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[1999-01-05-FMW-New Year Generation] Mr Gannosuke vs Hisakatsu Oya

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This was sensational. They spend the first nearly 10 minutes working the mat with some nice stuff before things briefly spill outside and Oya juices. Then they come back in the ring and Gannosuke works the cut until Oya turns the tide by going after Gannosuke’s arm, which he sticks with for the duration, repeatedly trying to maneuver Gannosuke into a cross armbreaker even in the last few minutes. I also love how they both keep going back to the abdominal stretch and that they put it over as a real weapon and game changer. They start an All Japan-like finishing stretch but it quickly stops in favor of more submissions and something more subdued while still really great. I love using a full nelson from a camel clutch position as a submission also, and that’s the finish. This is really an extended Arn Anderson match, only with more of a main event feel. There aren't nearly enough matches like this in 1999 and beyond.

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in the wake of Japanese and US wrestling for that matter moving towards higher impact move and faster sequences and work overall, a traditionally thought of garbage promotion gives us this gem that integrates all facets of NWA title matches from yesteryear. The opening matwork could be easily glossed over if fiddling on your phone or surfing the web as it isn't flashy or incredibly intricate. However, there is a ton of added minutia and extra torque to almost everything being performed making it captivating to me. Oya gets thrown threw chairs on the outside in the only garbage spot of the match. He comes back bloodied but doesn't perform like the wounded animal usually does in a wrestling match just trying to hang on. Instead, he takes the lion's share of the rest of the match. The final portion built to some great nearfalls and had executed moves and submissions with added emphasis. A great match overall. (****1/4)

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I tried watching this twice and was just bored by most of it till the finishing run. That submission finish was real good. Rest of the match was just dry until the blood started flowing.

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I'm sure there are some FMW matches I like that don't involve either Onita or Kudo. The first 10m here is low key shoot style grappling. Nothing to set the world alight but a decent way to pass the time. Oya's haircut is so bad I found it quite distracting. Then literally out of nowhere it's garbage time. WTF? There was no lead to it, no transition, no reason why it should happen. Just instantly going from pure wrestling to someone getting kicked in the nuts and the blood feud is on. I found it so jarring that it totally took me out of the match.

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Oya's haircut makes him look like a taller Japanese version of '80s JCP job guy Mike Simani.

 

Anyway, the garbage brawling outside the ring here was far less welcome than in the Hayabusa match, and in fact it almost seemed worse because it was so perfunctory. At least there were some big spots in the first match--here Oya just goes out to blade for no real reason and the blood plays no factor in the story or the drama of the match. I admired a lot of the mat work here and what they were going for, but admiring and liking are two different things. This could have stood to lose about 10 minutes and a few half-dozen abdominal stretch rollups. The dead crowd is kind of a big elephant in this room that needs to be mentioned as well. They started off quiet for Hayabusa but were loud and raucous by the end. Here, the biggest reaction is the polite applause for Gannosuke's win.

 

I'm really trying with FMW, but I'm about out of patience with this promotion. It feels like it peaked from a workrate standpoint right after Onita's retirement and from a star-power standpoint before that. They've tried throwing epic near-fall-fests, garbage brawls, tag team chaos, and now matwork-heavy matches at me, but even in the face of the best-worked matches I still just don't care. I have almost no regrets about my GWE list but one, as I'm astonished and embarrassed to have put Hayabusa at #80. Gannosuke and Tanaka are far and away the best and most complete workers in this company and I feel like they're being wasted in this environment.

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