Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Still Today I Hear The Pain We Made, Death Machine

Sami Callihan (c) VS Darby Allin- AAW Heavyweight Championship 5/31/2019

JJZ: Alright. So I picked this match mainly because I'm not super familiar with Darby. I have seen a handful of matches but not enough to have a full opinion. Interesting mic spot to start off the match. Adds a little story off the bat. I'm expecting a pretty violent bout from what I do know of these two. I have and always will hate the spit that the Death Machine adds into his matches. But maybe that's why he does it. I think both wrestlers do a good job of telling a story on top of a stiff and brutal match. Good psychology. Loved the finish. I mostly enjoyed the indy feel of it. I can't remember AAW running in this building before and if I didn't know any better I would guess it was a venue IWA Mid-South ran back in the day.

CJD: I've seen quite a bit of Darby and still don't think I have a fully formed opinion. But I'm looking forward to digging into more of his catalog for next week's pick. So I guess I'm more of a fan than not. I'm used to him working something like 30/70 at best, sometimes even less offense than that, so this match is already a bit different. Say what you will about Callihan but in an age when true heels are rare, he is 100%, hate his fucking guts, HEEL in this match. Spitting and all. I liked diamond in the rough Sami going up against guys like Necro and Finlay more than grown up douchebag Sami. But either way he's a guy who refuses not to get a reaction and I respect that. This match was fun, there's not a ton to it, but there doesn't really need to be. I think the loose brawling structure lends to that IWAMS vibe too and I'm not mad about that one bit.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Mason-Dixon Tri-state Outercontinental WWKD Champions #81-90

CJD is out on parental leave, so guest editor JJZ is here to run down our last 10 campeones before we hit the century mark in our next recap!

81. Nigel McGuinness
Nigel was our last champ of a very nice indy title run. He takes the title over to Japan where I always felt he did a great job getting over with the fans.

82. Kotaro Suzuki
Suzuki kicks off another long run of Japanese MDTSOCWWKD title holders. While he is carrying the NOAH flag it is interesting he wrestled against opponents from visiting promotions in both matches we featured.

83. Dick Togo
84. TAKA Michinoku
85. Gran Naniwa

The next three champions are all Japanese junior heavyweight legends. All from Michinoku Pro originally and all over-delivered in their title reigns here at PIF.

86. Koji Kanemoto
87. Kota Ibushi

This was a nice way to shift from juniors to heavies seamlessly. Personally I thought the match we featured between these two was the best over this stretch of 10 champs.

One of the brightest stars in Japan truly got his chance to shine in his two matches. It was perfect that he was in a singles and tag match since he has had such success in both areas.

89. the Young Bucks
90. Super Smash Brothers

And just like that we are back to the American indy scene.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


Sami Callihan (c) VS Tommy End - Southside Wrestling AAW Heavyweight Championship 7/10/2016

CJD: I get why Sami Callihan is a polarizing wrestler. And honestly if you aren't a fan to start with this probably isn't the match to win you over. But if the sight of these two on paper has your curiosity, then I'd bet this match will more than hold your attention. I'm a sucker for a touring champ defending his title overseas, and for the big fight feels, and this match delivers in both areas. It's a match that would probably leave a bigger impression live than it does on tape, but I was still along for the ride. I liked the post match interaction but I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the locker room after these two brutalized each other. Very curious to hear your thoughts on this one.

JJZ: Well well well. Wells are for wishing Chris and I wish I saw this match sooner. Sami looks so intense and End looks like he is going to murder someone. I could watch Tommy for days but Sami is hit or miss for me. But here he was Bryce Harper and hit it outta the park. If I could describe this in one word it would be gritty. Both these guys grind it out. Sami is working super stiff, like he knows he can't fuck around with End. But let's take a second to talk about the seating in this venue. Them front row chairs look like some vintage 1970s living room furniture! I like it. But I like this match a lot more. These two wrestlers wrestled with a purpose to end things quickly. And I loved the finish and the respect shown at the end.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Are You Afraid Of The Dark Order?

Super Smash Brothers VS Sumerian Death Squad - wXw World Tag Team Tournament Oberhausen 3/10/2015

JJZ: Alright, so it took  two viewings for me to play this forward. The second time I watched it for what it was and not what I wanted it to be. This is a match from a tournament that was three days in a row so the match these four have is pretty perfect for that kind of workload of a weekend. The crowd is hot as hell and the wrestling is packed with psychology. I do wish it was longer and had a few more highspots. I'm new to Michael Dante but like what I'm seeing in him. Soild hoss and great partner for End. SSB play a great heel team and work good heat from the crowd. Hope you enjoy baby cakes.

CJD: I played a Sumerian Death Squad match in Big Japan for you from a few years previous to this match, but I don't remember this level of BEEF from Dante back then either. He brought a great presence to this match which isn't easy to do when Aleister Black is your partner. I'm glad you picked this even though I could see having some issues with it. I thought the transitions in offense were too abrupt at times, as the commentators pretty much pointed out. And if Super Smash Brothers were going for a straight up heel/face psychology they should have tried to pop the crowd a little less. That said, this was a lot of fun. The psychology ended up more of a bad ass home team VS bad ass away squad so it worked for what they were doing. I'm leaving these two SSB matches with a much higher opinion of Stu Grayson than I had before. But I do especially love when Uno goes into that kill mode with his strikes.Glad to see PIF venture back to Europe and glad wXw put this one up online so I could watch these four men throw down!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Who Are These Young Bucks?

The Young Bucks VS Super Smash Brothers - SMASH Wrestling 8/17/2014

CJD: The Young Bucks are masters of making you think they're going to schtick their way through a match, only to have you hooked before you even realize what's happening. By the end of this match I was rooting for Super Smash Bros so hard, and not necessarily because I'm the biggest fan of them, but because of the awesome work everyone in this match put in. These are two teams that are great at chaining together offense and that's fully on display here. But so are plenty of little touches that take this from a fun match early on to something much more by the end. This had a live energy that really came through on tape even without the max volume commentary.

JJZ: In the words of Dave Attell, yumma dum dum! Yeah buddy. And in SSB's home promotion no less! I know this has been said by us before but to watch these two little jerkoffs from CA become one of the greatest, most influential, respectful and respected wrestlers of their generation is such a welcome surprise. Well maybe we never said it that way exactly. With knowing the history these two teams have I'm expecting one hell of a show Chris! The effort and quality the Bucks put into this match considering it's in a little venue in Canada is such a testament to their love of wrestling. And man I love SSB so much, it's a shame about the visa issues they've had. This delivered big, great match man.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Moonlight SANADA


EVIL/SANADA (c) VS Young Bucks - NJPW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship 6/9/2018

JJZ: So you wanna talk about crossing matches out of your book, well this one is coming out of mine. I know you haven't seen this yet and honestly this was one of my favorite matches from last year so I'm excited to bring it to your eyes. So Chris, I know since you've been into PWG since way back you've been watching the Young Bucks since they were Baby Bucks. So I'm curious if you ever considered that they might one day wrestle for these titles? I love the Bucks but in 2006 I would have said get the hell outta here. Now Evil and Sanada are such head scratching partners on paper but compliment each other so well in the ring. Their tag matches are so consistently good that going into this I had high expectations. It still didn't disappoint one bit. Nick's selling of the foot and Matt's selling of the back since January really showed the growth of the Bucks. Evil and Sanada showcase what they do best with their team work and aggressiveness. The match doesn't overstay its welcome and is great tag team wrestling bell to bell.

CJD: Back when I was watching the Bucks VS the Ballard Brothers I never in a million years would have imagined them challenging for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. I had seen a little of their transition to heavyweights but not this match and damn was this a perfect adaptation to the weight class on their part. I tried to fire this match up so many times and real life kept getting in the way. I thought by the time I finally got to finish it I'd be sick of it. Not at all. The second half of this match is high end stuff. EVIL and SANADA do make for great opponents as you said, and really this felt less like a NJPW heavyweight tag and more like a classic ROH tag title match. Some sort of bastardized hybrid of King's Road, New Japan juniors, and American indies. And I love the way they simmered that stew. Loved the way it wrapped up, loved the babyface sympathy and fire, the only way I could fit more Love's into this match would be if they were serving up Java Amore and had the cheapest gas this side of the Mason-Dixon!