Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Cafe Culture -- May 17, 2008 -- Hellertown, PA
Rey de Voladores Match #1 -- Helios vs. Lince Dorado vs. ? vs. ?
Something has to give in this match, and only 2 of the 4 wrestlers have been announced. Can Helios show that he deserves to be the YLC champion, or will Lince manage to keep momentum on his side?
Rey de Voladores Match #2 -- Stupefied vs. Incognito vs. ? vs. ?
Incognito will definitely be the largest man in this mini-tournament. And I believe that this will be Stupefied's first "singles" match in Chikara.
Mike Quackenbush & Shane Storm vs. Gran Akuma & Chuck Taylor
An interesting match-up that will hopefully produce at least one good feud for the year -- Chuck vs. Quackenbush perhaps?
El Pantera & The Colony vs. The Order
For the first time, we will see the new 4-man version of The Order teaming together: UltraMantis, Crossbones, Hydra, and Tim Donst. We'll have to see how The Colony has recouperated from the beating at the hands of Bull Pain.
Pelle Primeau vs. Icarus
What a random little match. Maybe Pelle can pull off an upset and use some momentum for Sunday's show -- he'll need it.
Mitch Ryder & Shane Storm vs. Create-A-Wrestler & Player Uno
Mitch Ryder against masked hoochadores! You can't ask for much better than that. Hopefully we'll get another good showing by CAW at this show as well.
Grit and Glory -- May 18, 2008 -- Philadelphia, PA
Rey de Voladores Final
We'll have to see who the other four competitors are to predict anything for this match.
Incoherence (c) vs. Osirian Portal, for Los Campeonatos de Parejas
I wonder if this will main event the whole weekend! The Portal has grown so much since their tag team debut last September. I don't believe, though, that they're ready to take the tag titles from Hallowicked and Delirious quite yet, though.
Claudio's Trio vs. Quackenbush's Trio
Well this may be another random little match, but it should be a good one. If a story doesn't develop out of Quackenbush's match on Saturday, maybe this one will do it. Unless Chuck and Brodie do double duty, these teams aren't easy to predict.
Sara del Ray & Bobby Dempsey vs. Chuck Taylor & Daizee Haze
This should be fun. We should get some decent to great wrestling out of everybody in this match.
Pelle Primeau vs. Brodie Lee
Oh man Pelle is so dead.
Next week I'll comment on the Aniversario shows, as well as any additions to the Rey de Voladores shows. Until then, thanks for reading!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Before the show, Worker Ant came out to the merchandise table and told people to buy Equinox masks he was selling. Forum member Rooks bought one and cheered for Vin when he came out for his match.
Osirian Portal d. Fire Ant & Soldier Ant -- The Colony just can't get a 2 vs. 2 tag win, can they? This was a solid opener for the weekend, that ended with stupid Vin Gerard holding Soldier Ant out of the ring when Fire Ant was in the Super Cobra Clutch by Ophidian. Oh, pre-match, Ophidian got RIGHT in Destiny's face. Wait until you hear the shrieking on the DVD. I watched the cameraman. He was filming somewhere else in the room, and as soon as she started yelling, he turned right towards Destiny. I tried to protect her, I promise. The most important news coming out of this match is that The Portal now has three points for a tag title match (other wins: 11/17, 12/9). I imagine a tag title match headlining the first night of Rey de Voladores weekend.
Robbie Ellis d. Ice Cream, Jr. -- Destiny may have screamed even louder when Robbie swiveled his hips right in front of her. The match was surprisingly good for a comedy match. Robbie ate a powerbomb but managed to kick out. On the next powerbomb attempt, Robbie turned it into a hurricanranna for two. He won the match after a Sliced Bread #1. Also of note: there were some random other guys filming the show. They left after this match -- more on that to follow.
Vin Gerard & Worker Ant went to a No-Contest -- I liked their match at "Two Eyebrows..." and I was actually looking forward to seeing how their feud would further develop. Instead, Vin came out and said that he had already beaten Worker Ant in January and would only prove himself by fighting all three members of the Colony at once. Fire & Soldier Ant came out for a three-on-one match, but before the bell could ring, Bull Pain came out of nowhere to start beating on the Ants. Bull took them out with his baseball bat (named Brother Pain) and then screamed "ASS" as he left. Well, there were more words involved, but this is family-friendly and we take that very seriously 'round these parts. Worker Ant's knee got beat on pretty badly and will apparently be on crutches for a while. Go read Vin's blog at ChikaraPro.com and check out the seeds of Bull Pain's debut being planted before he ever showed up.
Chuck Taylor & Icarus d. Player Uno & Create-A-Wrestler -- Finally, a nice match from CAW! He didn't really botch his dropkick move tonight, either! CAW actually took a pretty good beating and lost on a double stomp/DVD combo. It's good for him to get into tag matches with established guys. When Player Uno was paused early in the match, CAW unpaused him and managed to fool Smooth Chucky T.
Helios (c) d. Lince Dorado to retain the CHIKARA Young Lions Cup -- Lince took some brutal bumps. 1) He went for a springboard moonsault but missed the middle rope. He tried to do it from the bottom rope, but because he semi-slipped/didn't get enough height, he landed on the top of his head. 2) Helios did a springboard double-knee attack that flattened Lince, but I didn't think it looked as bad as others did. 3) The end of the match saw Lince with Helios in a tombstone position, but Helios turned it into a spike prawn hold pin (thanks Lyle C. Williams for the pic). Lince landed on top of his head AGAIN; I don't think he got a full rotation. And the match ended there, and it felt awkward as Lince kinda kicked out at 3.25. This was a good match, but I feel that they could have done better. Also, Helios has to stop trying to get us to clap so often.
Gran Akuma d. Jimmy Olsen -- You know how Jimmy got KO'ed by Ricky Reyes in March? Well, Jimmy went for a german suplex with a bridge, but he collapsed on his own after the move, held his ear, and kept saying, "crap, crap crap." Then he started to hold his upper cheekbone. Akuma got the pin soon thereafter. Also Akuma attempted a springboard...something...and slipped on the top rope. I keep getting worried about Jimmy Olsen: he hurt his knee at King of Trios, go concussed by Reyes, and he doesn't have his tag partner anymore. Here's to hoping that nothing else bad befalls him this year.
UltraMantis Black d. Tim Donst -- This was a fine little match. Hydra was trying to help UMB with cheating but Sabato had none of it. The end of the match saw Donst get whipped into the ropes, only for Hydra to catch him and do a stunner on the top rope. And Hydra splatted RIGHT in front of us, he looked to have landed really hard. After the Praying Mantis Bomb for the pin, Sabato went to get the on-site doctor to help Donst. Instead, UMB helped Donst up and out of the ring, and they left with each other out the back door. Donst just kept saying, "Where am I?" over and over, so here's hoping they do something awesome with an amnesia! Actually, you'll find out more about it from Sunday's results.
Brodie Lee def. Shane Storm -- Not even five minutes. John and I loved the boot to finish off the match. Storm got laid out and it was great. Storm's face hit square on Brodie's sole and he kinda rotated with the kick. The match didn't even last five minutes, getting the boot-to-the-face finisher even more over than it already is.
Mitch Ryder & Shayne Hawke def. Cheech & Cloudy -- Match of the night. Cheech & Cloudy are always awesome. Ryder & Hawke's heel tactics are sensational. So much happened, and the finish saw a spike piledriver on Cloudy for the win. Cheech did an excellent job of making me care that The Fabulous Two were cheating so badly. Sadly, no mention of textbooks by Mitch Ryder tonight.
Mike Quackenbush (c) def. El Pantera to retain the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title -- This went along very well. Lots of sweet-ass submissions. Pantera dove to Quack by leaping over Bryce. Quack hit a springboard moonsault on the outside. The finish saw them roll around with Quack in control, eventually linking his leg under Pantera's neck to go for the Chikara special. Quack lost his grip a little and didn't have it fully on, and Pantera started to tap his arm on the mat. But he tapped as if to get us to join in and clap along with the "clap....clap...clap..clapclapclap." Instead Bryce called for the bell. Quack played it off nicely but it was awkward. Remember last year, Sicodelico/Lince vs FIST? And it ended strangely and everyone stood around waiting for a true ending to the show? That's how this felt as well. It felt very off.
After looking at the show again a few days later, this was better than I originally remembered. The ending to the final match really threw me off and it's making me think badly of El Pantera. He was absolutely fantastic in 2007 in Chikara and was one of the wrestlers I loved to see. It's like he lost a step coming into 2008, though, and to me, it's very noticeable. Something about his timing has been off and it really took away from some of his matches this year.
Passion and Persistence -- Philadelphia, PA -- April 20, 2008
We found out why the extra cameramen left after the second match on Saturday night: they're filming a Robbie Ellis documentary! They actually asked me a few questions, and I said that he took a beating the previous night and really stood out. I signed a waiver and everything. I might be on IMDb.com someday!
Fire Ant & Soldier Ant d. Vin Gerard & Bull Pain by DQ -- While Nick Papagiorgio was doing the pre-show announcements, Vin came to the ring from the crowd and took the mic. He said a lot of the same things that he did on Saturday and challenged Fire & Soldier Ant to a tag match against himself and Bull. After the match started. Fire Ant took a suplex on the concrete by Bull Pain. Later, Bull DDT'ed Soldier Ant on a chair on the outside. After Bull took his bat into the ring and started to beat the Ants down even more, a DQ was called. The attack didn't stop, so many of the masked tecnicos ran out to help the Colony. Chikarason then suspended Bull for 30 days! That's one way for the Colony to get a point, I guess.
Chuck Taylor d. Hydra -- Hydra got in a TON of offense, and Chuck didn't even make it look forced. Hydra actually almost pulled off the upset after his sleeper neckbreaker, but Chuck kicked out. Hydra even did a plancha over the top rope right in front of us! In the end, though, Chucky T won with the Omega Driver. Important to note: the Order did NOT accompany Hydra to the ring.
Jimmy Olsen d. Player Uno -- This was a good match, but I don't remember much about it. I do remember that Jimmy actually didn't get hurt! Olsen's finisher, which I would like to name "The Jimmy Jam," looks so brutal: an alley-oop that rolls over into a piledriver. I don't know how he managed to get Player Uno over for it, but he did.
Tim Donst d. Ophidian -- Donst was accompanied by Crossbones and UltraMantis Black! Donst looked very confused but he went along with it. I guess that UMB brainwashed the already-concussed Donst into following the ways of the Order. Here's hoping that Donst ends up in some crazy gear by August. Also, it seems that the new Order is going to be rudo: UMB gave Donst some tips during the match, and Donst wasn't sure if his directions were the right thing to do. He did them anyway, though -- he poked Ophidian right in the eye as he was told. The fans were into cheering for Ophidian here.
Helios d. Amasis -- I think Amasis' family was there and they added a TON to the show. Amasis made fun of them a lot and they booed him right back. I was starting to sour a little on Helios, as many things he does are awkward, but he had his best match in Chikara since New Star Navigation last October. Dear Helios: stop trying to make us clap every 13 seconds. Helios won with a standing SSP. He also hit a beautiful standing moonsault earlier in the match.
Quackenbush, Storm, Cheech, and Cloudy d. Robbie Ellis, Mitch Ryder, Shayne Hawke, and Larry Sweeney -- The intermission re-energized us all, as the crowd was extremely hot for this match. Before the match, Sweeney, Hawke, and Ellis danced for Destiny, and then Larry said that they were coming for her. The first half of the match was dominated by the rudo team; the second half was controlled by the tecnico side. The finish saw Sweeney get double-superkicked by Cheech and Cloudy and palmstriked by Quackenbush all at the same time, followed by a "That Japanese Move" by Shane Storm. Storm pinned Sweeney, and Ryder and Mitch got pissed. They couldn't believe that they had lost another match because Larry got pinned. Ryder vs. Sweeney this year? That would be fantastic. I told Larry after the show that he doesn't need those bums.
Sabian d. El Pantera -- As we all know, Eddie Kingston is out of wrestling right now with some "personal issues." It's not my job to speculate as to why he's gone, but since he wasn't there, the tag match was changed to a singles match. After Pantera won a coin flip, he and Sabian has a match that was a little off here and there, but I think it's because they were just going with whatever the entire match. This was maybe the worst match on the show, but it was still good and watchable. Sabian scores a pinfall on El Pantera after getting Sabato to look at the ceiling, low-blowing El Pantera, and rolling him up for three. Additionally, Lince was out there to cheer on his partner. Edit: one other thing. Sabian wsa untying El Pantera's mask for some heat. And then Pantera accidentally lost it when he hit a turnbuckle. I don't think we saw his face, though, as he covered it quickly.
Brodie Lee d. Claudio Castagnoli by DQ -- This match was awesome. The giant swing on Brodie was insane. And a DQ finish leaves the feud open for the next few shows at the least! About eight minutes into the match, Claudio went for a bicycle kick on Brodie, but he moved and Claudio nailed referee Sabato instead. After some back-and-forth, Claudio hit a Ricola Bomb. Bryce ran out and counted one...two...(bell rings) three! While the pin was being counter, Sabato had crawled over to the timekeeper and called for the bell because he got kicked in the face. Bryce kept claiming it was an accident but Derek was having none of it. I actually liked this finish and am already looking forward to their eventual rematch.
Incoherence (c) d. F.I.S.T. to retain Los Campeonatos de Parejas -- At one point, Delirious slapped Akuma right on top of the head and it was such a loud smack. The best part of the match was probably when Icarus brought the bell into the ring to hit Hallowicked. They were winning 1-0 falls at that point, so an effective DQ like that actually wouldn't have hurt them that much. but Hallowicked got the bell and rang it and Delirious went crazy! All of the falls were believable and the lead up to the final one was great. I don't think too many people thought that FIST could win going into the show, but I think we feared the worst several times throughout the match. For example, right after the first fall, FIST almost won the titles back within 5 minutes. But somehow, and luckily, Hallowicked kicked out of a frog splash. The final fall saw Gran Akuma get double fisherman suplexed from the top rope by both Delirious and Hallowicked. Great title match to end the weekend. After the match, Delirious was hugging fans. he hugged dave for a really long time, and then said, "Don't change, man! Don't ever change!" Faaaaantastic!
Many people went to the first night and not to the second night, believing that "Passion and Persistence" would be the weaker show. I actually enjoyed Sunday's show even more than Saturday's. We were out of there by 7:00 so the show was definitely paced well. Nothing was overly-botched and everything was fun. Just a few short weeks until Rey de Voladores weekend!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
April 19th - Deuces Wild - Hellertown, PA
Jimmy Olsen vs. Gran Akuma -- Is this a face turn for Jimmy Jam? I'm pretty sure that we've all been fans of him and his shtick with Colin Olsen for the past year in Chikara, so that wouldn't be much of a stretch for him. Here's hoping he calls out for a tag in the middle of the match so we can all go, "Awwwwwww."
Vin Gerard vs. Worker Ant -- Vin recently posted on the ChikaraPro.com blog about the Colony and being dumped in the trash at Night 3 of King of Trios. Ever since Vin lost his mask last November, this has been a hot storyline for Chikara since. Their match at "Two Eyebrows..." was better than decent and I'm hoping that this match is just as good. The crowd was all over Vin for costing the Colony a shot at the King of Trios finals, so he'll probably get booed out of the building again on Saturday.
Chuck Taylor & Icarus vs. Create-a-Wrestler & Player Uno -- Last month, CAW went for that slingshot dropkick in the corner during the 8-man tag match and missed by about a million feet. I have nothing to add to that. For CAW to be in the ring with three Chikara veterans can only be good for his career, so let's hope that this could be the start of a good year for him. Also, this could make a trio for Player Uno now, as CAW is another video-game reference to go with the Super Smash Brothers.
Tim Donst vs. UltraMantis Black -- Tim Donst has come a long way since April 2007, where he lost his first ever match against a match involving UMB. In fact, UltraMantis scored the victory over Donst after a Praying Mantis Bomb. Hopefully Donst can get back on track with his submission- and ground-based style, as they've been slightly off for a few shows.
Shane Storm vs. Brodie Lee -- Holy crap I love me some Brodie Lee. This could potentially be Eddie/Storm from "Two Eyebrows..." all over again. I'm actually hoping that Shane gets pissed off at being a whipping boy for so long that he joins Vin Gerard's maskless quest. Shane needs something new, and maybe losing the mask could be it. yes i know maskless isn't a word i can see the red squiggly lines jeez
The Colony vs. The Osirian Portal -- This match could be fantastic and maybe even end up being the match of the night. I think a lot of people are looking for the Portal to gain three points sooner than later this year, and I believe that they already have one (vs. Lince/Pantera last November). And even though they didn't win the King of Trios tournament last month, the Colony should continue to impress us.
Helios (c) vs. Lince Dorado, Young Lions Cup match -- I can't believe I'm saying this, but I don't know if I can picture Lince losing this match. I understand the symbolism with him chasing a title as his mentor, El Pantera, is doing the same in the show's main event. But Helios should hold onto the title until the tournament in June, and I feel that Lince should be in Young Lions Cup VI this year. After defeating Mitch Ryder at Chapter 11 and winning 5 matches in 2 days at King of Trios, it's hard to pick against Lince for any match at this point.
Cheech & Cloudy vs. Mitch Ryder & Shayne Hawke -- Mitch instructed me to buy peanut butter donuts this month and I'll be sure to serve him well on this request. Cheech & Cloudy have had great matches in losing efforts this year, and you figure they have to get out of this funk that they're stuck in. Then again, Hawke is a pick of mine to win the Young Lions Cup this year.
Mike Quackenbush (c) vs. El Pantera, NWA Jr. Heavyweight Title -- After pinning Quackenbush to eliminate Team QuackStormSkayde from the King of Trios tournament in the quarterfinals, El Pantera challenged his friend to a match for the belt as soon as possible. Quackenbush agreed and so we have our main event. This should be an excellent match with plenty of lucha moves, complex reversals, and crazy submissions. This should be an excellent match to close the show.
April 20th - Passion & Persistence - Philadelphia, PA
Player Uno vs. Jimmy Olsen -- So maybe Jimmy Jam goes right back to being a heel again. Who knows. I've been a Player Uno fan for a while now, so I'm looking forward to this match. Hopefully Olsen is all right after the recent injuries he's apparently sustained (hurt his knee at King of Trios; knocked out by Ricky Reyes).
Tim Donst vs. Ophidian -- These two were in opposing corners in the main event at "Two Eyebrows..." at the start of the year. Ophidian continues to improve and please don't go near my girlfriend I don't feel like dealing with her screaming. Oh wait, we'll be in Philly, he can't go past the guardrail!
The Hydra vs. Chuck Taylor -- At last, Hydra has a match this weekend! After the Order's impressive showing at King of Trios, Hydra is expected to put on much better matches, and he'll get an excellent match against a veteran like Chuck Taylor. And anything that gives us a chance to pull for Hydra is good. Taylor's antics should be fantastic during this match.
Helios vs. Amasis -- Tag teams continue to be split up for this show as Amasis will have his first singles encounter in Chikara. We should see a ton of high-flying out of these two guys. Don't forget, Amasis hit a 450 splash during King of Trios weekend. This weekend will also see how Helios has recouperated from that beating at the hands of the BLK Out last month.
Quack, Storm, Cheech, and Cloudy vs. Ryder, Sweeney, Hawke, and Ellis -- This will be absolutely awesome. I'll be glad to have Larry Sweeney back for this show. I honestly can't put into words how much I'm looking forward to this.
Eddie Kingston & Sabian vs. Lince Dorado & El Pantera -- Here's hoping that Eddie is back at this show. Sabian didn't make it to King of Trios, but he'll likely want revenge for his other BLK Out brethren for their loss in the tournament finals. We may have a tag team of champions for this match if Lince & El Pantera are victorious on Saturday.
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brodie Lee -- It's about time Brodie is matched up against someone his own size. I don't think a boot to Claudio's face would keep him down as it has some of the smaller wrestlers over the past year. And just like everyone else, I'm excited to see Claudio back in Chikara this year. Hopefully this is a start to an excellent 2008 in Chikara for him. This could easily steal as the match of the night.
Hallowicked & Delirious (c) vs. Gran Akuma & Icarus, Campeonatos de Parejas -- I'm actually not too fond of how F.I.S.T. is invoking a rematch clause to get a shot at the titles. As far as I'm concerned, they don't have three points, so they don't have a title match. Hopefully Incoherence can hold onto the titles and render this point moot. This match should be an excellent end to a Chikara weekend.
See you all there!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
We also seem to be in pocket where we value wrestling over other theatrics. We don't need a dummy of a cheerleader in a casket with ground beef as brains. We don't need to watch guys go through a plate glass window where that's actually how the winner is determined (glares at CZW). We want to watch a story unfold in the ring and with promos, not with tales made up by ex-writers for soap operas. And don't get me wrong -- I'm pegging some of those problems on WWE because they're the biggest and easiest to target, but they're also the best. You can't argue with their success over such a long period of time. We see that Raw gets a 3.2 rating and we scoff at such a "low" score, when in actuality that's 2-3 points higher than almost every other cable show on TV, and triple the score of their closest competitor, TNA.
And maybe that's why I felt that the Professional Championship Wrestling (PCW) show that I went to a month ago was so poor. To be a company like the WWE, you need money and the best wrestlers in the world. And to try to do that on a smaller scale in front of the same 100 people every week just doesn't work. I went to one of their shos on a recent visit to Texas. Here are links to the results of that show (and others), with a ton of my thoughts after it. And I have to tell you that I'm not one of those negative internet wrestling fans. I tried to enjoy the show and I want to point out as many positives as I can.
- Decent wrestlers -- Aaron Eagle, Jerome Daniels, Mike Foxx, and Franco D'Angelo were quite good in the ring. The Eagle/Daniels match was by far the best of the night. They managed to get the crowd to react more than anyone else all night (excepting the main event, but that didn't really count). In fact, I actually felt bad for Aaron Eagle because he would be much better suited in a fed where the fans seem to care more.
- Matthew Palmer -- OK, this is somewhat biased. This wrestler is actually Destiny's friend from years and years ago. They went to school together all through high school, and we were actually lucky enough to see his first match. And honestly, he was one of the best wrestlers on the show. He did a moonsault off the top rope (but missed), sold like a champ, and had a wonderful babyface comeback. His match was paced far faster than the rest.
- Production -- Everyone not only had an entrance video, but the music was actually produced by a local band. It gives the entrances a unique feel, in that not everyone is coming out to some song by Disturbed or something. A minor downside to that, though, is a lot of the entrance songs sounded similar. Here's their main star Mike Foxx's entrance video.
- Names & Nicknames -- Everyone in TNA has a lame nickname, and PCW tries to copy that. I didn't even realize that the PCW guys were announced with nicknames until after I read the results. "Tim Storm" is maybe the worst wrestling name I've ever heard. "Robert Evans" wore yellow and red...hey, just like the restaurant of the same name! And does someone named Jiggle-O James Johnson really need "Hunk for Hire" at the beginning of his name?
- Overbooking -- Nobe Bryant vs. Brandon Collins finished like this: Collins put on a cloverleaf/grapevine maneuver and had it locked on for at least a minute. Bryant apparently injured his knee during the move so the ref threw up the "X" to get the medics out there to help. Brandon let go of the move and a literal two minutes of awkwardness followed as no one came out to help and no one was named the winner. And then Nobe rolled up Brandon for the quick three. This shouldn't happen at a small wrestling show! Additionally, after Wally Darkmon Canadian Destroyer'ed the guest referee in the main event, it was announced that they would have a Casket Match at the next show. The guy who announced it, Mike Foxx, would be busy the next week in a Cane on a Pole match.
- The audience -- The face is caught in an octopus stretch and can't quite get to the ropes. He's struggling and he needs some help, so what do we do? Clap....clap..clap..clap..clapclapclap! I tried this at least three times during the show and the fans looked at me like I was insane. In fact, for 5 of the 6 matches, the fans basically sat cross-armed and watched as if they were watching on TV. They chanted "YOU GOT NOTH-ING!" for about 10 minutes straight at Nobe Bryant, and then would blindly chant one of the face's names during the main event, even after it had ended. Oh, and the loudest pops of the night were for Steve Austin in a video package promoting Lacey Von Erich's match a few weeks later.
- Busseys =/= Mr. McMahon -- I understand that a wrestling federation may need a commissioner-type role. They can play a part in storylines, but it isn't really necessary for them to be a main character. The Busseys (yes, from the failed TLC show "The Bussey Bunch") are trying to be an important part of these shows. They came out on two occasions: once to set up some matches, and another time to choke a mechanical chicken and berate a fan named Charlie. The chicken/Charlie thing actually has an ongoing storyline now.
- One arena -- They took an old auditorium with a stage and turned it into a wrestling arena. The problem is, though, that they don't go anywhere else. It's as if they're content with what they're doing and just go with it. I got the feel that they really showed no interest in improving or growing larger. I don't understand how it can be worth it to do shows with TLC and Flaming Tables matches in front of the same 100 people every week.
Basically, they're all style with little substance. The wrestling isn't great, the referees are bad, and the audience is just weird. They try to be a company like WWE, with a weekly TV show, extravagant entrances, commissioner-like characters, in-ring promos that go nowhere, and zany nicknames. They're trying too hard to be a mini-WWE, but they don't have the resources or the talent to do it. A lot of the matches just turned into this: do a move, wait 10 seconds, do a move, wait 10 seconds. Oh, and Lance Hoyt is one of their main trainers.
Match-by-match and show analysis:
- Awesome video package to pump us up for the show. Whoever does their videos is fantastic because he makes this fed look great.
- "Hunk For Hire" Jiggle-O James Johnson def. Carrion Arcane -- JJJ's finisher is an elbow drop, but he does a frog splash before he does it. Carrion Arcane is sporting one of Texas' favorite outfits: a black shirt with black jeans that have flames on them. JJJ looks like a guy who could dive all over the place, and had a great opportunity at one point when his opponent was on the outside, but he just let Arcane into the ring. Also, you shouldn't try three Yakuza kicks in one match if you're wearing jeans and you can't quite get that smack sound right.
- "Grim Reaper" Tim Storm def. "The Mind of Wrestling" J.T. LaMotta -- LaMotta comes out pre-match with Dr. Wagner Jr.'s (!) mask, saying that he recently defeated him in Mexico and took his mask. "People with masks stink!" he tells us (paraphrased, by the way). Out comes Tim Storm, who is now wearing a mask because he got his head shaved recently after losing a match (see second "Con" above). So JT is obviously a heel after his deal on the mic...but Storm is also a heel because he won't let us see his new haircut. All I remember about this match is that it was slow, but JT tried really hard to make this entertaining.
- A video was shown to promote Lacey Von Erich's PCW debut on March 22nd. As I said before, the loudest pops of the night were each of the six times Austin appeared in the video. I think the video was from a promo for the Von Erichs' DVD. After the video, Mike Foxx (with Wally Darkmon, also in flamed black jeans and black shirt!) came out and said that the Von Erich legacy was dead, claiming he deserved a shot at the PCW title. Then came out JJJ again to try to help his BFF Wally Darkmon. Next out was Franco D'Angelo, saying that he deserved the title shot, but then Action Jackson came out and said he'd defend his title against anyone, anytime. So then The Bussey Boys came out to settle everything. At the April 12th show, there would be a 4-way, 2-falls match. The first fall would be for Brett Idol's TV title; the second fall would be for Action Jackson's PCW Title. Then they said that the main event of our show would be Action Jackson & Franco D'Angelo vs. Mike Foxx & Wally Darkmon, with JJJ as the guest referee. That's right, Jiggle-O three times in one night!
- The Real Deal" Nobe Bryant def. "The Expert" Brandon Collins in a No Snakes Allowed Match -- This match is the one where the ref threw up the "X" signal. Brandon Collins might have the worst kicks in the history of professional wrestling and I'm not exaggerating. They missed by a few inches every time. You could tell that both of them were thinking of spots of the fly because they constantly looked up and to the left while coming up with ideas. The match lasted way too long and the ending was awkward as noted above.
- INTERMISSION. That's right -- 3 matches in and we're almost done. Only $10 for a seat, though! And for $5, you could get a picture with Aaron Idol in the ring!
- "Essence of Excellence" Robert Evans def. Matthew Palmer -- With a nickname like that, you'd expect Robert Evans to be some sort of pompous, maybe even snooty wrestler. Nope, be comes out wearing red and yellow, a feather boa, and does a funky little dance on the ring apron! Palmer was quite good for his first match; all of those years of being in plays in high school paid off. Palmer's late-match comeback almost got him the win, but after missing a moonsault, Evans hit his finisher for the pin. Evans went to do commentary for the next match.
- "Success Story in the Making" Aaron Eagle b "Flawless" Jerome Daniels to retain the PCW Cruiserweight Title -- Look at that nickname. Probably the match of the night, as Aaron Eagle has the most potential of anyone in this fed. Daniels jawed with the crowd and got us to respond, and Eagle solidly got us behind him through the finish. After the match, Evans got into the ring to try to take out Eagle, only to be laid out by Aaron's "Side Effect"-like finisher. I guess this is setting up the TLC match they'll have on April 12th.
- Wally Darkmon & “Dark Messiah/Main Event”Mike Foxx b "The Beast" Franco D'Angelo & Action Jackson with Jiggle-O James Johnson as the referee -- Wally wrestled under Foxx's directions, although reluctantly. The fans absolutely love Franco D'Angelo. He looks pretty bad-ass, too, so I don't blame them. His picture on the website sucks so don't go by that. In a match with a guest referee, they did a ref bump! After JJJ rolled out of the ring, Mike Foxx used his cane to hit Franco. The instant he tossed the cane down, another ref came to the ring to count the three. After the match, Blackmon Canadian Destroyer'ed JJJ because he is emo or something. The fans kept chanting "WALLY! WALLY!" even though he just did a flip-piledriver to the ref, who is one of their favorite wrestlers on top of that. Then Mike Foxx said that Blackmon vs. JJJ will be a Casket match on April 12th, and there will be a Cane on a Pole match between D'Angelo and Foxx before that. Foxx then his Action Jackson with the cane, and AJ had to be helped to the back. He didn't even move for like 2 minutes so it was really strange.
Ref bumps, throwing up the "X", below-average wrestling, and stabbing mechanical chickens? You bet I'm going back when I visit Texas again.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The Colony d. F.I.S.T -- For the second straight year, F.I.S.T. loses on the opening match of Night 3 of the tournament. The best move of the match was probably Chucky T giving Sole Food to one of the Ants from the middle rope. This was an exciting opener to the show and seemed to promise a great night for the Colony. They won the match with the Ant Hill and pinning Gran Akuma.
Team Mexico d. QuackStormSkayde -- El Pantera and Skayde in the ring at the same time! You can probably bet that won't happen again in a Chikara ring, or maybe even any ring, ever again. The best spot in the match saw Quack and Skayde clean house of Team Mexico, with the two celebrating in the ring and Quack yelling, "THAT'S MY TEACHER!" while pointing at Skayde. This match had a strange vibe to it, in that El Pantera seemed to be playing the heel.
When Pantera was tagged in to wrestle Quack, instead of locking up, El Pantera hit a spinning heel kick. That might not sound entirely heel-like, but knowing that El Pantera and Quack are close just made it seem a little off. Finish it off with El Pantera pinning Quackenbush the same exact way Quack eliminated Pantera's team from the previous year's tournament, and then demanding a shot at the NWA Jr. Heavyweight Title, it definitely felt like we were about to witness a heel turn. They shook hands and everything, but it didn't bade well for the rest of the night.
BLK Out d. Team Japan -- We didn't get any head-butts! Every time it seemed like Kingston was about to head-butt MIYAWAKI, he laid off or punched him instead. I, as well as many fans around me, were cringing just waiting for them to come. Hard-hitting matches like this are always a welcome break from the lucha. SUSUMU looked really really tiny during this match, and anything that he tried to land with impact hit with almost no sound at all. I think at one point, SUSUMU went for his spinning Yoshitonic on Kingston but got flipped over into a powerbomb. A Backfist to the Future put SUSUMU away after that.
The Golden Trio d. The Fabulous Three -- The match was everything you'd expect, with Helios landing a standing SSP on Larry Sweeney for the win. It was everything after the match, though, that got everyone's attention. First, while The Golden Trio was celebrating, Shayne Hawke was ratting him out to Mitch Ryder, saying "HE LOST THE MATCH!" over and over like a five-year-old trying to get his little sister in trouble. Then, Sweeney, Ryder, and Hawke all attacked the members of The Golden Trio, with F.I.S.T. coming out after the beatdown. Icarus said that since Incoherence got their title match while Akuma was hurting that F.I.S.T. would get their rematch in Philadelphia on April 20th while Hallowicked and Delirious were down. At least The Golden Trio made it through to the semifinals.
Tag Team Gauntlet -- Last year's gauntlet was INSANE. It lasted about an hour and featured 19 teams. I was looking forward to them doing that again this year, but they cut it short to 10 teams. The Immortals lost first to The North Star Express (thank goodness). Then, Sha Samuels and Terry Frazier came out and made NSE tap out with a Boston Crab and a Fishhook Crossface. The Southern Saints were next and knocked out our favorite British wrestlers from the weekend. Las Chivas followed and eliminated the Southern Saints and the next team, the Super Smash Brothers. I think one of the Goats landed on his head and was very woozy. As Stupefied continue to wrestle him, the Goat just kept trying to wave him away because he was having trouble standing. Shimizu & Go from El Dorado made quick work of Las Chivas after that, but Sara del Ray and Bobby Dempsey eliminated them even faster. Next out were The Hydra & Crossbones. Hydra got Dempsey in the Hydralock and Crossbones kept kicking Dempsey in his giant stomach, making Bobby give up! The tenth team was Demolition, who got a huge reaction from the crowd. The finish saw Hydra on the receiving end of a Decapitation when Ax jumped off the top rope knee-first. Afterward they high-fived everyone at ringside on their way out.
BLK Out d. The Golden Trio -- Helios got absolutely murdered during this match. He took so much punishment and was easily in the ring for the majority of the time. The finish was shady but I liked it at the time. When Bryce's back was turned, Joker slapped his leg and fell to the ground, holding his crotch. Hallowicked was standing over him at the time and Bryce turned around at the sound of the slap. He teased calling for the bell and everyone yelled, "No!" Joker continued to "roll around in pain" and his efforts worked, as Bryce called for the disqualification. I have NEVER heard Bryce get booed so loudly and for so long. You could tell Bryce felt kinda bad afterwards. This meant that there was a really good chance we were going to get The Colony vs. BLK Out in the finals of the tournament!
Team Mexico d. The Colony -- And then this happened. See, one problem with wrestling tournaments is that you envision so many different outcomes and you pick out your favorite. I picked BLK Out vs. The Golden Trio in the finals for a continuation of the Hallowicked/Kingston feud. I know that many people wanted to see the Colony win the entire tournament; they had a great 2007 and this was going to be a start to an even better 2008. And when we saw the possibility of BLK Out vs. Colony in the finals, everyone was already picking their sides.
But, just like in all of the previous Colony matches in the tournament, Vin Gerard came out and sat on a chair on the ramp. This time, though, he didn't just sit there and watch. While the Ants were forming Voltron in the ring to jump on a member of Team Mexico, Vin came to ringside to try to distract the Colony. So instead of jumping onto an opponent, Fire Ant flew threw the air, out of the ring, and onto Vin Gerard. In the ring, though, Team Mexico gained the advantage, and when Incognito went for the pinfall, Vin held Fire Ant on the outside and no one could get over to break up the pin. After the match, the Ants picked up Vin and dumped him head-first into a trashcan.
This disappointed a good portion of the crowd. Many fans still aren't totally sold on Lince Dorado yet. We wanted to see a BLK Out vs. Colony finals, including myself. Add to the fact that Team Mexico won with shenanigans on the outside, and El Pantera's semi-heel turn, we were looking at an unlikeable finals matchup. This really took its toll on the crowd, with many people even complaining about the non-tournament matches that followed.
Vin Gerard d. Glacier, Martin Stone, and Reno Diamond -- More Glacier! We were all very pleased with his appearance over the weekend. Vin Gerard entered with no music and was covered in trash from the previous match. After Diamond and Stone were eliminated, Vin worked over Glacier's braced knee. Vin eventually won the match with a roll-up. Everyone was a little beat after the fantastic semi-finals match-ups, but we all took every chance we could to boo Vin Gerard as loudly as we could.
m.c. KZ d. Michael Nakazawa -- This was probably the best of the non-tournament matches before the finals. Nakazawa is fantastic. I think he had the best line of all the wrestlers during the tournament (picture him saying it with an "I can barely speak English" accent): "The oil makes me slippery. His wrestling is useless!" (Second place goes to Chuck Taylor, about Bobby Dempsey: "YOU'VE CREATED AN UNSTOPPABLE KILLING MACHINE"). Nakazawa went to spit baby oil into m.c. KZ's face, but he ducked and ended up winning with his KZ Time finisher.
Tim Donst, Create-A-Wrestler, Chiva II & Arik Cannon d. Ophidian, Amasis, Ice Cream Jr., and El Hijo del Ice Cream -- Someone on Donst's team put a sleeper hold on someone on Ophidian's team. And then they went back and forth until Tim Donst was the last man putting someone in a sleeper hold. PJ Drummond lifted everyone's arm and EVERYONE was unresponsive, so Donst wins the entire match! Just a quick comedy match to chill us all out before the finals match.
Team Mexico d. BLK Out -- As great a Colony/BLK Out finals match would have been, I have to admit that it's somewhat good that we didn't get a match that we saw 47 times in 2007. We needed something new for 2008 and we already got it. But the finals matched up the BLK Out (superheels) against Team Mexico (cheered for Lince but Pantera was confusing all night), and they'd have to really deliver to make this a fantastic finals.
Luckily, they did deliver. During the three matches between the semis and the finals, I (like many) was quite downtrodden that the Colony didn't advance to the finals. m.c. KZ/Michael Nakazawa was good, but the other two matches were definitely there to cool us down. And even during the first couple minutes of the finals match, it was mildly difficult to get into.
But Kingston and Joker were incredible. They made fun of Lince's injury so many times. We HAD to cheer for Lince, even though it felt a bit forced. Joker went and faked the low-blow finish like the previous match, but Bryce refused to call it this time. And then Eddie german suplexed Lince on his head and he got right up with FIGHTING SPIRIT. This got a great portion of the crowd right back into it. After Lince hit a beautiful shooting star press from one corner, I was sold. And as always, I pop like a mofo for the Chikara Special.
The BLK Out carried the finals match, but Lince definitely deserves the MVP for that match for making us care ten times more about him by the time Eddie tapped out at the end. The MVPs of the entire weekend, though, were definitely BLK Out. Eddie was fantastic, Joker wrestled the best I've ever seen him do, and even Ruckus busted out some new stuff. So here are my awards for the weekend!
MVPs: BLK Out
Best Entrance: Da Soul Touchaz
Best Import: Team IPW:UK
Craziest Move: Jimmy Olsen's Alley-oop into a piledriver
Best Wrestling: Skayde vs. El Pantera
Best Surprise: Glacier
Best Moment: Sweeney vs. One Man Gang strut-off
Best Gimmick: Michael Nakazawa
Best Match, Night 1: Quack/Storm/Skayde vs. Team WTF?
Best Match, Night 2: Team F.I.S.T. vs Da Soul Touchaz
Best Match, Night 3: BLK Out vs. The Golden Trio
Favorite Match, other than those listed: Team F1rst vs. Team IWS
I have some other things I'd like to write about on this blog! There are TWO shows coming up in about two-and-a-half weeks: "Deuces Wild" on Saturday, April 19th in Hellertown, PA; and "Passion and Persistence" on Sunday, April 20th in Philadelphia, PA. I also was to comment on the PCW show I went to a couple weekends ago, and maybe even my thoughts on Wrestlemania 24. I'll probably be updating on Wednesday evenings for a while, so be sure to check back then! Thanks for reading and have a great day!