JJZ: Let's go to Pittsburgh baby cakes. Now Lee was brand new to me with your match and PB is also brand new to me in my match. This is a classic big man vs smaller man psychology. Strength and size vs speed and agility. Smooth uses his size to make Moriarty work for every inch. I loved the simplicity of the match in that Smooth made everything look so devastatingly painful. But he was only using body slams punches and bear hugs. Lee's selling is above his pay grade in this match. His selling of a single punch made me think this was over. Now this match does has some rough edges. Mostly by Smooth ironically enough. You can see his potential though. In a few years I think he will be a big name on the indys. Between both his matches Lee has majorly impressed me. Really look forward to watching him more often.
CJD: This was a fascinating watch. Moriarty a little younger than PB but a little more experienced. Both guys from western PA originally which I wasn't aware of. Indy wrestling months before the pandemic in front of such an indy venue and crowd. You're right that this is a simple match but there's something captivating about it. I've watched a good amount of Smooth in AIW and I've always liked him even if he still has room to improve. I had no idea he was a former 2nd round pick of the Golden State Warriors, I wonder why WWE hasn't swooped him up. I have to assume that's just not what he's looking for? He'll get a better pro wrestling education with matches like this than he will in NXT, that's for certain. Another aspect of this match that's simple but fundamentally sound and really adds to it is the commentary. We've been watching lots and lots of indy wrestling for Forever Forward Fridays, lots of which we never share with each other for one reason or another. And man have I listened to some bad indy commentary lately. These guys aren't trying to get their jokes or personalities over. Everything they say makes the two men in the ring look better and elevates to competition in this tournament overall. And finally I really liked seeing Lee in the driver's seat a bit more this week after the young lion performance against the Filthy Father last week. The way this match was laid out was very organic. Nothing felt cooperative or extraneous. I appreciated what both guys brought to the table and what they didn't do as much as what they did. Now my big question is can I find a Smooth match to come back at you with that doesn't go to the AIW well yet again??