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Obscure Japanese 90s Indies (Yume Factory, W*ING, KAGEKI, IWA Japan, Capture etc.)


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So I want to start this thread by declaring that Wrestle Dream Factory/Yume Factory (the fed of Masashi Aoyagi and Motegi) was fucking awesome. I've watched all the Samurai TV airings from 1997 that I could find and the shows were a blast to watch as a mix of fun, stiff undercard matches that had sleazy dudes potatoeing eachother and about 2 great matches per show. Chaotic karateka vs. wrestler matches, blood, stiffness, hatred and Yoshiaki Fujiwara, this fed had it all. I'm mainly starting this thread to ask about how we can get more Yume Factory because Lynch only has a handful of discs and this stuff is gold. Basically the world's greatest Ersatz-WAR.


So that got me thinking about all those forgotten Z-level indies like Yume Factory, W*ING, Kageki, IWA Japan, Capture International etc. I know next to nothing about most of those. I get that back then AJPW and NJPW junior were all the rage so people didn't care as much for these sloppy indy guys. Those feds had interesting guys like Tajiri or Akitoshi Saito kicking around. Also, one thing I noticed is that in current indy wrestling, most wrestlers tend to be skinny and handsome, while then wrestlers usually were tubby and ugly. I wonder how those factors affect working ability.


It got me wondering that if even a fed like Yume Factory that barely draws 500 people into Korakuen Hall can produce awesome matches and feuds, there might be other cool stuff that was lost to time. I know there are some old geezers on this board who used to watch that stuff.

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Man, totally surprised that no one has chimed in yet...


I'm somewhat familiar with IWA Japan & W*ING due to their death match stuff. The infamous King of the Death Match of course but, I felt these 2 promotions had a grittier take on the style than FMW. I actually felt someone might die during some bouts...moreso due to execution issues rather than gimmick alone. I'm with ya though, there is a charm there.


I know the Headhunters had a glass match that's been touted in IWA but, I've never had the stomach for. Cactus vs Funk Duel of the Wilds from '95 in IWA also..thought it was a gritty unpretty death match classic if there ever was one.


Señor Foley's account of the prep and match were highlighted in my copy of his first book. Thought the match sounded worth a watch...was not disappointed 😀


I know I've seen some W*ING matches on VHS but, can't be sure of dates & cards. I just remember how different it was to call a company W*ING!! Lol WWF, WCW, ECW then we've got W-star-ING but pronounced wing!? Oh Japanese wresting!


This is where/how Kanemura picked up his name prior to jumping to FMW I believe...

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Plus some of them had tons of fun gaijin, W*ING & IWA being the most obvious, with the Puerto Ricans & Headhunters, the slasher gimmick guys, a light heavyweight tournament in W*ING that had fuckin' Jimmy Del Ray and motherfuckin' Bill Dundee.


Tokyo Pro might be slightly better-known but even a classic ECW staple like Sabu-Scorpio is better on a card with a Yoji Anjo-Takashi Ishikawa match second from the top.

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I love the variety of gaijins that W*ING used over the years:


Crash The Terminator
Freddy Kruger/Nightmare Freddie/Doug Gilbert
Boogie Man/Eddie Gilbert
The Headhunters
Super Invader
New Jason The Terrible
Dick Murdoch
Masked Superstar
Wahoo McDaniel
The Grappler #2
Gypsy Joe
Kevin Sullivan
Giant Kimala
Tom Prichard
The Moondogs (Spot and Splat)
Jimmy Backlund
The Great Wojo
The Texas Hangmen (Killer and Psycho)
Scotty The Body
Danny Davis
Eric Embry
Cheetah Kid
Rip Rogers
Rochester Roadblock
Samoan Warrior
Vic Steamboat
Bart Sawyer
Brett Sawyer
Killer Kyle
The Bruise Brothers
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W*ING is famous for being the place where W*ING Kanemura, back when he was still Yukehiro, got powerbombed into a flaming puddle of gasoline or lighter fluid and got burned really, really bad.


W*ING once held a scaffold match - on an actual construction scaffold crane/truck. It had sturdy guard rails and the guys could do actual spots during the match.


Another gaijin who made multiple appearances in W*ING? MIL MASCARAS. And Mil actually brawls and does chairshots.


If you want a nice intro to W*ING, they released a pair of DVD box sets that cover the entire history of the fed. I've only watched the first one so far but there's some crazy stuff in there, like Pogo setting Matsunaga's head on fire, And Kim Duk - Tiger Chung Lee - speaking ENGLISH.

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I know the Headhunters had a glass match that's been touted in IWA but, I've never had the stomach for.


It's a classic bloodletting. The greatest part being the japanese Korakuen Hall fans chanting "2 ! 2 ! 2 !", as #2 was the babyface in this. Try to ponder that for a minute.


The most crazy IWA matches are of course the infamous Bathhouse deathmatches. Pure japan sleaze gold.

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I know the Headhunters had a glass match that's been touted in IWA but, I've never had the stomach for.


It's a classic bloodletting. The greatest part being the japanese Korakuen Hall fans chanting "2 ! 2 ! 2 !", as #2 was the babyface in this. Try to ponder that for a minute.

I think I'm going to have to watch this now Plus there's the bonus of having face/heel distinction in a death match! I guess I always felt the dichotomy broke down once you're willing to maim another person (think Lawler-Funk empty arena match ). I eagerly await watching the heavy bros. get brutal!

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Watched both the Headhunters glass death match and a bath house match with them vs Tarzan Goto & Mr Gannosuke.


Both from '95 and both great for different reasons. The glass match was tons of fun with great aerial moves by the guys and the usual slice and dice. This era of death match seemed to really emphasize the danger of the weapons as guys genuinely were not wanting to get torn to ribbons. But, yeah a fun bout and easy to watch since both guys can actually wrestler and didn't mind laying in the blows. Highly recommended


Bathhouse match was all kinds of wackiness but, the fellas took it seriously even with Goto trying to "drown" one or both of the 'hunters! I'm surprised WWF never tried a gimmick match like this...sans female nudity of course.


For the crappy side of IWA Japan, "enjoyed" Freddie Krueger vs. Leatherface. Best part was when the Fredster takes the worst dragon screw I've ever seen. It was hilarious 😄 its like he had never heard or seen one before that match let alone have a clue how to bump for it!


The rest isn't too terrible since its two guys dressed up like movie monsters wrestling for 5 minutes.

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Goto stuffing opponent's face in tits and ass is hilarious too

Ha! This is true! Fairly speaking there are squatting naked men staring wide eyed to the mayhem. I give credit to the ladies for trying get up and away from Tarzan Goto...to no avail


I want to say kudos to Jetlag for this topic because there is so much focus on the new stuff coming out and reviewing it and whatnot that stuff like WDF, W*ING, IWA Japan, and heck I'll throw groups and like SWS & WAR and even FMW in there, have been way overlooked by a generation of wrestling fans or people getting into puro.


There's a wealth of stuff available online for free and in good shape (not $20 per VHS quadruple bootlegged) so check it out, if the sleek HD-PG wrestling isn't your cup of Twinnings.

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Just finished watching Tarzan Goto & Mr. Gannosuke vs Cactus Jack & Tiger Jeet Singh 12/09/95 - IWA Japan. There was as much action going on outside the ring as there was inside. Tables and chairs were being thrown about every minute. Tiger was not too bad as he did his usual stab based offense and took no real damage but, wasn't really in the focus of the action. Very good brawl with good craziness after the bell too.


Tarzan Goto matches in IWA have yet to disappoint.

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W*ING once held a scaffold match - on an actual construction scaffold crane/truck. It had sturdy guard rails and the guys could do actual spots during the match.

Just watched the scaffold match. I thought it would be Kanemura or Mitsuhiro Matsunaga so I was surprised it was The Iceman vs. Miguel Perez Jr. duking it out. OK fellas...good luck!


Seriously, its a crane scaffold and they raise it to damn near the ceiling. At start, I'm just thinking 'OK, that looks about right...what!? Why is it going up more..no...no they're going to bring it down a lil bit.' Nope...looks like near death height


The camera shots were great at playing this up and like Tabe mentioned, they were able to actually wrestle & brawl and do a few spots including a insane one by Perez Jr. that I won't spoil.


I'm not a scaffold match fan (who is?) but this is well worth a watch!

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Tarzan Goto matches in IWA have yet to disappoint.


So far Tarzan Goto matches anywhere have yet to disappoint. The dude always does the same thing, fucking dudes up, but builds really effective southern tag structure around.


I just watched the 1998 Indy World show. It's the only show available from this fed. Phil reviewed the main event for his Fujiwara project. I didn't think it was a GREAT match but a great find for sure. Really fun stuff, Ryuma Go was a maniac. Then there was a Tarzan Goto vs. Kaientai 6 man tag which I liked even better, I can't believe the DVDVR crew used to hate Goto. There also was junior tag spotfest featuring all your sleaze kings TAKA, Orihara and Asian Cougar spottin and runnin. Great show, I'm having way more fun watching these indy cards full of sleazy heavyweights and insane juniors than I've had watching current wrestling the last couple years.

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I wanted to check out the bleached blonde Mr. Danger Matsunaga in W*ING since I've enjoyed some stuff in BJW.


Leatherface vs Mitsuhiro Matsunaga (Original Spike Nail Death Match) 12/20/92


Eh this was just alright... Leatherface was pretty bland on offense and frankly Matsunaga was as well. At least I can sense his kicks being harmful rather than Leather's paltry punching and stomping. They tease the nails, kill the heat by incorporating a knee brace story element, and the match ends with one guy rolling onto a single nail board :-/ Mind you they (W*ING) have set up like 5 boards on each side of the ring so, it really looks they're trying to put the 'death' in death match but nah...1 board and then they (W*ING wrestlers) carry the defeated man off in a blanket like volunteers carrying a rehabilitated dolphin back to the ocean. Its Matsunaga...he lost...am I spoiling anything at this point?


So, I found the rematch with higher hopes.


5/5/93 Spike Nail rematch


So, the rematch was better. The general offense was pretty lame and meandering but, they teased the nails a lot better this time including fighting on the apron. Leatherface went off the top rope a couple times which was an improvement. This finish was a lot better and appropriate for the stipulation. I won't really recommend this match in full form but maybe a clipped version is out there worth checking out.


Overall disappointing but, they can't all be gems...

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Wanted to revisit W*ING since I was pretty bummed by the bed of nails matches.


Fortunately, I came across Mr. Pogo vs Matsunaga in a Barbwire bat Texas Death match. This is from 5/9/93 and is clipped a little but not so much where its jumping around in the match too much. Its exactly what I was looking for with the action. Both guys are bleeding and taking to the bat like champs. Pretty sure Mr. Danger gets hit in the throat. Great finish too!


Same show, Headhunters vs Miguel Perez Jr. & Yukihiro (Wing) Kanemura -Barbwire Cage match. I was hyped that I found this. Perez Jr. is a guy that I've become a fan of through W*ING. This match was fantastic with everyone tasting the wire, guys going off the top rope & cage etc. The fact that it was a non escape match was plus. May have had some clipping (a constant with W*ING & IWA) but nothing offensive. A great death match, heck a great match in general.

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