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Tell Me About FMW and 90s Japanese Sleaze


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With the announced return of FMW I have been confronted once again by my lack of knowledge about anything in wrestling. I know practically nothing. Tell me about FMW? Not quite excited about the return since it seems the spirit has been living with Onita for awhile. What is memorable from that crazy, whacky promotion?


Oh, and any other sleazy Japanese wrestling from that period to check out?

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FMW didn't get too sleazy until near the end, when they adopted WWE's style of entertainment. They did do some things like having Onita recreating the Invader killing Brody incident, but that's all I can think of for their pre-WWE run. Once they adopted entertainment, well they had Team No Respect dancing in underwear, Hayabusa getting fireworks shot out of his ass, pornstars and more.


The return is really not what you think it is. Since FMW died, there has constantly been an FMW offshoot of some sort running whether it was WEW or WMF. Onita ran some Onita Pro shows and multiple shows have been run under names with FMW in them. It's seriously nothing to really think twice about and it is highly unlikely to be anything noteworthy. You can compare it to a less popular version of current ECW-tribute indy shows. It's going to draw between 300-500 people max and everyone on the show is near or over 40.


FMW is split into three era's:

The Onita Era - It was basically a one man show with Onita and whoever his villian was at the time. Onita was very popular and a huge draw for his big deathmatches. Other than that, there was really nothing going on. You'd get some martial arts type matches, matches with rejects from other promotions, Sabu and the odd legend or two.

Post-Onita Era - FMW got away a little from some of the violence and had some great wrestling with Mike Awesome, Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka and Kanemura. This is a really fun period of FMW with some great matches. Megumi Kudo becomes FMW's second top star and is the most popular female wrestler in Japan for a bit. Onita eventually comes back and then goes again.

Entertainment Era - FMW basically gets forced by their satellite provider to turn into WWE-Lite. Lots of talking, goofy gimmicks and stips and Attitude era crap.

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"The return is really not what you think it is" would mean it ISN'T pretty much more of the same with a more official FMW stamp.There are plenty of fans on the Twitter gimmick though that see this as something to get excited about despite it most likely not meaning diddly squat.


And when I say "sleazy" I'm being less ambitious with the term. If people all being thrown around into barbed wire or there are massive explosions or the stipulation has 3 or more words in it then I'd probably throw it into the category.

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It's in Part 2 of the Biography that was linked here. But FMW was actually two seperate companies. Atsushi Onita's FMW, Inc. which he has left dormant for 20 years next month because it actually owed money to people could actually still be used if Onita wanted it to. Onita chose not to start in the red and pay back the people he owed money to when he left FMW after his first retirement and just started up "Onita FMW" instead in 2002 and it only lasted 3 months before the nostalgia stopped making money and he stopped promoting under that name. The nostalgia stopped making money in 2002.


Shoichi Arai then borrowed $100,000 dollars from Onita to create the new company Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling, Inc. and then bought the belts, buses, and photo scanners from Onita for another $50,000 so Arai's FMW company actually saw none of the profit that Onita's FMW made from the successful May 5, 1995 Kawasaki Stadum show. This FMW that Arai owed is still in bankruptcy court and will most likely forever be due to the millions that Arai owed.


So that is why every promotion has not been able to just simply use the name "FMW" as Tarzan Goto had to use Shin-FMW and then Super FMW and now Yukihide "Battle Ranger" Ueno has to use the name Super Battle FMW.


This promotion is the first promotion to claim it is the re-opening of FMW but legally it's just as much FMW as Super FMW is (it still runs in front of like 20 people outside where there's just an open field with no ring now THAT'S a sleazy promotion)


They have been able to book Onita and pay money for Hayabusa to represent it to make it look as FMW as possible. There is a negative stigma with the Japanese FMW fans that were there for throughout the 90's as they see it as Battle Ranger trying to recreate his glory days of 20 years when he left FMW right at the start of the Arai era because Hayabusa got the top spot and not him/make money because ZERO1's Atsushi Onita led exploding matches have proven to make them money. They are going to do house shows but they are so far too small to run Korakuen and Shinjuku FACE will be its home base for now. They actually had a poster for one of their shows that promoted Mr. Gannosuke, Kintaro Kanemura, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda on the show with none of them actually booked and Gannosuke telling me he had no idea why he was being promoted for the show. So that is not a good first impression for me that this company is going to know what they are doing.

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