Friday, April 29, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

JJZ: Bringing a little gaga for the proud papa! Right off the bat I'm going to say this probably over stayed its welcome by a few minutes. But the thought of this match being on the blog at the same time as the shoot stuff we've been sharing made me laugh to myself. This bad boy gets weird. I'm totally unfamiliar with Club Tropicana but Sexsea and Aiden have this gimmick down. Total pros. I'd love to see them wrestle against Colt and Yone. Veda was really good in this, better than I expected. Bailey (who fucking killed it in this match) could've really covered up any warts with his insane highflying but everyone delivered on what they were trying to sell in this one. The production of the intros was excellent and the crowd was hot from the jump. Hope you enjoy.

CJD: This promotion definitely has some slick production. I was just talking about how indie wrestlers have so many hats to wear any given night and improv comedian is one they don't typically get many reps with unless it's their gimmick. As such I was also impressed with Bird Law in this, they did get some laughs out of me even if the overall timing of some jokes was off. This was a big old mixed bag with some stuff I liked ("no you put him down!"), some I could have done without (that HBK/Flair joke was a miss for me in particular), and a couple of great spots to keep things moving. It's a messy but fun end result that gives me some interesting options for next week.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

MDTSOCWWKD Tuesday Favorites

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

Forever Forward Friday Favorites

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

While Everyone's Lost, The Battle Is Won

Yuki Ishikawa VS Carl Greco - BattleARTS 6/1/2008

JJZ: Let's talk shoot fighting! This was a grappling match to the fullest! Great transitions and unexpected switches. And they maximized the rope breaks in this one! I was so I'm the mood for a match like this. The matches Ishikawa had with Jacobs were great but this really gets into the shit I'm talking about with this style of wrestling. I don't recall seeing Greco before because my Battlearts viewing is sadly so limited but I'm gonna keep him on my radar for damn sure. So this is the fourth Ishikawa match we've shared now and it's crazy to think we've covered three different decades. We really are showcasing a great snapshot into his long career.

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

Forever Forward Fridays

Solo Darling VS Penelope Ford VS Veda Scott VS Ashley Vox - Beyond Wrestling 5/1/2019

CJD: Going from a very substantial match last week to a very junk food match this week. But I will say, we've discussed before if the talent wasn't on this level in the mid 2000s for women compared to now, or if they just didn't have the right platform. Well I think it's more the latter than the former but the talent in this match for a random 4 way is pretty damn impressive. Especially considering none of these four ladies are really big names even now. We've seen a lot of random 4 ways and for me this one was particularly creative and made great use of its time. And Solo just has that It Factor that you can't quite put your finger on, especially coming from the kind of Candy Crush gimmick she started with to where she is now. The sum is much greater than the individual parts and I'm really glad we've gotten more familiar with her work over the span of her two FFF Championships. Curious where you'll go next with all these options!

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

Forever Forward Fridays

Travis Huckabee VS Solo Darling - CHIKARA 12/8/2018

JJZ: I went into this more curious than excited. Especially with a match taking place during a heated feud. I think both wrestlers played their roles excellently. Darling's face work really pulled the crowd on her side. She came across very angry but you could sympathize with her because she was still trying to mend the relationship with Travis. Huckabee on the other hand came across so scumbaggy. So callous and unredeemable. The workrate in this one was top notch. Loved the limb work and they even had a few spots that really made me wince. The story was fantastic and the wrestling was above what I expected. Good shit from these two.

CJD: Beautiful write up on this one. I loved how everything in this match was done with such purpose. I wonder what percent of your average wrestler's career is matches like this with such layered story and emotion built into it? And how much more difficult it is to deliver a match like this than a random undercard first time encounter. Or maybe the added drama makes it easier than starting cold? This is the stuff that fascinates me about being a pro wrestler, especially on the indies. You're the master of your own destiny and there are a million wildly different scenarios and jobs you'll have to do along the way. For Huckabee for example going all the way from a ref to a partner betrayed feud blowoff like this. And when the stars align like this it all comes together and on this show with this opportunity these two knocked it out of the park. Super memorable and exciting match that both should look back at with pride.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

That's Gotta Be Kane?!

CJD: So I used to avoid going straight back to a rematch because it's technically against our rules with our imaginary titles and what can and can't be played forward. And 4 years in I think it's become pretty obvious we just do whatever we want at this point. You were going to watch this match anyway. I wanted to watch this match. I didn't want to watch Kane doing Kane things. But I did want to watch Yuki Ishikawa doing Yuki Ishikawa things. So let's do this! Looking into it a bit more I think this is the match that most people have seen when they reference these two wrestling. And this is also pretty darn good. But I wouldn't have liked it anywhere near as much without the previous match. Ishikawa clearly comes back in with a strategy and is making a statement early with his slick transitions and attempts to cut the big man down. They play up Kane's lack of experience with the style a little more and make his moments of skill seem a bit more shocking. Basically everything is done with more purpose in this match and as a result it's a little more engaging but also a little less organic. I like the first match better but I like Ishikawa's performance in this one more. By the end I'm just amazed at what great chemistry these two had! And begrudgingly glad you got me to sit down to two Kane matches!

JJZ: While watching this one I was thinking that big Kane fans would be watching this and saying "God, this is awful." While I'm thinking "God, Kane is awful... but this is pretty good!!" I love that you played this back. So entertaining. I was legit hooked on everything they did. I'm telling you man lower expectations really set this up and between both matches they knocked it out of the park. I do wish Glenn used his strength advantage more because when he did it was impressive. I'll agree that the first match made this one more enjoyable. Loved the finish. So happy I can say that I saw multiple good Kane matches!

Friday, April 1, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: We've featured a lot of shorter matches on FFFridays so I try to avoid anything this abrupt but man this had too much going for it to skip over. Travis Huckabee was someone I was making sure I was watching back when I had a Chikaratopia subscription and I'd say is one of the more underrated guys (or girls) going today. Masha looks great returning from an extended tour of Japan. Limitless has an awesome little studio presentation of this very recent match and the sum of the parts of this 7 or 8 minutes is so much more than you'd expect from the runtime and scrolling past a thumbnail.

JJZ: It's hard to get a good feel for a wrestler during a 7 minute match but you know me! I super appreciate wrestlers that can produce a quailty short match. We did get good idea of what Masha Slamovich is these past 2 weeks. We saw her work heel and babyface and boy was she able to control the crowd. Nice match baby cakes!