'bout time, innit?
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!