Friday, September 30, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

Shocker (c) VS Dr Wagner Jr - CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship 3/26/2002

JJZ: So, I'm not super familiar with Shocker. I know the name and recognize the face but couldn't tell you specifically what matches I've seen him in. Hell he may have been on some PIF jawns at some point. Figured this was a good time to mindfully check him out. Dr Wags I do know more of but wouldn't mind exploring him more. This was a very different match than I expected man. I Ioved the back and forth chess match for the first fall. Jr attacking the weak point like a dog on a bone after the rest period was fantastic. The crowd is white fucking hot throughout this one. Camera work for this match is some slop for real though. I'm always impressed how luchadors bump. For example Wagner takes a bump to the outside from a big boot but through the middle and bottom rope. And it was so smooth! Good match with good psychology. Enjoy my guy.

CJD: Shocker popped up on a ton of comps when I first started watching lucha and he never stood out to me much one way or another. I remember him having a random run in TNA. And not much else. Regardless, this match ruled! Beautiful simplicity. Each fall made perfect sense, the mat work was tight, the big moments popped big time. I loved how little separation there was during the hold for hold. The body language from both guys selling the big beats. The main word I'd use to describe this match was satisfying. Great find and a real blasty blast of a FFFriday trip to Mexico City!

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Oh When This Kid Hits Alabama Jam

JJZ: Right off the bat I wasn't happy with the finish of this match. But that is literally the only thing wrong with this. I know the finish is a big part of a match but this one told such a great story and had so much aggressiveness to it I had to share this with you. Thinking back on it a heel vs heel match kinda works with this ending but I dunno. Maybe I'm just trying to talk myself into the ending because I loved the journey so much. Getting to watch so much Eaton while finding this match I can confidently say he knows when to get a spot in to pop the crowd and how to throw a punch. Man does he got some hands. Not sure if you knew this about me Chris but I'm kinda a fan of Mr. Anderson. Arn did what Arn does in this match. I had a blast watching this one baby, hope you do to.

CJD: Ha Ha Barry Windham, domestic violence is funny! I guess he was a heel and all was fair game in the name of getting heat back then. Credit to Tony for playing it straight. He really sounded like he enjoyed calling this match. Handshake to start was unexpected. Was this heel vs heel? It felt like Eaton was getting a face push which I don't remember at all. But he definitely worked this one like a blue eye. It was a different facet for him than I'm used to and I was happy to see it. Arn was terrific here. Great back and forth action and besides the finish really good stuff all around.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Smoking On A Yacht, Call Me Ricky Steamboat

CJD: This "first time ever on TBS" match is a rematch of their match on TBS the month before on Saturday Night. And part of a bigger feud between Steamer, Dustin, Windham and the Dangerous Alliance. This one starts off hot and heavy as Eaton has been sneak attacking the faces with belts, chairs, etc. So Steamboat returns the favor. I can be critical of heel in peril but given where they're at in the feud an playing to the strengths of both guys, I think it works well for the early portion here. Bobby Eaton is someone who I've seen plenty of but still don't know if I really have a well rounded opinion on. Like I feel much more confident telling you how I feel about Dennis Condrey (good) or Stan Lane (bad) than if I put Bobby on the same pedestal a lot of people do.i honestly thought he was pretty weak in the previous match I watched leading up to this. But here he might have outworked Ricky, and this is peak Ricky Steamboat stuff right here. Also, wow Miss Hyatt. Wow.

JJZ: Wow is right Missy. Jesus Christ. Anyway. This was a fantastic TV match my guy. Let's talk selling. This match had it in spades. Ricky's wobbling after those lines. Bobby hiding those closed fist punches is  a lost art my friend. And one more thing. Why don't more people do a head scissors like Steamboat? We agree how good Ricky is but I think singles Bobby Eaton is very underrated. He never really took off the way he should have imo. Bobby was always such a great TV wrestler. He always made the most of his minutes and told a complete story in limited time.

CJD: That style headscissors, which coincidentally the RnR Express used against Eaton to great affect, is by far my favorite lost move in professional wrestling. Kids in training, bring that sucker back!!

Friday, September 16, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: Play It Forward, the only thing than can get me to watch a Kendo Kashin match. I'm not going to lie, after Silver King totally shit cans Dragon Soldier B I actually enjoyed his antics for the remainder of the match. We're straying from our FFF theme a bit here but of all my El Samurai options this felt like the most in the spirit of diversity and representation. I love the connection between Japanese and Mexican wrestling. Two cultures that couldn't be more different but meld beautifully when you put on a pair of tights. I've seen Sammy tag as the 1B to someone like Liger a good amount, or as the vet to an up and comer partner, but I haven't seen a lot of him as The Guy in his team. I thought he was great, the glue that kept this match from almost going off the rails more than once. It's not quite a trainwreck but it's not exactly a four star affair, but either way I thought this was fun as hell. And Dr Wagner Jr screams "motherfucker!!" at one point so there's that.

JJZ: This has Best of (insert junior weight wrestler name here) VHS tape match written all over it. Man this was a fantastic tag team match. A little clunkie at times but so many "Oh shit!" spots. The pacing of the match was super 90s Japanese junior heavyweights. Slow back and forth build to an all out sprint in the end. I thought everyone killed it in this match. Sometimes you can find yourself saying so and so was fine. But not in this one. Everyone brought the A game. Fun shit my guy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tiger In Your Tank

Ricky Steamboat (c) VS Tiger Mask II - AJPW NWA World Heavyweight Championship 3/8/1989 

JJZ: I have no fucking memory of ever seeing this before. But if you watch this and go JJZ, I played this his for you in 2007 after we drove to Edison NJ for an ROH show I wouldn't be shocked. This is a little stiffer than I expected. Ricky and Misawa are really laying it in.  I honestly can't remember the Dragon wrestling in Japan that much so this was a welcome surprise. The crowd was white fucking hot. I mean popping for everything.  Great finshing stretch imo. Hope this is new to you!

CJD: This one is new to me and a real curiosity indeed. Misawa got an NWA Title shot?? Hot damn. Steamboat is another guy who doesn't have a great reputation for his stuff translating in Japan, like DiBiase last week, but this match made me interested to see him in this kind of role over there more. There was a good amount of working holds but they meant something and built a good pace. There's something about Ricky that is a little like Terry Funk, where some of his mannerisms or ideas are a bit too goofy, but the sum of the parts is such a great pro wrestler that you just roll with it. Or at least I do. I really love how much he'll extend his entire body on certain bumps or spots. There's a controlled grace to his body language. I will say he had one pretty bad no sell, but no selling piledrivers in Japan is a thing to do so I guess let's just forget about that one. Also the match was really heating up at that point and the crowd wanted them to keep the pedal down. Misawa as TMII was interesting. I honestly think he was better in the gimmick than a lot of people realize. He wasn't a natural under a mask but there's something about the no nonsense way he approaches a cartoonish gimmick that built his credibility beautifully. Like I used to buy the narrative that the fans knew who he was, knew how talented he was, and were just dying to see him take it off and show what he could really do. And yeah that's all probably true but it's matches like these last two that built his lore. Where you can feel the crowd investing in him more and more. I really liked looking at this portion of his career a little closer baby! Now where to go with the Dragon next week?

Friday, September 9, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

JJZ: I'm pretty sure this match was filmed by the same guy who filmed that IWA triple threat match! Being honest Black Tiger Eddie is probably my least watched Eddie. Not on purpose or anything. I just never found myself going out of my way to watch his BT stuff. Which is fucking stupid now thinking back on it. This match was so interesting with the fan cam and this crowd was really different for a 90s Japanese crowd. I've always had a soft spot for El Samurai for some reason. I feel like I always rooted for him to be better than he was. Don't get me wrong he has had some great matches but I don't think he was ever able to work his way to the A team. This was a really good match. Great spots and a finish I never saw coming baybay!!!

CJD: Fun fact, this match happened the same day as Wrestlemania X. Man, I love 90s Japanese juniors matches, even if they can be a little aimless at times. But what I hate is that everyone has these slap ass entrance songs that if you're lucky enough to even have them on the tape, the wrestlers run light speed to the ring so you only hear like 12 seconds of the jam!! These guys could learn a thing or two from CM Punk. Or the Colony in CHIKARA. or IWAMS Chris Hero. This was a great find, and many thanks to Matt D from Segunda Caida for uploading it. It was a little stop and start, but it had a good sense of struggle to make up for the lack of rhythm. And plenty of awesome little moments and touches. I know what you mean about El Samurai but the fact he probably smoked a few too many packs and stayed up a little too late with the boys on the back of the bus helped set him apart too. He just had a vibe about him that made him engaging compared to the other juniors at the time. And Black Tiger Eddie is a treat, like with Misawa Tiger Mask it was never the most natural fit, but there's some real goodness to be found there. Case in point!

Friday, September 2, 2022

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: So I guess this fits the Forever Forward Friday mantra of celebrating indie wrestling. And obviously Eddie being Latino, and Colt being Jewish. But really I just wanted to watch this match. Part of me thought maybe I had years back, I've seen a bit of Eddie's indie work on this little tune up run. But watching it now I think this is new to me and many thanks to Colt for uploading it. What a piece of wrestling history in Dayton Ohio in front of 56 fans!! These guys absolutely went for it, even in a 3 way where it would be easy to phone it in a bit. Eddie's chemistry with these young stallions is remarkable. The raw youthful energy and determination Punk and Colt had was infectious. Prazak raising hell, an obligatory 5 minutes of Ian Rotten speeches at the end, this has everything you want or expect. And a blast of a triple threat match while we're at it!

JJZ: So I'm pretty sure this was played for us before but after watching it I can't remember any of it so maybe I'm wrong. Either way, I'll say that I thought this match was solid. There were some really nicely timed spots that were executed smoothly. But it had some awkward spots too that felt a little clunky. For 56 people the crowd was great in my opinion. Even with Eddie being there they were so behind Colt. With Eddie being in the match it would've been easy to forget about Colt but I felt like that never happened. The finishing stretch was my favorite part of this match. I couldn't remember who won so I really was popping for them falsies.

CJD: So we figured out after the fact why we both thought we'd seen this one before. We were thinking of the also very good IWAMS 3 way between Eddie, Punk, and Rey! So enjoy this vaguely familiar match that was totally new to both of us even though we weren't sure as we watched lol.