CHIKARA Review: Laying in the Gutter, Looking at the Stars
CHIKARA continues their Midwest rampage in Cleveland, OH with “Laying in the Gutter, Looking at the Stars”. Tonight, the Stalwart Swiss Powerhouse, Claudio Castagnoli will face off for the first time against Midwest star “The Psycho Shooter”, Drake Younger. We also have a gigantic ten man tag team match in which many feuds come to ahead. Finally, in our main event, Incoherence defends the Campeonatos de Parejas for the sixth time against The Super Smash Bros. of Player Uno and Player Dos. What will this evenings events have in store for us? Let’s find out!
Commentary is provided by Bryce Remsburg, Ultramantis Black, Leonard F. Chikarason, Dr. Keith Lipinksi, Louden Noxious, Jimmy Olsen, and Mike Quackenbush.
Willie “da Bomb” Richardson vs. Buck Hawke
Buck cuts a promo saying how he is upset because Mitch Ryder, his mentor, isn’t with him this weekend. He says that when Mitch isn’t with him, he gets a bit angry. He mentions that Willie is a big guy, and Buck will love to take out his aggression on him tonight. He says after beating someone as big as Claudio Castagnoli, Willie is going to be slim pickins for him tonight.
The fans chant “Willie’s gonna kill you” at Buck. Buck goes for a cheap shot, but Willie ducks and gets the advantage. He throws Buck into every corner of the ring. Willie hits a few stomic drops and a spank to Buck’s buttocks. Willie picks up Buck and drops him right on his buttocks. Buck attacks manager C-Red! Willie throws Buck back in the ring and uses his power and size to take him down. Willie crushes him in the chest with an elbow for the two count. Buck pleads for Willie to back off, but Willie picks him up by the nose. Buck clobbers Willie with a punch with the side of his wrist which immediately takes Willie down. Buck continues to attack Willie on the mat. He brings Willie up and tries to whip him off the ropes. Willie counters and throws Buck off the ropes. Willie catches Buck with a pounce to the legs! Willie places Buck on the top rope. While Willie moves the referee, Buck unwraps his wrist tape. Willie walks back and gets clobbered in the face with a pair of stud covered knucks! Buck comes off the top rope and pins Willie! Very short, just like with Tim Donst, a way to get Buck over as a heel. Everything they did in the short period of time at least looked good, and got the crowd going. ¾*
Helios & Incognito vs. F.I.S.T. (Icarus & Gran Akuma)
Icarus begins cutting a promo while Akuma unwraps a chocolate chip cookie. Icarus wonders why Akuma is doing this when they have a match against Helios and Incognito next. Akuma says he isn’t worried, cuz they were the team that ruled CHIKARA and were the longest running Campeonatos de Parejas. Icarus screams some more at the camera. Akuma unwraps the cookie further as the promo concludes. Watch the promo here.
F.I.S.T. go for the attack at the bell but get sent to the outside. Incognito and Helios dive onto FI.S.T. then toss Icarus back in. Incognito and Icarus start off. Incognito counters Icarus’ offense with a series of flips and dives until he is caught with a hurricanrana. Incognito comes back with an alita followed up with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker which sends Icarus to the outside. Akuma and Helios come in. Both men do some awesome back and forth work, with each man coming to a stand still. Helios sends Akuma to the outside with a spinning head scissors. Helios hits the ropes, but Icarus catches him with a knee to back. Akuma quickly gets back in the ring and strikes with the fallaway kick to the face. Icarus tags in and brutalizes Helios, including choking him on the mat. Akuma tags back in and sends Helios to the corners for the attack. He nails the Cheetah Swipe for the two. Helios reverses a move into a cradle but also only gets a two. Icarus comes in and chokes Helios on the ropes. Akuma hits his awesome slingshot elbow drop off the ropes. Akuma locks Helios in an Octopus like stretch, and Icarus jumps in with a double stomp to Helios’ abdomen! Icarus tries for the pedigree, but Helios fights out and hits an uncoiled stroke. Helios makes the tag to Incognito, who dives off the top onto the now legal Akuma. Akuma ducks, but Incognito comes back with a moonsault off the second. Helios is tagged back in. Helios nails a cannonball and Incognito follows up with a delayed dropkick in the corner. Icarus comes in and is double teamed by the luchadores, including a senton while Icarus lay across Helios’ knees. Akuma and Helios end up in the ring. Helios victory rolls Akuma for the two count, reversing a face plant attempt by Akuma. Akuma hits a modified powerbomb and follows with a frog splash. Incognito comes in and nails a Razor’s Edge back breaker on his knees onto Akuma! Icarus heads up top, but Icarus hits him with an Enzugiri to stop it. Akuma nails an inverted hurricanrana off the top rope! Icarus hits a rana into a pin for the victory! This was much better than I expected; I enjoyed the heck out of this. Fast paced, excellent psychology, and just an awesome match overall. Icarus and Akuma gain a point, looking to regain the tag team gold. **3/4
Jimmy Olsen vs. Johnny Gargano
The fans chant “We love Jimmy!” which Johnny is not down with. Dr. Keith drops a Tobias Fünke reference, earning him big brownie points. Johnny desperately tries to win the fans admiration, but alas, the fans would boo him and cheer Jimmy each and every time. Johnny attacks Jimmy off the second rope and goes right for Jimmy’s arm. Jimmy reverses the arm lock and Johnny immediately gets to the ropes. Jimmy takes down Johnny with a series of shoulder tackles, a dropkick, and a big back body drop. Johnny retreats to the floor. Jimmy comes out and chases him around the ring. Gargano pulls Olsen’s legs causing Jimmy’s face to hit the mat. Johnny attacks Jimmy with a Dr. Cube balloon! Johnny brings Jimmy back into the ring to continue his beat down. Jimmy tries a come back but is cut off with a knee to the mid-section. Johnny locks on a headlock, but with the crowd chanting “Jimmy!”, Jimmy Olsen is able to work up out of it. Johnny comes back with a big chop to Jimmy, and even stopping Jimmy as he goes up top. Johnny locks on an abdominal stretch on the top rope. Jimmy takes Johnny to the mat with a hip toss and follows up with his beautiful missile drop kick off the top. Jimmy delivers some chops then some forearms and clotheslines to work Johnny down. Johnny cuts off Jimmy. Jimmy reverses a throw to the ropes with a hurricanarana. He smacks Johnny in the face with the superkick for the two count. Johnny catches Jimmy’s leg, tosses it to Bryce to hold, then nails Jimmy with the Enzugiri. He picks up Jimmy and takes him down with the backpack stunner! Johnny is only able to get the two count. Jimmy gets a bridged German suplex for the two count. Johnny stops Jimmy in the corner, and hits a spinning face buster off the second rope for the two! Johnny goes for a power bomb, but Jimmy turns it into an Overbomb for the win! Wow, this also came out of nowhere. These two busted their asses off to put on a very entertaining match. Hell of a contest by these two; I really dug it. ***
The Soul Touchaz (Acid Jaz & Marshe Rockett) vs. The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian)
The fans beg for these two teams to dance off. C-Red says “I am sick of these snakes in this CHIKARA ring!” Amasis points to Acid Jaz and says it is time for a dance off. Amasis asks if he can have some music. Amasis gets “Beware Of The Boys (Mundian To Bach Ke)” by Punjabi MC for his dance tune. Amasis breaks it down and poses right in front of Jaz. Jaz begins to dance as well to the tune, totally one upping Amasis. This upsets The Osirian Portal as they go nuts in anger while the fans chant “You Got Served!”
Amasis runs at Jaz to start this off. Jaz catches Amasis with a series of arm drags and Ophidian comes in. Jaz and Marshe take down Ophidian. Jaz hits his awesome break dance fist drop for the two. Marshe comes back in to hit a scoop slam and leg drop. The Soul Touchaz hit a double team wheelbarrow splash for the two count. Acid Jaz goes to the apron looking to leap in onto Ophidian. Amasis sneaks from behinid and pulls Jaz off the apron, causing Jaz to hit his head against the guardrail. Marshe comes in the ring pissed off at what Amasis has done. Ophidian attacks Marshe from behind and works him over on the mat. The Portal work over Marshe in the corner, including their awesome wheelbarrow arm drag shoulder block combination. Amasis mocks the Soul Touchaz as he continues his assault on Marshe. Ophidian comes in the ring and baits Acid Jaz in. Ophidian hits the Worm into a splash on Marshe for the two! Amasis comes in and also dances into a splash. Ophidian locks Marshe in a legged full nelson while Amasis pulls on Ophidian’s arms to add extra leverage. Marshe catches Ophidian in a small package, but Ophidian cuts off Marshe again. After being beat down by the Portal, Marshe catches Amasis with the M-80! Marshe tags in Acid Jaz, who takes down the Portal. He grabs the hot chocolate mix and puts it in his mouth. Before he can spit it out, the Portal entrances Jaz! Marshe runs in to break it up by Jaz remains entranced. Marshe tries to snap him out of it, but Jaz accidentally spits the cocoa mix into his face! The Osirian Portal come in and takes Jaz down. They follow up with the Osirian Sacrament off the top rope for the win! Another fine contest. I loved the story of how the Osirian Portal felt inadequate by losing the dance off, so they overcompensate by incorporating dance moves into their offense. More so than usual, that is. This match had a very good story that made total sense. The Osirian Portal collect their second point, and let the camera know it as they leave. **3/4
Lince Dorado vs. Shiima Xion vs. Sami Callihan
Xion and Lince start off, but Sami takes them both down. Lince misses a tope into a sunset flip. All three men go for a series of pins, each one coming up short. This leads to Xion attempting to pin Sami and Lince at the same time, but to no avail. There is really no reason to do play by play for matches like this. The essential story of this was Lince Dorado having the odds stacked against him by Shiima Xion and Sami Callihan teaming up take him on. This included a really awesome spot where Sami popped Lince up and Shiima nailed him with a spear from the top rope in mid-air. At times Sami and Shiima would have to fight one another when either A) Lince was out or B) They were trying to get the win, but in general, it was like a handicap match. Lince being the babyface he is, was able to overcome the odds and hit Shiima Xion with the Shooting Star Press in a roughly six minute spot fest. This was a decent match, but way too short. It didn’t get Lince over as strong as it should have either. *3/4
Mike Quackenbush, Tim Donst, and The Colony (Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, & Worker Ant) vs. The UnStable (Vin Gerard, STIGMA, & Colin Delaney) and The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple (Ultramantis Black & Crossbones)
The Neo-Solar Temple is backstage. Crossbones says they teamed with the Best Around and Trik Davis and Sami Callihan in the past, and the UnStable tonight. Crossbones wants to know why. Mantis says all this teaming is on Chikarason’s head. He adds he and Crossbones will not get caught in the crosshairs of Quackenbush and his gang. Mantis says tonight, the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple is in it for themselves. Watch the promo here.
Vin Gerard and Worker Ant start off. They start off hot and heavy with each man exchanging the advantage. Worker Ant send Vin to the outside with the one-legged dropkick which tags in Crossbones. Soldier Ant tags in. Soldier Ant continually salutes Crossbones who refuses to reciprocate. Soldier Ant responds with a sunset flip. Crossbones tries to sit down on him, but Soldier Ant moves and dropkicks Crossbones to the outside. Ultramantis Black and Mike Quackenbush tag in. Mantis locks on a headlock, but Quack takes him down in a leg submission. Mantis brings Quack to a vertical base, but Quack reverses into a choke hold of some sort. Mantis escapes and rolls out, tagging in Colin Delaney. Quack tags in Donst. Donst uses his amateur wrestling to take down Colin. Colin is able to hang with Donst as the two wrestle on the mat. Const is able to take Delaney down with a fireman’s carry and a series of slams. Colin dumps Donst over the top, and each of them fight on the floor. Ultramantis breaks them up on the outside while Fire Ant and Vin Gerard lock up inside. STIGMA comes in from behind to attack Fire Ant. Although STIGMA has the strength advantage, Fire Ant uses his speed and lucha influence to get the best of STIGMA. Fire Ant takes down STIGMA with a superkick sending him to the floor. Fire Ant follows up with a dive. This entire time, the Rudos camp had kept Donst isolated on the outside of the ring beating him senseless. Donst is rolled back in the ring as the legal man, and the Rudos beat him down. Mantis even points and says “YOU!” to Donst, showing his anger for Donst’s infiltration of the Neo-Solar Temple. After a lengthy beatdown from the Rudos, Donst is taken to the outside by everyone but Vin and stretched out on the ring post. This allows Worker Ant to come in as the legal man, but he is immediately taken out by Vin Gerard. Vin drags Worker Ant to his corner where the Rudos isolate and beat him down. The fans chant “STIGMA’S FAT!” which I find hilarious. The Rudos stretch Worker Ant on the outside much like they did to Donst. Vin tries to take down Soldier Ant immediately, but he ducks and fights back against Vin. The Tecnicos, minus Soldier Ant, stretch Vin Gerard much like the Rudos did, and even use the Cleveland crowd to assist with the stretching! Quackenbush and Ultramantis come in. Quack tries for the Black Tornado Slam, but Mantis rolls up Quack for the two. Mantis goes for the Praying Mantis Bomb. Quack gets out of it and hits him with the palm strike. Quack ties up Mantis with a stretch in his corner. Gerard runs in to break it up, but is caught with a cross body off the top from Fire Ant. Vin goes after Fire Ant. Fire Ant ducks, and Vin hits STIGMA and Colin Delaney! While the UnStable is bickering amongst themselves, Worker Ant heads up top. He comes off with a cross body on the UnStable. The UnStable catch Worker, but Soldier Ant dives up with a dropkick sending the UnStable to the mat. All three members of The Colony hit a triple dropkick on the UnStable, which brings them to the outside. The Colony launches Fire Ant with the Antapult onto all of the UnStable! Quackenbush and Donst double team Mantis for the pin but Crossbones runs in. Quack disposes of Crossbones with a superkick. Donst and Mantis fight in the ring with Donst making a fool of Mantis in the corner. Donst dives from the second rope onto Mantis on the outside. Worker and Vin do battle in the ring with Worker Ant getting the best of Vin. All five members of the Tecnicos team come in and hit an offensive maneuver on Vin. Quack goes for the pin only to be broke up by the Rudos squadron. The Rudos hit two big double team maneuvers on Fire Ant and Worker Ant, but the pins are broken up by the remaining Tecnicos. The Tecnicos send all the Rudos to the floor, but isolate Vin in the ring. The Tecnicos team form a super Anthill, with Fire Ant crashing down on Vin. This was an awesome finish, and the crowd ate this match up. It tied together several different major issues in CHIKARA, and had lots of great action. I very much enjoyed this. ***3/4
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Drake Younger
Claudio almost trips up the ring steps, so he gives them a European uppercut and shoves them backstage. That was great.
A hand shake starts things off. The two men exchange holds with Drake working over Claudio’s arm. Claudio reverses only to be put in a headlock. Claudio pushes Drake into the corner. He comes at Drake with an uppercut but Drake moves. Each man exchanges a series of punches on the top rope. They come to a stand still and a test of strength. Bryce references “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora; NERD! Claudio tosses Drake to the ropes, and they criss-cross. Claudio drops down and tries a hip toss. Drake counters, and each man attempts to hip toss one another. They eventually reach the ropes where Claudio nails a European uppercut. Claudio locks on a headlock. Drake comes to a vertical base and hits the ropes, but Claudio brings Drake back down to the floor. Drake again comes up again, and is taken down again. Drake drops Claudio with a back drop, but Claudio still holds the headlock on. Drake works up and hits the ropes, and Claudio whips Drake back over. This happens once more. Drake finally breaks the headlock, tosses Claudio off the ropes, and catches him with a hip toss of his own. Drake arm drags Claudio to the corner. He delivers ten punches to the head from the second rope. Drake slams Claudio down for the two count. Drake tries to lift Claudio on his shoulder, but Claudio trips him and gives Drake the Big Swing. Claudio attempts the Ricola Bomb, but Drake reverses into a Death Valley Driver! Drake tries a jackknife pin for the two. Drake misses a clothesline off the ropes and Claudio nails the Sweet Schwinn Music. Claudio hits the Ricola Bomb to end it. A fairly good match, but I wish it was given more time, especially since Claudio had just beaten his year long rival Brodie Lee earlier that month. All in all it was fine, but nothing special. **1/2
Campeonatos de Parejas
Incoherence (Delirious & Hallowicked; Campeones) vs. The Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos)
The Super Smash Bros. come out in sweet looking Gii’s and headbands. The fans chant “BOTH TEAMS ROCK!” as the bell rings. Delirious goes crazy. Uno references that the first time they fought, Delirious said the worst thing ever. Therefore, Uno is taking his belt tonight. They continue to verbally fight, until Delirious says he is sorry and he and Uno shake hands. Uno hits a shoulder tackle on Delirious who doesn’t budge. Delirious hits a shoulder tackle and knocks down Uno. Delirious pauses Uno, pins him, and just like that, the first fall is over! Incoherence is up one fall to none. Dos can not believe what happened as he comes in and un-pauses Uno. Delirious tells Uno it was the Game Genie that did it.
Dos and Delirious start the second fall. Dos ducks many clothesline attempts from Delirious and sends him to the outside with a spinning headscissors to the floor. Hallowicked comes in the ring and Dos tags in Uno. Uno delivers a series of chops to Hallowicked. Hallowicked chops Uno, runs up the ropes, and arm drags Uno to the mat. Uno comes back with a rope assisted arm drag into a pinning combination for the two. Uno takes Hallowicked down and tags in Dos. Dos double stomps Wicked and takes him to the corner. Dos chops Hallowicked and sends him across the ring. Dos runs at Wicked and eats a boot to the face. Hallowicked comes out of the corner with a step up hurricanrana to Dos. Hallowicked drags Dos to his corner and tags in Delirious. Delirious headbutts Dos in the ribs. Incoherence isolates Dos in the corner tagging in and out and striking him repeatedly. Dos works his way out of a chin lock from Delirious and sunset flips him for the two count. Delirious cuts Dos off with an elbow to the face and drags him to his corner. Hallowicked tags in. He picks up Dos for a scoop slam, but hit an inverted face buster to escape. Dos tags in Uno as Wicked tags in Delirious. Uno hits a series of clotheslines then a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Delirious. Hallowicked comes in. Uno catches him in the corner with a punch and the arm capture stunner. Uno nails Hallowicked with the M. Bison Stomp, and Dos leaps off the top with the Frog Splash! That’s enough to get the SSB the three count, tying it up one fall a piece.
Delirious attacks both Super Smash Bros., but then gets double teamed. Delirious tosses Dos to the outside and evades an attack by Uno. Incoherence then hits a series of running strikes in the corner to Uno. A sidewalk slam/leg drop combination is utilized, but Dos breaks up the pinfall. Uno tosses Delirious to the outside and ducks a clothesline from Hallowicked. Dos flies in and dropkicks Delirious over the guardrail into the crowd. Uno hits Hallowicked with the Hadouken. Dos flies over the top with a tope con heilo over the top rope into the crowd onto Delirious. Uno hits Hallowicked with a death valley driver onto his knee but only gets the two. Uno slams Hallowicked, but Hallowicked kicks Uno in the face. Dos comes off the top with the Cancun Tornado, but Hallowicked moves out of the way. Hallowicked drills Dos with a DDT. Uno hits a reverse DDT on Hallowicked. Delirious flies in the ring with a diving clothesline taking out Uno. Dos and Delirious get to their feet and exchange forearm strikes. Delirious throws some backhands and slaps in for good measure. Delirious comes off the ropes only to be caught by Uno. Dos jumps off the second ropes and he and Uno hit a sidewalk slam/inverted DDT combo for the two! Delirious evades an attack from both Dos and Uno. Hallowicked hits the Rydeen Bomb and Delirious hits the Chemical Imbalance #2 on Player Uno! Luckily for Uno, Dos comes in to break up the pin. Incoherence hits Uno with a double flapjack and only get two. Delirious grunts in frustration and tries to lock on the Cobra Stretch. Dos pushes Delirious into the corner, but it is Delirious’ corner that he is pushed into. Wicked comes in and nails Dos with a spinebuster. He rolls him up with La Magistral, but only gets the two. Delirious comes in and lifts up Dos. Dos fights out but is lifted up by Hallowicked. Wicked drops Dos who is kicked in the mid-section by Delirious. Delirious pins Dos, but Uno breaks up the pin attempt. Hallowicked tosses Uno back outside of the ring. Dos ducks under a double team clothesline and hits a backflip kick to both members of Incoherence. Uno hits Incoherence with a double Shiranui and only gets the two count on Delirious! Dos holds Delirious as Uno goes up tope. Delirious pushes Dos into the ropes causing Uno to fall off the top. Delirious hits the Panic Attack onto both members of the SSB in the corner. Delirious hits the Shadows Over Hell on Uno, but Dos breaks up the pin. Hallowicked catches Dos with a huge Big Boot which sends Dos to the outside. Uno is caught with a double chokeslam. Delirious locks on the Cobra Stretch as Hallowicked makes sure Dos can’t come back in. Uno reaches the ropes as Dos throws Hallowicked to the outside. The SSB hit the Alabama Slam/Back-cracker double team for the two count! Hallowicked comes in. Dos ducks the Big Boot, and hits the superkick on Hallowicked. Dos hits Hallowicked with the B13 off the top rope and only gets two! Delirious fights as hard as he can but the Super Smash Bros. are able to spike him with Pac-Man Fever. That is enough to get the Super Smash Bros. the win, and the titles! We have NEW Campeones de Parejas! The fans chanted “This Match Rules”, “This Is Awesome”, and other positive chants, and I could not agree more. This was a fine tag team title match and both teams worked their asses off. ****
The show ends with the Super Smash Bros. partying with the fans. Uno says this is like winning Jeopardy but better!
The 411: If you’re a fan of CHIKARA (and who isn’t?) this is a show for you. Most of the matches were very good, and anything that wasn’t was short. The F.I.S.T/Luchadores, Touchaz/Portal, and Gargano/Olsen matches were excellent, fun matches, the ten man tag was a fine combination of mixing storylines with good wrestling, and the main event was very well played out and fun to watch. Of course, the Campeones de Parejas don’t change that often so any time they do is a nice historic moment. Snag this show if you get the chance.
|Final Score: 8.5 [ Very Good ] legend|