FMW Official Video 4th YEAR-END SENSATION '95 in YOKOHAMA
Gekko (Masao Orihara) vs. Gosaku Goshogawara 2:25 of 3:00. An impressive display of brutality by Gekko, who toyed with Goshogawara in this brutal squash. Gekko just blistered his hapless foe with nasty strikes, busting him open big time.
Kaori Nakayama vs. Miwa Sato 3:33 of 7:18. Sato controlled the match, including punishing Nakayama with a deadly towel. Nakayama went for broke with an early moonsault, but Miwa was avoiding or countering her offense. It was actually pretty decent until they blew the finish where Nakayama was supposed to turn Sato’s powerbomb into a huracanrana.
Yukari Ishikura vs. Bad Nurse Nakamura 3:41 of 6:09. Fairly entertaining match. Ishikura was more advanced than Nakayama. Though not as spectacular, she was a Chikayo Nagashima type, a very energetic performer with superior execution who liked to develop the counter game. The execution wasn’t always perfect, but they at least tried to put together some quality segments.
Katsutoshi Niiyama vs. Tetsuhiro Kuroda 4:58 of 9:40. Niiyama was actually a solid indie heavyweight, though it was often hard to tell as he’d team with Atsushi Onita in wild street fights. He wasn’t spectacular or a particularly gifted athlete, but he gave a good sound effort, working to develop the match. After Onita, Niiyama was often in these sort of help develop the youngster matches, which if this was any indication he did pretty well. Kuroda was always overrated in my book, but he followed adequately. Decent match.
5 Big Special Match:
FMW World Brass Knuckles Tag Title Match: Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Daisuke Ikeda vs. Hisakatsu Oya & Horace Boulder 17:24 of 17:38. I was hoping they’d try a U.W.F. style match in spite of Boulder, but it’s hard to say what they did beyond a boring match that contained no sequences. They struggled to find style, direction, and rhythm, doing stripped down, simplistic pro-wrestling with kicks, stomps, elbow drops, and submission holds. The final minutes were interesting enough when they kicked the pace up four gears, but even then it was essentially ordinary wrestling with increased speed and urgency. *1/2
Street Fight Match: Mr. Pogo vs. Masato Tanaka 19:19. To me this sort of “match” that consists entirely of inflicting countless wounds upon a good wrestler is not beneficial and certainly a waste of talent. Tanaka was stuck trying to be Atsushi Onita, except he lacks the clout so Pogo doesn’t bother to sell for him at all, just slicing and dicing him the entire night in this sadistic massacre. Tanaka gave a very fiery performance, but it’s hard for the crowd to get behind you when you are cut off after a few good elbows or punches. Pogo escaped the first 13 minutes completely unscathed, but Tanaka finally attacked Pogo with a piece of the table he broke with a diving body press to the floor. Pogo did a touch of wrestling when he was younger, but by this point he was so out of shape he labored just from having to run all the way to the corner when Tanaka whipped him. Normally these bloodbaths at least contain a few spots that are notable, but unless you go crazy for a DDT or piledriver on a barbed wire bat you can safely skip this match. *
Megumi Kudo & Aja Kong vs. Combat Toyoda & Bison Kimura 22:30. I’m not much for class reunions, but bringing together some of the famous names from the great AJW class of 1986 led to one of the best women’s matches in the history of FMW. I’d rate this as the second best straight match the division delivered behind Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Megumi Kudo & Combat Toyoda 5/5/93, though perhaps Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto vs. Combat Toyoda & Megumi Kudo 9/19/92 might be better if we could see it unedited. FMW women can be exciting, but rarely does the division deliver such a solid, well-executed match. This match is probably underrated because it’s not the sort of match that jumps out at you. There’s perhaps nothing glaringly exceptional about it, but consistency is one of its biggest strengths. What I really like about the match is its unified style. What sets Kong apart from the run of the mill hard hitter is her interplay, intensity and charisma. She instills this style from the outset, so there’s good solid impact on everything, allowing the match to be entertaining from the outset, but it also amounts to more than simply blasting away. Even though it takes quite a while for them to actually do much beyond the basic, we feel as though they are really going after each other. It’s a constant build rather than a match of specific portions, following a very natural and logical progression by going from heavy strikes to ordinary bone crunching moves such as Combat’s backbreaker to all the bombs, suplexes, and drivers. In the end, they use just about every power move in their arsenal, but it nothing feels out of place or excessive. As great as Aja is, the real standout of the match is probably Combat, who is simply on fire. She wrestles with a chip on her shoulder, trying to prove she deserves to be in the best big woman conversation. It’s clearly one of her best performances, just refusing to back down from Queen Kong. Combat might be overmatched and she might lose the series, but she won’t let Aja bully her. Combat might take 3 or 4 headbutts in a row, but she’d get right in Aja’s face and return one. Kudo is much leaner and doesn’t naturally fit into the brute strength style of the other three, but she does a nice job as the wild card, bringing it on occasion but more often using her athleticism to counter her opponent’s power moves. I’d probably go ¼* lower on an AJW show from the period, which would undoubtedly have a couple other matches that were at least on this level, but this is a top 5 FMW women’s match. ****
Caribbean Barbed Wire Spider Net Double Hell Glass Crush Death Match: Mitsuhiro Matsunaga & Jason the Terrible & Hideki Hosaka vs. Super Leather & W*ING Kanemura & Hido 12:43 of 14:42. Superior to the Pogo vs. Tanaka street fight because there were periods of actual wrestling and they did a decent job of using the gimmicks to enhance their regular moves, highlighted by Kanemura being slammed off the apron onto the glass crush and Leather suffering the same fate after being propelled over the top by a double lariat. Still, they mostly gored each other, and there was too much stomping and holding each other against the two barbed wire ropes. At least there were two safe ropes that allowed them to run around some. Hosaka hit both his regular Frankensteiner and one of the top, while Kanemura’s team did their moves on or through a table. Death match fans will most likely enjoy this, but these gimmick after gimmick matches just don’t hold my interest. *3/4
Hayabusa & The Great Sasuke & Koji Nakagawa vs. Super Delfin & Ricky Fuji & TAKA Michinoku 17:14. A great tag team main event by FMW standards, but a “poor” one by the off the charts standards of what Michinoku was delivering during this Sekigun vs. Kaientai Deluxe era. The Michinoku tags were so great because familiarity allowed for amazing speed and impeccable timing. Though Delfin was good, TAKA vs. Sasuke was on a level the others could only dream of. Both do an amazing job of utilizing their athleticism, not only for flying but more importantly to make so many counters possible. The FMW wrestlers couldn’t be expected to just walk in without any real practice and match what Michinoku has been slowly developing for a number of years, especially when purolucha is simply a change of pace for them. Hayabusa is made for this sort of match though. He was spotted beautifully, flying in for several cameo appearances. Nakagawa was clearly the best and most solid of the FMW three. He lacks the offense, but he was effective in the MEN’S Teio sort of way, being easy to work with and play off. Masayoshi Motegi takes a lot of crap for being the stiff of the J-CUP’s, but unlike the hopeless goofball Fuji, he was at least passable enough to garner multiple invites. Replace him with Orihara and give them a handful of warmup matches and they could hit 4 stars. Still, it was quite an admirable effort. ***1/2