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NJPW/CMLL Fantastica Mania results: Dragon Lee vs. Cavernario

The Big Takeaway -- 

Dragon Lee retained his CMLL Lightweight title against Barbaro Cavernario, continuing to build momentum for an eventual IWGP Junior title match. Hiromu Takahashi defeated Titan in a match filled with great high flying spots, then confronted Dragon Lee in the main event, though things didn’t go his way.

Okumura and Hechicero made it clear what their intentions were for their matches on tomorrow’s show -- Hechicero to become CMLL Heavyweight champion, and for Okumura to score a big win over Stuka Jr.

Blue Panther Jr. & Henare defeated Ephisto & Will Ospreay

Good opener. Ospreay always shines in these type of matches and looked like a million dollars compared to everyone else. Ospreay did a Sasuke special that took out Henare. That allowed Blue Panther Jr. to secure the submission with the nudo lagunero.

Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask & Soberano Jr. defeated Raziel, Gedo & Jado

Soberano Jr. looked really good. He picked up the win with a moonsault off the middle rope where Raziel was laying.

Hechicero & Okumura defeated Maximo Sexy & Stuka Jr.

This went by pretty quick, but was good while it lasted. Maximo got a cool near fall after Stuka Jr. did his torpedo, wiping out Okumura on the outside and Maximo followed with a ropewalk splash. Stuka missed a dive and Okumura took advantage by ripping off part of his trunks then scored the win with the reverse DDT.

Okumura cut a promo in Spanish, then Hechicero said tomorrow Maximo’s CMLL Heavyweight title was his. Maximo said he’d win it for his friends in Japan. After Stuka Jr. said his piece it turned into a brawl with the rudos standing tall. This builds toward matches between Okumura/Stuka Jr. and Maximo/Hechicero for tomorrow’s show.

Before the next match, they had a short ceremony acknowledging Black Cat’s contributions to both NJPW & CMLL. The technicos and Black Cat’s wife posed for pictures holding a picture with Black Cat.

Tetsuya Naito, Rush, SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Atlantis, KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay

Rush and Atlantis worked part of the match until Rush tore off the top of Atlantis’ mask, causing him to go to the back. Rush jumped him on his way out, taking them both out of the match.

Good six man from there. It was all action and fast-paced. Taguchi and Tanahashi went for stereo pescados on the outside but fell to the floor, leaving it between Finlay and EVIL, with the latter scoring the win with the STO.

Rush and Atlantis came brawling back into the ring after the match, but this time Atlantis’ mask was ripped off completely. LIJ showed no respect by kicking it around like a soccer ball. They all posed together after the match.

Kazuchika Okada, Ultimo Guerrero & Euforia defeated Mistico, Volador Jr. & Juice Robinson

This was pretty good. There was a lot of comedy centered around Volador, Ultimo, and their masks early on. Okada worked with Euphoria and Ultimo Guerrero and got booed whenever he was in, which was actually pretty funny.

It was really good whenever Volador and Ultimo were in. Volador went for a big hurricanrana from the ring to the floor, but Ultimo grabbed him and powerbombed him on the outside. Euphoria, meanwhile, caught Mistico in the soberana which Mistico quickly tapped out to.

Hiromu Takahashi defeated Titan

Another pretty good match that had a ton of cool spots by both guys, but did have a flat finish for whatever reason even though people were into the match generally. Takahashi worked on a bum leg early. Titan caught him on the apron and hurricanrana’d him to the floor, then launched off with a great Asai moonsault followed by a great flying swanton bomb.

Titan caught Takahashi on the top rope and pushed him off, but Titan came back and launched another hurricanrana to the floor. They started trading some good back and forth near falls, including Takahashi hitting the sunset flip bomb off the top rope. He followed that up with a running Death Valley Driver then hit the time bomb. The finish felt flat as the crowd didn’t buy that was the end of the match.

Dragon Lee defeated Barbaro Cavernario to retain the CMLL Lightweight title

Another good match, but this was the same as the previous one. The crowd was into it, with plenty of great spots throughout by both men, but they weren’t into the finish and as a result it felt pretty flat.

Lee started off hot early with a big suicide dive that sent Cavernario into the crowd. Cavernario soon followed with one of his own, through the turnbuckles. He also did the big splash off the top rope to the floor. Dragon Lee followed that with a double foot stomp off a draped Cavernario on the apron. Lots of great back and forth between the two here including a release suplex by Dragon Lee and a reverse rana by Cavernario. Lee finally caught him with a bridging back suplex, retaining the title.

Cavernario seemed to have injured his shoulder during the match, as he was checked on by staff and was taken out. Hiromu Takahashi came running in after the match to blindside Lee but he wouldn’t have it and made a comeback, laying Takahashi out and cutting a promo on him to end the show.

Final Thoughts --

This was a good show highlighted by a couple of really good matches, but ended up having flat finishes that could have worked better. That plus a lukewarm crowd made this show pretty good, but not great.