wrestling / Columns

News From Cook’s Corner 08.21.12

August 21, 2012 | Posted by Steve Cook

Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, and we’ve got a pretty packed column this week. The main attraction this week is my review of the CHIKARA event I attended in Indianapolis on Saturday night, but we’ve also got plenty of mainstream wrestling news and all of the usual offbeat shenanigans you expect from us here at the Corner.

Good times? Yes, good times.

Hey Cook, why if chairshots to the head are banned can Ziggler blast Jericho over the head with a briefcase? I get that he released it so reducing some of the impact, but doesn’t that still come off looking as bad?Guest#2769

I looked up the two instances that Ziggler hit Jericho with the briefcase on WWE television, and they both appeared to be on the top of the back but not on the head. I think the answer to your question is that Ziggler has good aim and he probably would get in trouble if he didn’t. Hopefully WWE isn’t dumb enough to not be able to tell the difference between a chair to the head and a briefcase to the head. Remember when Mongo McMichael used to lay people out with his briefcase?

(Believe it or not this isn’t the last Mongo reference I’ll be making this week. You know it’s a good column when there are multiple reasons to mention Steve McMichael.)

Damn Cook I was still at the beginning of your report and while I’ve forgiven how much of a WWE bitch(sorry, apologist) you are before, I couldn’t get past your AW response without saying that your blind WWE bias is shining through brightly. Honestly, I wish I could see through your rose colored glasses and enjoy the slop they throw at you now, but the fact is, I LIVED(was in my late teens, early 20s) during the Attitude era and suffered the foolish cartoon era of Hogan before, and I will NOT accept the garbage they throw now and expect you to enjoy the shit on your plate with a smile. I guess I’m saying I wish I could be as brain dead as you are now starting to come off as(and in all fairness, I’ve read your report for years and enjoyed it but have noticed you slipping into WWE zombiefication the past few months).Guest#8150

Wouldn’t I have thought that AW was the best manager ever based on his work over the past few months if I was such a WWE zombie? I’m not saying that I haven’t liked a lot of what they put out there over the past twenty-two years I’ve been watching this stuff, but you make me sound like I just like everything they do. I mean, I wish I did! That would sure make things tons easier.

My take on AW: Did I think the joke itself was worth firing him over? No. Did he continue to ignore their requests to tone things down and continue acting like an idiot on social media? Yes. Has he acted like an idiot since getting fired? Yes.

Why do fans complain when Kane and Big Show are constantly changed from face to heel(often without warning), yet it has gone unnoticed that jericho has been a face 3 different times this year and a heel twice, 2 of those changes came without notice.

I know the answer, it’s IWC bias, but I wouldn’t mind hearing what you think.Guest#2785

I’m pretty sure Jericho has been heel once & face once during this most recent run of his. Now, you can make an argument that his motivation has been somewhat sketchy. He came in just trying to troll people, then he went all personal with the CM Punk hatred, then got suspended and came back pretty much as a heel again, but then turned face over the last few weeks to feud with Dolph Ziggler. I’m not sure where these other turns you mention are coming from. There have been some shifts in the persona he presents, but he’s only really flip-flopped with this recent turn and it’s a character he played for years.

I know Show’s turns get lots of complaints, but it seems like people have accepted Kane’s random turns pretty well. At least I have anyway. At this point Kane is Kane…he’s pretty much the same messed-up dude whether he’s beating up faces or heels. The main difference is that when he’s a face he’s more self-aware. Big Show is either a glad-handing smiley baby face or a big ol’ meany frowny face heel, so his random turns are more jarring.

Triple H putting over a gaint with average wrestling or promo ability that the company was behind from day one isn’t that surprising. It is also very safe. Where is he when smaller wrestlers with great talent and grass roots crowd support?WVW

Well, he pedigreed Daniel Bryan at the SmackDown taping last week! OK, bad example. Well, he beat CM Punk at Night of Champions last year! OK, another bad example. Here’s a good one: He lost to Shelton Benjamin in March 2004 at a Raw in Cincinnati that I went to. Maybe it doesn’t really count since it was on a rollup and there was a guy at ringside we’re supposed to forget existed.

(And Chris Benoit was there too!)

Cook, I can’t agree about Batista not getting stale. Every time he uttered that line “that’s my title, and uh, I’m gonna be needing it back” I wanted to throw something at the TV. Once his feud with Hunter ended he never really had much personality on his own. In fact his only promo moments I remember beyond that are his Kanye spoof and yelling “I quit!” while sitting in a wheelchair. Not exactly the stuff of legends.

I’m to the point that I want AJ Lee in every segment and for Miz to hold all titles simultaneously just to annoy the people who annoy ME by excessively griping about them. At least I’m not the only one finally asking why Sheamus gets a free pass on his midcarder as world champion status.Jason Douglas

I don’t see that much complaining about Miz these days, mostly because he’s fallen out of the main event scene. This isn’t really a promo, but I think it’s Batista’s best talking moment:


“YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE MY FRIEND!”

Both of you in one place for an anniversary and neither of you mentions me? I was Cook’s biggest of his 17 fans many moons ago and Small knocked on my hotel room door at 4 a.m. after WrestleMania 24 and then vehemently denied it. Like there were some other drunk douchebags that wrote for 411 staying 50 feet away in the same hotel that night.

Either way, nice job on the 8 years buddy. Send me a text sometime that doesn’t involve spoiling the results of Lions games or showing your inability to spell when you’re insanely drunk.JT

Ah, good ol’ James “JT” Thomlison. You old-school 411 fans will remember him as one-half of the Hidden Highlights duo with JP Prag. You might even remember his ghost! I hear that he still has a bit of a writing career going, but he actually gets paid now. So people say the newspaper business is dying…

And now, the fake news!

Allow me to be honest with you folks…I’m up against a deadline and this was the last part of the column I worked on. There was SummerSlam on Sunday and you know where you can read about it. Lots of great coverage here on the 411. My Sunday night featured me sitting through a fantasy football auction draft that ended with me getting a terrible team. I’d rather not talk about it right now. So we’re doing the WWE news quick & dirty.

Well, maybe not dirty, but certainly quick.

Brock Lesnar is not expected to wrestle again until Survivor Series in November. Brock still has plenty of dates on his contract, and they’ve bought some time by having him retire via Tout. Nobody thinks that Triple H is really retiring after Sunday’s match. He’s currently expected to vanish for a little bit and then come back for a rematch with Brock. I’d be lying if I said I was a fan of them just having Brock do matches with John Cena, Triple H, and probably Undertaker, but maybe we’ll get him against somebody else when they extend his contract.

WWE is still hoping to get Charlie Sheen to appear on a PPV, but were not able to get the deal done in time for SummerSlam. WrestleMania may be the spot for it. I think I like Charlie Sheen more than anybody else in the IWC. I am ok with this.

There was discussion of adding Randy Orton to the World title match at SummerSlam, but WWE decided against it since the match wasn’t a main part of the show. Yup, the World title match isn’t a big part of the show. Orton will be taking time off pretty soon to begin filming a movie, so they might as well wait until he’s back from that before putting him back in the title picture.

There has been rumors about Shawn Michaels coming out of retirement to have a match with Brock Lesnar or Triple H. These are just rumors and there are no plans for Shawn to wrestle. This isn’t exactly surprising, but every time Shawn appears on WWE television we can expect these rumors to pop up. It’s how things go.

Superluchas.net is reporting that Alex Shelley has signed with WWE, but other websites are denying it…for now. Shelley is scheduled to go to New Japan Pro Wrestling in September, and will be graduating from college soon. He may be heading to WWE, but it won’t be an immediate thing.

CM Punk was questioned about the firing of Abraham Washington by a TMZ reporter. He said that he didn’t think that making fun of rape was funny, and while he didn’t want anybody to lose their job it was justified. AW responded by accusing Punk of being a racist on Twitter. Yup, this is the guy that everybody wants WWE to bring back. Whatevs.

The Iron Sheik is not happy with Jinder Mahal! I’ll let him speak for himself…

“First, I want to say hello to all my [WWE] fans. That was my hold, only Iron Sheik hold, and now the Indian man come and use it. He never ask me, never talk to me … and now he use my hold.”

“If I was a young Iron Sheik, I can suplex him … humble him first and then I show him my Camel Clutch, but I never got to that point. Now he using me, he use my greatest hold, the Camel Clutch, I don’t know. Sometimes I can be happy that the Indian come use my hold, sometimes I can be unhappy because why you have to use my hold?”

“Only one Iron Sheik, one Camel Clutch. No one else in the young generation try to be the Iron Sheik [besides Jinder Mahal], but he is not Iron Sheik.”

WWE reached a settlement with the World Wildlife Fund to use the old WWF logos on their older footage. This will keep them from having to blur tons of stuff that will appear on the WWE Network in 2045.

Chris Jericho is returning to the rock & roll lifestyle and is expected to be touring with Fozzy through March 2013. Just reading that date makes me think that he may be back for a WrestleMania match.

Fred Durst apologized for making an obscene gesture when he appeared on camera at SummerSlam. This is easily the most press that Fred Durst has gotten in five years. Maybe longer.

-Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman start the show.

-Paul ain’t kidding when he said he did a much better job announcing 11 years ago than the two people currently there.

-Brock Lesnar forced Triple H to quit, is the point Paul’s getting at here.

-Scott Armstrong is called down to the ring. Is Brock going to beat him up, leading to the Road Dogg coming back to defend his brother’s honor? That’d be…something.

-Brock has two words for Scott: “Good job!”

-Best Brock promo during this run.

-Paul anoints Brock the new King of Kings and the conqueror of the WWE Universe.

-I get the feeling that Lawler’s not going to argue this one.

-CM Punk is now Touting. I guess that means the IWC will jump on board with it, yeah?

-I like how they basically use Kofi & R-Truth to advertise their toy line now. Why not?

-How come Bret Hart doesn’t give DY & Titus props for rocking the pink & black?

-Lawler is rather adamant that Sin Cara is attractive under the mask. A little too adamant if you ask me.

-Khloe Kardi…forget it, I don’t care. Now if it was Kim I’d be interested!

-I love how all of the goofs from the Laurinitas administration are worming their way into the new administrations. It’s just like Washington D.C.

-Matt Striker is very touchy with AJ. I’m not sayin’…I’m just sayin’.

-So Zack Ryder & Kane are teaming tonight. God I hope we get a backstage segment with Kane apologizing to Ryder for trying to kill him a few months ago. OK, it’s more likely that Ryder apologizes to Kane.

-Ryback feasts on some jobbers. They don’t even get names anymore. A shame.

-Jinder Mahal breaks up the jobber destruction. That’s pretty nice of him.

-Ryback beating these guys up after the match is over isn’t very nice.

-AJ will either terminate Chris Jericho’s contract or give him Dolph Ziggler’s MITB contract based on the result of their match later. Well it’s not the first time Jericho’s been fired and it won’t be the last.

-ADR is all mad because his foot was on the ropes in the match against Sheamus. He wants a world title match right now!

-AJ books him against Randy Orton instead. In her defense, Orton is often one of the two main champions. Perhaps she got confused.

-I’m not sure what expression ADR’s going for, but he looks like he needs to use the restroom.

-Sheamus shows the referee that Randy Orton has his foot on the rope during a pinfall! ADR is outraged and this ends up with ADR getting RKOed.

-Yup, this feud is continuing. They really need something else for Sheamus to do like a couple of months ago.

-Yay SummerSlam stuff! This gives me a chance to write about other things.

-So where are all these Funkasauruses that aren’t in captivity? I’m sure I’m the 450,000th person to make this joke.

-Funkasaurus vs. Sandow in a match that was expected to be on SummerSlam. On the bright side, more people will see it here.

-Sandow wins. He cartwheels. This was the highlight.

-What’s up with all these good guys attacking people after the bell tonight? There is no sportsmanship on this show at all.

-Shawn Michaels joins us via satellite. Who does he think he is, The Rock?

-He makes an emotional speech thanking Triple H for a job well done. The live crowd likes it, while Twitter wonders how this show can possibly go on for another hour and 20 minutes.

-David Otunga looks so weird without facial hair.

-AJ has booked him against the Big Show. Is this another Big Show face turn, or is Otunga turning, or is this just some random AJ nonsense?

-Miz & Daniel Bryan is also a fun team, and it’s funny how they’ve basically flip-flopped in card positioning & fan response.

-Seriously though, they did miss an opportunity by not having backstage segments with these teams trying to hash out their differences. That would have been some funny stuff.

-D-Bry now has “No” gear. Gotta love this guy. Now he’s tearing up signs like he’s Ophidian!

-He does seem to have some anger issues these days. It’s all right though.

-Miz accidentally gets decked by Bryan in the corner, then decides not to tag in when Kane gets the tag. Can’t say I blame him here. Would YOU tag in against Kane?

-Bryan decides to flee. Kane choke slams & Tombstones Ryder since nobody else is around. Well I guess we should have seen this coming.

-Mercifully Matt Striker has stopped squatting during his interviewing duties. That was a weird time period.

-AJ just tweeted that she will send Daniel Bryan to anger management classes starting next week. Good idea, but what happens if he goes mental in the next week or so?

-Time for a Divas battle royal. Ryan Byers calls this the most dangerous match in professional wrestling. He may be right.

-Layla watches with “great interest”. I guess that’s great interest.

-They do pretty much all the eliminations at once. I guess Vince looked at the monitor, said “WTF” and told them to go home.

-Eve appears to have been scratched just under the eye at some point. Apparently Aksana may have gotten injured during a catfight. Yeah, this thing needs some refreshing. I still say they should flip-flop the WWE & NXT Divas.

-How did I miss Paul mentioning the Brocktagon earlier?

-So Brock quit after his first match and retired after his second. *yawn*

-THE BARRAGE CAN NOT BE STOPPED

-Vickie is screaming to wake the viewers up.

-It’d be a shame if Jericho got those spiffy new tights just to get fired.

-And that’s exactly what he did.

-Remember when they used to have loser leaves town matches with build? Yeah, those were the days.

-Another face attacking somebody after the bell. There’s a trend here.

-CM Punk comes out to announce the next #1 contender for the WWE title. He wanders out to the announce table. Dear God…

-Well, Cena comes out to prevent that from happening. Not often that a Cena appearance helps us dodge a bullet, but I’ll take it.

-Punk & Cena with a good back & forth here.

-Why can’t Lawler say that Punk is the best in the world? Dude has held the most prestigious title for 275 days. That’s just ignoring the facts.

-How come Cena just let Punk kick Lawler down like that? Are there any faces on this show that can be trusted to do the right thing? I’m sure I belabored this point more than necessary, but it’s the main thing that stuck out to me on this show. All the good guys attacked the bad guys after the match was over, and often for no good reason. What happened to being a star?

Here’s something that most of you will find utterly shocking…Brooke Hogan has heat backstage! Not so much for being Brooke Hogan, but for the fact that her job performance just isn’t all that good. She’s not popular with the fans, she doesn’t play her role well and whatever fame she had for being Hulk Hogan’s daughter hasn’t resulted in new viewers. I don’t think this comes as a surprise to non-members of the Hogan family. It’s not like Brooke’s music career ever took off, and she didn’t win any acting awards for her performances on Hogan Knows Best. She’s looking for something else to do, and Hulk’s trying to get something going for her in his business. Thus far it doesn’t seem like it’s working out so well, but I expect Brooke to get plenty of chances.

This is why I wasn’t surprised to read that TNA was considering having Brooke do her first wrestling match at Bound For Glory. It gets better. The idea is that Brooke will do a lot of mainstream media and get TNA the attention it needs for its biggest show of the year. I would guess that the amount of media she does depends on how many people in the media owe Hulk Hogan a favor. I won’t rule out her appearing on some of those entertainment magazine shows and maybe with the Viacom connection she can go on The Colbert Report. There’s some comedic potential there.

Will it result in added buys for Bound For Glory?


Child please.

See, this is the TNA we’ve grown accustomed to. I was worried there for a minute when they started trying to have good shows and the only thing they did wrong was lowball wrestlers on contract extensions. Having Brooke Hogan work a match on PPV with no prior experience is exactly up their alley. Why feature women that have experience and can actually wrestle when you can run Hulk Hogan’s daughter out there and have her try to stumble her way through a match?

If this Brooke thing goes down I don’t want to hear any complaints from TNA fans next year when WrestleMania 29 features a match with whatever female celebrity WWE talks into working a match. No more of this “OMG THEY LET SNOOKI WRESTLE” stuf. Honestly, TNA lost the high ground on the “we have real woman wrestlers & not celebrities” argument when Jenna Morasca had a match on PPV a few years back, but maybe that doesn’t count since nobody outside of wrestling fans still scarred from watching her match remembers her now.

Taryn Terrell, formerly known as Tiffany during her time in WWE, has been hired by Impact Wrestling and will be serving as a referee for Knockouts matches. This is especially bad news for Drew McIntyre, as now the TNA option is gone whenever his WWE contract expires.

TNA’s next Gutcheck competitor has been introduced to viewers as Kris Lewie. Lewie is known as Lani Kealoha, and I would be lying if I said that I’ve seen a lot of positive online feedback on his work. Obviously somebody from TNA saw him working in the Nashville area and was impressed enough to offer him the slot. Thus far all of the Gut Check participants have received contracts except for Joey Ryan…yet Joey Ryan is the only one that appears on television. Go figure.

The mystery of Claire Lynch was revealed last week, as she was identified as Julia Reilly. She’s an Orlando-based actress with quite a few commercial and acting appearances to her credit, and she also has a gig working at Universal Studios as Olive Oyl. She has pretty much removed her online presence since last week, and did not appear on last week’s Impact episode. It is expected that she will be done with the company soon, probably this week since they‘re hyping a paternity test. I don’t know about you guys, but I am shocked that playing the role of a pregnant drug addict on a wrestling show might not lead to bigger things for this young lady’s career. Remember when AJ & Daniels were saying that this whole Claire Lynch thing was leading to big stuff? I wonder what the original plan for it was.

The Pope will be out for several months with a broken collarbone. Since he had no chance of winning the Bound For Glory Series it obviously won’t affect things from that perspective, but he did have three matches left in the series and it remains to be seen how they will handle that. Perhaps in the future they will assign a point value for forfeits. The Aces & Eights are being given credit for Pope’s injury in the storyline, perhaps that will play into things later if they’re still a group when Pope comes back.

Kurt Angle making sloppy drunken tweets at 2 AM about his future and his five-star matches is not news. There really ought to be a function on your Twittah Machine that keeps you from making tweets at a certain point in the night. It would do Kurt (and most of us, really) so much good.

Ring of Honor is teasing that Eddie Kingston will be back with the company. The article on their website says that the War King is currently fulltime with CHIKARA, but they are lining up dates for him in late 2012. Final Battle in New York City seems like a pretty safe bet. Kingston previously wrestled for ROH in 2009, spending most of his limited time with the company feuding with Chris Hero. He wasn’t used much (if at all) after defeating Hero at Final Battle 2009 to win the feud, and has mostly been in his home promotion of CHIKARA since.

Michael Elgin will be getting a shot at the ROH title at Glory By Honor XI on October 13 in Toronto, Canada. Toronto happens to be Elgin’s hometown, and if Kevin Steen is still champion (one figures he will be) it’ll be a battle between Toronto & Montreal. That should do some good business among Canadian wrestling fans and ROH can hope that the Toronto fans support their guy over the guy from Quebec. They’ve probably got a better chance of him getting booed over that than anything else they’ve tried.

Former member of the Four Horsemen Steve “Mongo” McMichael says that he is running for the position of Mayor in Romeoville, Illinois. He owns a sports bar in the town 30 miles outside of Chicago, and apparently patrons of his restaurant are not happy with the way things are going with their government and have encouraged him to run. He currently coaches the IFL’s Chicago Slaughter and does pregame analysis for Chicago Bears football on ESPN 1000. Out of all the former Horsemen I’m not sure I would have predicted that Mongo would be the one that would run for public office. I probably would have guessed Tully Blanchard or J.J. Dillon. Which when you think about it is probably a better ticket than the ones we’ve got running in the Presidential election.

Chris Masters apologized for posting a picture of himself holding a drink and with a gun to his head on Twitter, and explained that it was a joke. It should be noted that excessive amounts of alcohol makes things a lot funnier than they actually are in real life. I’ve found Stephen Randle’s columns to be absolutely hilarious the last couple of weeks, and I credit this to my fantasy football draft activities. So Masters got himself liquored up and pulled a Kurt Angle. It’s not worth crucifying him over, but hopefully he exercises better judgment in the future.

Last Saturday CHIKARA held an event titled “The Ring of Wax” in Indianapolis, Indiana. Since this is the closest they’ve ever been to my place of residence and I’ve always wanted to see the likes of Mike Quackenbush & Eddie Kingston in person, I decided to make the two hour trip to Indy and watch me some live CHIKARA action.

I was joined by a fella that people in the 411 podcast chatrooms know as Bluejaygrad & people at offtheteam.com call The Hodge because…well, I didn’t want to go to a wrestling show by myself. Hodge was a pretty good dude, and Indy was pretty crazy on this particular weekend. I ended up parking the Cookmobile in the middle of a motorcycle rally, which was a bit problematic from a travel perspective, but ended in good times when I went back there after the show was over. The preshow meal at Hooters was pretty choice, and I must say that the Hooters girls in Indy are a step up from the ones in Northern Kentucky. Shoutout to our waitress, Skippy!

Yes, her name was Skippy and I doubt she reads wrestling news columns, but it’s worth a shot.

Not only was there a motorcycle rally going on downtown, there was also a huge gaming convention with people dressed up in weird outfits walking around & there was a WNBA game. I guess WNBA & bikers had a little crossover, but I would have loved to see the bikers’ reactions to some of those gamers. The only real downside to the day happened when we entered the building. I don’t know if we went in the wrong entrance or what, but we ended up waiting awhile before we got in. The show also started late, but what indy show doesn’t?

Good Surprise: Liquor sales at the venue! Any venue selling liquor is one that needs to host wrestling events.

Anywho, let’s run down the card. We didn’t have any of those funky dark matches that weren’t advertised, we got right to the good stuff!

The Batiri d. The Swarm & Soldier Ant (5:41:9)

One of the main developments in CHIKARA of late is Director of Fun Wink Vavasseur making trios based on something called CHIKARAmetrics. I’m not really sure how they work, but they told him that it would be a good idea to jumble up the Colony & the Swarm, which is GEKIDO’s Bizarro version of the Colony. (GEKIDO is the current top heel faction and are a group of masked guys ripping off the Colony, Jigsaw & Mike Quackenbush) Thanks to this, Soldier Ant has been forced to team with members of the Swarm and he isn’t very happy about it. He had a good performance here and the crowd was really behind him, but the other members of his team weren’t so helpful and the Batari ended up getting the win.

The good thing about all this for Soldier Ant is that it’s getting him back on the map in CHIKARA. It seemed like he had faded into the background last year with Fire Ant competing in the 12 Large Summit & Green Ant going on the Lex Express Tour. I think the members of the Colony are pretty much equal in their popularity with CHIKARA fans, but Soldier seemed like he was in the number three slot for a bit. Not so much now, as the fans are really behind him and want CHIKARA to stop making him team with the Swarm.

The Batiri are a group of guys who started out under the control of Sinn Bodhi but are now answering to the whims of Delirious. (Scary thought, right?) When Delirious isn’t around it’s Ophidian that shows them the way. Ophidian was very happy with the choice of the Egyptian Room as a venue as it was a bit of a homefield advantage for him & his men even though the fans weren’t all on their side.

Tim Donst d. Saturyne (5:36:4)

Most of your big name indy lady wrestlers were in Florida for the SHINE iPPV, but young Saturyne found herself much tougher competition than most of those women ended up facing. In fact, she prefers wrestling the guys because she considers it more of a challenge. She got all the challenge she needed on this night…Donst was disinterested at first, but Saturyne landed a few big moves and showed that she needed to be taken seriously so Donst had to wake up and take control of things. Donst is a good talent and his effort against her helped Saturyne get over pretty good with the crowd. She needs some experience, but there’s potential there.

I must admit that I have a bit of a thing for women wearing masks. I already knew this because of Sexy Star, but I was digging Saturyne & the lady bartender that put on a Dasher Hatfield mask during intermission. I should probably move on before getting too far down a road we don’t need to go down.

Mysterious & Handsome Stranger d. Lancelot Bravado (11:55:9)

There has been some speculation as to the identity of the Stranger. I can not confirm or deny that Arichbald Peck/Mixed Martial Archie is the man under the hood, but he is in fact a mysterious & handsome individual. Very popular with the crowd as well. He had a tough time beating Lancelot, as the Bravados seem to have improved immensely during their time in Japan, but he eventually got him to submit to the spinning toehold. The Funk Brothers finished people with it all the time back in the day, and I contend that it hasn’t been used enough since then.

17 & The Shard d. Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw via disqualification (9:36)

One man that was not interested in having fun in Indy Saturday night was “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush. Quack has had all sorts of issues with the folks in GEKIDO this season, as they’ve taken out a couple of his students and have attempted to do the same to Jigsaw & Fire Ant. He also had his wrist broken and was forced to miss some time in the ring. Jigsaw was working with a bad knee and was the focus of The Shard & 17’s attack, but Quack’s intensity was at a level that you don’t see from him all that often. He attacked 17 & The Shard at the bell, back dropped Shard on the entrance ramp (which made one of the louder noises I’ve heard from something getting crashed into at a wrestling show), and hit 17 with several different Quackendrivers. I believe he ran down from Quackendriver 4 to Quackendriver 1, and the referee declared that Quack was disqualified due to excessive violence.

Jigsaw was shocked by Quack’s actions afterwards and even asked him if the violence was necessary. Of course the crowd responded by chanting “YES! YES! YES!”. Jigsaw had to see that one coming. I thought the excessive violence call was a bit bogus and Quack was justified in what he did, but ring announcer Gavin Loudspeaker made the argument that if CHIKARA officials had allowed it to continue they would have been no better than GEKIDO. It was a valid point.

UltraMantis Black & Frightmare d. Arik Cannon & Darin Corbin (8:18)

UltraMantis Black is known for being a devious man, but the fans of CHIKARA love him. A DVD containing some of the best of his work sold out at the Smart Mark Video stand this evening, so he obviously had a lot of fans in attendance and got a great reaction. Mantis did the old thing where the popular guy gets the crowd to chant for his tag team partner that’s starting the match, but sadly for young Frightmare, his tag team partner here, the fans started chanting “HALLOWICKED!”. (Hallowicked, their partner in the Spectral Envoy, was not in attendance this evening.) I’m not sure how they made this mistake, as Hallowicked has a foot or two on Frightmare, but I was so embarrassed for the poor kid. The crowd here had a pretty good showing for most of the night and nobody I saw was very annoying, but…yeah. Arik Cannon & Darin Corbin are based in Minnesota & have been making occasional CHIKARA appearances for years. They are also popular with crowds, so this was the first post-intermission match I can recall where everybody got a good reaction.

Well, except poor Frightmare.

Another great thing about CHIKARA: you can have wrestlers do stuff in slow motion for a minute or so and people eat it up. I don’t think it’d get past the cutting room floor in WWE or TNA, and Jim Cornette’s head would explode if somebody in the ROH locker room tried it, but a sequence where all four men were moving in slow motion got one of the loudest reactions of the night. A good portion of the crowd caught on and started playing along by reacting in slow motion to the action, so it was good times all around. This is something that Corbin likes to do in his matches, and it’s appreciated whenever he’s around.

Eddie Kingston d. Harlem Bravado (16:41)

You can tell that Eddie Kingston absolutely loves entertaining an audience as the CHIKARA Grand Champion. He spent a few minutes before the match getting the crowd to chant various things. “Grilled Cheese” & “We’ll Chant Anything” were my favorites. Of course Harlem Bravado tested the theory of the latter chant by trying to start up a “Bravado” chant, but the crowd booed instead. I was expecting a quick massacre of young Harlem here, but the kid showed some moxie and it was actually a pretty darn good back & forth match. Whatever those Bravados learned in Japan has made them really fun to watch and hopefully they’ll get some good bookings in the indies going forward.

3.0 (Shane Matthews & Scott Parker), Fire Ant & Green Ant d. FIST (Icarus & Chuck Taylor), Sugar Dunkerton & Ophidian (22:02)

Ophidian was filling in for Johnny Gargano, who was out for the weekend due to a death in his family. Sugar Dunkerton is now teaming with FIST thanks to CHIKARAmetrics, and he’s about as happy with this as Soldier Ant is teaming with the Swarm. He seemed more interested in associating with the technicos and even dacing around with them than dealing with his partners. The only word you really need to describe this match is “fun”, because that’s exactly what it was. I told Hodge at one point that it’d degenerated into complete foolishness, and that was a very good thing.

I think Chuck Taylor thrives in the CHIKARA environment, and he looked like he was having the time of his life out there. He sat in on commentary a couple of times, he went to the merch table and got a Green Ant mask to wear, which led to Sugar putting a headlock on him because he thought he was Green Ant. He got to yell at children, which is always a highlight. He also got out a grenade while the other seven guys had each other in submission holds, which led to all of them & Bryce Remsburg taking a bump and fleeing the ring. I think it was Shane Matthews of 3.0 that thought it was a grilled cheese sandwich and ate it, then he got indigestion and had to go to the bathroom. Of course he returned towards the end of the match with toilet paper coming out of his shoe.

Lots of great stuff going on here. Some people don’t like comedy matches because they want their wrestling to be super serial, but if you like watching wrestling to have a laugh you would definitely love this match.

Young Lions Cup X Tournament Final: “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Anglosetti d. ACH (26:14)

I didn’t know too awful much about either of these guys going in. Mr. Touchdown has been a big character in CHIKARA this year, driving Mixed Martial Archie out of the company & stealing his woman. ACH is the new indy guy that everybody’s hyping as a future star. ACH was the favorite going in, but the CHIKARA regular ended up getting the win after a match that I don’t think anybody thought would be as good as it actually was. It definitely fit in the main event slot and both guys did a lot to impress. It’s not known if ACH will be a CHIKARA regular or not, but I expect to see him as a regular in at least one of the big indy promotions real soon. I think he’d really fit in well in places like DGUSA & EVOLVE.

Touchdown has the right mix of comedy & ability to be a major player in CHIKARA for quite some time. His character is pretty much a better version of Jack Swagger’s jock persona. He’s full of himself and calls people nerds. Dasher Hatfield sees a lot of potential in him and it’s easy to see why. He’s been trying to show Touchdown the right way to do things and even took Veronica away from ringside after she distracted the referee. It’s another one of those alliances with an interesting dynamic, and it’s going to be interesting to see how all of these play out.

The match itself was a great combination of comedy & action. There was some silliness early on with Touchdown wanting to play hot potato with a football & ACH telling him to “go long” and not throwing the ball to him, but it was good times and led to a pretty exciting match that went back & forth with multiple finishers & whatnot. I think it’ll get a really good star rating whenever the DVD comes out.

I was a pretty big CHIKARA fan before attending this show, and I’m an even bigger fan now. Those guys put on a heck of a show and know how to entertain their fans with good in-ring action, a great atmosphere and nonstop entertainment. If they come through your area I highly recommend you check it out. You won’t be disappointed. I’m hoping they come back to Indy, or make an appearance in the Northern Kentucky/Southwest Ohio area…it won’t be this year, but I can hope for something in 2013!

They do have a show in Cleveland, but that would require going to Cleveland. And as much as I love CHIKARA…that’s a bit much to ask.

The 411 on Wrestling featured Larry Csonka and your humble correspondent previewing Summer Slam & CHIKARA and talking about all the latest wrestling news.

This week’s Ocho had Trent Howell & myself previewing the fantasy football season. Technology was not our friend, which made for something of an interesting show.

Fact or Fiction involved Greg DeMarco & Stephen Randle discussing pertinent wrestling topics.

Byers ranks the top badasses that got turned into clowns. I’m pretty sure Kamala never knew how to pin people, even when he was a badass.

Wright ranks the heels.

Sforcina returns to answer all your questions!

Well, that’s all we have time for this week. Marsico is in tomorrow with the Wed Wi, and I’ll be back next week with more News From Cook’s Corner! Until then…

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Steve Cook

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