Time for some late 80s Japanese sleaze! Today I watched a random FMW tape. This is a review of that tape. As is often the case with Japanese wrestling tapes from the 80s and 90s a lot of these matches are clipped so I’m going to forego giving stuff ratings unless I’m pretty certain I saw the majority of the match (or if I can find the match in full on Youtube and watch it there). Let’s get it on!
Previously on FMW…
There’s some footage of matches. I think they took place prior to this event and are being used to hype up what we’re about to see, but I’m not entirely certain since the narrator dude is speaking in Japanese, a language that I do not understand.
Match 1: Kumiko Matsuda vs. Miwa Sato
We got lady grapplers kicking things off. I’ve never heard of either of these ladies before, which is kind of a rarity on this particular card. Matsuda controls the bulk of the match by spamming kicks to Sato’s thigh.
Sato eventually makes a come back with a side headlock that Matsuda flips out of, but Sato manages an ugly roll up. Matsuda gets back in control and kicks Sato in the leg some more and then picks up the win with a single leg Boston crab.
Winner: Kumiko Matsuda
This seemed like a pretty bad match, since even in clipped form there were botches and sloppiness abounding. That being said this makes sense since if Cagematch.com is to be believed these woman had each had like four matches prior to this and neither woman seemed to go on to do anything of note. [*]
Match 2: Little Devil vs. Tiger Jackson
We had a ladies match so now it’s time for the midgets! Little Devil (or Little Debil as the on screen graphic listed him) wrestled elsewhere as Little Louie. Tiger Jackson, meanwhile, would go on to play Dink in the WWF a couple years after this match. Watching clips of this match it’s pretty easy to see how he got the gig since the bulk of this match was him doing slapstick comedy spots.
Oddly enough it’s an actual wrestling exchange that ends the match. Devil comes off the ropes and Jackson does a drop down spot, but Devil gets him in a body scissors, rolls through and ends up pinning him.
Winner: Little Devil
In clipped form this seemed pretty decent. They did the midget comedy match stuff but also had a few pretty decent grappling exchanges. I wouldn’t need to see these guys on every card, but as a one off match this was fine. [*½]
Match 3: Crusher Dennis vs. Mitsuteru Tokuda
Ho fuck it’s Mideon! This actually looks like it might have been a decent match. I think Tokuda’s a judo guy or something. He wears a gi and does a bunch of judo throws and stuff in the early going.
Crusher Dennis hits a brutal looking suplex to take control. They both go over the top rope after a clothesline from Tokuda, but then there’s clipping and the next thing we know they’re back in the ring where shit’s about to get serious!
You can tell shit’s about to go down because Tokuda takes off his judo jacket. He is, however promptly destroyed by Dennis with a horrible looking DDT or something. I seriously don’t know.
Tokuda makes a comeback and sends Dennis to the outside and then nails him with a top rope splash out on the floor. They brawl on the floor for a bit before they are clipped back into the ring where Tokuda nails Dennis with an awesome suplex.
There’s more clipping and Crusher Dennis is back in control. He hits a running power slam that’s enough to put Tokuda away.
Winner: Crusher Dennis
From the clips this looks like this was a pretty decent match undercard match. They worked pretty well together and the crowd was hot for the stuff that got shown here. [**]
Match 4: Masanobu Kurisu vs. Shoji Akiyoshi
Kurisu seems like a pissed off old cunt. Akiyoshi would go on to become Jado, but here he’s just some kid in his first match with a mean old fuck who beats the living fuck out of him. Kurisu just kicks amd stomps the shit out of Akiyoshi’s head.
At one point they end up outside and Kurisu brains Akiyoshi with a chair in the head. They head back in and Akiyoshi seems legit pissed off and is fired up for awhile but Kurisu is a dick and kicks him in the head some more. I think at the end of the match he legit knocked Akiyoshi the fuck out.
Winner: Masanobu Kurisu
This seemed sleazier than anything else on the card since it seemed like Kurisu was legit just kicking the fuck out of a dude. Maybe it was a work and Kurisu’s just really good, but a lot of it seemed stiff as hell. Not really an enjoyable thing to watch. [-*]
Match 5: Sambo Asako vs. Monkey Magic Wakita
Sambo Asako is a fat fuck in a judo gi. Monkey Magic Wakita would later put on a mask and become Super Delfin. This sort of “different styles” match seemed to be a thing that Onita liked doing in early FMW shows. I guess Onita had watched Inoki vs. Ali and for some reason thought that that match was good and needed to be replicated since a bunch of matches here seem to be like judo guys verse wrestlers or karate guys verse brawlers. I don’t know.
Wakita tries to use his speed to wreck house on Asako and is kind of successful early on knocking the fat fuck off his feet, but eventually Asako uses his fatness to crush Wakita and pick up the win.
Winner: Sambo Asako
This was every fat guy vs. skinny fast guy match ever. Even clipped down to just the best stuff it kind of sucked. [-**]
Match 6: Delta Dawn vs. Despina Montagas
Indian Strap Match
Time for an “Indian” strap match. At least this time it just seems to be a regular match where the combatants are tied together with a strap and not the stupid “touch all four corners” style strap match.
We get about three minutes of Montagas and Delta Dawn beating the fuck out of each other. There are a couple strap spots and they brawl on the outside for awhile. The match comes to a close when Jos LeDuc (who was apparently at ringside for some reason) straight up punches Despina Montagas in the mug which allows Delta Dawn to pick up the win.
Afterwards Tarzan Goto gets into it with LeDuc since I think Goto was legit married to Montagas or something. Despina gets helped to the back by Japanese ladies, one of whom might have been the lady who got her ass kicked in the opening bout.
Winner: Delta Dawn
Clipping, stupid stipulation, and wacky ending not withstanding this was a pretty decent match. Delta Dawn and Despina Montagas beat the fuck out of each other here, wrestling a much more entertaining bout than the similar chain match that followed it. [**]
Match 7: Jos LeDuc vs. Dick Murdoch
American Street Fight Chain Match
We follow up the strap match with a chain match. LeDuc takes most of the match, slowly clubbering Murdoch with a forearm wrapped in a chain. Both dudes get busted open. This was slow, boring, and gross. Racist asshole, Dick Murdoch, makes his comeback by punching LeDuc as he came off the ropes with a move. Murdoch then hits an elbow drop to pick up the win.
Winner: Dick Murdoch
Kind of bad booking in my mind to have two stipulation matches back to back where the stipulation is nearly identical. Even if there hadn’t been two matches with nearly identical stipulations back to back this wouldn’t have been a particularly good match since even in clipped form it was just two fat, old guys bleeding all over the place and slowly clubbering one another with a chain and forearms. [*]
Meanwhile With the Ring Crew…
The narrator dude says some stuff as we see footage of the ring crew unspooling barbed wire around the ring. The barbed wire is set up in a weird way. Rather than being strung up with the ring ropes or in place of them, it’s been strung up on the outside of the ring posts.
Match 8: Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto vs. Jerry Blayman & Mitsuhiro Matsunaga
Barbed Wire Death Match
It’s time for a barbed wire death match! Lol Jerry Blayman’s (the man who would become WCW’s Jerry Flynn) onscreen graphic reads, “Jelly Greyman.” Poor Jerry Flynn…
They’re pretty much working this like a normal tag team match. Waiting on the apron for the tag seems like it probably sucks since the dudes waiting for the tag are standing between the ropes and the barbed wire and probably got more cut up while on the apron than while in the match.
This is a death match in the traditional sense of the term in that once knocked down a dude has to return to his feet before the ref counts to ten or lose the match (aka what the WWE calls a Last Man Standing match). The team of Blayman and Matsunaga just kick the shit out of Onita and Goto for the bulk of the match. The other dudes get like zero offense in.
Onita’s arm gets torn to shit at some point and Goto is bleeding from the eyes while Blayman and Matsunaga seem to be unscathed, though part of that could be that they were wearing karate gi which are made out of sturdier fabrics that wrestling tights (and also cover more of their body).
Goto eventually gets the hot tag and unloads on the karate guys with shitty looking headbutts, before they overwhelm him with kicks and take control of the match again.
Onita comes back in but proceeds to get his shit wrecked some more. His arm wound is fucking disgusting. Onita eventually hits a desperation clothesline on Jerry Blayman and then hurks him up as Goto holds Matsunaga back in the corner.
Jerry Flynn gets murdered by some sloppy looking Razor’s Edge/Piledriver thing from Onita (basically he just got dumped on his head) and is unable the get back to his feet by the count of ten and so Onita and Goto are declared the winners.
After the match dudes carry Onita around on their shoulders while a narrator does voiceover stuff that’s probably about fighting spirit or something, who knows?
Winners: Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto
This was a pretty decent old school tag match with Onita playing the face in peril for the bulk of it. It’s kind of amazing how little the barbed wire actually comes into play in this match. Yes, Onita and Goto both get visibly cut up in it and Blayman and Matsunaga both kind of fall into it at points, but it’s just there. Neither team really tries to use it much and are more content to karate kick each other. [**⅔]
Meanwhile in the Back…
I guess this is after the show since Onita’s cleaned up a bit. He’s teary eyed and cuts a promo. I don’t speak Japanese really so all I understood was “Thank you,” and “FMW.”
With the exception of the main event everything else on the tape was clipped which I’m not all that keen on. A couple of the matches seem like they could have been decent if I’d seen the entire thing, others were probably better off in clip format. It’s kind of weird how tame this show was compared to the later shows FMW would put on or the wrestling that it would inspire other federations to put on. The bulk of the card was more or less straight wrestling (including a comedy midget match), though even here you can kind of see where FMW would go as a fed since the main matches were all bloody stipulation matches.
Will I watch more FMW? Maybe, though I’d much rather watch matches that aren’t clipped so I’ll have to see what I can find.