Tuesday, March 29, 2022

This Battle Chose Us

JJZ: So you sure know why I picked this one. Holy fuck. Never knew Kane did shoot style wrestling before. Let me tell you, I was so entertained by this it isn't even funny. Everything Glenn did I popped for. IMO he did better fucking good. And you what?? They had a rematch two weeks later! I'm going to watch that also! CJD you are the one who really introduced me to this form of professional wreslting and you know how much I love it. I went into this not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised. It's not Takeda vs Maeda but it pretty goddamn good. And for Kane, that's saying a lot! Dude knows more than I thought he would. I wonder if Bryan Danielson knows he worked these matches?

CJD: It's funny you would say I introduced you to shootstyle because back at that time I really only dug BattlArts and more pro wrestling based shoot stuff. I loved Ishikawa but Otsuka was my guy for example. And I would say your passion for digging into UWF is what convinced me to finally open the door to really straight up simulating shoot style, which I'd always kind of wrote off as trying to portray itself as being above wrestling. Needless to say I was being close minded and in the end we both win because we both had our horizons broadened.

I knew these two wrestled but I never got around to checking out what sort of freakshow it was and Holy Shit! This was so much better than I expected. Pretty better fucking good!! The best Kane singles match I've seen by such a wide margin. How is he legitimately intimidating here and so toothless as The Devil's Favorite Demon or whatever the hell they call him?? This built logically, a battle of technique VS size and power, although like you said Kane had a surprising amount of technique. There was a real tension and progression to the way it played out and I even loved Fujiwara's little role as trainer after the match. This was a treat and man I didn't think I'd be saying that about a Kane match any time soon.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

JJZ: Well, after going through the effort of watching and sending you the wrong match I wanted to just watch something fun instead. So when you see these ladies at the beach I thought what's more fun than that?!?! This was an interesting one to say the least. I don't even know what Bortchsed (probably spelled that wrong) is. The surroundings were the story of this one. At first I was thinking that wrestling in sand while being wet would be totally annoying but I remembered backyard wrestling in mud and snow and it wasn't during but it was after that sucked. In the moment it was actually quite fun so I hope Allie and Masha enjoyed the uniqueness of what they were doing. What I can say about the match itself was that it was pretty tight and I really liked the finish. I like that they didn't over do it with spots. They didn't need to. The keep it simple stupid method sold this match perfectly.

CJD: This match definitely had to suck after the fact but in the moment it looked like a blast. At least rolling around in the ocean dropping bombs back and forth did. I've watched the sickest deathmatches imaginable but there were still moments of this that had me cringing because of cold water or oily outdoor borscht tubs. Which is fun because they built these spots with purpose to make the audience care and that's good pro wrestling even if you're building to something this silly. I've heard a lot about Masha but this is the first match I've seen of her's and it's a hell of an introduction. I did think Allie stole the show though and she just wins me over more and more with each match I see from her. You hit me with this type of match at just the right time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Big Daddy W

Ringkampf VS Yuki Ishikawa/Shigehiro Irie - wXw Inner Circle 3/7/2019

CJD: So you know this match was a journey for me to arrive at in more ways than one. I think part of the problem was that the Dunne match set the bar so high that every WALTER singles match I watched felt like a big step down. And I will say that WALTER recycled a lot of similar spots for a while there, although I think he's been less guilty of that in recent years. But I wasn't trying to play forward back to back WWE matches so I ended up here with something completely different and really enjoyable. This match is much more focused on building to the Thatcher/Ishikawa match the next night (which is fantastic and I have pegged to play for you in person someday) but WALTER and Irie are excellent second fiddles to keep things fresh and rotate pairings. And Ringkampf are an excellent somewhat underrated tag team for what big presences these two have as singles wrestlers. At its core this is just fundamental, physical, straight-forward grappling and striking. But done so well and between two teams I never imagined would meet up and in such a unique and intimate setting. Enjoy baby, I couldn't believe how many twists and turns it took me to get here.

JJZ: Was that Saves the Day in the beginning of this video? First off love this venue. Plop a ring down in the middle of a warehouse and stuff in the fans. Bam! You got me. Man. This was great baby, I was so happy to see a match were Walter wasn't just dominating most of the time. He never plays second fiddle normally. And of course he did an excellent job of it. Thatcher and Ishikawa really had some heat in this one. Super stiff and tight. But most importantly I loved that there was no wasted moves or movement. Everything was earned and used to gain or maintain advantage. Just felt like a real fight start to finish. Can't wait for my hunting after this one.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: I watched an older match between these two which had a lot of potential, so I was excited for this rematch. I thought it built on the positives of their chemistry nicely. These two have a fun babyface dynamic that allows for a bit more of a hold for hold back and forth than you see in a lot of women's matches on the indies. It works really well here and when they have the opportunity for a big moment they usually deliver. Not the smoothest match we've ever played forward but I loved the repeated attempts for the Shazz-mission and the general pace. I'm sure these two have had lots of matches against each other and it makes sense why, they're great opponents.

JJZ: This match was good. I'd imagine 2nd or 3rd on the card. The playfulness in the beginning set a nice tone for how the match would play out. Not the smoothest  bout but I liked the idea they were going for. I was surprised when they had a spot on the outside with no mats but Allie took the bump perfectly. I liked the falsies and the home stretch came in at the right time. Limitless man. I think they might be our most shared promotion in PIF history.

CJD: This is actually the second match we shared off this very show too, with Statlander/Vox in the main event!

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

When The Bitter End Arrives

JJZ: As soon as I saw Pete Dunne was in our last match I thought about his NXT title matches with Walter. So I said fuck it and typed this in the YouTube search. I loved their first title match but I remembered liking this one even more. One of the better hand spots chopping the post because I didn't see it coming. Also loved how it was brought back later in the match and not for Dunne to take control at that moment. Really interesting hand work, that drop kick to the hand popped me. Walter players the monster role better than anyone going. The fear he has built with just a single chop is masterful. On rewatch I think their first title match was better but this is still great. Do you know if they had a third?

CJD: I feel like they had to have another rematch since but I don't know of one. Immediate rematches after a dominant babyface title run are so hard to pull off well. You almost always either make the new Champ look too weak or taint the legacy of the previous Champ's reign. This match avoids both pratfalls although the finish flirts with the former. Still the match itself is so damn good the finish is just fine in the grand scheme of things. I'd agree the Takeover match is classic and this is just short but I give them both a ton of credit mixing things up and delivering such a difficult type of match. This was a great, great TV main event, and portrayed perfectly in a great stretch of NXT UK programming. WALTER walked the line perfectly of making it look like he needed to survive Dunne to retain, but doing so in a way that still made him look dominant. I was happy to rewatch this one and I'd recommend anyone else who's seen it previously to make time to do the same. It has so many fun twists and turns.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

Kimber Lee VS Shazza McKenzie - RISE 7/7/2018

JJZ: So I watched a 30 minute no DQ match with Kimber Lee before this. At the start I thought I hit the lottery. I knew I was going with it. 10 minutes in I was like it's really good. 20 minutes in I thought to myself, I like it. 30 minutes in I thought, I don't like it. After going through such a disappointment I wanted just a good basic jawn with solid storytelling. So here we are. I don't recall seeing Shazza McKenzie before. She was good. Shazza knew how to work the crowd and get over a full story in 10 minutes. Kimber Lee is such a pro. Her polish shines no matter what the stage. The finish put me over for this one. Enjoy baby.

CJD: I can relate to that journey with the half hour match so much. So frustrating when you love the foundation of what they've built. But this match was good! I did think Kimber played it a little too big for how small of a match it was. I love how emotive she is normally but I didn't think this match needed it quite so much. That said, she did everything she could to make you leave this thinking Shazza was every bit as good as her. And McKenzie to her credit was right there every step of the way. As you said this was a very complete 10 minute match that felt like it'd slot perfectly into an hour block of TV. Good pick even if it was an alternate.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Go Back Home

CJD: I'll be honest, I watched this match despite of Chris Renfrew and BT Gunn, not because of them. But I know you like a good 4 way and the idea of Trent Seven as defending Champion in a chaotic situation like this appealed to me. Well let me tell you something brother, Renfrew and Gunn might have been my favorite part of this match! I think I've heard their names here and there but I don't believe I've ever seen either and they were awesome. This took the 4 way with faces on one side and heels on the other, with already built-in alliances, and turned it on its head with a match that kept me guessing. It was pretty "cute" at times but it did it extremely well. Some of these sequences would have made Insane Dragon and Amazing Red proud. I really enjoyed this match, it was more than junk food, but not quite a full meal, either way I was extremely satisfied after I left the table. Fast casual pro wrestling??

JJZ: Junk food is the perfect way to describe this bad boy. Hard hitting, funny, smart. But most of all entertaining. I loved the tag team mind games they had take place in this one. They did a good job of not doing anything obvious I thought and had some surprising interactions with their partners. The crowd was really up for this match and hard great energy straight through. The finish was well executed and I wasn't familiar with Gunn or Renfrew so when the match started I thought Necro Butcher was in the ring. Nice pick baby boy.