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Found 13 results

  1. This is the second part in my light exploration into the final months of FMW 1996. This is a very junior heavy section with my review covering a commercial tape focusing on November & Decemeber. W*ing Kanemura vs TAKA Michinoku (12/10): 11 minute good match and a fantastic example of prime era TAKA. The dude was throwing dropkicks from every angle and off everything. And of course its FMW so, you get chairs! The Gladiator vs W*ing Kanemura (12/11, BAHU #43): Oh man this is an odd match but, has gotten some praise over the years. The oddness comes from Gladiator getting his leg stuck in the ropes during a botched dive. That would totally suck BUT he & W*ing play it off so well that you very nearly believe it was on purpose. It does go on a minute too long and it does become obvious there's no way they wanted this portion to last THIS long. Still! Awesome/Gladiator sells the heck out of it (legit leg injury prior so, its some of his better/best selling) and Kanemura focuses on the busted wheel trying to put the dominant gaijin away. So, it makes sense! Of course we get "awesome" offense from Gladiator and the never say die W*ing. The end result is a very good match and the finishing parts are so strong that you almost forget about the rope/leg stuff. Fast forward the rope bits and you'll have a blast. Megumi Kudo vs Shinobu Kandori (12/11): Best match of the tape thus far. Kandori submission attempts and Kudome heart and head drops makes this a good match just on paper. Here they throw in all kinds of teases & fake-outs. It made for a really exciting Joshi match (which I haven't seen in ages). Plus their timing and chemistry were fantastic. I would have to say this fits right alongside AJW stuff from '96 and probably better than many of the overlong bouts that Toyota had that year. Hayabusa vs TAKA Michinoku (11/16, BAHU #31): The first Hayabusa match of the tape and its a doozy! He and TAKA have an NJPW Jr. style action match that shows the little promotions can stack up against the big boys. Dives, counters, springboard moves, and big signature offense - it wasn't a classic but, dang! It was a great match. Right up there with the Joshi match. Great Sasuke vs Hayabusa (12/11): If the TAKA match was the warm-up then, this should be amazing! It certainly starts off that way but, the match becomes "my turn-your turn" in taking offense with no true sense of struggle. The bout was a lot of big moves while I would have preferred them trading kicks, running the ropes, or scrambling on the mat. It was a good match and maybe you'll get more out of it than me. This was a pretty good tape. All the matches above BAHU has put in his top 100 matches of FMW history. Clearly the Kudome/Kandori and TAKA/Hayabusa bouts were the best but, the Gladiator/W*ing bout is worth watching too...especially if you find a file or video for the whole commercial tape like I did. Those 3 are totally worth the time if you're curious or needing an FMW/ECW style fix this fall Thanks for reading!
  2. This had a slow beginning and Team FMW simply wasn't very interesting, and outside of her big fat plancha Toyoda still isn't. Other than that she contributes very little to this. I should be a fan of a team slowing the pace of a joshi match down, as they did here, but it didn't really work. This turns into a good to very good match, but it strikes me as a Toyota/Yamada carryjob--it's amazing how Toyota has been carrying herself as a grizzled veteran in these bouts, having a real knack for timing and building up to the big spots. The whole layout really seems to be dictated by the AJW team. On top of that Toyota decides she's going to murder herself getting the FMW ladies over, most notably including a HOLY SHIT backflip off a Combat lariat. Just an array of one sick bump after the other before she starts her comeback, leading to a fun stretch run with Kudo finally deciding to pull her weight. We get an incredibly clever finish--Combat saves Kudo from one Japanese ocean cyclone suplex, so Yamada stands in front when Toyota goes for a second attempt and then ducks away when Combat tries for a second save, suckering her into clobbering her partner. Toyota then hits the JOCS cleanly for the win. Even in a match with probably one too many miscommunication spots down the stretch, that stood out. The result of this, despite the loss, was sort of a coming-out party for the FMW ladies. But it came off more like a selfless performance from the AJW team to get them over, rather than Combat & Kudo doing a ton to get themselves over. This was a good match but an overall fantastic performance from Toyota & Yamada, saving this from a dull start.
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