Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Grey Area

JJZ: Every one of these matches I always assume you've seen before. I know I'm probably wrong so I need to just play forward what I want to watch. I'm a fan of Jim Breaks so I figured let's check this out. The finish is the only thing I wasn't crazy about but it didn't matter because the rest of this match was incredible. The arm work by Breaks was surgical. The falls in this match, I loved. Grey's fall in particular was so smart and believable. Coming off a face/face match and being able to see the difference in psychology Grey used for this match was wonderful. Dying to hear you thoughts on this bad boy.

CJD: I have NOT seen this before! The greatest face in British wrestling history VS the greatest heel with a shot at Johnny Saint's title on the line. Man this was terrific. I loved the added wrinkle of Grey going for the Breaks Special early and often, as opposed to later day wrestling where stealing your opponent's finisher became something for a late match nearfall pop. You could feel the animosity build and build in this one. The finish is the only knock against it but is typical for the time period. What a two match showing for our current MDTSOCWWKD Champion Steve Grey. And while I don't seek out Jim Breaks as much after the awful way his life has concluded, I know he's the hub for so many wrestler's greatest matches and rivalries, so I am looking forward to see what great stuff he opens the door to next.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

JJZ: This match says 12 minutes but in my opinion it played like a 20 minute TV main event. Lucha Libre announcers could make the worst match feel like the match of the year. I felt like this one was a really fun junkfood match. Just what I wanted to watch after your Saint VS Grey match. A lot less technical and a lot more highspots. Those missile suicide dives are fucking crazy man. No pull-up what so ever. This had a great back and forth for the home stretch. I felt like it could have gone either way. I'm really loving the difference between Tuesdays and Fridays right now. Curious were we are going next.

CJD: I kept checking the run time of this match in disbelief. They didn't go balls to the wall with spots or anything, but I agree completely that it felt like 20 minutes of television main event title match pro wrestling. "WOW!!" Great babyface highlight match for Fantasma, who I'd only really seen work heel up until a few weeks ago. He's a hell of a talent. La Parka Negra I'm totally ignorant of and he certainly doesn't have the physical charisma of LA Park but he does play a good foil to the red hot babyface here. I'm curious to learn more about him leading into next week. This was good fun man, not a lot to say but no complaints. Great way to spend 12 minutes!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Well Ya Wanna Catch A Saint

CJD: Well if this match had been on my first ever Johnny Saint comp I'd have been in absolute heaven. This great generation of light heavyweights had lots of these fast paced, super athletic types of bouts. You'd get a different energy with a Rocco or a Breaks in there but a lot of the spots were very similar. Even if you've seen a bunch of this kind of match I still think this was something special. The way these guys are both able to improvise and adjust so flawlessly even within intricate sequences is mind blowing. And I think the psychology was sound too, with Saint trying to use leverage and grind the faster more explosive Grey, but still dancing with him step by step when the time was right. And even with a finish you could see coming a mile away they still had me biting and second guessing what would happen next. "How can there be a loser??" indeed, Kent Walton.

JJZ: This was an insane match buddy. The mastery Johnny and Steve display during this bout is ridiculous. The smoothness left you just saying to yourself, "In what world can they flow from move to move like this??" Flawless. I'm sure I've seen one fall British matches from this era before but I got excited when the ring announcer laid out the rules. Also, was it just me or did that ring give you Rocky 1 feels? I'm also pretty sure I've seen Bryan, Hero, Quackenbush and/or Claudio do almost all those moves before. It's amazing to think that those guys really helped bring this style back to life. I don't think I could ever get bored watching these matches.

CJD: It's funny you say that, because I've heard Regal say before that the highly technical British lightweight style evolved out of necessity due to them basically wrestling in tiny boxing rings. So big or physical bumps were few and far between. And I always love that about this style, how flat back bumps are treated like a big deal, and could believably knock the wind out for a 10 count. Glad you loved this one as much as I did!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: Modern AAA reminds me of how I felt when I first started watching lucha. In other words, I have no idea what the hell is going on half the time. I watched a good bit of this feud to finally arrive at this match and I still can't really tell you who all the bit players are except for Fantasma's family and Vampiro for whatever reason. And this match isn't exactly great but after investing a ton of time into watching Texano Jr matches the past week I was happy to finally land on something I felt very comfortable recommending to you. There's a lot of gaga before, during, and after this match, but it is mask VS hair after all. The execution isn't always great but the face/heel character work from both guys is very good. There are some great moments, a good bit of blood, and Santos Escobar is someone I've really enjoyed in NXT so I'm curious to see what you come back with. I know we're getting into some strange territory as far as our Friday themes go here but I'm sure we'll find our way back to something more on brand eventually. In the meantime enjoy a lot of noise makers and overdubbed stock music my friend!

JJZ: Fuck man. This was like watching Telenovela. I didn't know what they were saying but when the wrestlers started coming down the ramp in my mind it was, No I'm the father! Not even sure if that makes sense but I got a kick out of all the bells in this one. I think you undersold this a little. I enjoyed the slower build mixed in with the more brutal offense. I didn't read your review or even the match description before starting so that was a nice little twist at the end for me. The leaping elbow over the table that the one dude hit on the other dude was a Bluechew stiff ass shot if I ever saw one. Shot out to Bluechew. Use promo code Playitforward for 20 percent off. J/K fun match my beautiful friend.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Your Kiss Is On My List

JJZ:  I've watched several Fit Finlay matches that weren't bad but I was left disappointed. Matches against Jackie Turpin, Doink the Clown and Eddie Guerrero. All of them very different but each ended with me saying to myself I can play forward something better than this. After watching Johnny versus Fit I said, I can't wait to play this forward. Listen baby. This was pure entertainment. Saint and Finaly really play their roles to a level that needs to be studied. Fit and Paula have a tremendous little soap opera going on between rounds that actually had me laughing to myself. Johnny is so good man. I really never know what he is gonna do. Really hope you enjoy this one.

CJD: Man, that collection of Finlay matches you watched sounds like a trip. That's fun research even if you didn't unearth anything amazing. This match was actually one of the first Saint matches I ever saw, on a comp of his I got to better educate myself on 80s British wrestling. I was disappointed with this match at the time but I think it was because I didn't understand what a big deal catchweight matches were in the territory and what a disadvantage it was seen as. I also hadn't seen a lot of Finlay's more dastardly heel work and was hoping for more of the Bellfast Bruiser. Watching it again decades later I actually much prefer this version of Finlay's heel schtick to begging off, crossing his heart Dave Finlay. Princess Paula is fantastic here. This match accomplishes a lot without doing too too much. It endears Saint to the fans even more (when the one older woman helps pick him up is such classic British wrestling), it gets some of Finlay's offense over huge, and it really builds anticipation for what happens next for both guys. They didn't run a lot of angles or story driven feuds but this does leave you with a sense of "what now??" Really effective pro wrestling that I was just not quite ready for when I first watched. But I just might have some technical wizardry more along the lines of what I was expecting up the sleeve of my robe for you next week!

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

More Schumann Than Schumann

CJD: I wasn't sure which way to go with all the options you laid out for me with that Hase tag. I started watching some Finlay tags, some good stuff, but they didn't feel like they covered any new ground after your dream match. Then I stumbled upon this bad boy. And I'll gladly hold up the MDTSOCWWKD Championship for a week and let you decide who's the better man between these two meat slappers. Because make no mistake this is clubberin' of the highest order. I've been impressed with Schumann in the past but I've never seen this level of babyface performance from him before. This was a match that I put on with no expectations and proceeded to go through all the Vince meme facial expressions while Stacey Kiebler danced on his desk. Also no matter how hard I tried I can't seem to nail down the date.

JJZ: Love love love that Vince/Kiebler visual. This was a tremendous match my friend. So entertaining to watch. Franz Schumann is a goddamn beast man. That over the top dive totally took me by surprise. Wish Fit sold it a little better but that doesn't take anything away from it. I enjoyed the working from under psychology for Franz. Finlay is such a fucking dick in the ring that is was a perfect idea to work the match this was. I loved the home stretch and the finish totally caught me off guard. The feel and venues for these last couple matches were so fucking cool. It made watching the matches so much more enjoyable.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

JJZ: Lucha Libre is fun man. These announcers are great. It's almost better I don't know what they are saying. The way the sound is and the energy from the announcers, it being a drive in show doesn't even matter! Great back and forth in this one, just a fun match honestly. The ambiance of this one is off the charts. This would be a fantastic 2AM match to share with you. A ton of sick ass dives through out the match. With it being Lucha Libre it's not stiff or anything but they definitely keep it snugg the whole match. Didn't love the finish but the rest of the match makes this something I want to share.

CJD: First of all I want to make it clear I really enjoyed watching this. Second of all, I can't believe I didn't realize this in the match VS Laredo Kid. Octagon Jr is not very good! He is carried by an excellent flyer in the previous match (even after jacking up his teeth) and a very good base here but man, there is not a lot of connective tissue between his big spots. Texano though really impressed me, reminding me very much of his dad who I always liked tagging with Silver King. Texano brings character to this match, he brings structure, and he drags Octagon Jr to something fun (as you said) despite the fact that Dollar General Sasuke Jr looks like he's there for a dance recital. That he didn't practice for. I'm excited to see where this takes me next and I'm glad to watch it even if I had some criticisms.