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!!