Atsushi Onita was never accepted by the giants of Japanese wrestling. Both AJPW
rejected him as being not muscular enough, too slow and unable to get over
Onita sought to prove them wrong. Setting up his own promotion, Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW), he did exactly what he knew - take bumps. But not ordinary bumps. Bumps wrapped in barbed wire and set alight. Onita took 'garbage wrestling
' to a new height.
FMW attracted performers like Leatherface
, Terry Funk
and Cactus Jack
, and most of its action was unreservedly hardcore.
Onita became an icon
. His shows sold out arenas the length and breadth of the country, and his gates were touching 100,000 on occasions - this at a time when AJPW and NJPW were struggling to fill the Budokan Hall
. He retired about 10 times, which soured his legacy somewhat, but his comeback matches were always spectacular.
For more information on the sort of entertainment Onita and FMW put on, see Japanese Death Match