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Charles (Loss)

[1993-05-05-FMW-Origin] Terry Funk vs Atsushi Onita

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Here are two wrestlers working a simple match in front of a huge crowd and using their charisma to make it into a spectacle. I guess the explosions and barbed wire don't hurt either. Both guys have great looking offense and sell in a way that the crowd really eats up, from Onita eliciting sympathy to Funk's punch drunk stooging. The match takes a minute to get going but when it does they tease all of the barbed wire spots just like you expect them to. The intensity is out of control when the countdown starts and both guys seem desperate to survive. The only slights I have against it are that one weird bump Onita takes early on and the ring explosion isn't as good as the future FMW ring explosions. It's still better than the IWA-Japan ring explosion.

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I'd seen highlight clips and other people talk about this match for years before I watched it in full for the 1st time last year. Remember being kinda disapointed by it actually in that "yeah this is good but not as much as much as I was exspecting" sorta way.

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Greatest exploding deathmatch ever probably. Terry Funk milks every tease to the max, Onita takes a hideous bump into the exploding wire, all about selling, facials and body language. An amazing spectacle. Of course people raised on stuntfest and modern BJ deathmatch will get caught of guard. Onita wasn't all about insane bumps, but a lot more about selling and drama, and that's what this match is all about. An sick bumps to, of course, but sick bump that matter.

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I thought there were much better FMW spectacles than this. It's Onita vs. Funk so of course it has a ton of charisma worked in, but as a match it's not really one of my favourites, I find it pretty underwhelming.

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You like this better than Kudo/Toyoda?

I forgot about Kudo vs Toyoda, which is a much better wrestling match, but I was more thinking in term of Onita deathmatch.

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I think I've said before I don't need wrestling to be realistic, I need it to be plausible. This is the perfect example. This is about as far from realistic as you can get, but I believe that if Terry Funk as I know him from wrestling and Atsushi Onita as I know him from wrestling ended up in this exact environment -- a ring surrounded by barbed wire with a referee wearing a metal mask and bodysuit -- this is exactly what would happen.

 

Death matches to me are about exaggerated selling above all else. Milk small movements for big effect and get over the gimmick. This definitely accomplished that. When the 5:00 countdown and sound effect started, this got insane for me. Even more so with the 1:00 countdown. You take something like a spinning toehold or a DDT -- both nice wrestling moves -- and put it in this environment and it seems life or death.

 

Whether this holds up or not, it was definitely everything it needed to be at this point in time, and it's obvious why it's so fondly remembered. Sometimes, being different in wrestling is better than being good. I will always love Onita getting out of the ring, going back in to get Funk and covering him ... followed by the few seconds of total silence and the sold aftermath.

 

More like simulated cinema than simulated sport, but what can I say, it's fun! I bet Quentin Tarantino would love this. I know I did.

 

Oh, and the press conference is incredible!

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Man, I thought Funk was spectacular here. I was basically fixated on him the entire time. I love his reaction to Onita's first bump into the barbed wire (he sort of throws his hands up in shock, like "Well...I didn't expect THAT), and he hits a totally different level once he goes into the wire himself. I have no idea how you go back first into barbed wire and come up with a cut forehead, but it's FUNK and it was awesome. I don't think I've seen anybody milk and tease those "close calls" like Funk does here. There's one spot where he punch-drunkenly staggers halfway across the ring and sort of teases falling face first into the wire, and there's this audible gasp from the crowd. When he takes his second barbed wire bump he starts convulsing on the mat with this look of "How the fuck did I get myself into this?" on his face.

 

Also looked like Onita opened up a pretty horrendous cut on his finger as a result of that bump where he goes out of the ring. That looked nasty as Hell.

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Hard to know how to rate this it was so different. Barbed wire, explosions and plenty of hardway bleeding. It had drama and excitement. Funks awesome overselling was markout. I think he needs to give Onita a few tips in this area. Once the explosions had happened they started a 5m bomb countdown. Bewilderingly they ended the match halfway through this, which was as flat as a pancake and a big letdown. Definately should've gone higher. Quite the spectacle, but the lack of ring ropes is a big constraint.

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Now that's a well dressed referee! Really enjoyed this one as I loved both guys fighting off being put into the barbed wire. The count down really added to things. But what put it over the most was the past match conference with both Funk and Onita. I was amazed with Onita when the camera got right in his face. Him just holding back the tears as Funk praising him heavily.

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SHOOT THIS RING ANNOUNCER. Jesus, he makes Billy Martin at WrestleMania sound good. Naturally we're subjected to a 45-minute soliloquy when all this could have been perfectly explained by Terry Funk talking to a horse's ass.

 

The teasing and build to the bumps into the wire are all awesome, especially Terry's drunken selling as Onita is raining headbutts on him. This is really sloppy at points, but it's hard to imagine it being any other way. The 5-minute siren had me wanting to tear my hair out at points, but I'm always a sucker for Terry slapping on the spinning toe hold in the most bizarre environments, whether it's a riverbank or an exploding barbed wire ring. Onita pulls out a win and then power bombs Funk into oblivion after the bell, as we hit the 1 minute mark and things get really crazy. Funk is half-dead and convulsing as Onita finally gets out of the ring with about 20 seconds to go, and then decides to dive back in, unsuccessfully revive Funk, and then cover him when the explosions go off. I don't know if the crowd really went dead silent there or if they got muted for the post-produced music, but it was a way cool cinematic effect either way.

 

I don't need to watch 30 of these matches per Yearbook like they're AJPW, but the spectacle is certainly worth watching every so often.

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Huge pop for Funk's entrance and Onita's with "Wild Thing" is always good. We get our first explosion a few minutes in with Funk sending Onita into the bombs with a punch. Another explosion for Onita and his arm is cut up in the barbed wire. Now Funk's turn to bump for an explosion and blade. Onita seems to wins with a DDT with just a few minutes to go until the big explosion? Onita eventually covers Funk as all the fireworks go off and delivers what looks like a good promo afterwards. This was a fun spectacle, but not much more.

 

**1/4 for special effects

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This match really gripped me like very few have before and cemented Onita as the biggest surprise of all the 90's stuff. Funk was great here starting out. The build to the bumps was well performed and the violence and punches were exchanged with great vigor. Then the siren starts and I lose my shit. What a scene and the next five minutes was some of the most beautiful stuff I have seen in wrestling and completely gripping. Spinning toe hold, the prisoners dilemma of Onita to save Funk, it was all here. My 7 month son was transfixed on the screen which may not win me father of the year awards but it was incredible to watch. The final visual of the explosion and the sound ceasing was a cinematic artistic masterpiece of a call. I may be overrating this and realize the action was really top notch but the whole package of this connected with me like few things in wrestling really have. ****1/2

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What would have happened if the time limit expired without a winner and the ring blew up?

 

I'm not into these at all. The only thing I kept thinking as the ring was about to explode and both of them were still in there was "Serves you right, assholes". I know that's not the desired reaction, but I just don't see the point of these. It isn't to have good matches, certainly, although Terry tried to actually wrestle for the first minute or two before he gave up. I guess the idea is to see a ring with barbed wire around it explode, but why do we have to have human beings inside it at the time? Just set a bomb off after the matches are over once or twice a year and let the crowd go nuts if that's what they want. It's even hard to admire Terry and Onita for their guts, although I know they took horrendous punishment.

 

I'd much rather see Terry goofing off and talking to a horse's ass. As for Onita, let me know when he wrestles a match in a ring with actual ropes around it and with a referee who doesn't look like he's ready to go into the oven for an hour at 350 degrees.

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This is obviously one of those matches which really polarise people. To me it was nearly a masterpiece. The selling, the drama and the visual effect of this really draws me in. I was loving every minute of this. The escalating sirens were a clever touch too which really built the tension at the end.

 

As for the ring announcer, I watched the whole show and hated him throughout. In this crazy setting though, I thought his voice added to the madness and was actually quite a good fit.

 

My only complaint about the match was that I thought a single DDT felt a bit weak to put Terry Funk down for the three-count. Te post match stuff redeemed it very quickly though so I didn't dwell on it for long.

 

Other than the actual pinfall, I thought this was worked perfectly given what it was aiming to be. I'm sort of struggling how high I can go with this without feeling silly. I know as an athletic contest it's not a Misawa vs Kobashi or a Flair vs Steamboat. It also doesn't have the feeling of hate you get from a Tully vs Magnum or in The Last Battle of Atlanta. It was just so good though. I'm saying ****1/2 but want to give it more, but just can't.

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http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-100-51/

 

#82

 

I haven't really gotten into the Onita stuff I've seen, but Terry Funk delivers a really charismatic performance in this. The punches look awesome and Terry is really giving his all. I love the ref armor and him running around in the background. I also really loved the guitar that kicks in right after the explosion as the smoke clears. It's a cool visual and fitting music. This was interesting.

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Terry Funk vs Atsushi Onita - FMW 5/5/93 Exploding Barbed Wire Time Bomb Death Match

Wild Thing! Greatest referee outfit of all time. He looked like coolest beekeeper there ever was. As part of the Greatest Match Ever Project, I want to leave no stone unturned in regards to American & Puroresu wrestling. Thus here I am 1:30 am on a work night watching damndest thing ever. There were sirens and explosions and the match all of sudden ends, but the clock is still going and Onita is throwing the beekeeper referee out of the ring. I think the ring is going to explode but I am not sure. THEN KA-BOOM! Apparently the ring explosions get cooler as the year progressed. I thought it was cool, but I was not blown away, ha ha. This is first time I am watching Onita in his prime and this is probably his most famous match. I thought they were both pretty great in this. I thought Onita did a great job subtly selling, but I was expecting something more over the top. I think what this match does better than anything else is sell the dread of going into exploding barbed wire. The lock up is so intense because you dont want to be the one overwhelmed and shoved into exploding barbed wire. Funk wins with an elbow to the head, chop and some big punches. Onita hits the barbed wire BOOM! This got me because there is no fucking around that explosion happened on his back. You see the singe marks. Funk tries to win the piledriver. Onita goes into the barbed wire again BANG! Onita's arms are all cut up by the end. Really bloody. Funk wants to send Onita head first into the barbed wire now that would be something. The struggle here is epic and it is FUNK WHO GOES INTO THE BARBED WIRE! Funk did a good job covering up and opts for the safety of a blade to get his color. When a razor blade is the safe operation, thats a dangerous match. I am surprised to see Onita go into the fourth explosion and it is ta this point the sirens blare and there is a five minute countdown! Funk goes for the Spinning Toehold he is kicked off...BOOM...that was a big one. DDT...1...2...3...that was the flattest finish ever. The crowd did not even react. There is still two minutes on this countdown thingy. Funk tries to choke Onita because if he lost then ONITA MUST DIE! Funk attacks the ref...NO NOT BEEKEEPER REF! Onita makes the saves and powerbombs Funk...signing his death warrant. Onita throws the Beekeeper Ref to safety, but had a last second change of heart and goes to save Funk only for KA-BOOM! 

I enjoyed this a lot, but I think there are better more dramatic, violent matches. I actually prefer Funk vs Sabu's Barbed Wire Match to this. The flat finish was a bummer. The selling of the dread of the barbed wire was great, but I thought the selling after the fact could have been better. Onita's arms were bleeding badly but he is so tough you wouldnt know it. I highly recommend it because it is so unique, interesting and influential. ***3/4

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It's really enjoyable. The clock was a nice touch. Explosions add enormously. The finish could have been better. The pinfall shouldn't have happened before the final explosion, the explosion should have happened before. Then, the match should have been declared as a draw. When two wrestlers do sadistic things to each other in a match, they shouldn't just after take each other in their arms. ****1/2

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