BG Says Special Edition: CHIKARA and the Torneo Cibernetico
Posted by Brad Garoon on 11.01.2007
Armdrags for Hours.
A few years back I saw a tag match in All Japan. It was an eight-man elimination tag with a twist; only two wrestlers could tag in and out at a time. To start the other two wrestlers would wait on the floor, and were essentially subs for when one of the first two wrestlers were eliminated. I thought this was a great twist on the elimination tag concept, and have always hoped something similar would come to the states.
Well, what I was hoping for came from Mexico rather than Japan, but it is an interesting concept nevertheless. CHIKARA generally has a lucha style, so it should come as no surprise that they would import a lucha-based match. The Torneo Cibernetico works as follows:
Scrambled egg tags are in effect, which means a wrestler only has to leave the ring for his partner to enter it legally. Each team has a tag sequence that much be followed. That is, each wrestler may only tag out to a certain other wrestler on his team. Thusly, only the next wrestler in the tag sequence is up on the apron while the remaining six men on each team wait on the floor. The whole thing keeps the match from feeling too chaotic. The match is under elimination rules by pin fall, submission, disqualification or count out. There can only be one winner, so if more than one man on a team survives when all members of another team have been eliminated those teammates must wrestle each other to determine the winner.
The first event in 2004 was called the Cibernetico Cometh. The match lasted over an hour and was reported to be quite good. Jigsaw won and the match was well enough received that it returned the following year. So we now get treated to the Cibernetico Returneth. There is an issue between Chris Hero and Mike Quackenbush that is pretty much the crux of the match, but I went into this blind. It didnít matter because the commentators went to great lengths to explain any history between any two wrestlers in the ring at the same time at any given moment. Letís take a look.
Blind Rage, Arik Cannon, Claudio Castagnoli, Gran Akuma, Hallowicked, Chris Hero, Icarus and UltraMantis Black VS. Jigsaw, Eddie Kingston, Milano Collection AT, Mike Quackenbush, Sabian, Skayde, Shane Storm and Mister ZERO [Torneo Cibernetico Ė The Cibernetico Returneth]
Hallowicked and Quackenbush start. They trade holds until Quackenbush puts on a half crab. Hallowicked gets to the ropes so Quackenbush goes to the arm. He gets a cross armbreaker but Hallowicked gets to the ropes again. Milano and Cannon tag in and Milano gets a roll up for 2. He puts on a headlock but Cannon comes back with a springboard armdrag. Milano gets a rolling cradle for 2. He gets a headlock takedown for 2. He ties Cannon around the bottom rope and hits a dropkick. Storm and Claudio come in and trade holds. Claudio tries in vain to ram Stormís head into the mat and Storm succeeds where Claudio fails. Mantis and ZERO tag in and fight on the mat. ZERO hits an armdrag and puts on the Gory Special. He hits a basement dropkick and Mantis bails. Kingston and Akuma come in and trade slaps. The slaps turn to chops in an exchange that Kingston wins. Skayde and Hero tag in and Skayde puts on a hammerlock. They knuckle up and Skayde gets a takedown for 2. Hero puts on the body scissors which leads into a cookie cutter lucha sequence. Sabian and Icarus tag in and trade kicks. Sabian puts on the Kayak but Icarus gets to the ropes. Sabian dominates with kicks and holds and puts Icarus on the floor with a dropkick. Jigsaw and Rage tag in to finish off the first round. Rage puts on a full nelson but Jigsaw comes back with a chinlock. Rage gets to the ropes. Rage blocks a monkey flip and gets a takedown into the STF. Jigsaw gets to the ropes and shoves Rage to the floor.
Hallowicked comes in and trades forearms with Jigsaw. Jigsaw comes off the second rope with an armdrag but Hallowicked rolls him up for 2. Jigsaw gets a rolling cradle for 2. They both go for chops and hit each otherís forearms. They forearm each other out of the ring and Cannon and Quackenbush come in. Quackenbush puts on the Regal Stretch but Cannon comes back with a leglock. Cannon hits a leaping forearm but Quackenbush blocks a bulldog. Quackenbush hits a clothesline and a bulldog. He hits a headbutt to the groin and tags to Milano. Claudio tags in and gets stuck in a wristlock. Milano puts on a Mexican Surfboard but Claudio gets to the ropes. Milano gets a roll up for 2. He puts on the Octopus Stretch but Claudio gets to the ropes. Storm and Mantis come in and Storm hits a flying shoulder tackle. Mantis gets a roll up for 2. Storm hits a forearm off the second so Mantis tags to Akuma. ZERO comes in and eats a dropkick. ZERO dodges a dropkick but eats an enziguiri. ZERO hits a pair of armdrags and follows Akuma to the floor with an avalanche off the apron. Kingston and Hero tag in and Kingston runs through Heroís offense to boot him to the floor. Icarus and Skayde come in and flip around. Skayde hits a big facebuster but Icarus springs up and gets a roll up for 2. He hits a dropkick and takes a powder. Rage and Sabian come in and knuckle up. Sabian gets a roll up for 2. He kicks Rage around for 2. He hits a back suplex and puts on a modified STF. Rage gets to the ropes. Hallowicked tags in and trades strikes with Sabian. Sabian dropkicks the knee and gets a roll up for 2. They knuckle up and Hallowicked gets a series of pins for 1. Sabian hits a dropkick in the corner for 2. He hits a wrap-around lung blower and Hallowicked bails. Cannon and Jigsaw come in and Cannon blocks a dropkick. He chops Jigsaw until his chest blisters but Jigsaw comes back with a double stomp. Cannon hits an exploder into the turnbuckle and Jigsaw bails. Quackenbush and Claudio come in and Quackenbush puts on a headlock. Some beautiful back and forth countering leads to Claudio hitting a big bodyslam. Quackenbush monkey flips Claudio to the floor and follows him out. Claudio hits him with a European uppercut and then jumps off the apron onto him with a back splash. Milano and Mantis come in and Milano hits a hurricanrana to the floor. Storm and Akuma come in and trade armdrags. Storm hits a pair of backbreakers and Akuma bails. Hero and ZERO tag in and rhyme. Lame, I know. Hero hits a double stomp to the back and a bodyslam. He hits a senton for 2. Icarus wonít tag in and ZERO gets a roll up for 2. Kingston comes in so Hero bails. Icarus comes in and hits a superkick. Kingston bails so Icarus dives onto him from the top. Skayde and Rage tag in and Rage hits an elbowdrop. Rage hits a reverse suplex and puts on a crossface. Skayde counters to a roll up for 2. Rage hits a brainbuster and puts on the STF. Skayde gets to the ropes. Skayde hits the Skayde Slam and a leg clap. He wraps up Rageís arms and pins him for the elimination at 47:59.
Sabian and Hallowicked come in and with the help of Cannon Hallowicked pins Sabian for 2. He hits a backbreaker for 2. Cannon tags in and slugs Sabian down for 2. He goes to the eyes and hits a slingshot suplex. He puts on a seated abdominal stretch and tags to Claudio. Claudio hits a diving European uppercut for 2. He hits a delayed vertical suplex for 2. He rolls Sabian up for 2 and tags to Mantis. Mantis hits a neckbreaker for 2. Akuma tags in and hits a double stomp for 2. They trade dropkicks and Hero keeps Sabian from tagging out. He hits a back suplex for 2. He climbs the ropes but Sabian avoids a double stomp and hits an Ace Crusher for 2. Sabian stupidly fights Hero with a swinging DDT and a top rope double stomp for 2. I say stupidly because heís still in the ring when Hero regains his composure and puts on a cravat. He hits the hangmanís clutch facebuster and the Super Hero Cutter to eliminate Sabian at 55:58. Jigsaw comes off the top onto Hero with a dropkick. He hits another dropkick and climbs again. He comes down with a hurricanrana and Hero bails. Icarus climbs the ropes but Jigsaw kicks him down. Hallowicked comes in and hits the fisherman bomb to eliminate Jigsaw at 57:11. Now itís clear the rudos are taking over.
Quackenbush and Cannon come in and Quackenbush hits Cannon with a topé con hilo. Milano and Claudio come in and Milano gives Claudio the same treatment. Storm tries to do the same to Mantis but Akuma cuts him off with a missile dropkick for 2. Akuma hits a kick to the face for 2. He goes after Stormís mask but Storm comes back with a somersault kick. Hero and ZERO come in and ZERO hits a blue thunder bomb for 2. Hero hits the cravat cutter for 2. With ZERO down Icarus feels comfortable coming in against him. He hits the Pedigree and puts on the head scissors to eliminate ZERO at 1:01:48. Icarus wonít release the hold until Kingston breaks it up. They fight to the apron where Icarus hits a DDT. Hallowicked and Skayde tag in and Skayde hits a splash for 2. Hallowicked puts on a half crab but Skayde gets to the ropes. Hallowicked goes to the floor so Skayde follows him out with an Asai moonsault. Cannon hits Quackenbush with a hanging neckbreaker. Claudio tags in and giant swings Quackenbush into a dropkick from Cannon for 2. Claudio puts on a seated abdominal stretch and hits a vertical suplex for 2. Mantis tags in and chokes Quackenbush. Akuma tags in and puts on a seated abdominal stretch. Hero tags in and hits a bodyslam. Icarus tags in and hits a basement dropkick for 2. He hits a vertical suplex for 2. Quackenbush gets his knees up on a split legged moonsault attempt and bails. Milano and Hallowicked come in and Hallowicked cheats to get Milano to the floor. Storm and Cannon come in and Cannon dominates. Claudio tags in and hits a big bodyslam. He hits a second rope elbowdrop for 2. Mantis tags in but Storm rolls him up for 2. Storm hits a German suplex and the Shining Wizard to eliminate him and give some hope to our heroes at 1:09:22.
Akuma comes in and beats Storm down. He goes after the mask again and hits the KneeDT. He hits a DDT and climbs the ropes. He misses a frog splash and tags to Hero. Skayde tags in and walks into a back elbow. Skayde hits a back bodydrop and tags to Kingston. Kingston hits a clothesline and a Yakuza kick. He hits a backdrop driver for 2. Hero comes back with a side suplex for 2. Icarus tags in and hits a stacker splash for 2. He goes for strikes in the corner but Kingston absorbs them and tags to Quackenbush. Hallowicked tags in and hits a vertical suplex for 2. He sets Quackenbush up top and hits a modified Iconoclasm. Cannon tags in and ties Quackenbush up. He hits a neckbreaker and tags to Claudio. Quackenbush stacks Akuma on top of Claudio and with the help of Milano sweeps Claudioís knees. They wrap Claudio and Akuma up and embarrass them. Hero breaks up the fun. Icarus tags in and hits the KneeDT on Milano. He puts on an anklelock but Milano gets to the ropes. Icarus hits another KneeDT and tags to Hallowicked. Hallowicked slams Icarus onto Milano for 2. He ducks an enziguiri but Stormís stop sign is effective and Milano connects. Storm hits the Shining Wizard on Hallowicked and dodges Cannonís Glimmering Warlock. He hits the Shining Wizard on Cannon for 2 when Claudio saves. Kingston comes in and gets a backslide on Claudio for 2. He hits a roaring forearm for 2. Claudio hits a pair of rolling neckbreakers for 2. He finishes Kingston with a European uppercut at 1:19:59. Skayde comes in and gets hit with a rolling European uppercut. Claudio is too tired to hit a vertical suplex and gets rolled up for 2. He puts on a leglock and holds Skayde up until he quits at 1:21:46, and it looks like the babyface bleeding has begun again.
Quackenbush rushes in and gets hit with an elevated European uppercut. It gets 2 for Claudio. Akuma tags in and gets caught with a dropkick coming off the top rope. Quackenbush hits a brainbuster and tags to Milano. Hero tags in and counters the handspring elbow to a cravat. He goes low and hits a dropkick. Hero is using his knowledge of Milano from the night before to gain the advantage. He hits the Regalplex for 2. Milano comes back with an enziguiri and a back senton for 2. Hero counters the AT Lock to the Super Hero Cutter for 2. He goes for the AT Lock on Milano, which pisses off the Japanese star enough to hit the Italian Revolution II and put on the AT Lock to eliminate Hero at 1:25:20. Icarus jumps in but Milano counters the Shiranui to a superkick. He puts on the AT Lock and Icarus taps at 1:25:48. Hallowicked rushes in and eats a leg lariat. Cannon keeps Milano from putting on the AT Lock and hits an exploder for 2. He hits a back suplex and Milano bails. Cannon hit Storm with a side suplex and tags to Claudio. Claudio hits a backbreaker for 2. Akuma tags in and hits a seated dropkick for 2. He ties Storm up but Storm fights out. Hallowicked tags in and hits a climbing knee in the corner. He climbs the ropes but misses a senton. Quackenbush and Cannon tag in and Quackenbush hits a back bodydrop. Cannon comes back with a brainbuster for 2. He puts on a butterfly lock but Quackenbush comes back with a kick to the face. Claudio tags in and hits a European uppercut. He hits a gutwrench suplex for 2. He hits another European uppercut for 2. Akuma tags in and puts on a leglock. Quackenbush gets to the ropes. Hallowicked tags in and they slam Quackenbushís legs to the mat. Hallowicked puts on a leglock and rolls Quackenbush up for 2. Cannon tags in and puts on a seated abdominal stretch. Quackenbush fights back and gets a backslide, eliminating Cannon at 1:35:23. Claudio comes in and hits a big European uppercut. Milano comes in and hits a back bodydrop. He climbs the ropes and hits a crossbody but Claudio rolls through and pins Milano at 1:35:54. Storm runs in and goes for roll ups on Claudio. Claudio hits the Alpamare Waterslide for 2. Storm hits the Jackhammer for 2. Akuma tags in and hits a clothesline. He kicks Storm down and rips at Stormís mask again. Hallowicked tags in and gets knocked to the floor. Storm follows him out with a topé suicida.
Claudio gets in the ring and drags the lifeless Quackenbush into the ring. Quackenbush hits a hurricanrana out of nowhere to eliminate Claudio at 1:39:10. Akuma runs in and hits the Yoshi Tonic to eliminate Quackenbush at 1:39:54. Storm runs in and counters a crucifix bomb to the Air Raid Crash for 2. He dropkicks the knee but Akuma dodges the Shining Wizard. Hallowiced tags in and hits a step-up hurricanrana. He dropkicks the knee and hits the Shining Wizard for 2. Storm hits a Yakuza kick and the Shining Wizard to put Hallowicked out at 1:42:04. Itís down to two men now. Akuma goes crazy with kicks to the face. He goes for the Yoshi Tonic but canít it all of it and it only gets 2. He rams Stormís knees into the turnbuckle and slams them to the mat. He hits a dropkick to the face for 2. He rips Stormís blue mullet off, but it only serves to fire Storm up. Storm bleeds through his mask as he sets Akuma up top. Akuma fights back and hits the Yoshi Tonic off the second rope for the win at 1:44:26. After the match a bloody Storm challenges Akuma to the first Mask vs. Mask match in CHIKARA history. Storm would win that match, leading to Akuma looking much more intimidating without it.
Again, it makes sense that with so many people able to tag in and out quickly that it would take a long time for the first elimination to take place. After losing Blind Rage the rudo side smartly isolated Sabian, and it was Sabianís stubbornness that got him eliminated. After that it took a long time for our heroes to recover, as they lost three wrestlers in a row. Shane Storm stopped the rapid-fire eliminations (which were impressively spread out in this match, as nine-minutes between eliminations felt fast). Claudioís defeat of the técnico powerhouse Kingston lead to another setback for our heroes as he was able to also quickly put Skayde out. Milanoís fantastic AT Lock massacre gave his team hope, something they needed at that juncture in the match, having half the competitors left than their opponents. After that the eliminations were pretty even, but the action stayed consistent. The biggest compliment I can give this match is that though it was the longest match Iíve ever seen it never felt long. When it was announced that an hour had passed I was very surprised. There werenít a million unbelievable innovative spots, but everything throughout the very long match made sense and the whole ordeal was very entertaining.