CHIKARA Review: Duel & Duality
Philadelphia, PA – 12.14.2008
CHIKARA closes out its eight season in Philadelphia with “Duel & Duality”. As it is the season closer, many feuds will climax here tonight. The newly formed Swiss N’ Sour duo of Claudio Castagnoli & Larry Sweeney will finally team up to take on their mutual rivals in the Fabulous Two. Hydra looks to seek revenge for years of abuse against his former mentor Ultramantis Black. Mike Quackenbush teams up with his student and companion Tim Donst to gain a measure of revenge of the tecnico traitor STIGMA and his ally Colin Delaney. Finally, Equinox finally gets a shot at Vin Gerard’s Young Lions Cup in a one on one match. All this and much more awaits, so let’s get started.
Commentary is provided by Mike Quackenbush, Bryce Remsburg, Leonard F. Chikarason, Louden Noxious, Eddie Kingston, Chuck Taylor, and Ultramantis Black.
F.I.S.T. (Icarus, Gran Akuma, & Chuck Taylor) vs. Lince Dorado, Halcon Guerrero, & Chiva V
I almost cried when I saw Halcon Guerrero and a Chiva were scheduled in the same match. I guess I can thank my lucky stars that Payaso del Futoro and Incognito are nowhere on this card.
The match starts off with some basic lucha between Chuck and the Chiva. Chuck is wearing a sweet black scarf by the way. Chuck gets sent to the floor with a dropkick. Akuma and Halcon come in as the legal participants. Akuma lures Halcon in by kissing his foot, but then kicks him in the hamstring right after. Some more basic lucha takes place, with Halcon sending Akuma to the floor with an arm drag. Icarus and Lince come in. Lince lands an alita, and continues to get the advantage on Icarus. Icarus forearms Lince in the face to stop his momentum. Lince uses the Mexican Catapult to hop up to the top rope and take out Icarus. Chuck catches Lince with a dropkick from behind. Chiva runs in and takes out Chuck, Akuma runs in and takes down Chiva, then Akuma kicks away at Halcon in the corner. F.I.S.T brings in Lince, tying them up in their corner. F.I.S.T. uses Chuck’s scarf as a weapon, and double teams Lince while he is isolated in their corner. Inexplicably, Lince was tossed to the floor allowing Chiva to tag in. Thankfully, Quackenbush on commentary explained that if F.I.S.T beat on Lince for too long, they risked being disqualified via castigo excesivo (excessive punishment). I am SO happy they explained that, or else I would’ve thought F.I.S.T. were a group of idiots. Anyway, Chiva tags in Halcon after Chuck misses a moonsault. Halcon runs wild on F.I.S.T. Icarus and Akuma on the floor almost got in a fight, but Chuck is able to direct their attention back to Halcon. Chiva comes in and looks Akuma nd Taylor in the classic row boat spot. Right in the middle, Lince hits a flipping Urinagi on Icarus, but Taylor is able to pull Lince off. Halcon pops up Lince to hit a top-rope frankensteiner on Akuma! Lince hits an Asai moonsault onto Chuck, and Halcon lands a tope on Akuma. In the ring however, Icarus hits the Shiranui and grabs the tights to get the pin. F.I.S.T. is two for two in their trios matches on season finale weekend. F.I.S.T.’s reign of dominance begins! **
Hallowicked vs. Grizzly Redwood
Hallowicked seems to have recovered from whatever beating he received at Face With A View. He is wearing his old mask in this particular match however.
Grizzly takes Wicked to the corner grabbing his stem. Grizzly steps on Wicked’s foot to bring him down to his size. Hallowicked tosses Grizzly by his heard out of the corner, then off of the top rope. Grizzly ducks a Big Boot, then lands an axe handle onto Wicked’s knee. Grizzly continues the attack on Wicked’s knee, much like he did to Worker Ant. He puts on a single leg grapevine but Wicked gets the ropes. Wicked attempts to fight back, but Grizzly continues his assault on Wicked’s leg making it difficult for him to come back. Wicked uses the ropes to kick Grizzly, and sunset flips him for the two. Grizzly brings Wicked back down and hits a series of axe handles. Grizzly puts his straps down and head up top. Hallowicked catches Grizzly in a Rydeen Bomb as he comes off the top rope for the win! This was a good, short match. The story of Grizzly getting the advantage and losing by an unfortunate circumstance was excellent. Grizzly Redwood as a heel in CHIKARA is far more entertaining than him as a face in ROH. The rating for this is mostly based on length. *1/2
The Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos) vs. The Osirian Portal (Ophidian & Escorpion Egipcio)
Dos is backstage on a phone he made with his fingers. He’s yelling to someone in French, until Player Uno comes up. Dos yells at Uno for once again wearing the pants with the controller on the side, and then carries Uno out by the ear to go change.
Uno and Ophidian trade blows and the advantage to start things off. Uno chops Ophidian down a few times. Ophidian goes up top, but Uno catches him with a throat thrust as he comes off. Ophidian rolls to the floor tagging in Egipcio. Egipcio knocks down both Uno and Dos with a shoulder tackle. Dos yells at Egipcio to hit the ropes. He does, and mows down Dos. Dos hops up and tries a series of clotheslines. Egipcio lifts Dos up for a TKO, but Dos rolls into an arm drag. He hits another, then flips over a tackle attempt sending Egipcio to the floor. Ophidian tags in, and Dos banderas him to the apron. Dos Enzugiri’s Ophidian to the floor. Dos tries for a pescado, but Amasis pushes Ophidian out of the way. Dos crashes stomach first onto the floor. Uno gets tagged in, but The Portal hit some tandem offense to take him out. The Portal isolate Player Dos and beat him down, employing frequent tags and tandem offense. Specifically they begin to work on Dos’ right leg. The Portal even distract the referee so Amasis can illegally join in on the punishment. Ophidian hypnotizes Dos. Dos is able to break out of it and lands an inverted DDT on Ophidian. Dos ducks under the clothesline and slides to the floor tagging in Uno! Uno is able to hand The Portal by himself, even causing Ophidian to kick Egipcio in the head. Egipcio catches Uno with an overhead belly to belly suplex, sending Uno to the floor. Dos comes in and evades Egipcio’s offensive attempts. The Super Smash Bros. hit some stereo punches then a series of Enzurgiri’s and superkicks. Uno follows through with a tope through the middle rope onto Egipcio! Dos lands the dragon suplex on Ophidian for the two count. Dos sets up for the Final Smash. Ophidian slips into the Ophidian Death Grip. Uno breaks it up, suplexing Ophidian and Dos at the same time! Ophidian looks for a wheelbarrow into a prawn hold, but Uno blocks. Ophidian locks in the Ophidian Death Grip! Dos comes in to break it up, but Egipcio runs in and spears Dos to hell! Uno passes out giving the Portal the win. So I guess Ophidian and Egipcio have a point in their name to reserve if Ophidian and Amasis lose the belts. This was really fun after Uno received the hot tag. Good stuff. **3/4
Ultramantis Black vs. Hydra
I question a feud ending singles match being fourth on the card, but what the hell do I know? CHIKARA usually has a good reason for stuff like this.
Mantis is holding a water cooler jug on a stick with Christmas lights wrapped around it. Mantis shakes his head and says he doesn’t need weapons to beat Hydra. Mantis says all the events of the past season has led to this. Mantis says Hydra knows what Mantis had to go through to make the exchange with Dr. Cube. However, Mantis says Hydra doesn’t know the entire story. Not only was Donst a pawn in his game, but Hydra was as well! Mantis says Hydra has no idea how Shane Storm was able to get the victory over Hydra at The Sordid Perils of Everyday Existence in November 2007. I assume the Eye of Tyr has something to do with it. Mantis says tonight, The Order will be victorious once and for all.
Hydra comes out in street gear garb (black jeans and cowboy boots). Hydra and Mantis waste no time locking up and rolling out to the floor. These two exchange some hard shots on the outside. Mantis even hits the Samoa Joe running face wash into the guardrail! Hydra tries again with a cannonball instead, but Mantis moves and Hydra slams into the guardrail! Mantis rolls into the ring. A hurt Hydra makes his way back into the ring at the count of 19. Mantis pulls the USA scarf out of Hydra’s back pocket and chokes Hydra with it. Mantis continues to batter on Hydra. Hydra breaks out of an airplane stretch, but Mantis takes him down with a leaping clothesline. Mantis drops Hydra down with an Electric Chair drop. Mantis pins Hydra, but picks up Hydra at the two count so he can inflict more damage. Mantis drops Hydra right on his head with a pump handle suplex, and again Mantis picks up Hydra at the two count! Mantis slaps Hydra in the face, then hits a series of Heart Punches. In the corner, Hydra blocks an onslaught of shots from Mantis. Hydra school boys Mantis who kicks out. Hydra rolls out of a power slam and slams Mantis himself. Hydra locks for the Hydralock. Mantis slips out, rolls through, sits Hydra up, then sets up for the Praying Mantis Down. Hydra powers over, but Mantis keeps it hooked and rolls up. Hydra drops to his knees, rolls around, and finally slaps on the Hydra Lock on Ultramantis! Mantis picks up Hydra and swings him around, but Hydra’s fingers are locked tight. Even when throwing Hydra into the corner he doesn’t break the hold. Hydra pulls Mantis to the center, and he gives up! Hydra wins! After going months with Hydra being un able to lock the Hydra Lock on, he finally wins the feud closing match with it. These two had quite the feud ending brawl, which is exactly what should have happened. Well done Mantis and Hydra. ***1/4
A little change up
2.0 is backstage. Shane has a chain wrapped around himself and says he feels angry. Shane says tonight he and Shane will win by any means necessary. Jagged says he is going to relax Shane with a story about Jagged receiving an ant farm for Christmas when he was a kid. Jagged said however that one day his ant farm was mysteriously shattered, and since then, Jagged has been searching for those exact ants ever since. Jagged says he is going to take all his heartache out on The Colony tonight. 2.0 is awesome.
The match was supposed to be Fire Ant and Worker Ant teaming up to take on 2.0, but thanks to Grizzly Redwood’s assault on Friday night, Worker is unable to compete. Amasis told Grizzly to make an impact by taking out Worker Ant, knowing Soldier Ant would replace him, causing Fire Ant and Soldier Ant to put their points towards title contention on the line. If Fire and Soldier win, they will be the first team in CHIKARA history to gain seven total points towards Campeonatos de Parejas contention. If they lose, however, they got back to square one and have to start all over again. A simple, yet absolutely brilliant storyline maneuver by the head honchos at CHIKARA.
The Colony (Fire Ant & Soldier Ant) vs. 2.0 (Jagged & Shane Matthews)
2.0 spring to the ring and attack The Colony before the bell. 2.0 bully Soldier Ant in the ring, with Jagged choking Soldier with his ring jacket. Shane and Jagged work over Soldier’s back and neck, and prevent him from getting to his partner. Soldier puts up the boot in the corner. He tries to climb outside, but 2.0 stop him then choke him in the corner. Jagged misses a moonsault, and once again Soldier tries to go to the floor. Luckily for Jagged, Bad News Matthews is on the ball and prevents that from happening. 2.0 continue their assault on Soldier Ant until he ducks under a double clothesline and rolls to the floor. Fire Ant comes in as a house of fire. He hits a fireman’s carry on Shane and the wheelbarrow stunner on Jagged. Shane stops Fire Ant from landing the Beach Break, and Shane hits a spinebuster. Worker Ant tries to explains something to the referee, distracting him, and allowing Jagged to expose the turnbuckle over on his side of the ring. Jagged pokes Fire Ant in the eyes, causing Shane to ram Fire Ant face first into the exposed buckle. Shane pins Fire Ant but gets the two. Jagged tries to the old baby powder trick, but with the mask it does nothing. Jagged pulls Fire Ant outside and throws him to the guardrail. Soldier Ant and Shane go at it in the ring. 2.0 busts out a wheelbarrow lung blower! Shane pins Soldier and again they only get the two count. Fire Ant takes out Jagged. Soldier Ant hits a chin breaker, and Fire Ant follows up with the Antzugiri off the top rope! Shane rolls to the outside after a saluting headbutt and a senton. The Osirian Portal make their way ringside, and Worker Ant and Amasis get into a crutch battle! This brings me to back to Hacksaw vs. Bad News Brown at Wrestlemania V. Worker fends The Portal off. Meanwhile, Soldier Ant hits the TKO on Jagged and Fire Ant follows up with the Beach Break for the win! The Colony now holds an unprecedented seven points! This was an awesome story inside an awesome match. A simple story like this is the reason I fell in love with CHIKARA in the first place. ***1/4
Eddie Kingston vs. Drake Younger
Eddie says he was kind of excited about tonight’s match, because he’s been empty inside for awhile. Eddie says he needs a war to keep going, but no one has been able to give him a war to keep him happy. Eddie says that Drake could be the guy to give him that war tonight. Eddie says tonight he’s been walking a lonely path, but a friend of his (Brodie Lee) beat him within five minutes. Eddie says if Brodie can beat him like that, there is no way Drake can give him the war he wanted. Eddie says if Drake can’t kill him in the ring, then Drake himself deserves to be killed. As usual, this was a sweet promo delivered by Mr. Kingston.
Drake comes out looking like he was beat to hell at CZW’s Cage of Death event. Kingston goes outside and grabs a chair, but Bryce pulls it out of his hands. Kingston takes Drake down, and Drake gives Eddie a wet willy after some forearms. Back on their feet, Eddie pushes Drake in the corner and slaps Drake at the count of three. Drake comes back with some chops and the chop battle begins. Drake throws in some firsts to the face bringing Eddie down. Drake lands a one legged flapjack, then applies a Muta lock variation. Drake switches into a double under stretching out Eddie’s arm. These two men exchange chops and Drake hits a couple head butts. Eddie catches Drake with a knee, then a knee lift to the face. Drake chops Eddie, and Eddie smacks him right in the face. Eddie clubs Drake with a forearm. He misses a Backfist to the Future but pokes Drake in the eyes to prevent a third chop battle. On their knees, Drake delivers a headbutt. The two men get into a battle of slaps to the neck and face. Drake headbutts again, and Eddie bites at Drake’s bandage on his head! A chop battle occurs, with Kingston being the instigator. Drake fires back with a series of chops and applies a sleeper. Eddie reverses looking for a suplex. Drake lands on his feet, and Eddie again misses a Backfist to the Future. Drake hits the ropes and lands the flying forearm. Drake takes Eddie down with a pump handle DVD for the two. Eddie rolls to the floor. Drake goes up top and lands a cannonball to the floor! Drake rolls Kingston to the ring and heads up top. A flying cross body only gets him the two count. Kingston lands a jaw breaker then a HUGE clothesline! Eddie throws Drake down but only gets a two. Drake blocks the backfist and executes a half nelson suplex for the two. Drake picks up Kingston. Drake looks for the Drake’s Landing. Kingston looks for a Back Drop Driver, but Drake elbows out of it. Another exchange of hard shots ends with Drake putting Kingston on the top rope. Drake looks for a Drake’s Landing from the top rope! Kingston elbows out of it and more shots are exchanged. Drake goes back up top, but Kingston catches Drake on his shoulders. Kingston lands a fireman’s carry face drop off the top! Eddie comes off the ropes with the Sliding D for the victory. The amount of matches involving dudes beating the crap out of each other has increased immensely, with Kingston and Brodie being two of the usual suspects. This match was no exception, and Drake served as a great opponent. Drake worked real hard for someone who just got demolished the night before, so major brownie points for him. ***1/2
Swiss N’ Sour (Claudio Castagnoli & Larry Sweeney) vs. The Fabulous Two (Mitch Ryder & Buck Hawke)
Mitch says he finally gets to get revenge on Claudio tonight for all he has done to him in the past. Buck jumps in, and Mitch tells him to not interrupt. Mitch says once he gets his hands on him, he’ll remember all the moments Claudio has ruined. Mitch turns to Buck and says he has to do exactly what he tells him or there will be very serious consequences. Mitch adds he is going to beat Claudio to death.
Claudio and Buck start off, but Claudio points to Mitch saying he wants to fight him. Claudio begins with Buck anyways. Bucks tries to attack, but Claudio just lifts him over in a gut wrench suplex. Claudio beats on Buck his own corner with a series of punches from the middle rope, ending in a European Uppercut. Sweeney tags in and hits a double axe handle on Buck. Sweeney delivers some elbows to Buck’s shoulder. Swiss N’ Sour hit tandem chops, and Claudio gets a two count. Claudio knocks Buck down with his shoulder then tags Sweeney back in. Sweeney again lands a double axe handle, but no before channeling the spirit of Hall of Famer Koko B. Ware. Sweeney snapmares Buck and tags Claudio in. A double ship to the ropes ends with double elbows. Claudio runs the ropes and lands a big elbow drop. Claudio continues to punish Buck, abusing his strength. Mitch catches Claudio with a knee, but Claudio fights back. Mitch snaps Claudio’s neck on the ropes then tags himself in. Just like at Cibernetico Begins, Mitch comes in when he knows he’ll have the guaranteed advantage. The Fabulous Two cut off Claudio to the best of their ability. The fans chant for Claudio as the Fabulous Two lands their tandem offense. They even blatantly choke Claudio so they can keep Claudio on the mat. Buck mocks Sweeney in the corner with the double ace handle off the second rope, even saying “Twelve large, brother!” while executing it. Claudio almost got the tag until Mitch poked Claudio in the eyes. Claudio turns a double clothesline attempt into a double noggin’ knocker on Mitch and Buck. Claudio bulldogs both of the Fabulous Two and fires up! He looks for the Giant Swing, but Buck chops away. Claudio places Buck on his shoulders, and executes a short term airplane spin/Big Swing combo! It lasted one revolution, but a tad impressive. After a Big Swing to Mitch, Claudio heads to his corner for a tag. Sweeney at the last second nails Claudio between the eyes with a pair of brass knuckles! Mitch school boys Claudio for the win, and The Fabulous Two steal this one. Sweeney and the Fabulous Two continue their beat down on Claudio post-match; it was set up all along. Another brilliant story line set in motion by The Fabulous Three, to set up their biggest enemy to gain a measure of revenge. The match was alright while it lasted, but you have to consider that the match was secondary to the Horsemen beat down at the end. **1/2
Young Lions Cup
Vin Gerard (Champion) vs. Equinox
Vin Gerard walks to the outside of the arena from the locker room. Vin says he did exactly what he said he’d do; make 2008 the year of Vin Gerard. Vin says Jimmy Olsen has been a nobody all year, while Vin was the featured attraction. Vin says he thought he was free from the tyranny of Equinox, until Jimmy Olsen resurrected the persona. Vin says he’ll end Equinox tonight because no one is taking the Young Lions Cup from him.
Equinox and Vin really take it to one another. Vin does his damndest to rip Equinox’s mask off from the get go. Equinox blasts Vin Gerard in the face with a forearm, as both men are on the arena floor. Equinox continues the assault with a barrage of chops. Equinox hits his hand on the ring post, and Vin chokes Equinox back into the ring. Equinox blocks an attack from Vin in the corner. Equinox runs out and is knocked down with a flying clothesline from Vin. Vin beats on Equinox while he lay on the mat. Vin applies a stretch while pulling on the mask of Equinox. Vin hits a double underhook suplex. Vin trips Equinox to the mat and follows it up with a senton on Equinox’s upper chest. Vin tries once more to pull off the mask, which has some laces untied. Remember, it’s an instant disqualification if Vin unmasks Equinox. Vin rakes his finger nails across the back of Equinox. Equinox fights his way up, and hits his patented dropkick from the second turnbuckle. Equinox comes back with some hard shots and a big back body drop. Vin reverses a whip, and goes for a Michinoku Driver. Equinox locks on the End Time instead, but Vin turns him up into a Michinoku Driver. Equinox kicks out at two. Vin looks to apply the CHIKARA Special, but Equinox rolls out. On their feet, Equinox lands a hurricanrana and an inverted DDT. Equinox hits a standing shooting star press for the two! That was a signature move of the original Equinox. Equinox fires up and picks up Vin. Vin lands the Hot Shot and suplex’s Equinox. Vin locks on the CHIKARA Special! The fans loudly chant “PLEASE DON’T TAP!”, and he twists out. Equinox locks on Vin’s STF! The fans are going nuts as Vin reaches for the bottom rope. Vin gets it and Equinox lets go. Vin snaps Equinox down with a leg mare and applies the STF himself! Vin lets go and goes for Equinox’s mask instead. Bryce Remsburg keeps attempting to stop him, but Vin refuses. Equinox fights back and sets up for the Overbomb. Vin escapes and accidentally knocks Bryce down. Vin drops down holding his crotch, pretending as if Equinox had fouled him. Equinox then throws off his mask and falls to the mat! Both the foul and un-masking count as instant disqualifications in CHIKARA! A confused Bryce stands in the middle of the ring looking at Vin, while holding the mask at the same time. Leonard F. Chikarason comes out demanding a microphone. Leonard says he has seen enough shenanigans here tonight. Leonard says effective immediately, the Young Lions Cup is being held up! Leonard takes the cup with him and heads backstage. An enraged Vin Gerard pushes Louden Noxious out of the way and runs to the back after Leonard. An unmasked Jimmy Olsen smiles and holds up the mask in the middle of the ring. This was awesome story telling once again by both men. It ended the season with fans questioning what the fate of the Young Lions Cup was, while giving them a good match in the process. ***1/2
Mike Quackenbush & Tim Donst vs. The UnStable (STIGMA & Colin Delaney)
Quack twists Colin around by his arm for the first portion of the mat. Colin cuts Quack off with a knee to the stomach. Quack reverses an attack out of the corner into a back body drop. STIGMA runs in the ring and attacks Quack from behind. Quack stops a double team maneuver and causes STIGMA to attack Colin severeal times. Quack takes STIGMA down hard with an arm drag and looks for the CHIKARA Special. Quack continues to assault STIGMA and tags in Donst. Donst takes him over with a back drop then a suplex. Donst uses a second rope assist to once again muscle over STIGMA for a supelx. Colin comes in to help out STIGMA, but Donst forces STIGMA to slap him in the face. Donst then suplexes Colin onto STIGMA. Donst places Colin on STIGMA’s shoulders. Donst takes over STIGMA with a drop toe hold, bringing both members of the UnStable to the mat. Donst rolls over into a double boston crab! Colin gets out and hits the ropes. Donst back drops Colin while remaining in the crab. STIGMA kicks out of it, but is knocked down with an elbow. Donst’s knees buckle while heads out to the floor to attack Colin. Colin puts Donst on the apron, and STIGMA kicks him head first off the apron! Donst lay on the arena floor, with referees and Hydra checking on him. Meanwhile, Quack and STIGMA continue to battle inside the ring. The UnStable is able to easily take advantage, with the math being a two on one affair. The Unstable take advantage with a brutal double team assault. STIGMA and Colin land an electric chair drop/lung blower combo which takes a lot out of Quack. Quack tries the La Magistral on Colin, then goes for the corner, but there is no one there to tag. The UnStable quickly strikes back, continuing their assault on Quack. Quack fights back valiantly, even landing a double DDT with a flip off the second rope! Jigsaw, with the mask hops on the apron and extends his hand. Quack is able to make it to his feet and proudly tags him in. Jigsaw hops in and takes out the UnStable himself. Jigsaw hits his signature moves, not missing a step since he’s been out of CHIKARA. Jigsaw pins Colin for the two count. Quack and Jigsaw double team STIGMA in the corner. Quack palm strikes him, and Jigsaw hits a hurricanarana off the top rope. Quack follows up with Swanton and Colin breaks up the count. Jigsaw is tossed to the floor by Colin. Quack looks for the CHIKARA Special but Colin puts him on the apron. Colin wants to sunset flip him to the floor but Quack double stomps on his chest instead. Quack hits the ropes and flies onto Colin with a senton! Jigsaw, after a couple misses, cracks STIGMA with his super kick! Jigsaw lands STIGMA with the Jig N’ Tonic for the pinfall and the victory! The fans are going crazy. Jigsaw and Quack embrace as the fans give them a standing ovation. I’ll admit, this was quite the predictable match, but it doesn’t matter. The fans knew it was going to happen, but most importantly, they wanted it to happen. No need to swerve anybody here. The match itself was alright, but picked up when Donst was taken out, and once again when Jigsaw hit the ring. ***1/4
The 411: It’s kind of hard not to recommend this one. The wrestling all around isn’t blow away, about half the shows matches reach three stars or higher. Many feuds get blown off, and lots of stories for the eight season kick off. If you want a show purely for the wrestling, I suggest maybe looking at some of the other shows from this year. However, if you want good wrestling show with loads of storyline implications, don’t think twice and get this show.
|Final Score: 8.0 [ Very Good ] legend|