Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Rises From The Mouth Of The Diamond Mine

Roderick Strong (c) VS Stevie Richards - ROH Television Championship 12/19/2015

CJD: So I watched this match and really enjoyed it but didn't like the note they ended on. And I thought "nah" and kept searching. Then I slept on it and weighed the pros and cons. The pros: I really liked seeing Roddy in a different sort of situation than we typically see him. I thought he did a great job as the defending heel Champ against the veteran babyface surprise challenger. I liked Stevie's chemistry with him and I liked the throwback TV studio feel of this Television Title defense. And I loved the idea of seeing your Strong/Richards match and raising you a Strong/Richards match! The cons: the finish, which I didn't even hate, but was just flat. Well, the pros outweigh the cons, and even though this pales in comparison to your PWG rager, I think it'll be a nice palate cleanser before who knows what you'll find with Stevie as our MDTSOCWWKD Champ!

JJZ: Awwww. I should've known this would be in Phila. Off the bat I wanna say this would've been a perfect spot for a flip flop title swap. This was a fantastical TV title match. Working in this small time frame but making everything feel important. The build to the Stevie kick was amazing! STEVIE KICK! I can hear Joey Styles ringing in my ears. I actually was watching ROH a good amount at this time and don't remember this match. I'm always a fan of the open challenge title match. That element of surprise makes the match feel special. Nice pick baybay.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Forever Forward Fridays

ACH VS Fred Yehi - AAW 1/24/2020

JJZ: Love me some ACH and I love me some Fred Yehi! And I know you love some Fred Yehi! So it brings me great joy to play this match forward to you. It seems like this is coming off of ACH leaving WWE so the crowd was white hot for him. I loved the chops in the first phase of the match. They did a wonderful job building to those slaps being effective. Both guys did an excellent job building to everything in general so honestly they didn't have to do much in the ways of moves. Whenever they hit anything the crowd ate it up. And we need more toe punches in wrestling. Loved that spot. Going to keep my eye out for a rematch from these two. Enjoy baby.

CJD: I don't know if I've ever seen Yehi work as straightforward heel as he did in this match. And now I want to see more of it! This was clearly the ACH show but if anything Yehi fed off that and gave an even bigger performance because of it. This was grimey, you had some fancy ACH footwork, but the heart of this match was a back alley fight. I feel like we've watched a lot of matches with pleasant surprise finishes recently. This was a little more elaborate than most of those but man I loved that whole sequence and the idea of it. And as you said every big moment in this match had so much impact because they were so deliberate in the build. I keep telling you you're bringing that fire lately and the temperature at PIF HQ just keeps on rising!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

I Live My Life Like There's No Tomorrow

Davey Richards VS Roderick Strong - PWG 7/31/2009

JJZ: The battle for Eddie Edwards' heart! So! I did want to play a newer Davey Richards match but then I saw this. And you know what Chris. I fucking knew it was gonna be good because of Roderick! And it fucking was! Now I'm pretty positive that you've seen this before. So let's talk about this banger. 14 minutes felt more like 24. Didn't overstay its welcome at all. Stiffer than a 17 year old on prom night. No sloppy pizza slices. I know I'm speaking directly to you with this, I watched this while washing dishes. Scrubbing pans and yelling God damn! Enjoy it baby cakes.

CJD: I honestly have no idea if I have this show on DVD. The main event sounds super familiar but the undercard not at all. And man I feel like I'd remember this match, even with our prejudices against Davey, because this was a fucking barnburner!! You've been bringing that heat JJZ! I loved how this went totally opposite of what I'd expect, which was a nearly 20 minute main event style match that's so common on PWG undercards. Instead these guys went out with something to prove in a different way, that they could steal the show with all killer, no filler, and consistent logical selling and psychology to boot! They sold their familiarity with each other, worked some learned spots into the story of the match, and made the W feel like it mattered big time. I'd love to hear a grumpy Jim Cornette type break down this match, because if there was any criticism other than they could've slowed down a little here or there, I'd call bullshit immediately.  Granted this match is like 15 years old so its not like this is "state of the art wrestling" but it's what I was thinking. I also hate those tights on Davey but otherwise I loved this match!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Terry Funk Didn't Wear No Mouthpiece

Hey all, just wanted to add our condolences and grieving to the sea of fans thinking of Jay Briscoe and his family. John and I were very lucky to see the Briscoes live many times over and Jay was as dynamic of a pro wrestler as I've ever seen live. Judging from the outpouring of love and personal stories from his peers and friends he was an even more remarkable human being. RIP to a great man who left a legacy behind in a short time that would fill many lifetimes over.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

I'm A Sol Man

Samuray Del Sol VS Davey Richards - Grendel Wrestling 4/30/2022

CJD: On the heels of the announcement that Vince is back on the board of WWE I'm not in the mood to share one of their uploads. And I didn't have great SDS options available to me otherwise. This match immediately came up but you know we feel similarly about Davey Richards. Eventually I gave it a shot and hey, it's a pretty damn good little match. Not as good as your Sydal find by any means. But I will say this about Davey, in terms of his old tendencies to push every match to try to climax 20 times and then have an even bigger finish after that, I haven't seen that side of him in a long time. And as a grizzled vet a lot of his way too serious mannerisms are at least a bit easier to get over. I actually liked his performance a little more than Kalisto here. This match was simple, it felt more like an opener than a main event, but given what I had to work with I dug it. And I'm not going to lie, I'm getting some sort of sick satisfaction making you play a Richards match back!

JJZ: You sick bastard. Forcing me to watch and play a Richards match back is the booty of all the booties. J/k. I'm interested to be honest. I loved that intro for Sammy boy. I'm liking the GLOAT nickname. Super fucking happy Richards dropped the yelling with his moves thing. I always found that annoying. I'll fully agree this felt like an opener not a main event. Honestly I would've been a little pissed if that was the main event of a show I went to. Just saying, but for the match they were going for they did a good job. This match had a cleaness to it that I think all independent wrestlers strive for. Like you said to me off the record the commentary wasn't great but I was into the promotion on a whole. The finish was nice and not over done. No Richardidis in this one!

Friday, January 13, 2023

Forever Forward Fridays

Garza Jr VS ACH - AAW 6/17/2017

CJD: This match almost feels like a companion piece to me to some of the other matches we've watched recently. There are some themes I think you'll pick up on that we keep exploring. Because of that I was tempted not to play it. I also thought I might be limiting you too much with another go around with former FFFriday Champion ACH, since he's been in and out of wrestling the past few years. But I peeked at some of your options and got excited. And I liked the beginning and end of this match so much that I'll give it a pass that I think it loses its way a bit in the middle. After watching a good amount of Angel Garza I don't know how much depth is there but man does he have charisma and timing. ACH brings his own athletic charisma and even a bit of heart to play off the cocky heel. This was an opener that felt like an opener and did all the things an opener should do. I wouldn't argue any criticisms but it made me smile and on a week where my dominant arm's been in a sling half the time I'll take any entertainment I can get!

JJZ: Not gonna lie CJD, I was disappointed. Disappointed this match was under ten minutes! Wow, you know when we share matches and some come up and you're really excited for the matchup? Well this was one I was drooling over. It's my day off and I got sometime so I'm like let's go, Imma fold clothes and watch this flip flop and fly action. Dude this match was great for only 9 minutes. Perfect opening match that really gets the crowd excited for the rest of the show. I think these two would've had a great 5 minute or 45 minute match. You know I'm a big fan of AAW and I love this venue. Nice pick baby!

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Been On Top Of The World

Matt Sydal VS Samuray Del Sol - PTW 11/26/2022

JJZ: I enjoyed playing this match forward because it showed another dynamic of this era of Sydal. In his match with Martin last week it was more of a Matt leads and Dante follows kinda match. And in this one I got more of a Matt proving himself to still be a top player in the flip flop foodchain. While SDS was proving he took that spot. This was such an excellent example of great smart thought out high flying wrestling. No wasted movement and everything made sense for when it was hit. The only negative was I didn't like that I could call the telegraphed finish. I'm more familiar with Del Sol's WWE run so I'm super excited to see what you throw back at me.

CJD: My man, pots & pans. I'm over here goofing around posting top albums of the year on the PiF Instagram while you're in the lab doing the research bringing the absolute FIRE!!! I wouldn't say I'm a Kalisto superfan but I really mean it when I say this is what it looks like to master your craft. There is no delay between thought in these two men and action. And every action is precision. Even the slight missteps are beautiful, but the beauty of this match never loses the sense of struggle. You covered the king of the mountain vibe between these two perfectly. I loved the approach to this match, the different sides to Sydal as you mentioned. There were some similarities between the performances this week and last, but his selling, his aggression, and his psychology were very different. I'm just blown away by the polish these two had for what I'm assuming was a very limited amount of work together previously, if any. If ever there was an argument to work everywhere, with everyone, as often as you can, play this match for them and have them look up the careers these two have had. Malcolm Gladwell would be proud.