Friday, May 20, 2022
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Friday, May 13, 2022
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Carl Greco VS Shoichi Funaki - PWFG 5/12/1993
CJD: We're getting into the weeds with this Shootstyle Sidequest. The Greco options that don't have Ishikawa in them were really limited so I had to start combing through some uploads of entire PWFG shows like this one to see what caught my eye. I try to avoid sharing stuff like this because I don't want people to have to click around but it's the first match on the show 6 minutes in and you can see more of Kane warming up for his match later with Fujiwara (!) as an added bonus. This is the earliest match I've seen from Greco or Funaki and while this honestly pales in comparison to your match last week, for the opener of a fairly low key shootstyle show I thought this did a very nice job. The opening feeling out is organic and exciting. I did think it was a little dry in the middle stretch but both guys did a very good job fighting for ring position and stressing the importance of trying to finish things out of the reach of rope breaks. Which kind of plays off of your match even though it's 15 years in the future! The finish capped it off as a "yes, I'll play that forward" moment. This doesn't go big but it does get the crowd warmed up and ready and makes both young fighters look full of potential. And I'm not going to lie, I'm just grinning thinking about the transition the past month and half going from WALTER, to Ishikawa, to Kane, back to Ishikawa, to Greco, to Smackdown's #1 Announcer. Where are we taking this wild ride next??
JJZ: The joy that this match brings me just seeing the opening is something that only Play it Forward can do. How in the hell did we get here (thanks for that little recap). How great is this Chris! Funaki really impressed me in this one. He can go. This match is extremely well done on a technical level. The reversals from hold to hold were so smooth. Both guys did an excellent job on the fundamentals of grappling that made the match feel so authentic. I do wish they had a limit on rope breaks though. I found myself at times thinking, "try a kimura! Go for a knee bar!" and the guys actually went for it. Loved that little touch. Great finish. I could've watched this for another 30 minutes!
Friday, April 29, 2022
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
As advertised here are our picks for our Top 5 favorite Tuesday posts from March 2021-March 2022! There are some absolute bangers mixed in here (so much so that we had three of the same picks!!), while our Friday Top 5 had one hell of an eclectic range of matches. Which is pretty on-brand for PIF but you never know when Tuesdays will go down a rabbit hole of Kane shootstyle exploits! We always keep them guessing.
Katsuhiko Nakajima (c) VS Go Shiozaki - NOAH GHC Heavyweight Championship 1/1/2022
Yoshihiro Takayama (c) VS Satoshi Kojima - AJPW Triple Crown Championship 9/26/2009
KENTA VS Eddie Edwards - NOAH 11/25/2007
Orange Cassidy (c) VS Joey Janela - ICW IWTV Championship 5/18/2019
Can-Am Express VS Toshiaki Kawada/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi - AJPW 8/27/1992
Friday, April 22, 2022
Hey all you PIFamaniacs, if you've been reading for a few years you'll notice we're not going to do our annual Head Droppies. Just not feeling it this year. Maybe they'll be back next April? We'll see! In the meantime, we decided to look back at the last year of posts with a simple Top 5 PIF Picks from both myself and JJZ for Tuesdays and Fridays. So here are our Top Five FFFFavorites from March 2021-March 2022! We'll check in on Tuesday with our MDTSOCWWKD Top 5.
Team PAWG VS Chuck Taylor/Orange Cassidy - Beyond 9/24/2017
Aja Kong/Kyoko Inoue VS LCO - AJW 8/9/1997
Lioness Asuka VS Bull Nakano - AJW 5/14/1989
Jaguar Yokota VS Lioness Asuka - JD' 4/14/1996
Wendi Richter VS Princess Victoria - Houston Wrestling 2/10/1984
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
CJD: You are so in my wheelhouse with this one I'm going to have to start calling you Johnny Cartwheelhouse!! Carl Greco aka Carl Malenko is the adopted brother of Dean and Joe and is one of the unsung pioneers of shoot style. He has a rivalry with Ishikawa going back to the early 90s. One of our favorite Instagram accounts master_of_senton coincidentally just made a post highlighting another match of his days after you sent me this. He made the point that Greco was the first person to ever go the distance against a young Wanderlei Silva, and while his MMA record won't turn any heads, that's certainly proof that he's a legitimate bad ass. I watched this match back around when it happened but haven't seen it since, and it plays even better now than I remembered. This did happen in an absolute resurgence of BattlARTS where they were having banger after banger so it got lost in the shuffle a bit for me. Looking back now, this is one of the finest examples of grappling I've ever seen. Seriously elite level shit. One review I read mentioned no strikes are thrown and while I didn't notice that it does sound right. I have to imagine I've seen the big twist before the finishing stretch in another match previously but I can't remember for certain and it gave me literal goosebumps. These are two masters of their craft and like you said we highlighted what an all-time great Yuki Ishikawa is over the course of four very different matches that don't even scratch the surface of his greatest hits. Although this match certainly deserves to be in the conversation.
Friday, April 15, 2022
JJZ: Junk food match to the fullest. They even had some pizza. I'm familiar with each woman in this match so picking who to play forward will depend on who impresses me the most in the 4 corner classic my North Carolina friend! This was a fun one. Reminded me of early 2000 Ring Of Honor four corner survivals. I feel like all the ladies came across fantasic and everyone's timing was good. Nice highspots with a simple but effective finish! Nice shit baby boy.
Friday, April 8, 2022
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Friday, April 1, 2022
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Friday, March 25, 2022
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Friday, March 11, 2022
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Friday, March 4, 2022
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Friday, February 25, 2022
Friday, February 18, 2022
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Friday, February 11, 2022
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Friday, February 4, 2022
CJD: I've been thinking about what a great career LuFisto has had despite the odds, so happy for her Indie HoF induction. So this match caught me at the right time, plus OC ties perfectly into last week's match even without Chuck Taylor as his partner! I gotta say Freshly Hungover Orange Cassidy isn't my favorite version of his schtick but he really grinds this one out if he is indeed hurting as bad as Bryce implies. This match was the type of goofy fun you'd expect and by the end it had me grinning big time on my lunch break. Gotta love Beyond bringing the goods with the YouTube uploads as always. This is familiar FFFriday grounds but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.
Friday, January 28, 2022
JJZ: First of all. I'm so sorry about these ads. I try to avoid Dailymotion for this reason but I always wanted to hear your thoughts on this match. Short backstory for you CJD. Santana and Ortiz busted up Trent's mom's minivan weeks back and this was the blow off. Loved this feud and loved this match. The parking lot brawl was a great idea during the no fans era of Covid because it felt like a normal feud ending match even without a live audience. I always love a good PLB because I actually think it's a hard match to pull off. It gets boring just throwing your opponent into cars. I believe these four guys really did some innovative stuff here. Following the feud I enjoyed the finish. Towards the end of the match I thought to myself that I'd love to know how much money the damage to the cars cost??
CJD: This is one of the only pandemic matches that was made better due to the situation. Other matches and promotions got creative, or had an unique atmosphere, but this is a stipulation that's essentially a cinematic match before that was a concept. So you can tell a light went off for everyone involved and they were determined to take this opportunity to have a match in a vacuum at a time when everyone else was working with a handicap, and deliver something in that vacuum that would stand the test of time as an all-time classic. And they delivered. Everyone in this is great but god damn does Santana look like a star. The heels act like heels. The babyfaces are infinitely likable even though these are some damn cool heels. The pace for this style of brawl is perfect. The spots are vicious. Tony Khan says this was all one take and I believe it because it just feels authentic. The commentary is among the best I've heard from this team. This match is magic and one of the brightest spots in one of the darkest eras imaginable.
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Friday, January 21, 2022
CJD: I'll start right off by saying I liked your Fight or Flight match better. But this match is trying to accomplish something different and it's interesting to see how a young Santana & Ortiz work differently against the local babyfaces than SSB did. This match has more gaga, a few iffy moments, but some that really popped me too. I haven't seen a lot of their EYFBO days and I enjoyed watching this side of them as a tag team. I was also surprised that FoF looked much more comfortable here even though this match takes place earlier in the same year your SSB match did. I watched a bit more of Vaughn Vertigo (what a name) and Gabriel Fuerza than just these two matches and while they didn't knock my socks off they are a capable tag team for this kind of popcorn match.
JJZ: I'll tell you what my friend. I really enjoyed this. This was such an indy show opener style of match. I got such a kick out of the backyard overly ambitious spots. I can totally picture the guys talking about them driving over to the VFW. This was the definition of a junk food match. I didn't even know that Santana and Ortiz use to go by that name before. EFYTOBQRST or whatever it was. I think you can really see the potential in all four these young pups. FoF is so raw still but Santana/Ortiz really match their wildness. Good shit.
CJD: EYFBO- Entertain Your Fucking Balls Off if I'm not mistaken.
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
JJZ: Man. When I hear Champion Carnival I think of Kawada, Misawa, Kobashi, Stan Hansen, Akiyama. I think All Japan Pro Wrestling. So when I saw this match and saw that it had two NJPW stars (even though Kojima had moved on to AJPW) it really caught my attention. This match is so story driven in more ways than one. You got the arm work that factored in till the very end. You had the fact that Tanahashi was the natural heel as the invading wrestler BUT Kojima was the company heel so you had a bunch of dirty deeds going on. Also Tanahashi in a way was one of Kojima's replacements so to speak in NJPW as a top guy and he was coming into Kojima's new home to take over that shit also. But Kojima said I don't think so and sacrificed his own arm, like a gentleman, for the greater good of the company. Wild ass match, hope you get a kick out of this like I did.
CJD: Wow, I totally missed that Kojima was in Voodoo Murders at some point?? I was confused by this because I have seen a bit of Tana in this CC and I remember him being a spectacular invading prick. So I was thrown off when this was all heel VS heel, at times with a little "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" with the crowd picking sides back and forth, but I totally dug what they were laying down and was along for the ride by the end. And so was that crowd because they were red fucking hot for that finish. I think this match had the most low blows of any Japanese match I've ever seen. I'd argue that even though Kojima had some success in NJPW that due to his Triple Crown legacy and rivalries with Tenryu and Kawada he's seen as much more of an AJPW guy. But I get what you're saying that there's different layers to the dynamic between these two here. I really need to watch everything on tape from this Champion Carnival because it seems like it was a rip roaring good time. Loved watching Kojima work heel and yet another gem in the all-timer career Tanahashi has to his name.
Friday, January 7, 2022
CJD: First of all, what the hell is up with High Voltage playing but no Leonardo Spanky to be seen?!? For shame. Your comments about this match were spot on. SSB were so in the zone in this at times I almost couldn't see the strings of how they were making Fight or Flight look so good. By the end though it did become a bit obvious that they were holding things together but this match was way better than I was expecting regardless. I liked how at times you could see Uno or Stu playing with their food and it typically would come back to haunt them when they did. This is one of those matches that would never have even made tape 20 years ago and now we can get a glimpse of something that would only live on in that small crowd's memories. I have to imagine this stole the show and all 4 of these guys were ecstatic when they made their way to the back. Really good effort all around and I'm glad you went with this pick!
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
CJD: Here's two of our boys, PIF favorites, having a banger Triple Crown title match that I was totally unaware of previously. Granted I'm pretty ignorant of this time period of AJPW but man, this match was some meat slapping of the finest order with a heavy dollop of fighting spirit on top. Takayama is such a beast here, and Kojima gives an absolutely epic babyface performance. I want to say more but I'd rather let this match take you on the journey it took me on.
CJD: Dude, I fucking loved this match. It delivered exactly what you wanted which I feel like is something both of these guys excel at. Not complicated but it didn't need to be. If I undersold it it was because I was worried it hit me just right and I was too high on it on first watch. I'm glad you felt similarly. I did read a lot of comments that the Suwama match that sets it up is better, but that takes nothing away from how much this match bangs. And I'll gladly keep an eye out for another great Takayama war I need to seek out!!