I'm very excited to be watching more FMW after a long time away (Kudo stuff excluded!). I'm not limiting myself to just FMW but am including interesting stuff from ECW and AJPW as well. I'm going off my DVDs so there's a bunch of pics. They're grainy but you get that old school VHS video quality vibe like you're watching these in '98. Hope you dig 'em. Let's jump on in!
Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki vs Yukihiro Kanemura & Hido (01/06/98): Oh yeah, this was just a blast! You kinda get everything you want here in one 14 minute match. It's like a Dean Malenko Nitro match from like '96 It is just 4 pros having a very good wrestling match. It tells a little story (or continues one), has some drama with the heels hitting nut shots, using chairs and making blind tags, you've got your baby faces shining with their cool moves, its a good start!
Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka & Hisakatsu Oya vs. Mr. Gannosuke & Yukihiro Kanemura & Hido (01/16/98) highlights only but this looked like a lot of fun.
Two guys going to a Bruce Springsteen concert in 1986 and a guy in his pajamas
Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka vs. Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Koji Nakagawa (02/06/98) highlights but looked cool. I'm not sure Nakagawa had a snowball's chance at this point. I know later when he betrayed FMW, he got a pin over 'busa.
Hayabusa vs. Jado (03/16/98) : Good match, we got Hayabusa doing his big moves, Jado and his pals doing some heeling, and a really sick power bomb from the apron through a table. I mean no one sold anything but was Hayabusa's 2nd match of the night so it's all good.
Hayabusa vs. The Gladiator (Mike Awesome) (03/17/98): I wouldn't have laid it out this way but this was a very good battle between the two most flashy wrestlers. It did not disappoint one bit. There were some really great moments here and nice surprises. Really high impact stuff throughout. I thought the selling was pretty good as well. Nothing fantastic but both guys really sold the pain and struggle they were going through in this big stakes match. I think if you want to see a Gladiator vs Hayabusa match this is an excellent one to go with.
Taste the Radness
Hayabusa, Giant Baba & Kentaro Shiga vs Jinsei Shinzaki, Jun Izumida & Giant Kimala (AJPW 05/01/98): Tokyo Dome match, in the ring with Giant Baba, that ain't too shabby! We get a couple clips here in my version (probably a TV edition) but I think a good portion of the match is shown. This thing is FUN. Baba vs Jinsei is great, Hayabusa is on point, Izumida is channeling Shinzaki and Kimala, and Kimala is a blast. So much fun, the wrestling is really good, the fans are loving Hayabusa & Jinsei... yeah this is one of those random 6 mans that you want to see
Mike Awesome & Justin Credible vs Masato Tanaka & Jerry Lynn (ECW Hardcore TV 07/18/98): This is a weird pairing that I don't know if there's any kayfabe reason. I guess it makes Awesome a heel for willing to team with the slimy Credible. And anybody who wanted to think Japanese=Bad guy would be discouraged by Tanaka being with the New F'n Show. All that said, this is a really good all action tag match. Of course Tanaka vs Awesome is the big attraction (this was their first appearance at the ECW Arena) but Credible did a nice job chicken-shitting with Tanaka that they told a really fun story. Jerry Lynn and Awesome worked well together but there was not much there beyond doing their athletic stuff...no little story or anything. Awesome and Tanaka had a match at the Hammerstein before this I believe but, I think this was a truer introduction to ECW fans than that singles match. This definitely could have taken place in an FMW ring. Bonus: They take this match on tour for a few nights in a row and I might like the Ft. Lauderdale fan cam 07/24/98 better. It felt like the ironed out some kinks, incorporated Jason & Chastity at ring side and gelled.
Justin and the ref argue over how many brain cells he has left.
Mike Awesome vs Masato Tanaka (ECW Heatwave '98 08/02/98): They were a little nervous at the very beginning but once they got in the groove, they did not let up! The early portion saw a back and forth match but eventually Mike got the upper hand and starting dropping bombs and crushing Tanaka's skull with chair shots. Dangan does not stay down though! There's a great twist here and an excellent finish. It's a great match. From what I can tell, they don't face each other in singles competition on TV or PPV in the States until the next summer. Wow! What a tease! When they return in '99 is when everyone remembers them in ECW but this stuff in '98 is excellent. Tanaka in '98 is fantastic and Awesome is on a bit of a tear too. This is worlds better than the Hayabusa/Shinzaki vs RVD/Sabu match from Heatwave '98 (that's a fun but disjointed type of match).
Hayabusa v Rey Bucanero, Jr. (Battlarts 11/23/98): This is kind of a fun squash match. I think Rey does like 1 or 2 cool moves. It's all Hayabusa doing signature moves.
Hayabusa v Hisakatsu Oya (FMW 12/13/98): I think there was a period where they were friendly and not rivals. Well that time is over! We get a clipped match but it's not a hyper clip/only big moves type deal. We actually get a good portion of the match and from what is shown this looks pretty good. I have this on two different compilations and I actually watched it twice in a row to double check that they were the same. And it was super fun both times
This has been a blast to watch! I'm going to keep going with stuff from 1999. Also very glad to be chipping away at my mountain of un-watched DVDs.
I'm sure some of these are online so go check a few out! Thanks for reading everyone!