Mr. Gannosuke would finish his 18 year career in professional
wrestling on December 27, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring at the age of
40. Masashi Honda would make his debut in FMW on June 22, 1991 just days after
his 23rd birthday against the future Flying Kid Ichihara. Honda would become
"Mr. Gannosuke" in 1992 after FMW Dojo trainer Tarzan Goto would
begin to call Honda, "Gannosuke" due to Goto feeling he looked a lot
like Japanese TV star Ashiya Gannosuke. The name would stick and a true pro
wrestler was born.
Gannosuke would return to his FMW roots one last time for his retirement match with former FMW family members all of whom he has teamed with and feuded with. Although Gannosuke stated he probably could have held his retirement at Korakuen Hall, that he wanted to have his retirement show at the Shin-Kiba 1st Ring because the building symbolizes "Independent Wrestling" which is what Gannosuke stood for as a independent wrestler. Tickets were raised for the show as ringside seats were 6000 Yen (about 60 American Dollars) and the bleacher seats (Shin-Kiba bleacher seats which make up most of the building are first come, first serve) were sold at 5000 Yen (around 50 American Dollars) with Mr. Gannosuke definitely profiting from the show as 480 fans show were allowed in, 130 more than usually is allowed for the small building. The building was so filled up, that the show had a late start to trying to get all the fans wanting to see Gannosuke's last match situated with some fans having to stand to watch the show.
Mr. Gannosuke wrestled his last match teaming up with Michinoku Pro's Jinsei Shinzaki and Apache's Mammoth Sasaki against Zero-One's Masato Tanaka, XWF's Kintaro Kanemura, and Apache's Tetsuhiro Kuroda in a Street Fight. The match allowed Gannosuke to return to his roots as he had teamed and feuded with all five men during his career. Gannosuke would wear the original TNR logo t-shirt that has been accustomed to wearing over the last several years where as on the other side Kintaro Kanemura, the other founder of Team No Respect wore the newer TNR logo from 2000 t-shirt for the match. The match started right away like so many FMW Street Fights from years before with all 6 men brawling all over the building into the stands and around ringside. Gannosuke and Tanaka would square off with hard chops to one another. The battle between Jinsei Shinzaki and Kintaro Kanemura would end up in the ring as Gannosuke and Shinzaki would deliver duel Praying Powerbombs with Gannosuke landing one on Tanaka, and Shinzaki hitting Kanemura with his. Kuroda would get free from Mammoth and deliver a lariat to Gannosuke and allow Kanemura the chance to toss Tanaka a piece of a table with Tanaka smashing it over Gannosuke's head. Kanemura would then take over the offense on Gannosuke, the first time the two former best friends had been in the same ring against each other since the end of their friendship from 2004. Kanemura would deliver a Blast YAMA Senton Special on Gannosuke, but would fail to get the pinfall victory. Gannosuke would eventually turn it around and fight back and land a Falcon Arrow on Kanemura for two. Gannosuke to the loud ovation from the crowd would then deliver the Fire Thunder to Kanemura, and then place him in the Nirvana Strangle for the last time in his career with Tanaka managing to break up the hold. Gannosuke and Kanemura would go at it against each other one last time, man on man with Kanemura going for the clothesline and Gannosuke catching him and putting him in the Gannosuke Clutch with Kanemura kicking out at two. Gannosuke would then finally finish his former Team No Respect friend off with the Fire Thunder once again as Mr. Gannosuke would get the pinfall victory on Kintaro Kanemura at 17 minutes, 38 seconds in his last ever match. After the match, Gannosuke would shake the hands of his partners of Shinzaki and Mammoth, followed by shaking Tanaka and Kuroda's hands. Gannosuke would then go up to Kintaro Kanemura and shake his hand out of respect, the two would then talk and then to a loud ovation Mr. Gannosuke and Kintaro Kanemura would embrace by hugging in the ring with both Kanemura and Gannosuke becoming teary eyed. All six wrestlers from the match would then raise one another's hands as Come out and Play would begin to play and Mr. Gannosuke and Kintaro Kanemura would begin doing the TNR Dance like old times, but with this time, for the first time ever, long time TNR foe Jinsei Shinzaki would join them in the dance as well along with Tanaka, Kuroda, and Mammoth one last time together as finally the Gannosuke and Kanemura feud had come to an end.
Mr. Gannosuke's Retirement Ceremony would then take place next with Gannosuke being presented a framed picture of him delivering a Reverse Fire Thunder off the apron to H at the November 23, 1999 Yokohama Arena show which is the same picture on his Bio on this website. Tatsumi Fujinami, one of Gannosuke's childhood heroes who had watched the main event live in the front row would present Gannosuke flowers and a handshake, and then Fight with Dream II would play as Hayabusa would come down the the aisle wearing his brown mask to symbolize a big event and be met by his childhood friend as the two would embrace and hug with one another with both men being teary eyed even more after the embrace to a loud ovation from the crowd. A 10 bell salute would then take place as the crowd would be chanting "Gannosuke" during the salute. All the wrestlers from the show would then gather in the ring and toss Gannosuke up in the air to celebrate his career before dropping him down in the ring for his final bump. Gannosuke's music would play one last time as he would leave the ring the final time as a pro wrestler. Gannosuke be met backstage by Hayabusa, Kanemura, Tanaka, Ricky Fuji, Kuroda, Gosaku, Flying Kid Ichihara, and Koji Nakagawa as the group of wrestlers who had battled together and against each other and shed so much blood with the scarred up foreheads to prove it with one another posed for pictures as a family.
Mr. Gannosuke had one of the more interesting careers a wrestler can have. He has fought in the streets of Tokyo, he has fought in a bath house with naked women screaming and running away, he has fought in a exploding pool, an exploding ring, and an anal explosion match. He has wrestled in front of over 50,000 fans before, main evented the 16,000 seat Yokohama Arena as well as wrestled for shows so small that they didn't even bother with a ring and just wrestled on mats. He left the promotion that he was born into in FMW and then after coming back showed more loyalty to the promotion than almost any other wrestler. He has booked, promoted, trained, been black balled, suffered two serious injuries to his legs that kept him out of action both times twice. He is a former FMW Double Titles Champion, a winner of the FMW Over the Top Tournament, and one of the eight men to participate in the infamous IWA King of the Death Match tournament. He fought the likes of Atsushi Onita, Mr. Pogo, Tiger Jeet Singh, Terry Funk, Cactus Jack, Sabu, Kensuke Sasaki, Satoshi Kojima, Ultimo Dragon, The Great Sasuke, Shiro Koshinaka, Genichiro Tenryu as well as the past couple of months his childhood heroes in Tatsumi Fujinami and Riki Choshu. He had one of the best storyline natural rivalries with Hayabusa where the two despite having two totally different styles put on some of their best matches with one another. He along with Kanemura created the best heel faction ever in FMW, a promotion that had many different heel factions during the entire near 13 years of the promotion. He was one of the most underrated wrestlers during his entire career, both as a worker and as a in ring personality. Mr. Gannosuke's 18 years as a pro wrestler is now over, but he has definitely left his mark on pro-wrestling. Gannosuke will continue to help his friend Emi Sakura train her Ice Ribbon girls.
Another former FMW wrestler retired the day before Gannosuke's retirement. Satoru Makita otherwise known as Soldier wrestled his Retirement match on December 26, 2008 at the Tokyo Shinjuku FACE in a match against Tetsuhiro Kuroda thus meaning Kuroda wrestled back to back retirement matches against former FMW friends. Makita who was trained by Koji Nakagawa in the FMW Dojo in 2000 made his debut against the same man Mr. Gannosuke made his debut against in Flying Kid Ichihara on September 7, 2000. Makita made his debut the same day as fellow Dojo trainees Tomokazu Morita who would later become Garuda and Yoshihito Sasaki. After FMW would close down in 2002, Makita and Morita would follow Mr. Gannosuke and join his brand new WMF promotion that was going to be based around the younger talent. Yoshihito Sasaki would not follow along as he instead would join the Zero-One promotion shortly after FMW closed. WMF is where Satoru Makita would become Soldier. He would join Tetsuhiro Kuroda and GOEMON's heel group called the Double Cross Brand. Soldier would eventually move away from Japan for a year and live in Mexico where he would compete as Black Garuda, and then wrestle in Northeastern Independent promotions like IWC until returning to WMF. Soldier's biggest win of his short career would come after defeating Mammoth Sasaki on February 20, 2005 to win the WMF Round Robin Tournament. Due to the win, Soldier would be allowed to have one wish of his granted by WMF, and that wish would be to have wrestlers from the IWC invade WMF and thus friends of Soldier in Balls Mahoney, Shirley Doe, Necro Butcher, and Mad Man Pondo would appear in WMF. Soldier would become the main heel of WMF as he would lead a group called the New Generation Army in 2006 with fellow young wrestlers in Mineo Fujita and Kenji Sawaragi joining him to feud with the older wrestlers in WMF like Mr. Gannosuke, GOEMON, Ricky Fuji and Hisakatsu Oya. Soldier would eventually become the top babyface of WMF in 2007 after Gannosuke would create a heel group called KHM which would be a group of non WMF wrestlers out to destroy the wrestlers loyal to WMF in Soldier, Ricky Fuji, Yuko Miyamoto, Kamui, Kitten Kid, and Kengo Takai. After the KHM group would disband in February 2008, Soldier would then be put with friend Garuda in a series tag team matches together before wrestling in the final WMF match against Mineo Fujita with Fujita getting the victory over Soldier. With the announcement that WMF was closing down after 6 years, Soldier announced that he would be retiring from pro-wrestling. Soldier would later announce that he would wrestle one last match for his career against Tetsuhiro Kuroda for the Moebius Promotion on December 26, 2008. Soldier would reunite with Dojo friend Yoshihito Sasaki as the two would train to keep Soldier in shape for his final match. Soldier's final match would see Tetsuhiro Kuroda get the victory at 11 minutes, 48 seconds with the lariat for the win. Although Soldier was seen as the least talented of the three FMW Dojo students to graduate in 2000, he still was able to have a good 8 year career in wrestling getting to face the likes of Jushin Thunder Liger, Kensuke Sasaki, and Tarzan Goto. Although it was a short career, Makita still accomplish something not that many wrestlers get to accomplish, and that would be a top wrestler for a promotion and he managed to have more success at the moment than the top prospect of that 2000 FMW Dojo class in Garuda.
Takashi Sasaki announced on December 25, 2008 that the Apache Army promotion would continue in 2009. It was announced on December 12, 2008 that the promotion would be closing its door after the current sponsor of the promotion announced that they would be dropping out at the end of the year, making it seem like that the promotion would end after Jun Kasai's December 25th show. Takashi Sasaki announced that the plans to keep the Apache Army promotion going into 2009 with no sponsor meaning each show will be promoted by an individual wrestler with the upcoming January 16, 2009 show being promoted completely by Takashi Sasaki. Right now things look bleak for the promotion as they have even been forced to close their office in Tokyo due to the loss of the sponsor, but they are going to keep the promotion name going while looking for a company to sponsor them. Pretty much they are at the same spot that WMF was in after Laing, Inc. stopped sponsoring them after May 2005 and Gannosuke was forced to keep the promotion going with his own money.
Yuko Miyamoto who was trained by Mr. Gannosuke in the WMF Dojo and made his debut in August 2003 won the biggest match of his career by winning the Big Japan King of the Death Match Heavyweight Champion. Miyamoto defeated champion Shadow WX in the main event of the Big Japan December 19, 2008 Yokohama Bunka Gym show in front of 2400 fans. Miyamoto who made his name in Big Japan by having the Death Match of the Year in 2007 against Takashi Sasaki and thus paid his dues for the promotion for the next 21 months until before being given another chance at the title. The match was a Barbed wire Blast Death Match with Shadow powerbombing Miyamoto into the blasting barbed wire board, and Miyamoto hitting a dropkick sending Shadow into the blast. Miyamoto would manage to get the victory after clotheslining Shadow with a Fluorescent Light Tube and then finishing him off with a Moonsault Press while holding the Fluorescent Light Tubes to get the victory at 18 minutes, 21 seconds. Miyamoto held up the title high after the match and was then given his newborn child in the ring to celebrate the biggest victory over his 5 year career as the new Big Japan King of the Death Match Champion.
Mammoth Sasaki and Daisuke Sekimoto defended their BJW Tag Team Titles on the show in the semi-main event by defeating the legends team of New Japan's Jushin Thunder Liger and AKIRA after Sekimoto nailed a German Supplex on AKIRA for the victory at 18 minutes, 7 seconds for the teams sixth successful title defense.
Mr. Gannosuke wrestled in his last match for the Zero-One MAX promotion on December 17, 2008 at the Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo for the ZERO1 Delight 2008 Tour. Gannosuke took on long time friend and rival Masato Tanaka in a FMW Memorial match called "Trace of the F". It was their 5th singles match against each other since Gannosuke returned to FMW as a heel in 1997. Gannosuke and Tanaka shook hands as the bell rang for the final singles match between the two in their career.
It did not take long for the two to go back to their roots as after a filling out process, the match wound up outside with a table being used. Tanaka would set Gannosuke on the table and come off the top rope sending Gannosuke through the table and breaking the table in half. Gannosuke would end up use the broken table to his advantage as the match would return to the ring as Gannosuke would grab a piece of the broken table and smash it repeatedly over Tanaka's head slicing the piece of the broken table in two over Tanaka's head. Gannosuke would then come back with a lariat of his own, but Tanaka would follow it up by knocking Gannosuke down with a lariat of his own and trying to put the match away early with his Sliding D that Gannosuke would manage to kick out of. Tanaka would keep trying to put away Gannosuke with elbows until Gannosuke would catch one of them and turn it into the Gannosuke Clutch that captured him the FMW Double Titles against Tanaka back on January 6, 1998 but Tanaka would manage to kick out. The two would begin to exhange clotheslines and eventually Tanaka would knock Gannosuke on the mat and deliver the Sliding D that would put away Mr. Gannosuke at 16 minutes, 2 seconds for their final match. Tanaka would grab the mic afterwards and thank Gannosuke for all the help and battles the two have had over the last 15 years since Tanaka made his FMW debut back in 1993. Gannosuke got on the mic and thanked Tanaka for the FMW style match and that he has made him proud of what he has became over the years and that Tanaka is what FMW represented before the two hugged before leaving together.
Hayabusa recently held a concert on December 15, 2008 in Asagoya entitled "Hayabusa vs. Mr. Gannosuke talk show" with Hayabusa singing along side with Dragon Kid, Ricky Fuji, Ichiro Yaguchi, and Emi Sakura. Mr. Gannosuke made an appearance with Hayabusa and sat down as the two childhood friends talked with another for about an hour about Hayabusa's singing career, Mr. Gannosuke's upcoming retirement and beer among other things. Hayabusa wished his college friend the best that live will bring him after his retirement from pro-wrestling at the end of this month.
Mr. Pogo would indeed be force to cancel his Showa-Pro Wrestling Korakuen Hall
appearance on December 18th due to a hernia that has caused him the missed the rest of 2008 in what would have been a reuniting of the Atsushi Onita/Mr. Pogo feud. Instead Atsushi Onita and Masanobu Kurisu would team up to take on Gran Hamada and Goro Tsurumi who feuded against FMW in Mr. Pogo's W*ING faction in 1994. The match would end at 12 minutes, 31 seconds after Kurisu would be counted out of the ring.
Tarzan Goto would also cancel his appearance for an unknown reason with Jushin
Thunder Liger taking the spot for his match with Masa Fuchi against Riki
Choshu and Masa Chono.
Hayabusa announced that he would be promoting his first show at the Tokyo Shinjuku FACE on January 24, 2009 entitled Fiesta del Hayabusa ~ Phoenix. The only thing announced so far for the show is that Dragon Kid will be wrestling as Hayabusa Kid and that wrestlers will also be taking on the personas of H and Darkside Hayabusa on the show. It looks like the Dragon Gate roster will mostly fill out the card when it is announced later on.
The Apache Army finally scored a victory over the FMW Legends Army on December 12, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring. The team of Takashi Sasaki, GENTARO, and The Winger defeated the FMW team of Mr. Gannosuke, Mammoth Sasaki, and Yoshihito Sasaki in the main event in a Barbed wire Double Hell Death Match when Takashi Sasaki pinned Mammoth Sasaki with a right arm at 15 minutes, 33 seconds. Takashi Sasaki then got the mic after the match and announced that the Apache Army promotion would be closing once again after the Jun Kasai produced Apache Army show entitled "NUTSVILLE XMAS" on December 25, 2008 at the Shin-Kiba 1st Ring. Tetsuhiro Kuroda was originally booking and promoting the shows when the promotion came back in June, but after several poor attended shows, he could no longer continue to promote and Takashi Sasaki took over producing in October and focused the shows more on death matches. The shows still did very poorly, struggling to get 100 fans in a 350 seat building regularly and with one of the few draws the promotion has in Mr. Gannosuke retiring at the end of this month there doesn't seem to be any upside to the promotion continuing. Jun Kasai will put his own money up for the Christmas all death match show and the promotion will then stop producing shows. Takashi Sasaki will promote his next show under his own name starting for the January 16, 2009 show at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring.
No word on if this means any of the wrestlers will jump to Kintaro Kanemura's XWF promotion which has struggled to get off the ground as well with only one show having taken place since the creation of the promotion which did poorly and then was followed up with a canceled show due to poor ticket advance. There is an XWF show scheduled at Korakuen Hall during the day (Korakuen Hall shows struggle to draw during the day, but the place is less expensive to rent) of January 4, 2009 but still no card has been announced.
Mr. Gannosuke will continue his final two weeks of his pro wrestling career wrestling for several promotions for the last time. Gannosuke will wrestle for the DDT promotion for the last time at an old FMW stomping ground in the Fukouka Hakata Star Lanes on December 14, 2008 with Gannosuke teaming up with friend Yasu Urano to take on the team of DDT ace Sanshiro Takagi and Poison Sawada JULIE. He will then appear on December 15th alongside his childhood friend Hayabusa for a Hayabusa concert entitled "Gannosuke vs. Hayabusa talk show" with Ricky Fuji, Emi Sakura, and Dragon Kid also appearing.
Gannosuke will then wrestle in what will be his final big singles match up and final Zero-One MAX match as he faces former FMW friend and rival in Masato Tanaka at the Tokyo Shinjuku FACE show on December 17, 2008. Gannosuke scored the biggest win of his career when he defeated Tanaka at Korakuen Hall on January 6, 1998 for the FMW Double Titles but Gannosuke has lost the last three singles matches against Tanaka since the title victory. Gannosuke will then wrestle for Yasu Urano's promoted show at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring on December 22nd, then his final Ice Ribbon show for Emi Sakura on December 23rd at the Shimo-Kitazawa. Gannosuke will then wrestle his final singles match against Yoshihito Sasaki on December 25th for the final Apache Army show promoted by Jun Kasai in a Bunkhouse Death Match. He will then wrestle the last match of his career on December 27, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring when he teams up with former partners and rivals Jinsei Shinzaki and Mammoth Sasaki to take on Masato Tanaka, Kintaro Kanemura, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda in his own promoted show.
Mr. Gannosuke also got a surprised victory over Mammoth Sasaki on November 22, 2008 in Kumamoto as Gannosuke had promoted the show for the sole purpose of getting to wrestle Mr. Pogo one last time in his career with the show being promoted in Kumamoto for the benefit of being easier travel for Pogo to make the show. Mr. Pogo ended up having to cancel on the show due to a hernia and thus Mammoth Sasaki who was already booked on the show took Pogo's place in the main event. Mr. Gannosuke ended up defeating Mammoth Sasaki in what will be their last match against each other at 12 minutes, 4 seconds with a lariat. Pogo told Gannosuke that the hernia would not allow him to wrestle for the rest of 2008 although Pogo is still booked as of right now for a December 18th show at Korakuen Hall where he will face former FMW rival Atsushi Onita in a tag match for the Showa Pro Wrestling promotion.
Former WMF Dojo student Yuko Miyamoto will be wrestling in the biggest match of his career on December 19, 2008 as he will main event and challenge Shadow WX for the Big Japan King of the Death Match title. Miyamoto who put on the best of the year for the Big Japan promotion last year when he faced Takashi Sasaki on March 14, 2007 in a Scaffold Death Match for the Big Japan title has spent the last 21 months since that match paying his dues with the promotion losing in numerous different style death matches looks to finally be booked to get the biggest win of his 5 year career and become the Big Japan King of the Death Match.
Kintaro Kanemura will challenge Tomohiro Ishii for the WEW World Title at the Tokyo Shinjuku FACE on January 10, 2009 for Riki Choshu's LOCK UP promotion. This will be Ishii's second title defense since winning the title back in July as he defeated Tetsuhiro Kuroda back on November 3rd at Korakuen Hall. Kanemura looks to win back the title he lost back on July 29, 2008 to Toru Yano and definitely hopes that 2009 will be a better year than 2008 was as it was a horrible year for Kanemura personally and financially.
Eiji Ezaki recently celebrated his 40th birthday on November 29th. A birthday party was held in honor of Ezaki with family and friends attending. A birthday cake with a picture of Hayabusa on the cake was given to Ezaki in honor of his birthday. Also, this site recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary back on November 20th. I don't know how much longer this site is going to keep going especially with the Apache Army promotion closing down and Mr. Gannosuke retiring at the end of this year and my life taking all the turns it has since I came back from Japan back in January and with many more turns expected in 2009 for sure, but it has been an incredibly fun decade following FMW and the wrestlers to come from what I felt was the greatest promotion to exist.
three favorite wrestlers in the 17 years I've been a fan of wrestling have
been Bret Hart, Hayabusa, and Mr. Gannosuke. After December 27, 2008 all
three of them will be retired from professional wrestling.
Mr. Gannosuke on October 13, 2008 announced the full lineup for Retirement show that will take place on December 27, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring. The main event looks to be the most interesting match for an FMW fan in years with many different angles taking place in the angle. The main one being that Mr. Gannosuke and Kintaro Kanemura will be opposing against one another for the first time since their singles match on August 25, 2003 and will be in the same ring at the same time since May 27, 2004.
I have written the story on why Mr. Gannosuke and Kintaro Kanemura have legitimate heat before on this site. But it still continues to be one of the most asked questions so here is the story with a more updated version to it.
Mr. Gannosuke and Kintaro Kanemura were great friends while in FMW and one of the best heel tag teams from 1997 to 2001. The friendship came to an end after Gannosuke splitted away from Kodo Fuyuki after never really being on board with the Entertainment style of wrestling that was FMW in the end and that Fuyuki's new WEW promotion would be. So Gannosuke created his own promotion and got most of the younger FMW wrestlers to join his side promising them they would be main fixtures in the new promotion. This angered Kanemura that Gannosuke, his friend would go behind his mentor Fuyuki's back and take so much of the talent that they had wanted to use in WEW. WMF and WEW would be rivals with the only connection being that Tetsuhiro Kuroda who continued to stay loyal with Fuyuki was allowed to work for his friend Gannosuke but was also humiliated in a storyline in WEW for working for the rival. Kodo Fuyuki would pass away only 10 months after WEW was created. The rivalry between WMF and WEW would end as the two sides would create the Fuyuki Army with Gannosuke and Kanemura working together to form the Apache Army group that would initiate war against other top promotions like Zero-One and All Japan. The group was formed out of loyalty to Kodo Fuyuki with most of the old FMW wrestlers regularly working for the promotion and Fuyuki's widow Kaoru keeping her late husbands promise to keep the promotion going. She would keep the promotion running for a year but would pull out after a disappointing end run for the promotion money wise.
There was no more loyalty to the Kodo Fuyuki. There was still heat between Gannosuke and Kanemura due to Gannosuke originally forming the WMF back in 2002. There were differences in how the two feel pro wrestling should be. There are also problems that nobody besides Masashi Honda and Kouhiro Kanemura will ever know about.
Kanemura definitely would come out of the split much better than Gannosuke. Kanemura had more money back up through his friend Go Ito and other sponsors (Yakuza), he had Kodo Fuyuki's friendships with the older wrestlers that were now in charge of their promotions to get his wrestlers booked for big shows, he had a Big Japan friendship dating back to his FMW days that would regularly get the wrestlers in his promotion booked regularly where as Mr. Gannosuke had a deal with Laing, Inc. that ended after just 9 months. For the next 3 years Kintaro Kanemura's Apache Army would be able to run Korakuen Hall semi-regularly, regularly work for Big Japan, as well as sometimes for New Japan, Zero-One, HUSTLE, Dragon Gate, and DDT. Mr. Gannosuke was using money out of his pocket and help from sponsors to keep WMF running once a month at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring and was in a sense blackballed from being able to work any other promotion that was bigger than his own small WMF promotion due to the other promotions using Kanemura and his group of workers.
Things did tend to get better for Mr. Gannosuke a little bit as he was able to strike a friendship with the Muga Promotion which would eventually become the Dradition promotion and would atleast get one of his workers in Mineo Fujita as well as himself to work outside of WMF.
Perhaps one of the best things that could have happened to Mr. Gannosuke's career came almost too late, although better late than never. Kintaro Kanemura would sexually harass a female Big Japan worker on January 20, 2008 and become toxic to the wrestling business for a couple of months with no promotions wanting to touch him. Kanemura would leave the Apache Army Promotion with Tetsuhiro Kuroda being put in charge. Although it would definitely look like Mr. Gannosuke would find a new home to regularly work and not have to put any of his own money for the shows, he still had already made up his mind that he would retire at the age of 40 by the end of 2008 and was sticking with his decision and would announce it on May 1, 2008.
Mr. Gannosuke would eventually disband the WMF promotion and begin working regularly with his old FMW friends in the Apache Army bringing along former FMW wrestlers Koji Nakagawa and Ricky Fuji as well as WMF wrestler Kamui to start at the bottom of the Apache Army promotion to work his way up in the promotion. For the first time in years Mr. Gannosuke actually finds himself in a better spot than Kintaro Kanemura in the wrestling business as the promotion Kanemura found himself has now been booked around Mr. Gannosuke's upcoming retirement while Kanemura struggles to get his new XWF promotion off the ground.
Which brings us to Mr. Gannosuke's announcement of his retirement match. Mr. Gannosuke will team up with Michinoku Pro's Jinsei Shinzaki and Mammoth Sasaki to face the team of Masato Tanaka, Kintaro Kanemura, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda on December 27, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring.
It will be the first time that Gannosuke will be working with Shinzaki since 2003 in WMF. The two had one of the biggest feuds while in FMW that saw Gannosuke continually mock Shinzaki as well steal his Praying Powerbomb which he still uses to this day. Gannosuke's other partner in Mammoth Sasaki is also probably his biggest rival since FMW ended with the two having fought in bloody barbed wire death matches as well as in the streets of Tokyo in both WMF and the Apache Army promotion. The opponents of Masato Tanaka who is the man that Gannosuke pinned for the biggest victory of his career by winning the FMW Double Titles over him, Kintaro Kanemura, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda who once retired Gannosuke in FMW back in 2000 as well as formed an alliance with Gannosuke in Team Kuroda in 2001. The five wrestlers in the match probably have more to do with Gannosuke's career over the last 11 years more than any other wrestler with the exception of Hayabusa.
The newest group in the Apache Army Promotion is the FMW Legends Army which consisted of Mr. Gannosuke, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Koji Nakagawa, and Ricky Fuji before October 10, 2008. The group is feuding with the Apache Army group which consisted of Mammoth Sasaki, Takashi Sasaki, GENTARO, Daisaku Shimoda, and YOSHIYA. A match between the two leaders of the groups in Mr. Gannosuke and Mammoth Sasaki would take place on October 10, 2008 in a Barbed wire Death Match. The match would turn out to be just as bloody as their original barbed wire death match three years earlier as both Gannosuke and Mammoth bled throughout the match. Both men would be sent into the barbed wire early on as well as using the barbed wire as a weapon as Gannosuke would wrap the barbed wire around his arm when delivering a lariat, but would be unable to get the victory. Eventually Mammoth would put away Gannosuke at 19 minutes, 43 seconds with a 29 Years Old head first into the barbed wire for the victory in what will be Gannosuke's last death match of his career. After the match, Gannosuke would present Mammoth an FMW t-shirt and ask him to join the FMW Legends Army with Mammoth accepting as the two would hug. This would upset Takashi Sasaki and GENTARO who would charge the ring and begin asking Mammoth why he would leave the Apache Army group that he was the ace of. Eventually both Sasaki and GENTARO would attack both Gannosuke and Mammoth and a tag team match for the October 24, 2008 Apache Army Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring show would be made as Gannosuke and Mammoth will team up with Kuroda to face Takashi Sasaki, GENTARO, and Daisaku Shimoda in the main event.
Atsushi Onita announced that he will be running three shows of his own in 2008. His first show will be on October 18, 2008 at the Tokyo Shinjuku FACE (one of three shows in that building that day) where he will team up with Masato Tanaka and Ricky Fuji to take on Hido, Ichiro Yaguchi, and The Shooter in the main event in a Barbed wire Street Fight Falls Count Anywhere Death Match. Kintaro Kanemura will also work the show. The next two shows will be entitled "FMW Family Volumes 1 & 2" with Volume 1 taking place at the Nagasaki NCC Studio on November 24, 2008 with the only thing announced is that Megumi Kudo will referee the main event which will be a Barbed wire Death Match and Volume 2 taking place on December 31, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring.
Mr. Gannosuke's Retirement tour will continue as more matches have been booked for him with him teaming up with Koji Nakagawa to face Hayabusa and Ricky Fuji on October 18, 2008 at the Tokyo Shinjuku FACE for the GUTS World promotion. Genichiro Tenryu will revise his Big Hayabusa character for the first time in 5 years as it will be the last time that Gannosuke will face off against a wrestler under the Hayabusa for his career. Mr. Gannosuke's heel WMF group of the GUN's will also be revised for the first time in 5 years as Gannosuke will team up with two wrestler that look just like him in Ichiro Yaguchi going under the name Mr. Rocknosuke and Katsumi Hirano as Mr. Iwaonosuke for the DDT promotion on October 26, 2008 against Poison Sawada JULIE and two mystery partners.
I had the chance to get in contact with Hayabusa recently through e-mail messages and was able to give him a link of my Biography. He apparently really enjoyed it, especially for the younger pictures of him earlier in his career and posted the link of my Hayabusa Bio on his Blog.
Mr. Gannosuke wrestled in what possibly might be his last singles match of his career at the building he wrestled in more than any other building during his 17 year career at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall on September 21, 2008 against the legendary Tatsumi Fujinami. The match turned out to be short with Fujinami getting Gannosuke to submit at 7 minutes, 57 seconds with the Octopus Hold. The match was more for to allow Gannosuke wrestle one of his favorite wrestlers growing up in Fujinami before retiring. Gannosuke announced afterwards that he would got a chance to wrestle his favorite wrestler growing up in Riki Choshu in a tag team match on October 18, 2008 through Dradition's Hisamaru Tajima promoted show at the Tokyo Shinjuku FACE. Gannosuke will team up with El Dorado's Bear Fukuda to take on Riki Choshu and Hiro Saito. It will be the second time Gannosuke faced off against in a tag team match against Choshu as he got the chance to wrestle in a eight man match between the Apache Army and Riki Choshu's World Japan group on May 27, 2004 at Korakuen Hall with no emphasis on the fact in the match that it was Gannosuke's first chance to take on his childhood hero.
Gannosuke teamed up with FMW friends Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Koji Nakagawa, and Ricky Fuji on September 22, 2008 at the Apache Army's Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring main event to take on the team of Mammoth Sasaki, Takashi Sasaki, GENTARO, and Daisaku Shimoda in a Iron Cage Scramble Street Fight with Gannosuke getting another pinfall victory over his former FMW and WMF friend Mammoth Sasaki with a lariat at 15 minutes, 56 seconds. After the match, Mammoth challenged Gannosuke to a Barbed wire Death Match for the upcoming Apache Army show on October 10, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring. It will be a rematch between Gannosuke and Mammoth where they last battled in a Barbed wire Death Match on July 31, 2005 in WMF before Mammoth left the promotion to join the Apache Army. Gannosuke stated that it would most likely be the last Death Match he will take part in for his career. The next day Gannosuke will return to the ZERO1 promotion where he take on Kamikaze, his match will follow a Kintaro Kanemura & Yusaku Obata tag match against Ikuto Hidaka and Muenori Sawa. It will be the first time since Riki Pro's August 19, 2004 that Gannosuke and Kanemura will be wrestling on the same show.
Gannosuke also announced that he has booked another show that he will promote on his own in Kumamoto on November 22, 2008 where he will face off against a former rival in FMW in Mr. Pogo for the last time in his career. Gannosuke would regularly team with Atsushi Onita and another partner against Mr. Pogo and two of his partners in 6 man barbed wire matches all throughout 1993 to 1995. It will be the first time the two will be facing off against each other since Gannosuke scored his first ever pinfall victory over Mr. Pogo at WMF's May 11, 2003 show in a Street Fight.
XWF announced the cancellation of their scheduled October 7, 2008 show at Korakuen Hall. The cited reasons were that the promotion was not prepared for the show as well as advanced tickets sold for the show was doing very poorly. The promotions next scheduled show is for January 4, 2009 at Korakuen Hall with no other shows booked before then.
Ever since Mr. Gannosuke & Kintaro Kanemura's friendship ended in 2004, it has been Kanemura due to either more money, Kodo Fuyuki's ties before his passing, or his own ties with friends that had helped Kintaro Kanemura and his group of Apache Army wrestlers become booked throughout the years. Mr. Gannosuke's WMF group had struggled to getting any outside bookings for years and with the promotion only going by Gannosuke's own money, they were only able to run one show a month for years. Things have changed in 2008 as Gannosuke has become booked more frequently in the last four years due to the announcement of his retirement back on May 1, 2008 for December 27, 2008 which will be promoted under his name at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring. Gannosuke first got booked for the ZERO1 promotion which he had not been booked for since 2003 after Masato Tanaka declared that he wanted to wrestle Gannosuke one last time before Gannosuke retired. The match turned into a FMW Memorial Tag Team Street Fight on July 13, 2008 at the Tokyo Differ Ariake with Gannosuke teaming up with Tetsuhiro Kuroda to face Masato Tanaka and Ricky Fuji. The match was also to commemorate Tanaka's 15 years in wrestling as he also made his debut against Ricky Fuji. The two former Team Kuroda members would get the victory after Kuroda would pin Ricky with a lariat at 15 minutes, 35 seconds. Gannosuke would also work a Yutaka Yoshie promoted show that day as well due to his ties with the Dradition promotion that has allowed him to get former WMF Dojo student Mineo Fujita booked. Mr. Gannosuke has continued to get booked for smaller promotions working against young wrestlers one last time like Yasu Urano who although went through the Kaientai Dojo was used in FMW as a rookie in 2001 with Gannosuke getting the victory over Urano in a match that would last over 34 minutes on July 18, 2008 as well as former WMF Dojo student Yuko Miyamoto for the 666 promotion with Gannosuke getting the win on August 2, 2008. Gannosuke would also face the returning to the ring in almost two years Hido at the Team Vader promoted show with the math getting out of control between the former Team No Respect friends causing the referee to have to throw away the match.
Due to Kanemura and the Apache Army parting ways, it has allowed Gannosuke through his friendship with Tetsuhiro Kuroda to return to the Apache Army as he made his debut for the promotion on July 17, 2008 teaming with Tetsuhiro Kuroda to defeat the team of Mammoth Sasaki and Takashi Sasaki in the main event when Gannosuke hooked the Gannosuke Clutch on Mammoth for the victory at 17 minutes, 46 seconds. Gannosuke also would return to WMF one last time for his own promotion to work against another WMF Dojo student in Kenji Sawaragi under the name Kamui in the main event of the WMF July 27, 2008 show in Osaka with Gannosuke getting the victory at 19 minutes, 13 seconds. Gannosuke would run his own promoted show on August 16, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring where he would team up with Dradition wrestler Hiro Saito to defeat the team of Dick Togo and GOEMON after Gannosuke would nail GOEMON with the Fire Thunder at 23 minutes, 46 seconds. The match looks to have signified the end of Koji Nakagawa's GOEMON character after 8 years under the name as it was announced on August 22, 2008 for the Apache Army promotion that Kuroda & Gannosuke would be teaming up with another FMW wrestler in the main event with the mystery partner turning out to be Koji Nakagawa returning under his real name and his former persona to take on the team of Jun Kasai, The Winger, and the returning to the Apache Army promotion as well Hido with Hido getting the pin with the inside cradle on Nakagawa at 18 minutes, 35 seconds.
With Gannosuke retiring at the end of the year he has decided to stop promoting his WMF promotion and chose the 6 year anniversary of the promotion on August 31, 2008 to finally be the last of the promotion that began on August 28, 2002 but had never fully recovered from Laing, Inc. pulling out financially in May 2005. The former WMF ace Mammoth Sasaki defeated Kamui with the 29 Years Old and in the main event Mineo Fujita defeated Soldier at 25 minutes, 59 seconds with the Cross Style Cross Kneelock for the submission victory in the final WMF match. Soldier then announced afterwards his own retirement as that match would be his last and he was retiring from the wrestling business after 8 years after making his start on September 7, 2000 in FMW under his given name Satoru Makita.
Gannosuke will also get somewhat of a dream match of his as Dradition announced that Mr. Gannosuke would wrestle on Dradition's September 21, 2008 Korakuen Hall show which will most likely be Gannosuke's last match ever at Korakuen Hall. Gannosuke grew up idolizing the New Japan Heavyweights and although his favorite was Riki Choshu who has ties with Kanemura making it impossible for Gannosuke to wrestle against him, he will get the chance to wrestle another New Japan legend in Tatsumi Fujinami. Gannosuke will also continue to work with the Apache Army promotion has he has been booked for the September 12, 2008 Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring show where he will team with Koji Nakagawa to face Mammoth Sasaki and YOSHIYA. The main event of the show will be the return after years of part of the Akrangers in Takashi Sasaki and GENTARO teaming up to take on Jun Kasai and The Winger. Gannosuke will also return to ZERO1 on September 14, 2008 to take on rookie Shito Ueda. No opponent has been announced yet for Gannosuke's final match on December 27th yet.
Kintaro Kanemura's XWF promotion made its debut on August 6, 2008 with the show drawing an announced dissapointing 700 fans which was about the same the Apache Army promotion was drawing at Korakuen Hall before they stopped running at the building. The show saw Riki Choshu, Atsushi Onita, and Shiro Koshinaka team up to defeat the team of NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA, and TAKEMURA with Onita getting the Thunder Fire Powerbomb on NOSAWA for the win at 10 minutes, 39 seconds. The main event saw Kintaro Kanemura team up with Masato Tanaka and Tetsuhiro Kuroda take on the team of former FMW Brass Knuckles Champion Super Leather, Raven who was subbing for The Sandman, and Tracey Smothers with Kanemura getting the pinfall victory over Smothers at 12 minutes, 31 seconds in a bloody fight that saw tons of chairs thrown and cover the ring completely during the match.
Kintaro Kanemura announced on June 16, 2008 that he was creating his own promotion called "XWF" which stands for Xtreme Wrestling Force. Kanemura who was forced out of the Apache Army promotion which the promotion was based on him will remain on good terms with the promotion as he and new Apache Army leader Tetsuhiro Kuroda still remain good friends. Kanemura announced that the debut show will take place on August 6, 2008 at Korakuen Hall. Kanemura will use his friendships with Riki Choshu to have Choshu, Onita, and Shiro Koshinaka work the show as they will team together to face the team of NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA, and TAKEMURA in a Street Fight. Kanemura will also use his friendship with Masato Tanaka to have Zero-One MAX participate on the show as Masato Tanaka, Kohei Sato, and Osamu Namiguchi will work the show as well. Kanemura did not announce a match for himself yet but stated that he, Tanaka, Kuroda, Dick Togo, TAKA Michinoku, and Masao Orihara will all work the show as those six wrestlers will most likely to be put in a six man match together with each other for either the main event or semi-main event of the show. Shinjuku Shark and Yusaku Obata announced that they would be leaving the Apache Army promotion to join the XWF out of
loyalty to Kanemura.
Although the XWF and Apache Army promotion are on good terms with each other this leaves the Apache Army and WMF to form a relationship with one another again. Due to Kanemura's power now gone from the promotion the two will now once again exchange talent with one another for the first time since 2004 due to Mr. Gannosuke (who turns 40 today) and Kuroda remaining friends. The first sign of that talent exchange will be on June 28, 2008 as it was announced Mammoth Sasaki would be returning to WMF for the first time since July 31, 2005. Mammoth Sasaki will team up with Kamui to face off against Soldier and Garuda. The main event of the show will be Mineo Fujita taking on The Great Sasuke in the main event in what looks to be the best lineup for a WMF show in years.
Atsushi Onita also announced recently that he will be running his own produced shows coming up as the first one will be on July 12, 2008 at the Tokyo Differ Ariake with the only match announced that Onita will be taking on a Mystery Opponent in a Barbed wire Death Match. Onita announced that the show will be a charity show as the money earned will go to China after the earthquake tragedy.
The Apache Army returned after a four month hiatus due to the Kintaro Kanemura scandal. The promotion has changed offices as Kintaro Kanemura does not have any political influence that's reported in the promotion as Tetsuhiro Kuroda will be overseeing much of the promotion. I don't know where Go Ito stands in any of this as he was the President of the promotion and the financial backer before the Kanemura scandal but is very much linked to Kanemura.
A new logo for the promotion also was created.
The promotion ran a successful come back show at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring on June 13, 2008 drawing a sell out of 350 fans for the show. Mammoth Sasaki successfully defended his WEW World Heavyweight Title for the 5th time defeating former Big Japan King of the Death Match Champion Takashi Sasaki in the main event of the show with the 29 Years Old at 16 minutes, 13 seconds.
Mr. Gannosuke has actually managed to get himself booked much more since the announcement of his upcoming retirement. Gannosuke returned to Korakuen Hall for the first time since January 2007 teaming with Mineo Fujita to take on the team of Tatsumi Fujinami and Ultimo Dragon on June 5, 2008 at the Dradition Korakuen Hall show. It was the first time that Gannosuke would be in the ring against the legend Tatsumi Fujinami. Ultimo Dragon managed to put away Fujita in the match with a Japanese Leg Roll Clutch Hold at 15 minutes, 45 seconds. Gannosuke will also return to his WMF promotion for the July 27, 2008 in Osaka to face Kamui on the show. He will also run his Mr. Gannosuke Productions show on August 15, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring where he will team up with Hiro Saito to take on the team of Dick Togo and GOEMON in the main event.
Atsushi Onita returned out of retirement for the fourth time on May 18, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring to team with Shiro Koshinaka to face the team of Kintaro Kanemura & Masao Orihara. Onita was very critical of Kanemura due to the scandal and had some harsh words about his former ZEN team mate. Kanemura retaliated by stating that Atsushi Onita had no room to talk as he had his own demons. Atsushi Onita who dropped from 280 pounds to 210 pounds for his come back had a short brawl with Kanemura and Orihara before getting DQ'd by blowing mist in Kanemura's face at 9 minutes, 31 seconds. Atsushi Onita requested that he team with Riki Choshu in a tag match at the upcoming LOCK UP July 12, 2008 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE show.
Sorry, for the lack of updates. I've gone through a lot emotionally over the last couple of months which along with finishing up college and getting a Special Education degree has been quite a challenge. I don't love wrestling as much as I use to, and it's sometimes hard to get myself up to even to keep up with the site when you just lose the passion for something you use to love doing. I'm going to be moving to Texas later this month and hopefully that will help things out that I have going on, so I don't know how often I will be able to able to update the site from here on out, but I will try my best to always keep up with it.
Mr. Gannosuke who turns 40 next month announced on May 1, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring that he would be retiring later on this year. Gannosuke who made the announcement just one day after the 10 year mark of dropping his only singles titles of his career in the FMW Double Titles that he lost to Hayabusa back on April 30, 1998 at the Yokohama Bunka Gym. Gannosuke gave no specific reason as to why he's retiring. I would expect it's a mixture of things as he has a history of bad knees going back to April 30, 1998 when Hayabusa dropkicked his knee and dislocated it putting him out for over 6 months when he was the hottest heel in FMW at the time. Gannosuke would then suffer another leg injury in his last ever FMW match on January 6, 2002 when a spot would go wrong with Vic Grimes where Gannosuke would roll off the table he was sitting on while Vic Grimes came off the top rope crashing into the table. Gannosuke's leg would still be under the table as Grimes would go crashing down, and Gannosuke would end up suffering a broken leg as a result putting him out for over 8 months. Gannosuke would go on to start WMF with the backing of Laing, Inc. but the promotion would lose be a money loser. Hayabusa told me when I asked, that the head person of Laing, Inc. had made many promises to Gannosuke and pretty much none of them were met before he backed out on the promotion in 2005 and that he was the reason WMF floundered. Gannosuke had since promoted shows with his own money as well as with help from the Yakuza since with a show once a month at the 350 seat Shin-Kiba 1st Ring. He had slowly phased himself down the card after being criticized that the promotion was created to focus on the young wrestlers and that he was always in the main event. He made Mineo Fujita and Soldier as the two top main wrestlers and the focus of the promotion. He had removed himself completely from the shows this past year and was only working his own Mr. Gannosuke Production shows or the Dradition promotion where he helped get Fujita booked for their tour in March. Gannosuke had made the decision over a month ago as Hayabusa posted that Gannosuke had called him about a month ago with his decision. No exact date when the retirement would take place. One of the highlights of going to Japan this year for me personally was getting to watch Mr. Gannosuke match live and then getting to have a very brief unexpected conversation with him where he blessed me for buying 90 dollars worth of DVD's from him. Mr. Gannosuke is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, so I might be biased, but I definitely think he was one of the best workers in wresting from 1998 to 2002, one of the best heels in the business from 1997 to 1999, and formed one of the best tag teams with Yukihiro Kanemura during that time span as well.
Kintaro Kanemura seems to slowly being accepted into the business. Kanemura walked into the Samurai TV studios on May 2nd while Atsushi Onita was giving an interview. Kanemura started screaming at Onita after Onita hade made negative comments towards Kanemura and the problems he has been going through the last couple of months. Kanemura told Onita that he had no room to talk as Onita has his own demons (Onita would sleep with hundreds and hundreds of women while being the head of FMW) and challenged Onita to a match. Onita said he accepted and would love to team with Riki Choshu against Kanemura and a partner for the May 18, 2008 LOCK UP show at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring.
Although nothing is official, Tetsuhiro Kuroda is trying to get the Apache Army promotion started back up this June. Kintaro Kanemura ended up settling out of court on March 2nd to avoid going to trial for his actions. The settlement eventually led to Kanemura getting a chance to talk to the woman on March 11th and a reconciliation. Kuroda was looking to start back up the Apache Army originally and stated that Kanemura would have nothing to do with the promotion, but after the settlement and the heat is slowly fading away from Kanemura, he stated he would Kanemura to rejoin the promotion if it starts back up.
Kintaro Kanemura entered the ring to start the Mobius March 27, 2008 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE show by apologizing to the crowd for the scandal, that he would not say anything about the victim, and that you only judge him inside the ring which got a warm round of applause by the crowd.
Kintaro Kanemura, Masao Orihara, and Docromanz # 1 defended the Apex of Triangle Titles against Tomohiro Ishii, Mr. Cacao, and Shiori Asahi when Orihara pinned Asahi to defend the titles. After the match, Docromanz # 2 entered the ring and along with Docromanz # 2 they attacked both Kanemura & Orihara. Docromanz # 2 was originally scheduled for the match, but was bumped off the card in place of Kanemura two days before the show. It was announced that Kanemura & Orihara would team up with Dick Togo who they won the Apex of Triangle Titles with but Docromanz # 1 filled for him on the show would be taking on NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA, and TAKEMURA for the next Mobius show at the Tokyo Shinjuku FACE on May 8, 2008. Kanemura afterwards expressed much gratitude towards Orihara for this chance and opportunity to allow him to return to what he loves to do. Kanemura also hopes reform his relationship with the Apache Army group members soon.
Hido announced on March 28, 2008 that he was leaving the Apache Army group. No reason was given. Hido has not wrestled since November 26, 2006 after being diagnosed with a liver disease due to drinking too much alcohol (mostly sake) throughout his life.
Kintaro Kanemura will make his return to professional wrestling just a little over a month after being suspended
indefinitely from almost all the promotions he was working for.
Kintaro Kanemura & Masao Orihara held a press conference on March 25th to announce Kanemura's return to wrestling for March 27th for Masao Orihara's promoted Mobius show at the Tokyo Shinjuku FACE. Kanemura announced that he had planned to stay away from professional wrestling for six months or a year to let everything die down after his admitting to sexual harassment back of a Big Japan female employee on January 20th. Kanemura stated that he talked with the woman back on March 11th and a reconciliation was approved by her for what he had done to her. Kanemura understands that he may not be accepted by the pro wrestling fans for what he has done, but that he wants the fans to watch him in the ring and evaluate him for themselves. Kanemura and Masao Orihara have a friendship that goes back to FMW in the Fall of 1998 when the two were apart of Team No Respect together.
Yuko Miyamoto who wrestled in my favorite match of 2007 which also was voted by many different sources as Big Japan's Match of the Year against Takashi Sasaki on March 14, 2007 at Korakuen Hall last year wrestled in his first singles main event since that match on March 24, 2008 at Korakuen Hall against Shadow WX in a Moonlight Darkness Fluorescent Light Boards Death Match.
The winner was to become the number one contender for Ryuji Ito's Big Japan King of the Death Match title. The lights of Korakuen Hall were turned off for this match as Miyamoto had the early advantage using his highflying abilities by diving over the top onto WX to the outside as well as hitting a high dropkick. Shadow WX would eventually turn the match into more of his style by bringing it down to the mat, and using part of the fluorescent light tubes to cut Miyamoto open. Shadow would eventually powerbomb Miyamoto into a fluorescent light tube board cutting Miyamoto's back open. Miyamoto would make one last come back in the match by delivering a moonsault to WX followed by another moonsault while holding fluorescent light tubes sending into WX's chest. Miyamoto would come after WX with another set light tubes, but WX would counter by clotheslining the light tubes all over Miyamoto. WX would then go on to put away Miyamoto with a Brainbuster, followed by a lariat for the win over Miyamoto at 17 minutes, 23 seconds to become the number one contender for the Big Japan King of the Death Match.
The remaining Apache Army wrestlers wrestled in the undercard of the show with WEW World Champion Mammoth Sasaki teaming up with Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Yusaku Obata to face Takashi Sasaki, GENTARO, and Big Japan's Kankuro Hoshino. The main theme of the match was Hoshino trying his hardest to show his fighting spirit against the much bigger Mammoth Sasaki and failing as Mammoth would eventually deliver a devastating clothesline to Hoshino and follow it up by hitting him with the 29 Years Old to gather the victory for his team at 13 minutes, 24 seconds.
Tetsuhiro Kuroda will be promoting his own show for the first time since he promoted the Apache Army Black Steel show on February 25, 2007. This show will be called Tetsuhiro Kuroda Productions and will be held on April 17, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring using Apache Army and Big Japan talent. The main event will be Kuroda teaming up with Masao Orihara and Shinjuku Shark to face Mammoth Sasaki, Daisuke Sekimoto, and Katsumasa Inoue in the main event. NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA, and TAKEMURA will also be booked for the show. Apache Army youngster will face TAKEMURA in the semi-main event of the show, and GENTARO & The Winger will defend their WEW Tag Team Titles against NOSAWA & MAZADA.
Mr. Gannosuke will be promoting his own show on May 1, 2008 under his own name at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring as well as he will team up with former KHM friend Yasu Urano to face the Apache Army team of Mammoth Sasaki & Takashi Sasaki in the main event. It will be the first time that Gannosuke will be facing off against Takashi Sasaki in a match. Yuko Miyamoto will also be booked on the show as he will face Kamui in a battle of two WMF Dojo graduates. Mr. Pogo will revise his role as King Pogo as he takes on Gosaku Goshogawara who will revise his role as Mr. Pogo.
The KHM announced that they had disbanded at the February 17, 2008 Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring with Mr. Gannosuke & Hideki Hosaka no longer participating in WMF shows. The friendship between the group members has not ended, but their war against WMF was declared over and there was no need for the group if they weren't battling against WMF will be using its new K-Dojo relationship as the main selling point of their upcoming March 29, 2008 Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring show with Soldier and Kyoko Kimura teaming up with K-Dojo's Yuji Hino to face Kamui and K-Dojo's JOE & Apple Miyuki in the main event. Mineo Fujita & Yuko Miyamoto will return as a team for the first time in years to take on K-Dojo's Madoka and Boso Boy Raito.
Mr. Gannosuke was able to do something he had struggled for years to do for his WMF promotion and that was help get a WMF talent booked for another promotions tour. Mineo Fujita who has become an incredible talent who has seen Yuko Miyamoto come up after him in the WMF Dojo and earn tremendous success after leaving WMF by joining Onryo's 666 promotion who in returned helped him get booked in Big Japan and has since become a main eventer for the promotion the past year, has finally gotten his chance to tour with the new Dradition promotion over the past week working in undercard matches. Fujita though, will get to have the biggest match of his career on March 30, 2008 at the end of the tour as he will main event a Korakuen Hall show for the first time as he teams up with Hajima Ohara to face the legendary tag team of Tatsumi Fujinami & Ultimo Dragon in the top match on the show, being build ahead of the likes of Riki Choshu and Masahiro Chono who are also on the show.
The Apache Army ran their last show on February 22, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in front of 200 fans. Tetsuhiro Kuroda
with the rest of the Apache Army in the ring with him announced after the main event that the promotion would be closing after three and a half years due to the Kintaro Kanemura sexual
harassment scandal. Go Ito and Kintaro Kanemura were pretty much the financial backers or were the reasons they were able to get financial backing from others and without Kanemura's money and the loss of their top draw for the promotion it would no longer be able to continue financially. Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Mammoth Sasaki both apologized for Kanemura's actions to the crowd at the February 22nd as Kuroda stated he was heart broken over both the incident and the closing of the Apache Army.
February has been a very bad month several times this decade for the FMW family. FMW ran its last ever show on February 4, 2002 and shortly after closed down on February 15, 2002. The Gladiator killed himself last year on February 17, 2007. Now the Apache Army Promotion has officially closed down on February 22, 2008.
Although Kodo Fuyuki will be forever knocked for being the reason that FMW closed he was able to keep all the wrestlers supported financially has he picked up the left over FMW dates beginning on March 10, 2002 and then built towards the beginning of his WEW promotion that started on May 5, 2002. Several of the former FMW wrestlers left before that show never having wrestled for WEW feeling they would be given a better shot with Mr. Gannosuke's new WMF promotion who had a great financial backer in Laing, Inc. with WMF starting up in August 2002. Kodo Fuyuki would die from cancer on March 19, 2003 but had already put his money into booked shows going up to May 5, 2003 at Kawasaki Stadium. Kaoru Fuyuki's widow would take over for the next year as WEW and WMF would form together out of respect for Kodo Fuyuki and work together. After a match between WEW and WMF aces in Kintaro Kanemura and Mr. Gannosuke would take place on August 25, 2003 at Korakuen Hall, they would decide to form a group together based on the popularity of Team No Respect in the Apache Army. The group would consist of Independent workers declaring war on big promotions like Zero-One and All Japan. The Fuyuki Army would be a minor success at the beginning as Kaoru Fuyuki would put up her and her former husbands money for one show at Korakuen Hall. The shows would fair well due at the beginning due to the Apache Army with the former FMW fans but going into 2004 the shows would begin to lose money and Kaoru had enough promoting wrestling shows. I have a feeling that she had made a promise to Kodo Fuyuki to take care of his friends for one years and that is why she would keep the promotion going for a year. She would get to honor her late husband as the Fuyuki Army would run a show on March 19, 2004 at Korakuen Hall, one year after her husbands death as all the wrestlers paid tribute to their former friend and boss but would also announce on that show her last promoted show would be on May 5, 2004 at Kawasaki Stadium. The May 5, 2004 Kawasaki Stadium show would end up turning into a big
disappointed as the lineup was tweaked around so that main event could have the Apache Army wrestlers winning the last match as the
original main event of Kintaro Kanemura and a mystery partner against Riki Choshu and Shinya Hashimoto was going to draw much more than the main even that happened in Kintaro Kanemura & Hido against Riki Choshu & Tomohiro Ishii. The show also would outside with the weather being incredibly cold and rainy that day in Kawasaki. With the Fuyuki's money finally being gone after two years of FMW's death, Kintaro Kanemura and his friend Go Ito would begin saving up and coming up with sponsors to form their own promotion and in the mean time would keep all the wrestlers booked through Riki Choshu's World Japan/Riki Pro promotion. Kanemura and Mr. Gannosuke's working relationship would not make it to Kanemura's new promotion. Heat between the two stemming from the end of FMW where Gannosuke decided to start his own promotion instead of follow with Fuyuki and Kanemura would be an issue that would always remain, Gannosuke had many different views on how pro wrestling should be than Kanemura (Gannosuke believes in the old FMW style where death matches should be used for big shows and Kanemura believes under the old W*ING style where cheap death matches and hardcore wrestling should be on every show) and many more issues that would probably only be known by the two men
themselves would cause Gannosuke and his WMF side to break away from the group. Kanemura who had came up with the Apache Army stable and see it become a success would name his own promotion under that name as the Apache Army promotion would run its first show on August 30, 2004 at Korakuen Hall. Mr. Gannosuke would lose his main sponsor in Laing, Inc. in May 2005 and soon after lose a top WMF star in Mammoth Sasaki to the Apache Army. Mr. Gannosuke would continue to promote his WMF shows once a month at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring for the next couple of years as it looked like Kintaro Kanemura was the winner of their feud. Kanemura who had more sponsors and more money backed up for his Apache Army promotion would be able to run Korakuen Hall several times a year and had relationships with Big Japan, Zero-One MAX, New Japan, and HUSTLE. Gannosuke could only form short lived deals with promotions that would be huge
disappointments in Kings Road and Muga World over the same time frame. The Apache Army were very close to becoming a very well financially promoted promotion as they had struck a deal with a fishing company that would pay them to be able to run Korakuen Hall every month and Kawasaki Stadium on May 5th. The deal never was never signed for whatever reason though.
Kintaro Kanemura knew how important it was to continue wrestling as the Apache Army was his baby and he needed money to keep it going and he needed to be the big star. Kanemura was kicked hard in the head by Mirko Cro Crop and suffered a fractured skull and a very bad concussion on December 31, 2007 that caused him to be found snoring with his eyes open later that day inside Korakuen Hall. Kanemura would insist he was still able to compete but Big Japan would step in and not let him wrestle on their January 2, 2008 Korakuen Hall show. Kanemura would finally convince the promoters he was fine as he would be allowed to work the Team Vader show on January 5, 2008 at the Tokyo Differ Ariake. Kanemura would not do much during the match but would come out of it okay and would continue working his dates from then on out.
Kintaro Kanemura then would screw up his career in Chiba on January 20, 2008 at the Chiba Blue Field as he would arrive drunk on sake to the show and go up to a young women who runs the Big Japan e-newsletter and begin rubbing her vagina over her pants while talking dirty/degrading her in front of many of the wrestlers backstage at the show. She would report it to Big Japan promoter Tosaka who would try to keep the news quiet knowing that a leak like that would hurt both Kanemura and Big Japan and that he would fire her if she did. The woman would not keep quiet like she was told and the incident with Kanemura would be posted to the Big Japan fans in the e-newsletter. Tosaka upset about not listening to her and knowing he was going to be in trouble for telling her to keep it quiet would take Kanemura's side at first, but the Big Japan fans would be outrage over the incident and with so many fans stating they would never watch Big Japan again for how the incident was handled it would quickly cause Big Japan to suspend Kanemura indefinitely. The Apache Army would have no other choice but to suspend Kanemura indefinitely as well. The incident would begin to get bigger and bigger as the mainstream news in Japan would pick up on the incident. A apologetic Kintaro Kanemura would hold a press conference on February 20th stating.
"I'm sorry for having caused such a disturbance. I apologize for having started by my acts the problem to Big Japan, all Apache members, and you the fans of the professional wrestling community. Number one, I wish above all to apologize from the bottom of my heart to the woman who was damaged by the act. I'm sorry. I want to extensively accept responsibility and to apologize from the bottom of my heart."
"I will exercise self-control in active participation of professional wrestling until this problem solves itself. All my matches in all organizations are cancelled."
"Although there is no telling whether I can meet my victim in the future, I want to apologize, no matter what form it may be."
"Even if it becomes that there is a formal criminal accusation, I will accept it obediently."
It has been reported that the woman has filed charges against Kanemura with the police and action be taken over what Kanemura has done.
The Apache Army would announce that it was canceling
their scheduled March 7, 2008 Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring show and that the February 22, 2008 show would be the last for the promotion with Kanemura off the show. New Japan's LOCK UP shows with Kanemura would also cancel Kanemura's
appearances. Although there is a report on message boards that Kanemura has retired, there has been
no such report on any news site. If the indefinite suspension does mean forever that would make Kintaro Kanemura's last match on February 11, 2008 at the Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring for the Apache Army show where he would team up with Mammoth Sasaki and KAZMA in a loss to Daisuke Sekimoto, Shadow WX, and Kengo Mashimo with WX getting the pinfall over Kanemura.
The final Apache Army show would see the FMW team of Masato Tanaka, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, and Mammoth Sasaki defeat the team of Takashi Sasaki, Daisuke Sekimoto, and Yusaku Obata with Mammoth who took the place of Kanemura in the match hitting the 29 Years Old on Takashi Sasaki for the win at 21 minutes, 8 seconds. The team of GENTARO & The Winger would defend the WEW Tag Team Titles for the 2nd time in the month as they would go to a thirty minute time limit draw with Shadow WX & KAZMA. Zero-One MAX's Kohei Sato would also be added to the show after the Kanemura suspension to fill up the card and defeat Katsumasa Inoue with a German Supplex at 8 minutes, 31 seconds. Masao Orihara who had recently became an Apache Army regular defeated Shinjuku Shark at 6 minutes, 57 seconds as things do not look too for Shark as far as getting booked as he only had been getting booked due to his friendship with Kodo Fuyuki dating back to FMW that allowed loyalty to him to stay on the undercard throughout the Fuyuki Army and Apache Army runs. 2008 Vader Cup Champion Tomohiko Hashimoto defeated Kikutaro at 8 minutes, 8 seconds in the opening match with the XCT.
The rest of the Apache Army that were booked for the upcoming New Japan LOCK UP shows are still booked for the shows besides Kanemura obviously. Mammoth will be defending his WEW World Title against Tomohiro Ishii at the main event of the LOCK UP 2/24 Korakuen Hall show. The regular Apache Army crew is still booked for the upcoming Big Japan March 2nd show in Saitama with Mammoth Sasaki, Takashi Sasaki, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, GENTARO, and Yusaku Obata all booked in high profile matches on the show.
WMF ran their February 17, 2008 Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring show in a unusual way. The opening match saw Mineo Fujita teaming up with Hideki Hosaka to face Mr. Gannosuke and Yasu Urano to a time limit draw at 20 minutes in front of 220 fans. The main event would see Soldier team up with K-Dojo's Yuji Hino to defeat K-Dojo's JOE and Kamui when Hino pinned Kamui with a Powerbomb at 19 minutes, 36 seconds. The next WMF show will be on March 29nd with just one match announced.
Kintaro Kanemura has been suspended indefinitely by both Big Japan Pro-Wrestling and Apache Army Pro-Wrestling for sexual
harassment. The incident took place on January 20, 2008 at Big Japan's Chiba Blue Field show where Kanemura was reported as grabbing a female who is in her early 20's that works for Big Japan's official newsletter crotch area over her jeans twice.
One report stated that Kanemura might have been drunk during the incident.
After the incident took place, the female worker reported it to authorities that day to Big Japan employees. It was decided by the Big Japan authorities that the incident not get out or be reported as Kanemura would go on to work Big Japan's February 9th Korakuen Hall show. Then in a e-mail newsletter which is not known if it was sent by the girl herself or somebody else close to her to the Big Japan fans it was announced what had happened to the female employee. Booker and top executive for Big Japan Tosaka who was the one that decided the incident should be swept under the rug and not be reported blasted the female over the incident and defended Kanemura. That response did not go over well for Tosaka by many of the fans who were very upset by Tosaka's actions. Tosaka would later apologize and admit he screwed up by taking Kanemura's side over the female.
He would then suspend Kanemura indefinitely from Big Japan for his actions. Takashi Sasaki would announce on his blog that Apache Army was suspending indefinitely for his actions as well. Kanemura is still booked for the February 22nd as of right now though. It is a big surprise that Kanemura would be suspended by the promotion that was made for him by his close friend Go Ito who is the President of the Apache Army promotion and has a friendship with Kanemura going back 14 years now. The only thing that would explain why Kanemura would be suspended by the Apache Army would be to continue their talent relationship with Big Japan to allow Takashi Sasaki, Mammoth Sasaki, Jun Kasai, and Yusaku Obata to continue to work with Big Japan regularly without a problem.
There have been reports on messages boards online that Takashi Sasaki announced on Samurai TV that Apache Army was disbanding and that he would be promoting shows using the Apache Army talent. There has been no sign of that reported online in Japan anywhere that I have read including Takashi Sasaki's own blog where he posted about the incident and the suspension of Kanemura. Apache Army as of right now still has their show for March 7th booked.
Tetsuhiro Kuroda apologized for friend Kintaro Kanemura's actions stating he was not at the show so he doesn't know exactly what happened and probably will never know, but that he is sorry for what his friend had done and that there is a schedule conference for February 20th where Kanemura would apologize.
New Japan's LOCK UP ran at Korakuen Hall for the first time of the year on January 13, 2008 drawing an announced crowd of 1,080 fans for the show. The main event saw a Steel Cage Death Match between the Majors vs. the Indies in New Japan's Togi Makabe, Tomohiro Ishii, Jado, and Gedo facing Kintaro Kanemura, Takashi Sasaki, Shadow WX, and Masao Orihara in a Steel Cage Death Match. Takashi Sasaki would be busted open early into the match with Gedo biting at his forehead to draw blood nearly right away but Sasaki would do his best to assist his team by bringing a table into the steel cage and set Tomohiro Ishii on the table and hold it while Kintaro Kanemura would come splashing off the top turnbuckle through the table. Masao Orihara and Shadow WX would use his team work as well as Orihara would bring a chain into the match and begin to choke out Jado using it. Ishii would become busted open as well as Orihara would throw Ishii face first into the steel cage. Togi Makabe would begin the comeback for his team as he would take a piece of the broken off table and smash it over his former partner Takashi Sasaki's head and Tomohiro Ishii would soon follow with delivering a Brainbuster off the top turnbuckle onto Kanemura's already injured skull for the pinfall victory for the New Japan team at 21 minutes, 46 seconds. Tomohiro Ishii would call out Mammoth Sasaki afterwards with Mammoth proudly displaying his WEW World Title. Ishii would state that hes earned his title shot after winning a number one contender match as well as just pinning the Apache Army boss. Mammoth would agree and accept Ishii's challenge for the WEW World Title for New Japan's LOCK UP February 24, 2008 Korakuen Hall show. A conversation would begin to get heated between the Apache Army and New Japan wrestlers which would see all the wrestlers beginning to brawl afterwards all inside the Steel Cage to end the show.
Kintaro Kanemura's injury was much more severe than first thought at the foot of Mirko Cro Crop. Cro Cop came out after Kanemura and Kuroda's HUSTLE match. He quickly disposed of Kuroda throwing Kuroda to the mat and then landing a hard kick to the back of the head of Kanemura knocking him out. Kanemura was unable to wrestle at the Pro Wrestling Summit show later that night and did a speech apologizing for being unable to wrestle. Kanemura was then spotted afterwards backstage at Korakuen slouched in a corner snoring with his eyes open. He was taken to the hospital where it was believed that Cro Crop had broken a part Kanemura's skull and that Kanemura was bleeding from the brain. Kanemura downplayed the injury and tried to keep his booking for Big Japan's January 2nd show but Big Japan refused. Kanemura then finally convinced promoters at the Team Vader show that he was okay to compete and they allowed him to work the show with putting over Isao Takagi as a direct result of his head hitting the mat hard and being unable to kick out after a blow to the head. Kanemura will continue to work through all his bookings and just hope that a serious injury like this doesn't end up catching up to him in the future.
I recently visited Japan for the first time from January 3rd to January 9th. Read about it here at BAHU's Japanese Trip Diary.
WMF & Apache Army News 2007 (January - December 2007)
WMF & Apache Army News 2006 (January - December 2006)
WMF & Apache Army News 2005 (January - December 2005)
WMF & Fuyuki/Apache Army News 2004 (January - December 2004)
WMF & Fuyuki Army News 2003 (July 2003 - December 2003)
Kodo Fuyuki's Ceremonial Wake & Funeral Pictures (3/22/03 - 3/23/03)
WMF & WEW News 2003 (January 2003 - July 2003)
Post FMW News (February 2002 - December 2002)
Last months of FMW News (May 2001 - February 2002)
FMW Archived News (August 1999 - May 2001)