CJD: This match covers a lot of ground that I'm trying to learn about modern joshi. Azumi Hyuga (in the bluish purple... royal blue?) is one of the best of her generation but I've seen nowhere near enough of her work. Arisa Nakajima is considered by many to be the best women's wrestler in Japan today but I've never seen a single match of hers I don't believe. She's only been wrestling for a year here but it at least gives me a starting point. Tyrannosaurus I have no idea, but she was an awesome young lion in this. Very classic mentor/mentee team dynamics here with Satomura feeling like one of the best wrestlers ever once again. There's a lot of talent in this match is what I'm saying. And other than one slip up they recover from with some real brutality, this was packed with good wrestling. The type of match that looks daunting if you don't know the names but watching it you won't need any backstory whatsoever. We've been making a lot of comparisons to buying DVDs when that was more of a thing. Well this is a show you throw in at the very end of an IVP order to add something different on a whim and end up with an absolute slam dunk main event.
Friday, April 30, 2021
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Friday, April 23, 2021
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Friday, April 16, 2021
CJD: I've heard wrestlers talk about with some opponents everything just pops from the simplest lock ups to the big highspots. That's how I felt about these two in this match. I wanted to stay in Japan but man joshi promotions have YouTube on lockdown and with how many ads dailymotion shove in there these days I only go to them for something really specific. This was still ground I was happy to cover as I haven't seen as much Kay Lee as I'd like. Really fun face/heel dynamic in this one that's opposite to what I'm used to from these ladies in NXTUK... at least as of 2019 when I was still watching. I found the "voice of Target Wrestling" introducing a match with no commentary amusing for some reason. This match has its foot on the gas a bit more than the last few Fridays but still feels like we're building up to a white whale. I'm all about that journey.
JJZ: So I've seen a lot of Toni vs Kay Lee in NXT UK but Toni was face and Kay Lee was heel. And I loved their matches in NXT UK. They have such chemistry together that I could watch them wrestle all day. Even this match that was on the shorter side told a complete story. I didn't need to know anything going in and I would've gotten everything I needed just from what was happening in the ring. These two ladies are extremely polished so the execution of everything was top notch. I know this might be a leap to some people but man I hope they have a Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owen's like life long feud.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Amazing Red/The SAT VS Brian XL/Devine Storm - CZW 6/8/2001
JJZ: There's a good chance I was at this show. This was heavy into my show going days and I've seen all these guys work in many different formations around this time. This is a non-stop action, holy shit, butthole clinching match. With all six wrestlers walking a razor thin line between great and awful. And trust me, to get to this match I watched the awful. For all the shit the CZW crowds get they were excellent for this match. Even when something wasn't executed the best they were losing it for these guys. I always remembered the juniors at this time really raising the speed of matches and the amount of flips. At times it was constant. But I totally forgot about the head drops. Jesus Christ I thought Storm was dead at one point. I never recall hearing if anyone was seriously injured around then but it wouldn't surprise me. I was thinking what would Jim Cornette's reactions be during this match and it literally made me laugh out loud. Being blunt there is a ton to criticize here I'm sure but I do not care. This match was a blast to watch. Strap in for a show baby cakes.
CJD: What happens when a generation is raised on all night binge sessions of ECW, king fu movies, Michinoku Pro VHS tapes, chugging Surge and crystal Pepsi and downing bags of cheese curls while calling them cheesy poofs? This match, that's what. God bless these guys. This was so ridiculous I don't even know what to say. How did they think of this shit? This is the kind of youthful insane genius that doesn't necessarily need the influence of drugs or alcohol to to produce a reality this warped. Red and our Champ of the week Brian XL looked like absolute stars. Everyone brought a lot to the table, this had the feeling of a touring 6 man match that played the hits for every indy in PA and NJ that would have them. I know I use this expression fairly often but man, what a moment in time.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Rey was so hot when this match happened I was literally shocked I've never seen this or heard about it before. I don't recall even seeing it on Best of Rey comps.
I just remember being so frustrated that I considered breaking the rules and playing another Cobb match. Endless scrolling.
Totally forgot this was a team. Never ever would I have guessed you'd play these guys forward to me.
[editor's note - Technically the Islanders challenged Tito Santana for the MDTSOCWWKD Championship but were only featured that one week VS Strike Force, thus were not successful in capturing our coveted imaginary title. However, this is Play It Forward where everything's made up and the points don't matter, so we'll allow it]
Friday, April 9, 2021
JJZ: So there are a few things in this match in terms of psychology I wasn't crazy about. BUT, the tightness and execution won me over. To me a big flaw in wreslting right now is bad tag team wrestling in the bigger companies. They use them as filler with minimum effort. To put it simply it's usually skippable. So when I see a match where all four of the wrestlers are making sure everything looks good it gets my full attention. All the moves looked like they hurt and everyone was trying to put on the best match possible in the time they had. I don't speak Japanese but the mic work after made me think this was part of a bigger storyline line. I really wish NJPW would put this kinda effort into their undercard sometimes.
CJD: Kimura and Wolf made for a great team, I wonder if they tagged regularly. My knowledge of Stardom is extremely limited but I do know we've covered some of their more tragic figures these two weeks with Act last week and Hana in this match. Two clearly very talented wrestlers, Hana in particular really jumps off the screen in this one. I've always wanted to check out more of Storm's work in Japan, but you certainly gave me some options in terms of which direction to go next. Like you said this match had a lot put into it for what could've been a throwaway undercard match. I don't want to rehash your comments but what you said last week about the DVD you get for the main event but the random undercard tag really delivers fits this one too. We had a run of some big matches on Tuesdays and Fridays and now I think we're into some palate cleansers and I'm totally fine with that. Everyone was really committed in this one and it made for a fun watch!
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Super Dragon VS Brian XL - APW Central Coast 6/22/2003
CJD: When I played forward a B-Boy match to you I was honestly hoping we'd end up knee deep in some early 2000s indy randomness. Well I think I ended up working myself brother because I certainly didn't expect to play a Brian XL match back weeks later. But here we are! I honestly have no opinion of Brian XL from back when and he was good in this. His selling was definitely less than consistent but he did get the crowd behind him nicely and popped me with some genuine hope spots. Super Dragon is putting together the blueprint for his bully match beating up smaller flippy guys that would help take him from promising young worker to one of the best in the world. He's our 2x MDTSOCWWKD Champ this week and if we can talk about him for a second, I doubt his career played out how he would have liked. But I hope he can appreciate that the flip side of that is that with how great he still was with a lot of What Ifs along the way, is that his career has that much more mystique and excitement to dig into years later. Who else would I legitimately be excited to watch wrestle Brian XL? And once again, the joke's on me, because I ended this match equally excited to see what Brian XL you come back at me with.
JJZ: Man oh man. Early 2000s indy wrestling at its finest. I'm loving this journey and hope we can stay here a while longer. The first compliment I'll give this match is that it has more substance than I expected. Loved the leg work by Dragon, he went back to it several times and XL did a good job selling. I know it's probably weird to point out this simple psychology but it rarely happened during this time in the independent wrestling scene! I was kinda shocked. This was a true hidden gem baby cakes. Also Dragon was his usual laying it in self but BXL gave it right back. Super entertaining and don't get me wrong, I love that no-selling car crash style. That was the height of me going to indy shows and soaking in every moment. And as far as XL, I don't remember him being this good at all. Like never. I honestly can't remember a specific match I've seen him in before. But I'll remember this one.
Friday, April 2, 2021
Act Yasukawa/Heidi Lovelace VS Kris Wolf/Hudson Envy - Stardom 1/11/2015
CJD: First joshi we've ever featured on PIF? And a handheld recording at that. We are also known as the FanCam Connection after all. I don't love Kris Wolf's gimmick but after watching the Stardom episode of the Wrestlers I gained a ton of respect for her living over there and thriving in that culture. The main appeal of this match is seeing Ruby Riottt in Japan (debuting I think?), which is a real novelty, but pretty much everyone shines by the end of this. They pack a lot of character work and some really fun interesting moments into this one. Unfortunately there's a big sloppy slice of pizza in there by the end as we'd say at a wrestling night hangout, but for me I still really enjoyed the match. Even how they worked around said pizza. We've been a bit outside of our wheelhouse on Fridays lately but I'm liking it because I never know where it's going to take us next. Also It's funny to me this is the sixth Heidi Lovelace match we've shared over the years (double crown Champ! 2x FFF Champ!) but we've yet to play any Ruby Riott.
JJZ: Man, this match reminds me of DVDs I would get from IVP for the main event and this would've been a random undercard match that I loved! The Americans definitely shined in this but the homegrown talent came across strong too. Everything popped off the screen. The single cam was great because I'm a fancam junkie at heart so I was totally digging that. I don't think I've seen any of these other women before but I could be wrong. My memory isn't the greatest tbh. The best part of the match was the second half. The falsies were fantastic, I bit on all of them. Couldn't put my thumb on anything as hard as I tried. Also man I'm so happy you took us across the world with this. I've been in such a Japanese mood so I know this will scratch that itch!