Tuesday, August 31, 2021

This Fire's Out Of Control

Christian Casanova VS "Hot Fire" Myron Reed - Limitless Wrestling 2/22/2020

JJZ: I'm sure you've experienced what happened to me with this match. When you pick a match to watch and have little expectations going in, then you get blown away by everything going on. I've heard the name Christian Casanova before but never saw him that I can remember. He caught my attention immediately. He is way more seasoned than I assumed he was. Hot Fire just continues to impress me. I love watching this kid do what he does and so does this crowd. Both wrestlers kept popping the audience with every move. And I'll tell you what Christopher!! After watching that really good Lee Moriarty vs Danny Garcia match with you recently from Limitless in front of like 10 people. It was special to see what a Limitless crowd can add to a match. From what the commentators said and the feel you get from this match we are coming into a heated rivalry. Which makes me forgive the lack of psychology and embrace the fiery energy and spotfest that this match was. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

CJD: February 2020, we didn't know how much we'd miss you. Your comments on this match are spot on and I felt very much the same. I love watching two creative young wrestlers with great chemistry flip the fuck out and leave expectations behind. There's stuff I'd like Reed to do a little more or less but at the end of the day I'd rather he just do his thing and I'll sit back and enjoy. He's so good at reacting on the fly, changing direction mid air, and helping correct stuff that would look sloppy with most other opponents. Carmelo Hayes has a lot of people's attention right now. Seeing him still as Casanova hanging with Hot Fire in a whizbang match like this, you can see why. This is a match that would make you feel like you got your money's worth, so I'm more than appreciative to watch it for free at your recommendation!

Friday, August 27, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: This literally might have been the only other Molina/Azteca match easily available to me that didn't involve Surena. So my hand was forced. Luckily for me, it's also a good match! A step down from your match but still with some nice highlights and a strong babyface performance from Gallegos. Her, Azteca, and Surena were all totally new to me a few weeks ago, and I'm immediately a fan of all 3. Estela wrestles a very similar match here but she clearly loves throwing hands, chomping heads, and heeling it up all night long. And she's good at it! We're back on a Friday road where I can't predict where we're going next, but Play It Forward is about the journey, not the destination, right?

JJZ: Man, the thing I will take away from the last two weeks on Fridays is that these women's Lucha matches are stiff. All those ladies laid it in. And let's talk about this ref. He was flying from pillar to post I'll tell you what. Got a real kick out those hops. This shined in a few different ways with a few nice highspots. I was curious what to expect from both these matches. It's not often we get to watch matches that are completely new to us on all fronts. I was pleased with the psychology and story that they told. At the end of the day I will remember both these matches for a long time to come.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Life During Wartime

CJD: So now that I know part of Warhorse's backstory is a gruesome injury getting his cheek ripped open during a match he clicked a little more for me. When I saw he's worked former MDTSOCWWKD Champion "Hot Fire" Myron Reed I was really curious what he would do with such a different opponent. This struck me as a demo tape match for both guys. As such it's not as ambitious as your Orange Cassidy match but I really appreciate that everything they do here they do well and with purpose. They cut the exact pace I like from an opener. They do enough to make it feel bigger than a curtain jerker match but they still leave plenty on the table for the rest of the night. Oh and correct me if I'm wrong but you love a nicely overshot tope every once and a while, correct??

JJZ: Baby! I rewatched that tope like 3 times. I would've loved to watch this with a full crowd. I'm not shitting on this crowd, the people there made themselves heard. This was good, Play It Forward veteran Myron Reed really shined again. I agree this was a really solid opener that over-delivered. Warhorse is fun and I think his moveset fits his gimmick perfectly. I felt like they had some nice callbacks to earlier in the match. This match made the best of a bad situation and made me bigger fans of both these guys.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

JJZ: First off, this is Lucha rules, so it's two out of three falls. This match was so much fun to watch. I literally know nothing about these women so everything they did was fresh to my eyes and I was seriously impressed. My journey to get here was an interesting one. A lot of scrolling and looking into La Pantera's (La Galactica) opponents to make sure I wasn't turning you towards a dead end street. My first thoughts when the match got going was, these women seemed seasoned. They knew what they were doing and what they wanted to do. Everything was tight and boy oh boy can these ladies throw a punch. Hope you enjoy this baby.

CJD: I've updated the blog from a lot of interesting places. Well you can add Charlotte Douglas International Airport to that list because I'm about to catch a red eye to see you and the gang for an old school, god honest WRESTLING NIGHT get together tomorrow night. But it's been years since I've been up for one and that's the story of how PIF got started, right? To keep our dialogue of matches going strong while I wasn't going to be able to get up for marathon late night deep dives into our collections on a monthly basis. Man the idea has evolved a lot in 4 years. I'm not saying we're the most educated, progressive, well researched fans ever now or anything, but we've explored so much territory that I'd never have guessed or ventured into otherwise. Joshi kind of makes sense to me as to my best understanding it was created and marketed to Japanese teenage girls, with crossover music and promotion. It became much more but as a jumping off point I can see that in the 80s. But can you imagine being a female wrestler in North America 1980 and fighting through so much bullshit for matches like this? I seriously can't. And then for them to get to a point to get this much time, and this good of a reaction. I just love it. It's the stuff that makes me stay a pro wrestling super fan despite the many, many warts it's had over the decades. These women felt so confident and calm under pressure despite all that. And this match was really, really good. A little slow at times but so much wrestling in 1980 was. And Molina's heel work was a little one note but the violence in those exchanges was so engaging it didn't really matter. God bless Paul Boesch, he was never a very good commentator, but he was less misogynistic than so many men calling women's matches for decades to come. If Pantera Surena was this good from 1980 to 1984 then I'm going to make a point to watch everything I can find moving forward, because damn was she good in these two matches. But now for some more Estela Molina and more head chomping!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Red Eyes On Orange Horizons

JJZ: Hope Warhorse is new to you. I really like his gimmick and moveset. I think he is perfect for this independent wrestling climate. I also think matching up polar opposite wrestling styles makes for a great match. Warhorse's run through a brick wall mentality vs Orange Cassidy's whatever attitude was so good. I think this match broke down into two sections. First WH trying to take Cassidy's head off and Orange trying to slow it down. Then WH pissing OC off enough for him to actually care. Really good stuff here. I popped like a maniac for the Superman punch/ Mdriver combo. Don't think I've seen him do that before. Hope you enjoy baby cakes.

CJD: Warhorse is indeed new to me although I've heard his name quite a bit lately. On first watch his gimmick feels like he belongs in a stable with the Ring Crew Express as their heavy. As a standalone singles guy I don't know how I felt about it. At times he amused me but other times I felt like maybe he was buying into his own act a bit much? You know how Cyber Kong went from the joke being he had abs drawn on to legitimately acting like a badass at times? That's the vibe I got here, only I don't know Warhorse's evolution, so I don't know if it felt earned. But now i have a reason to watch more of him and find out! Either way, this match was kind of focused on silliness breaking down into serious business so all of this worked pretty well. One of the things I really dig about OC is how much thought you can tell he put into the gimmick before rolling it out. There's layers to it and I never know exactly how he'll react in different situations but he clearly does and it always feels right for him. This match is a great example of that and while it didn't blow me away, it did feel like it would fit in perfectly in the middle of a classic Michinoku Pro card, and that's a type of match I'm always game for. Good stuff! Beyond rules!

Friday, August 13, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: I'll see your intensity and raise you this absolute war! Jaguar Yokota is one of the revelations of my #GWE26 viewing thus far. She's someone who I thought of as a footnote in joshi history with a few trailblazing matches to her name coming in. I'm quickly realizing she's actually an all-time great, especially considering her era and what she accomplished within it, and in particular is a force of nature as a fiery babyface. She burns white hot in this title unification match and La Galactica is one hell of a dance partner for her that I know nothing about coming in. Except that these two had a rematch in '85 that's regarded more highly than this bout that I am chomping at the bit to see after this! Side note I totally ignored the guys who recorded their commentary track over top of this. I've watched a few of their uploads and while they seem well intentioned enough, they really bring nothing to the table. Thankfully I watched this while multitasking and it all blended into background noise of the hot crowd and the awesome energy of the original commentary.

JJZ: I ain't multitasking so let's see how I feel about this commentary! The commentating jumps out at first but fades pretty quickly. I can tell that it drowned out the crowd some though. But that isn't stopping the energy screaming through my television screen! This feels like a grudge match before during and after the bell. Jaguar's emotional elation and Galactica's heartbreak were such a great scene to end this story. As for the body of the bout. It was gritty. Everything was earned and needed to win. And best of all. It was stiff! Great pick my dear friend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Bad Lad Bad Boy

CJD: I see AEW fans who don't follow the indies so much struggle with understanding why Joey is so beloved and OC is so over. I feel like Cassidy is pretty self explanatory and some people just hate fun. But Joey is a bit more of a chameleon and for a guy who got famous for getting yeeted off a roof and losing a thumb this match shows his versatility and creativity.  I don't think this match will convert anyone who isn't open to a little reality bending comedy in their pro wrestling. But as someone who isn't necessarily a huge fan of this style, I was surprised how much this one stuck with me. There's layers to the goofiness. And a legitimately good match breaks out somewhere along the line!

JJZ: I thought for sure you'd go with a Jungle Boy match! But I ain't ever upset about watching Joey Janela. Now this match is why Independent Wrestling is so fucking fantastic. Like when Pete Dunn and Tyler Bate worked each other's gimmicks. They ain't putting this shit on primetime television! I can't x and o this match so I'll describe it in one word. FUN. I had a smile on my face the whole time. It just made me happy. And it made the crowd happy. They were so into it. Joey trying to kip up had me rolling. This match totally entertained me from bell to bell. And isn't that the point of professional wrestling? Daniel Bryan said on an interview one time that the NFL NBA MLB AND NHL don't care if you had a good time at their event. But that's what makes wrestling special. When it's done right the promotion and the wrestlers will make sure you enjoy your experience. And ICW, Orange Cassidy, and Joey Janela sure did that night. I know I enjoyed it and everyone in that crowd did too. This was a great pick my friend. Thank you for sharing this.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

JJZ: This one was interesting. On paper there was a clear heel/babyface dynamic. But when watching both women did some heelish and babyish things. So I guess you can say it was a 50/50 match. The psychology of the match made both women look strong. Everything was hit with purpose and built momentum. I mean in 1982 for women to have such an intense match was new to me. I like the spirit they were going for. A real I can do better than you mindset. Wendi had an attitude about her that came through  screen. Like she was the main event no matter when her match went on. I've become a big fan of hers.

CJD: Intense is a great word for this match, and we're only scratching the surface of early 80s joshi. There's some wild stuff that is really mind blowing for the time period. I disagree that Jaguar is heelish in this match though, she comes off as a fiery babyface through and through to me. Was that our former FFF Champ Princess Victoria running interference?? Wendi was a freakin monster with all this offense she was busting out in 1982, I'm still amazed to learn more about what a high end performer she was. And Jaguar I'm starting to realize is one of the unsung greats so this was a nice little treat on my lunch break. Well played!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

I've Been Kissed By A Concrete Rose On The Gray

JJZ: I honestly don't know what's more impressive. A 30+ minute title match that gets over a 4 star rating. Or a 10 minute TV match that tells a complete story with falsies and a good finish. I'm being totally serious. It's a special kinda skill and level of talent to pull that match off. This contest highlighted everyone's strengths. I think no one come out of this looking bad. I was also happy that we got to showcase Sonny in singles and tag matches.

CJD: One of my complaints about AEW for a long while was how they didn't have an identity that I felt translated to a fan who just happened to catch a random match outside of a few exceptions. I don't think that's as much of a problem anymore and I honestly think undercard talent like this and matches like these go a longer way establishing that identity than their main event talent does. We talked about the art of the complete 10 minute TV match all the way back when we featured Eddie/Psicosis and I like when a match is a little less busy while attempting so much in a short period of time. That wasn't what these guys wanted to do though and I'm fine with that too. Jungle Boy is a bright spot on every AEW show I've seen him on and this was no different. I think Joey has had a hard time translating to a TV product but Sonny goes a long way in helping that problem. They have such a natural chemistry, they remind me of a pair of kids you'd run into at a West Philly house show smoking outside sharing a 40 between bands. This match was exciting, filled with personality, and you could feel how much fun everyone was having. Once again I have to give AEW a lot of credit for so much growth through the pandemic.