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  1. Mr. Chin (ミスター珍) Real name: Yuichi Deguchi Professional names: Yuichi Deguchi, Mr. Chin, Mr. Yoto, Mr. Kamikaze Life: 10/12/1932-6/25/1995 Born: Takarazuka, Hyogo, Japan Career: 1954-1995 Height/Weight: 168cm/83kg (5’6”/183 lbs.) Signature moves: weapon attack Promotions: AJPW Association, Japan Pro Wrestling/JWA, International Wrestling Enterprise, Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling Titles: NWA World Tag Team [CWF] (1x, w/Tojo Yamamoto) Summary: Mr. Chin had one of the most interesting careers in puroresu, a forty-year trajectory from puroresu’s first regional promotion to FMW. Yuichi Deguchi was a judoka working for the Hyogo prefecture’s riot police unit when he joined the International Judo Association in 1950. Often called “Pro Judo” for short, this was an entertainment organization formed by judoka Tatsukuma Ushijima [Wikipedia]. Ushijima had objected to Kodokan’s recent shift in strategy—promoting judo as an amateur sport, in an effort to have it approved for reintegration into the school curriculum—and wanted to build a new path for impoverished judoka to make a living as sports-entertainers. The Association was short-lived, but its provincial tours and promotional strategies have been cited as an influence on the puroresu industry that it preceded. A few years after the Association folded, Deguchi joined the All Japan Pro Wrestling Association. Headed by fellow Pro Judo alum Toshio Yamaguchi, the AJPWA was an Osaka-based regional promotion that had capitalized on the publicity surrounding the nascent Japan Pro Wrestling/JWA, running shows before the latter officially began tours and even beating it to the punch with puroresu’s first television broadcast. The Association could only afford to hire local American servicemen as foreign wrestlers, with the exception of P.Y. Chang. Deguchi teamed up with the future Tojo Yamamoto. According to puroresu journalist Etsuji Koizumi, the AJPWA officially folded when local Yakuza boss Shotaru Matsuyama withdrew from his duties as president and chief sponsor for health reasons. Deguchi was among those who remained with Yamaguchi, holding events in poverty as Yamaguchi Dojo in Toshio’s hometown of Mishima. Deguchi participated in the JWA’s interpromotional Japan Championship Series in October 1956; the following year, Deguchi was one of four Dojo wrestlers hired by the JWA, alongside Michiaki Yoshimura, Kanji Higuchi, and Hideyuki Nagasawa. In keeping with his character when working with Chang, Deguchi worked the gimmick of a heel named Mr. Chin, donning Chinese clothes while sporting a headband with the Japanese flag, on which kamikaze (神風) was written. Chin wore geta which he used as a weapon, and also weaponized mouthwash in an early antecedent of the poison mist tradition. In 1961, Chin was seriously injured by an errant big boot from Giant Baba. He retired for two months but was encouraged to return to wrestling by a nurse whom he would marry. Upon his return, Chin bit Baba’s chest in a revenge match, leaving a scar that remained for the rest of his life. He would leave the JWA in 1964 after a stomach ulcer, and found work as an actor and television personality, but he returned to the business when he joined the IWE in 1970. Chin would go on an expedition to North America, working in Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and even Calgary. It was here that, as Mr. Kamikaze, he reunited with Tojo Yamamoto, and the two won tag gold in a couple territories. However, it was during this period that he developed diabetes. Returning to the IWE in 1976, Deguchi was booked as a foreign heel named Mr. Yoto, which I suspect was done to cut costs. He was inactive for a time, but when Goro Tsurumi and Katzuso Ooiyama formed the Independent Gurentai heel faction in 1980, Deguchi revived the Mr. Chin character to serve as their manager. He would also wrestle for the promotion in its last days. On the IWE’s final show, which took place in a school playground on August 9, 1981, Chin lost to Hiromichi Fuyuki by disqualification. After this, Chin worked abroad in the US, southeast Asia, and even the Middle East until the late 80s. However, this would not be the end of his story. In 1993, the 60-year old Chin debuted for FMW. Despite requiring frequent dialysis at this point, Chin would consistently wrestle in (frequently comedic) undercard matches for about a year. In his final match on July 31, 1994, Chin worked as the spoof gimmick Jinsei Chinzaki against frequent opponent Gosaku Goshogawara, working as Undertaker Gosaku. Chin died of chronic renal failure almost a year later, on June 26, 1995.
  2. Hi, not taking a break from 2013 AJPW but wanted to share something in the meantime. This is a review of ZERO1 07/31/08 & 08/03/08 from Samurai TV. Its the last 2 days of their Fire Festival which is their Champion Carnival or G1Climax. A side project that I'm working on is checking out Zero One, Zero1, Zero- One Max and every iteration of that company. Its not going to be a deep dive since there's no ready made compilation that I'm aware of. In fact there's not a ton out there in general...at least hype or talk save a few early matches or cross over matches. The dvds are out there but you're trusting your instincts on which shows to check out. I decided to go with a selection of mainly Fire Fests since it features the most well-known stars of the company as well as others from outside organizations. From there its a scavenger hunt on different comps and what's available online. Its nice though because it reminds me of my early days of hunting for puro and being happy with what I could find. Let's get going! Shinjiro Otani v Masaaki Mochizuki 7/31/08 - Dynamic all action match with some really fantastic sequences and exchanges. This was a blast to watch. Its been awhile since I've seen some Otani. Slight clipping but very good stuff. Manabu Nakanishi v Takao Omori 7/31/08 - Yeah here we go, two dudes just clubbing the heck outta each other. Manabu throws Omori through a door from the Torture Rack position. Lots a lariats - very good stuff. Slight clipping Kohei Sato v Togi Makabe 7/31/08 - Quick violent stuff and a fantastic finish. Manage is very underrated but he does take some getting used to. My 2010 NJ project CA couple years ago made me a believer. Masato Tanaka v Ryoji Sai 7/31/08 - This was a great match IF you gloss over the excellent leg work Tanaka did. I was on my way to saying Sai put on a Kawada worthy sell job but then he proceeded to blow it off at every chance he got including after a missed double stomp. So I can't say this was anything other than a good match that could have been great. When a guy just sells his ass off and then acts like nothing's wrong that's silly and I don't want silly wrestling. But maybe fast forward those bits and you'll really enjoy the hard hitting action. I don't know maybe I'll rewatch with lowered standards? Masato Tanaka v Takao Omori v Manabu Nakanishi 8/3/08 *3 Way Match* - A really fast paced and effectively built 3 man match to determine who was going to the finals. Nice sequences and spots...yeah I thought this was great stuff for 7+ minutes. -Spoiler alert for the Tournament Finals Matchup - Masato Tanaka v Togi Makabe 8/3/08 *Fire Festival Tournament Finals Match* - Makabe is the violent cheating outsider and Tanaka is the home promotion hero. Can he withstand the punishment the bigger and younger NJ villain can dish out? What about his trusty chain and flunky Honma? If anyone can Dangan can! Seriously, this was some classic shit if you're an ECW/FMW fan from way back like me. Brawling, blood, hard hits, table spots, fake outs, fighting spirit... But this wasn't just a bunch of those things thrown in a blender. No, it was built very well in an old school type of way and that made everything that much better and more meaningful. I loved this battle. ----- This was a very good start. The finals were totally my cup of tea despite not being a traditional macho he-man slugfest like the Strong BJW guys do or a fireworks show. It was a more Southern brawl (with heel cheating) than a late 00's puro match. It had a couple hardcore spots but in the ways of later ECW/FMW plus it was intense and hard hitting as you wanted for 2008. Glad I took a chance on this one! Thanks for reading! I hope that you will enjoy this side project and we'll both find out more about Zero-One.
  3. Hello and welcome to my end of the year Best Match Watched list! Its like your Match of the Year lists but isn't limited to matches that took place this calendar year. Obviously, right? I haven't watched much of anything from 2021. Let's take a look at the first part of this year's viewing. Tiger Mask vs Pete Roberts (09/10/82 NJPW) Masato Tanaka vs Mr. Gannosuke (01/06/98 FMW) Hayabusa vs Masato Tanaka (03/13/98 FMW) Hayabusa vs Mr. Gannosuke (04/30/98 FMW) Tetushiro Kuroda vs Masato Tanaka (06/19/98 FMW) Hisakatsu Oya vs Tetsuhiro Kuroda (12/12/98 FMW) Abdullah Kobayashi vs Daisuke Sekimoto (07/22/05 BJW) Roderick Strong & Jack Evans vs. Jimmy Rave & Shingo (FIP New Year's Classic 2007) Tyler Black vs Roderick Strong (FIP Heatstroke '07 Night 1) Honorable Mention Tag Matches - Gotta show some love to the tag matches that just missed the cut: Tiger Mask & Tatsumi Fujinami vs Black Tiger & Pete Roberts (08/27/82 NJPW) Jado & Gedo vs Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka (05/05/98 FMW) Hayabusa &Tanaka vs W*ing Kanemura & Kodo Fuyuki (05/27/98 FMW) BxB Hulk and Yamato vs Roderick Strong and Jay Briscoe (FIP Third Year Anniversary) ----- And let's see what the second half of 2021 had for us: Roderick Strong vs Erick Stevens (Dangerous Intentions 2008 FIP) Erick Stevens vs Go Shiozaki (Heatstroke 2008 FIP) AJ Styles vs Roderick Strong vs Kyle O'Reilly (Aftershock Hopkins 2015 ROH) Go Shiozaki vs Roderick Strong (Fallout 2008 FIP) CM Punk vs AJ Styles (Tradition Continues 2003 ROH) Jun Kasai, Men's Teioh, Y. Miyamoto & Jaki Numazawa vs Abby Kobayashi, T. Sasaki, MASADA, Shadow WX (01/02/07 BJW) AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe vs Christopher Daniels (Turning Point 11/09 TNA) Tiger Mask vs Gran Hamada (02/03/83 NJPW) Strong BJW vs Suwama & Takumi Soya (03/20/12 AJPW) Tiger Mask vs Kuniaki Kobayashi (06/02/83 NJPW) Tiger Mask vs Kuniaki Kobayashi (07/14/83 NJPW) Jay Lethal vs Kenny King (Global Wars Toronto 2018 ROH) -Honorable Mentions: Genichiro Tenryu vs Ashura Hara (04/12/86 AJPW) Sting vs Kurt Angle (Empty Arena Match Impact 2009 TNA) Desmond Wolfe vs Kurt Angle (Turning Point 11/09 TNA) -Re-watch honorable mentions: These don't count towards my BMW but I give high recommendations. Eddie Edwards vs Roderick Strong (Battle of Los Angeles 2011 PWG) Classic match Davey Richards vs Roderick Strong (Titannica 2010 PWG) Classic match Tiger Mask vs Dynamite Kid (04/21/83 NJPW) Classic match -Wrestler of the Year - Wrestler of the year is between Roderick Strong, Hayabusa, AJ Styles and Tiger Mask. AJ and Hayabusa had some really awesome battles the first half of the year. Styles just shined in everything I saw him in. Tiger and Roddy were ubiquitous in 2021 though. Strong was the ace of FIP and although I won't count his PWG matches but he killed it there. But you might have guessed, Tiger Mask is the wrestler of the year. Tiger Sayama had fantastic matches in a variety of styles and with a variety of opponents. Beyond that he was so damn innovative and had battles that looked & felt 10 and even 20 years ahead of their time. -Feud of the Year- Hayabusa/FMW vs Team No Respect had some really great encounters but fizzles out with the multi man matches. Erick Stevens vs the world in FIP was pretty damn compelling stuff and he had some of FIP's best singles bouts in the process. Homicide vs Corino was only a couple matches but was some of the most intense stuff of the year. Kuniaki Kobayashi vs Tiger Mask was the best feud though. But the match quality and intensity of each match really elevated it above all else. -Match of the Year - In all honesty, its tough for me to pick anything that rose above the rest. Everything listed was fantastic but I really had to go through my notes and blog posts to remind myself what was an all-time classic match. I think I'm going back to the first half of the year. Hayabusa vs Masato Tanaka (03/13/98 FMW), Hayabusa vs Mr. Gannosuke (04/30/98 FMW), and Daisuke Sekimoto vs Abdullah Kobayashi (07/22/05 BJW) are my single match picks. Sekimoto vs Abby Jr. is very stylistically similar to the FMW bouts. The best tag match is the Sekimoto & Okabayashi vs Suwama & T. Soya from All Japan 2012. But I really recommend Roddy & Jack Evans vs Jimmy Rave (RIP) & Shingo in FIP as well. All that said the best match watched of 2021 was Hayabusa vs Mr. Gannosuke (04/30/98 FMW) due to the historical depth and the "deep" selling by Gannosuke. The wrestlers ' past, the stakes, the story of the match itself. It is comparable to a Misawa vs Kawada classic while still being FMW. That's a perfect combination for me. And one that I didn't know existed. If I was actively following FMW in 1998 and saw this when I was 14, I would have been flipping out! -Closing Remarks - I'll be frank: Check out the 6 disc Tiger Mask DVD set. Check out some of the FIP DVDs before they are gone. I really feel like those are going to be lost to time just for the mere fact that other FIP reviews are so hard to find online. And I'm not seeing much variety of DVDs on eBay. The BJW matches are also nearly lost media in my view. They just haven't gotten the hype that AJ, NOAH & especially NJPW have gotten. All of the above are for sale at Highspots. Not shilling here but trying to get you pointed in the right direction if you're wondering. Of course, check out what you can online as well. My goal for the blog is to provide some kind of record of wrestling soon to be forgotten. Its imperfect and biased but hopefully it encourages people to look to the past, give something a chance or even a second look. Thanks so much for reading! I hope that I've given you some enjoyment as well as some inspiration. Keep exploring! Stay safe folks and see you in 2022
  4. Hello again! This covering is episodes 108 & 109 of BJW Deathmatch Wars TV show. Its from 01/02/2007 and in Korakuen Hall so we're looking at something that's at the very least going to be fun. GENTARO & Mammoth Sasaki vs. Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto - The first team I know a little bit from FMW and the second team I know from watching clipped matches on BJW's YouTube channel. They are pretty good and Miyamoto is a great junior wrestler who reminds me of Hayabusa in his toughness, his agility and charisma. Anyhow this is a really good match with old vs young. Miyamoto makes an impression on the main eventers and they invited him to join them as they're in need of a 4th partner. Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match: Jun Kasai/MENs Teioh/Yuko Miyamoto/Naoki Numazawa vs. Abdullah Kobayashi/Masada/Takashi Sasaki/Shadow WX - So that leads into this match, duh! Ha But for real, this was a sick match! I mean like ill ya know. There was action all over the place early on. Then things settled down in and around the ring but, there were still plenty of fantastic encounters/pairings. As with many multi-man matches, weaknesses were hidden and strengths were on display. Aside from that Yuko Miyamoto was seen as the junior baby who didn't belong in this war but, like Hayabusa he fought bravely and endured. He made his team believe that the made the right decision in selecting him. I'm not going to give away any of the memorable spots other than Masada dragging Miyamoto around the broken glass by his ankles. That was sick! Like F'd up! Overall this was helluva spectacle and great death match. Maybe a classic as it fed off the previous match, kept the fight interest and interesting throughout and the K-hall fans were on fire! We're on to the 2nd show Daikokubo Benkei/MIYAWAKI/Yuichi Taniguchi vs. Kazu Imai/Tomomitsu Matsunaga/Shinobu - Opening comedy type match. I skipped around in this bout. Mad Man Pondo & NOSAWA vs. Coke & Sam Hain - I started to watch but as Jim Cornette would say this was an "outlaw mud show." In all fairness, Jimmy would hate EVERYTHING on this show. Kintaro Kanemura/Tetsuhiro Kuroda/Onryo vs Hiroyuki Kondo/Yoshihito Sasaki/Daisuke Sekimoto - Unfortunately we only get 15 minutes of a 30 minute match but, what was shown was a blast! This is a real treat with FMW vs BJW for me. I believe the FMW team is reppin' Apache wrestling but its a real joy to see two generations of hardcore/death match/Indie wrestlers going head to head. Dekimoto and Sasaki as a tag team are something that I need to see more of. Torture Rack - German suplex combo is probably my new favorite tag move! Really, really good DVD that's still available on Highspots for $10. Not trying to give free ad space but I want to let you know where you can actually get your mitts on this stuff! Certainly worth the cash and maybe wait for a Xmas sale to get it for less. No one really talked about how good BJW was back then... if you can't get into the occasional light tube deathmatch I understand. I felt that way for awhile but its really no worse than the bread and butter thumb tack and barbwire matches of my youth
  5. Here we are at the half way point of 2021...wait what!? Really? Where the heck has the time gone? Maybe 2020 just seemed to be forever. Anyway, here's my top picks for 2021 so far: Tiger Mask vs Pete Roberts (09/10/82 NJPW) Masato Tanaka vs Mr. Gannosuke (01/06/98 FMW) Hayabusa vs Masato Tanaka (03/13/98 FMW) Hayabusa vs Mr. Gannosuke (04/30/98 FMW) Tetushiro Kuroda vs Masato Tanaka (06/19/98 FMW) Hisakatsu Oya vs Tetsuhiro Kuroda (12/12/98 FMW) Abdullah Kobayashi vs Daisuke Sekimoto (07/22/05 BJW) Roderick Strong & Jack Evans vs. Jimmy Rave & Shingo (FIP New Year's Classic 2007) Tyler Black vs Roderick Strong FIP Heatstroke '07 Night 1) Honorable Mention Tag Matches - Gotta show some love to the tag matches that just missed the cut: Tiger Mask & Tatsumi Fujinami vs Black Tiger & Pete Roberts (08/27/82 NJPW) Jado & Gedo vs Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka (05/05/98 FMW) Hayabusa &Tanaka vs W*ing Kanemura & Kodo Fuyuki (05/27/98 FMW) BxB Hulk and Yamato vs Roderick Strong and Jay Briscoe (FIP Third Year Anniversary) Thanks for reading and stay safe folks!
  6. So here we are...the end of 1998 for FMW. Let's see if the year ends as well as it started. Its the 12/13/98 show and the Over the Top Tournament. Mr. Gannosuke vs W*ing Kanemura - A great match! I saw this in full and man Gannosuke is so very underrated. Kanemura too...this story has Gannosuke and Kanemura's friendship and team success threatened as Gannosuke wants nothing to do with Team No Respect and is a dark monk like early Jinsei Shinzaki. Its exactly what you want...blood, table violence, brutal finish - I love it! Hayabusa vs Oya - I own this in a clipped version but, I found the full version. It actually wasn't clipped more than like a minute...weird. Anyway, this was a very good compressed match with all killer wrestling. Hayabusa working with a fit & smart opponent like Oya is just easy to love stuff. FMW is looking a lot better than the last couple months. -spoilers - Gannosuke vs Bad Boy Hido - Super fast but effective match with both guys going for the quick win. Fun stuff. Hisakatsu Oya vs Tetsuhiro Kuroda - Wow...just wow this is a classic match to me. We have Kuroda who's essentially the FMW Kojima vs Hisakatsu Oya who is the in house technician (who throws a mean suplex). So Kuroda does his thing as the fire plug but man...Oya is amazing here. Perhaps I'm not as familiar as I should be but there is a lot to like here. There are a couple transitions from one hold into another that it was really masterful. All that can still lose a match when a guy who throws lariat-o's, right? But even Kuroda had nuance by attacking Oya's leg...and actually sticking with it and when he finally hit his Raven drop toe hold it fed into Oya's weakened knee. He just crumbled. Oya then knew that to overcome Kuroda he would need to break his arm or deliver neck death. As this was the main event, it got the time to build and deliver. Yeah, this show was a return to form for 1998. I was dragging my feet on this show for a variety of reasons but am so glad I watched it. I fitting entry for blog post #200!!! Thanks for your patience and I appreciate all of you who've been reading. It means a whole lot to me. Stay safe folks!
  7. Sorry for the delay! Let's get back to 1998 in the FMW promotion in Japan. Hisakatsu Oya vs Kodo Fuyuki (10/06): This was a more traditional match with Fuyuki trying to get the better of Oya at his own game. A good match especially if you have the patience for Inoki type stuff. W*ing Kanemura vs Tetsuhiro Kuroda (10/06): I loved Kanemura's 'dance routine ' to The Offspring. This got really good when Kuroda got his comeback. It was real cat & mouse stuff. This is #90 on BAHU's list. That seems fair to me. Koji Nakagawa vs Hayabusa (10/06): I jumped ahead in this because Nakagawa isn't beating Hayabusa but I want to see what's up. And this ain't bad! Nakagawa is going at Hayabusa with a fork and this is something different. T. Kuroda vs Mr. Gannosuke (11/20): Gannosuke is back! The version I saw was clipped but this was good. I feel like the Kanemura one was better. Hayabusa vs Kodo Fuyuki (11/20): I was going to go into Fuyuki's role in FMW and how he changed the direction of FMW away from the deathmatches and really even the traditional style of early 1998. He changed the style to Entertainment style which was what WCW & WWF were doing. You can see that the mat has changed and there's fancy U.S. style entrances now. But I'll leave it there but let's say the outcome of the match is indicative. This was a very good title match. Hayabusa was was really going after Fuyuki's lariat arm & early on Fuyuki was keeping 'busa grounded. Bird man was doing what he could with fat Fuyuki so not everything worked like it would have with someone more agile. Again it was very good and even great at times. But could have been better and well the outcome changed the direction of the company (kayfabe) but also was an indicator of things to come. I've been kinda bummed out about this later stuff because the year started out on a real high note. I mean, it was AJPW level classic stuff but as guys like Tanaka and Gannosuke were out of the picture, the matches suffered. There's one more installment and will cover 1998 FMW Year End Sensation which is a tournament. Let's hope it's good! Thanks for reading and stay safe!
  8. So AEW did their barbwire explosion match and it was a bust. I kinda saw that one coming. If you've seen any recent Onita explosion stuff its not really the same quality of boom-boom explosions from the 90's. Its more sparkles on speed than scary !BANG! type stuff. I also heard that they didn't time the match properly and the had to stall for 4 minutes for the finale. That sounds worse than the big explosion not working. But for real...it was not going to be early 90's FMW explosion stuff...people had to know that in 2021. Those ones looked damn near illegal...even for Japan. That's my G. Badger hot take that no one asked for Anyhow lets get on to the Frontier Martial Arts wrestling! We go to May of 1998. Jado & Gedo vs Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka (05/05): This was the match you expected from all four guys. It was all action with Gedo & Jado being the heels to the max and our heros have to overcome their cheating ways. It feature a bunch of great exchanges and really would be on my Top 100 FMW list. It was a ton of fun. A great match to me! Masato Tanaka vs Hayabusa (05/19): Bahu's top singles match of FMW so I had high expectations. But man, I was disappointed. It was not as good as their 03/13 classic. It wanted to be consciously epic by having a load of false finishes but, it just does not work in 2021. I don't think it works in 1998 to be honest because the lay out was all wrong. It starts with a wonderful opening exchange then gets to the wrestling to injure a limb type stuff but, that goes nowhere because it leads right to the false finish portion. This is the MIDDLE of the match mind you because then we get to the strike exchange and 2-3 move sequences. These things are the logical escalation when mat wrestling/joint locks aren't working. A guy gets angry and starts throwing bones. The short sequences work because they have enough energy/stamina to still counter/parry/reverse. This does NOT make sense after getting dropped on your head a half doesn't times. Maybe one or two strike exchanges that are out of desperation OR going for a knockout blow. But that should be the finish. Even if they kept the layout, it could have been shaved down to 20 minutes (five minutes from the middle) and it would have been very good to great. It was good on the things mentioned above and maybe you would like it more than me so, I can't trash it. But, their match from earlier in the year is the classic to me. Hayabusa/Tanaka vs W*ing Kanemura & Kodo Fuyuki (05/27): Thank goodness another great all action tag match with a tried and true structure to cleanse my palette. This is sort of the big stakes version of the Jado & Gedo match. It was a near classic to me as FMW seemed to have their tag matches down like 88-90 AJPW...I would give Fuyuki some credit there as he was right in the thick of many of those bouts. Ricky Fuji vs Gedo (05/27): Another face/heel match but, this was not as crazy or anything. Fuji is a midcard star so this pretty much what you get. Tetushiro Kuroda vs Masato Tanaka (06/19): This was like 95-96 Kobashi vs Misawa in that it pits lariat against elbow. Plus they laid a good foundation with arm work then escalated in the fast paced action with counters, reversals, and improvisations. Although Kuroda & Tanaka have about the same experience, Kuroda is the up and comer at this point so, again the Kobashi/Misawa analogy works to some extent. That being said, these two's chemistry is just as good as Hayabusa/Tanaka IMO. This was Classic stuff. Hayabusa, Daisuke Ikeda, H. Oya & Ricky Fuji vs Fuyuki, Nakagawa, Kanemura & Gedo (06/19): Multi-man matches are usually pretty good and this is no different. At the very least, you get a little bit of everything here and that's pretty much the best way I can sum up this bout. It went on after the above singles match since it was Team No Respect vs Team FMW. Tetsuhiro Kuroda vs Hideki Hosaka (07/10): Dull-ish start as Hosaka wanted to work the arm and Kuroda wasn't having that. After that though things got entertaining and they traded moves and it was good opening match and was only 10 minutes. W*ing Kanemura vs The Gladiator (Mike Awesome) (07/10): Of all of the matches I've seen so far, this one is most like a "FMW match." It is very reliant upon the table & chair spots and other highspots as opposed to the more NJ Jrs./AJPW athletic matches we've seen. As a Mike Awesome fan, I'm going to say this is because of Mike Awesome (RIP). This is what he does and this is what you're getting in a bout with him especially a singles bout with a bigger name opponent like W*ING. His 6 man and tag matches are more dynamic and brawling but, in these big encounters you'd better believe his opponent is getting bombed through a table to the floor. That all said, this is no problem to me! I'm game for all types of wrestling and if you're going to do that kind of match then these two are some of the best at this time. Pretty good match and much better than their 12/11/96 match IMO. Hayabusa, Daisuke Ikeda, H. Oya & Ricky Fuji vs Fuyuki, Nakagawa, Jado & Gedo (Elimination Match) (07/10): This was the fancier and longer verion of the 06/19 match. It was a good match but honestly nothing tremendously distinguishable from that match. I didn't keep notes on this one so, that perhaps is my fault for having these blur together. I tend to enjoy elimination bouts so, I would say check it out. Its not some 80's NJPW level stuff but, its fun and now that I remember it - it has a surprising finish. This was not a mind meltingly awesome of an installment as FMW '98 #1 but, if you're a Masato Tanaka fan then, you really ought to check the matches out. The two great tag matches with Hayabusa and the classic with Kuroda are totally worth your time. Then you have an old school spot match with Kanemura & Awesome that will still impress you. Search Bahu FMW and you will find a wealth of FMW stuff online. Thanks for reading! Sorry for any delay too - I've been watching odds &ends stuff and pulled my old copy of Fire Pro Returns out. I've been messing around with playing my edits of FMW and BJW guys Keep staying safe!
  9. Glad to be back watching FMW I think it is one of those promotions that might get lost in the sands of time. So, I'm always eager to bring it back to the surface in my little way. Just for reference:I'm using BAHU's best of 1998 matches and the FMW commercial tape Story of F vol. 3 - Best Bouts as my guide here. Do see my earlier posts using the FMW tags or just go back a couple pages for the big list of matches. If there's anything else I come across, I'm going to include that too. Honestly, I just want a reason to get back watching Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling! Masato Tanaka vs Mr. Gannosuke (01/06) - This was a fast paced and intense battle between foes. Gannosuke stabbing Tanaka was sickening (and great)! Everything looked especially vicious in this match - lariats, chair shots, DDTs, you name it. Some might find fault with prolonged or deep selling but, I think it can be explained away by two guys really wanting to murderize each other. I think everything show really reflects that psychology. This was a classic match to me. I was kinda on that fence like ****1/4+ area but, intensity and pace really go along way for me. I'm not one to have to tick off the "how did long did he sell it" when watching wrestling anymore. Its nice to see long term selling and really can elevate a match but, isn't necessary. That is something to keep in mind when going through all of these FMW matches actually. Hayabusa vs Masato Tanaka (03/13) - This match is notable as it takes place in the black ZEN FMW ring which if I understand it all was Onita's stable and freelance group/promotion. I'm thinking like Kensuke Office/Diamond Ring was to NOAH. This is also notable as there were zero weapons or tables used. This was a fantastic clean wrestling match of the company's top stars. It easily could have taken place in an NJ or AJ ring and you would not have known the difference. This was 30 minutes of each guy giving it their all whether it be strikes, joint locks, or slams. I would have liked to see the arm/leg work factor into the finish or be given some more attention later but, like above I'm not going to gripe. They didn't blow it off - it just wasn't the story they were telling. It was very reminiscent of later NJPW Jrs. in that regard but also going for longer bouts like AJPW was doing. So, in this "pure" FMW match they weren't going for one or the other but, simply showing that they could do that too. Like, "we can take the barbwire, explosions, chair shots BUT can also wrestle long well executed bouts. We're not Garbage Wrestling." I think this is sort of the same idea behind BJW Strong Style. I thought this was another classic match -great action, great execution, great intensity...it was fantastic. Jinsei Shinzaki vs Mr. Gannosuke (04/21) - Jinsei is getting crafty against his nemesis by waiting to jump Gannouske as he exits the dressing room. It backfires as W*ING Kanemura is there for back-up and turns into a 2 on 1. Kanemura heads to the back after awhile since it's only a matter of time before Mister finished the Monk off. Or is it? Jinsei has to be legit hurt or dazed after the beating he took so, his fight to come back feels very real. I mean he's bleeding from the back of his head! Every bit of offense he can pull to slow down Gannosuke feels meaningful. Maybe I'm over-rating this but, it felt like another classic match. Much more on the story being told than just the action/intensity aspect. This was a top tier Jinsei singles match. You don't need to know too much about their past matches - just watch how Gannosuke mocks the praying powerbomb *all of the time* and you can understand why Shinzaki want to keep fighting. Atsushi Onita vs Kodo Fuyuki (04/30) - Battle of the FMW leaders. This is a lumberjack match but, I don't recall that playing a big part in this. It was a good match but, I didn't think it was great. I appreciate Fuyuki as a wrestler much more than Onita. This is especially true following him from AJPW to SWS then WAR. He may not have been clocking classics like his contemporaries Misawa & Kawada but, the man put on great matches in that late 80's Tenryu vibe. W*ING Kanemura vs Jinsei Shinzaki (04/30) Revenge on the monk perhaps? Team No Respect in full effect - lewd hand gestures & spitting on Jinsei for instance. They even had their own rudo referee! Anyhow, this is a 12 minute 3 act match capped off by a cool finish. There may be more nuances that I'm missing to make this a great match or a classic but, its quick, fun wrestling. Fans of either guy would be glad to check this out! Hayabusa vs Mr. Gannosuke (04/30) - Damn! What a match! Hayabusa was hitting everything on point but, what made this something special was Gannosuke's Kawada-level selling of the leg. He had to be legitimately hurt, right? But he wasn't out of the fight. He was dodging and blocking moves and went for the patented Gannosuke Clutch early on to try and wrap things up. He was more crafty than normal due to this injury. That's what really makes me appreciate Gannosuke more than I already do. He had the wherewithal to incorporate this pain/limitation into the match rather than hide it. Any complaints of sloppiness or botching that others may mention (there's one particular superplex type move) I think are unfounded. THIS is an instance of deep selling to where even IF it was a screw up, it appeared organic and natural with the ebb & flow of the match. The whole point of selling is to get across the point that the two or more wrestlers are engaged in a legitimate athletic competition which has legitimate consequences. And the point of doing that is to get the audience invested and engaged in what they're watching and they'll want to see more (and spend more). Well, this match did all of that perfectly. And to go back to my point about deep selling elevating a match - this is a prime example. That along with the excitement, the history of the competitors makes this is an all time classic FMW bout. Man, I hope you get a chance to check these matches out. I'm planning on two more installments of FMW 1998 to do alongside my FIP Fridays just in case you're wondering. Thank you as always for reading! I really appreciate it!
  10. Here's 1997 til 2000. 2001 kinda looks so-so and 2002 (the last year that FMW was open) didn't make the list. 1997 - (8 matches in the top 50) M. Kudo vs M. Ozaki 04/18 - #9 Onita, Kanemura & Hido vs Tanaka, Nakagawa & Kuroda 05/25 Tanaka vs Kanemura - 08/02 Hayabusa & Shinzaki vs Mr. Gannosuke & H. Oya 08/02 Gladiator, Gannosuke & H. Oya vs Hayabusa, Tanaka & Nakagawa 08/31 Hayabusa & Shinzaki vs Kenta Kobashi & Manukea Mossman 09/28 (handheld) - #5 Gladiator vs Tanaka 09/28 - #26 Hayabusa, Shinzaki, Tanaka & Nakagawa vs Kanemura, Kuroda, Hosaka & Hido 10/21 Kanemura & Gannosuke vs Hayabusa & Tanaka 11/28 - #34 Hayabusa vs H. Oya 12/05 - #45 Tanaka vs Kuroda 12/05 Hayabusa & Shinzaki vs Kanemura & Gannosuke 12/19 - #18 Onita vs Tanaka 12/19 - #36 Hayabusa, Shinzaki & Tanaka vs Onita, Gannosuke & Kanemura 12/22 - #3 1998 (8 matches in the top 50: 6 in the top 25) Tanaka vs Gannosuke 01/06 - #19 Hayabusa vs Tanaka 03/13 - #22 Shinzaki vs Gannosuke 04/21 - #12 Hayabusa vs Gannosuke 04/30 - #11 Kanemura vs Shinzaki 04/30 - #41 Onita vs K. Fuyuki 04/30 Hayabusa vs Tanaka 05/19 - #2 Fuyuki & Kanemura vs Tanaka & Hayabusa 05/27 Tanaka vs Kuroda 06/19 Hayabusa, Daisuke Ikeda, Oya, R. Fuji vs Fuyuki, Nakagawa, Kanemura & Gedo 06/19 Kanemura vs Kuroda 10/06 The Gladiator v Yukihiro Kanemura 7/10 Hayabusa vs Fuyuki 11/20 - #13 Gannosuke vs Kuroda 11/20 Hayabusa vs H. Oya 12/13 - #40 H. Oya vs Kuroda 12/13 1999 - (9 matches in the top 50) Hayabusa vs Kuroda 01/05 Tanaka vs H. Oya 01/05 Tanaka vs Kuroda 02/27 - #35 Hayabusa & Shinzaki vs Tanaka & Kuroda 03/19 - #16 Tanaka & Kuroda vs Hayabusa & Fuyuki 03/29 - #49 Gannosuke, Oya, Kanemura, Hosaka & Hido vs Ishikawa, Ikeda, Yone, Hijikata & Usuda 05/05 - #14 Hayabusa & Shinzaki vs Tanaka & Kuroda 05/05 - #25 Gannosuke, Kanemura & Hido vs Hayabusa, Tanaka & Kuroda 06/15 Tanaka vs Gannosuke 08/20 - #6 Hayabusa vs Gannosuke 08/25 Tanaka vs Kanemura 08/25 Fuyuki vs Tanaka 11/23 - #33 H vs Gannosuke 11/23 - #39 H & Gannosuke vs Kuroda & Oya 12/11 H & Gannosuke vs Tanaka & Kuroda 12/12 - #37 2000 - (3 matches in the top 50) Tanaka vs Kuroda 01/05 - #28 H vs Kyoko Inoue 03/27 Hayabusa vs Tanaka 05/05 - #32 Ryuji Yamakawa vs Kanemura 05/05 H vs Kuroda vs Gannosuke 05/28 Hayabusa vs Fuyuki 09/21 Fuyuki vs Hayabusa 09/26 - #7 2001 The only in the top 50 is Hayabusa vs Kanemura 08/11 (#10 out of 100). Just out of the top 50 is Kuroda, Kanemura, Gannosuke & Mammoth Sasaki vs Tenryu, Fuyuki, Arashi & Kitahara 12/09 at #51. FMW vs WAR in an 8 man tag sounds pretty great.
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