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Charles (Loss)

[1998-01-06-FMW-New Year Generation] Masato Tanaka vs Mr Gannosuke

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This comes from what has to be FMW's best comm release, and I remember how many people were introduced to Gannosuke from his matches with Tanaka and Shinzaki on it. I'm certainly one of them. Gannosuke attacking the arm was a much more compelling control segment than one normally got from FMW, and they followed up with a solid finish. Not mind-blowing, but I think it holds up markedly better than the Onita deathmatches and the often spotty post-Onita main events.

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Edit : nevermind, I thought this was his match with Hayabusa. I love FMW from this era (well, from any era mind you except Fuyuki's, which has its moment too).

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This match starts off really hot with a vicious strike exchange and flying forearm from Tanaka. Chairs get involved and Tanaka throws some nasty punches. Gannosuke takes over and he is even more relentless. The powerbomb from the stage through the table looked really brutal. Tanaka is bleeding and Gannosuke breaks a kendo stick and starts targeting the arm. His offense was varied and unique and I was actually hoping it would last longer than it did. Tanaka's first comeback was a little shaky for me because he kept using the injured arm but the damage did not seem as bad to Gannosuke and Tanaka was grimacing in pain. The ending stretch features a lot of high impact moves but also enough time between them to not make it feel like them just blowing through spots. The ending pin by Gannosuke was clever and fit the overall match. This felt in some ways like the FMW template match of wrestling, brawling, and some compelling storytelling mixed in. (***3/4)

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Had never seen this before, and this was so fun. I'm pretty sure I'd never seen a Gannosuke match before this, actually, and not sure how much I'd seen of Tanaka outside ECW.

 

This was great. Brutal brawl without descending into being too spotty or silly. I like how the arm work kept recurring, and (sort of) pays off in the finish. If FMW was consistently anywhere near this good, I've been missing out.

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Their "filler" or mat work to start match consists of Gannosuke just mauling Tanaka. There was little give on that power bomb Tanaka took on the floor. Just ouch. The Gannosuke starts tearing him apart with a broken stick handle. After the heaving brawling it then moves into mostly wrestling moves in the ring. But it is still intense with the big moves back and forth. I really liked the finish with Gannosuke getting the funky roll up for pin on a weakened Tanaka.

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I watched this a second time after my man Brad enjoyed it and think I underrated it slightly on the first viewing. This really is a great match that is now (****) in my book and a great teaser of the Gannosuke and Tanaka performances coming up in the next couple of years.

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^ What a gem this was to stumble upon. I went **** also. I mean, Gannosuke used a missile dropkick to continue to attack the elbow during his control work. Just awesome. Brutal powerbomb through the table and after all that arm work, the match still had a lot to go, and it never felt too long. Really built to something epic with all the kickouts at the end before the finish. Absolutely a must-see on disc 1.

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Fun stuff. I really liked the beginning, fixing in the intense strike exchanges with hardcore stuff and weapons. The powerbomb through the table was nuts. In generally my attention wandered while Gannosuke was in control, didn't find it too compelling. Although Tanaka's first comeback was awesome, with him smashing the bit of table over Gannosuke's head and exploding it with the third jumping shot. The homestretch didn't really captivate me so much the whole way through, but the very last minute or so was really good with Tanaka busting out the elbows and Gannosuke counter one into a roll up for the win. I actually liked the first half or so of this more than the second. Good match.

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I'm not really a fan of spots involving chairs where the wrestlers do anything but just swing it. Everything else looks too convoluted. This was a fun brawl, but it's not really indicative of the style of match these guys could deliver on their best nights. It's the best possible ECW-style match in terms of crowd brawling and weapon shots. I can appreciate that in my wrestling, but it's harder for me to appreciate it when I know the guys involved are capable of having a great match without outside props. That said, this is what this match is, so I'll try to just judge it on the merits of what they are doing instead of criticizing them for the match I wish they would have had instead. This is a very good brawl and I liked Gannosuke going all Mr. Pogo on Tanaka's arm. There were some good nearfalls at the end too. I also thought this was a decent intersection between old FMW and new FMW in terms of mixing really good wrestling in with the brawling. Gannosuke's tricked out pinning combo thing at the end is my favorite move of his and it was cool to see it here. This was good and I liked it, but I think I'm less high on it than everyone else.

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I really enjoyed this as well, possibly because I entered with minimal expectations. Liked the intensity at the beginning and the armwork, thought they incorporated the weapons effectively, loved the finish. Tanaka's not a guy I've ever thought of as a top worker, but his career could make a really fun comp.

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From what I've seen of late 90s pro wrestling, FMW is the best wrestling company in the world for a big chunk of that time. I think you'll love a lot of stuff coming up.

I have to disagree here. Only a couple of FMW's big matches hold up. All Japan, for as much as it fell in quality from mid-decade, produced far more 'good' and 'very good' matches on a month-to-month basis. Plus FMW had its share of nonsense booking.

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Really fun match--I always appreciate any match that manages to go from garbage brawling to back-and-forth technical (-ish) wrestling and make it make sense. Usually matches logically go the other way around. Gannosuke destroys Tanaka's arm and you get the sense that he did just enough to nullify some of the damage of Tanaka's rolling elbows at the end. Tanaka is one of the masters of the last-second kickout and he has some doozies here, but Gannosuke counters one last rolling elbow with the awesome Gannosuke Clutch to steal the win and whatever title this was for. Really good match with a rewind-and-watch-again-worthy finish.

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it's funny to see Loss have the same thoughts as me about parts of this match. I was thinking during the match that this started out as the best possible ECW Arena brawl, but was going to add that it devolved into the worst type of AJPW main event with the move-move-move without any transitions. I almost got my year's quota of power bombs in the final stretch. Even with that criticism, I really enjoyed it and it would be something I'd like to revisit later.

 

RATING: Three to Four unprotected head shots.

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Looks like Im the high vote on this match. I loved it!

 

FMW World & Brass Knuckles Champion Masato Tanaka vs Mr. Gannosuke - FMW 1/6/98

 

If you ever played the original Doom, Masato Tanaka makes the same sounds as the demons being killed in this match. It is brutal!

 

Never even heard of Mr. Gannosuke before this match and I think he may be my new favorite wrestler. He friggin' rocked it. I am a total sucker for bleach blonds too! First ten minutes was just awesome brawling and hard-hitting action. Totally wiped the floor with the Hayabusa match. They were just going to balls to the wall with stiff shots for each other. I loved the energy! Really liked the reverse atomic drop counter on the Tornado DDT attempt by Gannosuke. Tanaka's selling of it as a ballshot really made it. The crowd brawling was exceptional some of the best ever. Love a great chair throw! That powerbomb off the riser through a table below was insane! Then the violence of snapping that stick in half and then ripping open his arm. Masato Tanaka is unleashing some of the loudest cries of agony I have ever heard. Brutal! Tanaka's comeback is insanely fiery and glorious! I love him using that half of table to destroy Gannosuke and then using his elbows to set up Tornado DDT. The counter to the elbow into an armbar on the bad arm was sick! I will admit what does take the match down is that they go for an All Japan style finish run, which does not fit this style of match PLUS nobody really does that as well as the Pillars so trying to do their style is a losing proposition. Still there is plenty of heat, drama and powerbombs down the finish stretch. The finish is really damn good with Gannosuke countering by hooking the arm and then rolling through into a pinning combination to win the titles. Awesome brawling, great initial Tanaka comeback, solid finish stretch and great finish. Check this match out! There is hope for FMW and his name is Mr. Gannosuke! ****1/4

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This FMW crew invented that Garbage Meets King's Road style which robbed the garbage brawling of it's craziness (by focussing on spots and less on guys trying to murder eachother) and the King's Road of it's finer aspects (always robotically going through the same mediocre matwork and every match having the same mindless finishing run). Some of the criticisms apply to this match, especially thanks to Tanaka with his no-selling bullshit, but Mr. Gannosuke pretty much carries the match and adds back that much needed grit and face/heel dynamic. Tanaka angers Al Snow too by burying the eye poke and the low blow in the opening section. Ah well, this is fast paced, stiff, and and doesn't get dull. Tanaka going at Gannosuke feels like receipt spots rather than going through the motions, and I thought Tanaka's babyface selling while Gannosuke stabbed the shit out of him was real good. It felt like a heel doing something truely dastardly to the good kid rather than just a gross out spot that has to be shoed in any garbage match. Gannosuke going back to the arm during the finishing run to regain control was neat (even though Tanaka sold about as well as you'd expect Masato Tanaka to sell), and the bomb throwing madness felt like two guys killing eachother. Match wasn't flawless and I'm not sure if this is Gannosuke's finest performance ever wasted, but it has that old charme and grit.


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