Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Iliad Jones

JJZ: I feel bad only sharing a five minute match but it's only because I wish it was so much longer. They got a lot done in about 300 seconds. Told a complete story smartly based on the obvious size and strength difference. Unfortunately since we Tarnantino'd this tournament I knew who would win. But trying to watch the match through different eyes I think they made it believable that Baxter could win. Which by the way was the first time I've seen this guy. I think he showed a lot of potential and I'm excited for what you'll come back with. Now Jones looks like a stud to me. I really think with the right mind behind him he could go to the moon.

CJD: I really like what Odyssey Jones was laying down these past two weeks. Unfortunately he'll probably be Seth Rollins' new bodyguard a year from now and released in 3 years knowing the WWE. My favorite part about this match was how it felt like Baxter was an annoying fly that one good swat would put down if OJ could just catch him. And that's basically what happens. There's not a lot to this match but there doesn't need to be. It's extremely satisfying exactly how it is.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

Jaguar Yokota (c) VS La Galactica - AJW WWWA World Championship Hair VS Mask Match 5/7/1983

CJD: Nothing is more pro wrestling than a bait and switch. And guess what? The match I said I'd play forward this week... isn't up streaming anywhere I see online! Fuck!! But this match Jaguar and Pantera had in 1983 is, and it's a worthy consolation prize indeed. When we watched their 1984 title unification you said it felt like a grudge match, and watching this match in reverse order Tarantino style that all makes perfect sense. I will say Monster Ripper's interference got old fast and they go back to that well many times. But I did find myself really emotionally invested by the end. And wondering, we've gone from considering if Flair was the first wrestling antihero. To considering Piper. But was Jaguar also one of the first?? You said she was a bit heelish in previous matches and it's awesome seeing her pushed too far Falling Down style here. The 1984 match was better but this might have been more memorable. Even with the hijinx there's tons of great action and I think we've become a bit numb to this with all the great 80s women's wrestling we've watched lately but- this is 1983!! God damn!

JJZ: So one of my favorite things about our friendship it that we trade voicemails almost daily. And you know that I had many opportunities to tell you that I've seen this match before. While I was looking for a La Galactica match to play forward to you I watched this one. I thought it would've been a great time to have our first ever back to back champion. But I wasn't a fan of this match the first time I saw it. So I decided to rewatch it before sharing an opinion of it. Well, I'm still not a fan. I'm sorry baby cakes but the constant interfering just annoyed me. The match had so much good in it at the start, but for the love of god they couldn't complete a good series of moves. And what was the ref doing? He didn't even care. I was hoping it would've come around in the end but the finish followed suit with what they had been doing. I did enjoy the wildness of it at time. You know it's pretty rare when we are on totally different pages with wrestling so I was a little surprised by this pick. I will end on a positive note that coming out of these group of matches I am a fan of both these ladies and look forward to watching more of their stuff in the future.

CJD: I think that's a great take. I was on the fence about this one for sure. I thought the booking, the moments it created in both of their careers, and the performances overcame the shitty booking and broken up rhythm due to the BS. But I can totally see feeling opposite.

I just contradicted myself praising and criticizing the booking at the same time. It's tough because the stage these women had, a hair vs title match, the drama, the booking served them a beautiful 3 course meal. But then the booker (or just Ripper?) didn't know when to put down the spices and over seasoned this thing to death. I wasn't necessarily going to include these comments but now I'm too proud of that anology not to.

JJZ: It really did seem like they just keep adding and adding and adding. They just needed to stop at some point. The energy of the match hit you in the face at the start. It didn't need all the extra.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

I Am The Bullet And You Are The Bullseye

Carmelo Hayes VS Odyssey Jones - NXT Breakout Tournament Finals 8/23/2021

CJD: We don't usually get this current on PIF but this one kinda fell into my lap so why not? I haven't watched NXT in forever and the production looks so strange and cold at this point. Can't say I'm surprised Vince decided to shake this up. But this match did bring some warmth immediately seeing the energy both these young guys brought to the ring right from the start. Tournaments like these often mean nothing in the grand scheme of the WWE (the CWC anyone?) but good on these two for making this feel big. It was interesting watching Casanova work a very indie pace last week and a very WWE pace this week. He was good at it and I'm really looking to seeing more from Odyssey Jones. This wasn't a blow away match but I liked how the timing worked out and I was curious to watch it anyway. I'm even more curious to see if WWE can squander even more young promising talent with these two.

JJZ: Hayes looking like a big beefy son of a gun compared to his match against Reed last week. Loving Jones rocking some Mark Henry Nation of Domination gear. Not sure if it's intentional but I dig it. I'm so happy we get to showcase Hayes in two totally different styles of matches. Jones is brand new to me and I really like him off the bat. I think he has a smart moveset for his size and strength. I liked his speed for how big he is, dude is a wrecking ball. I loved the psychology and pace. For the match being under 10 minutes it felt so much bigger and longer. This match mattered to both these guys so much and you could tell.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

Lola Gonzalez/Vicky Carranza/Reyna Gallegos VS Las Rockeras - AAA 1/29/1993

JJZ: If I had to describe this match in one word it would be wild. Every bit of it. I usually take notes during the matches but I literally had to keep on rewinding so I stopped and just watched these six ladies rip into each other with bad intentions. My biggest complaint if I had to have one would be the last fall. BUT what happened afterwards was so damn entertaining that I loved that it led to that. I didn't know anybody in this son a bitch. Expect for the luchadora from your match but the quality of the video was so bad I couldn't even make her out! It really reminded me of when we'd watching wrestling together til 7 in the morning in our roaring 20s. Watching all these 80s/90s Lucha matches I'm curious if you agree that the striking was a lot stiffer back then. The punching and elbows just seemed brutal over the past few weeks. Shout out to the crowd. Really hot and loved their dancing along to Gloria Estefan! Hope you enjoy baby cakes.

CJD: What the fuck did I just watch. This match definitely fits the spirit of Forever Forward Fridays as well as our marathon sessions when we were younger. Although I'd kill to see you put this on at one of our tamer current Wrestling Nights with the gang and see their heads collectively explode. There were moments here where I threw my hands up and thought I was over this match but then they'd run through a heated series of dives and exchanges and stiff shots and hook me back in. I really don't know what to say about this match other than that it was sensory overload. I don't even understand if what happened on the way to the back, if it was an angle, if it was a fan brawl, what. The rhythm was clearly gonna get them that night. This was a ride you took me on. I didn't know where it would end but I know where the next stop will be. That's right, for the first time in PIF history, I'm calling my shot!! Next week I'm gonna make a 2x FFF Champ out of Pantera Surena, and we're going to dive into the 1985 rematch between Jaguar Yokota VS La Galactica!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

This Fire's Out Of Control

Christian Casanova VS "Hot Fire" Myron Reed - Limitless Wrestling 2/22/2020

JJZ: I'm sure you've experienced what happened to me with this match. When you pick a match to watch and have little expectations going in, then you get blown away by everything going on. I've heard the name Christian Casanova before but never saw him that I can remember. He caught my attention immediately. He is way more seasoned than I assumed he was. Hot Fire just continues to impress me. I love watching this kid do what he does and so does this crowd. Both wrestlers kept popping the audience with every move. And I'll tell you what Christopher!! After watching that really good Lee Moriarty vs Danny Garcia match with you recently from Limitless in front of like 10 people. It was special to see what a Limitless crowd can add to a match. From what the commentators said and the feel you get from this match we are coming into a heated rivalry. Which makes me forgive the lack of psychology and embrace the fiery energy and spotfest that this match was. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

CJD: February 2020, we didn't know how much we'd miss you. Your comments on this match are spot on and I felt very much the same. I love watching two creative young wrestlers with great chemistry flip the fuck out and leave expectations behind. There's stuff I'd like Reed to do a little more or less but at the end of the day I'd rather he just do his thing and I'll sit back and enjoy. He's so good at reacting on the fly, changing direction mid air, and helping correct stuff that would look sloppy with most other opponents. Carmelo Hayes has a lot of people's attention right now. Seeing him still as Casanova hanging with Hot Fire in a whizbang match like this, you can see why. This is a match that would make you feel like you got your money's worth, so I'm more than appreciative to watch it for free at your recommendation!

Friday, August 27, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: This literally might have been the only other Molina/Azteca match easily available to me that didn't involve Surena. So my hand was forced. Luckily for me, it's also a good match! A step down from your match but still with some nice highlights and a strong babyface performance from Gallegos. Her, Azteca, and Surena were all totally new to me a few weeks ago, and I'm immediately a fan of all 3. Estela wrestles a very similar match here but she clearly loves throwing hands, chomping heads, and heeling it up all night long. And she's good at it! We're back on a Friday road where I can't predict where we're going next, but Play It Forward is about the journey, not the destination, right?

JJZ: Man, the thing I will take away from the last two weeks on Fridays is that these women's Lucha matches are stiff. All those ladies laid it in. And let's talk about this ref. He was flying from pillar to post I'll tell you what. Got a real kick out those hops. This shined in a few different ways with a few nice highspots. I was curious what to expect from both these matches. It's not often we get to watch matches that are completely new to us on all fronts. I was pleased with the psychology and story that they told. At the end of the day I will remember both these matches for a long time to come.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Life During Wartime

CJD: So now that I know part of Warhorse's backstory is a gruesome injury getting his cheek ripped open during a match he clicked a little more for me. When I saw he's worked former MDTSOCWWKD Champion "Hot Fire" Myron Reed I was really curious what he would do with such a different opponent. This struck me as a demo tape match for both guys. As such it's not as ambitious as your Orange Cassidy match but I really appreciate that everything they do here they do well and with purpose. They cut the exact pace I like from an opener. They do enough to make it feel bigger than a curtain jerker match but they still leave plenty on the table for the rest of the night. Oh and correct me if I'm wrong but you love a nicely overshot tope every once and a while, correct??

JJZ: Baby! I rewatched that tope like 3 times. I would've loved to watch this with a full crowd. I'm not shitting on this crowd, the people there made themselves heard. This was good, Play It Forward veteran Myron Reed really shined again. I agree this was a really solid opener that over-delivered. Warhorse is fun and I think his moveset fits his gimmick perfectly. I felt like they had some nice callbacks to earlier in the match. This match made the best of a bad situation and made me bigger fans of both these guys.