Atsushi Onita talks deathmatch wrestling in mainstream Japanese wrestling culture

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

New Japan Pro Wrestling "Dominion" event 2017 in Osaka, Japan (photo credit Tom Leeming © PWTorch)

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Atsushi Onita, the man who popularized deathmatch wrestling in Japan, thinks the style’s form can be mainstream again, but isn’t today.

In an interview with Solowrestling, Onita spoke about the state of deathmatch wrestling, where he’d like to do his style of match in the future, and if he’d be wrestling in a singles match this year.

“It is a trend of the times that explosion death match is not as major as FMW’s golden age,” Onita said of death matches in Japan today. “Now New Japan Pro-Wrestling has most of the fans, but I think the situation will change again someday and I want to show the opposite of New Japan Pro Wrestling.”

As far as his workload for the year, Onita said he’d be active. “Of course, I will do the single matches at the FMWE,” said Onita. “It will be interesting to do my explosion deathmatch with AEW and H2O in the future. I want to do it.”

Onita had one of the most memorable deathmatches in pro wrestling history against Terry Funk. He was also a politician. In May of this year, he started the FMWE promotion, a wrestling company that specializes in explosion matches.


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