Saturday, February 9, 2008

Top 10 Chikara Moments of 2007

Welcome back everyone! I know we're all getting pretty amped for King of Trios weekend, coming up in just THREE short weeks, but until them we have to live with a lot of anxiety and neediness until then. When are we getting to the fireworks factory?? :::sobs::: So until then, I'm going to try my hardest to keep you relaxed and happy, and I might just throw a few YouTube clips in there to keep you blankly staring at your screen for a few moments more. I'm going to continually update this post instead of making several posts so that you can scroll down from 10 to 1 in a dramatic fashion.

Additionally, please remember that these are my top 10 moments from the past year. They may differ from your top 10, and that's fine, give me some feedback on that. Some choices were made based on wrestling, and some were based on pure entertainment. We're going to start the list with a few honorable mentions that didn't quite make the cut, in no particular order.

  • Robbie Ellis defeats the Hydra with a Burning Hammer -- Chapter 11 -- November 18, 2007 -- Philadelphia, PA
  • Hydra is apparently against going to rehab -- New Star Navigation -- October 26, 2007 -- Barnesville, PA -- Video:
  • The Destruction of the Barnesville Thunderdome -- New Star Navigation -- October 26, 2007 -- Barnesville, PA -- Video: (4:00)
  • Tecnicos come out to party with food after the Connecticut Show -- Showdown in Crisisland -- July 21, 2007 -- Wallingford, CT
  • La Parkita dances his way into our hearts -- Maximum Overdraft -- August 5, 2007 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Video:
  • Claudio powerbombs Mike Quackenbush into the ring -- Time Will Prove Everything -- March 24, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA
  • Equinox loses his mask; Vin Gerard is born -- The Sordid Perils of Everyday Existence -- November 17, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA

10. "You're the most beautiful man I ever saw" -- Young Lions Cup V, Night 1 -- June 22, 2007 -- Reading, PA -- 6-way Main Event
I'm going to have to admit a bias for this pick: Shayne Hawke was one of my favorite mainstays in Chikara in 2007. His TTP/Shannattack corner move is one of my favorite moves and I'm sad that it can't be recreated in Fire Pro R. What I like most about him, though, is his unlimited charasma. His match against Quackenbush had an incredibly funny opening sequence. His reactions to Mitch Ryder accepting him into the Kings of Wrestling (ie, beating down Lince Dorado faster) was hilarious. When he met Darrin Corbin, though, at YLCVn1 in the six-way main event, we saw a very touching moment between the two redheads.
Video: needed

9. Donst Dies For Our Sins -- International Invaders Weekend, Night 2 -- August 18, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA -- Tim Donst vs. Brodie Lee
Tim Donst's rookie year was one for the ages. His record wasn't one of the best, winning few singles encounters, but became well known for the beatings he would take. When he faced veteran Eddie Kingston in Wallingford, CT, Donst was destroyed from start to finish but refused to give up the entire match. A sick clothesline on the outside of the ring didn't keep him down. He would go on to face Eddie again in November to try to exact his revenge, but what helped build him even more was his match against Brodie Lee in August. At International Invaders night 2, we would see Donst get murdalized by Brodie even before the bell rang, with a huge boot to the face over Bryce Rembsurg's back.

8. The Day Kayfabe Died -- Young Lions Cup V, Night 3 -- June 24, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA -- The Olsen Twins vs. The North Star Express
I wasn't a witness; I was an accomplice. Not only did they pull off the slow motion to perfection, not only did the fans finish it off with the perfect chant, but I'm still not sure whether Larry Sweeney on commentary had any idea as to what was going on or not. Colin Delaney indeed.

7. "It looks that ham??" -- Rey de Voladores -- April 22, 2007 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Team F.I.S.T. vs. Cheech & Cloudy
I remember during the entrances for the first or second match, Bryce was saying how hot it was in the ring. Watching the DVD, you hear the announcers (Quack, Bryce, and Larry) saying how hot it was under the lights all day. And then poor Cloudy decides to eat a couple hot dogs before the tag title main event and pretty much gets them kicked right back out of him. It happened right in front of me and was pretty disgusting. The best part, though, is Quack on commentary:
Cloudy: (hurls)
Quack: I don't know what I just saw there, but I'd like to never see it again.
Akuma: (kicks)
Cloudy: (hurls again)

6. Headbutt Heard 'Round YouTube -- King of Trios 2007, Night 1 -- February 16, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA -- The Iron Saints vs. Team K-Dojo
If I made a top ten list of "Sickest Headbutts in Chikara history," this would be numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8. It wasn't just the headbutt that made it awesome, but listen to the crowd and the commentary: EVERYONE goes silent for just a second, and then EVERYONE explodes a beat after that sickening thud. I'm excited that MIYAWAKI will be back for this year's King of Trios, as he's always a welcome addition to any Chikara show.

5. Tecnicos vs. Rudos Explosion! -- Chapter 11 -- November 18, 2007 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Lince Dorado vs. Mitch Ryder
The Lince Dorado/Mitch Ryder match at Chapter 11 was a good end to an excellent story with a very unfortunate finish. Before the 450 senton, though, I witnessed one of the most chill-inducing moments in my personal history as a wrestling fan. Sweeney and Hawke had chased off El Pantera, who was in Lince Dorado's corner, and were soon outnumbering Lince. Quackenbush and a few other luchadores came out to even the odds, only for the rest of the Kings of Wrestling to come out and bring favor back to Mitch's side. Then, more luchadores poured out of the locker room to support Lince, pushing him to win the best match of his young career. The crowd was all over it, definitely pushing it to a higher level.
Video: needed

4. Chikara > ROH; Fans Fail to Connect on High Fives -- Maximum Overdraft -- August 5, 2007 Philadelphia, PA -- F.I.S.T. vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe
During a stretch in the middle of the year,Gran Akuma and Icarus were having trouble winning at several shows, losing in tag and trios matches at the last three. They desperately needed a win to gain some momentum for their tag title defense coming up against Los Ice Creams on August 17th. And then Icarus got his ass kicked for 15-plus minutes by the Briscoes, pulled out a real nice reverse hurricanrana, and Akuma got a roll-up for the three-count. Fans gained a ton of respect of Icarus after this showing; the match gave Chikara some more legitimacy among indy feds. And then Dave and Smurf missed a high five.
Video: needed

3. Chris Hero's Kryptonite -- Aniversario? -- May 26, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA -- Chris Hero vs. Mike Quackenbush
This match had a long time coming. Ever since Hero had turned on his partner at the Tag World Grand Prix 2005 finals in Pittston to form the original Kings of Wrestling faction, Quackenbush wanted to get his hands on his co-trainer. They met in the ring a few times in tag, trios, and atomicos matches over the next two years, but never in a singles match, as Hero refused to have a one-on-one match against Quack. As a part of Eddie Kingston's team in the Torneo Cibernetico in 2006, Quackenbush eliminated Hero with a crossface submission. In April 2007, Quackenbush refereed a Hero/Claudio match, where it was decided afterward that they would have their confrontation in Hellertown at "Aniversario?". Their match, arguably one of the top matches of 2007, ended with Mike Quackenbush locking Hero into a brand new submission move: the Chikara Special. Tecnicos would use this maneuver to defeat Chris Hero over the next few months, such as Lince Dorado, El Pantera, and, most surprisingly, Equinox in August.
Video: (starts at 4:15)

2. "Get In The Ring, Americool!" -- Bruised -- October 26, 2007 -- Reading, PA -- F.I.S.T. vs. Incoherence
We all thought Cheech & Cloudy were going to make F.I.S.T. short-term champions -- didn't happen. Then we thought that Los Ice Creams would definitely take the titles off of their waists -- again, didn't happen. So when Delirious and Hallowicked had their tag title match at Bruised, it was all in the back of our minds that F.I.S.T. would prevail again. With Gran Akuma injured, though, Icarus had to defend the titles with an unfamiliar partner in Chuck Taylor. This proved to be their downfall, as new tag champions were crowned after Akuma accidentally hit his partner with a crutch. After the match, Delirious and Hallowicked celebrated with the fans, inviting children into the ring to reign victorious with them. It was a memorable visual that fully captures what Chikara is all about.

1. Claudio Vanquishes the Kings of Wrestling -- Cibernetico & Robin -- September 22, 2007 -- Philadelphia, PA -- El Torneo Cibernetico
Do you know what the best part of this really was? Mitch Ryder's roll up after Claudio had eliminated Chris Hero. All of us came up with our own desired finish to the match: Hero and Claudio are the two remaining people in the match and then they finally settle their differences. When we saw three people from the same team remaining, I'm pretty sure many of us thought that Mitch Ryder was going to be eliminated next. To our surprise, Claudio locks the Chikara Special on Hero, making him tap out. While Claudio is still yelling at Hero over the top rope, Mitch Ryder comes in and rolls up Castagnoli up. EVERYONE in my section yelled "NO!!!" the second we realized he might get a cheap win. Luckily Claudio kicked out and got the pin with the Ricola Bomb. This kicked off a Kings-of-Wrestling-destruction tour, ending in December where he finally defeated Chris Hero one-on-one.


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