Friday, November 26, 2021
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Friday, November 12, 2021
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
41. Kay Lee Ray
Friday, November 5, 2021
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Friday, October 29, 2021
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Friday, October 22, 2021
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Friday, October 15, 2021
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Friday, October 8, 2021
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Friday, October 1, 2021
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
We are so far behind on these that we could post Champs 161-170 immediately after if we wanted to. I'm not going to make my main man JJZ write another one up so soon but hopefully we're caught up a bit more in the coming months. Suffice to say the Summer of 2021 kicked the FanCam Connection's behinds! Bring on pumpkin spice everything!
151. Shane Strickland
There was a moment during this title run that I fell more in love with Mr Strickland. He is so goddamn good in these matches that I feel bad for not watching NXT.
152. Brody King
153. Tyler Bateman
155. Super Dragon (x2)
California love if I've ever seen it right here. These four blew my mind because I didn't realize the heated storied rivalries between so many of these guys. I came out really liking Brody, Tyler, and B-Boy more than I did going in. And I always love watching Super Dragon do his thing in the ring. Also second title run for Mr SD. Well deserved in my opinion.
156. Brian XL
157. Amazing Red
Hopping in a plane to the East Coast and right into my wheel house for some early 2000s independent goodness. 2001-2003 era highflyers are perfectly summed up in these match right here.
158. Jerry Lynn
This was an unexpected turn to say the least. But that's why we love Play It Forward. The shit you don't expect to see. Mr JL had a great showing playing two totally different roles in his matches.
159. Necro Butcher (x2)
Call him Butchie two times because this is his second title run and the second two time Champ in this group! Necro continued to show how crazy he is with these matches. Wouldn't be surprised if he becomes Butchie threepeat in the future.
Man oh man. Wait. Woman oh woman did we close out this group in a big way or what. Lufisto went all out in these matches, showing us shit I never thought I would see. She set the bar pretty high for women's deathmatches and big title defenses.
So we stayed in North America for this entire group plus had a major focus on the indies. Two second title reigns and one intergender match. Plus got two double crown Champions in Strickland and LuFisto! Really enjoyed this group.
Friday, September 24, 2021
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Friday, September 10, 2021
CJD: Nothing is more pro wrestling than a bait and switch. And guess what? The match I said I'd play forward this week... isn't up streaming anywhere I see online! Fuck!! But this match Jaguar and Pantera had in 1983 is, and it's a worthy consolation prize indeed. When we watched their 1984 title unification you said it felt like a grudge match, and watching this match in reverse order Tarantino style that all makes perfect sense. I will say Monster Ripper's interference got old fast and they go back to that well many times. But I did find myself really emotionally invested by the end. And wondering, we've gone from considering if Flair was the first wrestling antihero. To considering Piper. But was Jaguar also one of the first?? You said she was a bit heelish in previous matches and it's awesome seeing her pushed too far Falling Down style here. The 1984 match was better but this might have been more memorable. Even with the hijinx there's tons of great action and I think we've become a bit numb to this with all the great 80s women's wrestling we've watched lately but- this is 1983!! God damn!
JJZ: So one of my favorite things about our friendship it that we trade voicemails almost daily. And you know that I had many opportunities to tell you that I've seen this match before. While I was looking for a La Galactica match to play forward to you I watched this one. I thought it would've been a great time to have our first ever back to back champion. But I wasn't a fan of this match the first time I saw it. So I decided to rewatch it before sharing an opinion of it. Well, I'm still not a fan. I'm sorry baby cakes but the constant interfering just annoyed me. The match had so much good in it at the start, but for the love of god they couldn't complete a good series of moves. And what was the ref doing? He didn't even care. I was hoping it would've come around in the end but the finish followed suit with what they had been doing. I did enjoy the wildness of it at time. You know it's pretty rare when we are on totally different pages with wrestling so I was a little surprised by this pick. I will end on a positive note that coming out of these group of matches I am a fan of both these ladies and look forward to watching more of their stuff in the future.
CJD: I think that's a great take. I was on the fence about this one for sure. I thought the booking, the moments it created in both of their careers, and the performances overcame the shitty booking and broken up rhythm due to the BS. But I can totally see feeling opposite.
I just contradicted myself praising and criticizing the booking at the same time. It's tough because the stage these women had, a hair vs title match, the drama, the booking served them a beautiful 3 course meal. But then the booker (or just Ripper?) didn't know when to put down the spices and over seasoned this thing to death. I wasn't necessarily going to include these comments but now I'm too proud of that anology not to.
JJZ: It really did seem like they just keep adding and adding and adding. They just needed to stop at some point. The energy of the match hit you in the face at the start. It didn't need all the extra.
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Friday, September 3, 2021
JJZ: If I had to describe this match in one word it would be wild. Every bit of it. I usually take notes during the matches but I literally had to keep on rewinding so I stopped and just watched these six ladies rip into each other with bad intentions. My biggest complaint if I had to have one would be the last fall. BUT what happened afterwards was so damn entertaining that I loved that it led to that. I didn't know anybody in this son a bitch. Expect for the luchadora from your match but the quality of the video was so bad I couldn't even make her out! It really reminded me of when we'd watching wrestling together til 7 in the morning in our roaring 20s. Watching all these 80s/90s Lucha matches I'm curious if you agree that the striking was a lot stiffer back then. The punching and elbows just seemed brutal over the past few weeks. Shout out to the crowd. Really hot and loved their dancing along to Gloria Estefan! Hope you enjoy baby cakes.
CJD: What the fuck did I just watch. This match definitely fits the spirit of Forever Forward Fridays as well as our marathon sessions when we were younger. Although I'd kill to see you put this on at one of our tamer current Wrestling Nights with the gang and see their heads collectively explode. There were moments here where I threw my hands up and thought I was over this match but then they'd run through a heated series of dives and exchanges and stiff shots and hook me back in. I really don't know what to say about this match other than that it was sensory overload. I don't even understand if what happened on the way to the back, if it was an angle, if it was a fan brawl, what. The rhythm was clearly gonna get them that night. This was a ride you took me on. I didn't know where it would end but I know where the next stop will be. That's right, for the first time in PIF history, I'm calling my shot!! Next week I'm gonna make a 2x FFF Champ out of Pantera Surena, and we're going to dive into the 1985 rematch between Jaguar Yokota VS La Galactica!!
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Friday, August 27, 2021
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Friday, August 20, 2021
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Friday, August 13, 2021
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Friday, August 6, 2021
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Friday, July 30, 2021
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Friday, July 23, 2021
CJD: So this match happened. I loved our Joshi Journey but I was starting to wonder if we'd ever find our way back to more familiar Friday territory. Well this match won't single handedly get us there, hell you might come right back with some Madusa in Japan. But at least you have options now. And what an oddball match I never would have watched otherwise. The entire heel faction look great, the future Orient Express in particular, but I even love DDP managing here. And if you want to come back with DDP VS Kanyon, by all means bend them rules however you see fit!! This match wasn't going to get rated by Meltzer but for what it was it was way better than I'd have ever imagined. I do wish the ladies had more opportunities but they popped me a few times with what little they had. And man did Madusa paintbrush Tanaka with that post match angle!
JJZ: Wow. What a stipulation. And you just put 7 doors in front of me!!! The pace of this match is fantastic. You can't look away for a second! I'll be honest. My opinion of a wrestler may never have changed as much in a title run as much as Wendi Richter has. I don't think I ever considered her to even be that good until these matches. She stood out in the best way possible during both her matches. I do wish this was longer but the energy and non-stop action created a great atmosphere. And watching early Orient Express was surreal! Love this pick man.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
JJZ: High flyer dream match right here! I love Jack's shit talking during the match. What these two can with their bodies is insane. You can't predict what's gonna happen next and if you say you can that's bullshit. This is the opposite of a junkfood match because you can feel the pride of these two through the screen. I would like more time but at this pace I could not have expected more from Jack Evans and Fenix.
Friday, July 16, 2021
JJZ: I know we've played a lot of stuff forward to each other that we probably never thought we would. BUT! An American women's match this good from 1984 is something that still really surprises me. More so because it's so technically sound. Great back and forth of hold for hold wrestling. When I was a kid I hated when the bad guy would lay a hold on for an extended amount of time but now I really miss it. It makes so much sense. Why not put the Young Bucks in a 5 minute boston crab?? It almost never happens so I really popped when Wendi sat on them holds for so long. Victoria had a nice comeback that lead into a 50/50 home stretch to the finish. Hope you liked this match better than the last one I kicked over to you.
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
CJD: Last week you saw a match that you knew you needed to watch. Well maybe it's the withdrawal from that great stretch of early/mid 2000s indie wrestling we featured a while back on Tuesdays, but if I'm going to watch a Teddy Hart match, this is exactly what I want to see. Which is mostly just Jack Evan's doing a bunch of stupid shit. Teddy's sociopathic narcissistic tendencies actually work really well in the 3 way format, as he can't be bothered to pretend to go through the motions of 3 way exchanges, bump to the outside and sell for a stretch, etc. Which is pretty interesting watching him essentially babysit Jack and Petey until he throws a temper tantrum, cuts yet another long unnecessary promo, and turns the match into an angle between him and Zandig. Once again, this match ain't winning no awards. I've never been more okay to watch something so heavily clipped. I've never enjoyed watching the Botchmania stuff but I imagine a match like this has a lot of the same appeal.
JJZ: Holy spotfest Batman. Jesus this was a car crash if I ever saw one, in more ways than one. There is a lot one can complain about in this match but if you don't overthink it there is some good stuff here. The athleticism is off the charts. The spots are crazy as fuck and even by todays standards. The crowd is hot and I even liked the CZW commentators. But most importantly it was just a sight to see and for that it is a match I will always remember.
Sunday, July 11, 2021
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
JJZ: Teddy looking every day of his age. Watching Teddy walking to the ring with the cat made me laugh out loud. Not because it was funny but because I wasn't surprised at all and thought to myself well that seems about right. Gonna say right off the bat this match ain't winning no match of the year awards. But I really enjoyed this one. It was way more technically sound than it had any right to be. After the gaga in the beginning they built a really nice story with some well placed highspots. The finish was great and bit over down. I knew I needed to watch this match as soon as I found it. And of course Teddy cuts a awkward long promo at the end. Enjoy baby cakes.
CJD: John, I love you. I hated this match. I got excited to see Teddy get his ass kicked pillar to post. Instead I got to see him dominate Tremont while dressed like and wrestling like an annoying Aunt nagging you to come home for the holidays. There were a few good spots but this was way too slow and meandering and Teddy has the worst strikes to ever come out of the Dungeon. You definitely got me back for that intergender 6 man I played you years back with this one. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
JJZ: Listen. I know this match has its flaws. But if we only played the cream of the crop it just all becomes crop. I think we went in with different mindsets. I expected and enjoyed the weird shit. The cat, the gear, the gaga. I was hoping for a match that just made sense. And I think they delivered that. I easily could've found a match that Matt was bleeding all over the place and trading crazy ass spots. But I liked watching him working something different.
Friday, July 2, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
CJD: I mentioned I don't want my #GWE26 viewing to dominate PIF and of course it's all we've talked about since here or when you and I have chatted wrestling. Well here's another modern (although retired... for now) wrestler who I nominated, definitely a bit of a dream match for me, in what seems like the opener (crazy to think about between these two), in Gresham's second match in a row we've featured VS a deathmatch wrestler. And you know what? If this match isn't as good as the Takeda classic, it's damn close. Like that match both guys try to play in the other's wheelhouse. Unlike that match this has more of a traditional structure and build but man these two are really two of the best of their generation. They make this one count. I love the momentum shifts. I even love Doom Patrol on commentary cracking wise. And I especially love the finishing sequence. This is a match that takes two completely different talents you're high on, throws them together on a whim, and leaves you on an even higher note. Still not sure if either guy will make my top 100 all-time by 2026, but I feel more optimistic about their cases after this one.
JJZ: Going into this match I had an idea of what it would look like. And I was totally wrong. Not in a bad way though. The easy road psychology would've been a 70/30 match in favor of Tremont using his size and strength for the advantage while Gresham uses his speed and submission abilities to grab quick holds so he can level the field. What we got was a 50/50 match that I couldn't see where it was going. I couldn't predict much of anything and I found myself on the edge of my seat to see what was next. I totally agree that the finishing sequence was fantasic. Great pick sweet cheeks.
Friday, June 25, 2021
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Friday, June 18, 2021
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Friday, June 11, 2021
Crush Gals VS Akira Hokuto/Devil Masami - GAEA 05/14/2000
JJZ: The madness that is this match is hard to put into words. My wrestling viewing has been down recently and matches like this make me want to go down a squared circle wormhole for the rest of the day. Wild, stiff, a little sloppy (nothing wrong with that) are all ways I'd describe the match. Many times I said "Jesus!" out loud. Also saw a few things I've never seen before. The crowd was great and made the tension in the arena come through the screen! The non stop action made for a what the fuck is gonna happen next viewing experience. I couldn't see how this was gonna go home so for me the finish was perfect. I'm super curious if you've seen this before. If not hope you enjoy as much as I did.
CJD: You sent me this match the same week you sent me a deathmatch to watch and I definitely didn't expect this to be the wilder of the two matches. But boy was it ever. The Crush Gals have recently reunited for the first time in years and are main eventing GAEA's 5th Anniversary show in front of 9,000 fans. To answer your question no I haven't seen this before as early 2000s joshi is definitely a blind spot for me but right off the bat that says a ton about the historical significance all 4 of these women have in Japanese pro wrestling. This match is so all over the place I don't even know what to say about it. There were times I was kind of over it, but then it would hook me back in. By the end it's just too damn entertaining. I feel like there's an American influence on this match, like a big RAW main event or even ECW, but then with all the joshi legacy and storytelling that these women bring. It wrapped up like the ending of a blockbuster action movie. This one really took me on a ride!
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Yuko Miyamoto/Isami Kodaka VS Takumi Tsukamoto/Toshiyuki Sakuda - Big Japan 5/13/2017
JJZ: Well this looks insane. Let's see how far they take it with this match. Isami will always just look way too skinny to be a death match wrestler to me. Everything must hurt so much more!! Tsukamoto and Sakuda don't like familiar. I haven't watched a ton of newer Big Japan though. Man, I really got a kick out of this match. It had some ridiculous stuff but then a few spots snuck in that made me laugh. We've watched some sick ass shit together so I know this won't be anything shocking to you but I think you'll get what I was going for with this one. Miyamoto really shows he is a men among boys at time. I'd love to grab a best of the decade from him at some point in the future. By the end of the match everyone did things that impressed me and I'm really excited to see what you'll be throwing back at me next week.
CJD: Ha, I was actually thinking Kodaka looked like he's put on some muscle finally at this point, and against Sakuda who's especially tiny for once I thought Isami was a legitimate threat in this match. You know I love Big Japan but there's one thing about BJW that usually comes up short and that's undercard deathmatches. (At least I'm assuming this is an undercard match, I'm not positive I have the date right on this one.) They often are there just for the sake of it, more of the snuff film aspect of deathmatches that I think critics of the genre assume they're all generally like. When deathmatches are great they have huge drama but on an undercard match it's hard to create those stakes and most BJW shows don't even try. Even worse then guys will overcompensate by doing the sickest shit imaginable to themselves in a spot nobody remembers or cares about. This match strikes a good balance with both of those issues, by not trying to do too much, and building with a nice steady pace that actually gets you invested by the end. Yankee Two Kenju are the clear favorites and control the pace but the young guns more than hold their own and make me buy that they might pull off the upset. Miyamoto does look like the best guy in the match but nobody looks bad here. It reminds me of a Kobashi/Taue VS Vader/Akiyama match I watched recently I was telling you about, where it looked can't-miss on paper but nobody looked better for it. This looked like nothing but made me look forward to the next match I watch from everyone in it. Which for some of them will be next week!
And jesus, that one bump Yuko took!!!
Friday, June 4, 2021
Mayumi Ozaki VS Akira Hokuto - JWP Thunder Battle Queen in Yokohama II 11/18/1993
CJD: John last week you talked about those matches that you are on the fence about for the first half but hook you for the second half. Well this was a different type of hot and cold match for me, Act 1 I was all in, Act 2 not so much, Act 3 brought things home nicely enough that I still enjoyed the ride overall. Watching more Ozaki she has a ton of charisma, even in a field of GOAT joshi wrestlers in her generation, but she definitely suffers from some of the tendencies I don't love about the style. Hokuto is one of those GOAT peers though and especially excels in big match settings so she helps reign in some moments of this one that go off the rails a bit. Phil talked about the traditional joshi narrative last week and what I like most about this match is how it's a heated interpromotional match like we've seen the Dangerous Queen in many times over but it's not pandemonium from start to finish like we often would expect. The nasty competitive edge is there but this is more of a pot that's simmering forever but you can never tell when it's going to boil over. So it skirts the line of that traditional joshi psychology but I think still presents something pretty different. And there are some little moments that I won't spoil but really drive home what great personalities both of these women are. And man I really loved those first 8 minutes or so. Very curious what you think about this one!