by Sam DiMascio
For the fifth year in a row CMLL and NJPW has a series of joint events in Japan under the name NJPW/CMLL Fantasticamania. Personally, it is one of the most fun weeks on the wrestling calendar every year. You very rarely get to see the wrestlers from two of the best promotions in the world enter the ring with each other. This series of events delivers that and showcases some of the most enjoyable CMLL matches in front of a Japanese audience. This year’s series will be six shows held from January 13 to January 19.
Admittedly, the CMLL talent for the tour is a bit lackluster, but there is one bright spot for the whole tour and that is El Barbaro Cavernario. By winning the CMLL En Busca de un Idolo Tournament 2014 he was guaranteed a spot on this tour. There is a very good chance we could see the emergence of a can’t miss prospect into an international star over the course of 2015. There is very little doubt in me that Cavernario will be a big thing and this tour will strengthen that.
On the final night of the tour there are numerous matches that highlight what CMLL does. While we are not offered inter-promotional singles matches as one may like we are given some truly fun straight CMLL matches. This is where Cavernario comes in as he will be facing Rey Cometa in a rematch from CMLL 81st Anniversary Show. That match was considered by many only second on the show to the widely considered number one lucha match of the year, an instant classic, Atlantis versus Ultimo Guerrero. In its own right it is considered one of the best matches in lucha for 2014. A match even close to that caliber would be considered an overwhelming success for both competitors and specifically the 22 year-old Cavernario. A great performance here could solidify him a position for next year’s tour and possibly another tour in 2015 if the opportunity arises. The skill is there as well as a compelling gimmick.
The finale is not the only time Rey Cometa and Carvernario cross paths. They will actually be wrestling on opposite sides of the ring every single night of NJPW/CMLL Fantasticamania 2015. This is one of the few CMLL series that will go on throughout the tour and is without a doubt the one I look forward to most. This is a great opportunity for these wrestlers to build heat throughout the tour and create a genuinely good series including a finale. For me, it is not often that you can plop a series in a completely new environment, let it grow in a quick, but not completely rushed period of time and finalize it all in a tour. These two wrestlers are more than capable of that and I am really looking forward to it.
While I believe Cavernario will be the one to most improve his stock over the tour there are some other things to watch out for from some young wrestlers. La Sombra and Mascara Dorada, 25 and 26, respectively, will be main eventing the final night of the tour and with good reason. This match will be the first singles match between the two competitors and it takes place on Japanese soil. Sombra has changed his style over the course of 2014, but it’ll be interesting to see if he tries more to match speed with one of the fastest competitors going in Dorada. We might not get inter-promotional singles matches, but there is potential for two great matches on the finale. The series, with both big matches, is available LIVE through New Japan World, if that is your thing, from January 13 to January 19.
Categories: Smooth Runs