Fantastica Mania has been slowly making its way around Japan delivering its unique blend of lucha and puroresu. As usual, most people are ignoring this weirdly wonderful NJPW/CMLL tour, but not I! I’m the weirdo using my time to review it. Come with me and embrace the fun.Continue reading
Fantastica Mania is quietly one of my favourite times of the year. Post-Wrestle Kingdom the NJPW roster gets together with their CMLL pals to piss around for a tour, what’s not to love about that? There will be some build for New Beginning, but this tour will mainly be focused on wacky lucha fun. I can’t wait.Continue reading
If you’re new to NJPW, think of New Year Dash as a bit like the Raw after WrestleMania. With the big show out of the way, it’s time to set-up the year ahead with recent years featuring the return of Suzuki-gun and Jay White turning down Kenny Omega and Bullet Club. With the Dome seeing a changing of the guard, it’s an interesting time for New Japan fans, and this show will give us an insight as to what we should expect.Continue reading
It might surprise you to know that New Japan ran a show in America recently. Has anyone made that joke yet? Yes, it’s true, New Japan’s latest trip to the US didn’t quite have the hype their previous journeys did. I’m not necessarily sure that’s a disaster, though. The more they come, the less exciting it will be, that’s only natural. They did recently sell out Maddison Square Gardens (let’s not pretend ROH had anything to do with that), so it can’t be going that badly. Anyway, I’m not actually that bothered by how big New Japan’s crowds are. I’m more interested in good wrestling. Time to find out if they delivered.
Destruction in Hiroshima, an event name that will always make me cringe. I assume NJPW know what they’re doing with it, but from the outside looking in? Yea, I might change that one. Anyway, that’s not the important part. The important part is that it’s headlined by Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii. That is never going to be a bad thing. Go murder him, Wide Tom!
Night Two of Strong Style Evolved UK was when I rocked into town. So, expect this review to be a bit different. I’ll be talking more about the experience of being there rather than the intricacies of what was happening in the ring because quite frankly I wasn’t taking notes. It was one hell of a show, and I apologise in advance if I get over excited.
New Japan finally got their asses over to the UK for a couple of shows in conjunction with Rev Pro. Taking place over two nights (one in Milton Keynes and one in Manchester), they brought a host of big stars and booked some damn impressive matches. While I went to the second night, I missed out on the first. Thankfully, the beauty of on-demand wrestling means I can still bring you my insightful thoughts on what went down.
Night four and we’re back to the full production. We also have a big main event as we finally get a Hiromu Takahashi vs El Desperado singles match. Those two have been teeing off on each other for a while and have developed a bit of a blood feud. Let’s see what they go do one on one.
In a lot of ways, this card is a mirror image of the one from the night before. While the matches have had a few tweaks, they’re hitting the same storyline beats, and in reality, it’s all about the main event – or at least it was. Because then they only went and added Ishii vs Henare. I’ve been calling for that since Tag League, suddenly, I’m quite excited.
Quick note: I’m going to change things up slightly and replace the pictures with NJPW’s post-match interviews. They’re an important part of the company’s storytelling, so it seems fitting.
After a short break, New Japan is back with a long old tour. With business being up, those in charge have realised that rather than selling out one super card, they can instead sell out multiple decent ones. That’s how we end up with the Junior Tag Titles main eventing. Not that we should complain too much, we all love wrestling, right? More of it can only be a good thing.