FMW SKY PerfecTV! PPV on 4/15/01
review by Stuart
Hayabusa, unmasked on the street, is shown to open the PPV. His expression becomes concern when he hears a car approaching. The car rushes in his direction and he barely avoids being hit. We hear words from The Great Sasuke, who is back in town. Tetsuhiro Kuroda and his new ally, Mr. Gannosuke, peek through the door and taunt him. Sasuke ignores them, but they persist like children, and he chases them away. Hilarious. Clips are shown of the Kuroda vs. Kanemura brawl from 3/13, the only good bout of that show, but an entertaining, wild, bloody (Kuroda cut DEEP) match. During it, "Masked Sumo" arrive, but it wasn't the ex-WAR ring announcer under that hood this time. With long blond hair flowing from the mask and a Fire Thunder executed on Kanemura, it could only be one man. Clips from the 4/1 Korakuen Hall show (shown on Samurai! TV, but I don't have it yet) are screened. This blew away 3/13 and the upcoming 4/15 show in terms of lineup, with two title matches, so it might have been wise to make this the PPV. Gannosuke is shown leading his new disciple, Banji Takada, to the ring. Takada looks like Gannosuke, with blond hair and a goatie, and is a former DDT wrestler. However, he loses to rookie, Yoshito Sasaki, in his FMW debut. Gannosuke plays nice guy, shaking hands with Yoshito. Shinjuku Shark's girlfriend, Kaoruko Arai, and Hisakatsu Oya's friend and singer, Tomomi Tanimoto, get into a push and shove contest, starting a rivalry between them. Mammoth Sasaki scores one of his biggest wins, smashing a chair over Kintaro Kanemura's skull and winning their singles match (14:01) to capture the WEW Hardcore Title. That made it two big singles losses in two weeks for Kanemura.
Then came the big main event, with Tetsuhiro Kuroda challenging Kodo Fuyuki for the WEW World Title. Mr. Gannosuke arrives and takes out Fuyuki with a chair. Kuroda and Gannosuke seem to be enemies still, especially after Kuroda attacked Gannosuke on the last PPV, but the two suddenly dropkick Fuyuki! This was a good turn, but made no sense, because Kuroda... retired... Gannosuke... after a bitter feud. Kuroda's big win streak in 2001 reached it's peak when he used a Gannosuke clutch to capture the WEW World Title from Fuyuki (19:02). Kuroda and Gannosuke then beat up Hayabusa, Sasuke saving his masked friend. This sets up the main event of FMW's massive 5/5 Kawasaki Stadium (actually the remnants, because the structure itself was pulled down) show. Hayabusa (his return) & Sasuke vs. Kuroda & Gannosuke in a 15,000 volt cage. Fuyuki also has a big match forthcoming, against Genichiro Tenryu, his former mentor in All Japan, when both were part of the Revolution group (led by Tenryu). Into Korakuen Hall we go and the crowd size looks FAR healthier than March shows (even though all three had claimed 2,050 crowds). It's that Gannosuke fella, I tell you!
Yoshito Sasaki vs. Tomokazu Morita
This is the same fundamental matwork as usual, only better than before, because of their increased confidence and ability to transition. Morita hits a really nice missile dropkick for 2 1/2. Sasaki gets a near fall from a well executed German suplex hold. Morita uses his jumping and twisting sunset flip out of the corner for 2. They slap each other silly, Sasaki winning that exchange. He connects with a corner charge elbow, then spikes Morita with a tornado DDT. Hey, hey... where have I seen that sequence before? Sasaki hits a second German suplex hold, getting the win (7:47). Sasaki got busted open hardway at some point. These two are getting there. Both of them, especially Sasaki, carry themselves well now, not looking timid in the ring anymore.
Ricky Fuji & Flying Kid Ichihara vs. Banji Takada & Satoru Makita
Makita sits on Ricky's back with a double-arm stretch, but just kind of falls down, which looks awkward and not natural. Banji does a lot of kicking (shoot-style kicks, not stomps) and doesn't really resemble Gannosuke, sans visually. He's green and awkward like a rookie, but not basic like a rookie. This isn't actually good, because he seems to have bypassed a lot of the basics like many indy wrestlers do. Ricky drops him with a Kamikaze for 2. Takada bounces back with a Gannosuke clutch for 2. Takada misses a frog splash and gets DDT'd by Ricky. Ichihara follows with a moonsault press, nicely done, for the 3 count (8:49). I liked the opener better, even though it was more basic. Makita has improved like the other rookies, but seems to be a step behind them now.
Hisakatsu Oya vs. Shinjuku Shark
Oya has grown his hair back again. He schools Shark on the mat, but mostly laying in a side mount, because Shark has no idea how to effectively counter, reverse, etc. Shark does his usual faux boxing punches, mixed with his few highspots. Oya misses a diving kneedrop, Shark following up by... working on the leg or punching? Have a guess. Here's a clue, it involves those boxing gloves. Shark plants Oya with a backdrop suplex (Oya's own finisher) for 2. Oya blocks a punch and enzuigiri's Shark. He hits two of his own backdrop suplexes and here we go... the valets take center stage, which was the entire purpose of this match (that reminds me of another promotion). They argue and Oya tries to play peacemaker. Kaoruko clobbers him with a shoe and Shark covers for the upset win (7:12). Tomomi has words for Kaoruko after the match, then sings again. Oya should never job to Shark, even in screwy circumstances, but did here. He couldn't make anything out of this, because Shark is awful.
President Arai talks, but as always, gets interrupted by something. This time it's Team Kuroda, who walk out in unison, Kuroda and Gannosuke trailing the lackies. Yamazaki looks like a nutty professor now, with a crazy grin and these weird glasses (one half shaded, one not). Kuroda looks stylish in the leather jacket and pants, carrying the belt and flashing the movie star smile. They show Hayabusa nearly getting crushed by a car again and have a great big laugh about it. Fuyuki shouts at them, making his speech brief.
Kyoko Inoue & Emi Motokawa vs. Chaparrita ASARI & Hiromi Yagi
Kyoko and Emi's latest challenge is one of my favorite freelance joshi teams, ASARI and Yagi. Actually, I like them a lot more than the much higher acclaimed LCO (Mita & Shimoda). The outsiders attack on the bell, double dropkicking Kyoko and Emi. Kyoko double lariat's them both down and smiles, being selfish with smaller opponents as usual. ASARI manages to Frankensteiner Kyoko, then hits her great handspring double mule kick. She goes for an instant second, but Kyoko moves. Emi takes over, using rolling surfboard holds on ASARI, followed by a missile dropkick for 2. Yagi uses a dreaded HAIR TWIST and hair throw on Emi. She hooks on a cross knee scissors hold, forcing Emi to the ropes. Emi comes back with a sunset flip powerbomb from the top, leaning over for 2. Kyoko makes her return, but gets Frankensteiner'd over by Yagi, who goes straight from that into a cross armbreaker. Kyoko doesn't even sell the freaking JUJIGATAME, idly sliding to the ropes. Yagi armdrag's Kyoko and re-applies the cross armbreaker. AGAIN, Kyoko doesn't even sell the thing though. Kyoko takes out both opponents again, this time with a back springboard elbow. Yagi catches her up top and uses an avalanche-style ipponzei for 2. Kyoko and Emi are cleared out, Yagi following with a plancha. ASARI follows with a badly botched spaceman quebrada, landing short of the opposition. Back in, ASARI hits Kyoko with an avalanche-style Frankensteiner, only to run into a lariat straight after. The next big spot sees Emi plancha out, but the opposition move and Kyoko is struck. Back in, Emi and ASARI completely mess up a pinfall exchange sequence. Emi uses a big Tiger suplex hold for 2. She follows with a la magistral for another near fall. ASARI bounces back with a Northern Lights suplex hold for a close count of her own. The miscommunications continue, Kyoko lariating Emi by mistake. ASARI drops a Skytwister Press (landing more like a senton, but it looks cool that way) on Emi for the 3 count (12:53). The wrestling in this match was good, but very through the motions and not as good as I expected, with messiness. Kyoko had one of her worst performances for a while and that takes some doing. Very selfish, not wanting to sell for the smaller/younger opposition.
Azusa Kudo & Naohiro Yamazaki vs. Kintaro Kanemura & Chocoball Mukai
Chocoball dropkick's Kudo out and not for the first time in a career, nearly kills himself doing a dive, this time a pescado. Kanemura suplexes Yamazaki on a bunch of chairs. After resisting a powerbomb from the apron, Kudo repeats the recent spot with Kanemura, standing on the second rope and DDT'ing him into (not through, because it doesn't break) table! The match slows down and becomes an uninteresting assault by the Team Kuroda tandem on Chocoball, including about three rear chinlocks. Chocoball actually gets heat for his comeback, but flubs a jumping high kick, totally missing Kudo. Kudo continues the execution issues, having problems with his avalanche-style somersault neckbreaker. Chocoball catches Yamazaki with a corner charge leg lariat, then DDT's him for 2. He connects with a diving rolling senton, then FINALLY tags Kanemura. Kanemura enters, smashes a chair over Yamazaki's skull and covers... for 3 (8:46)! Chocoball does all the work and Kanemura just walks in and finishes it! Fantastic. Unfortunately, the match wasn't, a drawn out heel beatdown, then a decent finish. Kanemura bled, but it was a total day off for him.
Kodo Fuyuki vs. Survival Tobita
Tobita had a hard decision to make. He could go on fighting monsters, protecting society from their evil. Or, he could decide to eat today by getting a pay day to face another monster, Goofster the Banana man. Goofster's main act of evil is killing the heat of almost every wrestler in a promotion, turning them heel and back again ad nauseam, and making sure it leeches the heat from anyone who is popular. Tobita must stop this! So here he is, daring the realm of entertainment wrestling. The Goofster has to be restrained, given it's unpredictability, so J Taro handcuffs it. Tobita circles the being, cautiously planning his assault. The yellow monstrosity opposite him waddles, licking it's lips, preying on the human opposite. Tobita catches a kick and lariat's the monster down. GOOFSTER DOWN! He DDT's it for a 2 count. He goes for a piledriver, but a gorilla attacks him from behind! The Goofster approaches the gorilla and it uses pliers to cut the handcuffs. The Gooftser is free! Run for the hills, before it drains your heart and soul, just like it did with FMW! The Goofster raises it's arms and screeches, fans wailing in horror and covering their ears. It charges and lariat's our hero for the 3 count (1:56). Tobita has fallen to the monster's evil. His aura and intrigue has been decimated! Who will the Goofster target next! Onryo... ONRYO! It's looking your way!
Familiar music hits and on the big screen appears... TENRYU! Tenryu is going to discipline Fuyuki at Kawasaki, just like he did in the old days!
Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Mr. Gannosuke & Mammoth Sasaki vs. The Great Sasuke, GOEMON & Onryo
Gannosuke's back! And FMW is saved! Team Insanity attack Team Kuroda before the WEW World Champion can even be introduced. Sasuke dropkick's Gannosuke out and DIES FOR US ALL with an awesome tope con hilo! Gannosuke gets beaten up by Team Insanity, before he can even get his jacket off. This works against him, GOEMON dragging his jacket over his head and trying to smother him. Onryo and Mammoth go at it next, Onryo using a CIMA-esque forward flying headscissors turnbuckle smash for just 1, Mammoth kicking out with force. Onryo pescado's out, but Mammoth catches and launches him into some chairs. Mammoth throws a BRUTAL chairshot, holding nothing back. GOEMON does a really nifty spot, corner charging, but nicely hopping over Kuroda's drop toehold (which usually sends the opponent into the turnbuckles) attempt. Kuroda is tied to a tree of woe, but GOEMON does another tricky spot, putting the brakes on when Kuroda spider's up. He joins Kuroda up top, but gets throttle dropped. Kuroda tries to follow up with a lariat, but GOEMON again shows the smarts, drop toeholding him and tagging Sasuke. Sasuke forward rolls under a Gannosuke lariat and savate kick's him. Gannosuke blocks a hiptoss and short lariat's Sasuke down. Gannosuke does his Choshu tribute, hitting a Riki lariat, then locking on a Scorpion Deathlock. Kuroda smashes Sasuke's leg around the ring post and does some goofing about, before running through Korakuen Hall and lariating Sasuke again. The heels work other the leg for a while, Sasuke doing his typical great job of putting the injury over. Sasuke eventually makes the big tag to Onryo, who hits a CRAAAAAZY slingshot tope con hilo! He re-enters the ring with a nice diving Frankensteiner/'rana to Mammoth for 2. GOEMON lives up to his alias, stealing the Gannosuke clutch and using it on Kuroda for a 2 count. GOEMON uranage's Kuroda, but gets backdropped when trying a double-arm facebuster. GOEMON blocks a lariat, catches a second, then hits another uranage/Exploder combination.
Sasuke returns, double-arm suplexing Kuroda for 2. He connects nicely with a quebrada press for 2. He takes out everyone with savate kicks, then tries his Thunder Fire powerbomb on Kuroda, but Gannosuke puts an end to that with a lariat. Gannosuke drops Sasuke with an assisted powerbomb, Kuroda covering for 2. Sasuke escapes the Fire Thunder and kneel kick's The Great Gannosuke, before tagging GOEMON. He ducks a lariat, but Gannosuke catches his striking arm and hooks on the Gannosuke clutch for 2 1/2! GOEMON dies for our pleasure, taking the Fire Thunder right on his head, Onryo breaking the eventual cover. Mammoth goes for his Home Run on GOEMON, but Sasuke ends that in a cool way, missile dropkicking a chair in Mammoth's face. Onryo charges at Mammoth, but gets Rydeen bombed for 2 1/2. He uses a really cool aeroplane spin sit-out slam, which looks nicer than it sounds. Onryo bounces back by dropkicking a knee, then hooking on the Onryo clutch for 2 3/4! This is such a near fall that the timekeeper rings the bell. Mammoth retaliates in style, tearing Onryo's head off with a lariat. Kuroda is tagged and stomps the foot, then lariat's Onryo for 2 1/2, GOEMON saving! He drops Onryo with the Technan buster, covering and getting a somewhat anti-climatic win (18:19). Team Kuroda keep attacking, going for Sasuke's mask. "Fight The Dream" hits and it's Hayabusa! But not as you'd expect. Kudo and Shark drag him out, unmasked, and throw him to Kuroda. Gannosuke gets Sasuke's mask and wears it. Hayabusa and Sasuke are left on the ground, Team Kuroda claiming another victory. Hayabusa calls for the blood of his treacherous childhood friend, Gannosuke. They were really pushing Kuroda hard, so gave him a surprisingly unchallenged win at the end. Another good main event, actually as good as Kuroda vs. Kanemura for work itself, but not as exciting and dramatic (and without Kuroda's bladejob from hell). It did a good job of building to Kawasaki and with Gannosuke wrestling, then Hayabusa showing up, gave the "FMW is still alive" vibe and maybe a reason for fans to keep watching. Everyone looked good in the match, but the only two who really tried to ascend beyond their usual level were Mammoth and especially GOEMON, who looked very sharp.
This was a slightly better version of the last PPV, with the only real differences being that the roster wasn't as starved for recognizable wrestlers and the joshi match was significantly better than the last one. The undercard lacked as usual, but the rookies are progressing at a rate that they should be decent to good pretty fast (Yoshito Sasaki and Morita moreso than Makita, who is a question mark still). The semi main event was a joke, in more ways than one. The main event was a typical FMW sprint, which relied more on hard work from good workers than pure excitement. Kawasaki was next, a very important show for FMW, because with Hayabusa and Gannosuke back, if the show bombed, they'd be in huge trouble.
For more of Stuart's thoughts and opinions on puroresu, visit www.puroresufan.com