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[1996-05-05-FMW-7th Anniversary Show] Megumi Kudo vs Combat Toyoda (No Rope Explosive Barbed Wire Death)

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Brilliant match! If I was doing a comp of my favorite all-time matches, this would probably be on it. I'll be surprised if this isn't the best women's match of the year, but this also might end up being the best gimmick match of the year. FMW is a lot more thoughtful than you'd think. It's gimmicky, but the matches tend to have really good psychology and build to the crazy moments. I love all the long, drawn out selling after big moves or events.

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I should also add that the post-match selling and drama is possibly better than the match itself. I'm a bit conflicted over watching something this borderline barbaric knowing where wrestling is in 2010 and being entertained by it.

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All-time classic. The first woman's explosion match ends up as the best one ever. On the other hand, Toyoda's final match ends up as her best. There's also a couple of pretty sick headdrops in this.

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Great match but this was tough to watch. Both women were great and the spots meant something. Best thing though was the aftermath with Onita doing a oscar nominated performances. Seriously, he might be the best actor in wrestling showing emotion.

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Watched this with my dad (of all people) tonight. I've seen it several times, and the only reason why I'm commenting is because of his reactions. He took a liking to Kudo right away, and likened Toyoda to my sister (which is an accurate description). He noted the difference in how they were hitting each other, "A lot different than them women on the WWE." "Holy shit," was his response to the first explosion. "Holy shit," was his response to several of the head-drop suplexes and the follow-up explosions, especially the, "Had to be planned one." Overall, he thought the match was exciting, but was downright cruel on par with some of the MMA female cage fights he's seen recently online.

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Monster Heels are people too y'know!

 

Anyone who's familiar with Megumi Kudo will know that she was a master at eliciting sympathy from the crowd. She certainly did that as well as ever here. What made this so unique was that the audience ended up feeling almost as much sympathy for the monster heel as they did for the babyface underdog! Was it because of it being Toyoda's retirement match? I don't think so. Watching this again I'd forgotten it was her final match, it's not remembered for that. What mattered was that there were two young ladies going far beyond the call of duty and suffering out there. They weren't doing it because they hated one another. I could even sense a certain camaraderie as they were beating the hell out of each other. They were caught in the middle of a war, and fighting to the bitter end was all they knew.

 

The hardcore element was utilised perfectly. It wasn't a great gimmick match, it was a great wrestling match enchanced by a gimmick. They built it up slowly and used smart psychology to logically adapt to their surroundings. Whenever they hit the exploding ropes they made sure it really meant something. There was great wrestling action too. Both took high impact suplay with mark out near falls to follow. At the finish Combat-o took an unbelievable Ganso Powerbomb followed by the Kudo Driver to finally end it.

 

An epic postmatch followed with a tearful and distressed Onita tending to his fallen soldiers and carrying Toyoda back by himself. Moving scenes and a classic match. It was one of those matches you could only get in Joshi Puroresu. It couldn't have been done with two men in there. It was never done this well again in FMW or anywhere else. The best Deathmatch ever.

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Forget the explosions for a second...that power bomb towards the end that almost broke Combat's neck, holy SHIT.

 

This was well-worked, and I appreciated the almost Memphis-barbed-wire match opening, where the barbed wire acts more like a lumberjack match than as a weapon, keeping the workers in the center of the ring. They milk it for so long that you literally forget about the coming explosions, adding to the shock of when Kudo finally hits and the bombs go off. And the build to the final explosion was the best of all, with both girls taking the full brunt after each had taken one apiece earlier. And Onita wasn't just great afterward, he was great *during* the match. Kudo climaxes this with probably the only way possible, which is debuting(?--the crowd didn't seem to know what was up until she dropped her) the Kudo Driver, forcing Combat to end her career on her back. As good as it was, and it's the best joshi match of the year so far and probably a top-3 death match of the '90s so far, I really can't place it in my Running Top 5 for the year. It *was* just that hard to watch at points.

 

Combat's never going to be a favorite of mine, but it's been fun watching her progress from doing her lame monster act against Kudo in 1990, surprising me by teaming with Kudo and at least attempting to keep up with Toyota & Yamada in '93, and progressing into a grizzled-babyface-type role at the end of her career. She was able to carve out a quality of work to be proud of when she could have easily sunk into a decrepit Pogo/Tsuchiya/Nakamaki-type career.

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A beautiful, brutal match. I have watched an inordinate amount of wrestling the past week (something in the neighborhood of 40 hours) and this was the best match out of all of those. The set up to the spots was great and drawn out in a way to really add tension to the inevitable bumps. Once those started coming, this match became more visceral and violent with some cringe worthy moments most of all the German into the exploding wire for me. Combat really portrayed her entire career with justice here and did a wonderful job saving her best for last. ONita in the post match Is tragic and endearing all at once. This is a match with a gambit of emotions running through your mind while watching, but it all blends into a great pro wrestling classic. ****3/4

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This one finally *clicked* for me. In the past, I went in looking for more creative barbed wire use, some urgency, and overall more brutality. Watching it now, those long teases really make the explosions pop. You mark out big time every time someone gets even close to the wire and you can hear the crowd react that way too. That finishing stretch is nuts with some incredibly sick head drops that are just as cringeworthy as any of the spots involving the barbed wire. Wonderful match.

 

****1/2

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Definitely a likely candidate for best death match of all time. In terms of structurally incorporating death match elements into a match, I don't think it's possible to do it any better than this. The exploding ropes were an integral part of the match, many segments of the match build around them for extended periods of time, and the high spots of the match involved paying them off, but they by no means totally dominated the match, and the wrestlers weren't totally preoccupied with incorporating them. The beginning of the match is all about building to the first rope spot; it's a gradual build where each gets closer and closer to sending her opponent into the ropes and the stakes get higher and higher.

 

The exploding rope spots are sold like death, and with the rest of the match being big moves and selling, this really feels like a war. That German suplex spot is up there for spot of the year. And what I really liked about it was even though it was Toyota executing the move to Kudo, Kudo actually came out of it with the advantage. Really got the ropes over as super dangerous, if you take a spill into them there's no telling what level of damage you might receive. Coming up from the spot Kudo nails a couple huge moves for the win, including nasty powerbomb that dumps Toyota right on her neck. Post match Kudo is immobile and has to be lifted off of Toyota's body onto a stretcher. Really excellent match.

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A super super deathmatch with unbelievable drama. From Toyoda's real emotion walking to the ring to Onita's displays at ringside to the violence.

 

The teases to the barb wire getting involved are brilliant, milked to the absolute maximum and both competitors manage to have an actual match stationed within this. So you get a feeling out process, plus a tease constantly going on, and just enough of a lull in between the near-rope spots that when the first one comes it is both inevitable and surprising.

 

So of course the selling in between and the subsequent takeover on offense by Toyoda that eventually leads to her going into the wire herself, is excellent.

 

The beautiful struggle between the two as they threaten to suplex each other into the ropes could not have ended in more of a catastrophic moment of desperate violence. The bombs down the stretch feel so earned and necessary, with both Toyoda and Kudo just giving their all to survive. Unbelievably sick suplex by Toyoda landing Kudo on her neck by the way, only to be outdone by Kudo's insane powerbomb. And then a fitting conclusion to cap the whole spectacle off.

 

A great match utilizing pacing, selling, drama, and bombs when necessary to put the icing on the cake.

 

****1/4

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One of the most atmospheric matches I’ve ever seen and probably my favorite deathmatch. Love the visual of Kudo’s hair blowing in the outdoor breeze like the calm before the storm. The mounting tension and the rope teases were all really well done, with the crowd ooh’ing and ahh’ing with each attempt. The shot in the crowd of Onita hiding his tears was incredible. There's a point in the match where Kudo is shoved into the barbed wire and the way she's hanging there with blood trickling down her arms like she's been crucified is quite surreal. Loved the moment when they both collapse into the exploding wire and the aftermath of them trying to get up to their feet, only to be followed by Kudo destroying Toyoda with brutal bombs to finish her off. Everything post-match just adds to the overall experience. Awesome stuff.

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If I had to pick one match to show to someone to people that deathmatch isn't just a vulgar display of very real violence, I'd pick this match. Kudo and Toyoda tease the big barbed wire spots well and there's only four occasions when they take a bump into the barbed wire. Toyoda is retiring and wants to go out with a literal bang. After eight minutes of teasing that someone is going boom, the much smaller Kudo takes the plunge and she sells it like death. The later part of this match felt like Manami Toyota bombfest, but if they took the time to slow things down and sell their arses off. Toyoda takes one of the nastiest headdrops I think I've ever seen. All this complimented with a pained Onita looking on from the commentary, makes this one of the best women's and one of the best deathmatches ever. 

★★★★★

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