FMW DirecTV PPV on 12/11/99
review by Stuart
With new storylines set in place on 11/23/99, FMW offered a two-in-one style PPV for December, with two separate shows on consecutive days. This, the first, drew a strong sell out at Korakuen Hall. Clips are shown of the November PPV, with two major happenings. Firstly, in a really good Loser Leaves FMW 13,000 Volt Thunderbolt Cage Death Match, Masato Tanaka captured the WEW World Title from Kodo Fuyuki. In doing so, he also drove Fuyuki out of FMW, since as stipulated, the loser had to leave. Fuyuki's tyranny had finally come to an end and the future of Team No Respect was in some doubt. TNR's original leader, Mr. Gannosuke, while masquerading as Hayabusa, lost to H (the original Hayabusa). After the match, the childhood friends put an end to their lengthy rivalry and joined up.
Yoshinori Sasaki & Naohiro Yamazaki vs. American Dragon & Lance Cade
Shawn Michaels was the referee of the H vs. Hayabusa match last month, so in return FMW allowed youngsters from Michaels' TWA promotion to work on FMW shows for experience. Dragon wears sort of a mini Liger mask, while Cade has a Barry Windham look. This starts off really slow, with both teams tagging in and out often, but not really doing anything. The first big spot sees Dragon send Yamazaki out and follow with a fantastic springboard moonsault! Sasaki heads out and throws chairs at Dragon. So Cade, who must be at least 6'6", channels Mike Awesome and hits an impressive over-the-top tope suicida! After absorbing some punishment, Yamazaki ducks under a lariat and drops Dragon with a German suplex hold for 2. Sasaki is tagged and hits the masked man with a Rydeen bomb for another 2 count. A nodowa also gets 2, but Cade has to save his partner this time. After hitting a diving headbutt, Yamazaki makes the mistake of going up top again and is caught. Dragon brings him down with a suplex and Cade quickly clears out Sasaki. Cade powerbomb's Yamazaki and Dragon capitalizes with a Dragon suplex hold for the win (10:15). Started very slowly, but picked up and ended up being pretty decent for the experience level these guys were at.
Hido walks out in a gi, followed by a young guy dressed likewise. Said youth acts like a goofy kid which is the point I think. Hido makes a big announcement, saying that he's leaving Team No Respect and changing his name to Willie Takayama. Losing to Willie Williams taught Hido respect, so instead of being the "badboy", he's now the friendly martial artist I suppose.
Kaori Nakayama vs. Emi Motokawa
Nakayama charges Emi instantly, hitting her with an elbow to the neck. Emi quickly fires back with a headbutt, then hits *five* dropkicks. She misses an elbow drop, but nicely bridges out of the resulting cover. Emi forward rolls under a lariat, then Kaori cartwheels away from whatever Emi has planned, before grabbing a leg and taking Motokawa down with a dragon screw. Emi tries a la magistral, but Nakayama lies on top and hooks a leg for 2. Kaori also tries a la magistral, but Emi escapes and does one herself for a 2 1/2 count. Nakayama catches Emi up top and tries to bring her down with the Diamond Best (Ace Crusher from top), but is pushed off. Emi follows with a missile dropkick, but is clutched by Nakayama on a charge. Kaori quickly drops Emi with an Exploder-cum-Northern Lights suplex, ending it with a bridge for the quick win (2:31). Nakayama has words with President Arai after the match. The short length was to set up a rematch at the following show. They did quite a lot in the 2 1/2 minutes, but the match had no time to develop into anything.
Ricky Fuji, Flying Kid Ichihara & Chocoball Mukai (c) vs. Koji Nakagawa, Jado & Gedo for the WEW 6 Man Tag Team Title
Last month, Fuji, Ichihara and Chocoball beat Nakagawa, Jado & Gedo in a Ladder Match to win the titles. TNR attack after Fuji is introduced. Gedo and Fuji move into a good exchange, starting with reversals. Gedo cartwheels away from a monkey flip attempt and takes Fuji down with a shoulderblock. They do a nice ducking and dodging sequence, eventuating when Gedo runs into a boot. Fuji sloppily "suplexes" Gedo over to the apron. From there, he runs the ropes, but Gedo is quick and re-enters with a slingshot flip over Fuji. Fuji slides out at the same time and Gedo misses a pescado. Fuji follows with an atrocious tope suicida, where he goes out sideways! Clipping ensues, with Chocoball playing the victim. Jado and Koji lift him, allowing Gedo to hit a missile dropkick. "Mr. Double Cross" Nakagawa takes a silent stab at Fuji, using his Kamikaze roll on Chocoball. Jado just murders Chocoball with a release German suplex. TNR hit a triple corner attack, ending with a lariat from Jado. They follow with their superbomb and Jado finishes it off with a running lariat, winning the belts back (9:38). They clipped this quite a lot for some reason, just showing the start and finish.
Some sort of angle featuring Sena Wakana, the porn star, happens after the match. I gave up caring about junk like this a long time ago though.
TAJIRI vs. Super Crazy
For some reason, Tajiri's name is capitalized, even though he used his full name in ECW. This is the first match featuring ECW talent. Tajiri is so much different at this point compared to when he left Japan. He slaps the referee before the bell, then feigns a roundhouse kick to Crazy. A quick Frankensteiner plants Crazy on his head. They have a nice sequence of matwork, ending when Tajiri uses a tilt-a-whirl flying headscissors takeover. They exchange armdrags, then flip up and stand off to an applause. Several "ECW" chants break out. Crazy is lured into accepting a handshake and gets kicked right in the freaking temple as a result. Crazy goes out and Tajiri grins, then sprints across the ring and goes out diagonally with a tope con hilo to Crazy! Crazy manages to deck Tajiri on the apron and returns to the ring with a slingshot moonsault for 2. He follows with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then sends Tajiri out with a springboard dropkick. Crazy hits his Crazy Special (springboard moonsault) to the outside! He returns to the ring and waits for Tajiri to get on the apron. Tajiri tries to sunset flip Crazy, but the luchador hangs on. However, Tajiri gracefully flips up and applies the Tarantula! After breaking the hold, he applauds himself.
Crazy flips Tajiri off while sitting down, so Tajiri also sits and mocks him! Tajiri throws another kick to the head, then ties Crazy to the Tree of Woe. Tajiri follows in with a mean sliding dropkick. Tajiri runs into a drop toehold and Crazy pounces with rolling surfboards! He turns that into a bow-and-arrow Dragon sleeper. Tajiri fires back with his rope handspring back elbow for 2. Crazy hops out of a brainbuster attempt and throws Tajiri down with a fireman's carry slam. He does the triple rope moonsault sequence, hitting all three nicely. A rotating Liger bomb gets 2 3/4! He tries a second, but Tajiri counters with a DDT for 2 1/2. Crazy again evades a brainbuster, ducks a kick and hits a Frankensteiner. Tajiri bridges out of the cradle predicament and hits a cringe-inducing back kick to the side of the head! He quickly follows with a Dragon suplex hold, winning the match (7:20). This was a pretty low end match for these two, where they pretty much went through the motions. Good work, but essentially just a collage of their signature spots pushed into 7 1/2 minutes. Even though this was a "low" Tajiri vs. Crazy match though, it's still better than anything I've seen from Tajiri since he joined the WWF, which is unfortunate.
Kintaro Kanemura (c) vs. Axl Rotten for the WEW Hardcore Title
They exchange words and it's pretty bizarre. Kanemura says, "You want... my blowjob?". Axl retaliates with, "Do I want your blowjob? Let me tell me something, you're nothing but a hardcore wanabee. I am extreme and everybody here knows that three letters mean everything to professional wrestling. And that's E... C... W. So you know what? I'll take your blowjob. Why don't you come over here and (BEEP) my (BEEP)!". Axl pulls out a fork early on and they slice each other up. They fight in the crowd, Kanemura diving off a short entrance/exit stairway with a diving lariat. They do a lame brawl into the corridors, then Kanemura takes a table back into the crowd. He sets it up, but Axl powerbomb's him through it for 2 1/2. Axl throws a ton of chairs into the ring, but Kanemura switches the momentum his way, bodyslamming the ECW wrestler on them. However, Axl catches him up top and brings him down with a suplex on the chairs for 2. Axl goes to the second buckle and misses a diving elbow drop. Kanemura stands in a corner and raises his arm, mimicking Fuyuki. The fans play along, doing Fuyuki's loud breathing. Kanemura jogs on the spot and hits a lariat for 2. Back in the crowd, Kanemura sets up a table beneath the low balcony where the announcers sit. He uses a chain to tie Axl to the table, then goes up to the ledge. Once there, he climbs a ladder and is really HIGH in the sky. Kanemura summons all of his W*ING SPIRIT! and drops a diving senton, putting Axl through the table and covering for the 3 count (13:48). Kanemura debuts a goofy new dance after the match. Well, this wasn't good. Axl is in the sheer drop zone of garbage wrestling and Kanemura isn't at a level anymore where he can carry anyone so bad. They did some big spots, but absolutely nothing in between, except boring through-the-crowd brawling.
Masato Tanaka vs. Balls Mahoney
This is the second FMW vs. ECW match between the former ECW Tag Team Champions. Axl follows Balls out and they sing his (Balls') song. This starts with some actual wrestling, the two doing some matwork. Balls takes control with a short lariat, then a belly to belly suplex for 2. Tanaka catches Balls up top and brings him down with a suplex. He unloads with a bunch of elbow smashes, a running variation sending Balls out. Tanaka follows with a running pescado, but Balls catches him in a bearhug, then rushes him into the apron edge. Unfortunately, they repeat the worst aspect of the last match and brawl through the crowd. Tanaka chokes Balls with a chair, causing Axl to intervene. He and Tanaka have a fistfight until Balls whacks Tanaka with a chair from behind. A table is setup beneath the low balcony and after a scuffle, Balls sends Tanaka through it with a bodyslam. They go back to the ring and have a chairfight. They no-sell each others shots, then Balls hits Tanaka with a stiff backdrop suplex for 2 1/2. Like the last match, chairs are thrown into the ring. Balls tries to use his Nutcracker Suite, but Tanaka counters with a nice swinging DDT for 2 1/2. Tanaka throws a chair to Balls, who conveniently lifts it to his face so that Tanaka can elbow it. Tanaka leaps off the top with a chair and has it superkicked into his face. Balls covers for a 2 3/4 count. He has words with the referee, giving Tanaka time to use a schoolboy for 2. Balls quickly rakes the eyes and sends Tanaka back down with a spinebuster slam. He misses a legdrop from the second buckle and Tanaka puts a chair on his face, then goes up top with another. He follows with a diving chair drop and covers for the win (13:34). They hug and shake hands after the match. This was very much the dumbing down of Masato Tanaka. It was alright when he was in ECW, because that was a foreign promotion where he was given a different role. But here, he was the WEW World Champion and didn't have to do this garbage wrestling, because he's MORE than talented enough without the props. This was alright and basically a better version of the last match, though that isn't saying much. Tanaka obviously had to carry Balls and did a good job, not for the first time. Unfortunately, it's not really the Tanaka I wanted to see in FMW by this point and instead was the ECW version, where he had to lower himself to Mahoney's level.
H & Mr. Gannosuke (c) vs. Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Hisakatsu Oya for the WEW Tag Team Title
On 12/1, H and Gannosuke won the titles from Kuroda and Oya. The former champions were given the first title shot though. The champions get both of their entrance themes mixed together. The match starts with matwork, body parts being targeted. This serves as build, although as expected, none of the injuries factor into the eventual sprint. The challengers attack one of H's legs with dragon screws, figure-fours, etc. Gannosuke is eventually tagged in and throws lariats at both opponents. Kuroda doesn't bother to sell a release German suplex. He tries a lariat, Gannosuke blocking it by lifting both arms. Kuroda tries swinging around with a lariat and Gannosuke grabs the other arm, going for his clutch. However, Kuroda counters THAT counter with a Russian legsweep. Very nice. Kuroda runs into an inverted atomic drop and Gannosuke follows with a Falcon Arrow for 2. H is tagged and the champions use their double kick (Gannosuke with a dropkick and H with a kneel kick) stereo combination to Kuroda. Kuroda fires back with a DDT and tags Oya. Oya enters with a rare missile dropkick to H, but is spiked soon after with a Frankensteiner. H connects with a perfect dropkick, then hits a Fisherman's buster for 2. A slingshot moonsault gets the same result for the former Hayabusa. A high Tiger Driver goes a half count better for H. Gannosuke is tagged, but after Kuroda takes out H, Oya folds Gannosuke up with one of his stiff backdrop drivers! Oya hits a diving kneedrop, then slows it down with a Cobra Twist. He turns that into an Octopus, which Gannosuke tries to power out of, but Oya sunset flip's him for 2. Gannosuke tries his own cradle, but gets caught in a reverse cross armbreaker by Oya. After breaking out, Gannosuke tries a backslide, but his former tag partner Oya is again too smart, taking him down into a wakigatame. Kuroda is tagged and goes into a lariat exchange sequence with Gannosuke. Kuroda swings around and throws a short-range lariat for 2 1/2. He follows with a corner charge lariat, then a Northern Lights suplex hold for 2. Kuroda goes up, but H stops him there. Gannosuke follows Kuroda up, but gets dropped throat-first on the ropes.
Gannosuke ducks under a lariat, catches an arm on a second attempt and takes Kuroda down into the Gannosuke clutch for 2 1/2! No sooner said than done though and Kuroda throws yet another lariat. H is tagged and Oya joins the club, hitting H with a lariat. Kuroda returns and drop toehold's H into the middle turnbuckle. He follows with a Dragon suplex hold, the move both American Dragon and Tajiri used to win their matches, but H kicks out at 2 3/4! Kuroda is caught up top with a high kick, but he flips over H and powerbomb's him down, quickly applying a jackknife hold for 2, Gannosuke saving! Oya strikes Gannosuke with another enzuigiri, while H ducks a Kuroda lariat and throws a shotei. Kuroda again absorbs the pain long enough to hit a short-ranged lariat for 2 3/4! He and Oya use their lariat/backdrop driver combination to H for 2, Gannosuke saving! Another killer backdrop by Oya spikes H for 2, Gannosuke YET again saving! Gannosuke strikes Oya from behind and H hits a shotei. Gannosuke powerbomb's Oya and H follows with the firebird splash for 2 3/4! Gannosuke and H grab Oya and drops him with a double H Edge for 2, Kuroda saving this time! H takes him out with a spinning kick, but Oya uses the *Gannosuke* clutch on Gannosuke for 2 1/2! H and Kuroda fight on the apron and Gannosuke tears Oya's head off with a running lariat for 2 1/2! He quickly follows with his Fire Thunder, covering Oya (the obvious jobber here) for the win (23:24). All shake hands after the match and celebrate to end the show. This was a vintage FMW tag sprint, with tons of near falls and saves, inducing some really wild crowd heat for the less-than-active FMW crowds of the modern era. The unique FMW style, which to me, when done this way, is like a heavyweight version of Toryumon's own sprints, sacrifices a lot of psychology, especially selling. When they don't do stupid no-selling (the only instance in this match that sticks out, was Kuroda not putting over a German suplex), the lack of psychology is made up for by the action. All worked really well here, but Kuroda was the inferior. His overuse of the lariat is Fuyuki-esque and annoying, especially considering he has shown a more varied moveset before. Flaws aside, this was a really great sprint.
The first half of FMW's PPV package was a one match show. The Tajiri vs. Crazy match gave the undercard something good, but the rest wasn't any good. These FMW PPV's tend to rely on a strong main event to succeed, because the company has *never* had a strong undercard. This wasn't bad at all for a post-major show, but the main event saved it from mediocrity. Hopefully the second day could deliver something good as well.
For more of Stuart's thoughts and opinions on puroresu, visit www.puroresufan.com