Former FMW owner, President, Vice-President, and Ring announcer, Shoichi Arai was found dead at approximately 6:20 AM Japanese time at the Mizumoto Park in Tokyo on May 16, 2002, just 94 days after FMW declared bankruptcy. A jogger found Arai's body hung with a note that was one of several copies that apparently sent out to close friends and wrestlers about how sorry he was for everything. Arai was sent to the hospital as quick as possible, but he had been dead for some time. Arai who had been in hiding for three months and not been seen by anyone since the bankruptcy was offered a book deal to write about the entire time while in FMW from the debut show on October 6, 1989 to the end of the promotion earlier this year. Arai who backed out on paying for Hayabusa's hospital bills which gathered a lot of dislike for him as a result as well as the money that he owed to so many wrestlers. Arai owed around 300 million yen which translates to around $2,340,276 American dollars to over 30 different companies. Arai had also just gone through a divorce and his life had just been shattered since FMW went under.
Shoichi Arai was born on December 19, 1965, he was the main person that helped friend Atsushi Onita start FMW up back in 1989, where he would work as Vice President for the promotion which was never really knowledge that much besides his name being on the credit as FMW Vice President at the end on early FMW Commercial tapes. But what he was most well known for was his Ring announcing during early FMW shows which he quickly became one of the best announcers ever in wrestling, and will always be known for his high voice and the countdowns during the Onita explosion matches which helped add drama to the matches between the likes of Onita against Mr. Pogo and Terry Funk. After Onita decided to retire, he sold the company to Arai on April 30, 1995 which would also be the press conference that Hayabusa appeared and challenged Atsushi Onita for the 5/5/95 match and Arai officially became FMW owner and President and would push Hayabusa and Megumi Kudo as the main stars of the promotion. While business did go down, they did stay alive which surprised many people until Atsushi Onita would come back on December 11, 1996 and help out business when it came to big shows.
Kodo Fuyuki would also be brought in later that month and he and Arai would slowly develop a friendship. For the next year, while still bringing in many fans for big shows with Death matches, it was looking that the death match direction and Atsushi Onita interest was being lost in the fans, and with the death match style beginning to wear down the wrestlers with having to work through injuries suffered from the likes of barbwire, and Onita himself upsetting much of the locker room with his ego, Arai decided it was time to switch directions and with advice from Kodo Fuyuki, the direction of FMW was switched to "Entertainment Pro Wrestling" with the idea of Hayabusa being the number one man for FMW against Kodo Fuyuki as the number one heel of the promotion with Onita being there to help attendance by showing up and working with the likes of undercard wrestlers Yoshinori Sasaki and Mr. Pogo # 2 which did not go over well with Onita and the two former friends of Arai and Onita decided to part ways on November 20, 1998 for good.
Shoichi Arai would soon make himself a on screen character with the storyline of Kodo Fuyuki brainwashing him to gain power among the ranks of FMW to become FMW Commissioner and Arai would have his first singles match in which he defeated Ricky Fuji on August 20, 1999 at Korakuen Hall with help from Gedo and Special Referee Kodo Fuyuki. Arai would switch back to face for the big FMW 11/23/99 Yokohama Arena 10 year anniversary show which Arai in front of the crowd admit how much of a struggle FMW had been keeping it alive, but running a successful show at that building showed that there was still much interest in the FMW product.
Arai would go back to heel and join Fuyuki in 2000 and then back as a face in 2001 for the storyline of Fuyuki with the backing of Tokyo pop would take over FMW which would lead to Arai losing his spot as President to Vice President Senmu Yoshida on August 11, 2001 at the Komazawa Olympic Gym. There was a poll given where 10,000 people would have to sign to show FMW that people did care about Shoichi Arai and wanted him to stay with the promotion but would have to clean the bathrooms at Korakuen Hall. Arai would get the 10,023 votes on October 14th but then on October 22nd when Hayabusa would become paralyzed after slipping on the rope doing a quebrada which would cause him to be paralyze still to this day. Arai was one of the few allowed to talk to Hayabusa and stay in the hospital room with him right after the accident. Arai would be given back his spot as FMW President in the storyline by Yoshida on December 9, 2001, but without Hayabusa and the already lacking interest in FMW as well as a serious injury to another star in Mr. Gannosuke, Arai was losing way too much, way too fast, and having to pay hospital bills for Hayabusa and Gannosuke as well as his marriage falling apart, he finally had to give up and declare bankruptcy for FMW on February 15, 2002, a promotion that he loved more than anything.
In Japan, suicide is thought of as far less shameful, with his life in shambles, with so much money owed to so many, with so many people angry at him, with losing respect for having to stop paying for a close personal friend in Eiji Ezaki's hospital bill, it was too much for one man to take, so while at hiding and his closest friends and family being given warning letters about what he was going to do, Shoichi Arai took his life at the age of 36.
His body has already been given to his family, and funeral arrangements will soon be held for just close family and friends.
Whether he was ring announcer and Vice President for Atsushi Onita, or President
and owner, there's one thing you can not deny about Shoichi Arai, he was willing
to do anything for FMW, a promotion that he loved from the beginning to the end.
Rest in Peace Mr. Arai.
World Entertainment Wrestling held its debut show in front of an announced crowd of 16800 fans at Kawasaki Stadium although a more legitimate figure for the show would be around 10000 but it was an official sell out and big financial success with part of the profit going Hayabusa's hospital bill. Atsushi Onita who was wrestling for the first time in Kawasaki on May 5th since his Retirement match against Hayabusa on 5/5/95 teamed with The Great Sasuke against Zero-One's Shinya Hashimoto and Shinjiro Otani. Along with Zero-One, Pro Wrestling NOAH, Big Japan, and DDT wrestlers all performed on the show. This also marked the first time ever for a Kawasaki show that there was no Death Match on the show as Shinya Hashimoto turned down the Onita offer a week earlier.
The main event started out with The Great Sasuke and Shinjiro Otani renewing their old rivalry from New Japan with the two busting out the high flying moves right away. Otani then tagged in Hashimoto who began to kick the crap out of Sasuke before tagging in Onita. As Onita and Hashimoto were about to tie up, Onita spit green mist in Hashimoto's face right in front of the referee causing the DQ win for Hashimoto and Otani right away at 3:42. That's when WEW owner Kodo Fuyuki came out and demanded that the match be restarted. Hashimoto quickly wiped off all the green mist from his face and went right at Onita, using his kicking the crap out of Onita before tagging to Otani to finish the job. But Onita ended up getting help with Sasuke to overtake Otani and ended up pile driving him through a table. Then about at the 10 minute 30 second mark of the match, while in the corner, Onita threw a fireball right in Otani's face causing the referee to call for the bell to finally end the match at 10:41. A big brawl then occurred between the four going all the way into the aisle where Onita grabbed the mic and declared that the war between him and Zero-One has just begun.
For the semi-main event, Kintaro Kanemura battled Pro-Wrestling NOAH's Vader. From the start, Vader dominated with Kanemura bouncing off Vader several times. Kanemura tried evening the odds by bringing in a table, but all it was used for was Vader choke slamming Kanemura through it. Vader then hit the Vader Splash to finish Kanemura off at 6:58 for the win.
In another inter promotional match, Tetsuhiro Kuroda took on NOAH's Akira Taue, unlike Kanemura/Vader, it wasn't much of a squash with Kuroda getting in all his signature moves on Taue, but Taue's big boots to the face and then a powerbomb and then an atomic drop would get the win for Taue.
Mitsuharu Misawa and GHC Champion Yoshinari Ogawa took on Tamon Honda and Masao Inoue in a NOAH vs. NOAH match on the show, the crowd was very into Misawa during the match, and the finish would come when Ogawa pinned Inoue with a backdrop supplex.
A retirement ceremony was held for Kodo Fuyuki who was able to get out of the hospital on May 3rd and attend the show. Fuyuki told the crowd how happy he was for the success of the show, and that he considers his 22 year career a success. Fuyuki told the crowd about his 7 and half hour surgery to remove his intestine cancer and that it was a success. After the show, Fuyuki checked himself back in the hospital the next day where he will continue to stay for the next couple of weeks. It was also announced that Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Kintaro Kanemura would participate in future Zero-One shows.
There were two Joshi Matches on the show, with All Japan Women's star Manami Toyota defeating Kumiko Maekawa with a Northern Lights Bomb, and a LLPW match with Eagle Sawai & Rumi Kazama defeating Harley Saito & Noriyo Tateno
With GOEMON out of action until the summer due to certain circumstances, Onryo teamed with Biomonster DNA to take on Big Japan's Jun Kasai and DDT's Poison Sawada Julie. Sawada ended up hitting DNA with his finisher "The Cattle Mutilation" to score a rare pinfall victory over Biomonster. As for GOEMON not being at either the Onita FMW and WEW shows, all I know is that he owned a small percentage of FMW and that it's a big time secret within the company on why he is not being able to participate the next couple of months.
WEW wrestlers NOSAWA and Chocoball Mukai teamed up to take on the DDT team of Sanshiro Takagi & MIKAMI with Takagi used a leg kick to pin NOSAWA for the win.
Rika Fujisaki was kidnapped by a corporation called Nihei last December in FMW. Shark had to win 10 matches to win Rika Fujisaki. After 8 straight wins in FMW, DDT, and Fuyuki Army Promotion shows, Shark lost the 9th match on April 9th against the leader of the organization but was given a rematch at Kawasaki. Rika Fujisaki attended a show for the first time since November 23rd at the Yokohama Bunka Gym when Shark and Fujisaki officially became a couple. But again, Shark failed to defeat the leader and Rika Fujisaki will still remain with the Nihei organization.
In the opening match, Nise Onita and Sun Paul defeated Satoshi Makita and Happy Ikeda when Paul pinned Happy Ikeda with a Northern Lights Supplex in the first ever WEW match.
At the Onita FMW show on May 4th at Korakuen Hall, Onita teamed with Zero One's Masato Tanaka despite feuding with Zero One's Shinya Hashimoto to battle Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Kintaro Kanemura with the end result of Tanaka pinned Kanemura in a crazy brawl that went all over the building. Also on the show, Kaori Nakayama announced before her match that she would be retiring from wrestling. Nakayama who joined the promotion in 1994 worked as a protégé to FMW's woman's superstar Megumi Kudo. After Kudo retired, the women's division slowly died. When the division was brought back in late 1999, it was to be centered around Nakayama, but instead Emi Motokawa stole the spotlight from under Nakayama with her work ethic. Nakayama was then used as the manager for The Complete Players until she would leave FMW with the rest of them in February 2001. She worked independent dates and would start a friendship with former FMW enemy Shark Tsuchiya but Nakayama decided that the injuries and the work was not worth what she was getting in the long run and it would be the best time to get out of the business.
An update on Hayabusa, nothing much has really changed the last couple of months, he is very lonely in the hospital room, Onryo visited him the other day in his room and reported that he is working on standing up and getting his balance. A lot of people have been asking when and where the Onita FMW 5/4 and WEW 5/5 shows will be broadcasted, they were both taped and will air on Samurai TV in the upcoming weeks, I will get both shows in due time.
Atsushi Onita attended the 4/29 Zero One show at the old FMW stomping ground at the Fukuoka Hakata Star Lanes. Onita issued the challenged to Hashimoto for the 5/5 tag match to be an Exploding Barbwire Death Match, but Hashimoto declined the challenge.
Megumi Kudo will referee the Shark Tsuchiya & Kaori Nakayama vs. GAMI & noki-A tag match for the 5/4 Onita FMW Korakuen Hall show.
Just a note, I will be out of town from May 1st to May 5th, so I will not be able to get online to check any email, take any tape orders, or be able to post results from the two big shows until I get back home in the afternoon on May 5th.
Atsushi Onita at a Press Conference finally announced what would be the main event for the WEW 5/5 Kawasaki Stadium show in place of Kodo Fuyuki who is still in hospital after a successful but longer than expected surgery back on April 18th. Onita announced that he would team up with The Great Sasuke who was at the press conference as well to take on Zero One's Shinya Hashimoto and Shinjiro Otani in the main event, with no word on if the tag match would be a Death Match or not. Onita also announced a change in the main event for his showed promoted under the FMW name (Onita is just using the FMW name, but does not own any right to it) with Kodo Fuyuki's surprised retirement, it will now be Onita teaming up with former FMW and current Zero One wrestler Masato Tanaka to take on Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Kintaro Kanemura. This would be the first time Tanaka has gone up against Kuroda or Kanemura since he left FMW back in February 2001.
In other news, Kintaro Kanemura won the DDT Iron
man Heavyweight Title from Sanshiro Takagi at the DDT April 18th Tokyo Club Atom show. Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Kintaro Kanemura, Onryo, Chocoball Mukai, and Sun Paul will all be working the May 3rd DDT Korakuen Hall show.
GOEMON will not be working any WEW shows for the next couple of months which why he's not on the WEW 5/5 Kawasaki show, but will still be teaming with Onryo for Onita's FMW Korakuen Hall show as well as Pro Wrestling Nightmare.
Kintaro Kanemura and Sun Paul will team up for an eight man tag tournament at Korakuen Hall in IWA for the vacant IWA Japan Tag Team Titles, their first round opponents are Shoichi Ichinomiya and a mystery partner.
Also, Shoichi Arai who has been in hiding as of the last couple of months due to how much money he owes to alot of people since FMW declared bankruptcy back in February is close to singing a book deal in which he would write a book to be published in Japan that would be all about FMW from its first show on October 6, 1989 to its last days in February 2002.
Kodo Fuyuki wrestled his last match up after a 22 year career on April 14th at NOAH's Differ Ariake show after discovering he had cancer in his intestine and would have to have surgery in Yokohama on April 18th to remove the cancer. Kodo Fuyuki teamed with Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa to defeat Akira Taue & Masao Inoue & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi when Fuyuki pinned Kikuchi at 16:42. After the match, a ceremony for Fuyuki was held in which his wife and two daughters attended as well as well long time friends Jado and Gedo and IWGP Heavyweight Champion Yuji Nagata. There was also a message given to Fuyuki from Hayabusa from the hospital wishing Fuyuki luck.
The WEW 5/5 Kawasaki show will have involvement from both Pro Wrestling NOAH and Zero-One for its show. Atsushi Onita will be in the main event of the show in a Death Match but his opponent has still not been decided yet. Onita has been challenging Shinya Hashimoto as the man to fight him in the main event in a Death Match, if Hashimoto decides to
decline the offer, than more than likely fellow Zero-One wrestler Shinjiro Otani will take his place. Other matches signed are NOAH's Vader against Kintaro Kanemura as the semi-main event, NOAH's Akira Taue against Tetsuhiro Kuroda, and a NOAH
match up in Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa against Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue, and opening the show will be Satoshi Makita and Happy Ikeda against Sun Paul and Nice Onita.
Since FMW went under back in February, there has been no one to pay for Hayabusa's bills as FMW was paying for everything until then, since then, Eiji's family has had to take care of everything. Part of the income that WEW gets for the 5/5 show gets will be given to pay for Hayabusa's hospital bills.
As far as why Mammoth Sasaki has not been around lately, there has been heat with him and Onita dating back several years, and Mammoth was incredibly angry when Onita came back. Mammoth was told that it would be best to sit out for awhile.
Kodo Fuyuki has announced his retirement from Professional wrestling after a 22 year old career in the business and will wrestle in his last match at the 4/14 Differ Ariake NOAH show where he will team up with Mitsuharu Misawa who he lost to in his last ever singles match on April 7th and GHC Champion Yoshinari Ogawa. The sudden announcement from Fuyuki came when he discovered last week that he had intestinal cancer, his first scheduled surgery will be two days after his final match. Fuyuki announced about his health at the 4/9 Korakuen Hall show after he and Atsushi Onita squared off in the ring for the first time since September 1998. Onita along with Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Ricky Fuji beat Fuyuki, Kintaro Kanemura and Chocoball Mukai when Onita pinned Mukai. Afterwards, Onita and Fuyuki embraced and hugged backstage putting aside years of personal differences which dates back to 1997.
Fuyuki will still promote and continue on with his new promotion WEW with its first show on May 5th at Kawasaki Stadium. The only match scheduled for the show so far is Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa against Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue. The scheduled 5/4 Onita FMW Korakuen Hall show with Onita and a mystery partner against Fuyuki and Kanemura as well as the Onita vs. Fuyuki 5/5 Kawasaki match has now been scratched.
Kodo Fuyuki announced after the March 31st Hiroshima show that as of May 5th the Fuyuki Army Promotion will be known as World Entertainment Wrestling. Fuyuki will promote all WEW shows and handle the financial situation. Atsushi Onita will be promoting under the FMW name for his Project X shows starting on May 4th at Korakuen Hall.
Yoshihito Sasaki has left the Fuyuki Army Promotion and signed a contract with Shinya Hashimoto's Zero One.
Kodo Fuyuki has once again came to terms with the Pro-Wrestling NOAH promotion and issued a challenge to owner Mitsuharu Misawa for the April 7th NOAH Ariake Coliseum show. This will be the third bitch match up for Fuyuki in the past year with him wrestling Tenryu on 5/5 at Kawasaki and Toshiaki Kawada on 10/27 at Budoukan.
Atsushi Onita's revival of FMW show will be on May 4th at Korakuen Hall, Mitsuhiro Matsunaga will take on Hido, and Mr. Pogo and Shoji Nakamaki will take on mystery opponents. Next Fuyuki Army Promotion shows will be on March 30th and March 31 in Hiroshima.
On March 10th at Korakuen Hall, Kodo Fuyuki ran his Fuyuki Army Promotion show in place of FMW. There was no FMW-tron, there was no red ring with the FMW logo, there was no yellow ropes, there was no announcing broadcast booth, there was no Shoichi Arai. Just a blue ring with black ropes, and a couple of hundred people that were going to stay loyal to the name of FMW and its workers. There was a 10 bell salute given to FMW by the wrestlers, afterwards the founder of FMW himself, Atsushi Onita appeared. Onita grabbed the microphone and said "Oi" 32 times before telling Fuyuki that he as a House of Representatives in Japan will prosecute Fuyuki and FMW ring announcer Kichisuke Nakamura for pulling out of the FMW stock when they both knew it was going under, and didn't tell anyone else.
Onita then challenged Kodo Fuyuki to a match at the Fuyuki Army Promotion show on April 9th at Korakuen Hall. That will most likely set up a Death Match main event for the May 5th Kawasaki Stadium show between the two. Onita who is also starting his own FMW will have his Onita Pro crew working it as well as long time FMW loyalists Hisakatsu Oya and Ricky Fuji on March 30th in Osaka.
After the March 8th Big Japan Korakuen Hall show, Kintaro Kanemura announced to the crowd that he watched Hayabusa be able to move his arms and legs completely, and that he is improving everyday while at the Rehabilitation center in Tokyo.
The Shinjuku Shark trying to rescue Rika Fujisaki angle is still on. Shark had to defeat 10 assassins for him to be able to get back Rika. Shark defeated the first three at FMW shows in Korakuen Hall, he then attended a DDT show in late January and was attacked by three more who he eventually beat on the streets with a DDT referee counting the falls. He then defeated one more at the last FMW show, and at the Fuyuki Army Promotion show defeated number 8. He will be challenged by the 9th assassin at the April 9th Korakuen Hall show, and most likely going on to fight the last assassin at the Kawasaki Stadium show on May 5th.
Also, I have finally gotten the site moved over to another server, so the site will no longer be going down every hour.
Mammoth Sasaki participated at PRIDE's 2/22 "THE BEST" show at Korakuen Hall in a tryout for new PRIDE fighters. He battled Kim Jong Wan who was originally from the old Pancrease but was never really good. Still Sasaki only lasted 25 seconds before being knocked out by the experienced fighter. Shinjuku Shark and Chocoball Mukai accompanied Sasaki to the fight. Afterwards, Sasaki announced that he would be retiring from all active competition. Mammoth Sasaki who originally started as a Sumo wrestler where he earned the name "Mammoth" before heading over to the FMW Dojo and training to become a pro wrestler for FMW. Sasaki debut for FMW in November 1997 worked under card for three years under his real name Yoshinori Sasaki, mostly against fellow Dojo member Naohiko Yamazaki. Mammoth really picked up his game and became a very good power wrestler in 2001 as he began to receive a push as Tetsuhiro Kuroda's partner while apart of Team Kuroda. With Hayabusa out, Mammoth along with Kuroda, Mr. Gannosuke, and Kintaro Kanemura formed their own FMW team and battled Team WAR and Fuyuki's Gaijan's from the end of last year to earlier this month.
Atsushi Onita announced that he would he would be the one who would revive FMW with his own money and would run FMW's return show on March 30th in Osaka. No word on if any of the FMW wrestlers will join him, or it will just be his Onita Pro roster working for the promotion. It looks like March 10th at Korakuen Hall will be run by Fuyuki's new promotion. No word either on who will consist of the roster.
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