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Complete Playbook: Onita FMW on Samurai TV May 4, 2002

October 9, 2006 | Posted by Ryan Mancuso
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Complete Playbook: Onita FMW on Samurai TV May 4, 2002  

Hello again, I am back with another review. This will be a series of three reviews that deals with the debut shows of three promotions that rose from FMW’s demise in February 2002. This review will be from Onita FMW on May 4, 2002. After losing a backstage political struggle to Shoichi Arai and Kodo Fuyuki, Atsushi Onita left FMW in November 1998 and never returned to the promotion that he founded. As a result, Onita created his own promotion that was a nostalgic for FMW ran back when he was the top star of the early-to-mid 1990’s. He first called the promotion USO. He changed it to Onita Pro. Later on, it was called Project X. They ran shows about once a month. He used talent from his era of FMW like Mr. Pogo, Sambo Asako, Katsuji Ueda and Tarzan Goto. He also used various independent wrestlers like Shigeo Okumura, Nobutaka Araya, Mitsuobu Kikuzawa (the original Ebessan, and now Kikutaro) and members of the DDT roster.

Onita also kept himself in the mainstream wrestling spotlight when he made an invasion of New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was an invasion that drew a lot of heat. New Japan fans threw a lot of trash at Onita the moment he walked into the arena. They felt that Onita’s style of garbage wrestling was truly garbage. Onita’s purpose of invading New Japan was to force Riki Choshu out of retirement. He wanted Choshu to be as much of a liar as him in regards to retirement. He finally got Choshu out of retirement, but paid a huge price because he got destroyed by Choshu in a deathmatch. It seemed that Onita’s time in New Japan was to use him a major shows where he would get a big payday. In exchange for the payday, Onita would pretty much get beaten up badly and show that New Japan stars are way above garbage wrestling.

When FMW shut down, Kodo Fuyuki said that he would promote the shows that FMW had booked before closing under the Fuyuki-Gun banner. At the Fuyuki-Gun show on March 10 at Korakuen Hall, the former FMW wrestlers had a 10 bell ceremony for FMW. After the ceremony, Atsushi Onita showed up. He said that Fuyuki was responsible for FMW shutting down, and he will use his influence in the Japanese Diet to investigate Fuyuki for embezzlement of FMW’s money. He also made it clear that he was opening up his own promotion that better signifies the spirit of FMW called Onita FMW. The first time since 1998 that the FMW name was directly associated with Onita on something. His FMW would bring back the days of when Onita ran the company in early-to-mid 1990.

The debut show of Onita FMW took place on May 4, 2002 at the historic Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Just like most of Onita booked shows, this drew a full capacity crowd and the fans were into every match. The main event saw Atsushi Onita team up with Zero-One’s Masato Tanaka against Fuyuki loyalists Kintaro Kanemura & Tetsuhiro Kuroda. There were various gimmick matches that featuring Mitsuhiro Matsunaga, Hido, Mr. Pogo and Ricky Fuji. There was also a mix of old FMW stars in Katsuji Ueda & Shark Tsuchiya, Fuyuki’s FMW stars in Chocoball Mukai & Onryo and independent wrestlers like GENTARO & Ichiro Yaguchi (an Onita loyalist). To give the fans more nostalgia, the ring canvas has the old FMW logo in the middle. Enough with the lengthy background and onto the review:

GENTARO vs. Ichiro Yaguchi vs. Fake Great Nita

This was a triple threat match. Ichiro Yaguchi is known as a “Jesus Rocker”, and Fake Great Nita is someone doing an impersonation of Atsushi Onita doing a Great Muta parody. It was joined in progress with Nita trying to hit both men with a sickle. Both men managed to avoid the attack. This match mixed in some comedy. In this case, it was a good thing because Yaguchi and Fake Nita are not too good. GENTARO wins the match when he used a superkick on Fake Great Nita.

Shark Tsuchiya & Kaori Nakayama vs. noki-A & GAMI

This was a ladies match between former FMW stars Shark & Kaori against ARSION’s noki-A & GAMI. FMW’s greatest women’s star Megumi Kudo is the special referee for this match. Shark was one of Kudo’s greatest rivals, and the opponent in Kudo’s retirement match. Kaori was one of Kudo’s students, but never lived up to the standards that Kudo set. This was joined in progress, and it was a decent match. The ARISON women were easily the better wrestlers, but Kaori looked good for team ex-FMW. Shark wasn’t in the match much, but she didn’t drag the match down. I was surprised that Shark did not pull any heel actions or betray Nakayama as a way to provoke Kudo into a fight. GAMI uses a Northern Lights Bomb on Kaori for the win. After the match, Kaori announces that she will be retiring from pro wrestling later in 2002. Atsushi Onita and Megumi Kudo talk with her backstage.

Katsuji Ueda vs. Chocoball Mukai

Ueda has a kickboxing background. He was a regular during the early days of FMW, and got the job because he was Atsushi Onita’s bodyguard. Chocoball Mukai was a porn star that was a big wrestling fan. Before going into porn, Mukai was in the New Japan dojo. However, he quit when the training was too much for him to handle. Kodo Fuyuki made his wrestling dreams come true in 1999, and joined the sports entertainment-era of FMW. Mukai also has a kickboxing background. With both of their backgrounds, they did this match under a round format. This was joined in progress, and it was not a good match. The highlight was Ueda hitting Mukai in the groin with a knee a few times in the match. It finally got excessive, and Ueda was disqualified in the third round.

Onryo & Sun Paul vs. Shooter #1 & Shooter #2

The Shooters were just two look-a-like masked guys during FMW of the mid-1990’s. They kept changing guys under the mask, but I think they might have had current New Japan star Minoru Tanaka under one of the masks for a little bit. Onryo was one of the guys signed to FMW from the smaller indy’s in 2000. Sun Paul was an American who was one of FMW’s last dojo graduates. I think Sun Paul has retired from pro wrestling because I haven’t seen him anywhere for a while. This was a fun match with the Shooters doing some comedy and decent wrestling, Onryo looking good in hitting his crazy moves and Paul looking decent for his limited experience. Onryo used the Onryo Clutch to pin one of the Shooters.

Barbed Wire Board Death Match: Masanobu Kurisu vs. Shoji Nakamaki

This was a pretty bad match, but it had some really bizarre entertainment value for me. Kurisu, who is wearing an Indianapolis Colts t-shirt in this match, is an old dude who had wrestled for All Japan Pro Wrestling back in the earlier days and he was on FMW’s first ever show. Nakamaki was a horrible pro wrestler, but won over fans because of his willingness to do anything in hardcore matches. It was a short match with a lot of brawling and Nakamaki taking a bump on the barbed wire board placed in the corner. Kurisu throws some powder in Nakamaki’s eyes, and uses a Jackknife cradle for the pin. Kurisu doing that cradle makes up for him not taking a bump on the barbed wire board. After the match, Nakamaki gets this surge of energy to run into another barbed wire board placed in the corner. The adrenaline must be high because Nakamaki seems unfazed from doing this.

Barbed Wire Baseball Bat Scramble Bunkhouse Death Match: Ricky Fuji vs. Mr. Pogo

After being an undercarder for FMW in last few years, Ricky Fuji returns to the Death Match. He faces Atsushi Onita’s greatest rival in Mr. Pogo. This match was way better than what I had expected. It still wasn’t a good match, but the effort was definitely there. The reason was that Mr. Pogo actually took a bump in this match despite him being old, very overweight and injured to the point of near paralysis. Fuji picked up Pogo and dropped him with the Kamikaze Fireman’s Carry. There were the usually Pogo goodies like sickles and huge knives. As a result of having them used towards Fuji’s forehead, Fuji bled a lot. The finish was mind boggling because Pogo counted a Fuji suplex with a Fujiwara Armbar.

Scorpion, Barbed Wire Board & Thumbtack Death Match: Hido vs. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga

This was a crazy match from the two Death Match veterans. To show just how crazy these two men were, both men voluntarily take a back bump on the thumbtacks as soon as the bell rings. They continue the thumbtack fun when they doing mat wrestling on them. The first use of scorpions in this match was when Hido picked them up with his hat and puts the hat on Matsunaga. Matsunaga comes back when he powerbombs Hido on his barbed wire bat. They use some creativity with the barbed wire boards when Matsuanga is dragon screwed on the barbed wire board. From there, Hido joins him on the board so that he could use a figure-four leglock. After the hold is let go, they do some more vicious stuff. Both men take off their shoes and wrestle in their bare feet. Matsunaga picks up Hido in an Argentine Backbreaker, and walks on the barbed wire board.
However, Matsunaga falls and calls it quits. It was a very disappointing finish to an insane match.

An extended video package aired. At the main event of a Fuyuki-Gun show on April 9, Onita scored the pin on Chocoball Mukai in a tag main event. Backstage, Fuyuki announced that he had cancer. He and Onita shared a tearful embrace. They said the rivalry was over, and they will support each other’s promotions. The main event of the debut show for WEW was announced as Atsushi Onita & The Great Sasuke face Zero-One’s Shinya Hashimoto & Shinjiro Otani. After the main event of the April 29 Zero-One show, Onita invades the ring. He calls out Hashimoto and they get into a brawl. Comments were made by Masato Tanaka, who has an interesting dilemma. He signed with Zero-One a few months earlier and seems very loyal to them, but teaming up with an enemy of theirs in Onita. Tanaka’s roots are in FMW with the hardcore. Kintaro Kanemura also offers a few comments.

Atsushi Onita & Masato Tanaka vs. Kintaro Kanemura & Tetsuhiro Kuroda

This was a really good match to close out this show. There were a few surprises that this match gave me. First, it was the fact that this resembled a sprint style FMW main event from the mid-to-late 1990’s instead of a blood and guts match. I guess they felt that the last three matches, with the gimmicks, had the blood involved. As a result, they wanted to go a different path with the match. Even without the blood, these men wrestled a hard hitting match with high impact moves and weapon use. The other thing that surprised me was Onita not making himself more of the star of the match. He picked his moves, and let the other three men carry the bulk of the match. As a result, everyone looked great in this match. The crowd was just hot for everything going on with this match, and really helped the match feel like a true FMW main event.

Tanaka gets to face his old FMW rivals Kanemura & Kuroda since leaving the company in February 2001. It looked like he had never left because the chemistry with him against Kanemura & Kuroda was still there. Right away, Tanaka and Kanemura had a fast paced exchange that ended with Tanaka jumping off the apron and connecting with a tornado DDT on the floor. After that, Kuroda and Onita are in the ring having a chair duel. Onita wins it and smashes Kuroda over the head with a chair. However, Kuroda was doing a Masato Tanaka-esque no sell with the chair shot. Both men have a headbutt exchange, and they roll out to the floor. A table is set up somewhere in the crowd, and Onita piledrives him through it. Kanemura runs Tanaka head through a table set up near a ringpost, and the brawl continues in the crowd.

After some crowd brawling, the match turned into a regular tag match with both sides having one man in the ring and the other in the corner. That quickly ended when Tanaka was on the floor. Kanemura sets him up on the table, climbs the top turnbuckle and dives off with a diving body press. Things calm down back into a regular tag match. Kanemura slams Tanaka headfirst into a table. He grabs a piece of that broken table, runs and smacks Tanaka on the back. A little bit of comedy occurred when Kuroda locked Tanaka in a figure-four leglock. Kanemura would join in by putting Tanaka in a headscissors hold. Onita would enter the ring and lock Kuroda in a headscissors hold as well. After a few seconds, it gets broken up.

Tanaka was worked over for a few minutes by Kanemura & Kuroda, but he managed to recover and tag in Onita. Onita got a piece of table, and went nuts in smashing it over the heads of his opponents. The match really picked up in a sprint with high impact moves like Onita’s DDT, Kuroda’s lariats, Tanaka using his elbow attacks and Kanemura doing rolling German suplexes. There were some close near falls with Kuroda using lariats on Tanaka. Onita had to make the save after Kuroda planted Tanaka with the Technan Buster. A few minutes later Onita used his Thunder Fire Powerbombs. Kuroda had to save his partner from near defeat. Towards the end, it looked like Kanemura had the match won. However, Tanaka caught Kanemura out of nowhere with the Roaring Elbow. Tanaka covers and gets the three count.

After the match, Tanaka said that he wanted to continue fighting Kanemura and Kuroda. However, he wants them to show up to Zero-One. When he grabbed the microphone, Kuroda attacks Tanaka. It led to a brawl between Zero-One wrestlers and the former FMW wrestlers minus Onita. Onita grabs the microphone and makes a speech that gets the crowd going nuts. At the end, he and the fans were tapping the mat in support for FMW. This gesture was a tradition held at the end of most FMW shows during their long run.

The 411: This was a really entertaining show that satisfied the nostalgic FMW fan in me. It mixed the hard-hitting FMW main event sprint from later years, blood from the gimmick matches, a women's match and a junior heavyweight match that saw the return of the Shooters. Outside of the main event, the wrestling wasn't too good. However, everyone was working really hard in the ring to make the show a success. My only people who I would recommend the show to are FMW fans because they would understand and enjoy the show present. If you are just looking for good wrestling action, then you would only enjoy the main event.
Final Score:  6.0   [ Average ]  legend

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