Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Big Mouth VS Big Man


Katsuyori Shibata VS Yoshihiro Takayama - NJPW 8/15/2003

CJD: You think your match was short? Try this on for size! I know it's difficult to watch either of these two lay it in given the state they're in currently (especially Takayama). But I think this is a great example of them working safe but still capturing that unpredictable feeling of violence they both are so good at. They also tell a complete story in such a short period of time. In a lot of ways they are extremely similar wrestlers despite the age and size difference and I really enjoyed watching them work each other.

JJZ: So yeah, Takayama loves getting punched in the face. This match was everything I thought it would be with the stiffness. I was surprised how much offense Takayama let Shibata get in, he basically controlled the pace of the match. I'm always curious if matches like these have any planning to them. Either way it comes across like a real fight. Also I could watch the Everest German all day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

King Of Short Style

Shinsuke Nakamura VS Katsuyori Shibata - NJPW 7/4/2004

JJZ: I picked this match to change it up a little. Shorter match with a ton of heat and a great crowd. When the match started I thought it was gonna go one way then it took a right turn and never looked back. This seemed to be a feud building match and if so they put my ass in the seat because I'll be searching for more of their matches.

CJD: I liked how this didn't follow a linear path. It reminded me of a modern NJPW interpretation of Abdullah or Shiek matches, but organic and interesting unlike Togi Makabe matches. Sometimes it's good to break up the narrative people expect to get them to pay a little more attention. I also like how we put the belt on Nakamura and played two matches from before he hit his peak. Nakamura had it from early on, he just didn't put it all together until later.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Jungle Sugi

Takashi Sugiura/Go Shiozaki VS Shinsuke Nakamura/Milano Collection AT - NOAH 3/1/2009

CJD: With how high profile of a match this is and how unusual big interpromotional matches between NJPW and NOAH are I have to think you've seen this one before. You may have even played it for me. Either way, if I've seen it before, I remembered nothing about it, and god damn did it deliver on absolutely everything I could want out of a match like this. This is also the era of Sugiura where you got me to turn the corner on him so it's a fitting choice for me. This has great character work and big moments, good surly violent Japanese heavyweight wrestling, and a heaping spoonful of honest to god heat. My kinda match.

JJZ: So happy you picked this. I can't believe I never saw it before. Seeing NOAH in '09 packing them in is great. I look at Sugiura and Go and can't believe they weren't able to keep attendance up. I know a lot more goes into NOAH's struggles than that but I always thought they had the talent to overcome. Nakamura in shorts feels like a totally different wrestler. Slaps and chokes and punches and stiffness mixed in with solid tag team wrestling. I forgot how stiff Go's chops were. MCAT plays his role well, the split drop down with Go eating shit made me lol. Solid falsies and a great finish made this match.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mason-Dixon Tri-state Outercontinental WWKD Champions #1-10

A PIF update on a day other than Tuesday?! That's right, we wanted to give you a quick recap of the first ten MDTSOCWWKD Champions as we move past the infancy of our blog's launch!

1. Zack Sabre Jr
A fitting choice for the inaugural Champion, among the best of his generation and an ultimate storyteller in the ring.

2. Yoshinari Ogawa
Just like when he won the GHC title, Ogawa as the second ever Champ is proof that anything can happen here at PIF.

3. Jun Akiyama
4. Daisuke Sekimoto
Two absolute favorites around these parts. No surprises here.

5. Shane Haste / Thorne
A bit of a long shot but his matches did not disappoint whatsoever. Go back and rewatch the Sekimoto match if you have time to kill.

6. Roderick Strong
7. Eddie Edwards
8. Timothy Thatcher
9. Jonathan Gresham
It's crazy looking at these four all in a row how you are basically seeing a progression of indy wrestling from 2004 to right now. We definitely went down an indy rabbit hole for a little while there.

10. Ikuto Hidaka
Until Hidaka, like the knight in shining armor he is, brought us into the next chapter of PIF history.

That's a lot of ground covered and we're just getting started folks!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Nobody Likes Minoru Fujita

Yoshinobu Kanemaru/Takashi Sugiura (c) VS Ikuto Hidaka/Minoru Fujita - NOAH GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship 3/5/2006

JJZ: This match is a journey. It has it all. Highs, lows, great technical wrestling, sloppy wrestling, Southern style tag wrestling and Japanese junior fast paced wrestling. I don't like Fujita. At all. But the other three wrestlers made up for it. This was in the heyday of NOAH and I was so glad to see a packed house with four wrestlers working their asses off.

CJD: I watched this way back but was spoiled by the state of puro at the time and kinda glanced over it. I took it for granted especially with so much good tag wrestling happening in the NOAH juniors division. And as you mentioned, Fujita is the drizzling shits, so it was always easy to gloss over his matches, even when tagging with Hidaka. Going back and looking at it through fresh eyes gave me a new appreciation for it. Hidaka is such a great dance partner for Kanemaru & Sugiura. The structure they put together made you feel like your went on a journey and just like my Hidaka match for you, the finish totally surprised me in the best way possible. This is the first time you've given me a tag match and I can't wait to see who I'm going to go with between Kanemaru and Sugiura!