Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Misawa Dick Togo Santo Tri-State OuterContinental WWKD Champions #151-160

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
154. B-Boy
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.

160. LuFisto
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

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: So I'm clearly doing something different with this match, closer to what you did way back with Takayama/Shibata than even your 5 minute Odyssey Jones match. This reminds me of what a lot of the Cena/Wyatt feud was trying to accomplish only more effective in 25% of the time. Established Warrior VS Young Monster and definitely a match that's building to something greater but I loved it for what it was. This was a fight for survival and an exercise in how to reconstruct expectations in pro wrestling but still deliver something satisfying. I also thought this was a nice payoff after the constant hijinks in my Yokota/Galactica match going unchecked... this is out of control but there are checks and balances.

JJZ: I haven't even started the match yet but I want more already. For fucks sake. The crowd is about to boil over. This might be the smallest I've ever seen Bull. Fuck man. I literally am getting chills just with the intros. There are so many little things that Bull does that I love. Like why did she elbow Asuka in the lower back when she couldn't get her up when everyone else just punches. Lioness is showing great heart in this match. I would love to see the rematch man. This was wild. In a lot of ways it reminded me of the Stan Hansen Terry Funk match you showed me before. I know you've shown me a lot Hansen/Funk stuff but I'm sure you know the one I'm talking about. I love this. I love you. I love wrestling.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Idea For King Of Trios Team: Wesley Blake/Blake Christian/Christian Cage

CJD: Josh Alexander is one of those really prominent names that I'm almost certain I've never seen before. The North were getting a lot of buzz before Page jumped to AEW and watching this match it's clear why. Blake Christian (now Trey Baxter) is a damn good face in peril here, and Alex Zayne is about the most 2002 wrestler on the indies so you must love him, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say what works in this match is like 75% the North running shit. They're really excellent here in a match that didn't need to be anywhere near as good as it was in the two spot on a 2020 indie show.

JJZ: I'm kinda shocked and then again not really surprised you've never seen Josh Alexander before. Him and All Ego have been partners for years but he never really stood out to me when I've watched him. I like Ethan ok but Zayne and Christian I have only a few matches under my belt. I wasn't expecting a ton with this match on paper then I saw the crowd and that it was an early show and I was super curious how this would go. Lots of credit to all four guys for saying fuck it and just go out and kill it. And for what the crowd was they gave good energy. There was some very innovative offense and extremely smooth transitions. I think all four of the wrestlers over delivered and I wouldn't have wanted to follow that.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

JJZ: Man oh man did I enjoy this jawn. This match reminded me so much of a 90s Kings Road style match minus one thing. Which I am going to challenge you to figure out. The hot start was extremely attention grabbing and just plain awesome. Then they slowed it down with some real nice tight mat work and submissions. For me this match was a very nice surprise. I loved the stalling piledrivers and big backdrops. I need some more of this joshi in my life. The finishing stretch sped up so much and had me on the edge of my seat. I popped hard on the finish. Didn't see it coming and thought it was perfect timing and execution.

CJD: Yeah this match slapped all the porpoises. Their 1985 five star classic gets all the attention but I think I've heard some praise for this one too. Even so it's not enough, because I thought this was every bit as good and maybe even better on first watch (I don't think the 1985 match is 5 stars fwiw). So my first reaction would be the finish wasn't exactly Kings Road with the escalating bombs. Was that what you were thinking? We talk a lot about matches that have a real sense of struggle and this was exhibit 1A. At no point did I feel like these two epic rivals were doing anything other than trying to defeat each other. Lioness has more of a bad ass aura about her than ever before and Jaguar is becoming an all-time favorite for me. I felt like there was a clear ebb and flow to this one, after the hot start Jaguar couldn't figure Lioness out early, but was able to take control in the middle and tried to wear her down, but Lioness had done too much damage and was too explosive to contain her late. Then at the end, as you said that finishing stretch felt do or die. Jaguar's final rally made you believe the finish was going to happen at any moment. But was it enough?? I urge everyone who ever checks in on PIF to make time for this match and see for yourself!

JJZ: You got it baby cakes. I loved the finish so much because I never would've guessed it and it made me love this match even more.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Iliad Jones

JJZ: I feel bad only sharing a five minute match but it's only because I wish it was so much longer. They got a lot done in about 300 seconds. Told a complete story smartly based on the obvious size and strength difference. Unfortunately since we Tarnantino'd this tournament I knew who would win. But trying to watch the match through different eyes I think they made it believable that Baxter could win. Which by the way was the first time I've seen this guy. I think he showed a lot of potential and I'm excited for what you'll come back with. Now Jones looks like a stud to me. I really think with the right mind behind him he could go to the moon.

CJD: I really like what Odyssey Jones was laying down these past two weeks. Unfortunately he'll probably be Seth Rollins' new bodyguard a year from now and released in 3 years knowing the WWE. My favorite part about this match was how it felt like Baxter was an annoying fly that one good swat would put down if OJ could just catch him. And that's basically what happens. There's not a lot to this match but there doesn't need to be. It's extremely satisfying exactly how it is.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

Jaguar Yokota (c) VS La Galactica - AJW WWWA World Championship Hair VS Mask Match 5/7/1983

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

I Am The Bullet And You Are The Bullseye

Carmelo Hayes VS Odyssey Jones - NXT Breakout Tournament Finals 8/23/2021

CJD: We don't usually get this current on PIF but this one kinda fell into my lap so why not? I haven't watched NXT in forever and the production looks so strange and cold at this point. Can't say I'm surprised Vince decided to shake this up. But this match did bring some warmth immediately seeing the energy both these young guys brought to the ring right from the start. Tournaments like these often mean nothing in the grand scheme of the WWE (the CWC anyone?) but good on these two for making this feel big. It was interesting watching Casanova work a very indie pace last week and a very WWE pace this week. He was good at it and I'm really looking to seeing more from Odyssey Jones. This wasn't a blow away match but I liked how the timing worked out and I was curious to watch it anyway. I'm even more curious to see if WWE can squander even more young promising talent with these two.

JJZ: Hayes looking like a big beefy son of a gun compared to his match against Reed last week. Loving Jones rocking some Mark Henry Nation of Domination gear. Not sure if it's intentional but I dig it. I'm so happy we get to showcase Hayes in two totally different styles of matches. Jones is brand new to me and I really like him off the bat. I think he has a smart moveset for his size and strength. I liked his speed for how big he is, dude is a wrecking ball. I loved the psychology and pace. For the match being under 10 minutes it felt so much bigger and longer. This match mattered to both these guys so much and you could tell.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Forever Forward Fridays

Lola Gonzalez/Vicky Carranza/Reyna Gallegos VS Las Rockeras - AAA 1/29/1993

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!!