The Best of the Tanaka
Jonathan G. | Maryland | 03/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you've never seen Japanese wrestling, this is a good DVD to break you in. Masato Tanaka wrestled for a short time in ECW, so he's familiar to US fans. He squares off against another familiar face, that of current WWF big man Mike Awesome. You'll notice how reserved and respectful Japanese fans are, and how much they really care for wrestling. Tanaka's a flat out hard worker, and puts his all into every match. Just look at the scars on his body for proof.FMW is a solid Japanese federation, and Masato Tanaka is easily one of the best wrestlers in Japan today. His matches against the Wing group are amazing. He defends the honor of FMW against the group for Hayabusa, whom was injured. Watch as Tanaka repeatedly defies all odds, going to war against Hido, Mr. Ganosuke, Kanemura, and more. Every match on the DVD is great. The commentary overpowers the action a bit, but it's not too bad. The amount of matches makes up for it. The photo gallery is neat, too, letting you learn about different wrestlers in FMW. For a non-WWF DVD, this is a pretty solid choice, and probably the best out of the FMW series. If you call yourself a big wrestling fan, you should take a chance and buy this. If you're like me, you'll be waiting for Tanaka to show up in the WWF."
Tajeri Lynn | CA,, USA | 04/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first FMW video I ever saw, and I wasn't disappointed one bit. "The Enforcer" is a fast, violent and often funny 90-minute shoot compilation of Masato Tanaka, one of the biggest bump-taking superstars in Japanese hardcore wrestling.The story, told under the rather humorous weavings of announcers Dan "The Mouth" Lovranski and John "Straight Up" Watanabe, begins with the legendary Hayabusa being forced out of FMW by the ruthless W*NG faction, which includes Bad Boy Hido, Hideki Hosaka, "Mr. Dangerously" Natsunaga, and of course, W*NG Kanemura, all of whom are determined to turn W*NG into the ruling group. But out of the shambles, an ardent Tanaka refuses to take this lying down; he takes the stand and leads the face off against W*NG with the aid of FMW rookies Tetsuya Kuroda, Ricky Fuji, and Koji Nakagawa, in two no-weapons barred matches set in a steel cage and then in a double-hell barbed wire ring where two opposing ring ropes and two opposing floors are loaded with electrifying explosions! The steel cage match is edited fairly weakly, and has confused camera angles abound, so it gets ***. But the double-hell match is classic, with virtually everyone (except, in fact, for the title hero) going down onto the explosions at least once! Check out Hosaka and Kanemura's spots as the fire and sparks engulf their every bit, and you'll see why this gets ****1/2!The best match, of course, is the one where the 236-pound Tanaka buffs up against 300-something Mike Awesome, the double champion of the Independent World and Brass Knux Titles. Watch Awesome leap into the air, cave in steel chairs on Tanaka's noodle, and Awesome-bomb Mr. Dangan ("The Bullet") through two tables! Watch too, as Tanaka takes all the hits, grabs Awesome with all his might, and lobs him everywhere, whether it be the ring or to a table outside the squared circle, all in a successful crusade to win the titles! This thriller gets *****+!The mid-way is the weakest element of the tape, as we are treated to learn about Tanaka's departure and then his return back to FMW. His return is marked by two quick squash matches against Nakagawa and Hido, and both get ** because they're way too short despite the entertainment. Still, here we learn that his new somersault neckbreaker, Diamond Dust, has now become his most powerful maneuver.The closing match of the story, though, once again rebounds your excitement for Masato Tanaka, as he takes on the deadly FMW technician Mr. Ganosuke, as well as sneaky guest ref Fuyuki to earn the Independent World Title. The heat for this match is wild as Ganosuke practices hundreds of submission lockdowns and piledrivers on Tanaka's head. But Tanaka darts back, launches the Diamond Dust, and escapes with victory again! This match gets ****1/2.There is, in fact, one more match in the tape. After the credits roll, you'll be treated to a hardcore-less battle between Tanaka and Kanemura, back in the days before they were to be rival enemies. It's a very decent wrestling bout, and deserves ***.So Tajeri Lynn the Extremo Luchadore advises you to get this tape. Never mind that the announcers are so goofy that they make mistakes and weird catch-phrases ("Stick that one up your pipe and smoke it, Mr. WatanaBE!"). "The Enforcer: the Best of Tanaka" promises that you will respect Masato's hard road to honor, even if that road demands he needs a hard head."