Atsushi Onita & Hayabusa took part in the biggest FMW show and the biggest FMW match ever in the 12 years plus for the promotion on May 5, 1995 at Kawasaki Stadium for Atsushi Onita's Retirement Show in front of 58,250 fans at a sold out show. It was the most attended Kawasaki Stadium show ever for the building. Although it is the biggest and most memorable match in FMW's history, in reality, it could have easily been a lot different, and changed the face of the promotion a lot differently. Atsushi Onita's original choice to face him for his Retirement show in Tarzan Goto refused to lose to Onita on the show. Goto felt it would hurt him in the fans eyes to lose to a retiring Onita and then become the ace of the promotion and be expected to draw like Onita had. Goto as a result left the promotion just two weeks before the biggest show in the history of the promotion which had already sold out Kawasaki Stadium and now had no main event. Mr. Pogo who was the next obvious choice to replace Goto and face Onita would turned down the spot after being passed over by Onita for Goto. The next choice was Hayabusa. Eiji Ezaki who had only worked two previous matches in Japan as Hayabusa would become the ace of the promotion, a promotion that had to reload with brand new younger wrestlers on top with both Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto leaving.. Hayabusa had been thought of as a future star for years by FMW management, and was the best young worker the company had ever produced was put in the spot to be Atsushi Onita opponent. FMW originally announced that Tokyo Pro's Takashi Ishikawa would be the man to take the spot in the Retirement match, although never intended, many FMW fans groaned when hearing about Ishikawa, feeling it was a major disappointment, and would lead to a bad, boring match. But at the press conference, before Ishikawa would sign the contract to face Onita, Hayabusa who had originally been scheduled to face The Gladiator in a singles match on the show would walk into the press conference and beg Atsushi Onita for the opportunity to face him in the Retirement match. This would make Atsushi Onita furious and cause Onita to accept Hayabusa's challenge just days before the biggest match of both of their careers.
The Kawasaki Stadium show on May 5, 1995 would bring in 2.5 million dollars for FMW. A camera would follow both Atsushi Onita & Hayabusa all day long as they prepared for at the time, the biggest Death Match ever. When the match would start, both wrestlers would shake hands before starting the match. Onita would start off by slapping Hayabusa in the chest, and then attempting to grab Hayabusa in a head lock and sending Hayabusa into the Exploding Cage, but each time, Hayabusa would manage to stop short of hitting the cage. Hayabusa would manage to grab a head lock on Onita, but Onita seeing his opportunity, would attempt to fling Hayabusa into the Exploding Barbwire Cage, but Hayabusa would manage to hold on to the head lock, bringing Onita with him as both would hit the cage for a huge explosion. Hayabusa would take a majority of the explosion, as Onita would easily get up first, and begin working on Hayabusa's leg, from putting him in a Sharpshooter, to getting Hayabusa in a single leg crab. The sirens would begin going off, noting five more minutes until the ring would explode. Onita would finally let go, and put Hayabusa in another headlock, but Hayabusa would shove Onita, breaking the head lock, and sending Onita into the Exploding Barbwire for another explosion. Hayabusa would take advantage of Onita's fall, and would deliver a supplex, and then a standing Moonsault for the cover, with Onita kicking out. Hayabusa would then put Onita, in a Figure Four Leg lock, attempting to make Onita to submit. Onita would begin screaming in pain, due to Hayabusa working on Onita's severe leg injuries that had force him to retire from wrestling ten years earlier, but while in the figure four, Onita would begin slapping Hayabusa in the face and screaming at him, until Hayabusa would fight back with slaps of his own to Onita. Hayabusa would lose concentration of the figure four, and Onita would manage to break out and deliver a Fire Thunder Powerbomb to Hayabusa, with Hayabusa kicking out as the sirens would continue to get louder. Onita would then deliver a DDT, with Hayabusa kicking out. Less than ten seconds would remain until the ring would explode when Hayabusa would get up and deliver a spinning heel kick to Onita, and then charge at Onita, but Onita would move out of the way and send Hayabusa flying into the cage for a huge explosion at the exact time the ring would explode. The safest way to protect your body in a Exploding Cage match is to lay down in the middle of the ring, but Hayabusa would end up being put in the most dangerous position by already hitting the Exploding Barbwire at the same time the ring explosions would set off right next to him. The explosions would end up leaving scars all over Hayabusa's body, but as the smoke of the explosions would clear, Onita would get up and deliver a Fire Thunder Powerbomb to Hayabusa, and Hayabusa would still manage to kick out. Onita would attempt another Thunder Fire Powerbomb, but Hayabusa would manage to reverse it, and turn it into a hurricanrana for the pinfall, but Onita would manage to kick out. Hayabusa would deliver his own Thunder Fire Powerbomb to Onita, and then would begin climbing the barbwire cage that had been deactivated after the explosion.
Hayabusa would climb to the top rope, and do one of the most dangerous spots seen in wrestling by Moonsaulting off the top of the cage. Onita would manage to move out of the way, and Hayabusa would hit the mat hard and in pain. Onita would get up, with blood running down his arms and would deliver a Thunder Fire Powerbomb to Hayabusa, but Hayabusa would still manage to kick out to an incredibly loud reaction from the thousands of fans. Onita not believing that Hayabusa was able to kick out of the move, would deliver another Thunder Fire Powerbomb, and then follow it up with a third straight Thunder Fire Powerbomb and would finally manage to get the pinfall victory over Hayabusa. Onita would begin pouring water on Hayabusa as a show of a respect for the fight he put on, and to water down the burns that he had suffered. Both Onita would Hayabusa would hold hands as Onita would symbolically be passing the torch of ace of FMW to Hayabusa. Onita would grab Hayabusa up and attempt helping him to walk before Hayabusa would fall down from just the punishment his body would take. Onita would pick up Hayabusa and walk around the ring while pouring water over Hayabusa's body as Onita's Wild Thing would being played, and name would be chanted by the fans. A stretcher would be brought to the ring for Hayabusa, and Hayabusa would be placed on the stretcher, the loud chants of Onita, would begin to become "Ezaki" chants, as Hayabusa would be stretcher to the back. Backstage, an incredibly hurt and mask less Eiji Ezaki would begin to break down in tears from the incredible amount and pain and emotion that he had gone through the match, and would be taken to a near by hospital on the burns and injuries he had received for the match. Hayabusa had attempted everything he could do in one match to show the FMW fans, that he was willing to risk his body on the line, just like Onita did, to become the new ace of FMW.
Although the show would draw 2.5 million dollars, a lot of the money FMW would not personally see, as Atsushi Onita would take a large percentage of the gate. FMW now had to restart all over with Hayabusa who had been booked to look less of the ace that Onita was, and FMW young wrestlers Katsutoshi Niiyama, Masato Tanaka, and and Nanjo Hayato were put in top spots for the first time while feuding with The Gladiator, Hisakatsu Oya, and Ricky Fuji. Although the first set of shows would do fairly well, fans would not buy into Hayabusa as the person they would come to see as the main star in FMW right away. Megumi Kudo would keep a core of the audience attending the shows, although many would leave after her match, causing some of Hayabusa's main event matches to take place in buildings that looked empty. FMW would lose a lot of money right away, with Korakuen Hall being the only building to make a profit running for the promotion.
FMW would get through the rough times throughout the years with the FMW fans continuing to pay to see Megumi Kudo, and eventually Hayabusa would slowly become more accepted by the FMW fans despite a completely different style than Atsushi Onita. Although Hayabusa was put in a spot that Tarzan Goto wanted no part of, and that was a spot destined to fail by replacing a legend who had started the promotion, booked himself as the main star on every show for years, and one of the most charismatic wrestlers in history who got the win in his Retirement match, Hayabusa still manage to do an incredible job as someone with so much heart and will, that although he might not win every match, it was going to take almost everything until he would be finally beaten.
Hayabusa would continue as ace of FMW until January 1996 when Masato Tanaka would force to become the main focus of the promotion for most of the year with Hayabusa out for most of the year. Atsushi Onita's Return would also push back Hayabusa once again as the main focus of the promotion. Only until April 30, 1998 when Hayabusa would become the FMW Double Titles Champion would Hayabusa finally become the only ace, once and for all for the promotion. That spot as ace he would for FMW until October 22, 2001 when the terrible accident that would cause his paralysis would take place. Hayabusa who still one day hopes to return to the ring, still 10 years after the biggest match of his career, is loved by thousands and thousands of fans worldwide who respect him for everything he accomplished. Hayabusa was put in a position to fail after May 5, 1995, and that was the last thing he did as ace of FMW.
Atsushi Onita's life after the May 5, 1995 Kawasaki match would go in almost a complete opposite of Hayabusa's. Onita would return back to FMW for Mr. Pogo's Retirement show on December 11, 1996 for an apparent one time only deal, but Onita never having the success he felt he would have as an actor would end up becoming hooked to the wrestling business once again and return part time to FMW. Onita though would not mesh well with Kodo Fuyuki as both had completely different visions of what pro wrestling should be. With all the FMW wrestlers a who had never liked Onita personally in the first place from when he was in charge due to ego and lifestyle with women personally it was Shoichi Arai's choice to go with Kodo Fuyuki's way of wrestling over Atsushi Onita's brutal style. Atsushi Onita would finally put over FMW wrestlers Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka in tag matches, as well as Kodo Fuyuki in a singles match before having his final FMW match on November 20, 1998 against long time rival Mr. Pogo. The reaction he received on that show was like night and day compared to his Kawasaki Stadium Retirement from the FMW fans. Instead of thousands, and thousands of fans cheering him, he got a quiet reaction and many fans showing Onita the middle finger.
Atsushi Onita would work for New Japan and setup a 18 month feud with Riki Choshu while working his new promotion Onita Pro on the side. Onita would agree to end the feud with Riki Choshu by being squashed by Choshu in Onita's own Exploding Barbwire style match. Onita though had agreed for the squash in return for thousands of dollars for the show and Onita would use that money to campaign and help him win a seat in the Japanese Diet. After that, wrestling was not as important to Onita who still just periodically worked his own shows.
FMW would close down on February 15, 2002 and Kodo Fuyuki would begin taking full control of the FMW bookings with the first one being on March 10, 2002 at Korakuen Hall, for the first time in years Onita would appear in front of a FMW fan base in the same ring with FMW wrestlers. Onita who had made several attempts to try and work with the promotion he created was finally brought back with Fuyuki feeling his upcoming shows needed a legitimate draw. Since every fan knew of the legit heat and differences between Atsushi Onita and Kodo Fuyuki, a match would be booked for Kawasaki Stadium for May 5, 2002 in a Exploding Barbwire Death Match. But the singles match would never take place, as soon afterwards Kodo Fuyuki would announce his life threatening intestine cancer and would have to retire immediately. Onita & Fuyuki would shortly put all their differences away for good, and become somewhat friends due to Fuyuki's tragedy that he was having to live through.
Onita would get the chance with Fuyuki's former FMW wrestlers and his own former FMW wrestlers would get to hold a FMW Reunion show on May 4, 2002 at Korakuen Hall with him putting his name in front of the FMW letters for the promotions name with the show being a huge success with many of the older FMW fans returning for the show. Onita would also work Fuyuki's Kawasaki Stadium show and his first May 5th Kawasaki Stadium show since his retirement in 1995. Onita would team with The Great Sasuke against Shinya Hashimoto & Shinjiro Otani, but due to politics only The Great Sasuke would even be willing to lose in the match, and the feeling was a better story would be told if Onita was just DQ'd for blowing green mist in Hashimoto's face and then throwing a fireball at Otani. The reaction for a no finish to a poor match in the main event of Kawasaki Stadium was not received very well by the fans. That would be the last Atsushi Onita would work with Kodo Fuyuki, and would keep running his own "Onita FMW" shows. Although the first show was a huge success, the nostalgia value of using so many of the older FMW wrestlers from the early days of the promotion was going to run thin, and with the announcement of a new promotion in WMF with Hayabusa & Mr. Gannosuke as the faces of the promotion, Onita would announce on August 11, 2002 that he was no longer run shows with the FMW name, and he was passing on the FMW name to Hayabusa & Mr. Gannosuke to represent it well.
Onita would then accept bookings from Riki Choshu's new promotion World Japan in 2003 with the chance of working his style of matches and team with the select few of his friends from the business. It would turn into a disaster as the matches would turn out poor, and Onita would refuse to job, as well as Riki Choshu would refuse to job his own wrestlers to Onita. What would result would be poor matches, with DQ finishes even in Exploding Barbwire Death Matches. Onita & Choshu would silently part ways for good. Onita would then also agree to work a WMF show at Korakuen Hall with the show being built around him. Atsushi Onita would end up no showing the event after an emergency meeting in the Diet was called, leaving WMF high and dry for the show and it bombing big at the gate with no Onita as a result. Onita would never make up the date for WMF, and instead with the feeling that he simply no longer had time to work in wrestling anymore, announced that if he were to lose The Great Sasuke on September 23, 2003 in Michinoku Pro in a Exploding Barbed wire Double Hell Death Match. Atsushi Onita would also have Mr. Pogo in his corner during the match, and for what is believed to be the last time, Onita felt the pain of going through the Exploding Barbwire before Mr. Pogo would attempt to blow fire at Sasuke, but instead accidentally get Onita with it allowing Sasuke to roll up Onita for the victory and Atsushi Onita's third Retirement.
Atsushi Onita would end up returning twice for his own Onita Pro shows for Shoji Nakamaki's Retirement show, and then for a show dedicated to the late Sambo Asako with Asako's family receiving the profits from the show in October. Atsushi Onita had never been the greatest wrestler after his first retirement, but for the first time since starting FMW, age and ring rust had caused him for the first time to not be able to carry his own in a Street Fight environment style match that he was known for.
Atsushi Onita's final retirement on March 26, 2005 almost 10 years after his May 5, 1995 retirement would take place at Korakuen Hall, where he would team up with Ichiro Yaguchi to face Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka in front of 2000 fans. The match would be a Barbwire Double Hell Street Fight Death Match and Atsushi Onita would most likely feel the barbwire for the last time in his career, and finally losing in his Retirement match to Genichiro Tenryu. Onita who had graduated college, would state he had finally graduated from wrestling as well, and his over 30 year professional wrestling career was officially ending.
Although one was legend retiring, and one was only 4 years into the business before being rushed into the biggest match of his life, and asked to do stuff never before done in a match to be accepted by the fans, both Atsushi Onita & Hayabusa's careers are linked together because of their historic May 5, 1995 Kawasaki Stadium match that took place 10 years ago, but as well being the two men that put FMW on their back and for twelve years kept it going strong.
May 5th has always been one of the biggest days in Japanese wrestling. It's the final day of the Golden Week in Japan which allows many people to take the week off of work. FMW used it as the biggest day of the year for many years, with most of them coming from Kawasaki Stadium.
May 5th will always be considered FMW's day. It was the date that had held so many memorable moments with the promotion. But on the day, more than most of the time, those moments, happened at the Kawasaki Stadium.
Kawasaki Stadium, which was opened in April 1952 and held its first ever wrestling show took place in front of 12,000 fans for the JWA promotion which was headlined by Rikidozan and Bobo Brazil against each other in a tag team match. JWA continued to run at the Stadium until July 1969. No wrestling show ran again in the Stadium for over 22 years. Until Atsushi Onita used the Building as his vision, his vision of taking the Death Match, to even further links. Onita who had already had an Exploding Barbwire Death Match a year earlier, wanted to begin running at the huge stadium, as he had to have a place that the crowd could be so far from the ring itself for safety reasons, due to the Explosions that would be used in the matches. Onita decided to run at Kawasaki Stadium on September 23, 1991. The show would draw 33,221 and would be considered a success for the first time running in such a big Stadium for a promotion that was just about two years old. The first match on the show, would be a battle of what would turn out to be the two future stars of the promotion in Eiji Ezaki (Hayabusa) and Masashi Honda (Mr. Gannosuke). The main event of the show would pit the two top draws for the promotion in Atsushi Onita against Tarzan Goto. The match would be inside of a Cage and the ropes would be taken down in place of Exploding Barbwire. Onita would win the match after Goto would be pinned and then fail to meet a 10 count.
Onita would not run at Kawasaki Stadium in 1992, and instead would choose to run at the Yokohama Stadium. But FMW would return to Kawasaki Stadium on May 5, 1993. Onita would sign a five year deal with the stadium, allowing FMW the rights to run every May 5th there, which would begin the legacy of May 5th at Kawasaki. Onita would bring in Japanese legend Terry Funk, for the first ever Exploding Ring Match. The ropes would also be taken down again for Exploding Barbwire. Onita who had became one of the top legitimate draws in wrestling at this point, with his charisma, and innovative ideas when it came to Death Matches against such a legend in the sport in Terry Funk brought the crowd up to over 40,000 fans, the first time FMW had accomplished that. Onita would score the biggest pinfall of his career by beating Terry Funk in the match, before the Explosion. Terry Funk would lay in the ring as the ring was about to explode. Onita would rush into the ring and cover Terry Funk right before the ring would explode. It would be rated the best match in FMW history at the time, and still is one of the best Onita matches of his career.
FMW would return one year later, in the midst of an extremely hot feud between FMW and WAR, a match between Atsushi Onita & Genichiro Tenryu would be made for the match on May 5, 1994. Ticket sales would do fairly well, but Onita feeling that his body was not going to last much longer doing the style he had created, and wanting to focus on becoming a movie actor, added a stipulation that if he were to lose to Tenryu, he would retire. This stipulation was a huge success as ticket sales sold like crazy, and by start time, the show had been sold out, and would take place in front of 52,000. The match between Onita and Tenryu would be a Exploding Barbwire Cage Death Match, and would be the first time, a traditional wrestler such as Tenryu, would compete in a Death Match. Although there would be no ring explosion for this match. Tenryu would beat Onita in one of Onita's longest singles match of his career, going 23 minutes, and 55 seconds. After the loss, with a shock crowd feeling that Onita would have to retire, Onita would announce that the stipulation would take place one year on the day. A one year retirement tour would take place for Onita in FMW, that would draw the best numbers the promotion would ever see in history, with fans making sure they get to see Onita one last time before he retires.
The biggest show in the history of FMW would take place on May 5, 1995 for Atsushi Onita's Retirement Match. Although, there was no fear of how that show would do, as it was going to sell out no matter what, the fear of the promotion's future was considerably high, as Tarzan Goto, Atsushi Onita's long time friend and partner, and scheduled opponent for his Retirement match would walk out of FMW, just two weeks before the show. Goto would refuse to job to Onita, when Onita was the one retiring, and it would be Goto's responsibility to be the ace of FMW, after he would just be considered a lesser version of Onita. The decision for a new ace to keep the promotion to take FMW into a different direction would take place just days before the show, as Eiji Ezaki who had been wrestling under the name Hayabusa in Mexico for the past year, was put into the match against Onita in his Retirement Match. The show would draw an incredible 58,250 fans. Since the stadium only could hold up about 52,000, there would be a special section in the backstage where about 5000-6000 fans could watch in a standing room area only on screen in the back. Onita would add every Death Match stipulation that he had created in his final match. An Exploding Barbwire, Exploding Ring, Cage Death Match. Due to Hayabusa losing in the match, and still being put as the ace of the promotion, a special spot in the match would be come up with, where an already injured and beat up Hayabusa would show his guts and heart, by climbing the cage, and attempting a Moonsault off the cage, but missing, which would ultimately lead to Onita defeating him, and winning the fans over with his bravery. After the match, Onita and Hayabusa would shake hands, Onita after having Hayabusa win his respect over with his performance, would shake Hayabusa's hand and symbolically pass him the torch to lead FMW. Despite having many scars from his body from the match, and showing his guts and heart, Hayabusa would still have a hard time becoming a draw, as just 12 days after drawing 58,250 fans, FMW would draw just 1000 fans, and it would mostly be credited to FMW women's wrestler Megumi Kudo for that crowd. Being in Onita's shadow would not be an easy test for Hayabusa, as he would have to put up his body on the line, using creative highflying moves, that no one had ever done before to win over the FMW crowd that were so use to Onita's style.
The IWA Japan would see the success that FMW would have at the Stadium, and would decide to run their own show at the building, on August 20, 1995, in a Death Match Tournament with the likes of Cactus Jack, Terry Funk, Tiger Jeet Singh, Tarzan Goto, and Dan Severn being on the show. The show would only manage to draw 28,757, and the show would mostly being considered horrible, with Cactus Jack and Terry Funk killing their bodies on the show, and only being paid 300 dollars for their effort, as well as the promotion paying very little money for an Exploding Ring, causing the promotion to look inferior to FMW afterwards. Due to the shows bad attendance, as well as the cheap mannerisms of the promotion, and screwing over the talent, the IWA Japan promotion would never be the same after running at Kawasaki Stadium.
A big test for Hayabusa would be on May 5, 1996 at Kawasaki Stadium, as he would team with Masato Tanaka and take on two of Atsushi Onita's old opponents in Terry Funk & Mr. Pogo. It would be the first FMW Kawasaki show without Onita, and on top of that, a huge rainstorm would take place in the early morning, causing the show to be pushed back a couple of hours. FMW would also add Megumi Kudo defeating. Combat Toyoda in a Exploding Barbwire Death Match in Combat Toyoda's Retirement Match in one of the best FMW matches ever. Despite the rain, and no Onita, the show would draw 33,321 fans, despite much down from shows before, still would be considered a huge success. Hayabusa would again have to allow his body to be cut up and beaten up, as he would suffer 110
stitches in the Exploding Barbwire, Exploding Ring Double Hell Death Match, which would just be one
stitch off of Atsushi Onita's record of 111. Hayabusa would tossed into the Exploding Barbwire, as well as dropped into the Exploding Barbwire out of the ring, as well as have fire spit out of at him before finally being pinned after being
Pile driven onto a flaming chair. Atsushi Onita would make an appearance in front of the Kawasaki Stadium fans for both matches, one to help Combat Toyoda to the back after her brutal match, and the other to help stretcher Hayabusa to the back while Terry Funk would mock Onita. This show would eventually be the beginning of Onita's come back, as after his acting career hadn't worked out the way he had wished, him missing the ring would become a huge factor on Onita returning to the ring.
FMW would not manage to run a May 5, 1997 Kawasaki Stadium show, as Kawasaki would have to be shut down at the time for Earthquake renovations, due to the stadiums age. With the renovation done, Kawasaki would also become bigger and be able to hold up to 60,000 fans for a show. Due to the renovations, FMW would be force to run their planned Megumi Kudo Retirement show, which was regularly planned for the show, and expected to have an easy sell out for the show. Instead, FMW would run at the Yokohama Arena on April 29, 1997 for Megumi Kudo's Retirement match, breaking the four year streak of running at Kawasaki Stadium on May 5th.
After renovations were done, FMW would quickly book at Kawasaki Stadium once again, for September 28, 1997. FMW would book the show up, expecting a sell out of 60,000 fans for the show. As they would be bringing in All Japan's Kenta Kobashi to face Hayabusa in a tag match, Ken Shamrock, Vader, Terry Funk, and the return to Kawasaki of Atsushi Onita facing W*ING Kanemura in a match where Onita would once again put his career on the line for good against Kanemura putting up the W*ING faction. The match would be the biggest Death Match of all time, as the explosions for the match would be doubled. But the show would change the path of FMW for the rest of the promotions history, because despite everything added for the show, and an expected 60,000 fans, it would only draw 50,012 fans. Also, Onita vs. Kanemura would turn out to be a bad match, the first Kawasaki main event to be a bad match in years as a result of Kanemura's injured knee, and Onita's injured 40 year old body. FMW Owner Shoichi Arai would feel that the Death Match gimmicks had ran their course, and it was time to take FMW in a different promotion.
With FMW no longer focusing on Death Matches, there would be no need to run at the huge Kawasaki Stadium, and instead would run a mostly wrestling oriented show on April 30, 1998 at the 4,900 seat Yokohama Bunka Gym. FMW would return running on May 5th in 1999, but again, would decide to run at the Yokohama Bunka Gym.
Kawasaki Stadium would be 48 years old before it would be decided to tear it down, as with no wrestling shows taking place in the building anymore, and no more Baseball at the Stadium, it was considered useless. March 31, 2000, Kawasaki Stadium was officially closed. In April 2000, the destruction of the building would take place, which would include looting of the Stadium by thieves, who would end up walking off with the famous Kawasaki Scoreboard.
With Kawasaki Stadium gone, it looked like all the building would be, was a distant memory to long FMW fans, until Kodo Fuyuki and Shoichi Arai would come up with the idea to return to Kawasaki Stadium for May 5, 2001. But, it would be at the former Parking Lot of the Stadium, that would be able to seat about 20,000 fans, and with FMW struggling at the time with money, they would be able to afford the rent for the Parking Lot, and be able to run a Death Match on the show.
FMW would bring back the Death Match for what would turn out to be the final time in the promotions history for a Octagon Cage Thunderbolt Exploding Ring match between The Great Sasuke & the returning Hayabusa taking on Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Mr. Gannosuke. The show would manage to draw a little over half of what the Parking Lot could hold at 10,500. But the show would not be the same as the old Kawasaki Stadium shows, as although the wrestling was better than just about any Kawasaki show, it would lack the heat and drama that the old Kawasaki shows held.
It would turn out out to be the last time FMW were to hold a May 5th show, as FMW would declare bankruptcy on February 15, 2002. Fuyuki, who had already booked the show under FMW would take over the booking, for the debut of his new promotion, WEW on May 5, 2002. The schedule main event would be Kodo Fuyuki taking on Atsushi Onita in a Death Match. It would be expected to draw very well with half the money drawn for the show going to pay for Hayabusa's hospital bills after being paralyzed and force to live in the hospital, as it was known by many that Fuyuki and Onita had legitimate heat with one another dating back to 1998 when Fuyuki took over FMW, causing Onita to leave. But, just three weeks before the show, Fuyuki would announce that he had cancer, and would be forced to retire. As a result, the main event would turn out to be Atsushi Onita returning to Kawasaki for the first time since 1997 to team with The Great Sasuke against Shinya Hashimoto & Shinjiro Otani, but due to politics, Onita and Hashimoto would refuse to job, and as a result, a compromise would be that the show would end in a DQ after Onita would spit mist in Hashimoto's face, and throw a fireball at Otani. The show would also have NOAH's Mitsuharu Misawa, Vader, Akira Taue and due to the expected high number to attend the show just based on the names, would not have any Death Match for the first time at Kawasaki Stadium, but would still manage to draw 16,800 fans.
WEW would run again at Kawasaki Stadium on May 5, 2003, with the expected Kodo Fuyuki vs. Shinya Hashimoto, in what Fuyuki would hope to be his final match. Fuyuki knowing he had not much more time to live, would make the match an Exploding Barbwire Death Match, and Fuyuki would secretly tell friends that he hoped, he would make it alive to the show, so that he could die in the ring, after being thrown into an Exploding Barbwire. Fuyuki would not make it to the show, and would die on March 19, 2003 of cancer. Kintaro Kanemura would take the place of his late friend in the match. Both Kanemura and Fuyuki would the ashes of Fuyuki and throw themselves into the Exploding Barbwire, so that Fuyuki's last wish would come true of his ashes being spread all over the ring. Mitsuharu Misawa, Akira Taue, Shinjiro Otani, and Masato Tanaka would also be on the show, and with the Farewell to Kodo Fuyuki, the show would draw a very good 18,500 fans.
In what could possibly be the last show for a Post FMW promotion, as well as the last ever show at Kawasaki Stadium for the Fuyuki Army Promotion. A cold, windy rainy day would be the scene the entire day before the show would start. The original main event of Shinya Hashimoto & Riki Choshu taking on Kintaro Kanemura & a Mystery Partner, with rumors of it being Atsushi Onita returning to Kawasaki one last time, but after the promotion would fail to be able to bring in any named wrestler to team with Kanemura, Fuyuki Army Promotion booker would instead focus on Kanemura winning the match. For the match to be fair, and Kanemura to get the pin in the match, Kanemura would be partnered with long time friend Hido to take on Riki Choshu and Tomohiro Ishii. Kanemura would get the win to send the Fuyuki Army off with a win. Many of the former FMW wrestlers would return to Kawasaki in Mr. Gannosuke, Mammoth Sasaki, GOEMON, and Onryo. Shinya Hashimoto, Satoshi Kojima, Shiro Koshinaka, Shinjiro Otani, Masato Tanaka, Kaz Hayashi, Jado, Gedo, and Sabu would be brought in for the show, but due to the cold rainy weather, and the switching of the main event to a main event in favor of the Fuyuki Army winning, the show would drop off 10,000 from the year before, and only draw 8,250, the lowest ever in the four years of running the Parking Lot, for the possible final show.
May 5th will always be FMW's day. Kawasaki Stadium will always be considered FMW's home. Today, possibly both traditions will have come to an end, but since 1991, the likes of Atsushi Onita, Terry Funk, Hayabusa, and Kintaro Kanemura have sacrificed their bodies in so many ways possible to make a day like May 5th become a historic day to FMW fans, the legend and memory of Kawasaki Stadium, and the amount of incredible matches that took place there, will never be forgotten.
It was the date in 1991 that Eiji Ezaki made his
Atsushi Onita signed a contract in 1993 that would have FMW run every year on May 5th at Kawasaki Stadium. It would start in 1993 with the main event of the Kawasaki Stadium show seeing Atsushi Onita defeat Terry Funk in the first ever Exploding Ring Death Match.
The next year followed with the first time ever that FMW drew over 50,000 fans for a show with Atsushi Onita taking on WAR's Genichiro Tenryu in a Exploding Barbwire Cage Death Match with the stipulation being that if Onita were to lose, he would have to retire the next year. Tenryu would win the match.
Onita would spend the next year promoting his Retirement Match for May 5, 1995 against friend Tarzan Goto.
Just a week before the show though, Goto would bail out and leave FMW for IWA. Onita then would decide to put former Dojo student Eiji Ezaki who had been going under the name Hayabusa for his retirement show, with Onita passing the torch to Hayabusa as the ace of FMW. It would be the biggest show in FMW history with 58,250 fans attending in a Exploding Cage Barbwire Death Match.
Onita would win his Retirement Match after Hayabusa would miss a Moonsault off the top of the cage and then be hit with two Thunder Fire Powerbombs for the victory.
The next year, without Onita, FMW would still honor its contract with Kawasaki Stadium and run at Kawasaki Stadium on May 5, 1996 without its usual main draw for the show. Megumi Kudo would defeat the retiring Combat Toyoda in a Exploding Barbwire Death Match in one of the greatest FMW matches ever, and Hayabusa would team with Masato Tanaka to lose to Terry Funk and Mr. Pogo in a Exploding Ring Barbwire Death Match.
FMW would not run on May 5, 1997 due to renovations of Kawasaki Stadium due to the building becoming very old and not earthquake proof as well as filling more seats into the stadium. Instead FMW would run on April 29, 1997 at the Yokohama Arena for the Megumi Kudo Retirement Show.
FMW would not at Kawasaki Stadium in 1998 due to the inability to run a successful show and would officially end the contract with Kawasaki that would give them the right to run there once a year. Instead, FMW would run a show under Atsushi Onita's ZEN group on May 5, 1998 in Wakayama with Atsushi Onita officially ending the ZEN group on that day.
FMW would return running big shows on May 5, 1999 at the Yokohama Bunka Gym drawing 2800 fans with the main selling match being Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki taking on Masato Tanaka & Tetsuhiro Kuroda with the winner of the pinfall getting a shot at Kodo Fuyuki's FMW Double Titles. Kuroda would score the biggest pinfall of his career and pin Hayabusa to get a shot at the main event of the show. Kuroda would lose in the main event to Kodo Fuyuki with the reformed Team No Respect in his corner, which would set up for the Team FMW vs. Team No Respect feud going into the November 23, 1999 Yokohama Arena show.
FMW would then run at the Komazawa Olympic Indoor Park Gym on May 5, 2000 with the main event being Hayabusa vs. Masato Tanaka in a match built as FMW vs. ECW Japan. Hayabusa would end up getting his first win on May 5th since 1993 after defeating Tanaka in one of the better matches of 2000 to finally put an end to ECW Japan.
FMW would then run in what would turn out to be its last show on May 5th as they would return to Kawasaki Stadium on May 5, 2001. Although the Stadium itself had been destroyed in 1999, the grounds and property still remained open. FMW would rent the space and fit in 10,500 fans for a show that saw Hayabusa return after a 6 month absence due to double reconstructive elbow surgery to team with The Great Sasuke against Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Mr. Gannosuke in a Octagon Exploding Cage Match. Hayabusa would end up winning the match after pinning Mr. Gannosuke. FMW would plan to run a show on May 5, 2002 at the same Kawasaki Stadium spot, they would end officially declaring bankruptcy on February 15, 2002.
Kodo Fuyuki would begin his new WEW promotion and take over the FMW spot and run the first ever WEW show at the building drawing 16,800 to see the return of Atsushi Onita on May 5th since 1995 to team with The The Great Sasuke against Zero One's Shinya Hashimoto and Shinjiro Otani. The match would end in a DQ due to Onita spitting mist and throwing a fireball at Hashimoto to end the match.
WEW now ran for its second straight year at Kawasaki Stadium on May 5, 2003, this time drawing a sell out of 18,500 to see Kintaro Kanemura taking the place of the late Kodo Fuyuki fight Shinya Hashimoto in a Exploding Barbwire Death Match.
The show would be built as the Kodo Fuyuki Memorial Show with every wrestler on the show attending to give their farewell to Kodo Fuyuki.