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I finally got around to seeing some Pac on youtube.

Pac vs Penta Zero Miedo - TNT
What a cool little match; I guess this is when Pac and Penta earned eachother's respect. They basically beat the crap out of eachother in a tiny little ring. Pentagon's strikes are so precise and loud that halfway through the match, I start feeling sorry for Pac and wondering if this match is supposed to be a new Joe/Low Ki stiffness competition. I guess that it's both partly due to ring-size and partly due to neither guy really caring how much they hurt eachother when Pac mule kicks Penta and the kick lands on the back of his thigh, right below the buttocks, or when Penta's 3rd or 4th (or 5th?) superkick hits Pac just between his pectorial and his armpit - seriously ouchy material. The cool thing is this match still seems like cruiserweight material; it doesn't seem like Japan or anything indie-level grimey just because of the details. It's a seriously well-worked match where the imperfections just have to be ignored because of how good these guys just plain fight eachother. ***3/4

Pac vs AJ Styles - 1PW (I think?)
This is an oldie but a goodie, from when Pac was still a handsome upstart and not a truly scary sort of bog monster. Oh, and it's easily the best AJ Styles performance I've ever seen. I've always compared AJ to Superman (it's the fantasybooking casting agent in me-I can't help it), but this is the match where AJ is no sort of underdog, he's a super-agile alien hulk forced to exhibit superiority in a strange land. About 7 minutes into the video, I started thinking of how incredibly underrated AJ's influence on the sport of wrestling is to this day. Seriously, I know I'm part-time, but have I really never heard kids fanstasybooking AJ Styles as a AEW-talent??

On Pac's side, I have to say I like him better than AJ. As incredibly must-see as AJ is in this match, I have to admit I almost yawned when AJ threw a pele-kick (it's a thing of beauty, but AJ was too ruthless in this match to be doing anything so elegant, and the more interesting part of it was how Pac sold it by falling off the top-rope straight onto the back of his head). Pac is the consummate professional and in these old matches, he does simple, seen before things perfectly and his own unique moves so extremely well that in hindsight, there's no doubt he's the one taking one for the team against the heartless Styles: I think it was this match, not the Penta match, where I saw Pac take an enzegiri straight on the cheek from the point of AJ's foot, and when AJ does his asai into an reverse-DDT, a millisecond passed, but there was no hesitation on AJ's part and Pac took the brunt of the move entirely on the back of his head. AJ was almost overcharged with energy in this match and it was like watching a perfectionist (Pac) against a perfect person (Styles). ****3/4

Pac vs Roderick Strong - Ring of Honor
This is another young Pac versus American indie veteran match where Pac is in his native land. I wanted to write about Pac being a perfectionist in the Pentagon match review, but I encourage everyone to see that as true even in this match. It's similar to the AJ match, but we all know Roderick wrestles no-remorse, and while AJ seems to get meaner and meaner as his match with Pac progresses, in this match we see Ricky Steamboat-esque performance from Pac, and if you watch these matches in the same order that I did, you'll see Pac pulling more and more tricks out of his bag of magic high-flying wrestling. At first it's disappointing to see Pac's enzegiri fall short of the mark and hit Strong in the back. But by the next time you see his offense isn't landing quite so tight, it's clear that we're seeing a realist in there. Not only that, as amazing as the AJ match is, it feels like Roderick got something better out of Pac by just being plain unlikeable. *****
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