wrestling / Video Reviews

Complete Playbook: WEW on Samurai TV May 5, 2002

October 13, 2006 | Posted by Ryan Mancuso
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Complete Playbook: WEW on Samurai TV May 5, 2002  

Hello once again, I am back with another review. This time I will review the debut show of Kodo Fuyuki’s World Entertainment Wrestling on May 5, 2002 at the parking lot of Kawasaki Stadium. The WEW name was created in 1999 when FMW got rid of the old titles and created new ones with the WEW name on it. There was a rumor that Fuyuki had considered changing the name of the promotion from FMW to WEW. Despite the change in direction of the company, there was a sentiment that promotion was more attractive to fans with the FMW name than under a new name. FMW shut down in February 2002. As a result, WEW would continue the Entertainment Pro Wrestling direction that FMW was heading before they shut down.

The original main event of this show was supposed to be Kodo Fuyuki vs. Atsushi Onita in a deathmatch. However, Fuyuki was diagnosed with cancer and plans were changed. This change opened up the doors to a relationship between the WEW wrestlers and Zero-One. The main event was Zero-One’s Shinya Hashimoto & Shinjiro Otani against Atsushi Onita & Michinoku Pro’s The Great Sasuke.

Fuyuki also formed a working relationship with Pro Wrestling NOAH’s boss Mitsuharu Misawa. This allowed Fuyuki to have a singles match with Misawa at a major NOAH show. NOAH even allowed Fuyuki to have his retirement match, which was him teaming with Mitsuharu Misawa and Yoshinari Ogawa, in their ring. Fuyuki picked up the victory in his match when he pinned Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. NOAH even sent talent to help out with this show. Misawa, Ogawa, Akira Taue, Vader, Tamon Honda and Masao Inoue were all of the NOAH representatives on this show. Vader would face Kintaro Kanemura. Akira Taue would face Tetsuhiro Kuroda. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa would face Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue in an all NOAH tag.

Along with ex-FMW wrestlers and ones mentioned in the prior paragraghs, Fuyuki also got wrestlers from DDT in Sanshiro Takagi, Takashi Sasaki and Poison Sawada JULIE, and Big Japan with Jun Kasai. One of the traditions of FMW Kawasaki Stadium shows was a showcase on women’s wrestling. Fuyuki continues that tradition with Joshi legend Manami Toyota facing Kumiko Maekawa in an All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling offer match. He would also get talent from the LLPW promotion to have a match on the show. Enough with the preview and onto the show:

Fake Onita & Sun Paul vs. Satoshi Makita & Happy Ikeda

This was a match between 3 of FMW’s last dojo graduates, and Onita’s mini-me. Yes, he also portrayed Fake Great Nita at the Onita FMW show on my last review. This was joined in progress towards the end with the wrestlers showing the basics. Paul got the win over Ikeda with a Northern Lights Suplex Hold. The two teams fought after the match.

Kazumasa Nihei vs. Shinjuku Shark

This was the conclusion of an angle that started out during FMW’s dying days and continued after they shut down. Shark, this really scrawny boxer who wears boxing gloves during pro wrestling matches, had his girlfriend kidnapped by a group of bad men. Shark had to fight through all of the hired guns, and it was revealed that Nihei was the brains behind the operation. This match was clipped. Even in that form, the match was not good. Both men wrestled at below indy standards. Nihei won the match with a chairshot to Shark’s head and a lariat. After the match, Nihei let Shark’s girlfriend go free and offer his respect to Shark.

Poison Sawada JULIE & Jun Kasai vs. Biomonster DNA & Onryo

This was a clipped match that looked like it had some fun comedy in it. Throughout the match, JULIE and Kasai could not get along. JULIE was running off the ropes and slipped on a banana peel that “Crazy Monkey” Jun Kasai threw down while eating a banana. JULIE was able to use his mind control powers on a DNA mishap and vengeful ghost. JULIE scored the win for his team when he made Biomonster submit to Cattle Mutiliation.

Sanshiro Takagi & Takashi Sasaki vs. Chocoball Mukai & NOSAWA

This was joined in progress with Takashi dropkicking Mukai in the groin twice. Most of what was shown was exchanges with Takagi and NOSAWA. The match looked decent from what little was shown. Takagi got the win after using his Sanshiro Stunner and jumping knee attack on NOSAWA.

Manami Toyota vs. Kumiko Maekawa

This was joined in progress with Manami doing a plancha onto Maekawa on the floor. Maekawa sure loves to throw an axe kick around when she is on offense. I think I counted at least four attempts. Manami did get to show off some of her great offense during the match including the Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex, or a cross-armed electric chair drop with a bridge. She won the match with her Northern Lights Bomb/Fisherman Buster mix called the Japanese Ocean Queen Bee Bomb.

Rumi Kazama & Eagle Sawai vs. Harley Saito & Noriyo Tateno

This was also joined in progress towards the end. The match did not look anything special. Sawai got the win for her team when she used a powerbomb on Saito.

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue

Since Yoshinari Ogawa was the GHC Heavyweight Champion at the time, Misawa had to be in the unusual role of him entering and being introduced first for his time. Despite the special participation from the NOAH stars here, this felt more like a house show match. As a result, it made the 17 minute match feel much longer for me. There was nothing really to remember from this match. The finish was Misawa using the Tiger Driver on Inoue. Ogawa picks up the stunned Inoue for his Backdrop Suplex Hold for the 3 count.

Akira Taue vs. Tetsuhiro Kuroda

Although the winner of this match was obvious, it was still a fun match because of seeing just how close Kuroda would come to scoring the upset. Taue showed some good effort, and allowed Kuroda to get some of his big offense on him. It was the kind of match that surprised you in just how well Kuroda did, but it still left the idea that there was a big gap in the status of the wrestlers. Early in the match, Kuroda had to rely on his speed and intelligence to keep the taller Taue on the mat. Kuroda tried to a sprint lariat from the entrance area, but Taue caught him by the throat and threw him into the ring post. Taue was in control by using his strength advantage. Kuroda came back valiantly and scored a few near falls. In the end, Taue prevailed when he pinned Kuroda with the Ore Ga Taue, a backdrop suplex into a chokeslam.

Vader vs. Kintaro Kanemura

This was a short match, but fun for the same reason as the previous match. Kanemura knew that he had to knock the mastodon down to stand a chance. Vader being more injured, overweight and older than his more dominant days of the early-to-mid 1990’s means that he is more prone to defeat with each time he falls down. Vader just relied on his brute strength, and made Kanemura pay for signing the contract. I felt that Kuroda vs. Taue was a better match. I am bigger fan of these two wrestlers, and wanted to see it as soon as the match was made official. As a result, I will be doing play-by-play for this match:

Before the match started, Vader was really interacting with the crowd and trying to get them pumped up for the match. Kanemura just needs to do his Team No Respect dance, and the fans will respond. The bell rings, and Kanemura is very cautious to getting close to Vader. They tie up. Vader uses his strength to push Kanemura away. Vader shows the power of his striking by knocked Kanemura down a few times with punches, headbutts and a short arm lariat. Vader covered, but Kanemura kicks out at two.

Vader throws Kanemura off the rope, and just runs over the death match star with his size. Vader puts Kanemura into the corner. He just punishes him with punches. Kanemura falls onto the mat, and Vader drops all of his weight for a big splash. Vader covers, but Kanemura barely kicks out at 2. Vader swings for the fences for a punch, but Kanemura ducks. Vader goes for it again. However, Kanemura counters with the great equalizer known as the low blow.

Kanemura tries to knock him down with elbow smashes and shoulderblocks, but the big man was still standing. Kanemura runs off the ropes, and connects with a running baseball slide low blow. Vader finally falls down. Kanemura runs off the ropes again, and uses a lariat to knock Vader down again. Kanemura covers, but Vader gorilla presses Kanemura off him as soon as the ref made a 2 count. Vader is knocked down once more when Kanemura uses a jumping elbow smash.

Kanemura exits the ring and gets a table from under the ring. He charges at Vader with the folded up table, and nails the mastodon with it. Kanemura sets the table, stands on it and celebrates. He is feeling that a huge upset could happen. Kanemura hit Vader in the corner a few times. However, Vader comes back with one big punch and nearly KO’s Kanemura with it. Vader fires off rapid punches onto Kanemura in the same corner.

Vader picks up Kanemura and chokeslams him through a table. Vader isn’t done with Kanemura. He picks him up once more and plants him with another chokeslam. Vader climbs the second turnbuckle and comes off with a huge Vader Bomb for the win in under seven minutes.

Shinya Hashimoto & Shinjiro Otani vs. Atsushi Onita & The Great Sasuke

This was a match that I liked and disliked. I liked it because it had a great atmosphere involved with Hashimoto and Onita going at it for the first time. Shinjiro Otani and The Great Sasuke involved also helps out with the match quality. I disliked it because the finish felt like it was full of politics. With this being a huge show, there had to be an obligation to give the fans a decisive winner so they could go home happy. I wasn’t expecting Hashimoto or even Otani to lose because Zero-One was still considered a major organization in 2002. I thought Sasuke was in the match just so someone had to drop the fall because he doesn’t have a problem dropping falls to wrestlers that have much higher status than him. I have the feeling that Onita did not even want that to happen. Instead, they did the DQ finish twice with the mist and fireball. It was a shame because this was developing into a fun tag match during the restart.

After Otani and Sasuke had a Jr. Heavyweight-esque exchange, Onita and Hashimoto were in the ring. As soon as they went for a test of strength, Onita sprayed green mist in the eyes of Hashimoto. The referee called for bell because he disqualified Onita for that tactic. This led to a chaotic brawl between the Zero-One roster and a lot of indy wrestlers who supported Onita. Fans were throwing trash into the ring. They were not happy with this result, and the idea that they would get a main event that didn’t even go five minutes. Hashimoto got on the microphone, and asked WEW owner Kodo Fuyuki for a restart of the match. Fuyuki grants Hashimoto’s wishes, and the match starts again.

The match restarts. Sasuke puts Otani on a table on the floor. He runs off the ropes and dives onto him with a tope con giro. The table does not break from the impact of that move. Onita and Sasuke set up a table in the ring. Onita puts Otani through it with a piledriver. Sasuke covers, but Otani barely kicks out at 2. Otani eventually recovers and tags in Hashimoto. Hashimoto just punishes Sasuke with his hard kicks. Hashimoto even nails Sasuke in the head with a chair. Onita was going for another mist attack, but Hashimoto kicked him in the head. As a result, the mist went up in the air. It was a back and forth tag match for a few minutes. However, Onita got himself disqualified again when he uses a fireball attack on Otani.

This led to another brawl between the Zero-One wrestlers and the indy wrestlers. Fans threw trash into the ring again. I found it interesting that Zero-One’s Naohiro Hoshikawa went straight after Sasuke when the brawl started to occur. Hoshikawa use to work for Michinoku Pro Wrestling from the beginning of his career until 1999. Sasuke was his former boss in Michinoku Pro. Yoshihito Sasaki, former FMW dojo trainee who transferred to Zero-One once FMW shut down, was fighting against some of his former indy comrades. Masato Tanaka didn’t get involved in the brawl, but did stand next to Hashimoto after the brawl stopped.

Unlike last time, there would be no match restart. Onita, Sasuke and Hashimoto spoke on the microphone after the match. A semi-blinded Otani went after Onita and Sasuke in the backstage area. To close out this TV episode, Kodo Fuyuki’s retirement ceremony has held in the middle of the ring. Fuyuki gave a speech. He was showered in yellow streamers, and they gave him a 10 count with the ring bell. After the 10 count, Fuyuki got even more yellow streamers and the ring announcer gave Fuyuki his ring intro. Kintaro Kanemura, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, NOSAWA and Chocoball Mukai entered the ring to celebrate. Kanemura even gave Fuyuki a big hug.

The 411: This was quite the supershow with talent from different promotions being showcased. The main event tag had an insane atmosphere, but the finish to it just left me on a sour note. Vader vs. Kanemura and Taue vs. Kuroda matches were fun matches, but nothing that is a must see. The all NOAH tag match felt like a house show match where everyone just went through the motions. The rest of the show was clipped, but did offer the variety that FMW Kawasaki Stadium shows had provided. It was hard to tell how good those matches might have been. Overall, this is a show that is worth skipping.
Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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Ryan Mancuso

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