Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling
was 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.
FMW's Anniversary Show, generally held on May 5, was their equivalent to WrestleMania
, 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
- The Ace: Atsushi Onita
- Action Girl: Megumi Kudo, Kyoko Inoue.
- 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
- Ax-Crazy: The Sheik, Sabu, Mr. Pogo.... Just read some of the match descriptions. It was a PROMOTION full of crazy.
- 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.
- 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
- Cool Mask: Hayabusa
- Crossover: Professional boxer Leon Spinks held the FMW W.F.D.A. World Martial Arts Title for two months in 1992.
- Darker and Edgier: FMW was very violent.
- Do Not Call Me Paul: The Head Hunters (A&B) would address each other as "A" or "B."
- 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."
- 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."
- I Have the High Ground: Hayabusa was the top high-flyer in FMW.
- 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."
- Legacy Promotion: ECW in the U.S. and Big Japan Pro Wrestling.
- Masked Luchador: Mascarita Sagrada, Konnan, El Hijo del Santo, Tinieblas Sr., Tinieblas Jr.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Hannibal, Dr. Luther
- 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 was the only martial arts wrestler in the promotion.
- One-Letter Name: Hayabusa renamed himself "H," 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.
- Pandaing 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 (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)
- Real Song Theme Tune:
- Atsushi Onita: The Troggs's "Wild Thing"
- Ring Oldies: Terry Funk, 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.
- Sinister Scythe: Mr. Pogo used one.
- Something Completely Different:
- Averts Seinfeld Is Unfunny 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.
- Start My Own: What FMW was, Onita created the promotion because the majors didn't want to work with him.
- 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...