FMW Starting Over Again
review by Stuart
This tape covers the immediate post-Onita era and the restructuring of the company, thus the "Starting Over Again" title. After Onita retired at the big 5/5/95 Kawasaki Stadium show, FMW was left very thin and in need of new stars. It had quite a strong joshi division (for drawing), led by Megumi Kudo, FMW's biggest draw at this point. However, there were no big male draws, with Hayabusa and Matsunaga the closest thing. Firstly to 5/17 in Saitama. There are many (and I mean MANY!) empty seats, a bad sign for the company. With Onita's retirement, many fans stopped following FMW, since they were drawn to him and him alone. Most of these matches are shown in edited form.
Masato Tanaka vs. W*ING Kanemura
Two of FMW's top prospects go at it here. After W*ING died, Kanemura went to IWA Japan with many other former W*ING wrestlers, but quickly left for FMW, where he joined Matsunaga in the W*ING Alliance. Tanaka, a former rugby player, debuted in 1993 and is still very young at this point, wearing generic rookie gear (black tights, no kneepads). JIP. Tanaka hiptosses Kanemura a few times and locks on an armbar. Clip. Kanemura drops Tanaka with a spinning powerbomb of sorts. He misses a second rope moonsault and Tanaka pounces with a running elbow. Clip. Tanaka connects with a diving headbutt for 2 1/2. Clip. Kanemura Liger bomb's Tanaka for the win (7:59). Kanemura was ranked well above Tanaka still, so the result was no surprise. Not much shown, but it pretty basic action and not near the level they would reach in the future, since they hadn't developed as wrestlers fully.
The W*ING Alliance is shown. The leader is Mitsuhiro Matsunaga, a cult icon who wrestled for FMW in it's very early days, including the debut show on 10/6/89. He then joined an upstart garbage wrestling group called W*ING, which served as an alternative to FMW and Onita's style. There, he helped innovate new ideas, such as a Fire (Ropes) Death Match and Spike Nail (Bed) Death Match. W*ING (Yukihiro) Kanemura, who I just talked about, a promising young guy, willing to do whatever it takes to reach the top. Hido (Takayama), another young wrestler who started out in W*ING, where he aligned with Jado and Gedo. Hideki Hosaka, quite a non-descript young wrestler, but he too has W*ING Spirit flowing through him. They aren't heels here and are just trying to carry the spirit of W*ING in their hearts.
Mr. Pogo, Ricky Fuji & Hisakatsu Oya v Mitsuhiro Matsunaga, Hido & Hideki Hosaka
Pogo and friends are the heels. They attack and throw W*ING out of the ring, a big brawl taking place. Hosaka dropkick's Fuji out and follows with a slingshot tope suicida. Clip. Oya aggressively takes it to Hido, busting him open. Pogo is tagged and throws Hido to Matsunaga, who is tagged to the approval of the fans. Matsunaga throws kicks at Pogo, sending him down. He tries a powerbomb, Ricky putting an end to that. All brawl, Pogo and Matsunaga left in the ring. Pogo brings out the KITCHEN TOOLS OF HATE, cutting at Matsunaga's face with a scythe. Mr. Danger bleeds from the point of his head, where Pogo has cut him open hardway with the blade. Fuji dropkick's Matsunaga into Oya's deadly backdrop suplex, Matsunaga folded up. Hido and Hosaka return, but are thrown out. Pogo piledrive's Matsunaga on a chair and Oya follows with another stiff backdrop suplex, covering for the 3 count (13:29). Backstage, Ricky officially forms Lethal Weapon, the new lead heel group in FMW. Pogo shows off his blade and Oya acts like a surly, stoic punk.
Hayabusa & Katsutoshi Niiyama vs. The Gladiator & Horace Boulder
Hayabusa is already the company's top babyface. He had the honor of facing Onita in his retirement match, but lost. The smart thing for business would have been for Onita to put over the new ace, but that was never really Onita's way. Here, he and Niiyama must face two big, monster heel gaijins, The Gladiator (Mike Awesome) and Horace Boulder (Horace Hogan), who are part of Lethal Weapon. The Americans attack, Horace taking Hayabusa out. Hayabusa shows off his kicks, busting out several different kicking techniques. Clip. Awesome throws Hayabusa up, but gets Frankensteinered down! He is dropkicked out and Hayabusa flies with a wonderful second buckle springboard moonsault! Clip. Awesome jumps off the top and SMASHES a chair over Niiyama's head, his skull going right through the body of the chair (just the metal frame left intact). Clip. Hayabusa ducks a Horace lariat and sends him down with a kneel kick. Clip. Horace lariat's a bloody Niiyama down. Clip. Niiyama manages to German suplex Horace's bulk down, covering for 2. He shows more impressive strength, giving Awesome a uranage. Hayabusa goes up and connects with a moonsault press to Horace for 2 1/2. He goes up again, hitting a NICE Shooting Star press for 2, Awesome saving! Awesome throws him out and goes over the top with a big tope suicida! Clip. Niiyama shoddily uranage's Horace, struggling to get him over this time. Awesome gets hold of him and delivers a Liger bomb for 2 1/2. A diving body press connects, getting another near fall. A second Liger bomb gets 2, Hayabusa having to save this time. Hayabusa drops Awesome with a German suplex hold for 2. Awesome catches him with a powerslam for 2 1/2. He folds Hayabusa up with a big running Awesome bomb for the win (11:59). This helped set the tone for the new major feud in the promotion, Hayabusa vs. The Gladiator. It seemed to be quite an average match with some regular indy problems (bad or nonexistent transitioning, sloppiness). It got quite decent at the end though, but probably not even ** in full form.
To 5/28 now at Tokyo Korakuen Hall. The FMW wrestlers, male and female, line up in the ring. Megumi Kudo, Niiyama and Hayabusa give speeches.
Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyoda vs. Shark Tsuchiya & Bad Nurse Nakamura
The major joshi feud in the promotion is Kudo and Combat against evil Shark Tsuchiya and her allies. The four brawl around ringside to start, Shark throwing Kudo into chairs. Clip. Nakamura nicely counters a backdrop suplex with a victory roll to Combat for 2. Kudo is tagged and exchanges chops with Nakamura. Nakamura uses a ground Cobra Twist, turning that into ground rolling cradles, the eventual still one getting 2 1/2. Shark is tagged and drops Kudo with a side suplex for 2. The heels use a second rope dropkick (from Nakamura)/backdrop suplex (by Shark) combination on Kudo for 2, Kudo bridging up to an applause. Clip. Combat catches Nakamura with a really fierce lariat. An equally stiff corner charge lariat follows. Kudo follows in with a jumping hip attack. Clip. Kudo jumps OVER Combat and Nakamura from the top, and dropkick's the incoming Shark, who has a chair. Kudo goes up and assists Combat with a spike piledriver on the chair, Kudo covering for 2, Nakamura bridging up! Clip. Kudo and Combat (delivering the lariat) hit Nakamura with the Double Impact/Doomsday Device, Bad Nurse landing RIGHT on her neck. Kudo covers for 2, Shark breaking with a stick wrapped in barbed wire. Clip. Shark delivers a gut shot with the stick and hits a powerbomb, leaning over for 2 3/4! Clip. Shark spikes Kudo with a stiff piledriver on a chair for 2 3/4! Shark twirls a roll of barbed wire around Kudo, leaving her tied up. Shark hits a running lariat and gets the 3 count (14:11). Kudo and Combat looked GREAT as a team here, carrying the terrible Shark and her underling to what appeared to be a pretty good match with a lot of heat. Nakamura, who never really turned out to be much, showed some potential here. Pretty much a total carry job, in the ** to **1/2 range perhaps. The finish, with Kudo wrapped in barbed wire and left helpless, summed up this long-standing angle, where she got tons of sympathy and Shark was the huge monster heel. Much like a female Onita.
Mr. Pogo & Horace Boulder vs. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga & W*ING Kanemura in a Barbed Wire Baseball Bat Scramble Bunkhouse Tag Death Match
Matsunaga wins the chase and grabs the bat. Pogo runs for his life. Clip. The fans are going nuts as the wrestlers brawl at ringside. Matsunaga lifts a chair and Pogo knocks it out of his hands with the bat. Kanemura hits a moonsault press to the standing Horace, almost kneeing his head off it's shoulders in the process. He covers for 2. Meanwhile, Pogo assaults Matsunaga with the bat. Clip. Pogo lariat's Mr. Danger, but a second is ducked and Matsunaga stuns him with a high kick. More kicks follow, including several ax kicks. Clip. Pogo gets the scythe and tears into Matsunaga's head with it. Matsunaga juices hardway again, blood dripping down his face. Elsewhere, Kanemura has done a HUGE bladejob, his face just coated in blood and some on his shirt too. Pogo hangs Matsunaga over the ropes with his chain, Matsunaga choking to death. While doing it, Pogo also jabs the blade at him. Kanemura breaks before Matsunaga can be sent to the grave, elbowing Pogo away. Horace gets a big metal sheet and throws it at Matsunaga. He then drives the bat into Kanemura's back. Pogo coats Kanemura's back with lighter fluid! Matsunaga covers Kanemura and gets his back fried! SACRIFICE. FRIENDSHIP. W*ING Spirit! Pogo persists, pouring fluid on Kanemura's chest now. Before he can blow fire, Matsunaga again saves his partner, lariating Pogo away! Clip. Horace front suplexes the gushing Kanemura on the metal sheet as Pogo and Matsunaga fight outside. He misses a diving elbow drop, hitting the metal. Kanemura quickly goes up and diving face crusher's Horace on the sheet for the 3 count (11:43)! W*ING celebrate in full force! Although this wasn't "good", it WAS good in it's own special way. This was old school FMW, with hard work, determination and men willing to sacrifice themselves to save their friends. Well, Pogo and Horace weren't like that, but the bold W*INGers were. Matsunaga's self-sacrifice to prevent Kentucky Fried Kanemura was brave and defined the W*IMG Spirit. Both bled heavily, especially Kanemura.
Hayabusa, Katsutoshi Niiyama & Masato Tanaka vs. The Gladiator, Ricky Fuji & Hisakatsu Oya
Straight to a brawl as expected, Hayabusa going out with a pescado to Awesome before he even takes his jacket off! Clip. Hayabusa enters the ring with a springboard kneel kick to Oya, then a standing moonsault for 2. He holds Oya up, allowing Niiyama to land a diving kneel kick for 2 1/2. Clip. Niiyama uranage's Ricky for 2, then tags Tanaka. He goes up, connecting with a diving headbutt for 2, Awesome saving. Hayabusa takes over, using a jumping tombstone on Ricky, then a slightly undershot Phoenix splash for 2, Oya saving! Tanaka knocks him down with a missile dropkick, but misses a second diving headbutt. Lethal Weapon do a bunch of tricky stuff, then Awesome Liger bomb's Tanaka for 2, Hayabusa saving! Awesome goes for another powerbomb of some sort, but Hayabusa puts an end to that with a springboard lariat! He plants Fuji with a Thunder Fire powerbomb for 2, Awesome breaking with a neck lariat. Awesome press slam's Hayabusa, but misses a running body press. Meanwhile, Ricky brainbuster's Tanaka. Hayabusa is caught up top and lifted off, Awesome hitting a brutal running Awesome bomb for 2, Niiyama back to save! Ricky dropkick's Hayabusa into Oya's stiff backdrop suplex, which gets 2, Niiyama again saving! Oya persists with another brutal backdrop suplex for the big win (17:29)! Hayabusa's loss of form continues and this sets up a match between the two for the vacated (by Onita) FMW Brass Knuckles Title, which is shown later on. A pretty good and wild Street Fight. Tons of fun, many dramatic and heated near falls with good saves. It's FMW!
Now to 6/22 at Hakata Star Lane in Fukuoka.
Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyoda vs. Shark Tsuchiya & Bad Nurse Nakamura in a Joshi Survival Street Fight Scramble Tag Death Match
A rematch from 5/17 and this is under elimination rules. JIP. Both Kudo and Nakamura duck lariats, then go to the mat, Bad Nurse using ground rolling cradles. Clip. Kudo connects with a diving elbow smash for 2. Clip. Kudo double-arm suplexes Nakamura on a chair, then clamps on a triangle choke hold. Nakamura fades and is gone (6:59). Clip. Kudo and Shark have a chain attached to their wrists now. Kudo turns a powerbomb into a Frankensteiner, sending Shark down. Shark blocks a chain-wrapped punch and hits the elusive powerbomb, leaning over for 3 (6:46 / 13:45). Clip. It's Combat vs. Shark now, two brutes. Combat dropkick's Shark, then hits an avalanche-style backdrop suplex for 2, Nakamura breaking with a barbed wire stick shot. Clip. Combat ducks a shot with that same weapon from Shark and plants her with a backdrop suplex for 2 1/2. Bad Nurse strikes Combat with a chair and Shark uses a schoolboy from behind for the win (11:25 - 25:10 total). This didn't look nearly as good as their match from 5/17 and was pretty bad from what was shown.
Mr. Pogo & Horace Boulder vs. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga & Super Leather
This is Leather's debut in FMW. It's basically the W*ING/IWA Leatherface gimmick, but for whatever reason (probably copyright), his name is modified. Plus it's another guy under the mask. He becomes the fifth member of the W*ING Alliance. He tears through the crowd with his chainsaw, fans running all over the place. JIP. Leather slices Pogo's head with a barbed wire bat. He then jumps off the top with a bat shot to Horace's back. Clip. Horace sends Leather into a bat shot, delivered by Pogo. Matsunaga gets the same treatment. Clip. Pogo slices Matsunaga's head up again with his scythe. Leather assaults Horace in the crowd with a chair. Matsunaga has the barbed wire bat tied against his throat by Pogo's chain, then the evil Pogo pulls the chain, Matsunaga being choked by the bat. He quickly gives up, losing (15:59) the match and doing another job. Pogo pours lighter liquid on his head, looking to recreate the infamous W*ING spot where Mr. Danger's head was set on fire. Kanemura quickly saves before that can take place though.
Hayabusa, Katsutoshi Niiyama & Masato Tanaka vs. The Gladiator, Ricky Fuji & Hisakatsu Oya
A rematch from 5/28. Hayabusa sends Oya out with a nice dropkick, then flies out with a great second buckle springboard moonsault! Clip. Hayabusa crisply hurricanrana's Fuji for 2. He connects with a Shooting Star press for 2, Awesome breaking! Tanaka instantly missile dropkick's Awesome. Clip. Tanaka busts out a crucifix cradle on Awesome, taking him over for 2. Clip. Fuji missile dropkick's Niiyama into Oya's backdrop suplex from hell, Oya covering for 2 and Hayabusa saving. Hayabusa ducks an Awesome diving lariat and Fuji is taken out. Clip. Hayabusa Thunder Fire powerbomb's Fuji, then hits a BADLY overshot Phoenix splash, totally going past Fuji and only hitting him with knees. He drops Fuji with a German suplex hold for the improvised finish (14:31).
On to 6/27, back at Tokyo Korakuen Hall. The whole show is covered.
Koji Nakagawa & Tetsuhiro Kuroda vs. Nanjyo Hayato & Gosaku Goshogowara
These are four young hopefuls. Nakagawa and Kuroda turned out to be quite big names in the company, especially Kuroda. Hayato (under a mask here) was a very promising flyer, but in a few years time would just fade into obscurity. Goshogowara is/was a terrible wrestler, who's had several gimmick makeovers by FMW, including Mr. Pogo 2, Azusa Kudo and more recently, Biomonster DNA. JIP, Hayato throwing some GREAT kicks at Nakagawa, very quick and precise. Clip. Hayato connects cleanly with a split-legged moonsault on Koji for 2 1/2. Clip. Goshogowara high kick's Kuroda down, then drops a leg for 2 1/2. A corner charge jumping knee connects. Clip. Goshogowara backbreaker's Nakagawa for 2. Koji ducks a back elbow and uses a German suplex hold for 2, Hayato saving. Clip. Nakagawa connects with a diving shoulderblock, then drops Goshogowara with a Tiger suplex hold for the win (16:28). All four bow to the crowd post-match. Some cool spots, mainly from Hayato.
Ricky Fuji vs. Battle Ranger
Ranger was a long-time FMW wrestler, who worked some of the company's early shows under his real name, Yukihide Ueno. More recently, he's wrestled in Osaka Pro as Policeman and under his real name again, for IWA Japan. Fuji is a total punk, dissing Ranger on the microphone, so Ranger tears his own mask off and charges at Ricky! He dropkick's Ricky out and follows, the fans chanting "Ueno!" in unison, recognizing him. He suplexes Ricky on the floor. Clip. Ranger takes Fuji over with a tilt-a-whirl flying headscissors, but Ricky quickly bounces back with a lariat. Clip. Ranger flips out of a backdrop suplex and nicely Frankensteiner's Fuji, then sends him out with a kneel kick. With Fuji groggy, Ranger hits a quebrada, he and Ricky falling into the seats! Clip. Ranger has a tornado DDT blocked and Fuji hits his Kamikaze for 2 1/2. Clip. Ricky uses a SICK sit-out tombstone piledriver, covering for 3 count (8:34). This looked pretty good. Ranger unmasking was a surprise and seemed to fire him up.
Masato Tanaka vs. W*ING Kanemura
Another match between these two. Kanemura attacks at the bell. He snapmare's Tanaka down and lays a stiff kick to the back. Tanaka gets up, angry. They exchange fiery chops, then Kanemura busts out the kicks. Clip. Tanaka runs the ropes, right into a belly to belly throw. Clip. Kanemura drops Tanaka with a sick Liger bomb/Thunder Fire powerbomb hybrid for 2. He misses a second turnbuckle moonsault press and Tanaka hits him hard with a running shoulderblock. Kanemura is slow up and when he does stand, Tanaka smashes him down with a lariat, Kanemura flipping. A second follows with the same sell. Clip. Tanaka uses a scoop-up powerbomb and covers for the upset win (5:06), the fans responding big.
Katsutoshi Niiyama vs. Katsuji Ueda
Ueda is another guy from the early days of FMW, one of the shoot-style guys Onita brought in to mock Maeda's UWF. He's terrible though (as most of the FMW shoot-style guys were). This is one of those mixed styles matches. JIP. Ueda catches Niiyama with a big punch, sending him down. Niiyama barely stands, getting up at 9. They tussle to the mat and Niiyama gets a sleeper hold on. Ueda taps and Niiyama gets the upset win (R2 0:37). Looked terrible.
Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyoda vs. Shark Tsuchiya & Bad Nurse Nakamura in a Joshi Scramble Tornado Climbing & Snatching Captain Fall Death Match
The third match on the tape between these teams. A baseball bat is put on a pole above one corner for obvious purposes. Both teams rush to the ring and the fight begins. They scuffle and struggle towards the bat. Kudo uses a victory roll on Shark, but abandons the cradle to race up top. Nakamura pulls her down to the apron, thwarting her ascent. Combat holds Shark and Bad Nurse on the top and shouts, "Kudo! Go and get it!". Kudo climbs up past Combat and grabs the bat! She throws it to Combat, who jabs both heels with it. Nakamura almost gets her face collapsed, barely ducking a wild swing on the outside, the bat striking the ring post. Combat delivers several stiff shots to Nakamura's midsection, then Kudo connects with a diving elbow smash for 2. Shark's friend, Crusher Maedomari, arrives with a barbed wire stick and clobbers Kudo with it, the crowd exploding in jeers. Shark hits the enemy with the stick and chokes Kudo with it. A cool spot sees Combat intercept an attempt Shark strike by using the baseball bat to knock the barbed wire stick from her hands. Combat holds Shark up for Kudo to use the stick on. Kudo seems irritated and throws the stick down, charging, but Shark getting a boot up. Kudo counters a powerbomb with a Frankensteiner, but is struck from behind while running the ropes. Combat and Crusher duel with the weapons outside, while in the ring, Shark drops Kudo with her powerbomb, leaning over for 2 3/4! Shark wraps Kudo in barbed wire, just like the other match. A barbed wire board is brought in and Shark lariat's Kudo down on to it, covering for the win (11:15). The barbed wire has to be cut off Kudo. Three consecutive victories for Shark and Bad Nurse. This was a very violent and action-packed bout. The fans were really into it and while it wasn't the greatest match, it was entertaining.
Mr. Pogo, The Gladiator & Horace Boulder vs. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga, Hido & Super Leather
Another Lethal Weapon vs. W*ING Alliance match and this one promises to be wild, especially with Matsunaga wanting to get a win back over Pogo. They go right to the brawling, Lethal Weapon getting the upper hand early on. Then Leather arrives, chasing everyone and their mother out of Korakuen Hall. Awesome completely breaks a chair over Matsunaga's head. Matsunaga dies and likes it. Horace hiptosses Hido over the top, while Leather and Pogo tussle in the corridors. Awesome lariat's Leather out and nearly DIES with his over-the-top tope suicida, taking out Leather and himself! Matsunaga loses his seventh life, Horace leaping off the top and breaking another chair over his head. Pogo brings out the blade and cuts Matsunaga's head to pieces. Matsunaga is choked with the chain as Pogo makes this unfamiliar red liquid spew from Mr. Danger's forehead. Behind them, Hido is avalanche-style Awesome bombed through a table for 2, Leather saving! Awesome drops a great diving body press with surprising hang time for 2, Leather again saving! Pogo brings out the fire and fries Hido's back with a HUGE fireball! Leather makes people think he's about to cut off Awesome's head with his chainsaw, but just hits him with the handle thing instead. Pogo INSANELY powerbomb's Hido on his neck on to a barbed wire bat! Meanwhile, Awesome is covered in chairs outside the ring and Leather uses a body press. Matsunaga ducks a bat shot from Pogo and Horace is struck. Mr. Danger gets the bat and chokes Pogo with it. Matsunaga wraps the chain around Pogo's throat and tosses him over the rope! Pogo's own finishing... uh, technique, is enough to finish him, Matsunaga winning the match for W*ING (15:22)! Monster crowd heat for this and another wild sprint. Leather was really crappy though.
Hayabusa vs. Hisakatsu Oya for the FMW Brass Knuckles Title
This is the decision match I mentioned earlier. The first portion of the match is comprised of basic matwork. After a while, Oya targets a leg, working over it in a variety of ways. A really cool thing has Oya in a sleeper hold with the camera zoomed in on his face. He does a great job responding to the sleeper, his eyes going from being dazed to rolling up. Hayabusa then breaks the sleeper and makes a logical cover for 2. Hayabusa connects with a nice kneel kick, then an equally nice dropkick, sending Oya out. The falcon flies, diving out with a tope con hilo! Back in, Hayabusa spikes Oya with a tombstone for 2 1/2. He goes up and connects with a firebird splash for 2! Oya dropkick's Hayabusa's bad leg and takes control of the match again, applying a cross knee scissors hold. Oya again varies his techniques to attack the leg, numerous moves adding to the damage. Hayabusa sells a figure-four leglock like he's dying and the rope break is heaven. Hayabusa's first offense for a while comes when he escapes Oya's deadly backdrop suplex and drops him with a German suplex hold for 2. Hayabusa DDT's him for 2, then goes up. From there he hits (very slightly overshooting) a Shooting Star press for 2 1/2! A dropkick sends Oya out again and Hayabusa flies with a springboard moonsault from the corner! He throws Oya in and follows with a slingshot somersault senton, then a standing moonsault for 2. Hayabusa remembers his leg injury and drops to a knee after kicking Oya. Oya pounces, kicking the leg from under Hayabusa. A big DDT gets 2 1/2 and a swinging neckbreaker another near fall. Oya slaps on an Octopus hold, Hayabusa falling into the ropes. Oya uses Akira Taue's Dynamic suplex twice for consecutive 2 1/2 counts.
Hayabusa counters a second swinging neckbreaker attempt with a backslide for 2 1/2. He spikes Oya with a Fisherman's buster for 2 1/2. Hayabusa is caught on the turnbuckles and dropped back from Oya's shoulders, Oya covering for yet another 2 1/2 count. He folds Hayabusa up with a deadly backdrop suplex for 2 3/4! The fans are going nuts now. Hayabusa headbutt's out of another Dynamic suplex and standing dropkick's Oya down. He plants Oya with a Thunder Fire powerbomb for 2 1/2! Hayabusa signals for the finish and goes back up. A Phoenix splash finds nothing! Oya picks him up and delivers another backdrop suplex for 2 1/2! The fans roar "Hayabusa". He catches Oya sat on the top and brings him down with a Frankensteiner for 2 1/2! A second TFPB gets another 2 1/2 count! Hayabusa hits the finisher of his trainer, using Tarzan Goto's facebuster for 2 1/2! He debuts the Falcon Arrow and Oya finally stays down, Hayabusa becoming the 6th champion (27:01)! The two shake hands post-match, but Oya tells him that the result will be different next time they meet. Hayabusa would have to vacate the title right away because of a neck injury, probably caused by one of Oya's suplexes. This was a tremendous match and is what caused a lot of people to notice Oya. Oya wasn't really your typical FMW garbage monster, wrestling more like Tatsumi Fujinami, who I get the feeling he idolizes by the way he wrestles (plus he was trained in New Japan and worked shows for Fujinami's MUGA group). Also, this indicated that HEY!, maybe Hayabusa can wrestle and do more than the (great) spot frenzy matches he had been excelling at. Oya carried this, or rather instilled the build and psychology. The matwork was long and paced slowly, often too slowly (it dragged for a while), with Oya attacking the leg. On the other hand, Hayabusa supplied all the cool, state-of-the-art moves/highspots and after Oya made the first half of the match with his great matwork, Hayabusa made the second half or so with his great moves, an exciting chain of moves closing the show. And this was a wrestling match! Not many of them on the tape. I love old FMW and the out of control Street Fights, but matches like this were a refreshing change from the constant sprinting. This ruled and showed why Oya was one of the more underrated wrestlers of the mid-1990's. It also displayed some growth in Hayabusa's game, as he continued to improve.
I love old FMW, so may be biased, but this was a really fun look at a brand new era in FMW history. It was like a clean slate and they couldn't rely on Onita's absurdly huge drawing power anymore. This show displayed a lot of young stars, some good prospects and already good wrestlers (like Oya). This wasn't essential FMW and the Street Fights weren't as good as they would become later on, because the heel side of Pogo, Awesome, Fuji, Horace and Oya was kind of weak at the frantic Street Fight style. The only match shown in extended form on here was Hayabusa vs. Oya, which didn't appear clipped at all, and it ruled. Almost everything else was clipped, but most of it was fun.
For more of Stuart's thoughts and opinions on puroresu, visit www.puroresufan.com