FMW on Samurai TV, 2/6/98
review by Ryan Mancuso
Hello once again, I am back with part two of my triple shot of FMW reviews. This review takes place on February 6, 1998 at Korakuen Hall. During this time in FMW, there was a battle between three groups. The first group was Team FMW whom is willing to defend the promotion with all of their heart. The second group is ZEN. They were a heel group who wanted to take over FMW, but have become tweeners. The reason they are tweeners is because of Team No Respect. Team No Respect was a combination of former ZEN members and Fuyuki-Gun. Their disrespect for everyone was what caused them to be booed in every venue FMW ran at the time. This show does not have any big match feel to them because the main event is FMW's Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka vs. ZEN's Koji Nakagawa & Tetsuhiro Kuroda. It is a match that would main event FMW house shows. However, there should be plenty of angle development when Team No Respect's Mr. Gannosuke & Yukihiro Kanemura face off against FMW's Hisakatsu Oya & an ally from Michinoku Pro in Jinsei Shinzaki. I will begin the review… now:
Mr. Pogo # 2 & Flying Kid Ichihara vs. Yoshinori Sasaki & Naohiko Yamazaki
This was a battle between FMW's undercard veterans and two FMW rookies recently graduating from the dojo. There was plenty of clipping with this match. It was a match with basic moves. Sasaki was better of the two rookies here. Yamazaki was very tentative in his actions while Sasaki looked more confident. Ichihara gets the win for the veterans when he makes Yamazaki tap out to a single-leg Boston crab.
Crusher Maedomari vs. Miss Mongol
This was pretty much a squash for Maedomari. Mongol had some offense, but Crusher just shrugged it off like nothing happened. Maedomari finished off Mongol with a chokeslam.
Super Leather vs. Hideki Hosaka
This match starts out as a brawl in the crowd. Some clipping occurs and both men are trying to throw the other off the balcony of Korakuen Hall. Neither was successful. There was more clipping with both men back in the ring. The action did not look good. Leather tried a superplex, but nearly fellow off the ropes. Leather gets the win with a brainbuster.
The Gladiator vs. Ricky Fuji
There was more clipping of this FMW taping. I was surprised to see that this was not as big of a one sided victory for The Gladiator as I had thought. Fuji got a lot of offense and almost scored the big upset with the Kamikaze Fireman's Carry. However, Gladiator took control and won the match with a Running Awesome Bomb for the pin.
Gedo & Jado vs. Kodo Fuyuki & Hido
This was a battle between Team No Respect allies. Actually, Hido was trying to get into Team No Respect through comedy skits with the Brief Brothers and matches at this time. Despite all four men being heels, this was a pretty solid tag match that the crowd got into. Gedo and Jado showed their experience by taking control of the match. However, their beatdown session on Hido did not drag. The closing segment of the match was not too bad. In the end, it was Gedo and Jado's experience as a tag team that paid off. Jado gets the pin on Hido with a brainbuster.
Mr. Gannosuke & Yukihiro Kanemura vs. Jinsei Shinzaki & Hisakatsu Oya
This was a continuation of a great rivalry between Gannosuke and Shinzaki. It started out as Shinzaki showing up to help out Hayabusa against Gannosuke and his allies. However, it has become Gannosuke disrespecting Shinzaki every chance he gets. Including one time when Gannosuke stole Shinzaki's wrestling gear and wore it to the ring while Shinzaki was stuck wearing sweatpants. No stealing of wrestling gear today, but it did continue the story between the two. These two men are perfect rivals. Gannosuke represents everything that is disrespectful and wrong in life while Shinzaki represents everything that good and pure. There is also some motivation for Oya who denounced his former tag team partner, Gannosuke, to become a face. Kanemura would definitely like to show that he is a better tag partner for Gannosuke than Oya. The wrestling in this match was good with Kanemura and Gannosuke functioning so well as a tag team. This match was not as much about the wrestling, but telling more a story between Shinzaki and Gannosuke. It helped progress their angle so that the big singles match between the two would be huge. Here is the play-by-play:
Oya and Gannosuke start off the match. They tie up and Oya puts Gannosuke in a side head. Gannosuke has a little difficult finding a counter, but does so with a wristlock. Oya quickly escapes and takes Gannosuke down. Oya with another side headlock, but Gannosuke whips him off the ropes. Oya knocks him down with a shoulderblock. Oya tags in Shinzaki. Kanemura is tagged in after Shinzaki tried to take a shot at him in the corner. Kanemura blatantly kicks Shinzaki in the groin. Gannosuke enters to nail Shinzaki and Oya with chair shots. Kanemura picks up Shinzaki and bodyslams him on the chair. Gannosuke is tagged in. Gannosuke drags Shinzaki closer to his corner and puts him in Boston crab. Kanemura pulls back on Gannosuke for more damage. Gannosuke lets go and Kanemura is in the ring to do the same with the roles reversed this time. The referee breaks up the hold.
Gannosuke whips Shinzaki off the ropes and uses a drop toehold. This puts Shinzaki in position for Kanemura to come off the top rope with a chair shot to Shinzaki's back. Kanemura is about to bash Shinzaki in the head with the chair, but Shinzaki holds onto Kanemura's arms to block the chair shot. Gannosuke tried to interfere, but Oya cuts him off with a backdrop suplex. Oya surprises Kanemura with a backdrop suplex as well. Shinzaki gets the chair and nails Kanemura in the head with it. He tags in Oya. Oya climbs the top rope and connects with a missile dropkick. Gannosuke enters the ring and nails Oya with a lariat. Gannosuke runs off the ropes for another lariat, but Oya ducks and plants Gannosuke with a backdrop suplex. Oya uses a swinging neckbreaker and makes a cover. However, Gannosuke is out at 2.
Oya grabs Gannosuke's arm and suplexes him on the mat. Oya goes for a submission with the Octopus hold, but Gannosuke was too close to the ropes. Oya DDT's Gannosuke onto the mat, and tags in Shinzaki. Shinzaki enters by jumping off the ropes and catching Gannosuke with a chop to the head. He grabs Gannosuke's leg and uses his variation of the Dragon Screw. Kanemura enters the ring and gets a Dragon Screw variation of his own. Shinzaki is still feeling the effects of the beat down he got earlier, and he is not quick to capitalize. While exiting the ring, Kanemura grabs Oya and throws him into the first row. Gannosuke is able to recover quicker than Shinzaki, and kicks him out of the ring. Kanemura and Gannosuke get a table. They set Shinzaki on that table. Kanemura comes off the top rope with a diving splash that puts Shinzaki through that table.
Kanemura and Gannosuke loosen the top rope to where it is removed from the ring. Now there is just a middle and bottom rope. They bring Shinzaki back into the ring. Gannosuke picks him up for a powerbomb. However, Gannosuke and Kanemura use that position to use a double team neckbreaker. Both men cover Shinzaki, but Oya was able to make the save at the last second. Kanemura grabs Oya and chokes him with the top rope that was taken down. Gannosuke puts Shinzaki in a Boston crab. After a brief struggle, Shinzaki escapes by reaching the bottom rope.
Gannosuke brings out the mockery by using Shinzaki's Praying Powerbomb on him. Gannosuke covers, but Shinzaki barely kicks out at 2. Gannosuke continues the punking out of Shinzaki by using another move of Shinzaki's in the Goku-Raku Gatame, a straight-jacket strangle. Shinzaki tries to fight it, but passes out. The referee has called for the bell, and Gannosuke has just thrown more fuel to the fire by beating Shinzaki with his own submission. He does not let go until Oya is able to enter the ring. Gannosuke has once again disrespected Shinzaki.
Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka vs. Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Koji Nakagawa
This was a good match to close out the show because it was a fast paced tag match that got the crowd into the action. Hayabusa and Tanaka looked great as usual. Kuroda and Nakagawa have their limitations as wrestlers, but they function really well as a team in this match. Tanaka and Kuroda have great chemistry together. They just know how react to other as quickly as the blink of an eye. Hayabusa and Nakagawa, who usually don't have good chemistry in singles matches, connected well with each other under a tag setting. It seemed like they were trying to make Kuroda the star of the match because FMW was starting to push him as a future top star of the company. Hayabusa wins the match for his team by using a moonsault turned into a senton from the top rope.
Final Score: 5.0 [Not So Good]
Ryan Mancuso can be reached at email@example.com