra, but it gets two.  La Sombra throws Guerrero into the corner and charges him, but Guerrero catches him and hits a second turnbuckle front suplex.  Cover, but La Sombra gets a shoulder up.  Guerrero picks up La Sombra, Irish whip to the corner, reversed, and La Sombra hits a lariat.  La Sombra hits a running knee, cover, but it gets a two count.  La Sombra picks up Guerrero but Guerrero blocks the suplex attempt and hits a scoop slam.  Guerrero goes up to the top turnbuckle but La Sombra hits the ropes to knock him off.  La Sombra then goes up top with Guerrero, he goes for the Frankensteiner but Guerrero blocks it and delivers the powerbomb.  Cover, but it is broken up.  Guerrero is up first and goes for a lariat, but La Sombra ducks it and lariats Guerrero out of the ring.  Naito and Ishii get in the ring and they trade elbows.  Tanahashi attacks Ishii from behind, double Irish whip to Ishii and they hit a double hiptoss followed by a double dropkick.  Okada comes in the ring but he also gets a double dropkick from Tanahashi and Naito.  Naito and Tanahashi then sail out of the ring with pescados onto Ishii and Okada.  La Sombra and Guerrero are back in the ring, and La Sombra hits an Aztec Suplex Hold onto Guerrero for a two count.  La Sombra rolls up Guerrero from behind but Guerrero gets away from him.  Guerrero avoids an La Sombra attack in the corner, La Sombra lands on the top turnbuckle facing the wrong way and Guerrero joins him up top.  Guerrero grabs La Sombra and nails the Guerrero Special, cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winners:  Kazuchika Okada, Ultimo Guerrero, and Ishii

Match Thoughts:  Thoroughly entertaining from bell to bell.  All the little parts worked well, I thought Ishii would be out of place but he mostly focused on Naito since they are feuding and let everyone else do the Lucha spots.  They had enough time to tell a few different stories and while it had big spots it did not come across as a spotfest like some of the previous matches.  Really good match, nothing really wrong with it, I’d have preferred this was three singles matches since they are all so good but this was fun non-stop lucha action.  Score:  7.5

(c) Mephisto vs. Mistico II
This match is for the Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship. They shake hands to start  the match, tie-up, front facelock by Mephisto, reversed by Mistico, Mephisto pushes Mistico to the mat but Mistico hits an armdrag.  Tie-up, they jockey for position and again Mistico hits an armdrag to win the exchange.  Single leg takedown by Mephisto but Mistico armdrags Mephisto to the mat.  Mephisto pushes down Mistico but Mistico hit a swinging headscissors, they trade trips and pin attempts but can’t even get a one count.  Mistico goes off the ropes, and Mistico hits a hiptoss.  Mistico goes off the ropes and hits a hurricanrana, Mephisto falls out of the ring and Mistico hits the tope con giro.  Mistico gets back in the ring with Mephisto slowly following, Mistico goes off the ropes and hits a hurricanrana for a two count.  Mistico gets up on Mephisto’s shoulders and gives him the victory roll for a two count cover.  Both wrestlers get up, body scissors takedown by Mistico but Mephisto crawls away.  Mephisto grabs Mistico and hits the Demon Driller, cover, but Mistico gets a shoulder up.  Mephisto picks up Mistico and puts him in the corner before chopping him down to the mat.  Mephisto pulls Mistico back to his feet and again chops him down.  Irish whip by Mephisto, reversed, Mephisto throws Mistico out to the apron but Mistico hits a swandive hurricanrana.  Mephisto falls out of the ring, Mistico gets a running start but he slides out of the ring.  Kick by Mistico, he goes up to the apron but Mephisto catches him when he jumps off and throws him into the ring post. 

Mephisto gets back in the ring and waits for Mistico, Mistico gets back on the apron but he shoulder tackles Mephisto when he charges him.  Sunset flip by Mistico but it only gets a two count.  Drop Toehold by Mephisto but Mistico shoves him off and applies La Magistral for a two count.  Both wrestlers are slow to get up, Mistico goes off the ropes but Mephisto hits a powerbomb.  He tries using the ropes for leverage during the pin, and the referee sees him.  School boy by Mistico but it gets two.  Mistico charges Mistico and Mistico hits a spinning headscissors, sending Mephisto out of the ring.  Mistico then gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a diving hurricanrana down to the floor.  While Mephisto recovers, Mistico gets back in the ring, but Mistico is looking the wrong way and Mephisto attacks him from behind.  Mephisto applies a stretch hold to Mistico and he kicks Mistico in the ribs.  Mephisto picks up Mistico and applies the Gory Special, but Mistico flips him over for a two count cover.  Mephisto is up first, he charges Mistico but Mistico puts him on the ropes, then gets on the other side ropes and hits a hurricanrana back into the ring.  Cover by Mistico, but Mephisto kicks out. Mephisto picks up Mistico, Irish whip to the corner but Mistico throws Mephisto to the apron and then kicks him down to the floor.  Mistico goes to the ropes and sails out onto Mephisto with a springboard Shooting Star Press.  He actually over-shot Mephisto a bit and landed right on the hard floor past the mats.  Insane.   Mistico gets up first and slides Mephisto back into the ring, Mistico gets up on the apron and hits the swandive crossbody.  Mistico goes off the ropes and  hits a spinning armdrag, he charges Mephisto but Mephisto throws him  into the corner.  Mistico moves when Mephisto charges in and puts Mephisto on the top turnbuckle, Mistico joins him up there but Mephisto punches Mistico and nails the Avalanche-Style Demon Driller.  Cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner and still champion:  Mephisto

Match Thoughts:  Any wrestler that will die for me trying to do a springboard shooting star press is a-ok in my book.  Actually though, the match was pretty disappointing.  It was so oddly structured, I mean the first real move that Mephisto hit on Mistico was his finishing move several minutes into the match.  At the end, Mephisto gets back to his feet and is running around like nothing after getting the Shooting Star Press, and in general they really didn’t do any “long term” selling.  It was constant sprinting, but they were doing big moves that deserved to be sold for a little bit, not shaken off to get to the next big spot.  I mean the spots were good, don’t get me wrong and both wrestlers looked good, but the structure of the match was severely lacking.  I was expecting a bit more for the main event title match, the psychology seemed off even for Lucha Libre matches which negatively affected the match.  Score:  5.0

Final Thoughts

Best Match:   Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, and La Sombra vs. Kazuchika Okada, Ultimo Guerrero, and Ishii.  I gave this one the nod because it was the longer match and had more different things going for it.  Yes, it had the high spots but it also had some hate as well so it didn’t come across as just a glorified exhibition.  All six wrestlers brought what they had to the match and it blended together to be a really entertaining match.

MVP:   Rush.  Being in a singles match helps a wrestler stand out, and I thought he really did a good job of showing that he was on Nakamura’s level.  He was always just one big move away from defeating the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion and it seemed like a real fight at times.  It was also a different style than the other matches on the card which showed Rush’s versatility.  Good showing by the CMLL star.

Overall:   I enjoyed this event a lot more than the event from a few days before.  The matches here got more time, which allowed them to actually tell a story in some of the matches and not just throughout high spots.  Many of the matches were really good and there were only a few stinkers.  I just wish that the main event was better, I thought it just fell flat.  Overall though a fun night of action, I’d recommend grabbing it if you get the chance and want to see some a new style of wrestling if you haven't watched Lucha Libre before.

Grade:  B

Back to New Japan Event Reviews

review completed on 2/1/14