FMW Survives Pogo-esque Butchering in Enjoyable Form
Joel Hamilton | San Jose, CA | 06/04/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"With the small selection of wrestling DVDs available (not only in the US but Japan as well), these FMW discs are obviously rather attractive to eager fans. I caved and decided to pick up "Ring of Torture" despite less than favorable impressions of Tokyo Pop's production values and writing.One of the really cool things about this release is that it is based on a single show (12.21.95, Yokohama Bunka Gym), rather than a compilation of scattered matches. The 7 included bouts (+1 clipped bonus match) are solid, slightly unspectacular, but definitely enjoyable. The highlight most certainly being the painful Mitsuhiro Matsunaga/Hido/Jason the Terrible vs. W*ING Kanemura/Hideki Hosaka/Super Leather - barbed wire spidernet crush glass double hell death match (*phew*). My gripe is that instead of getting the complete 12.21.95 show, we receive such euphemistically named 'bonuses' as "Wrestling 101 with the sexy Snake Sisters" along with the aforementioned intros and wrap-ups by Eric Geller and John Watanabe. Thankfully these two dim bulbs can be muted and skipped over, but I'd much rather have the excluded Sasuke/Hayabusa/Nakagawa vs. Delfin/TAKA/Fuji match than the presently integrated fluff.In all fairness, Tokyo Pop seems to be on the up swing with these DVDs. The actual matches are a good representation of FMW, so if you're interested in the promotion or are already a fan, picking up this series is not a bad idea. But ultimately, complete versions of the original source material (in similar, if not better VHS quality) are available online, and cheaper. Ring of Torture - a fun, if flawed novelty for the DVD wrestling fan."
Still waiting for GREAT Japanese Pro Wrestling to hit DVD...
Scott Lindor | Minnesota | 05/31/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, here is Tokyo Pops third wave of FMW releases and like the prior releases it fails at many levels in content and technical merit. Unfortunately for many of us fans starving for Japanese wrestling content, these DVD's become must have's, if only by default.First the positive, it seems as if Tokyo Pop is becoming more serious in their latest releases as they have attached a date and historical relevance to this event in FMW history. Being as this is a DVD of a single event, a wrestler is only seen once on the disc - unlike other releases in which Hayabusa is seen in four or so matches.Like the other FMW disc's however, Ring of Torture does not represent the best wrestling content Japan has to offer. I guess this is to be expected from a small, independent federation like FMW with a relatively narrow talent base. Also the video quality of the DVD leaves much to be desired. Artifacts in the black levels, stair stepping on the edges; all earmarks of a poor digital transfer. Granted the source material could not have been the best, but I can't believe this could not have been transferred with more care. As with the other releases, the color commentary has you reaching for the alternate audio track before hitting play.So all these negatives and still four stars? Well, being a wrestling fan who loves the substance of the "sport" as opposed to the entertainment their is little choice left in an American market dominated by a single federation. I only can hope that this series success can marshal the efforts of another publisher to gain rights to distribute All-Japan, New Japan or NOAH. Then we could be treated to truly the best Japan has to offer."