View Full Version : FMW folds. What now?
The Frontier Martial Arts-Wrestling promotion, the company that in many ways sprawned ECW and the entire American and Japanese hardcore wrestling movement, announced earlier today that it was declaring bankruptcy. The 12-year-old company, which peaked in popularity in the early 90s with Atsushi Onita's famous explosive barbed wire matches with the likes of Terry Funk, Mr. Pogo, Tiger Jeet Singh and Hayabusa, was deeply in debt to many sources. -- Dave Meltzer
Where does Nozawa go from here?
02-16-2002, 08:59 PM
This is unfortunate news. Whether you liked FMW or not, now countless people will be forced to search for work in an already terrible economy. FMW-you will be missed.
FMW FILES BANKRUPTCY; SHUTS DOWN IMMEDIATELY
In a move that may seem surprising on the surface, but really isn't all that surprising if you had been following the Japanese scene, Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling (FMW) announced that they were filing for bankruptcy and the promotion would be shutting down effective immediately. According to reports out of Japan, the promotion had been behind on pay to workers and other creditors.
The promotion was formed by Atsushi Onita in the early 1990s and soon became infamous for its exploding death matches. A May 1993 No roped barbed wire exploding ring match between Onita and Terry Funk soon set the stage for many of the crazier hardcore matches that would follow. Built around Onita's unique charisma, the promotion soon gained a cult following that would peak each May, drawing upwards of 55,000 fans to Kawasaki Stadium for Onita's showdowns against enemies like Mr. Pogo and Funk.
The promotion was also the original home of Sabu, giving him a chance to shine with his then-unique gimmick of breaking tables and aerial highspots. It was Sabu's work in FMW that soon paved the way for him to break out as an original roster member of Extreme Championship Wrestling in late 1993. The group also utilized the likes of future WWF and WCW performers like Mike Awesome (as the Gladiator) and Horace Hogan (then using the surname Boulder).
In many ways, FMW was the precursor to ECW in America, which in turn helped to revolutionize and revitalize wrestling on a national level when WCW and the WWF began using their concepts.
After his retirement (which soon ended) in 1995, Onita sold FMW to ring announcer Shoichi Arai. The promotion was soon built around highflying Japanese star Hayabusa.
Kodo Fuyuki eventually took over the booking in 1999 and moved the promotion away from it's blood and guts roots to more of a sports-entertainment aspect, inspired by the WWF. The promotion's following was never the same.
Problems with pay and morale for the promotion peaked a little under a year ago when a number of FMW regulars quit the promotion, including Masato Tanaka, Jado, and Gedo. Tanaka currently works as an Independent performer for several groups including All Japan and Zero-One, while Gedo and Jado are a top tag team for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
FMW had been running monthly PPV events from Korakuen Hall on Sky Perfect TV in Japan. It had suffered a grave setback when Hayabusa was paralysed from the neck down when his slipped while performing a Lionsault into the ring on 10/22/01. He is currently in Tokyo in a rehabilitation facility.
The promotion's next event was scheduled for 3/10, but that is canceled. They had announced in January they were scheduled to return to Kawasaki Stadium this coming May. In recent months, FMW home videos and DVDs were released in America through Tokyopop.com. There is no word on how this bankruptcy would effect future releases.
After twelve years, FMW is no more.
Mike K. Johnson of 1Wrestling.com Int'l reporter
Thanks Steve for use edit after mis-spell ;)
02-17-2002, 10:20 AM
speaking of hayabusa, does anyone know his condition? i haven't heard anything about him since about a week after his injury.
Last I heard, Ezaki was regaining movement in his limbs.
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