FMW SKY PerfecTV! PPV on 3/13/01
review by Stuart
I exclaimed in my 3/5 review how empty Korakuen Hall was for that FMW PPV. Well, that crowd was bad, but a look at Korakuen today reveals even worse. FMW didn't reveal the card for this show until late, but even then, it's a very, VERY thin card, the roster ravaged by injuries, departures and Fuyuki-ism angles keeping wrestlers off the show.
Prodigy vs. Satoru Makita
Prodigy, who looks a lot like a mix between Taz and Saturn, shakes hands with the rookie. He does a Taz-style suplex early on, a fairly dangerous throw. Makita comes back with a dropkick, then pescado's out. Makita tries to slingshot his way to the apron, but ends up fumbling over the ropes, which looks bad. He makes up for that with a crisp slingshot elbow drop, getting a 2 count. Prodigy hits a stiff Doctor bomb for 2 1/2. Makita forward rolls under a lariat, but Prodigy catches his arms and drops him with a Tiger suplex hold for the win (7:02). Prodigy performed better than he did against Ricky Fuji earlier in the month, but still wasn't good, wrestling a lot like his trainer, Taz. Makita is showing improvement, adding some more difficult moves to his arsenal.
Chocoball Mukai vs. Tomokazu Morita
They spend most of the match working on the ground, wrenching each others limbs and what not. After that, the pace quickens, Morita doing some flying moves (dropkick, sunset flip). A corner charge dropkick connects, as does a missile variation. He hits a diving crossbody for 2. A German suplex hold earns the rookie a similar result. He runs the ropes, straight into a savate kick. Mukai lands a corner charge leg lariat and follows up with a DDT for 2 1/2. A second rope moonsault press gets 2, but a diving rolling senton misses. Morita uses a really nice twisting sunset flip out of the corner for 2. He goes for more flash pins with cradles, before getting dropped with a release German suplex. Chocoball high kick's Morita's neck and scores the 3 count (5:44). This was fine for the time given. Like Makita, Morita is starting to show more, hitting his highspots cleanly and doing some tricky stuff, like the flashy sunset flip variation.
Backstage, Flying Kid Ichihara (not booked for the show) tries to pick up Eagle Sawai and Rumi Kazama. They aren't impressed and run him off. Kodo Fuyuki, another guy not booked for the show (because he's doing the stupid heel commissioner gimmick yet again), walks to the ring, clad in a suit, with assistant lackey, J Taro, and President Arai. It only takes a minute for a disagreement, Fuyuki kicking Arai to the ground and declaring himself the boss, etc. Yawn. Didn't they do this angle in 1999 and 2000? Fuyuki and Taro join the commentary booth.
Ricky Fuji vs. Shinjuku Shark
This is the usual Shark, bad punches and bad wrestling. He has a few decent moves, such as a pescado and moonsault press, but the wrestling in between those spots is awful. He uses Ricky's own Kamikaze in this, but misses a moonsault press right after. Ricky then hits his own Kamikaze for 2. Shark counters Ricky's DDT finish with an inside cradle for 2, then blows a dropkick, barely skimming Fuji. Ricky ducks a swinging punch and uses his DDT for the win (6:15).
Alvin Ken vs. Yoshito Sasaki
Tomomi Tanimoto leads Ken to the ring by a chain, singing. Oya isn't booked again, injured I think, so Team Kuroda have hired her. The two (wrestlers) do some pretty quick mat exchanges to start, nothing great, but well done. They have a slapfest, which turns into an elbowfest. They stay basic, exchanging offense. Ken throws a lot of headbutts and isn't that good for a BattlARTS prospect. But like Makita and Morita, Sasaki is showing more confidence now and improving. He gets a near fall from a German suplex hold. He racks Ken in an Argentine backbreaker briefly, a new move for him I believe. Ken uses a popular BattlARTS/shoot-style technical technique, dropping down out of a waistlock and hooking on a reverse achilles tendon hold. Ken spear's Sasaki, then drops him with a waterwheel drop, before applying a cross armbreaker. Sasaki struggles, but makes the ropes. Ken uses a judo takedown into a grounded headlock, moving from there into an armlock. Sasaki decides to save the arm, submitting (7:28). A solid rookie match, with good fundamentals shown, especially by Yoshito.
Fuyuki offers his wisdom on the house microphone, as he has been doing after each match. Meanwhile, Flying Kid Ichihara scours Korakuen Hall for a new love interest.
Kyoko Inoue & Emi Motokawa vs. Eagle Sawai & Rumi Kazama
After losing to Zenjo's Momoe & Nanae in an excellent match earlier in the month, Kyoko and Emi face another challenge today, two LLPW representatives (who also wrestle in AJW). Kyoko finally has someone as big as her, Eagle, to fight against. They do some New Japan heavyweight stuff, shoulderblocks, lariats, fighting spirit no-sells, before Kyoko lariat's Sawai down. The outsider team use some slow offense on Kyoko, until Inoue hits a back springboard elbow and tags Emi. She uses her speed against Granny Eagle, but is soon on the defense again, being hit with a double-arm backbreaker. After absorbing some more punishment, Emi plancha's out to both opponents. Kazama reverse DDT's Emi, but gets caught up top and Frankensteinered down for 2. Kyoko lariat's Kazama, then tries the Niagara Driver, but Rumi counters nicely with a hurricanrana for 2. Kyoko ducks a spin kick and plants Kazama with a release German suplex. Kazama hits a German suplex of her own, but because of Kyoko's bulk, she doesn't get much height on it. Eagle returns, the veteran missile dropkicking Kyoko for 2. Eagle catches Emi doing diving crossbody, but Emi nicely swinging DDT's Eagle down. Kyoko elbow smashes Eagle, stunning her enough so that Emi is able to hit a backdrop suplex for 2 1/2. Eagle takes on both opponents, giving both a nodowa otoshi and covering Emi with one foot for 2 1/2. Kazama takes out Kyoko with a jumping neckbreaker drop, leaving Eagle and Emi to finish the match. Emi nearly gets an upset, rolling through to escape a powerbomb and cradling Sawai for a close count. She runs the ropes, but gets mauled by a lariat. Sawai high-angle powerbomb's Emi and gets the 3 count (12:45). This wasn't anything special, not approaching the quality of Kyoko and Emi's match with Momoe and Nanae. Only Emi was really good, with Eagle and Kyoko really boring when in the ring. Kazama wasn't good either, but can at least move and do more than lariat, shoulderblock and powerbomb, so was second best almost by default.
Intermission time. No news flash though.
GOEMON & Onryo vs. Mammoth Sasaki & junji.com
This is such a weak semi main event and shows how talent-starved the company is. junji.com is a BattlARTS UNDERCARDER, but here he is, almost headlining an FMW pay-per-view. Mammoth and Onryo do a pretty good sequence together early on, a typical strength vs. speed exchange. That ends with a pescado by Onryo. GOEMON and junji.com have a fine exchange too, .com using a nice forward rolling takedown into a cross knee scissors hold. Mammoth stays on the leg with a standing stretch muffler, followed by a single-leg crab hold. After 5 or so really non-descript minutes, it picks up a little. junji.com hits GOEMON with a Samoan drop for 2. He runs the ropes, but GOEMON catches him with an inverted atomic drop. He goes up, landing a nice senton atomico. Before he can do anything else though, Mammoth re-appears with a lariat. He's tagged, but charges into a GOEMON drop toehold, giving TAFKA Koji Nakagawa time to tag Onryo. The vengeful ghost enters with a missile dropkick to Mammoth, then sends him out with forward flying headscissors. Onryo DIES IF HE COULD DIE AGAIN with a springboard tope con hilo, hit so crisply that it's almost unexciting, because he doesn't take out chairs like dominoes like usual. Mammoth angrily gets some chairs, putting one around Onryo's head. He goes for the Mammoth Home Run, but GOEMON courageously sacrifices himself, pushing Onryo aside and taking the chairshot. Mammoth gives him the Home Run and tags junji.com. He lands a diving headbutt for 2 1/2... Onryo catching the referee's hand! Mammoth nodowa's Onryo and .com follows with a brainbuster for 2, GOEMON saving. GOEMON avoids a charge and Mammoth tumbles over the top. Onryo dropkick's a knee from under junji.com and hooks on the Onryo clutch for the win (12:22). This wasn't bad, but as I said, very weak for a "feature match". It got good in the last few minutes, but just rolled along before that, without any purpose or direction.
Tetsuhiro Kuroda vs. Kintaro Kanemura
This match is to determine a #1 contender for Kodo Fuyuki's WEW World Title. Kuroda looks completely serious, which is a (very) good thing, if he stays that way. They start with quick shoulderblock exchanges and such. Kuroda is sent to the floor and Kanemura follows with a baseball slide dropkick. Kuroda takes a nasty spill into some empty chairs (insert joke here), then into the bleachers they go. Kanemura tries a powerbomb, but Kuroda lifts out of it. He trots across Korakuen Hall and back, a lariat in mind, but Kanemura scoops him up and throws him into some seats! He sets a table up in front of the entrance/exit archway, lies Kuroda on it, and climbs up the steps. Kanemura summons all of his W*ING SPIRIT!, connecting beautifully with a diving body press and putting Kuroda through wood! Kuroda bleeds. Kanemura gets a second table out and whacks Kuroda with it, leaving a gooey blood stain on the base. Kuroda gets a wooden board (remnants of the deceased table) and brings it down over Kanemura's skulls once... twice... thrice! Ich... ni... san! Kuroda misses a corner charge and gets hung upside-down in the corner (tree of woe). Kanemura charges with a sliding dropkick, but Kuroda nicely spider's up, hops to the outside, and smashes Kanemura's leg around the post. He adjusts the table at ringside and drags Kanemura to the apron, trying a powerbomb. Kanemura blocks and lifts Kuroda, dropping him in an almost Kudo Driver-esque position through the table! Really sick! The camera gives us a close-up shot of the broken table, blood smeared on it. Yuck! Kuroda is an ABSOLUTE MESS, blood just gushing from his forehead, his hand and arms full of it. Kanemura re-ties Kuroda to the tree of woe and puts a table DIAGONALLY against his forehead, so that the sharp point is digging into his wound! He then LOSES HIS FRIGGIN' MIND, chairshotting the other side of the table three times! Meanwhile, Kuroda is drowning in his own blood! Kanemura puts a board across Kuroda's chest and goes for a Lionsault, but Kuroda avoids it and picks up the board. He goes for a shot, but Kanemura blocks, grabs it, then brings it down across Kuroda's head thrice more!
Kuroda summons all of his FIGHTING SPIRIT! by staying up, but Kanemura ducks a short lariat and drops him with a release German suplex! Kuroda gets up again and again has a lariat ducked and AGAIN is dropped on his head! Repeat process, only this time Kuroda turns Kanemura inside out with a lariat. Kuroda corner charge lariat's Kanemura, then drop toehold's him into the middle turnbuckle. Kanemura escapes a waistlock with a reverse low blow, but Kuroda catches an arm and hits a Russian legsweep. They completely mess up a spot, or rather the referee does. The plan is for the referee to stop Kuroda from using a chair, only to be bumped. Well, he's not in position twice, so in a very awkward spot, Kanemura has to manually bump the referee. The two scuffle up top, Kuroda being pushed to the outside. Suddenly, Masked Sumo arrives and lariat's Kanemura. He then gives Kanemura the Fire Thunder and... gets lariated by Kuroda, who kicks him out of the ring. Mammoth beats up "Sumo" (Gannosuke, who has turned heel on Kanemura again), while in the ring, Kuroda lariat's Kanemura for 2 3/4! Kanemura nicely counters the Technan buster with a Northern Lights suplex hold for 2 1/2. He drops his patented diving senton, but Kuroda rolls out after taking it. Kanemura sets some chairs up and powerbomb's Kuroda through them for 2 1/2! They do some reversals, leading to a Kanemura backslide, which gets another good near fall. Kanemura powerbomb's Kuroda on the chairs again, leaning over for 2 3/4! Kanemura gets caught up top and suplexed down on to chairs for 2 1/2. Kuroda readies the arm, stomps the foot, but Kanemura counters his running lariat with a wakigatame takedown! Kuroda escapes by rope break. Waistlock reversals eventuate in Kuroda hitting a release German suplex. He then lariat's a chair into Kanemura's face, covering for 2 3/4! He gives Kanemura the Technan buster on a chair, covering for 3 and finally getting the win, becoming #1 contender (14:57)! A very good main event that actually felt like a main event. They knew they had to do something to make the fans say, "Hey, there was actually something worth going to this show/buying this PPV for!", so they had a wild, brutal, bloody brawl. Kuroda tapped a vein and like so many others in the past, left much of his blood on the grounds of Korakuen. He took some big bumps and was forced to be less goofy (but he still was goofy, especially the repeated no-selling), because he took much of the punishment and his cronies didn't interfere. Kanemura was feeling it and again looked great, actually the better of the two in this match. I didn't mind the Gannosuke run-in, because it didn't directly lead to the finish and actually was the trigger for a dramatic close. There were some problems, the weird referee bump spot included and occasional slow-down in action, but it was a good main event.
There's really no excuses I can pull out for this show. It was just bad and until the final match, very boring. Hayabusa, Gannosuke, Fuyuki, Tanaka, Jado, Gedo, Hosaka, Oya, Kudo, Ichihara... all either injured, departed or not booked. I'm not complaining about Kudo and Ichihara, but if they aren't injured, they should be working these shows. Could someone give me a good reason why Fuyuki wasn't wrestling? The kayfabed reason is that he was playing commissioner again, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have squashed Alvin Ken in 2 minutes or something, just to put his name on the PPV and draw whatever few fans he has. This was about as bad as things would get though, because Gannosuke was on his way back, as were others (including FMW's heart and soul, you know who I mean).
For more of Stuart's thoughts and opinions on puroresu, visit www.puroresufan.com