Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Strongest Of BJs

Daisuke Sekimoto VS Shane Haste - NOAH Global League 11/10/2013

JJZ: This was a the hardest decision I had to make so far. When I first watched this match I liked it but didn't think it would be my pick. But then the match stayed with me for a few days before I decided to go with it. The crowd was interesting in this match since Haste was the homer and Sekimoto was the invader. Really fun watch.

CJD: Being a tag wrestler in a singles tournament is always difficult but Haste/Thorne pulled it off well here. I can see why you didn't think you were going to go with this because the finish is less than stellar and that's such a big part of what makes a lasting impression about a match. But everything else about this was spot on. If Sekimoto pulled any punches against the vets in my last match he certainly didn't here against the young gaijin. When we came up with the concept for PIF I had five or so guys in mind that I really wanted to put the title on early and Seximoto is one of them. And we're only scratching the surface of his very prolific career here! I didn't think it was that likely you'd go with Ito or Omori from my previous match but I'm so so happy you went with one half of Strong BJ instead.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Blue Thunder Goes Grey


Jun Akiyama/Takao Omori (c) VS Daisuke Sekimoto/Ryuji Ito - AJPW World Tag Team Championship 10/21/2017

CJD: I went down a bit of a rabbit hole deciding which direction to go with Akyiama as the third MDTSOWWKD Champion. You gave me a match in his "prime" which is a debatable term with a pro wrestler that never faltered through three decades of greatness. I wanted to high lite either super rookie or super vet Akiyama instead and there's a wealth of material either way. I ended up picking this match for a few reasons... Burning Wild, the team of Akiyama and Omori, had a great run around this time. Sekimoto is as you well know a personal favorite and almost an adopted AJPW native at this point. BUT, this is the most "invader" tag he could challenge with teaming with Ryuji Ito, who as much as I hate to admit it, is a deathmatch legend. So we have two homegrown talents from a deathmatch focused company, one who is the best pure pro wrestling heavyweight they have ever produced, the other who was the Ace of the deathmatch division at a time when they badly needed to rebuild after CZW almost destroyed them. They are going up against two of the senior most puroresu heavyweights still wrestling at this time and two absolute traditionalists. This has some rough moments because, if we're going to be honest, Omori and Ito are not great pro wrestlers. But it's fun, it plays on knowing hierarchy and character which are themes I want to focus on, and it's a great example of super veteran Akiyama. My apologies if Russian Youtube splices some ads in!

JJZ: I can honestly say I never thought I'd see Ito and Akiyama share a ring together. This is the most recent Akiyama match I've seen and he can still go. Watching the former Triple Crown Champion trade blows with Sekimoto was awesome. Ito and Omori had smaller roles in this match but did them very well. Loved the atomic drop. You could tell Sekimoto was pulling his blows a little bit which makes sense to show respect to the vets. Good stuff overall.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

All Hail The Rat King

Jun Akiyama VS Yoshinari Ogawa - AJPW 9/11/1998

JJZ: Really hope you never seen this, loved this match. I know there are only 4 pillars of heaven but these 2 would be the 5th and 6th imo. And I ain't even an Ogawa fan. Super fun match here, Akiyama edges out Ogawa in every category but Ogawa combats that by cutting corners and playing a little dirty. Very surprising that the crowd was behind Ogawa in this match but it made for a great dynamic.

CJD: Ogawa is hilarious in that he's so far off from what we want from the King's Road style but he's so so good at what he does. We hated him when we were younger but we definitely can appreciate what he was going for these days. I loved this, especially that it's from a time when finishing stretches were a little simpler for a match like this. Straight forward and a total blast. When we started planning this project I don't think either of us with a 100 guesses would have predicted Rat Boy as our second champ!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Sabre The Flavor

Jushin Thunder Liger/Tiger Mask IV (c) VS Yoshinari Ogawa/Zack Sabre Jr - NOAH GHC Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Championship 12/7/2013

CJD: Nine times out of ten if you put two roads in front of me I'll take the road less traveled. This was the tenth fork in the road for me. I watched a lot of Eagles matches, all of which I liked, but none accomplished what this match did. This is basic, Southern influenced Japanese tag team pro wrestling goodness, and a complete departure from the last ZSJ match. John since you're Captain Noah you may have already seen this one, but on the off chance you haven't then I hope you enjoy it.

JJZ: Really liked this match. The biggest thing that stuck out to me is the fact that Liger/TM IV/Ogawa have all been wrestling as long or longer than ZSJ has been alive at the time of this match and Zack got so much offense in. The respect he was given by two legends says a lot and you can tell he felt little to no pressure in this title match. Ogawa who I am not normally a big fan of did his role of vet tag partner pretty perfect. Loved the end also. Excited to select the next champion!