Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thoughts on "Deuces Wild" and "Passion and Persistence"

Deuces Wild -- Hellertown, PA -- April 19, 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.

INTERMISSION

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.

INTERMISSION

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!

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