Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Two Eyebrows are Better Than One" - Hellertown, PA - January 27, 2008

The first show of 2008 is in the books, and it was a fun show. What I assume was supposed to be part of a set of college shows over the break between the season finale and King of Trios, "Two Eyebrows" was moved from Moravian College to the American Legion Hall in Hellertown. I was pleasantly surprised when Chikara added some matches to the show, which listed six matches until the 11th hour, added a seventh, and surprised us with two more the day of the show. We ended up with a full card!

UltraMantis Black & Crossbones d. Cheech & Cloudy

I believe this has to be considered an upset for the Order. Cheech and Cloudy won so many tag matches last year that they managed to earn two separate title shots. Cheech and Cloudy were their usual selves, especially with Cheech playing the face in peril. Crossbones looked the best he's been in a while and hopefully he can use this win to carry some momentum toward 2008. UltraMantis continued to show aggression and stayed on his opponents throughout. He's been approaching matches very differently ever since his match last November against MIYAWAKI. Mantis won the match with a Praying Mantis Bomb. Also he wore boots again.

At "Sordid Perils..." last year, UltraMantis Black seemingly knocked out Hydra with a spell in his match against Shane Storm. I think what we may see forming this year is UltraMantis not wanting Hydra to be dancing out to the ring or pandering to the crowd anymore, but to be more aggressive. A win with Crossbones further proves to UltraMantis that he can challenge for the tag titles with a serious partner as opposed to Hydra. Unless Hydra changes his ways, he may be on his way out of the Order sooner than later.

Hydra & Pablo the Zombie Plantain d. the Moravian Greyhound

Take THAT, Moravian College! A banana and a mini-monster pinned you! This was a straight comedy match that ended with a double-chokeslam...and a double-pin. Post-match, Bryce hit the mascot with a roll of paper, saying, "Bad dog!" Moravian College, you're dead to us.

Vin Gerard d. Worker Ant

Vin came from where the fans enter, not the backstage area with the rest of the wrestlers. Pre-match, Worker Ant got a good laugh by saying, "Look, I'm wearing eye-liner because I'm so sad," or something to that effect to Vin. One nice spot saw Worker Ant go for a standing SSP, only for Vin to move and berate Worker Ant for doing that. Throughout, Gerard attempted to remove Woker Ant's mask, telling Bryce that he didn't care if he got disqualified. To get back at Vin later, Worker Ant put the Equinox mask back onto Vin for a good cheer. Another spot in the match saw Vin signaling for the standing SSP, only to go for a rear chin-lock instead. The finish saw Worker Ant tapping out to the STF. Vin was once again denied entry to the locker room by other wrestlers such as Shane Storm, Hallowicked, and Create-a-Wrestler. Solid match from these two. The the way, Vin Gerard's tights are awesome and I love where this story is going.

Sara Del Ray d. Kylie Pierce

Chikara's website said that this match lasted 2:56! Not even three minutes! It felt longer than that, though, as Kylie basically got the crap kicked out of her from bell to bell. Not much of a match, but at least we got to see Sara's awesomeness, specifically her Royal Butterfly finisher.

Eddie Kingston d. Shane Storm

oh my god is shane storm still alive someone check on him

This was one of Shane Storm's best matches in Chikara, probably his best. Nude Smurf will berate me for this, but I still haven't seen the Young Lions Cup 3 finals yet. It's on my list of DVDs, just back off man!

"Brutal" and "hard-hitting" describe this match well. Kingston hit three beautiful side Saito suplexes, with two of them coming in succession. Shane Storm German suplexed Kingston right on top of his head, but Kingston got up immediately. Kingston delivered three sick (and loud) headbutts to Storm's skull. I don't know what did it, but Storm was bleeding from the nose for much of the match. His yellow mustache was entirely red by the end of the match. The finish saw Kingston miss one Backfist to the Future, only to immediately follow up with another that connected and knocked Shane Storm out for the three.

One last thing: as Kingston came out, I remarked to Destiny that Kingston had lost some weight. Apparently the crowd thought otherwise when he pulled down his straps. Someone whose name I won't use (instead, I'll use, oh let's say, "Dave") mentioned to Kingston to try wearing a girdle. Kingston then challenged "Dave" to get in the ring and back his mouth up. "Dave" then pretty much shut his mouth for the rest of the night after that one. Excellent match to take us into the intermission.


Sabian d. Jimmy Olsen

You would not believe how loudly we cheered when Colin Olsen came from behind the curtain with his twin brother. Of course, Colin told us that he was all bandaged up because he "fell down stairs," said with the conviction of a child beaten by his parents. Also, Jimmy couldn't get in contact with Colin that Tuesday night because, according to Colin, he was busy running errands such as taking his grandmother to dialysis.

This match was solid, especially for Jimmy's singles debut in Chikara. Jimmy would often call for the tag to Colin, with Colin even attempting to climb onto the ring apron to accept the tag. Of course, he could barely move due to those injuries from Kane Great Khali falling down a flight of stairs. The finish saw a double stop to Jimmy's head while he was bent over at the waist. Good match out of the intermission, and it was nice to get to see Colin Olsen again.

Fire Ant & Soldier Ant d. F.I.S.T.

This was an understandably fast-paced match and was solid on the parts of all involved. I want to say that I was surprised to see the Colony pick up the win here, but in hindsight, it wasn't a surprise at all. They colony had an incredible 2007, lacking only tag title matches during the year. But they didn't get any title matches for a variety of reasons: they were usually in trios matches; they had tag matches in different combinations of the three; they faced the BLK Out all year; et al. I absolutely see them reaching at least the final eight of the King of Trios tournament. When you picture the main event matchs of non-finals tournament shows from the past few years, you think of the quick-paced, hard-hitting, extremely entertaining matches that highlight the tournaments. I can easily see the Colony doing that on night 1 or 2 of King of Trios. The finish to this match, by the way, was outstanding. Gran Akuma flipped Fire Ant from a double pumphandle position into a tombstone. When he went for his front-facebuster out of this position, Fire Ant ducked uner and rolled Gran Akuma up with a prawn hold for a three count.

Hallowicked d. Larry Sweeney

I think the DVD will do this match more justice that I can do here, and it will probably come off better there than it did live. I felt kinda burned out by this point. This was a very old-school match that was mildly slow-moving at some points but picked up near the end. I have to apologize because I really don't remember much about this match except for the sick Yakuza kick that put Sweeney away.

Also, I don't know if anyone else noticed this, but Larry Sweeney hasn't won a singles match in Chikara since he beat Shane Storm at Rey de Voladores in November, and his only other win since then was a trios match on November 16th. He was even the first person eliminated in the Cibernetico match if I remember correctly. If he wasn't the first, he was at least the first eliminated from the Kings of Wrestling team. He puts on very good matches constantly but just seems to come up on the short end over and over. Hopefully we can see some more wins for him in 2008.

On another note, I think that we may see Kingston as a face this year. While Hallowicked was entering, King was clapping for him on commentary, and it didn't look sarcastic. I'll probably have to listen to his commentary on the DVD to hear how he talks about 'Wicked, but for not, it reminds me of the Tag World Grand Prix 2006. During a Mickie Knuckles match at that tournament, Kingston was applauding her performance at the TWGP 205, where the two were reluctantly a team. Kingston showing respect for a former "enemy" of sorts may foreshadow another face turn as it did in 2006.

Claudio Castagnoli, Lince Dorado, and Ophidian d. Mike Quackenbush, Tim Donst, and Amasis

I still can't believe that this match went for over 30 minutes. On top of that, I felt that this lasted for a bit too long, which I guess makes sense when paired with the match time. The star of this match was definitely Ophidian. I'm in love with his rolling hooked-leg pin with a bridge, and he managed to lock on his version of the Cobra Clutch in a creative way in this match. His dedication to his character is fantastic. It was also great to see Lince back in action. At one point he went to the top rope and I had to catch my breath for a second. Lince went for a huge splash off the top rope that looked great. Amasis didn't seem to be in the match very much, but it was funny to watch him refuse a tag to face his partner. When they finally did meet up, they had a decent encounter. Tim Donst was good but he seemed a little off with some of his submissions. And of course, Quackenbush and Claudio were excellent. Quack's picture-perfect dragonrana on Claudio was definitely the highlight of the match. Again, I feel like I'm missing a lot, but the length of this match paired with feeling burned out probably have something to do with that. The finish saw Amasis go for a running hurricanranna, only for Claudio to catch him and turn it into a Ricola Bomb.

This was a very entertaining Chikara show, especially with so many matches being added on such short notice. Jimmy Olsen/Sabian and The Order/Cheech & Cloudy were welcome surprises. Storm/Kingston was definitely the match of the night. If you weren't excited for Season 7 of Chikara after this show, King of Trios will definitely do it for you. To get you even more ready for the 2008 season, I'll be posting my Top 10 Moments of 2007 and my thoughts on King of Trios 2008 over the next few weeks. Until then, thanks for reading!

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