FMW SKY PerfecTV! PPV on 9/26/00
review by Stuart
The show starts backstage, the interviewer talking to Flying Kid Ichihara and Kaoruko Arai. This is embarrassing. They have an exchange of words and someone forgets to switch cameras, as Ichihara and the interviewer stare at each other for around 10 seconds. What is this, WCW? Clips are shown of the 8/28/00 PPV, Kodo Fuyuki defeating singer Captain Jack (2:47) to successfully defend his WEW World Title. Yeah, that'll help the belt's value. On the same PPV, childhood friends, turned enemies, turned friends, turned enemies, Mr. Gannosuke and Hayabusa, had another match in their series, Hayabusa winning with the H Edge. On 9/17/00, Jado, Gedo & Kaori Nakayama beat Fuyuki, Gannosuke & Shinjuku Shark to become the new WEW 6 Man Tag Team Champions, when Kaori actually pinned Fuyuki with an inside cradle after Jado hit Fuyuki from behind. Tonight, Kodo Fuyuki defends his WEW World Title against Hayabusa in an Iron Man Match. The show starts with famous baseball player, Gas Naito, entering the ring to Antonio Inoki's music (since he looks like Inoki) and saying some words.
Chocoball Mukai & Tomokazu Morita vs. Satoru Makita & Yoshito Sasaki
All of these are rookies, except for Chocoball. But he wrestles like a rookie anyway. They do all sorts of basic action, nothing spectacular at all. Chocoball hits Makita with a running legdrop for 2. Makita comes back and dropkick's him in two corners. Chocoball lands a spinning leg lariat in the corner, then a jumping spin kick to the face. Chocoball puts Makita in a camel clutch and he taps out. Naito's Inoki impression continues, as he transfers fighting spirit into all four by slapping them. And what would an Inoki impersonation be without... ICH, NI, SAN... DAAA! The three rookies are really, really green and still doing the absolute basics. They didn't blow any spots though.
Backstage, Tetsuhiro Kuroda enters and Mr. Gannosuke takes him out with a baseball bat. He also cuts a promo on the big screen.
Kyoko Inoue, Flying Kid Ichihara, Shinjuku Shark & Kaoruko Arai vs. Ricky Fuji, Azusa Kudo, Emi Motokawa & Jun Kasanagi
I can't stand these intergender matches, full of no-talents like Shark and Kudo. But anyway, Kyoko and Emi have a good sequence to start, while the freaks fight elsewhere. The two valets (Arai and Kasanagi) have a catfight on the apron. Emi comes off the second buckle with a crossbody. Emi catches Kyoko with a tilt-a-whirl flying headscissors takeover that sends her out. Emi follows with a big plancha. Kasanagi actually hits Arai with a spinning kick and then uses a crab hold, Kyoko just lightly pushing her off to break it. Kudo does his/her BJ (to put it as cleanly as possible) spot to Ichihara. Ichihara dropkick's Kudo outs, hits a baseball slide dropkick, then a big quebrada. Shark gets in and boy, he is awful. He wears boxing gloves but his punches are horrendous. He jumps off the top with a boxing glove shot to Emi. Kyoko squashes Emi with a lariat against the ropes. Ichihara hits Kudo with a short missile dropkick and tags in Shark. He uses a running boxing "punch". Kudo catches him with a drop toehold, but Shark comes back with punches. He hits a moonsault press, Emi breaking the cover. Emi drops Shark with a Frankensteiner and Kudo follows with a lariat for 2. Shark is sat up top and brought off with Kudo's finisher, which is some kind of somersault neckbreaker. Kudo covers for the win (9:27). FMW's undercard. Yuck. I'd love to know why FMW hired Shinjuku Shark, when guys like Asian Cougar, MIKAMI and Takashi Sasaki are working in front on 150 people.
Another horrible backstage angle. The camera focuses and Kaoruko Arai is stood there. HELLO? It's your cue! After about 3 seconds of doing nothing, she begins her skit and brushes into someone, who she exchanges words with.
Jado & Gedo (c) vs. Alex Porteau & Brian Madness for the WEW Hardcore Tag Team Title
Hey, it's The Pug! I have no idea who Brian Madness is. Jado and Gedo attack, sending the gaijin into each other. Kaori Nakayama steps in and whacks both Porteau and Madness with her cane. Porteau takes a Michaels-like bump in the corner and flies out. Gedo comes off the top with a big Superfly splash to Madness and Jado puts on a crossface hold, breaking to help Gedo front suplex Porteau over the ropes. Jado lariat's him off the apron and Gedo hits Madness with a missile dropkick. Another crossface hold by Jado to Madness and it's over (2:26). Total squash.
Ricky Fuji walks into Gas Naito's dressing room. Onryo is stood in a corner, deathly still. Fuji and Naito talk a little. I think Fuji is looking for someone.
Masato Tanaka, Hisakatsu Oya & Naohiro Yamazaki vs. Kintaro Kanemura, Hideki Hosaka & Mammoth Sasaki
FMW vs. Shin Fuyuki-gun. After Kanemura dances and everyone enters, they go straight to a brawl. Former dojo boys, Yamazaki and Sasaki, have a chopfest. Sasaki takes Yamazaki down with a tackle. Yamazaki ducks a lariat and drops Sasaki with a release German suplex. Sasaki gets up and catches Yamazaki with a lariat. Kanemura lies Tanaka on a table outside, then puts him through it with a diving body press! Sasaki hits Yamazaki with a stiff chairshot and then equally hard board shots, Yamazaki's head going THROUGH the board so that he's wearing it! Hosaka hits a waistlock slam and turns it straight into a nice cradle for 2. He takes Yamazaki down with a dragon screw leg whip and then locks on a Texas Cloverleaf. Sasaki is tagged and hits Yamazaki with a Rydeen bomb, Tanaka saving. Sasaki and Hosaka do a big delayed double suplex for 2 1/2. Sasaki puts a chair over Yamazaki's head and hits it with another! Tanaka is finally tagged in and the pace quickens. He throws elbows and then an elbow dash to Sasaki, against the ropes. Tanaka ducks a lariat and hits his own. Tanaka uses a DDT/Stunner combo to Hosaka and Sasaki at the same time! Oya comes in with a jumping lariat and swinging neckbreaker to Sasaki. A release German suplex gets 2, Hosaka breaking. Yamazaki clips Sasaki with a missile dropkick. He hits a regular dropkick and I think they botch a second slightly, Hosaka possibly slipping. Hosaka is planted with a German suplex hold for 2 1/2. A diving fist-cum-body press from Yamazaki gets 2 3/4. He runs straight into a Hosaka spinebuster and Sasaki is tagged. But Kanemura is pissed off! They have just ignored and not tagged him. He pushes Sasaki and Hosaka and then goes into the closing sequence. Oya catches Kanemura with a jumping high kick. Kanemura blocks Tanaka's rolling elbow, tries a backslide, Tanaka blocks, and then hits his rolling elbow for the win (8:44). This was decent, but the three lesser workers (Yamazaki, Sasaki & Hosaka) always seemed to be in. That last sequence with Kanemura and Tanaka was smooth, but too short. They have wrestled so much that they are completely on the same page. Yamazaki and Sasaki (who changed his first name from Yoshinori to Mammoth) have improved since I last saw them, especially Yamazaki. Sasaki works NJPW heavyweight style, lots of lariats and moving sequences.
Backstage, Ricky Fuji is gagged and tied up. Whatever.
Mr. Gannosuke & GOEMON vs. Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Onryo
Gannosuke apparently raided Gas Naito's dressing room, since he's wearing a baseball outfit and even has a baseball bat. Naito walks out behind Onryo (who's entrance is really good) in a white singlet. Apparently, since Kuroda is injured, he's going to be tagging with Onryo. Naito and Gannosuke to start, but before they can go on, Kuroda's music hits and he rushes through the crowd, his shoulder bandaged up. Gannosuke ducks a lariat and drops Kuroda on his head with a big release German suplex! Kuroda no-sells and hits a running lariat. Kuroda goes to spring off the ropes, but GOEMON hits him from behind. Gannosuke decks Kuroda with a running lariat and then wears him down with a Scorpion Deathlock. TAFKA Koji Nakagawa arrives, but accidentally blows mist in Gannosuke's eyes. Kuroda kick GOEMON out and then smacks one of Gannosuke's legs around the ring post. Gas Naito takes a shot at the leg too. Onryo comes off the top with a missile dropkick to GOEMON, the faces in control by now. Gannosuke puts Onryo's head on the ring bell and rings it (the bell)! Kuroda ducks a lariat and hits a Russian legsweep, followed by a Northern Lights suplex hold that he himself breaks for whatever reason. Kuroda holds GOEMON and Onryo goes up. Missile dropkick? Diving shoulderblock? Nope. He turns and leaps off the top with a TOPE CON HILO OF INSANITY out to Gannosuke! If Onryo wasn't already dead, he would be after that! Kuroda drops GOEMON with rolling German suplexes and then a running lariat for 2 3/4! He goes up top, but Gannosuke hits him with the baseball bat. Gannosuke pushes GOEMON into a corner and tags himself I guess. Kuroda escapes the Fire Thunder, but Gannosuke ducks a lariat and takes Kuroda down by his bad arm, applying a wakigatame! He wrenches it real far and Kuroda taps out (7:07).
GOEMON isn't happy and leaves, Gannosuke more or less leaving Shin Fuyuki-gun. He grabs a microphone and badmouths "entertainment wrestling". He hates the direction FMW has taken and lets it be known. Hey, I do too. Too bad it's an angle. President Arai arrives and threatens him, so gets a lariat! Gannosuke goes up to the announce table, over which the FMW banner is draped, and pushes it off the ledge! Arai then fires Gannosuke! The fans jeer the president. This was the best match of the night at this point. Like the other matches, it was really too short, since a 60 minute match was booked for the main event. It was 7 minutes of good action, with nice sequences and good moves. Onryo is a breath of fresh air to FMW, his maniacal lucharesu style a change from the usual FMW style. He deserved a spot with a bigger company and got it. Kuroda keeps getting better. His main flaw recently has been that, like Fuyuki, he overuses the lariat and can be too goofy, inconsistent selling and all. The lariat overuse wasn't a problem here, as he busted out his moveset. Good, but too short and thus disappointing for the workers involved.
The announcers scramble to fix their position as the intermission kicks in. We go to a match from 9/21/00 between Hayabusa and Kodo Fuyuki. If Hayabusa wins, he gets a shot at Fuyuki's WEW World Title. And it wasn't just any match...
Kodo Fuyuki vs. Superstar Hayabusa in a 15,000 Volt Thunderbolt Cage Death Match
The storyline surrounding this was rather classic. Fuyuki claimed he was deathly scared of explosions. This is joined just as the bell rings, the referee checking Hayabusa for foreign objects. Fuyuki throws his jacket at the cage and we get our first explosion, which even knocks the referee down. Fuyuki charges the stunned Hayabusa with a running lariat for 2 3/4! Clip. Hayabusa goes for a Frankensteiner, but Fuyuki uses his power to block it and rush, almost powerbomb, Hayabusa into the cage. Massive explosion. Fuyuki is kicked off the top and over the ropes. Hayabusa charges him with an elbow and the WEW World Champion goes back into the cage. BANG! Hayabusa connects with a backflip kick, then hits a German suplex hold for 2. He drops Fuyuki with a Fisherman's buster for the same result. Hayabusa hits the Phoenix senton for 2 1/2. He strikes Fuyuki with a shotei and then goes up top. Fuyuki catches him and brings him down with a huge muscle buster for 2 1/2! Fuyuki drops Hayabusa with a big high-angle powerbomb for yet another near fall. Fuyuki revs up and strikes with his running lariat for 2 3/4! A big "Hayabusa" chant rings out in support of him. Fuyuki revs up again, but he runs into a superkick. Fuyuki is unphased and hits another lariat for 2 1/2. Fuyuki runs into a high kick, but quickly strikes back with a kick downstairs. He throws Hayabusa over the ropes and near the cage. Fuyuki charges... into a shotei! Hayabusa suplexes Fuyuki over the ropes and into the cage. BANG! H Edge for 2 3/4! Hayabusa goes up and drops a PERFECT firebird splash for the win and title shot (14:58)! This was fun and not bad at all. It wasn't as good as Tanaka vs. Fuyuki in the 13,000 Volt Thunder Cage Death Match on 11/23/99, although a portion was chopped out, so I'd rather wait until I see the whole thing until I confidently say that. They wired the cage with some big time explosives, which were a sight to see when detonated.
Kodo Fuyuki (c) vs. Superstar Hayabusa in an Iron Man Match for the WEW World Title
A timer is on the screen to count the 60 minutes. They start with the basics. Armdrags, reversals, holds, etc. The first notable spot is a savate kick by Hayabusa that sends Fuyuki out. Hayabusa escapes a crab hold, but Fuyuki then takes him out and powerbomb's him through a table! Fuyuki smacks the remnants of said table over Hayabusa's back a few times. Back in, Fuyuki applies a surfboard, but lets go almost instantly. Fuyuki takes Hayabusa down again with a drop toehold and locks on a bow-and-arrow hold. He removes the top turnbuckle pad for future use. He plants Hayabusa with a Fisherman's buster for 2 and then throws some standing headbutts. Fuyuki channels his old tag team partner, Toshiaki Kawada, and counters an elbow smash with a running boot to the face of Hayabusa. He removes the middle turnbuckle pad, beneath the top one he took off. He goes for the running lariat, but runs straight into a dropkick! Hayabusa takes Fuyuki down with a jumping armbar and locks on a wakigatame, then moves to a simple stepover armbar. He even wraps it around the exposed turnbuckle to add damage. Fuyuki tries a comeback at 20:00 with a low blow, but Hayabusa kicks the bad arm. He takes Fuyuki down with an ipponzei and applies a cross armbreaker. Fuyuki's selling of it is pretty much appalling, as he just lies there with a wince on his face. Outside, Hayabusa hits the bad arm with chairshots and then powerbomb's Fuyuki on the wooden floor. Hayabusa returns to the ring and Fuyuki struggles to his feet. He stands at the 15 count and Hayabusa DIES FOR US ALL with a sprinting tope con hilo OVER the corner post and out! Back in, Hayabusa hits a Fisherman's buster for 2 3/4! He is caught up top and Fuyuki brings him down with a super Samoan drop! He rolls over and covers for the 1-0 lead (27:54)! Fuyuki goes for a second cover instantly, getting 2 1/2. He revs up and hits the hurt Hayabusa with a running lariat for a 2-0 lead (28:32)! I like the quick falls, very smart and logical. To make matters worse, Fuyuki tears off Hayabusa's mask, revealing the familiar face of Eiji Ezaki. Fuyuki headbutts Hayabusa, as the match reaches it's halfway point. He throws Hayabusa head-first into the exposed turnbuckle and then takes him outside. There, he lands a couple of chairshots, Hayabusa blading.
They have a brief fight in the crowd, Hayabusa being slammed on the floor. Back in, Fuyuki bites Hayabusa's wound and then sends him into the exposed buckle again. Fuyuki springs off the ropes with a running lariat, then sits Hayabusa up top. He scoops him off and drops him with a muscle buster for 2 3/4! Hayabusa counters a powerbomb with a Frankensteiner, then strikes Fuyuki with a shotei. He scoops him up... H THUNDER (Emerald Frosion)! Hayabusa gets a fall back, making it 2-1 (36:28). A high kick makes full contact and Fuyuki goes out. Hayabusa tries a quebrada, but lands on his feet as Fuyuki moves. Fuyuki charges him with another running lariat! He goes up top and hits the FAT FUYUKI PLANCHA! Hayabusa crawls on to the apron and is lariated straight back out. Hayabusa is counted out (41:05), Fuyuki going 3-1 up. The bloody Hayabusa flips out of a German suplex, drops down from a second attempt and cradle's Fuyuki for the 3 count (42:08)! 3-2 now. Fuyuki hits a short lariat and locks on the Stretch Plum! Hayabusa gets to the ropes, forcing a break. Hayabusa comes back with red mist to the eyes of Fuyuki! A jumping spin kick decks Fuyuki. Firebird splash for 2 3/4! He goes straight back up and drops a second firebird splash for a 3 count (44:31), making it 3-3! The fact that he's doing TWO 450's nearly 45 minutes in is amazing. Hayabusa does Fuyuki's own power up, the fans screaming along. He tries a lariat, Fuyuki catching him and hitting a release German suplex. Hayabusa stands and screams, blocks a lariat and plants Fuyuki down with a backdrop suplex. They slap each other and both tumble down. Fuyuki rolls over for 2 1/2. After another slapfest, Hayabusa hits the Falcon Arrow for 2 3/4! They fight to the outside and into the crowd, Fuyuki slamming Hayabusa on the announce table. Fuyuki lands a chairshot and Hayabusa staggers back off the stage, falling through a table! Back in the ring, Hayabusa hits a quebrada into a senton and then a Lionsault for 2 1/2! BEAUTIFUL. So graceful that it looked like he was flying! Fuyuki escapes a Tiger Driver and revs up once more. Hayabusa ducks the running lariat and schoolboy's Fuyuki for a heated 2 3/4 count. Fuyuki charges into a high kick and Hayabusa finally lands the Tiger Driver for 2 3/4! Hayabusa goes up and hits a slow Phoenix senton for another near fall. Hayabusa tries another Frankensteiner, but again is sent down with a powerbomb. A second gets possibly the nearest fall of the match thus far.
They go into a groggy slapfest, both men out on their feet. Hayabusa blocks a lariat and hits a spinning punch. Fuyuki escapes a German suplex and slowly rolls Hayabusa up for 2 1/2. Hayabusa tries a second, Fuyuki dropping down this time with a Samson clutch for 2 1/2! They fight on their knees and Fuyuki uses another inside cradle for 2 3/4! 59 minutes gone! Fuyuki hits his running lariat for 2 3/4! A "Hayabusa" chant rings out. H EDGE to Fuyuki! 1... 2... THE BELL RINGS! Fuyuki escapes with his WEW World Title by a second, the match being declared a draw (60:00), 3 falls a piece. The FMW theme hits and both men stare at the lights. Fuyuki rolls over and extends a hand. Hayabusa accepts and shakes the hand of his enemy out of respect. President Arai looks on backstage and shakes his head, clearly angered. The show ends with Hayabusa slapping hands with the fans who have assembled around the ring. I'm amazed that Fuyuki went 60 minutes. He was gasping at 20:00, but just kept going, an incredible feat. I mean, this guy is FAT and was a terrible worker for so long, now he's doing matches like these. Probably his greatest individual performance ever. This was a very good match. The build was slow, very deliberate and often aimless at times. The first 20 minutes or so were almost entirely matwork, some good, some not. From there it picked up a little. They did a decent job with the last 15 minutes, although they could have done a better job with the near falls at the end. Hayabusa can be such a versatile wrestler and I was doubtful that even he could go 60 minutes, since he's relied on his highspots a lot in the past and needed guys like Oya and Tanaka to structure. He did a good job though. I think a lot of people get carried away with Iron Man Matches, calling them ***** simply because they go an hour. This wasn't a match of the year candidate. Although there could have been numerous improvements with the structure of the match, they did an admirable job, putting on an FMW MOTYC at least.
Amidst all the stupid angles going on in FMW, there still seems to be good wrestling, today's example being that main event. The first half of this PPV was basically hideous, with FMW's awful undercard being exposed. It picked up when we saw many of the usual suspects and to make it a "thumbs up" PPV, Hayabusa and Fuyuki had two good matches (one from 9/21). I'm not a fan of what "entertainment wrestling" has become, but if FMW delivers good wrestling like that main event, I'll keep watching.
For more of Stuart's thoughts and opinions on puroresu, visit www.puroresufan.com