Family tag tournament to headline as NJPW heads to Korakuen Hall for the first time in 2020.
On January 16, live action returns to NJPW World, with English commentary, as we welcome in the party atmosphere of Fantasticamania! The Family Tag Tournament returns, with semi-finals taking place tonight, and finals taking place on January 17.
Main event: Angel De Oro & Niebla Roja vs Negro Casas & Tiger
In the main event of our first of four Korakuen nights, the uncle and nephew team of Negro Casas and Tiger will take on brothers Angel de Oro and Niebla Roja. Casas is incredibly wrestling in his first Fantasticamania tour after a long career that saw him turn 60 on day one of the series in Osaka. The legend has shared the ring for classic matches with the likes of Jyushin Thunder Liger, but Fantasticamania is seeing him in the cerulean blue for the first time in close to a decade. His nephew Tiger might share a similar look and name to NJPW’s own Tiger Mask, but the hood is actually a reference to his great father Felino, though Tiger has more than proved himself on his own, now making his own FM debut.
Angel De Oro and Niebla Roja are looking to erase disappointment of two straight losses in this tournament last year. They have managed to be successful on home turf; CMLL themselves offered a version of this same family tournament in Mexico back in June which the brothers won, before taking the hair of Ingobernables Bestia Del Ring and Terrible. Can they keep their success going on foreign soil?
6th Match: Euforia & Soberano Junior vs Sanson & Cuatrero
Father and son Euforia and Soberano Junior take on the Sangre Dinamita team of Sanson and Cuatrero in the semi main. Nueva Generacion Dinamita is a formidable force in CMLL, a trio that rarely tasted defeat in 2019. In 2018, this pairing took third place in the then brothers tag team tournament, and last year, they managed to come a de facto second, after losing in the final to eventual winners Ryu Lee and Mistico. Now they look to continue their annual progress to an overall victory, but Sanson has to overcome a foot injury, returned from just before this tour began, while Euforia and the elctrifying Soberano will be highly motivated.
5th Match: Satoshi Kojima & Caristico vs Ultimo Guerrero & Barbaro Cavernario
The fifth match of the night sees a pair of previews for future title matches on the tour, as Satoshi Kojima will be challenging CMLL World Heavyweight Champion Ultimo Guerrero on january 19, and Caristico and Cavernario will meet for the Historic World Middleweight title on the tour closer January 20.
High flying wildman Cavernario should make for an exciting opponent to modern legend Caristico, while Kojima and Guerrero’s hard hits will play off one another perfectly as well. This should be an exciting one to watch as each team jockeys for position and momentum.
4th Match: Titan & Stuka Jr. vs Forestero & OKUMURA
Another pair of singles previews in this bout sees Titan and Forastero tie up ahead of their meeting January 17, and Stuka Jr. and OKUMURA collide before meeting on the 19th.
OKUMURA celebrated 25 years in wrestling on the tour opener in his home town of Osaka, and the rudo has been effective as ever on the Fantasticamania tour, but was defeated one on one by Stuka Jr. in FM 2017, and has to go some to beat his fellow veteran in Korakuen. Meanwhile Titan has been on fire in CMLL in 2019, and closed out the year with a strong run in the Super Junior Tag League in NJPW as well. Can he keep that momentum going against Forastero?
3rd Match: Flyer, Dulce Gardenia & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (EVIL, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI)
New NEVER 6-Man Openweight Tag Team Champions EVIL, BUSHI and Shingo will face different combinations through the Korakuen stretch of Fantasticamania in non-title matchups; they will have to consistently watch their backs in order to prevent creating new contenders for those titles, though LIJ would relish the competition.
And competition is tough in this trios bout. Flyer made a big impression on NJPW fans last year on tour, and Dulce Gardenia’s gorgeous presentation has blended perfectly with efficient execution, drawing big reactions from fans thus far on the road. Led by the Ace himself in Tanahashi, we could see this team instantly become number one contenders with a win tonight.
2nd Match: Audaz & Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Luciferno & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
In the second match of the evening, rudos Luciferno and Yoshinobu Kanemaru make for strange bedfellows; Kanemaru would likely be more at home teaming with the absent for the tour El Desperado, especially as they count down to an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match February 9 in Osaka. Luciferno meanwhile is usually partners with Mephisto and Ephesto as Los Hijos Del Inferno, but tonight finds himself with the Suzuki-Gun member.
They take on Guerrero Maya Jr. and Audaz. Maya has a good record against Luciferno, being 2-1 up in the 10 minute lightning matches against him in 2019, and 3-1 up overall. Audaz meanwhile has been impressive in the ring, if mixed in results; his FM debut last year led to a 4-4 record on the tour.
1st Match: Fuego & Ryusuke Tqaguchi vs Namajague & DOUKI
The night kicks off with another entirely fresh rudo pairing of Namajague and DOUKI. While DOUKI got his start in Mexico after flying himself from Japan as a teenager, he started on the Mexican independents, and his survival based fighting style and sizable chip on his shoulder will make him a bitter opponent of CMLL regulars like Fuego. Then there’s Namajague. The unique Japanese/Mexican star retired at the end of last year’s tour but made the unfortunate decision to open a raw meat restaurant in Mexico City; a decision that led to food poisoning and a government shutdown. Now he’s back in a wrestling ring, and Fuego, along with Taguchi will be looking to show Namajague how to really cook.