Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Dick Togo For Life Homie

Dick Togo/TAKA Michinoku (c) VS Minoru Tanaka/Prince Devitt - NJPW IWGP Jr Tag Team Championship 1/27/2008

CJD: I was really feeling some classic MPro this week but this match came out of left field and totally won me over. I was watching tons of puro around this time so no idea how I missed this the first time around. The Junior IWGP tag title matches always seem to deliver, even in eras where NJPW is hit or miss. The titles change hands a lot so they might not be the most prestigious but the crowd is always hot for them none the less. I know we just featured some Fergal Devitt on the blog not too long ago but this is a different flavor of Balor, clearly the lowest man on the totem pole and he plays it effectively. It seems Minoru Tanaka is having a career resurgence this year which makes me happy. He has always had so much talent, even here he's fairly reserved but still shines in the more veteran role. The 1A and 1B of Kaientai make for great heel champs and mesh so well with the challengers. I know you could make Finn the first two time MDTSOWWKD Champion next week but I'm hoping TAKA is coming instead (motherfucker) or maybe you bring the HEAT??

JJZ: Did not know that Dick Togo ever wrestled in NJPW. Really stoked for this match. I love TAKA & Dick's music mashup. In the blue corner we got a baby ass Prince with Minoru. By the way I'm smoking a cigar and drinking a Yards Love Stout while watching this so I'm pretty much in heaven. Nice little feeling out going on in the beginning. I'm curious what level of TAKA I'm getting in this match. He is looking good so far. Dick too. This match has a classic tag build with nice high spots and falsies. I found myself saying "That's match!" several times. The finish totally surprised me and popped me. Devitt really stood out in this match and it doesn't surprise me how far he went in the company over time.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Godspeed You! Blue Tiger Emperor

Kotaro Suzuki/Yoshinari Ogawa VS Dick Togo/Yasu Urano - NOAH Jr Heavyweight Tag League 10/15/2010

JJZ: Dick Togo for life homie. I'm extremely familiar with 3 out of 4 of the guys in this match but have no clue who Urano is. He caught me off guard with that front roll at the sound of the bell. He looks like a Japanese Homicide clone. I thought this would make for a nice match up especially with Ogawa and Togo having some fun interactions. Suzuki has one of my favorites movesets in NOAH during this time. His strike combos and efficient offense come across so smart to me. Also for my money he has one of the best tiger drivers in the game. Loved the finish of this match. Enjoy baybay.

CJD: You asked me last week what other ROH talent was on that 2007 tour my match took place during, and ironically enough most of them were there for the first inaugural Junior Tag League, which this match is a part of three years later. Here we have the underdog invading Team DDT against the NOAH stalwarts. This is the stuff that tournaments are made of. So many fun interactions like you said, with surprisingly smooth or physical sequences. You know me and you know this is the type of match I can watch all day. Not to sell Suzuki short, but is Yoshinari Ogawa PIF's spirit animal? Because I think he just may be.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Mason-Dixon Tri-state Outercontinental WWKD Champions #71-80

A journey into lucha libre and some of the deepest dives into the indies we've done yet made for a very fun and different ten champs as we creep closer and closer to the big old 100 mark!

71. El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas
Well it took fifty singles title changes since the Usos, but we finally have our second ever Mason Dixon Tri-State Outercontinental WWKD Tag Team Champions! And these two make strange bedfellows indeed, but they worked together to have a bust-ass match against Guerrero and Bucanero none the less. I wonder if we'll see tag champs go from opponents one week to partners the next ever again?

72. Ultimo Guerrero
73. Mistico
74. La Sombra
75. Rush
This was one hell of a run of lucha Champs, transitioning from different generations and covering all different styles of matches. I have a feeling we're just scratching the surface for lucha here at PIF, which is fine by me.

76. the Briscoe Bros

And just like that we have our third tag team Champs. Dem boys to the rescue!

77. Samoa Joe
78. Christopher Daniels
These two had such similar, yet drastically different trajectories to their careers. They just feel right side by side.

79. Danny Dominion

We've had some obscure Champs here at PIF, but Danny Dominion might set the bar. Here's hoping we explore some 90s Japanese deathmatch sleaze or some equally murky waters to give DD a run for his money down the line.

80. Colt Cabana


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

1, 2, 3, 4, Who's Punk? What's The Score?

Nigel McGuinness VS Kotaro Suzuki - NOAH 7/1/2007

CJD: I've brought up my binder full of matches before, and this is one of those matches that once upon a time I had written down to share with you in person. It's on page 12 out of the 32 pages that are in there currently, and I'd honestly crossed it off a while back just because there's so much else I need to get to. We watched so much NOAH and ROH around this time period, and plenty of both Nigel and Suzuki, that it didn't seem essential after a while. Well I'm happy to have had a reason to revisit it because this match played much better than I remembered. Especially the first half. Nigel works so big, Suzuki builds some nice comebacks, and more than anything this is one of those gems that you never knew you needed to see but damn are you glad it exists.

JJZ: Goddammit! You're so far up my alley I'm about to charge you rent! Nigel was so great, it's a crime that his career ended so early. He was the final chapter in the golden era of ROH. His title run was maybe top ten all-time but that's another conversation for another day. Suzuki plays a fantastic babyface to Nigel's subtle heel. For a foreigner he's getting a really good reaction from the Japanese crowd. I've seen plenty of NOAH matches where the work is excellent but the crowd are mostly silent for the gaijin talent that aren't regulars. Suzuki has a great moveset that pops the crowd for his hopespots. His strength was a nice surprise also. It seems like he had no problem getting the much bigger Nigel up. Good shit CD.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Good Times, Great Memories

Colt Cabana VS Nigel McGuinness - ROH Soccer Riot Match 8/20/2005

JJZ: I know you were live for this match but I'm not sure if you've seen it since. This was all new to me and I loved all this legal action. I remember loving this feud back in the day but  never saw the blow off, so when this popped up I was stoked to watch it. I remember you telling me about the match and I always assumed it was kinda a comedy match. Well it does have some funny spots but damn these two are laying it in. Nigel had such a grittiness to him in ROH. I wish he eased up a little bit in his style to extend his career but you can tell he was always trying to give the fans his all in every match. In a time when everything ROH was doing was gold I can see this match getting overlooked. But it tells a great story with awesome false finishes and a great ending. Hope you don't remember too much from it.

CJD: This match was a shining star on one of the more lackluster ROH shows I went to in this era. Part of the problem was this NJ crowd was god awful. The fact they hook them as much as they do here is an accomplishment by itself. I haven't seen this one since being there live and "got jokes" Prazak & Leonard actually made me laugh once or twice and do a nice job on commentary. I didn't remember a lot of of the particulars and it didn't disappoint revisiting it nearly 15 years later. Both Cabana and Nigel had some really underrated feuds around this time and this was certainly one of them. You nailed it, this was entertaining as hell but also physical and heated. They strike a great balance and blowoff an undercard feud about as effectively as you can.

I had almost forgotten what a great heel Nigel was in this era. He gives Colt so much in this match but never loses his heat and puts some stink on it the whole way through.

JJZ: Such a good heel. The level of talent on that roster was stupid.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Throw Some Ds On That

CM Punk/Colt Cabana VS Ace Steel/Danny Dominion - Beloit WI 3/4/2001

CJD: Well you definitely limited my options this week but I think this match will do just fine. Fascinating glimpse at the early days of the Second City Saints in this students VS teachers match up. It's funny to me that Punk is the worst wrestler in this match but obviously went on to have the most success. Clearly the fans gravitate to him even then, and the writing is on the wall as to the direction indy wrestling, and eventually all of pro wrestling, are heading in the years to come. Dominion & Steel haven't lost a step since the match we just watched 7 years prior, and deliver a masterful heel tag team performance here. I had never heard of Danny Dominion three weeks ago, but I have to say I've become a fan. I'm sad we never got to see him in the Embassy. He had to have been in at least one TPI, right? Danny Dominion, where have you gone??

JJZ: Ace Steel like I've never seen him before. Wow, this is super Indy. Really reminds me of when I was going to a lot of shows in the early 2000s. CM and CC looking like some little babies over here. I'm loving that the last two matches have some of the biggest Indy stars ever but when they just broke in. Colt is flying all over the place. Looking like he belongs in the J-Cup. I'll be honest, if I was judging off this match alone I'd predict that Cabana would become the bigger star. I'm enjoying Punk, but he's got backyarder written all over him. Steel and Dominion are playing the old salty veteran heel role to a tee. Colt's getting the nice babyface pops while Ace and Danny are pulling great heat from the crowd. I'm totally marking out over this 2001 move set. Bring on all the tornado DDTs you got! Wheel barrel bulldog?? Hell yeah! I think you undersold this match a little bit baby. I got a real kick out of it.