This post I'm taking a look at some of the best of FMW in 1999. Without further ado, let's begin!
Hayabusa v Tetsuhiro Kuroda (01/05/99): Really exciting match with some really great sequences and spots. This is a textbook example of working a body part and blowing it off though. He hurts Hayabusa's leg the Hayabusa hurts Kuroda's arm and it unfortunately has no bearing on the match's story or outcome. This is not a deal breaker at all. It's actually pretty well worked as Hayabusa keeps it somewhat interesting and they transition out of this portion in a convincing manner. I knew it was going to be like this so I enjoyed the hell out of the final 2/3rds of the match. So find this match, fast forward the arm/leg part if you want or don't worry about it too much. It's basically bringing the excitement down in order to launch it up with the remainder of the match. Personally I'd rather they only have one person work a body part and then move onto the rest of match...Kuroda's figure four segment was unnecessary and is really were I think I have issues...it was pedestrian and part of his schtick so he felt like he needed it in there. Yeah, I think that's it because if you subtract that, I think this is a great match actually!
Mr. Gannosuke vs. Hisakatsu Oya (01/5/99): Long, gruelling chain wrestling in FMW? Yes! This is more like a match between two NJPW guys in the late 80's than an FMW match in Kodo Fuyuki's '99 FMW. And I loved it. Slow paced but always working. Oya is looking to either pop a Gannosuke joint throughout. Gannosuke seems content on wrestling Oya's style, saying "I may be a heel but I'm the second best technician in the company. Watch out!" This is a great traditional puro match between perhaps the only two who could truly do it to this standard in FMW.
Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki vs Tamon Honda & Jun Izumida (AJPW 02/13/99): I had watched and reviewed this as joined-in-progress bout a few,years back but I felt like watching it again. It starts out slow with Honda and Izumida being content on head butting all match. Hayabusa is not down with that and the match starts up in earnest. And man its a slow burn but it gets really good. Most of the exciting offense is from Jinsei and 'busa but Honda isn't a slouch and throws a mean suplex. By the end the crowd is loving it and I am too. Very good match! Worth watching in full.
Honda takes Shinzaki for a ride
Hayabusa & Hisakatsu Oya vs Mr. Gannosuke & Hideki Hosaka (02/27/99): A really, really good keep-it-simple-stupid tag match. I'm even tempted to call this a great match because it did everything so well. The pacing of the match, the moves used, the psychology of targeting Hayabusa neck but not going overboard. It's nice to see Gannosuke especially against Hayabusa. I also enjoyed Oya's Inoki-style (I need to see more Oya!). Great twist here too. This was so much fun!
Masato Tanaka vs. Tetsuhiro Kuroda (02/27/99): Oh yeah what a battle!! This was an outstanding work rate type of match. In all honesty this wouldn't feel out of place in AJPW minus a couple spots. Kuroda and Tanaka take each other to the limit here. The urgency of the fight is what made this a classic to me. It really felt like these guys wanted to win. According to BAHU, "this is the beginning of the push to make Kuroda a main eventer with the company." I highly recommend checking it out!
Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki vs Masato Tanaka & Tetsuhiro Kuroda (03/19/99): This is an amazing tag match! Fought like an AJPW match, they take their time building it up from fundamental wrestling into a spectacular battle between the two most athletic teams in FMW. Tanaka picked an excellent partner in Kuroda. This is definitely top tier FMW tag wrestling and top tier stuff for 1999. Classic shit!
Awesome job camera man...get in the shot of the other camera...
Overall this has been quite exciting stuff! I'm glad I've got much of this on DVD. Just about everything should be available to you online so you should check a few of these out. I've probably got 2 more instalments of FMW '99.
Thanks for reading folks!