Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Is The Great Zebra White With Black Stripes Or Is It Black With White?


CJD: We've been talking music while reviewing our matches lately. First albums, demos, quoting lyrics. Well I'm going to roll with it. Your previous Shiga match was like an EP that introduces an exciting new sound for the band. This Shiga match is like the album that follows up that EP and delivers on all that promise and then some. You talked a lot in your review of your match about how things felt fresh. I agree completely and 1999/2000 AJPW desperately needed that fresh coat of paint. And even though everyone here was still in the Burning stable and these teams were just having a little competitive rivalry, you could feel that there was much, much more on the line. I've always had a soft spot for Shiga and Mossman (the future Taiyo Kea), and it's because sometimes you'll stumble onto awesome matches like this from both. This match is made by the hierarchy that Kobashi and Akiyama bring, and their performances are phenomenal. But dare I say our MDTSOCWWKD Champion of the week, Kentaro MFing Shiga, is the star of this show!

JJZ: Wow. This match. I can't believe we are stilling finding these wonderful gems 24 years after the fact. The energy between Akiyama and Kobashi was vibrating off the screen. But the shing star of this match was SHI fucking GA. The way he was demanding to start. And then when Jun wouldn't start the match with him, he just picked his spot and took him out. Well Godamn son, go and take it then. This is why I will always say this is the greatest wrestling ever. And this is what Japan nowadays is missing. At the end of the day this is two vets, a green horn and a guy would I'm not sure his level of Pro but I'd guess it about fourth or fifth year, just putting in work. If the same top guys worked a tag with a mix of experience like this today in NJPW, they'd definitely treat it as a rest match. I hope all that made sense. Also all four guys told a complete story that anyone could understand in any language. Also, that finish was sick!

Friday, May 24, 2024

Forever Forward Fridays

Kenny King VS "Speedball" Mike Bailey -  IMPACT! Wrestling Pit Fight 1/19/2023


CJD: I spent a little extra time on K-I-N-G Kiiiiiinnngggg this week, watching him in tiny indies in big singles, on undercard tags in the veteran roll, trying to find that hidden gem. I'm a fan of Kenny, he has an it factor that makes me want to watch at least, even if he rarely shows up on a lot of end of year type lists. Well instead of going under the radar I settled on his 5th highest rated on Cagematch. And it's really because everyone should see this match. Once again, it probably won't make a lot of all-time match lists or what have you. But damn is this a fun piece of pro wrestling with a fresh presentation in a promotion that is hard to remember to check in on occasionally. Well here's your reminder. This match brought the best out of both Speedball and King, and I'm a little disappointed I couldn't find any of the build to it. I'd gladly have sat down to that as well. Very curious to hear your thoughts on this with decades of martial arts training, I don't know if it's scratching that BattlARTS/Bloodsport itch, but at the end of the day I thought the fun factor ruled above all.

JJZ: Jesus Chris. That this was such a joy to watch. Imma Tarentino it and just say the finish was fantastic. I literally said fuck out loud when he hit that. King and Bailey did a wonderful job using what they had as an offense. The spots off the apron were done perfectly. I didn't get any Battlearts feels but I did get some heat coming through my screen. Also Kenny and Mike's martial arts skills really shined at points. I would've loved a video package about the back story. Good shit homie.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

No Excuses, No Fear


JJZ: So I picked this match because of a bunch of things I believe are new to me. I don't remember Kobashi ever wearing that face gear before. I can't recall ever watching Shiga before. (I'm totally anticipating you telling me that I have) The length of the was shocking to me since it was a 90s AJPW match. I have seen Omori and Takayama team a few times though. I really found this match unique to the AJPW that I have become accustomed to. The dog on a bone mentality that Omori and Takayama had on Kobashi's nose was awesome. Usually they work that stuff but they were treating it like a real fight and going for Kenta's injury right away. Shiga added a lot of fun to the match with his hot tag. Swig of green tea for those slaps. Dude wasn't pulling shit. I think I made the right call here homie. Enjoy.

CJD: You HAVE watched a Shiga match or two before, but with a career that had a few stall outs, that was cut short by injury, I can totally understand forgetting about him. To quote one of my favorite Mountain Goats songs, "sometimes you get some heat, sometimes it follows you around." The heat was following Team No Fear into and out of the building in this one! I loved the dynamic going after Kobashi's nose brought. And Shiga as the outclassed sidekick, doing anything and everything to help his mentor, was note perfect. He really had me believing on his big comeback there. This was about everything I want in 10 minutes of pro wrestling, right up to and including the finish. You made the right call indeed my friend.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Forever Forward Fridays


JJZ: Man I miss Brodie Lee. Really loved this dynamic of Delirous and Brodie. You get a taste of both sides of crazy. Kenny King and Rhett were always a good tag team. Seeing the beginning matches of a tag team is kinda like listening to the first album of a band. You get some good things, you can tell they are reaching for a few things, but you can see the potential. Good back and forth and a solid build to a hot tag. Nothing overly fancy just a solid match.

CJD: I was really impressed with the chemistry of both teams in this one. Like you said this was basic, but it still accomplished a lot. It built the Delirious/Rhett feud first and foremost. It established the soon to be All-Night Express as an emerging team. And it kept Brodie looking very protected while showing flashes that King could hang on his level. I liked the seeds they were planting here, and for a match that didn't try to do a ton, it was still very efficient in what they did. Even more than an early album I'd say this was a demo tape with a ton of potential. But great comparison!

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

It's Taue Or The Highway


CJD: I was really in the mood for some NOAH Taue this week. I love how the big guy did a little of everything in his career there, but there's something about that early NOAH shit that has an element of excitement that is special. Part of that is Omori, who can be inconsistent, but is always a firecracker. Part of it is Takayama on commentary. Part of it that LIVE broadcast graphic and the Halo ad on the ring!! But this match scratched my NOAH Taue itch big time. Straight to the point, everything you want it to be. Clearly a step down from your classic Williams match but there was no way I was topping that gem. Also can you believe this is the first time in all these years Taue has held our imaginary MDTSOCWWKD Championship?? For shame!

JJZ: I watched this match two days ago, and when I was about to write my review my daughter spilled her water. Spoke too soon I guess CJD. My very first thought about this match was how goddamn impressive it is that Taue can kick above his head. I've been doing Karate for years and I can only kick around someone's waist. Taue looks like he struggles walking to the ring and then BAM! Boot to Omori's dome. I feel like Taue came out of this match looking super dominant. I was surprised that Omori was so giving in this match. I'm assuming with this being the infancy of Pro Wrestling NOAH they wanted to make sure the pillars were cemented in. I still think Omori looked decent in this match though. I didn't come away thinking he lost anything, but felt like he helped establish Taue's power in NOAH.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Forever Forward Fridays


CJD: Let's give World Famous CB his flowers. I remember this match getting some buzz, and I doubt I'll ever get around to watching it otherwise. Obviously super notable in Cheeseburger's career and I'm loving the Coldest Brother right now so let's dive in! There's one main point that I know you're going to make. This match obviously deserved a crowd. Especially the last few minutes and post match. But at least this teacher and student had the chance to have this platform and do something special with it. As a match this is good, although I think actually a little shorter than it should be. As a moment this is great. Delirious made some great contributions to pro wrestling, I'm glad he had a student like Cheeseburger along the way to carry his torch.

JJZ: Oh man. Pandemic match. It's been a while since I watched a match with no crowd and I will say, I didn't mind it at all. I guess when it's not the only option it's not that bad. This was just a really excellent short story. The simple but effective storyline of trainer trainee mixed with the gimmick match was executed perfectly. Despite the terrible color guys I was totally locked in on this match. Cheeseburger's emotions really came through the screen and I liked that Delirious was that over the top super energetic Wildman. It gave the match so much more meaning. Loved the movesets and the focus on psychology. Good shit babycakes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Blessed Be The Doctor, Blessed Be The Nurse


JJZ: So. Chris. In my opinion this is an ace of a match. These two wrestlers busted so much ass. A true 50/50 match. Now. It's so hard to find matc5h in this era that I haven't seen before. In my heart I feel like I have never seen a singles match between Williams and Taue. Pretty much a hoss battle but very aggressive. AJPW during this time is just special Chris. We both know it without saying it. The fact that Dr. Death and Akira have a match of this quality that I have zero memory of blows my mind. Thank god for 90s AJPW.

CJD: 1996 Champions Carnival finals and I have to agree with you JJZ, I'm pretty sure neither one of us had ever seen this match. How is that possible?? I'm glad though, because this gave me those feelings some of the first All Japan we ever watched in the 90s gave me on grainy VHS tapes all over again. This was magic. From the opening moments to the ground shaking eruption of a finishing stretch. Both men gave an all-time performance. Any sloppiness is totally understandable with what an all out war this was. I knew Doc had major wins over Misawa and Kawada at this point so I knew this was a huge opportunity for Taue. Which is awesome after seeing him as an emerging star a few years earlier in our last match! What I didn't know was this was Doc's return after issues with drugs and depression that Giant Baba helped him through. Reading up a bit more, Doc called Baba a father figure in his life. I know he was to many, but for a gaijin like Williams and the significance his career in Japan had, that's pretty fucking cool. This match was Aces indeed my friend. Very nicely done.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Forever Forward Fridays


JJZ: Talk about indie wrestling. Overhead panel lighting. Local top talent versus incoming indie darling. Over the top commentators. Let's go! This was a super light, fun watch. Malachi played a shitty little heel really well. Made him and CB look great. And I'm not gonna lie. I didn't know the Cheesebuger had all that in his bag. The back and forth strikes were way stiffer than I expected. Enjoy this one baby cakes. FFF has really opened us up to some true gems that we probably would've never seen. I wouldn't have picked a Cheeseburger match normally. But this is what I love about putting ourselves on a one way street.

CJD: You nailed my feelings about this match. This is what's beautiful about indie wrestling, these guys are not exactly known quantities here. Malachi is early in his DEADLOCK run, I think they said his first singles match, and Cheeseburger making his debut? And they fucking knock it out of the park. A match that communicates everything you need to know whether you're 8 years old or have been watching pro wrestling for decades. Great physical action, creativity, a fun face/heel dynamic, good pace, just the right kind of finish. I never ever would have told you I'm a Cheeseburger fan before. I was wrong! Like you said I never gave the guy a chance and I'm so glad you gave me the opportunity to correct that. He was a gem here, bringing a seasoned veteran presence that only a true student of the game could. Who has put in the reps! And I loved this side of Malachi. What a find JJZ! I can't wait to watch more World Famous CB!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

For Once In Your Life, Here's Your Miracle


CJD: Every time we play forward a match with real length these days I feel like it's a big ask. But I really think this one is worth it. This doesn't have the reputation of the biggest AJPW tags (it only got a paltry ****1/4 from Meltz) but it is very notable. It's one of the first big tests for the Miracle Violence Connection as they are starting to tear through the division. Jumbo is returning from some time off, in storyline due to a leg injury. And Taue is on the rise but still emerging as Jumbo's protege. A lot of components to this match, a lot of smaller storylines that build over the course of it. Not everything builds to a payoff but there's so much to like here. So much meat slapped!! And a great sense of the stakes of what a win in a match like this means by the time we reach the finish. I had this one in my book to watch for a long while, thank you JJZ (and Terry Gordy!) for giving me an excuse to cross it off. Also a side note but crazy timing how this little run of Bam Bam matches coincided with his episode of Dark Side Of The Ring. Just weird pro wrestling fandom synergy.

JJZ: Smoking a cigar and drinking a Guinness. Let's fucking go. This is a back and forth hoss battle! Thank you for the history lesson to this gem. No matter what is on the line for this match all four of these guys fucking went for it. And it all built to an ending that was straight violence. Just four dogs fighting for a bone. So entertaining. And it didn't even feel that long! All Japan Pro Wrestling had the ability to make time stand still with the action in the ring during this era. Love it CJD.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Forever Forward Fridays


CJD: We've watched a good amount of Myron Reed here at PIF, but I don't know if we've featured a match that's this much of a fireworks show. And if you want pop and sizzle this match won't disappoint. But the young GOAT also does a beautiful job of filling in the quiet moments between the explosions, and making things feel like they count. Malachai is totally new to me and I'm glad I took a chance on a name I wasn't familiar with. He has some great assets, I hope he keeps adding to his toolbox as he continues his career as Je'Von Evans in NXT. The chemistry between him and Reed had some extra spice and seasoning that made you want to keep coming back for more. I was digging this promotion too. Hot Fire continues to bring the FFFriday heat!

JJZ: RIP to one of my favorite nicknames ever. Hot Fire. Oh well. But this match was Hot Fire! Both wrestlers came out the shoot trying to one up each other and man oh man was it enjoyable to watch. This match was such an indie darling style that I felt like it was 2006 all over again. I could picture Dave Prazak calling some of those spots. Jay Malachi is brand new to me also. He has that young puppy energy that you can feel through the screen. Excited to really dive into more of his stuff. I know he is young but you can tell he has been working for years. Good shit!

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Your Love Is Blind, Blind As A Bat


JJZ: So my fear with any AJPW match that I watch is that I have seen it before and don't remember. I have zero memory of ever seeing the Bulldogs vs Hansen and Gordy. If I did and don't remember this banger shame on me. Goddammit this was spectacular. First the crowd was at a ten. Second the wrestlers were killing it. All four guys wanted to bring the house down. It's so wild to watch Davey Boy who is sweating steroids going shot for shot against Stan who looking like he just stepped off the bar stool. This is just a beef slapping hoss battle at its finest. Ain't no real psychology to it. Just four guys beating the shit out of eachother. Enjoy it.

CJD: You read my mind with that comment about Hansen/DBS. This match certainly had the big fight feels. The Bulldogs were limited but Stan and Terry made them look like a million bucks. Gordy really went above and beyond. The way he kept selling the press slam, like that was the reason Hansen tried to sneak in as the illegal man, was such a wonderful touch. And man, what a beautiful finish, as perfect as you could hope from a match like this. This was a dream match that delivered, and with the limitations you had from a barely mobile Dynanite and a walking science experiment in Davey, that's pretty damn impressive!

Friday, March 1, 2024

Forever Forward Fridays


JJZ: Bringing that hot fire this week! We got Forever Forward Friday veteran Myron Reed making his PIF return. Going against the Bounty Hunter! CJD, I love this gimmick for Bryan Keith. He has the perfect moveset and build for this kinda role. This match was so much fun. Really solid build to a really hot finish. Both guys didn't hold anything back and the crowd loved it. Fantastic energy and emotion in that building. Everything about this bout made it feel like it was the most important thing in the world at that moment. Coming out of the past few weeks I am now a big fan of the Bounty Hunter!

CJD: The thing I love about this match is that while neither one of these guys is the most physically imposing, they both bring that aura to this match that this title fight is larger than life. These are two guys that do the little things right, inside and outside of the ring. And while this is a very modern match, besides Hot Fire with that flashy offense, this is a match that feels busy without doing too much. Nothing overly complicated or cute. Just a good little barnburner, from two awesome talents, in a fun proportion, with good commentary, in front of a great crowd. That's some Friday goodness right there!!

Friday, February 23, 2024

Forever Forward Fridays


CJD: After a long and winding joshi journey on Fridays ever since our Yoneyama VS Sakura hair match we featured last August (!!), we came out of things with a brutal '90s deathmatch a few weeks back, and now an indie dream match from late last year. Pro wrestling man. It's about the journey, not the destination, right? We've seen Tanaka have this match in the US many times over the years, and it's not a perfect match in terms of selling or structure or whatever. But it's damn fun and the crowd loves it and I was totally along for the ride. Keith is relatively new to me and I was super impressed with how he carried himself in this match. If you want this style of Tanaka dream match, Dangan brings it at a high level too. Hats off to both of these guys for this one.

JJZ: Man I love DEFY. In my 20s I would have definitely set out to get a ton of DEFY DVDs. You did a fantastic job of getting back on track here baby cakes. Keith is brand new to me I think. Nothing is coming to mind. But I'll agree CJD, he really works like he's been there before and that the moment is not too big for him. Dude's got some good intensity and can bang. Now it blows my mind that Tanaka can still go to this level after all the death matches and chair shots and powerbombs and just sick spots he has taken. This match is 27 year after that death match we played. That's a lot of bumps man. Tip of the cap to his journey. Loved the finish. I think it really made Keith look strong without taking anything away from Tanaka.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

I Heard Screamin' And Bull Whips Cracking


CJD: I love that even in a match where Dory is playing the roll of Plucky Underdog Babyface, and doing a fucking fantastic job of it at that, Terry still finds a way to steal the show despite not even being in the match. We've had three straight matches of pure Funkin' lovin' on Tuesdays and I wouldn't have it any other way heading into Valentine's Day. This match rules. Everyone is so engaged, so dialed in. I don't even really want to say anything in its defense because if you watch this, you will understand pro wrestling is awesome, you too will be filled with pure Funkin' lovin', and you will be happy for it.

JJZ: This might be weird to say but my favorite time to watch older AJPW is at night with a drink. Preferably with cigar. It always feels like an event when I watch this type of match. At this moment, it 8:21 AM on a weekday and I'm drinking coffee in my underwear. I'm sure I will enjoy this just the same. The energy that Hansen and Brody come in with is fucking intense. So the "oooooooo" Baba got for running the ropes actually made me laugh out loud. It's so Terry Funk to completely leave an impression on you in a match that he isn't even in. Jesus Chris. This brawl is so wild and insane. Terry is a man that can make me fully believe that he is in a fight for his life. Now. The match before the craziness was really good. Baba actually looked pretty good man. Such a fun watch!

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

One Soft Infested Summer, Me And Terry Became Friends


JJZ: Alright baby cakes! This match had a whole lot going on in it. Right off the bat seeing how incredibly over Hogan is at the time. We all know about Hulkamania but when you can feel the crowd through your screen it really puts a stamp on it. JYD is a perfect partner for Hogan since he is also super over and can do the dirty work with the Funks. With the Funks I loved the gaga from Terry and Dory. So many wrestlers do good comedy wrestling but they never feel like a serious threat in the match. The Funks go to both sides of the spectrum. I mean Terry is tripping over cables and then is choking the life out of his opponents. His wild man gimmick doesn't feel like a gimmick. He is real as real gets in the ring. And Hogan really did well in the match. I didn't get the mailing it in feeling in this one. I don't think Dory and Terry would have let the Hulkster get away with that. Fuck, watch her homie. Enjoy.

CJD: The Funks in WWF felt like such an alternate reality, like a Marvel What If? storyline. It's not what I want when I watch the Funks but I'm glad it happened just to add yet another chapter into the epic novels of their careers. You nailed the amazing ability they had to still feel menacing despite turning the gaga up to 11 opposite two all-time babyfaces like Hulk and JYD. I would have liked a little more of the face in peril to build to the finish but with a match like this you take what you can get. Waking up to white knee pads Hogan, Gorilla and Lord Alfred on commentary, with a cup of green tea for breakfast and a side of Terrible Terry and Hoss Funk is fine by me babycakes!

Friday, February 2, 2024

Forever Forward Fridays


JJZ: Before I even start talking about the match, shout out to Bret FMW for making this insane top 100 FMW matches playlist that we're sharing this from. Now Chris, if I had to describe this match to you in only a few words it would be a car crash. This match is crazy man. All over the place to the point if you blink you're gonna miss something. The way they are filming so far out makes it seem a little less brutal, but the match is the definition of brutal. I can not tell you the last time I watched a Matsunaga match and you know how much I loved him back in the day. Poor Tanaka man. He took some rough bumps. Blows my mind he still works at a high level to this day. Everyone added to this match honestly. Looks like they were building to a rematch that I'd love to see one day...

CJD: So this is taking us far from our Forever Forward Fridays themes here. But I know where I'm going to take this little detour next, and it's going to loop right back into the highway my friend. And as far as FFF pays tribute to the independent spirit of pro wrestling, well this is sure fucking it right here. What they're doing for this size crowd, with this level of bells and whistles, you can really see how FMW had that brief moment of blazing glory. In a strange way this reminded me of our Funks tag last Tuesday, in how it never stopped building and stuck the landing. Every spot added purpose and a feeling of escalation. Nakagawa wrestled like half the match wrapped in barbed wire!! Hayabusa had such a hero aura about him and it was awesome seeing such opposite sides of his career with these two matches of his. Bret is good people indeed, he's done amazing work chronicling the history of FMW over the years and I never would have seen this absolute gem of a match without him. Thank you BAHU!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

He Don't Give In, He's A Family Man


CJD: So not only do I have Steamboat matches I've been wanting to see for years just waiting at my fingertips these days, but I also have Dory Funk Jr as of just a few months ago uploading that straight fire! With your Steamboat/Vader match I talked about the deliberate pace. I didn't mean slow or boring, it was actually pretty action packed. They just spaced out and timed those comebacks with such purpose. Well this match, I could see getting knocked for being a little slow and boring. But I really liked the contrast of a match this week that just builds. And builds. And builds. And builds. Never really to a crescendo but to a very satisfying final few minutes. And a nice finish! I don't think this match flowed out of anyone like water this given night. It was a double they had to really run out to beat the throw at second. But all four guys put the work in and this ended up being something I really enjoyed. I know your tastes, I know you'll get pumped for this one on paper. But what will you think about the execution JJZ??

JJZ: Fuck man. Before the match even starts I'm like damn. Some matches on paper just make you say hell yeah brother, let's go! I know your absolute love of Terry, so I know finding this match for you was such a wonderful moment. What Terry adds to a match is priceless. Even him taking hip tosses from Ricky feels like a big spot. Dory is classic man. He is the steady hand that keeps everything calm for his team. Jay Youngblood. Gone way too soon. Had so much potential and brought  such energy to his matches. This was a fundamental classic tag match baby cakes. The crowd was fantastic and the build needs to be watched by young tag teams. I think basic is a negative word at times but this match had so many basic things executed to perfection. Great match baby!

Friday, January 19, 2024

Forever Forward Fridays

Kyoko Inoue VS H - FMW 3/27/2000

CJD: File under: matches I never knew happened, exhibit A. I know maskless Hayabusa is not something we seek out. And I know this match puts you in a really awkward position to stick with our Friday themes. But this was so in the spirit of Forever Forward, especially for 2000 Japan, that I couldn't pass this up. If we have to hold up the imaginary FFF Championship and start from scratch, so be it. Inoue controls a crowd so beautifully. Dare I say she carried H for sections of this. Hayabusa is trying to get revenge for a loss to Kyoko in a tag match so he's really bringing the stank. I would've liked just a little more at the end but considering I never dreamed this match happened, I'll take what I got. What a strange time the year 2000 was.

JJZ: This was a very unexpected surprise babycakes. My first thoughts about this match was that I was happy that H didn't entirely wrestle as Hyabusa. Obviously some moves yes. But it wasn't a carbon copy. Inoue seems so pissed off during this match. You could tell she had something to prove. This was a really heated battle. I loved the aggressive nature of the bout. I know this was a intergender match but it never felt like that. It had the feels of two people wanting to beat the hell out of each other. I don't think I knew that Hayabusa worked maskless! Love play it forward for times like this.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

In The Bushes With The Mask Like Vader


JJZ: Can't believe I haven't seen this before. And if I did and can't remember shame on me. I had to really lower my excitement because it was on a side show. I know it was for the WCW World title but I knew it was gonna be more of a great tv match and not a great World title match. I really liked this match a lot and the only downside is that I know they never took this anywhere. And boy o boy could they could've taken this somewhere. Steamboat might have been the only PUP better than Sting to work with Big Van Vader. Ricky really overdid the selling to make Leon look like a ruthless killer. The hope spots and come back were so well done. But the masterpiece was the finishing stretch baby cakes. Loved it. Side note. I was a WWF guy during this era and never watch WCW. Fuck man. WWF guys never bumped on a side show like this. Enjoy baby.

CJD: I seem to remember one of the Death Valley Driver guys claiming back when that Steamboat might have been Vader's low key best opponent. Maybe after Sting like you said. And I've seen some of their matches but even I didn't think to name him last week when talking about the top babyfaces Vader was working magic with. These two had so many sneaky great matches and this one is still new to me. I think I tried to hunt this down on custom comps but never found it. And of course in 2024 here it is at my fingertips in crystal clear VQ!! Talk about 70/30, this shit was more like 85/15. What a beating and what comebacks! I loved the deliberate pace and the way they timed Steamboat's offense. This was an absolute treat, thank you Jim Duggan for finding this little detour for us! God damn.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

What You Gonna Do About It, Tough Guy??


CJD: I feel like I've been serving you up a lot of "pleasant surprise" kind of matches up until you dropped that Bennett/Inoue gem on me. Nothing else that's cracking any real star ratings, but fun watches that will exceed expectations. And this... is another one of those matches. But Jim Duggan is a complicated case, a world class brawler for a short period in the '80s, turned to a super protected and well, boring top babyface in the early '90s. I'm sure if I dug deeper I could find some more '80s greatness like you did. But this one popped up and while I kind of knew what we'd get best case scenario, I thought about the boxes we were checking. WCW Saturday Night, you know that's buttering our bread. WCW Duggan, a period nobody ever thinks to look twice at. And an under the radar 1994 Vader hoss fight. How am I going to pass that up?? I'm not, and while this isn't on the level of Vader working the cast of great babyfaces on the WCW roster he worked magic with, it's still pretty fucking good given the circumstances. And even with a bullshit finish, they put a nice cherry on top to wrap up the post match shenanigans. It's also very interesting seeing Vader work this style match compared to his great chemistry with Sting or Dustin. So yes, another pleasant surprise, but given the circumstances I'll gladly take that from 1994 Jim Duggan!

JJZ: WCW Saturday Night might be the best weekly wrestling show ever. It produced so many amazing matches and moments. Man, this is hands down the best Dunggan match I've seen from this era of his career. And it's not from being carried at all. He totally held his own with Vader. Really dug down and brought his 1980s level shit. The fans were on the edge of their seats during this. I fucking loved Jimmy D leveling the playing field with the 2x4 and those comeback punches were straight fire son! Wish it was a clean finish but I get it. Both guys came out looking good and that's what you want.