Wrestling: FMW

Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling is a Japanese Professional Wrestling promotion founded by Atsushi Onita in 1989. He started it due to the two main promotions, Antonio Inoki's New Japan Pro Wrestling and Giant Baba's All Japan Pro Wrestling, rejecting his ideas about how "everything should be allowed in Puroresu". Onita expanded on the brawling style he had encountered in Jerry Lawler's Continental Wrestling Association in Memphis, Tennessee and the use of barbed-wire in the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico. Baba derisively labeled the FMW style "Garbage Wrestling", though it is more respectfully labeled "Hardcore." While Onita was the focus, and many Japanese wrestlers (W*ING Kanemura, Masato Tanaka, Hayabusa, Tarzan Goto, Mr. Gannosuke) made their names there, it also was the promotion where American wrestler Mike Awesome made his career as "The Gladiator" and also where Sabu first made his name, and, as a result of competing in no-rope barbed-wire matches, became the "scarred-up freak" the world would come to know and love. Much of what FMW pioneered would later be brought to US audiences via ECW. The company closed down in 2002. It was revived 2015, with Hideki Takahashi as president and Hayabusa as the main producer, now calling the company Cho Sento Puroresu FMW, with Atsushi Onita promised to participate in some form as well.

FMW's Anniversary Show, generally held on May 5, the show that the whole year centered around.

The basics can be found at The Other Wiki.

"Frontier Martial-Arts Tropes":

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Atsushi Onita, leading to the temporary departures of Mr. Gannosuke and Flying Kid Ichihara
  • The Ace: Atsushi Onita, when he was actually around anyway
  • Action Girl: Megumi Kudo, Kyoko Inoue.
  • Acrofatic: Vic Grimes, the rotund spring boarder. Also, Mammoth Sasaki.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Japanese wrestling mainstream
  • Ascended Extra: Randy Neverman, who had previously been a Jobber in WWE under his own name, was the first FMW WWA Brass Knuckles Champion as Beast the Barbarian.note 
  • Ass Shove: To win an Anal Explosion Match, you must stick a fire cracker in your opponent's ass and successfully detonate it.
  • Author Avatar: Atsushi Onita, Kodo Fuyuki. The latter was much more involved with his own booking.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Sheik, Sabu, Mr. Pogo.... Just read some of the match descriptions. It was a PROMOTION full of crazy.
  • Bad Boss: Kodo Fuyuki, enemy of garbage wrestling and lover of something even lower than "The Japanese mainstream" or invaders from Puerto Rico, sports entertainment!
  • Badass Biker: Kuroda rode with a group of them when entering arenas.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Megumi Kudo took some horrible abuse over her career, especially in her retirement match against Shark Tsuchiya (unofficially, the Distaff Counterpart to Tiger Jeet Singh) in 1997, but was able to pose for Japanese photobooks in 1999 and later.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Mr. Gannosuke as a heel. Averted by H, who had a lighter bleached blond cut in response.
  • Brainwashing: Team No Respect did this to FMW President Hiroshi Arai's niece.
  • Canada, Eh?: Sudden Impact (Chris Jericho and Lance Storm)
  • Chainsaw GOOD: Leatherface Also went into Captain Ersatz and Writing Around Trademarks territory with Super Leather
  • Cool Mask: Hayabusa
  • Crossover: Professional boxer Leon Spinks held the FMW W.F.D.A. World Martial Arts Title for two months in 1992.
  • Dark Action Girl: Shark Tsuchiya and her Mad Dog Military
  • Darker and Edgier: Set out to be compared to All Japan and New Japan. FMW was very violent.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Hido became Willie Takayama after being defeated by Willie Williams and teamed up with him against his former No Respect stablemates.
  • Delinquent Hair: Bad boy Hido did with a bowl cut
  • Delinquents: H became one over due to his frustrations with Team No Respect
  • Do Not Call Me Paul: The Head Hunters (A&B) would address each other as "A" or "B."
  • The Dreaded: The FMW Women's division quickly built up a fearsome reputation in the AWJ locker room. Newer feds JWP and LLPW on the other hand said "Bring it".
  • Dreadlock Warrior: Kick boxer Willie Williams
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The firs FMW shows featured pro wrestlers taking on fighters from other disciplines like karate and judo but quickly the promotion turned to showcasing many different divisions and styles of wrestling. Then came the death matches...
  • Easy Sex Change: Azuska Kudo became the woman known as Gosaku and then decided to change back, which somehow turned not just her into him but him into the half spider Bio-monster DNA.
  • Enemy Mine: Victor Quiñonez's arrival from IWA Japan and his forming the Puerto Rican Army was impactful enough to get the regular FMW guys and the W*ING Alliance on the same side.
  • Everything's Even Worse With Sharks: Shark Tsuchiya
  • Facial Markings: Mr. Pogo, the Gladiator, Shark Tsuchiya
  • Fun with Acronyms: Terry Funk's Heel faction, Funk Masters of Wrestling.
  • Garbage Wrestling: The Trope Namer
    • Batter Up: Often wrapped in barbed-wire.
    • Chairman of the Brawl: Mammoth Sasaki had his Home Run, where he would wrap a chair around his standing opponent's head and then smack him with a chair.
    • Playing with Fire: The Onita/Tarzan Goto vs. The Sheik/Sabu No Ropes Fire Death Match from the May 6, 1992 show, which went to a No-Contest due to the fire getting out of control. The Sheik, then in his 60s, was left in the ring with the fire burning down everything. He had to be rushed to the hospital and treated for third degree burns.
  • Gimmick Matches: MANY. One of Onita's chief innovations was taking down the ring ropes and replacing them with barbed-wire.note  This led to the barbed-wire being attached to electrical charges and/or C4 explosives.
    • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death: Oh, so much.
    • At the 7th Anniversary Show, May 5, 1996, Terry Funk and Mr. Pogo d. Masato Tanaka and Hayabusa in a "No Rope Explosive Barbed Wire Time Bomb Land Mine Double Hellnote  Death Match."
    • At the 8th Anniversary Show (held on April 29, 1997, instead of the usual date of May 5), Megumi Kudo defeated Shark Tsuchiya in a "No Rope 200 Volt double hell Double Barbed Wire Barricade Double Landmine Crushed Glass Electrical Barbed Wire Death Match" to win the FMW World Women's Title.
    • At the 10th Anniversary Show, which was held on November 23, 1999 as their November PPV, FMW WEW Singles Champion Masato Tanaka d. Kodo Fuyuki in a "Loser Leaves FMW Electrical Thunderbolt Cage Death Match."
  • Grandfather Clause: The presence of Brass Knuckle title belts in a garbage promotion became more and more questionable as FMW got more and more extreme. Fans held the titles in high regard was the main reason.
  • Hard Head: Tarzan Goto's
  • Humiliating Wager: At FMW Making of a New Legend- Day 2, June 15, 1999, Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka and Tetsuhiro Kuroda defeated Hido, Mr. Gannosuke and Yukihiro Kanemura in a "Six Man Loser Eats Dog Food Ladder Scramble Match."
  • Hypocrite: Kodo Fuyuki exposed the virtues of sports entertainment while demanding Hayabusa remove his mask because he didn't want "superheroes" in FMW. Then he turned around and gave the Hayabusa gimmick to Mr. Gannosuke.
  • I Have the High Ground: Hayabusa was the top high-flyer in FMW.
  • I'll Kill You!: Shouted skyward by W*ING Kanemura about Balls Mahoney, from the roof of a skyscraper.
  • It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: While the name Onita reads like it would be pronounced "Oh-NEE-Ta," Japanese audiences pronounced it as "Oni-TA."
  • Japanese Politeness: Through all the blood, broken glass and electrocutions, the crowds tended to sit in near silence, popping bigger for the more conventional fights (excepting top face Masato Tanaka, Hayabusa, Megumi Kudo's death matches) and wrestling matches but still mostly being silent. The English commentators suggested the quieter than usual responses to the garbage matches was Stunned Silence.
  • Kayfabe: Katsutoshi Niiyama was fired in 1997 for breaking it by publicly celebrating with arch rival Koji Nakagawa.
  • Keet: Tetsuhiro Kuroda took full advantage of FMW's referee's frequent neglect to count anyone out and would sprint all over the arena if allowed to by his opponents, in search of better weapons. He'd also no sell weapon strikes from non wrestlers while doing so.
  • Licensed Game: Virtual Pro Wrestling is nominally a WCW series but the "Dead Or Alive Wrestling" sections of the rosters are filled with FMW wrestlers.
  • Male Gaze: Unapologetic about it too, at least when it came to the non wrestling valets. A few of the wrestlers made threats to the cameras.(The male gaze didn't start until they started parodying the WWF McMahonRusso trends. Naturally this would be the one thing they played straight, even if not 100% of the time)
  • Masked Luchador: Mascarita Sagrada, Konnan, El Hijo del Santo, Tinieblas Sr., Tinieblas Jr.
  • Mooning: Riky Fugi, although he didn't want to, Team No Respect pulled down his pants while he was climbing a ladder.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Hannibal, Dr. Luther
  • Nice Hat: Hisakatsu Oya's "traditional attire" hat, Emi Motokawa's cowboy hat
  • Non-Indicative Name: Despite the words "Martial-Arts" being in the name, I Know Karate was not a high priority. The name comes from the original idea of a shoot-style promotion which Onita concocted when he was refused entry to an Universal Wrestling Federation event. In all its history, Masashi Aoyagi and Willie Williams were the only martial arts wrestlers in the promotion.
  • One-Letter Name: Hayabusa renamed himself "H," after Kodo Fuyuki forced him to stop using the Hayabusa gimmick and the Head Hunters are A&B. See Do Not Call Me Paul above.
  • Our Titans Are Different: At 6'6, when Onita, Tarzan Goto, W*ING Kanemura, Koji Nakagawa, Mr. Pogo and others were usually under 6', Big Titan (Rick "The Fake Razor Ramon"/"Ric Titan" Bogner) was a definite Type 2.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: Pandita
  • Power Stable: There were a variety of factions in FMW. The following list is only some of them.
    • ZEN (led by Onita after his heel turn)
    • Team Canada (led by Ricky Fuji and featuring the Gladiator and Big Titan [Rick "The Fake Razor Ramon" Bogner])
    • Team No Respect (started by commissioner Kodo Fuyuki, led by Gedo and Jado and who made the supposedly "outrageous" DeGeneration X look mild and polite)
    • Lethal Weapon (featuring Mr. Pogo, Ricky Fuji, the Gladiator and Hulk Hogan's nephew Horace Boulder)
    • The Puerto Rican Army (led by manager/promoter Victor Quiñonez and featuring the Head Hunters, Mr. Pogo and the Gladiator).
    • The Sheik Army (led by The Sheik and featuring his nephew Sabu, the Gladiator, Mexican wrestler Damian 666, and the notoriously horrible Tiger Jeet Singh and his son Tiger Jeet Singh Jr.note )
    • Mad Dog Military (led by Shark Tsuchiya and featuring Yoshika "Crusher" Maedomari, Noriyo "Combat" Toyoda and Bad Nurse Nakamura)
  • Power Trio: Tarzan Goto, Mr. Gannosuke and Flying Kid Ichihara: "Shin FMW". The three would appear on the cards of other shows and even run their own cards separate from the rest of FMW sometimes.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Chocoball Mukai wore pink and black, not unlike a certain someone.
  • Real Song Theme Tune:
    • Atsushi Onita: The Troggs's "Wild Thing"
    • Hisakatsu Oya had Tomomi Tanimoto perform during his entrance on the tenth anniversary show.
  • Red Boxing Gloves: Hido can wrestle and expertly apply submissions in them.
  • Ring of Fire: Infamously Gone Horribly Wrong in a no rope barbed wire match featuring Onita, Goto, Sabu and The Sheik. So much so that in WWC later, a disqualification would be drawn when a fireball was thrown in one of Sabu's barbed wire matches.
  • Ring Oldies: Willie Williams, The Funk Brothers Dory and Terry, the Original Sheik, Tiger Jeet Singh
  • The Rival
    • Victor Quiñonez's International Wrestling Association Japan (the one which held the King of the Death Match Tournament on August 20, 1995).
    • Also, W*ING. At W*ING Take Off 2nd, June 12, 1996, there was a FMW (Tanaka/Koji Nakagawa/Tetsuhiro Kuroda) vs. W*ING (BADBOY Hido/Kanemura/Hideki Hosaka) Street Fight, which Team FMW won when Tanaka pinned Hido.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Sweet Georgia Brown for about a year, the second year. She'd take you in a street fight if you talked back too. Also, Jazz from ECW.
  • Sinister Scythe: Mr. Pogo and Shark Tsuchiya used them.
  • Shout-Out: Kaori Nakayama wore a headscarf as entrance attire in tribute to Sabu.
  • Something Completely Different: All Japan was trying to have a formal presentation the way a prominent sports get, while New Japan was trying to make its matches resemble athletic competition. Then came these guys taking ultra violent gimmicks from overseas further than anyone ever had before. For this reason it averts Seinfeld Is Unfunny even for foreign viewers because of how much of the really out there gimmicks (explosives, etc.) were not brought over to the U.S. by ECW. CZW has tried, but has not risen to the level of FMW at its best.
  • Spiritual Successor: Unofficially, ECW in the U.S. and Big Japan Pro Wrestling. Officially, World Entertainment Wrestling, Wrestling Marvelous Future, USO and Onita Pro, which all ended up folding together into The Apache Army, which went on to invade other promotions.
  • Start My Own
    • What FMW was, Onita created the promotion because the majors didn't want to work with him.
    • Commissioner Kodo Fuyuki got rid of the popular brass knuckles title belt and six man street fight title belts, adding "World Entertainment Wrestling"(WEW) title belts in their place. Yes, FMW was essentially using WWE for Cheap Heat before WWE was WWE.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: C4 explosives and landmines.
  • Take That: The Great Nita, Onita's parody of New Japan Pro Wrestling's The Great Muta.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Electrified exploding barbed wire, C4 explosives, fire, sickles...
  • Turtle Power: Turtle Kamen, if you couldn't tell by his name. A giant turtle man.
  • Villain of Another Story: Shawn Michaels as a referee. Albeit, a referee who tried to steal the spotlight, a referee to whom seemed to miss the concept of "anything goes".
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay
    • Chocoball Mukai, the wrestling porn star. Gedo, Jado and Koji Nakagawa tried to end his second source of income by kicking a ladder into his crotch.
    • After Kodo Fuyuki gave the Hayabusa gimmick to Mr. Gannosuke, he cast Gannosuke in several porno graphic films in order to taint the Hayabusa legacy.
  • Wrestling Monster: Undertaker GOSAKU to Bio-Monster DNA.