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History of the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match

posted Mar 5, 2021, 4:13 AM by Wrestling Scout
David LaGreca's tweet - "Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match #aewdynamite  #Revolution " - TrendsmapAEW recently announced that Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley will meet in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match at the company's Revolution pay-per-view.  It is an unprecedented happening.  The match and adaptations of began in Japan in 1990.  While hardcore groups in the US like ECW, XPW and CZW had tried to bring the match over and have it on a big show, it never quite happened in the same way.


The match is closely associated with FMW kingpin Atsushi Onita who introduced the concept and several variants between 1990 and his retirement (one of many) in 1995.  Many would say the most famous of these was the one he had with Terry Funk in 1993, although the cage match versions he had with Genichiro Tenryu and later Hayabusa drew bigger crowds.  After Onita's retirement, the IWA used their own version as the finale of their memorable King of the Death Match tournament where Terry Funk put over Cactus Jack.

FMW would renew the gimmick on the anniversary of Onita's retirement with Terry Funk returning to FMW.  They used it several more times, usually with Funk involved, and only once more with Onita in 1997 when he was challenged by rising star W*ing Kanemura.

Onita's reputation was mixed with the pro-wrestling fans and when he showed up in New Japan in 1999, it was a perfect storm.  To traditionalists, Onita was dishonest and disloyal and relied on "garbage wrestling" to stay relevant.  To his fans, Onita was the ultimate rebellious spirit who had left his traditional roots behind and made his own path.  Atsushi Onita, while highly limited in the ring, still had the charisma to captivate fans.  In New Japan, he had three high profile death matches with Masahiro Chono, the Great Muta and Riki Choshu (who came out of retirement).  In World Japan, he had a couple more.  He brought the match to a variety of independent groups, where he and other aging legends battled in these bizarre spectacles.

Most Exploding Barbed Wire Death Matches
2. Mr. Pogo - 8
3. Terry Funk - 4
-. W*ING Kanemura** - 4



FMW 8/4/90
Tokyo Shiodome Special Ring
4,520 Fans (Sold Out)
Atsushi Onita d. Tarzan Goto (11:14) via KO in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Death Match.

FMW 5/6/91
Osaka Expo Festival Land
7,883 Fans
Atsushi Onita d. Mr. Pogo (13:27) in a Exploding Barbed wire Double Hell Death Match. 

FMW 8/17/91
Saga Tosu JR Kyushu Station Special Venue
48,221 Fans
Barbed wire Death Match Tournament Finals Match: Atsushi Onita d. Sambo Asako (9:51) via KO in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Death Match.

FMW 9/23/91
Kawasaki Stadium
33,321 Fans
Atsushi Onita d. Tarzan Goto (16:01) via KO in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Cage Death Match.


FMW 6/30/92
Ganryujima Sekigaha Island
0 Fans
Tiger Jeet Singh d. Atsushi Onita (7:03) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Death Match.

FMW 9/19/92
Yokohama Stadium
30,000 Fans
WWA Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship Match: Atsushi Onita d. Tiger Jeet Singh (13:54)  in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Death Match to become the NEW WWA Martial Arts Heavyweight Champion.

FMW 5/5/93
Kawasaki Stadium
41,000 Fans
Atsushi Onita d. Terry Funk (12:14) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Exploding Ring Death Match.

FMW 7/24/93
Kitakyushu Bay Square 
12,030 Fans
Atsushi Onita d. Mr. Pogo (13:08) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Double Hell Death Match.

FMW 8/22/93
Hyogo Osaka Nishnomiya Stadium
36,223 Fans
FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship Match: Atsushi Onita d. Mr. Pogo (12:45) to become the 1st FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Champion in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Exploding Cage Death Match.

FMW 12/8/93
Tokyo International Trade Harumi Dome
12,522 Fans (Sold Out)
FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship Match: Atsushi Onita d. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga (17:32) to Defend the Title for the 2nd Time in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Explosive Corners Death Match.

FMW 5/5/94
Kawasaki Stadium 
52,000 Fans (Sold Out)
Genichiro Tenryu d. Atsushi Onita (23:55) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Cage Death Match.

FMW 8/28/94
Osaka Castle Hall
15,382 Fans
Atsushi Onita d. Masashi Aoyagi (17:07) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Double Hell Death Match.

FMW 9/7/94
Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center 
5,880 Fans
FMW Brass Knuckles Championship Match: Atsushi Onita d. Mr. Pogo (13:44) to become the NEW FMW Brass Knuckles Champion in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Double Hell Death Match.

FMW 9/25/94
Tokyo Jingu Pool Stadium
3,200 Fans (Sold Out)
Atsushi Onita & Mr. Gannosuke & Katsutoshi Niiyama d. Mr. Pogo & The Gladiator & Hideki Hosaka in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Dynamite Pool Elimination Death Match.

FMW 12/1/94
Hiroshima Green Arena
7,880 Fans
The Great Nita (Atsushi Onita) & Ho Chi Win (Tarzan Goto) d. Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya when Nita pinned Oya (11:36) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Double Hell Death Match.

FMW 5/5/95
Kawasaki Stadium 
58,250 Fans (Sold Out)
FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship Match: Atsushi Onita d. Hayabusa (18:11) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Exploding Cage Death Match to Defend the Title for the 1st Time in Atsushi Onita's Retirement Match.

IWA 8/20/95
Kawasaki Stadium 
28,757 Fans
King of the Death Match Tournament Finals Match: Cactus Jack d. Terry Funk (13:21) in Barbed Wire Rope, Exploding Barbed wire Boards and Exploding Ring Time Bomb Death Match.

FMW 5/5/96
Kawasaki Stadium
33,231 Fans
Terry FunkMr. Pogo d. HayabusaMasato Tanaka when Funk pinned Hayabusa (19:01) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Double Hell Exploding Ring Death Match. 

FMW 8/1/96
Tokyo Shiodome
3,580 Fans (Sold Out)
Terry Funk d. Mr. Pogo (11:42) via KO in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Glass Crush Spider Net Double Hell Death Match.

FMW 9/1/96
Nagoya City Park
4,150 Fans
Masato Tanaka & Koji Nakagawa & Tetsuhiro Kuroda d. W*ING Kanemura & Hido & Hideki Hosaka when Tanaka pinned Hosaka (13:32) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Double Hell Death Match.

FMW 4/29/97 
16,000 Fans (Sold Out)
Yokohama Arena
FMW Independent & WWA Women's Championship Match: Megumi Kudo d. Shark Tsuchiya (21:46) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Double Hell Death Match to become the NEW FMW Independent & WWA Women's Champion in Megumi Kudo's Retirement Match.

FMW 8/2/97
Tokyo Shiodome
3,750 Fans
W*ING Kanemura d. Masato Tanaka (13:05) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Death Match.

FMW 9/28/97
Kawasaki Stadium
50,012 Fans
Atsushi Onita d. W*ING Kanemura (17:41) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Exploding Cage Death Match.

New Japan 4/10/99
Tokyo Dome
63,500 Fans
Atsushi Onita vs. Masahiro Chono ended in a Double KO (16:10) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match.

New Japan 8/28/99
Meiju Jingu Stadium
48,000 FansNew Japan World Gems #4: Masahiro Chono Vs. Atsushi Onita | Japanese  Puroresu Ichiban
Great Muta d. Great Nita (Atsushi Onita) (13:32) in No Rope Explosive Barbed Wire Barricade Explosive Land Mine Double Hell Death Match.

7/30/00
Yokohama Arena
18,000 Fans
Riki Choshu d. Atsushi Onita (7:46) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Death Match.

World Japan 3/1/03
Shiro Koshinaka d. Atsushi Onita (8:05) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Death Match.

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kintaro Kanemura, WEW (5/5/2003) | HANDWERK
WEW 5/5/03
Kawasaki Stadium
18,500 Fans
Shinya Hashimoto d. Kintaro Kanemura (8:41) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Death Match.

World Japan 6/29/03
Hokkaido Sports Center
Atsushi Onita & Genichiro Tenryu d. Riki Choshu & Shiro Koshinaka (7:05) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Death Match.

Michinoku Pro 9/23/03
Kogen Ski Resort Special Ring
Great Sasuke d. Atsushi Onita (21:59) in a No Ropes Barbed Wire Exploding Mine Board Death Match.

Ribera Steakhouse Produce 8/26/12
Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium
Akebono d. Atsushi Onita (13:35) in a No Ropes Barbed wire Barricade Mat Double Hell Megaton Exploding Death Match.

Zero-1 2/8/13
Bodymaker ColosseumAtsushi Onita and Akebono eating the exploding barbed wire. | Pro  wrestling, Wrestling, Wwe
Atsushi Onita d. Akebono (10:21) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Double Hell Exploding Barbed Wire Chair Death Match.

Ribera Steakhouse Produce 8/31/13
Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium
The Great Nita (Atsushi Onita) d. KILLER ANY WHERE (Akebono) (7:08) in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Exploding Baseball Bat Death Match.

Zero1 3/21/14
Hakata Starlanes
Atsushi Onita and Shinjiro Otani d. Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Yoshihiro Takayama in a No Ropes Barbed Wire Big Blast Electric Chair Death Match.
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