WMF on Samurai TV on 8/28/02
review by Ryan Mancuso

This time I will be review Wrestling Marvelous of the Future. WMF was put together by Mr. Gannosuke with his long time friend Hayabusa being the public figure of the group to bring fans in. Unfortunately, Hayabusa couldn’t wrestle for the group because of the accident that left him paralyzed in October 2001. Laing Inc. was the financial backers for WMF. Atsushi Onita endorsed WMF by calling it the true FMW. He decided to no longer use the FMW name in promoting his shows because he had given it to WMF.

Onita was not the only important figure who endorsed WMF. Michinoku Pro's Jinsei Shinzaki also pledged his support for WMF. He will use his connections with other organizations like Michinoku Pro, Toryumon Japan and All Japan to help lend out talent for bigger WMF shows. Besides those three, WMF include all of the former FMW talent that did not go with Fuyuki and his WEW promotion. This list includes Mammoth Sasaki, GOEMON, Onryo, Garuda, Soldier, Flying Kid Ichihara and Ikeda-kun. While they were never labeled as WMF wrestlers, but Ricky Fuji and Hisakatsu Oya also gave their support to the promotion.

The emphasis of WMF was to give fans the chance to relive the FMW days from the mid 1990’s. For me, this would be great because I loved that era of FMW. However, WMF will be more than just a nostalgic act. They also want to give an emphasis on the younger wrestlers. The debut show takes places on August 28, 2002 at Differ Ariake in Tokyo. The main event will feature the two men who were supposed to carry WMF into the future. Mammoth Sasaki, who was getting a big push during FMW’s dying days, took on Garuda, a man who is billed as the next Hayabusa figure. In the semi-main event, Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Hisakatsu Oya will face off against Mr. Gannosuke & Jinsei Shinzaki. Gannosuke and Shinzaki were long time rivals, but they have put aside their grudge to help out Hayabusa and WMF. Also, Michinoku Pro and Toryumon Japan send representatives in the fourth match with The Great Sasuke, Tiger Mask 4 & Dragon Kid vs. GOEMON, Onryo & Darkness Dragon. Enough with the backstory and onto the review:

A press conference was held on July 3 with Hayabusa making his first public appearance since his unfortunate accident that left him in a wheelchair. With a lot of emotion in his voice, he announced the formation of WMF. He made a vow to one day return to the ring, but he will be overlooking things as the authority figure for the moment. Mr. Gannosuke made a few comments. Michinoku Pro's Jinsei Shinzaki showed up at the event and gave his support towards WMF. He has opened up talent exchanges between Michinoku Pro and WMF.

Before the show starts, all of the WMF affiliated wrestlers would stand on the stage of Differ Ariake. Hayabusa’s theme would play and the man himself would make his first appearance at a wrestling show since the accident. He gave another emotional speech talking about his accident and the death of Shoichi Arai. He asked everyone to stand up and have a moment of silence while the bell rings 10 times in Arai’s memory. After that, Hayabusa would stand up with the assistance of a cane and braces attached to his legs to show everyone the progress he has made in recovery.

Curry Man vs. Ricky Fuji vs. Ikeda-kun

This was held under Triple Threat rules where the first man who gets the pin or submission wins the match. Happy Ikeda got a name and character change when he joined WMF. Now, he is a happy-go-lucky wrestling fan who is just happy to be close to the wrestlers. This was a clipped match. Ikeda didn’t care about getting physically involved in the match. He just wants an autograph from Curry Man and Ricky Fuji. Ikeda was so persistent for an autograph that he distracted one man so that the other could attack from behind. Curry had enough of Ikeda’s persistence and tore up his paper. Ikeda got mad and attacked Curry. The final clip saw Fuji on the floor. Ikeda wanted to get a picture with Curry. Curry agreed to a photo. However, it was a set up by Curry Man. He dropped Ikeda with the Spicy Drop and got the win. After the match, Curry and Fuji gave the knocked out Ikeda the autographs he wanted. Then, they danced together. Ikeda woke up and saw that he got the autographs that he wanted. He didn’t care that he lost the match because he got what he needed from the match.

Kaori Nakayama vs. Miss Mongol

With Kaori retiring later in 2002, it was good to see that she was able to get a match in WMF. This was joined in progress with both women trading cradles. After a powerbomb, Mongol went for the kill. However, Kaori countered into a Tomikaze and got the victory in her only match for WMF.

Soldier vs. Flying Kid Ichihara

Soldier is the new character that former FMW dojo graduate Satoshi Makita took on. This was also clipped, and it showed that Makita took a whole different attitude with the new persona. He used heel tactics like choking the opponent with his boot and nailed Ichihara with a low blow. After a failed comeback attempt by Ichihara, it was Soldier who got the victory by making Ichihara submit to a Dragon Sleeper with bodyscissors. Soldier has clearly progressed in rank because he had a hard time trying to beat Ichihara in FMW. Now, he was able to convincingly beat him. Soldier continues to show off his new attitude by attack Ichihara after the match.

The Great Sasuke, Tiger Mask IV & Dragon Kid vs. GOEMON, Onryo & Darkness Dragon

This was a very nice six man tag match. It had plenty of fast pace action. Dragon Kid and Darkness Dragon just have amazing chemistry. They were in hype mode for the mask vs. mask match at a huge Toryumon Japan show a few days after this one. Onryo and Tiger Mask showed some good chemistry together. Too bad they never got to wrestle more together while Tiger was still wrestling for Michinoku Pro. GOEMON was the weak point of this match because he cannot keep up with the speed of the other five men. However, he still looked solid in there. Sasuke moved a little slower than usual because he was paired with GOEMON throughout the match. Here is my play-by-play for the match:

The heels attack before the bell rings, and it is a brawl on the floor. There is a clip, and we move towards Dragon Kid being triple teamed in the corner. Darkness whips Kid off the ropes, but Kid comes back with a spinning headscissors. The move actually knocked the mask off Darkness Dragon. Darkness quickly gets his mask back, but he is angry. He and Kid roll around on the mat. They wind up taking each other masks off as a result. They put masks back on, but they wound up wearing their worst enemies mask. They rolled around the mat again, took the masks off and got back their respective masks.

Sasuke and GOEMON go at it. GOEMON knocks Sasuke down with a shoulderblock. He tries to counter a Sasuke waistlock with a low blow, but Sasuke moves out of the way. Sasuke knocks GOEMON down with a running spin kick. GOEMON rolls out of the ring. Sasuke goes for a dive, but halts his momentum when GOEMON moves far away from Sasuke’s range. Tiger and Onryo are now in the ring. Onryo knocks Tiger down with a jumping forearm smash. He whips Tiger into the corner, but Tiger does corner flip kick. Onryo is quick to react because he dropkicks Tiger out of the ring once Tiger lands on his feet. Onryo isn’t letting Tiger get a rest out there because he springboards off the ropes and connects with a somersault plancha. Both men come back to the ring, and Onryo tags in Darkness.

Darkness dropkicks Tiger to the mat. It seems that he was in control, but Tiger fights back and tags in Sasuke. Sasuke goes for a spin kick, but Darkness moves out the way. However, Darkness could not evade a Sasuke handspring into a lariat that got a near fall. Sasuke tags in Kid. Kid uses a kneedrop for another nearfall. He tags in Tiger. Tiger throws some stiff kicks on Darkness. He picks up Darkness and plants him with a tombstone piledriver. Tiger covers, but GOEMON breaks it up. Sasuke is tagged back in, but Darkness gives him a low blow. Darkness tags in GOEMON, and Sasuke tags in Kid.

GOEMON controls Kid on the mat. He drags Kid to his corner, and tags in Onryo. Onryo wears down Kid with a chinlock, but picks him back up. Onryo whips Kid off the ropes and connect with a dropkick that got a 2 count. Onryo tags in Darkness. Darkness uses a vertical suplex that gets another 2 count. Darkness rakes Kid’s eyes over the ropes. He tags in Onryo. They whip Kid off the ropes, and connect with a double dropkick. Onryo works over Kid a little more before tagging in GOEMON.

GOEMON takes Kid down, bounces off the ropes and connects with a fistdrop. GOEMON goes for a series of jabs, but Kid ducks. He jumps on GOEMON’s shoulders for a hurricanrana attempt, but GOEMON plants him with a Liger Bomb that gets a 2 count. GOEMON tags in Darkness. Darkness whips Kid into the ropes and knocks him down with an elbowsmash. Darkness locks in a Stretch Plum. Onryo cuts off Kid’s partners. After a struggle, Kid reaches the ropes.

Kid is whipped into the corner. Onryo charges in, but Kid backdrops him over the top rope. Kid connects with his Déjà Vu headscissors that sends Darkness to the floor. Kid runs off the ropes, jumps on the second rope and dives onto Darkness with a moonsault. Tiger dives onto Onryo with a plancha. Sasuke has his turn with a dive when he uses a tope con giro onto GOEMON. GOEMON is rolled back into the ring. Sasuke connects with a missile dropkick off the top rope. Sasuke covers, but GOEMON is out at 2. Sasuke goes for an Octopus Hold, but GOEMON is too close to the ropes. Sasuke goes for an Asai Moonsault, but GOEMON quickly meets him to nail him in the back with an axehandle. GOEMON picks Sasuke up just so he could knock him back down with a Flatliner. GOEMON uses a Pedigree and covers. However, Sasuke kicks out at 2.

GOEMON climbs the top rope and jumps, but Sasuke catches him with a dropkick. GOEMON rolls to the floor. Sasuke goes for an Asai Moonsault, but GOEMON grabs Sasuke’s foot. As a result, Sasuke connects face first with the ring apron. Kid and Darkness are now in the ring. Kid connects with a Stunner out of nowhere for a 2 count. Kid catches the leg of Darkness, but he gets nailed by an enzuigiri. Darkness plants Kid with a brainbuster and covers. However, Kid barely kicks out. Darkness goes for a cross-armed powerbomb, but Kid counters into a hurricanrana for a 2 counter. Kid goes for the Christo, but Darkness counters with the Judah.

Tiger breaks up the submission, and Onryo enters the ring to attack Tiger. Onryo goes for a backdrop suplex, but Tiger lands on his feet. Onryo quickly dropkicks Tiger on the knee and quickly uses the Onryo Clutch. However, Tiger barely manages to kick out. Onryo uses a nice looking legsweep. He whips Tiger into the corner and charges in. However, Tiger moves out of the way and drills Onryo with a high kick. Tiger puts Onryo on the turnbuckles, and takes him down with a double-arm superplex. Tiger covers, but it is broken up by GOEMON and Darkness. GOEMON uses an inverted atomic drop on Tiger. He holds Tiger in place for Onryo to jump off the top rope with a dropkick. Unfortunately for them, Tiger moves out of the way and Onryo nails GOEMON. Tiger goes for the kill and plants Onryo with a Tiger Suplex Hold for the 3 count.

A video package air in which Mr. Gannosuke announced on July 19 that he and former long-time rival Jinsei Shinzaki would team up to face Hisakatsu Oya and a mystery partner. “Mr. Danger” Mitsuhiro Matsunaga stated that he wanted to be Oya’s partner for the show. However, Gannosuke said that WMF rejects Matsunaga’s request. He said that WMF will not allow death matches. They feel that is what Matsunaga’s intentions would be if he would wrestle in a WMF ring. Matsunaga confronted Gannosuke at an autograph signing about why his request was denied. He said that he will show up on August 28, and WMF will have death matches. Gannosuke and Matsunaga got into a shouting match that almost got physical.

On July 24, Tetsuhiro Kuroda asked Hayabusa if he would be allowed to wrestle on this show. He wants to be Oya's partner and reunite the team that won the WEW Tag Titles back in the summer of 1999. Kuroda realizes that he might upset his friends at WEW if he wrestles at the WMF show, but wants to do it as a favor to Hayabusa. On August 18, WMF held a pre-debut show. Through a cell phone conversation, Hayabusa confirmed that Kuroda will be Oya’s partner. Matsunaga headed to the ring, and he let his anger be known. Matsunaga and Gannosuke got into a brief physical altercation.

Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Hisakatsu Oya vs. Mr. Gannosuke & Jinsei Shinzaki

This was a pretty solid match, but the main purpose behind this match was to establish who the faces and heels were going to be for WMF. It was another clipped match. It felt like a big FMW tag match from the mid-1990’s until their demise. It started out slow with them feeling each other out with holds. As the match went on, it kicked into gear with a lot more high impact moves and saves. With a mat wrestler like Oya in the match, submissions had more emphasis on this one. As a big FMW fan, it was cool seeing Gannosuke and Shinzaki team up with no troubles shown by either man.

Gannosuke was on the floor, and Mitsuhiro Matsunaga showed up with a barbed wire baseball bat. He attacks Mr. Gannosuke with it. Shinzaki tries to save his partner, but Matsunaga attacks him too. Matsunaga finishes his attack and heads up the ramp where he sees Hayabusa on the stage. He looks at Hayabusa, but he doesn’t make an attack. GOEMON shows up and gives Matsunaga a high five. Matsunaga’s impact has been made and he leaves. A bloody Mr. Gannosuke is back in the ring. Oya and Kuroda double team him. Kuroda finishes Gannosuke off with a lariat for the victory. GOEMON, Kuroda and Oya attack Gannosuke and Shinzaki after the match. They go towards Hayabusa. GOEMON grabs Hayabusa’s water bottle. He takes a drink and pours the rest of the water on Hayabusa’s head. They exit the area. Gannosuke grabs the microphone. He is very upset that he allowed Hayabusa to be put in a vulnerable position.

Another video package aired where Mr. Gannosuke announced that Mammoth Sasaki and Garuda would main event the WMF debut show on August 28. Clips aired of Garuda and Mammoth going at it on the WMF pre-debut show. Mammoth and Garuda shared comments about the match.

Mammoth Sasaki vs. Garuda

Just like every other match from this show, this had some limited clipping. It looked like very little was taken out. In this battle of the future aces, Mammoth showed that he was a few steps ahead of Garuda. Mammoth looked great in this match and showed that he could handle a main event spot. His power moves looked very good in this match. Garuda looked green in there. That isn’t too surprising since he had only 2 years of experience and needed more time to figure out his new high flying style with the persona. Garuda showed in this match that he still needed more development before earning his way into the main event. Mammoth won with an impressive looking Canadian backbreaker into a facebuster. Both men shook hands after the match. Mammoth gave the victory speech to close out the show.

Final Thoughts: I thought this was easily the best debut show out of all the promotions that formed from FMW's demise. The in-ring quality from WMF was better than Onita FMW and WEW. The last three matches on this show ranged from good to really good. WMF also gave the fans a direction in regards to whom are the faces and heels of the company. It was something Onita FMW and WEW did not have. Onita FMW was more of a nostalgia show. WEW really couldn't do anything in giving their roster a direction from having all of the outside wrestlers involved in a huge show. I think it worth a recommendation because I found it to be an entertaining two hours. Don't expect any match of the year candidates or anything like that from this one.

Final Score: 7.0 [Good]

Ryan Mancuso can be reached at ryanm2k4@gmail.com

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