Friday, April 28, 2023

Forever Forward Fridays

JJZ: Probably the shortest match in PIF history. I didn't mean it to be but with intros this jawn is short short short. BUT! I think I came out of this match with a better impression of XL and Jonah. I already love Super Crazy and think he played his part fine in this one. Still can't believe XL was able to get his weight low enough for the Cruiserweight Classic. This had some nice highspots and all the guys showed a good amount of aggression. This is a perfect second or third match on a card. I remember watching Jonah in NOAH during this time but don't remember him being this small. More like a pebble. Bad joke. Hope you enjoy this match for what it is baby cakes.

CJD: I literally thought while watching this "I'm going to make a Jonah Pebble joke... no I'm not," so thank you for jumping on that grenade for me! I'm curious if this was actually shorter than RSP VS Heidi Lovelace which I'm pretty sure held the title of our shortest match previously. This was good! Obviously if you want a vet directing traffic for a 3 way you couldn't ask for a better chaperone than Super Crazy. Both of the young guns impressed here. The best word I could use to describe this match is fresh. It just felt fresh. Nothing mind blowing obviously but it left you excited for more from all three. I will say I was disappointed that XL wasn't Brian XL, but I digress. Maybe I can find a BXL VS XL match for next week!!

Friday, April 21, 2023

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: I was going to go a different direction with ZSJ this week and watched a much more ambitious match of his in Mexico. But I had some problems with it and his opponent's performance, so I decided to watch one more to compare and contrast. I've liked everything I've seen from Jonah/Bronson so this was an easy choice. And this match won my rose for the week simply because it didn't have any glaring weakness. It was the type of match that on a great show, maybe a PPV, it might not be the second or even third best of the night. But if that's the case it just means you watched a damn fine event. It has a satisfying, steady pace that builds logically. They do a very good job of highlighting the powerhouse VS technician dynamic, with a nice sub theme of Sabre going after the leg to take away the Australian Samoan's base. And both men are excellent at selling the damage as they keep chipping away, giving you the sense you're watching a brutal competition. In the end the other match I watched had slightly higher highs but it was a lesson in you're only as good as your worst player. Rock was a better opponent and this was the match I decided to play forward to you this Friday my friend.

JJZ: Another reason way I love Play It Forward. If I watched this match under different circumstances I think I might be disappointed. Zack has put himself in the realm of match of the night every match. So when I plan on watching a ZSJ match I'm expecting it to be the ace of the show. But with PIF matches I'm looking for little things that make it stand out to us. In this match I realized that Zack has the ability to eliminate the size advantage that bigger wrestlers have over smaller or lighter wrestlers with his joint manipulation and violent striking. Honestly I can't recall a match where he was just totally over powered and was working from under most of the time. Please correct me if I'm mistaken baby cakes. Jonah does a great job of adding some really nicely timed flying spots. I enjoyed this one. I see that this was a rematch, I'd be curious to watch their first meeting!

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Pink Pleather PLNCO Power

CJD: I'll tell you what. If you were to watch a round of lightning fast paced matches, this one would fit the bill very nicely. As this built and built in its economical run time you could feel this match mattered to both guys. There was a little extra snap crackle and pop to even minor things like pinning attempts and kick outs. Two creative, unique talents, but they kept things fairly dialed in with a couple of key moments to wow you. And this match caught me at the right time because it really wowed me. A nice show of respect and admiration between the two post match as corny as that is to care about. But I'm a cornball and I do. I don't know JJZ, is this just a lesser version of a million great Ibushi 10 minute matches and I'm in pro wrestling withdrawal with how little I'm watching right now? Or were you also highly satisfied??

JJZ: Man, so this built so much more than I expected. And for it only being like 10 minutes. You nailed it with this match having some wow. I loved the little fake out from Kotoge for the big hip toss off the guard rail but then just a dropkick instead. Ibushi sold the fuck out of it with bumping on the chairs. This era of Kota is by far my favorite. He was great in the main event stuff with NJPW but this shit he was doing was so fire. Kotoge is someone I think was on track to do big things but wandered off the path for whatever reason. Seeing his chemistry with Ibushi cements that to me. When you look back at the talent NOAH had and brought in at this time it blows my mind that they weren't bigger. This was fantastic brother.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Forever Forward Fridays

JJZ: I was so goddamn excited to watch some Shane Strickland magic! So I've watched several Strickland matches and all of them were worth sharing but I just flat out was marking out to this one. I get it's rich with tip top indy talent but they are top indy talent for a reason. This match is just entertaining. Fun ass spots. Close falls. Crazy bumps. I know we're watching this for free but if I paid for it I'd say I got my money's worth. I appreciate the color coordination from both teams. Not gonna lie, I was surprised who took the fall. Also didn't know Keith Lee and Shane Strickland tagged before AEW. Enjoy baby cakes.

CJD: I had no idea Lee and Swerve tagged together previously either and I love that little bit of continuity and storyline thread! Man this rocked. Dream tag matches on paper often feel like less than the sum of their parts in reality, but this felt king sized and delivered colossal action. My only criticism is there was a good amount of standing around and trading double teams late, but that's not surprising in this kind of setting. And there was a well developed and really satisfying psychology to the match with Strickland's stubbornness and perseverance. And the color coordination!! There's a reason these guys are top talent indeed, and part of it is talent, but I think effort is an even bigger factor. This match had it in spades and they delivered something extremely memorable as a result.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Forever Forward Fridays

CJD: I wanted to find Leva doing her own thing more so than doing someone else's schtick this week. But the more I dug the more obvious it was that that's exactly what her thing is. This match reminded me a lot of your Veda/Mike Bailey tag match from a little while back, ironically, since Leva is cosplaying as Veda here. Or is she?? (Yes she is). I really liked how slapdash this felt, and I also like using the word slapdash for the first time in my life. Everyone had great chemistry for something you could tell just got thrown together in the back. I feel like I should have seen a lot more of Cade over the years but I think this is only the third or fourth match of his I've watched. He may have been my favorite part of the match, and you know I'm a Swerve mark. The greenhorn more than held his own (that name has gotta go though). Also dug how we had a little FEST Wrestling fest these past couple weeks!

JJZ: Would have killed for the full Strickland entrance. This was a fun rag tag match. I loved your comments on this match btw. The announcers going back and forth about Leva being Veda was funny. And the ref getting into it was great. Stuff like this is was makes indy wrestling so fucking appealing. A little one off story like that includes everyone down to the ref. Action was solid throughout, the intergender aspect is there but doesn't overpower the psychological of the match. We're both Shane Strickland marks and I'm not super familiar with Cade but he was great too. Leva always is a treat to watch. You're 100% right on that name but Adrian definitely added more than he took away. Nice pick baby cakes.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Portrait Of A Young Master Piece

JJZ: So I've had this match in my book of matches. Matches that I sometimes share with you during a night that we only watch wrestling. At one point I thought this match could be the Ace match of the night. I rewatched it a few times back when I first found it to try to decide if it was on that level. Watching it now, I just find the match very good. It covers everything I loved about Harada's NOAH career. His relationship with Kotoge. His feud with Ishimori. And his ability to work with foreign talent so well. This was the finals of the 2016 NOAH Jr tag league. At the time I followed this league as well as I could. I was pleasantly surprised that ACH and Ishimori made the finals. No matter how good or great I thought this was, you can't deny the amazing spots and smooth transitions these four wrestlers did in that ring on July 30th 2016. Enjoy baby!

CJD: I watched this match on my first week of the graveyard rotation while keeping my daughter home sick during the day two days in a row. So it took about three sleep deprived sittings and I wish I had time to watch it back straight through because the flow seemed like one of the strongest aspects of the match. Maybe I'll come back to it down the line. I agree that this match lands in the "very good" camp and sometimes good is good enough! This hit the right notes and the fans loved it, although they seemed a bit surprised at the finish. Curious if this lead to a rematch?? I really liked the pairings here, ACH and Kotoge had a natural chemistry with their big bodacious offense back and forth. Harada and Ishimori were smooth as silk. And I love what a big moment this was for ACH and how swept up in it he seemed. And I will say this, despite having to break up my viewing, the match was so good I never felt like I missed a beat. So glad you had the opportunity to cross this one off and share it with me.