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Charles (Loss)

[1998-05-27-FMW-Neo FMW] Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka vs Yukihiro Kanemura & Kodo Fuyuki

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Fantastic match constructed like a Southern tag with the FMW flavor. Fuyuki and Kanemura make great heels and isolate Tanaka until Hayabusa gets the hot tag. Hayabusa's highspots were excellent. The stretch of nearfalls at the end was tremendous, with Tanaka repeatedly finding a way to kick out of big beatings and getting over huge in the process. Fuyuki was great as a big Choshu-like guy using his lariat as an equalizer. They cut an awesome pace at the end too. Top 3 MOTY at this point.

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I loved this when it was Tanaka vs. the heels, which mercifully, was most of the match. Kanemura and Fuyuki worked really well together and hit all kinds of vicious offense during their long control section. Tanaka made up for his so-so selling by working with great intensity. I know I'm a broken record, but Hayabusa was shitty. He came in with zero fire off the hot tag after Tanaka had suffered a long FIP stretch, and most of his offense looked weak and sloppy. Just a bad wrestler in the middle of a really good match.

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I thought Busa was fine in this showing his flash and then getting the f out of the way. This set the stage for a beautifully laid out match with Tanaka taking a beating and weapons being intersperesed with southern tag dynamic. The finishing run was rewarding to get so much drama and intrigue out of such little stuff like a clothesline and a elbow from the top. I have a soft spot for Fuyuki and his execution was actually not awful here to go along with his dynamic charisma. One of the better FMW matches of the year so far for me. (****)

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I liked that this had a very 80s sensibility to go with FMW's quintessentially 90s style. There was a lot to love about this - Kanemura's crazy clothesline sell, the way the weapons recurred (particularly the revenge aspect in Tanaka's use of them towards the end), Fuyuki's zany intensity.

 

I'm absolutely with Childs on Hayabusa being terrible in this. He's just so lackadaisical coming in off the hot tag that it really hurts the momentum of the match. With the right fourth guy, this had potential to really take off, but as it was it was just an excellent tag match and a great showcase for Tanaka.

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Now this is more like it. I'm pretty sure at this point of the decade, Kanemura is FMW's post-Onita MVP, because all the really great FMW matches seem to involve him. He has great offense, he takes crazy bumps for a guy his size...he's like his partner here, but better in every way. Not to short-change Fuyuki, who's charismatic and a lot of fun and gets the most out of what he has, as he and Kanemura form the world's fattest Midnight Express and it's a pleasure to watch. Tanaka is back to being Tanaka--maybe he's not a ring general, but clearly Kanemura is and otherwise Masato can go. Hayabusa--well, I can't say he bothered me but I can't say that he did anything that wowed me either. His high-flying spots can look good but they do tend to look samey after awhile. Still, this was a lot better when Tanaka was either being double-teamed or trading ultra-stiff lariats with the heels.

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I wasn't expecting to like this. An FMW tag? Meh. Boy was I wrong. This is my favorite FMW match this year and I was way into it by the finish. Kodo yelling was weird, but it fit and the work was great.

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