Tuesday, November 26, 2019

You Must Be My Golden Star


Kota Ibushi VS SANADA - NJPW G1 Climax 7/20/2019

CJD: Selfish pick on my part here. I know you've watched this one already. You know I'm slowly making my way through the G1 and this is about where I'm at. You also know my time to watch pro wrestling is limited right now so I'll gladly take a chance to get two birds stoned at once. And you also also know that I'm loving me some SANADA. He had one of my favorite matches this year VS ZSJ on the first day of the tournament, and while this isn't on that level, it has some similar elements. You can feel that these guys go out and have exactly the match they want. With Ibushi that can go a lot of different ways, but so far in the G1 I'm buying what he's selling. The difference in his role as the slightly cocky veteran in this match compared to last week where he was such a spunky underdog is remarkable. I hope you don't mind rewatching this one babycakes, I think it's the type of match that warrants revisiting.

JJZ: ALRIGHT! Actually really excited to rewatch this because when you're watching the G1 every day it can turn into a conveyor belt where you miss a lot of the little things. So this is a welcome match for me. Very happy to see this is in my favorite venue in Japan. This is also a great showcase of how far Ibushi has come from junior to heavyweight. These two are in the top five workers in NJPW currently for my money, along with Okada, ZSJ, and Ospreay. A big difference in this Ibushi from the Ibushi in my match last week is his pacing. He for sure slows it down and picks his spots in this match. Both these guys have had huge years in NJPW so this could go either way. Sanada's leap frogs are insane. Dude does not look like he would have hops like that. This match isn't perfect but has a great build with some edge-of-your-seat falsies. This doesn't give the result away since the G1 is a point based tournament but Sanada is my pick to win the G1 next year.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Amazin' Phase Your Days Your Hazy Ways My Falcon Arrow

Koji Kanemoto VS Kota Ibushi - NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors 5/30/2009

JJZ: Alright! So before I watched this match I watched Kanemoto VS Finlay from a 1992 fan cam. I was so excited and had that "hell yeah" feeling that I was about to play forward a wonderful rare match. Well it was just okay and a little sloppy. Then I came across this. With current NJPW I've watched so much Ibushi recently that I was hesitant. I love the shit outta him but I was more in the mood for a mid 90s kinda match. But I said fuck it. Kanemoto VS a young junior is always fun. Right from the bell when I saw the way they squared up I knew I was in for a treat. Kanemoto brings such an anger and meanness to this match while Kota has an "I'm not taking you shit" attitude written across his face. The stiff striking, mixed with the controlled but reckless highspots, mixed with Kanemoto's strong psychology made for a can't-miss-a-moment experience. The crowd is electric and the falsies keep you on the edge of your seat. Enjoy baby cakes.

CJD: Look at you crossing off a bucket list match for me! I seriously have this one on my ongoing "to watch" list. You sneaky goose. It's been a long day and I only have time to sit down to one match with a beer before bed. I'll gladly make it this one. Damn, I expected this to be a bit of a sprint but it was so much more than that. I don't care what weight class, style, era we're talking about, this is great pro wrestling, plain and simple. The dynamic between the grizzled veteran and the fearless upstart is pitch perfect. The fact that you took my Kanemoto BOSJ match VS Naniwa and countered with an even better Kanemoto BOSJ match from 12 years later is bonkers. You made my night with this one, I have nothing but praise for the epic fight these two left in the ring. This is one of my favorite matches I've watched in a while.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Crab People


Koji Kanemoto VS Gran Naniwa - NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors 5/25/1997

CJD: I know you're not feeling those epics right now. And even if this wasn't JIP, with the missing 5 or so minutes you can tell this is still very straight forward. One of my favorite personal themes for PIF is crossing matches off my bucket list, and we've got another one this week. I've known this match was a big part of the build to the BOSJ '97 finals which is an all-time classic, and Naniwa is a personal favorite so I've always wanted to watch it. I wish we had the full thing but I'll take what I can get, and what we get is a match with a lot of emotion and big fun moments. Mask ripping always makes for a good time but I don't think I've ever seen a match that incorporates it quite like this.

JJZ: Naniwa starting off early with the crab walk! Well Kanemoto was just a huge piece of shit in this tournament. I've said to you personally that I thought the 2019 BOSJ was the best tournament/league I've ever watched. But 1997 has an energy about it that feels special. Would love to watch it in its entirety. Naniwa's mask is just off. Like totally off. This is crazy and a little weird but in a good way. He plays a fantastic babyface to such a fantastic dickhead in Kanemoto. God dammit I wanted more match but what we got was sweet and to the point. Very nice baby cakes.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

TAKA Flocka Flame

Super Delfin/Gran Naniwa VS Jinsei Shinzaki/TAKA Michinoku - Michinoku Pro 2/17/1994

JJZ: Well the video quality is shit and it's MPro from the 90s. So I feel like this is off a Blue Thunder Video comp and I'm right at home with that. Hot crowd from the jump. This match has it all, wrestlers, matching tights, delfin men, crab men, box men, weird green carpets, botches, dives, powerbombs, people sitting on the floor, hot tags, cold tags, selling, buying, what more could you ask for? This is a fun match and pretty opposite from your barn burner last week. I thought showing a different era of TAKA would be perfect to play forward.

CJD: This match had one more thing you didn't mention. Ted Tanabe! Two great wrestling talents we lost way too young between him and Naniwa. I think you'd agree this wasn't among the better matches we've featured at PIF but 90s Michinoku Pro is always, always worth sharing. Also this match was just recently uploaded (thank you Ba Mu! you're crushing it!) and is from a more obscure era of MPro so it's a little more of a fun novelty. You can see things coming together for some of the key players of what would turn into one of the greatest promotions in the world in a short matter of time. The only other thing about this match that stands out to me is it's making me wish I could play a quick game of Fire ProWrestling S: 6Men Scramble!

Editor's note: This match has been taken down since we originally shared it. Sorry Ba Mu :(. We'll check back periodically to see if we can find a new link. We apologize for the inconvenience!