FMW on Samurai! TV, taped on 11/3/00
review by Stuart
This show was the direct lead-in to FMW's big 11/12 Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium rally. It took place at Tokyo Korakuen Hall, before 2,050 fans (though I see quite a few empty seats throughout the broadcast). Fuyuki joins the hosts in the studio, offering his insight. The first footage is from the 10/29 PPV, several angles being highlighted, including Gannosuke smashing up a car and wrestlers having women trouble. Then to Korakuen.
Yoshito Sasaki vs. Satoru Makita
This is the most basic match possible, very slow and deliberate. After some dreary ground work, we CLIP! forward. Sasaki uses a hiptoss, then applies a crab hold. Makita crawls on his hands and gets to the ropes. Makita counters a bodyslam with an inside cradle for 2. He follows with a backslide for the same result. He goes for a Japanese leg roll clutch hold, but the bell rings, the time limit expiring (10:00 - just a couple of minutes shown).
Shinjuku Shark & Chocoball Mukai vs. Flying Kid Ichihara & Tomokazu Morita
Matwork, matwork, matwork. Not good matwork, mind you. Mukai and Morita both look green (Chocoball still) when working together, an awkward pause or two, before Mukai throws a side kick. Shark dishes out some of his ridiculously bad boxing punches to Morita. Clip. A weak uppercut gets Shark a 2 1/2 count. A punch flurry backs Morita into the corner. Mukai takes over with slaps. He snapmare's Morita, then lays in a kick to the back. He connects with a running and jumping high kick for 2. He then briefly stretches the rookie with a crab hold. Shark throws more of his putrid punches, but thankfully lets Chocoball take over again, the porn star connecting with a corner charge leg lariat to Morita. He drops Morita with a Fisherman's suplex hold for 2. Morita uses a very nice, high sunset flip on Mukai for 2. He tags out to Ichihara, who connects with a second rope dropkick. He gets caught up top and Chocoball throws him down, following with a DDT for 2. Mukai applies his cradle headlock submission move, Morita breaking. Mukai goes up top and brings down a diving body press, Flying Kid getting both feet up to block. He tags Morita back in, the two hitting Mukai with a union lariat. Shark returns and takes out Morita, then catches Ichihara up top, bringing him down with a Frankensteiner. Chocoball hits Morita with a low kneel kick, then a tilt-a-whirl bodyslam basically. He applies a camel clutch and Morita taps out (12:17). This match was just really boring when Mukai was in. I'm saying that in a positive light though, because I'm comparing it to when Shark was in, which is when the match was really awful. He's worse than all three of FMW's green as grass rookies. Chocoball was okay, showing an improved moveset, but is still green. Morita showed himself to be a step or so above the other two rookies, who opened the show.
Kyoko Inoue vs. Emi Motokawa
JIP. Emi stands on Kyoko's hands and dances. Both run the ropes, Kyoko hitting a lariat for 2... two of the rookies saving. Clip. Motokawa brings Kyoko off the top with a suplex on to chairs for 2 1/2. She follows by planting Kyoko on the chairs with a backdrop suplex, then gets handed a table by the rookies. She takes her sweet time setting the table up and puts Kyoko on it. She then goes up top, but Kyoko simply steps off the table (way to go!) and catches Emi up top. Kyoko is pushed down on to the chairs and Emi slides the table away, so they just wasted a few minutes setting up a spot that didn't happen. Emi connects with a firebird splash for 2 1/2. She runs the ropes, straight into a lariat. Emi escapes a powerbomb lift and backslide's Kyoko, turning it into a jackknife hold for 2. Kyoko tries another powerbomb lift, but Motokawa rolls over and cradle's her for 2. Kyoko bodyslam's Motokawa and covers, but Emi smoothly bridges up and hooks on a la magistral for 2. She tries a Frankensteiner, but Kyoko will have none of it and powerbomb's her for 2 1/2. She KILLS Emi with a short lariat for 2 3/4. Kyoko backs off, then throws another lariat for another near fall. She dumps Emi with a German suplex hold, but still Emi won't stay down! Finally, Kyoko hits the Niagara Driver, Emi staying down for the 3 count (14:01). About 5 minutes were shown and it wasn't that good. Very sluggish and plodding, especially when they tried to use the table. Kyoko is too fat and it hurts her matches more than ever now. It got decent at the end, with a nice chain of near falls, but that's the only time it was interesting.
Jado, Gedo & Kaori Nakayama vs. Hisakatsu Oya, Ricky Fuji & Naohiro Yamazaki
Gedo and Ricky do cool moving exchanges to start, some trickery, then a stand off. Kaori uses a uranage on Fuji, followed by a tornado DDT for 2. Jado plants Ricky with a backdrop suplex for 2 1/2. He hits a snap suplex, then drops an elbow for 2, before tagging out to the Superfly. Gedo hangman neckbreaker's Ricky for 2. A second rope moonsault press finds only Ricky's knees though. Gedo runs the ropes, but gets spiked by a jumping DDT from Fuji. Yamazaki is tagged and takes on everyone, dropkicks for all. Show puroresu intrudes, as Yamazaki plays the UFO (not Inoki's group) gimmick by pointing to the heavens, allowing Jado to attack. Yamazaki ducks a Jado lariat and strikes him with a jumping elbow smash, followed by a jumping heel kick. A Fisherman's suplex hold gets him a 2 count. Oya's first involvement sees him missile dropkick Jado. Gedo returns, but is taken down with a ground Cobra Twist for 2. Oya continues the Fujinami tribute (he was trained in the New Japan dojo, so it makes sense) with an enzuigiri, then a (missed) diving kneedrop. Gedo dropkick's a knee and tries the Gedo clutch, Yamazaki hitting him before he can perform it. Oya sends Gedo off the ropes and drops to his stomach, allowing Ricky to scoop up the unsuspecting Gedo and drop him with a Kamikaze roll. He tries the same with Kaori, but Gedo saves her. Fuji ducks a union lariat, then double lariat's the two. He spikes Gedo with a brainbuster for 2 1/2. Jado is tagged, but sent down by a thrust kick. Yamazaki makes his return, missile dropkicking Jado. Kaori clobbers Oya with her cane on the outside. Yamazaki lands a diving crossbody on Jado for 2 1/2. Jado counters a suplex lift with a wakigatame takedown, into his crossface hold. Yamazaki holds out long enough for Ricky to make the save. Yamazaki uses a Japanese leg roll clutch hold on Jado for a near fall. Yamazaki gets struck from behind when running the ropes and is taken back into Jado's crossface hold. This time he taps, Jado picking up the win (13:53). The good thing about this match is that it never got boring and was continuous action. The bad thing is that the action wasn't that great and was both formulaic and often deliberate. Only Jado really looked good, but no one was bad, Yamazaki being the closest.
Hideki Hosaka vs. Azusa Kudo
They shake hands, so I guess they're on the same side. I seriously don't know, because I find it next to impossible to keep up with who Fuyuki has turned face and/or heel this week. It takes mere seconds for the first sex spot to happen, Kudo going dOWnstairs, if you know what I mean. Deplorable. Kudo lies on a table at ringside and puts Hosaka in a figure-four around the ring post. Back in, it slows to a crawl with idle matwork. Hosaka hits a dragon screw, but runs into a drop toehold and Kudo works the legs again. Hosaka fights back with a Stunner, then applies a grounded arm stretch, Kudo fighting his... her... his... her... it's way to the ropes. Kudo connects with a corner charge lariat, but gets crotched up top. Hosaka brings him/her down with a Frankensteiner. A diving lariat follows, sending Kudo to the apron. Hosaka charges, but Kudo re-enters the ring with a slingshot shoulderblock. He throws a running lariat for 2. A sunset flip gets no count, because the transvestite turns it into a sex spot. A sloppy Ace Crusher gets 2 1/2. Hosaka fights out of a nodowa and hits a poorly executed Rock Bottom of sorts for 2. Kudo escapes a waistlock with a reverse low blow, but Hosaka... no-sells? And kisses Kudo!? That's some interesting reverse psychology. Kudo charges, but Hosaka hits him with a nice Frankensteiner, then a spinebuster slam for 2. He follows with a high-angle Liger bomb for the win (9:24). This wasn't good either. It was an indy match in every sense and Kudo was, as always, bad.
Tetsuhiro Kuroda vs. Mammoth Sasaki
Kuroda is the first wrestler on the show to get any heat at all, but even he can't get the fans too fired up. The early portion of the match is comprised of power exchanges, with some matwork and restholds (from Mammoth) thrown in. Things start to pick up when Kuroda smacks Sasaki's leg around the ring post and plays the crowd while he does so. Back in, he dropkick's the leg and goes to work on it with a figure-four leglock. They work the hold for a while, until Mammoth rolls into the ropes. He takes it to the outside, clobbering Mammoth with a chair, then throwing him into some empty seats. Mammoth reverses a second and Kuroda goes into the chairs. They move on to the small stage, from where, after some nice teases, Sasaki nodowa's Kuroda through a table! He gets a piece of board from the table and brings it down across Kuroda's back. He then chokes Kuroda with the table remnants, before taking the match back to the ring. Once there, he props the table remnants up in a corner and sends Kuroda into it twice, covering both times for 2. Sasaki misses a corner charge and Kuroda hits a Russian legsweep, followed by a Northern Lights suplex hold for 2. He goes up top and Mammoth tries to stall him, but gets dropped throat-first across the top rope. Kuroda charges at Mammoth, but is dropped with a Rydeen bomb, the big man getting a 2 1/2 count. Mammoth dashes, but Kuroda drop toehold's him into the middle rope, then hits a nice German suplex hold for 2. Kuroda readies the arm and delivers a lariat for 2. He backs off and waits for Sasaki to stand, charging when he does, but getting dropped with Mammoth's aeroplane spin sit-out slam for 2. Mammoth hits his nodowa otoshi for 2 1/2. He catches a Kuroda kick, but is clipped by an enzuigiri. However, he catches a leg again and uses a really cool move, starting as a kneebreaker lift and ending with a stiff slam, Kuroda landing on his upper back.
Sasaki brings in the chairs and puts one over Kuroda's head, ready for the Mammoth Home Run. He gets the other chair, but Kuroda ducks the swing and lariat's the chair into Sasaki's face, following with a stiff short lariat for 2 1/2! Kuroda stomps the mat and charges, connecting with hit running lariat for 2 3/4! He backs off again and charges, the two striking each other. Kuroda tries an instant rolling lariat, but Sasaki clutches his throat and tries a nodowa, only for Kuroda to counter with an armdrag. The frantic action keeps going, Mammoth ducking another lariat, Kuroda ducking a lariat, then Kuroda finally hitting the rolling lariat and scoring the win (18:01)! They clasp hands after the match. This was a good effort by both men. Kuroda was his usual good self, guiding Sasaki, who is still a little green and tentative. Mammoth shows continuing improvement though, as he's turning into a good power wrestler. He needs to shake off some of the indyness though to become a quality worker like some of his peers. He did a lot of resting in the early stages, not knowing where to go next. Kuroda had to carry and did, moving the match up a gear. The last two or so minutes were excellent, especially the closing sequence, which was vintage FMW, very intricate and well thought out. Also, I was happy with how the brawling into the crowd went. There was no dead time with that and they nicely set up the big spot (Sasaki's nodowa through the table). This gave Kuroda steam, going into his big PPV match with Mr. Gannosuke.
Superstar Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka & Onryo vs. Kodo Fuyuki, Kintaro Kanemura & GOEMON in a 2/3 Falls Match
Fuyuki's team enter to "Come Out and Play", not Fuyuki's "Shoot It", and dance together. Why not just call the group Team No Respect, a marketable and well known name, if they're going to act the same? The heels attack right after Hayabusa's introduction, wanting the early upper hand. Kanemura (who's shirt has a Warner Brothers logo on the back) catches a Tanaka elbow and uses a full nelson slam on him. He runs the ropes, straight into a powerslam. In turn, Tanaka runs the ropes, only to be hit with an overhead belly to belly. Tanaka sends Kanemura off the apron with an elbow and follows him to the outside, leaving the team leaders to grapple. Fuyuki catches Hayabusa by surprise with a stiff lariat, hooking a leg for 2. Hayabusa flips out of a German suplex and counters Fuyuki's patented Samson clutch, cradling him for the amazingly early 3 count (1:00)! Fuyuki attacks instantly, beginning the second fall. Tanaka and Kanemura fight in the crowd, building to their WEW Hardcore Title match upcoming. Onryo and GOEMON fight elsewhere, so three of the feature singles matches for 11/12 are happening within this six man. Kanemura powerbomb's Tanaka on to something, getting an apathetic response from the crowd. How sad... this is Korakuen Hall. Anyone remember 2/23/96, War Games, in the same building, with Tanaka and Kanemura blowing the roof off? Fuyuki starts squealing like a pig as he attacks Hayabusa. Hayabusa dropkick's a leg and tags Onryo, who works over the limb. Masato soon takes over, hitting a dragon screw, then applying a stretch muffler. Team FMW hit a triple corner attack, eventuating with a Hayabusa corner charge jumping knee. Tanaka and Onryo snap suplex Fuyuki into position for Hayabusa's springboard kneedrop. Fuyuki comes back with a low blow to Tanaka and launches him out of the ring. Kanemura targets Tanaka again, setting up a table at ringside and Liger bombing him off the apron and through it! Clip. Kanemura rushes Tanaka head-first into a (new?) table, which is leaning against the apron.
Tanaka overwhelms Fuyuki with elbows. Fuyuki screeches and goes down, reminding me of a dying goblin from one of those PC action games. Fuyuki catches Tanaka on the top and brings him off, spiking him with a muscle buster for 2. The heels beat Tanaka up for a while, not really a lot of note, mainly basic moves. Clip. Fuyuki has Tanaka in a Stretch Plum. Hayabusa tries to save, but GOEMON holds him off, as Mr. Hardcore deals with Hayabusa. Tanaka makes rope trek himself, forcing a break. His comeback occurs when he hits an AWESOME back springboard out of the corner, into a swinging DDT to Kanemura. Hayabusa is tagged, entering with a missile dropkick to Kanemura. He flips up and grounds Kanemura on the outside with a baseball slide dropkick. Hayabusa waits for him to stand, then overshoots a quebrada, Kanemura reaching high to try and catch him, but failing. Hayabusa re-enters the ring with a much crisper slingshot somersault senton to Kanemura, followed by an equally beautiful Lionsault for 2. He spikes Kanemura with a release Dragon suplex of sorts, but Kanemura lands kind of softly. Hayabusa follows with a Fisherman's buster for 2. The falcon goes up top for his firebird splash, but GOEMON stalls him. Kanemura throws Hayabusa off the top and tags in Fuyuki. The fat one sits up top, his underlings feeding Hayabusa to him for a superbomb, Fuyuki leaning over for a near fall. He raises the arms, backs off, and here comes the heavy breathing. The banana charges and connects with a running lariat for 2 1/2. GOEMON returns, hitting a Rock Bottom for 2. Hayabusa throws out of a Tiger Driver, but after a struggle, the dark thief uses a Gannosuke clutch for 2. Hayabusa escapes a suplex lift and dropkick's GOEMON seemingly low, as GOEMON looks distressed. Tanaka is tagged, making his return with a missile dropkick. Kanemura races in, but he and GOEMON are hit by Masato's Stunner/DDT combination. Fuyuki tries to surprise Tanaka, but is speared down. Tanaka uses his rope dash elbow on Kanemura. Kanemura ducks a second and dunks Tanaka on his head with a release German suplex, Tanaka rolling through on to his feet, having an elbow ducked, then being dropped on his head again with another German suplex. AGAIN he rolls through, but is stunned and falls back into the ropes.
Kanemura charges at Tanaka, but is struck by a lariat. Kanemura pushes off a tornado DDT attempt and lariat's his old rival, before tagging GOEMON. He corner charges into a back elbow and falls victim to Tanaka's Diamond Dust. Tanaka rolls over to his corner and tags Onryo. He hits a cool spinning elbow smash, almost floating through the air, like a ghost... which he is! He gets backdropped to the apron, but springboard dropkick's GOEMON, then uses his non-sit out Tiger Driver (not stiff enough to be a Tiger Driver '91, unlike the one he gave CIMA in the 2000 Super J Cup) for 2. He tries a Frankensteiner, but GOEMON powerbomb's him and tags Kanemura. GOEMON bodyslam's Onryo in position for Kanemura's diving senton, which gets 2, Tanaka making the save. Fuyuki returns, powerbombing Onryo and leaning over for 2 1/2. Fuyuki revs up and charges with his running lariat, covering for 2 1/2... Onryo grabbing the referee's arm! I love that, even if it is one of the most contrived pinfall escapes possible. Hayabusa is tagged and counters a Fuyuki powerbomb with a Frankensteiner. Fuyuki rolls up on to his feet and throws a non-impactful lariat for 2 1/2. Fuyuki hits a powerbomb for 2, Onryo making a lunging save. Fuyuki revs up again, but Tanaka intercepts his lariat and throws one of his own. Hayabusa follows with a high kick, before Tanaka uses his rolling elbow. Hayabusa throws a shotei, then goes up and drops his firebird splash for the win in consecutive falls (18:05)! This gave Hayabusa three straight pinfalls, from two shows, in a row over Fuyuki (giving away the result of their big singles match, because it's rare for a wrestler of equal rank to his opponent to get two consecutive wins without a payback job, let alone three). This was a nice match, some good action, but it was somewhat lifeless, with no spirit and added "oomph". The crowd was dead, just like it had been for the rest of the show, not responding to anything. Only Fuyuki was mediocre though, looking really bloated and not making his moves look good. Everyone else was decent, Kanemura and GOEMON barely so (because they didn't do much), with Tanaka easily the best of the bunch and working much of the bout. It served the purpose of building to the bigger show and raising anticipation for the three singles matches involving these guys.
This was a sleep-inducing show until the last half hour. You can talk about how bad FMW's undercard is, but this was one of it's most boring performances, with nothing at all noteworthy. The closest to good was the intergender match, just because it was all action and was a big step up from the awful tag match shortly before it. I found myself enjoying the last two matches, which weren't great, but good enough wrestling for one sitting. This was a lead-in show to Yokohama and did a fair job of hyping it, even if crowd interest seemed very low again.
For more of Stuart's thoughts and opinions on puroresu, visit www.puroresufan.com