Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling
Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling-Explosion is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion founded on July 28, 1989, by Atsushi Onita as Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (フロンティア・マーシャルアーツ・レスリング, Furontia Māsharuātsu Resuringu) (FMW). The promotion specializes in hardcore wrestling involving weapons such as barbed wire and fire. They held their first show on October 6, 1989. In the late 1990s, FMW had a brief working agreement with Extreme Championship Wrestling, and as well had 14 DVDs released in the U.S. by Tokyopop. On March 4, 2015, FMW was resurrected under the name Chō Sentō Puroresu FMW (超戦闘プロレスFMW, Chō Sentō Puroresu FMW). With the resurrected FMW not holding any events since 2018, Onita announced in 2021 that he would be starting Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling-Explosion in which the promotion would specialize in exploding death matches.
|Acronym||FMW (1989–2021) |
|Founded||July 28, 1989 (re-established March 4, 2015 and again in 2021 as FMW-E)|
|Defunct||February 15, 2002|
|Founder(s)||Atsushi Onita (original and current)|
Yukihide Ueno (2nd)
Akihito Ichihara (2nd)
Hidetaka Kajiki (current)
|Owner(s)||Atsushi Onita (1989–1995)|
Shoichi Arai (1995–2002)
Yukihide Ueno (2015-2018)
Akihito Ichihara (2015-2018)
Hidetaka Kajiki (2021–present)
|Formerly||Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling |
Chō Sentō Puroresu FMW
FMW under Atsushi Onita (1989–1995)Edit
In August 1990, Onita wrestled in the first ever exploding barbed wire match with Tarzan Goto. This match started a revolution amongst the small "garbage wrestling" organizations of Japan. From there, Onita recruited some of hardcore wrestling's most notable names, like Mr. Pogo, Mitsuhiro Matsunaga, Super Leather (Leatherface) and Kintaro Kanemura. In October 1990, they held Japan's first mixed tag team match. In 1995, Onita wrestled his retirement match with young talent Hayabusa in an exploding ring, barbed wire steel cage match. Hayabusa became the central star of the promotion winning its belt several times and battling most of the FMW roster. FMW also had a thriving women's wrestling division, led by Megumi Kudo who was one of FMW's biggest stars in her heyday. All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling talent feared them so much that they rarely had inter-promotional matches against each other, but the FMW women were successful in other feuds with LLPW and JWP. During this time FMW signed a contract to hold a major event every May 5 in the Kawasaki Stadium.
FMW under Shoichi Arai and Hiromichi Fuyuki (1995–2002)Edit
Under new FMW president Shoichi Arai, the promotion began to falter. Arai brought in former International Pro Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling and Super World of Sports star Kodo Fuyuki as the new booker and in 1998 he brought an end to the garbage/death matches in favor of an entertainment-oriented style based on that of the WWF. Although this saved the roster from further potential injury, it called into question the essence of FMW's wrestling. Onita began withdrawing further into the background, eventually leaving the promotion altogether to create his own death match ventures and to go back to high school to earn his diploma.
On October 22, 2001, in a match against Mammoth Sasaki, Hayabusa attempted a springboard moonsault—one of his signature moves—but slipped on the ropes and fell directly on his neck, breaking it and paralyzing him. He retired, but actually regained some control over his legs a year later. By the end of 2001, Arai owed about a million dollars to influential organizations in Japan, rumored to be connected to the Yakuza (or Japanese Mafia). Realizing that the promotion was going nowhere, he decided to finally close its doors. FMW came to an end with a final show on February 4, 2002 and Shoichi Arai declared FMW bankrupt on February 15, 2002. On May 16, 2002, Arai hanged himself by his tie in a Tokyo park to collect life insurance for his family to pay off his debt to the Yakuza.
Closure and aftermathEdit
The talent divided into two promotions: Kodo Fuyuki's World Entertainment Wrestling (WEW), the name of FMW's title governing body since 1999, and Mr. Gannosuke's Wrestling Marvelous Future (WMF). Some of the talent also made appearances on Onita's special shows. Following Fuyuki's death in 2003, most of the WEW talent formed a successor promotion, Apache Pro-Wrestling Army.
On April 3, 2015, Hideki Takahashi, Hayabusa and Choden Senshi Battle Ranger held a press conference, announcing they were reviving FMW under the new name "Chō Sentō Puroresu FMW". Takahashi would serve as the president and Hayabusa as the executive producer of the promotion, which would also feature participation from Atsushi Onita. The promotion held its first event on April 21. On October 30, 2015, they announced that they were reviving the FMW World Street Fight 6-Man Tag Team Championship, as they set a match to determine new champions on December 22.
In 2016, two tragedies had befallen FMW. On February 17, 2016, Ray announced that she had inoperable stage three brain cancer after being diagnosed with a tumor in December 2015 and undergoing a biopsy on January 21, 2016. She succumbed to the disease in 2018. Over two weeks later on March 3, 2016, Hayabusa died at his home from a brain aneurysm, at the age of 47.
On October 31, 2017, FMW founder Atsushi Onita retired after 43 years in the ring. The promotion held its most recent event as Chō Sentō Puroresu FMW in 2018. Although not officially closing once again the revival seemed to have been forgotten about.
FMW Explosion (2021–present)Edit
In 2018, Onita would come out of retirement at a Pro-Wrestling A-TEAM event. After this he would come back as a wrestler having matches with Combat Zone Wrestling, Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, World Wonder Ring Stardom and DDT Pro-Wrestling.
In 2021, Onita announced that he would be starting Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling-Explosion, a promotion under the FMW name that specialized in exploding death matches, a match type in which Onita became famous for. The new promotion will have Hidetaka Kajiki serving as president. Onita stated he got the idea for the promotion after All Elite Wrestling's 2021 Revolution PPV in which the event held an exploding barbed wire death match and seeing that there was still a market for these types of matches internationally in the pro wrestling world and with the popularity of online media streaming the new promotion was formed.
Current FMW rosterEdit
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
(Tag team name)
|Reign||Date won||Days held||Location||Notes|
|FMW World Street Fight 8-Man Tag Team Championship||Tiger Clan (Great Tiger, Tiger Mask III, Black Tiger V and Black Tiger VII)||1||November 24, 2016||1705||Tokyo, Japan||Defeated Atsushi Onita, Raijin Yaguchi, Hideki Hosaka and Hi69 in a decision match to determine the inaugural champions.|
|Championship||Date of entry||First champion(s)
(Tag team name)
|Date retired||Last champion(s)
(Tag team name)
|AWA World Light Heavyweight Championship||1989||Jimmy Backlund||April 1992||Dr. Luther||1989–1992||FMW began using the title shortly after the promotion's creation and recognized it as its junior heavyweight championship. However, the title changes in FMW were not recognized by AWA.|
|WWA World Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship||January 7, 1990||Beast the Barbarian||February 27, 1991||Atsushi Onita||1990–1991||The title was initially established as the WWA World Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship and later replaced by the WWA World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship.|
|WWA World Women's Championship||November 5, 1990||Combat Toyoda||February 15, 1994||Crusher Maedomari||1990–1994||The title was unified with the new FMW Independent Women's Championship in 1994.|
|WWA World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship||February 27, 1991||Grigory Verichev||August 28, 1993||Atsushi Onita||1991–1993||The title replaced the former WWA World Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship as the company's primary championship. It was replaced by the FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship in 1993.|
|WWA World Martial Arts Tag Team Championship||December 9, 1991||Atsushi Onita and Tarzan Goto||September 19, 1992||Grigory Verichev and Tarzan Goto||1991–1992||The title was initially created as the WWA World Martial Arts Tag Team Championship and vacated it in 1992 to be replaced by the FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship.|
|WWA World Martial Arts Junior Heavyweight Championship||April 1992||Dr. Luther||1993||Dr. Luther||1992–1993||FMW renamed the previous AWA World Light Heavyweight Championship as the WWA World Martial Arts Junior Heavyweight Championship to distinguish it from the AWA banner. The title was retired in 1993.|
|FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship||August 27, 1993||Atsushi Onita||August 25, 1999||Hayabusa||1993–1999||FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship replaced the former WWA World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship as the company's premier title. The title was abandoned in favor of the WEW Single Championship in 1999.|
|FMW Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship||October 28, 1993||The Great Sasuke||May 31, 1999||Naoki Sano||1993–1999||FMW introduced the title as a replacement to the WWA World Martial Arts Light Heavyweight Championship. FMW discontinued the title after May 31, 1999 and the title has since been defended in various Japanese independent promotions.|
|FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship||January 18, 1994||Big Titan and The Gladiator||June 16, 1999||Gedo and Koji Nakagawa||1994–1999||The title replaced the former WWA World Martial Arts Tag Team Championship as the company's tag team title. The title was renamed by Kodo Fuyuki as the WEW World Tag Team Championship in 1999.|
|FMW Women's Championship||February 15, 1994||Megumi Kudo||September 28, 1997||Shark Tsuchiya||1994–1997||The title was created in a tournament and unified with the WWA World Women's Championship. The title was deactivated in 1997 as the women's division of FMW ended with the departure of the final champion Shark Tsuchiya.|
|FMW World Street Fight 6-Man Tag Team Championship||May 5, 1996||Puerto Rican Army
(Headhunter A, Headhunter B and Super Leather)
|October 27, 2016||Atsushi Onita, Hideki Hosaka and Sean Guinness||1996–1998
|The title was awarded to the departing Atsushi Onita as a tribute for establishing FMW and making it a success and was abandoned as a result. The title was later brought back in the resurrected FMW in 2015 and abandoned in 2016 in favor of the new FMW World Street Fight 8-Man Tag Team Championship.|
|FMW Independent Heavyweight Championship||August 1, 1996||W*ING Kanemura||August 25, 1999||Masato Tanaka||1996–1999||The title was originally designed as Atsushi Onita's FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship title belt for his retirement match at FMW 6th Anniversary Show but could not be available at the moment and was finally shipped to FMW in 1996 and used as the company's second world title. The title was abandoned in favor of the WEW Single Championship in 1999.|
|WEW World Tag Team Championship||June 16, 1999||Gedo and Koji Nakagawa||February 15, 2002||Kodo Fuyuki and The Sandman||1999–2002||The former FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship was renamed and changed to the WEW World Tag Team Championship in 1999. The title has been defended in World Entertainment Wrestling (WEW), Apache Army and A-Team after FMW's closure in 2002.|
|WEW 6-Man Tag Team Championship||July 31, 1999||Team No Respect
(Gedo, Kodo Fuyuki and Koji Nakagawa)
|February 15, 2002||GOEMON, Hayabusa and Tetsuhiro Kuroda||1999–2002||The title was defended in World Entertainment Wrestling (WEW) after FMW's closure in 2002 until being retired in 2004.|
|WEW Hardcore Championship||September 24, 1999||Kintaro Kanemura||May 22, 2001||Kintaro Kanemura||1999–2001||Kanemura retired the title in 2001.|
|WEW Single / Heavyweight Championship||September 24, 1999||Kodo Fuyuki||February 15, 2002||Kodo Fuyuki||1999–2002||The title was defended in World Entertainment Wrestling (WEW), Apache Army and A-Team after FMW's closure in 2002.|
|WEW Hardcore Tag Team Championship||April 25, 2000||Hideki Hosaka and Yoshinori Sasaki||February 15, 2002||Daisuke Sekimoto and Men's Teioh||2000–2002||The title was defended in Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW), Kaientai Dojo, Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS and several Japanese independent promotions after FMW's closure in 2002.|
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- Renner, Ethan. "ATSUSHI ONITA TO LAUNCH FMWE EXPLODING DEATH MATCH PROMOTION". f4wonline. Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
- "ＦＭＷ復活 ハヤブサ復帰リングを用意". Daily Sports Online (in Japanese). 2015-04-03. Retrieved 2015-04-03.
- Caldwell, James (2015-04-03). "Japan news: 1990s FMW promotion looking to make a comeback". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2015-04-03.
- "A-TEAM WEW Tag Team Title League - Tag 5: Autumn Festival! Special Box Office ~ Atsushi Onita Volunteer Wrestler Debut & Keigo Takamori Retirement Memorial Match Quick Killer Last Match". Cagematch. Cagematch. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
- "11月24日（木）東京・後楽園ホール". Chō Sentō Puroresu FMW (in Japanese). Archived from the original on November 25, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2016.