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CHIKARA Action Arcade Wrestling Episode 1

March 30, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Ford
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CHIKARA Action Arcade Wrestling Episode 1  

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Championship Rundown
Grand Champion: Dasher Hatfield
Campeones de Parejas: Solo Darling & Willow Nightingale
Young Lions Cup Champion: Ricky South

Commentary is provided by Mike Quackenbush and Sidney Bakabella.

We are outside the newly painted Wrestle Factory where Donna Rama is ready to enter for the first time. Lucas Calhoun welcomes her, and literally opens the door to the Wrestle Factory, telling her CHIKARA cannot be explained, but is rather something she needs to experience firsthand.

We see backstage the Campeones de Parejas, The Bird and the Bee, heading to the entrance stage.

The Bird and the Bee (Solo Darling & Willow Nightingale) vs. The Colony (Green Ant & Thief Ant)
“Stem the Hemorrhaging of Polka” – Philadelphia, PA – 2.29.2020

Although Darling and Willow originally had the match in their favor, Thief Ant captured Darling with a corner clothesline and The Colony put together a really great offensive strategy in their corner. It worked over Darling’s mid-section and resulted in the Ants making frequent tags. Darling evaded a knee drop/backbreaker combo and sent the Ants colliding into one another. Willow wiped out Thief Ant with a spinebuster. He saved Green Ant from Solo’s barrage of chest kicks. Willow butterfly suplexed Thief Ant off the top turnbuckle after sending Green Ant outside. Willow halted Green Ant from interjecting as Darling locked Thief Ant in the Sharp Stinger for the submission victory at 5:47. Both teams showed tremendous synergy and was a perfect showcase for new viewers to become ingratiate with both teams. The Campeones take a potential threat off the tag team point leaderboard, and the Ants continue in their struggle to find their footing in Season 20. **¾

After watching the previous match on a monitor, Calhoun explains to Rama that there are no gender or weight boundaries in CHIKARA. This intrigues her.

The Spoiler vs. Chuck West

This character is very much intended to represent the Spoiler played by Don Jardine. Spoiler big boots and Beele’s West to start. After choking West on the top rope, Spoiler hits Old School. Spoiler gives West a second rope backsplash and signals for the Iron Claw. He powerslams West and locks on a seated Iron Claw. West passes out at 2:26 which gives The Spoiler the victory. A nice win for the Spoiler that showcases his character and finisher.

An all new Event Center hosted by Sam Laterna shows us interviews from competitors in the Young Lions Cup XVI tournament, which will be featured on future episodes of Action Arcade:

Molly McCoy doesn’t care about impressing “the right people” like her colleagues might. She has a lot to lose, but even more to gain, and puts all the other tournament competitors on notice.

The three members of Forged are standing by. JoSue Ibañez is too old to compete (you must be 25 years of age or younger to be eligible), but his partners Joshua Wells and Xavier Faraday will be entering the tournament. They know how important the Young Lions Cup is, and are most concerned to make sure the Crucible’s Frey Nassar doesn’t take the Cup home.

Speaking of, Frey Nassar says the Crucible won King of Trios and the Infinite Gauntlet last year, and this year he’s bringing home the Young Lions Cup for all his boys and Princess KimberLee. He’s gonna eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch straight from the Cup and live his best life.

Newcomer ZERO formally introduces himself, stating that he is not the original Mister ZERO, but rather his son. He’s very excited to show the CHIKARMY what he is capable of in the Young Lions Cup tournament.

We’re then treated to a non-tournament match from the Young Lions Cup XVI event:

Boomer Hatfield vs. Travis Huckabee
Young Lions Cup XVI” – Philadelphia, PA – 1.18.2020

Huckabee is a member of the F.I.S.T. faction, and is a two time former Campeon de Parejas. Boomer is the son of Grand Champion Dasher Hatfield. This match went at a brisk pace, with Boomer constantly in motion as Travis did what he could to halt his momentum. Both are fairly familiar with one another and have differing, yet complimentary styles, which made for compelling action from start to finish. Huckabee was displeased that Boomer kicked out of his swing out Ace Crusher. After reversing Huckabee’s Mexican catapult into a Meteora, Boomer German suplexed Huckabee and hit the Boomerang for the pin at 5:29. A really engaging, fun match that showcased the best of both participants. This was a fantastic choice for this program. ***

Backstage, Boomer Hatfield is handed a clipboard to sign and is then given a gold coin that represents a point. Lucas Calhoun explains CHIKARA’s point system to Donna Rama – three points earns you a Grand Championship title bout, but you must earn those three points without a loss. That is to say, winning three singles matches in a row will earn you a title match.

We see Willow Nightingale with a protein shaker in the gym where Icarus and Sonny Defarge are annoyed. It ends up being an ad for a fake Icopro analog called Likabro: “you’ve got to want the wanting it.”

A recap of King of Trios 2019 is shown, which the Crucible team of Ophidian, Pricness KimberLee, and Lance Steel won. The purpose of the Crucible is also explained: to extinguish the weak from CHIKARA, even if it means violating the traditions of CHIKARA.

As the ropes of the ring are being taken down, Lucas Calhoun explains the rules of Crucible matches to Donna Roma: no ropes, 2:00 time limits, and you can only win by submission, knockout, or if your opponent exits the ring (ring out) whether on their own or by circumstance. After a Wrestle Factory training moment from Mike Quackenbush, we are treated to a Crucible rules match featuring Crucible member Devantes:

Devantes vs. Tom Stone

Devantes overpowers Stone and puts him down at the 26 second mark with a TKO. This definitely portrayed Devantes as a monster.

Sam Laterna then gives us a Special Report for the upcoming Cibernetico. She says the team captains will be revealed in two weeks, and we are shown a video which explains a Cibernetico match while showing the history of the match in CHIKARA.

Sam then interviews Matt Makowski, asking about how his background will help him in his match with Jigsaw tonight. Makowski says Jigsaw was brought in by Mike Quackenbush to help when the Crucible put CHIKARA’s back against the wall. Makowski knows Jigsaw is a CHIKARA star, but times have changed, and the fire will reveal what the flesh conceals. This brings us to our main event:

Jigsaw vs. Matt Makowski
“National Pro Wrestling Day 2020” – Philadelphia, PA – 2.8.2020

All match long Makowski targeted Jigsaw’s arm as he went for various submissions. Jigsaw’s offense was more like defense, used to buy some time, but it was never enough. He did get Makowski downed with a superkick and hopped to the top turnbuckle. Makowski rolled away from Jigsaw’s double stomp attempt. He sidestepped a bicycle kick and rolled Jigsaw into the Teraflare (Chaos Theory armbar) and Jigsaw tapped out immediately giving Makowski the submission victory at 10:36. Makowski having the ability to out grapple and outsmart a Gen 1 CHIKARA original raises his profile right away and makes him one of the most dangerous Crucible members. He and Jigsaw’s contrasting styles ended up being complementary and made for an engaging match. I was looking forward to this since it was announced and it ended up delivering. ***¼

NEXT WEEK: Grand Champion Dasher Hatfield joins the show, and “Juke Joint” Lucas Calhoun will be in action.

The final score: review Good
The 411
There was a lot to digest in this episode, but is a great watch for new or lapsed CHIKARA fans. It introduced many characters, explained the unique aspects of the promotions, showed three great matches from the Season to date, and built to future episodes. At just 53 minutes in length, this was easy to watch and definitely recommended. All episodes can be found on CHIKARAtopia and IWTV (use code "CHIKARA" for your first 5 days free.) New episodes stream Saturday mornings at 11 AM EST.

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CHIKARA, Chikara Pro, Kevin Ford