CHIKARA Review: Armdrags To Riches
Posted by Kevin Ford on 05.15.2009
Jigsaw and Quackenbush finally speak face to face, Kingston and Castagnoli look to kill one another, and both the Young Lions Cup AND Campeonatos de Parejas are on the line! What else could you want?
Wallingford, CT - 11.16.2008
Off the heels of the excellent Cibernetico Begins event, CHIKARA presents “Armdrags to Riches” from Wallingford, CT. Tonight, the winners of the La Lotería Letal tournament, Equinox & Lince Dorado, are scheduled to face The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian). Last night however, Amasis suffered an ankle injury. How will that play into tonight’s scheduled title bout? Vin Gerard also defends his Young Lions Cup against Worker Ant. Worker pinned Vin back at the “All That Glitters” event, and pinned Vin in the Torneo Cibernetico at Cibernetico Begins. Were both those pinfalls a fluke, or a premonition of things to come? Title bouts aside, we have six other fabulous matches in store, so we best get going!
Commentary is provided by Larry Sweeney, Louden Noxious, Eddie Kingston, Bryce Remsburg, Mike Quackenbush, and Leonard F. Chikarason.
It should be noted that Greengo, a green puppet, is in the crowd. Greengo has been a CHIKARA youtube shooter for a few months now. Interesting character.
F.I.S.T. (Icarus & Gran Akuma) vs. The Sea Donsters (Tim Donst & Hydra)
Akuma and Donst start off rolling around on the mat in an attempt to gain control. Akuma kicks away at Donst. Donst turns Akuma over into a leg submission. Akuma grabs the ropes to break, then heads to Icarus for a hug. Hydra and Icarus tag in, and the fans go nuts for Hydra. Icarus was in a strut off last night, and tonight he competes in a pose down tonight! Hydra laughs at Icarus’ poses, so Icarus calls for a test of strength. Icarus slaps him in the face, then both men get in the test. Icarus feigns pain, only to turn the test into his favor. Hydra holds the knuckle lock, arm drags Icarus off the ropes, then turns the test into his favor. Hydra sunset flips, school boys, and small packages Icarus only getting a two count each time. Hydra attempts a chokeslam, but Icarus reverses and misses an Enzugiri. Akuma tags in and lays in the kicks to Hydra’s leg. F.I.S.T. isolates Hydra and continues to make frequent tags to keep each other fresh while delivering maximum punishment. Icarus berates Donst while the beat down occurs. Icarus’ misses a moonsault, allowing Hydra to get to his corner, even with Akuma trying to stop him. Donst comes in and lands a series of fireman’s carries. He hits Icarus with an STO, then a German suplex to Akuma. Akuma fires up and kicks Donst in the gut. He sets up for the Yoshi Tonic. Donst flips Akuma over into a back slide and gets the pin! An unexpected, yet very cool ending to a pretty good match. I felt it was a little short, but what can you do? **1/4
An unexpected interruption
It's better if you folks watch it for yourselves. It's something that should be seen rather than typed out.
Ultramantis Black vs. Helios
Last night, Ultramantis pinned Helios in the Torneo Cibernetico. Will history repeat itself tonight?
Mantis gets Helios in an armbar into a headlock. Mantis trips Helios down to the mat. Helios floats over into an armbar and drops his knee. Helios mares Mantis down and floats into a backslide for a two. Helios sits down with it, then goes for a crucifix pin. Helios arm drags into another crucifix pin. Helios gets Mantis in a front chancery. Mantis tosses Helios to the ropes, and Helios sends Mantis to the floor with an arm drag. Helios lands a cartwheel moonsault on Mantis on the floor! Mantis leaves to the stairwell, but Helios follows him down and brings him back to the ringside. Mantis and Helios get into a chop war on the floor. Mantis drop toe holds Helios face first into the turn post. Back in the ring, Mantis continues to capitalize on Helios. Mantis stretches out Helios’ shoulders looking for the submission. Helios gets his feet on the ropes to escape. Mantis chokes Helios in the corner with his boot. Helios fights back with a knee. He hits the ropes but stops Helios’ flurry with a hard clothesline. Mantis hits his signature Mongolian chops on the shoulders of Helios. Mantis hits a spinebuster and rolls into an airplane stretch! Helios escapes and avoids an elbow in the corner. Helios quickly pounces landing a cannonball on Mantis. Helios hits a lionsault and spinning heel kick. Helios hits another one hitting Mantis in the back of the head! This only gets Helios a two count. Mantis gets Helios in an Electric Chair drop and Helios surprisingly kicks out. Helios turns a whip off the ropes into a Cobra Clutch back breaker and the Burning Star Screwdriver but only for a two count. Helios misses a twisting moonsault. Mantis looks for the Cosmic Disaster, but Helios spins out into the Burning Star piledriver for the win! This match reminded me a lot of Mantis vs. Donst from Deuces Wild; two opponents with different styles that mesh surprisingly well. I really enjoyed this match. Mantis and Helios both put on a hell of a performance and the crowd was more into it the longer it went on. A job well done by both men. ***1/4
The Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos), Cheech Hernandez, and KC Cloudy Day vs. 2.0 (Jagged & Shane Matthews) and Los Ice Creams (El Hijo del Ice Cream & Ice Cream Jr.)
The Tecnico team is in the back. Dos is speaking to Cheech & Cloudy in French and they have no idea what he is saying. Dos yells at Uno for wearing his NES controller pants, since they were the pants that lost them the Campeones de Parejas. Cheech & Cloudy look very confused, mentioning they lost last time they were in Wallingford. They feel they’re going to ride the wave of success from now on however.
Is this really a match that needs play by play? I say no. It’s all the awesomeness you’d expect. Exceptional comedy, great pro wrestling, lots of high flying and cool looking moves. It’s really a quintessential CHIKARA match-up. You get all the spots you have come to know and love from Los Ice Creams (and so much more), 2.0 is their usual hilarious selves, Cheech & Cloudy bring the whacky and the talent, and the SSB play good comedy figures and straight men. 2.0 and Cheech & Cloudy had their own in set feud, with Cheech refusing to let Jagged where his sunglasses and then Jagged stealing his beach towel. For those curious, Dos landed a frog splash on El Hijo to win the match for his team. This match absolutely defies description and needs to be seen by everyone. ONE MILLION STARS.
Young Lions Cup
Vin Gerard (Champion) vs. Worker Ant
Vin’s in the back saying that Worker Ant doesn’t deserve a shot. Vin says Worker had two fluke victories over him to get the shot, but tonight will be different when the Young Lions Cup is on the line. Vin says that tonight is just not Worker Ant’s night.
Worker and Vin engage in a hard lock up to begin. Vin and Worker rolls around on the mat looking for the advantage. Vin rolls outside to catch his breath. Worker Ant gains the advantage on the mat applying an arm bar. Vin rolls into a headlock, which Worker rolls into another arm bar. On their feet, Worker turns into a wrist lock. Vin elbows Worker in the side of the head. Vin continues to strike on Worker in the corner. Vin goes for the pop-up running knee, but Worker comes back with a knee and some big chops. This sends Vin to the floor. Worker fakes out a dive then actually hits a tope on Vin! Worker grabs Greengo and puts it on. He hits a few hard shots to Vin’s face! Greengo is put on Vin but only gets a two count. As Worker goes to give Greengo back, Vin dives through the middle rope onto Worker! Vin throws Worker’s shoulder into the ring post, then stretches it over the bottom ring rope. Back in the ring Vin continues to work on Worker’s arm. Worker Ant out of nowhere is able to land a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Woker Ant comes back with a high knee and a scoop slam, but again gets two. Vin works out of the Alabama Slam. He drives Worker Ant down the STO and a snap neck breaker. Vin locks on the STF! Worker grabs the bottom rope breaking the submission. Vin tries a scoop piledriver. Worker works out and tries for the Antzugiri, but Vin ducks. Worker Ant works up and lands the Antzugiri and a DDT! Worker Ant puts on his Stan Hansen vest and hat. Vin comes from behind with an elbow to the head. Worker Ant ducks a clothesline and schoolboys Vin for a two. Worker hits a brainbuster and picks Vin up. Vin ducks a lariat and hits the ropes. Worker Ant lands the lariat but Vin manages to kick out! Vin takes out Worker by kicking out his knee, then once again locks in the STF! Worker’s arm drops twice but manages to stay conscious. Vin wrenches back harder and Worker decides to tap out. This was a pretty good match, but nothing real special. Honestly, after all the build up it received, it was a little disappointing. **1/2
Steve “The Turtle” Weiner vs. Brodie Lee
This was a thing of beauty. Brodie killed Turtle, and I couldn’t be happier. Brodie bullied Steve for the better part of two and half minutes then forced Steve to take the big boot to the chest for the victory. I almost cried I was so happy. It was made even more sweet when the fans chanted “YOU DIDN’T DIE!” at Turtle. BEST SQUASH EVER.
Amasis is benched
The Osirian Portal (Amasis, Ophidian, & Escorpion Egipcio) all come out. Amasis is hobbling on crutches. Amasis gets on the microphone to tell the crowd that because he is hurt, there is no title match tonight. Leonard F. Chikarason comes to the ring to set things straight. He says although he feels bad for Amasis’ injury, but when they advertise title matches in CHIKARA, they happen. Therefore, Ophidian and Escorpion Egipcio will defend the belts. If they don’t, they will forfeit the titles. With no choice, The Osirian Portal obliges.
Campeonatos de Parejas
The Osirian Portal (Ophidian & Escorpion Egipcio; Campeones) vs. Equinox & Lince Dorado (La Lotería Letal tournament winners)
Equinox and Lince slide in and double team both members of the Portal. They hit two big dives on both of them to the outside. Equinox chops away at Ophidian. Ophidian stops one, but gets a throat thrust for his trouble. Ophidian slides through the legs and rolls through for a two count. Ophidian chops away at Equinox. Equinox butterflies Ophidian’s arms, but Ophidian pushes him to the corner. They exchange chops once more. Equinox fakes a Shooting Star, causing Ophidian to roll up to his feet. Equinox catches Ophidian with a rana to the floor. Escorpion comes in as does Lince Dorado. Escorpion asks for a test of strength, and has to duck down for Lince to reach. Lince stomps on Escorpion’s foot, but it doesn’t matter. Escorpion uses his strength to gain control. Lince flips over his back and hits a springboard arm drag. Escorpion bandera’s Lince to the ropes. Lince jumps back in with a springboard into a rana. Escorpion catches him, but Lince sunset flips over. Lince goes for a clothesline, but it fails. Escorpion goes for a TKO, but Lince takes him down with a headscissors. Escorpion uses his brute strength to keep dominance. Lince is able to counter a double team attempt by the Portal, using Ophidian to take down Escorpion with a headscissors take over. Equinox jumps in, and he and Lince hit a pair of elbows. They throw him by the armpits out of the corner then kick him in the head. Lince lands a beautiful lynxsault for the three! Equinox & Lince win the first fall.
The Portal whisper to each other in the corner as the bell sounds for the second fall. The Portal hits a double big boot on Lince. Escorpion pops Lince up, and Lince dropkicks Ophidian. Lince then headscissors Escorpion out of the ring to the floor. Lince follows up with a lynxsault onto Escorpion, but it has no effect. Escorpion press slams Lince back into the ring, where he is met by double knees from Ophidian! The Portal once again isolate Lince and bully him. Lince ducks under clothesline, turning into a Pump Handle Suplex. Lince slingshots Ophidian up, and Ophidian catches him with the Canadian Destroyer! Escorpion then lands the Plancha de Cairo for the three count, winning the second fall. That was an AWESOME finish to the fall. It came out of nowhere and looked awesome.
Equinox looks to see if his partner is okay. Ophidian pushes Equinox out of the ring and goes back to work. Lince hits an Enzugiri leaving Ophidian rocking. Lince tags in Equinox! He comes and takes it to Ophidian. Escorpion comes in. After Equinox failed to take him down, Escorpion sets up Equinox for a TKO. Equinox rolls into a DDT and Escorpion rolls to the floor. Equinox catches Ophidian with a sunset flip and hits the Overbomb! Lince hits the Shooting Star Press, and Equinox rolls him up. Escorpion breaks the pin up. Lince and Equinox trip him down, and after a bit of miscommunication, Equinox dropkicks Lince in the head. These two argue, and Escorpion comes in to break it up. Lince is tossed like a bag of oranges to the outside. Escorpion hits a senton, but only gets the two count. Lince comes in and hits a boot, but is charmed by Ophidian. Ophidian is thrown down on Lince by Egipcio, but Lince kicks out. Equinox makes a cover on Ophiidna but gets the pin. Escorpion comes in and looks on what looks to be the CHIKARA Special, but not quite. Lince breaks it up and tries to battle Escorpion. Lince superkicks Escorpion and he leaves the ring. Ophidian misses the double knees. Ophidian ducks an attack from Lince. Like a cat, Lince lands on the top rope, and planchas onto Escorpion! Equinox jumps in with a missile dropkick on Ophidian. Equinox locks in the CHIKARA Special, the same move that won him the Cibernetico last night! Ophidian rolls through and locks on the Ophidian Death Grip! Escorpion prevents Lince from interfering. Equinox fights out of it. Ophidian lands a reverse hurricanrana right onto Equinox’s head! Ophidian locks on the Ophidian Death Grip once more, and Equinox passes out. The Osirian Portal win the second fall and retain the titles. The match was very good, and Amasis on commentary added a lot. Not the best title match ever, but my God were the finishes to the second and third falls great. ***1/2
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Eddie Kingston
Kingston says once again he was given a match he didn’t ask for against Claudio. He says he has respect for Claudio, but not enough to not hurt him. Kingston admits he’s a little worried when Brodie Lee comes up. Brodie says last time they were in Wallingford, he left Claudio laying. Brodie says that since Kingston helped him last night with Hallowicked, he’ll help Kingston out tonight. Kingston and Brodie Lee leave and Brodie shoves the camera away.
These two lock up and Claudio goes for an early pin. Claudio tries his best to get a grip on Kingston, but Kingston refuses to give. Eddie rolls outside the ring to take a breather. Claudio waste locks Eddie and rolls around looking for a pin. Claudio dead-lifts Eddie up to his feet, and Kingston grabs the ropes. Claudio continues to hold Kingston down on the mat, and dead lifts him up again. This time he lifts him into a gut wrench suplex! Eddie rolls to the outside even with Claudio trying to stop him. Kingston comes in and both put up their dukes! Claudio brings Kingston to the corner however, and throws him out with a underhook suplex! Claudio tries again, but Eddie slams his face on the second turnbuckle. Eddie hits a belly to belly suplex for the two count. Eddie chops Claudio and then lands an exploder suplex. Claudio fights up, but Eddie lays some more chops on him. Eddie chokes Claudio with his boot in the corner. Eddie delivers some strikes to Claudio’s mid-section, then to his face. Claudio tries to fight back but another shot crumples Claudio to the mat. Eddie throws some uppercuts in the corner, and Claudio is fired up by it. Kingston throws Claudio to the other corner and catches Claudio with a Yakuza kick. Eddie hits a clothesline, and Claudio blows back with one of his own! The camera shows us that small cut has been made on Eddie’s eye lid. Claudio ducks an elbow and hits a barrage of European uppercuts. Claudio catches Eddie with a power slam out of the corner for a two count. Claudio dead lifts Eddie onto his shoulder for a Samoan Drop! On their feet, Claudio and Kingston exchange shots. Claudio goes for the Sweet Schwinn Music, but Kingston catches his leg and slams him down to the mat. Eddie follows up with a Sliding D, but only gets a two. Claudio blocks a Back Drop Driver, and Claudio tries for a Dead Lift German. Eddie elbows Claudio in the face to escape. Claudio still manages to hit the Dead Lift German but only for the two! Claudio calls for the Ricola Bomb. As he sets up, Kingston turns it into the Back Drop Driver. Kingston goes for the Backfist to the Future but Claudio ducks. Claudio follows with a European uppercut and the Sweet Schwinn Music. Claudio sets up Kingston for the Ricola Bomb. Kingston twists out and smacks Claudio with the Backfist to the Future! Eddie follows up another Back Drop Driver, and Claudio amazingly kicks out! A pissed of Kingston tries for another Back Drop Driver. Claudio counters by pushing Kingston into the ropes. Claudio lands a European Uppercut and a HUGE Sweet Schwinn Music! Claudio finally lands the Ricola Bomb to secure his victory. The fans gave this match a standing ovation, and I can’t blame them. These two men did such an awesome job playing a game of “can you top this?” Kingston knew Claudio hitting the Ricola Bomb would be the end and tried avoiding it all match long. When Claudio finally nailed it, it was all over. Such a fantastic contest. ***3/4
Larry Sweeney who was doing commentary grabs the mic and gets in the ring. He has the fans clap again for the match. Larry says he is not out to waste Claudio’s time. Sweeney says although they have a lot of bad history, right now they both need a partner to take out The Fabulous Two. Sweeney says on December 14th in Philadelphia is when he wants to wrap things up before the year is over. Sweeney says he had some time because he wasn’t wrestling, so he expressed his question via t-shirt. Sweeney had a custom made Swiss N’ Sour t-shirt. The fans chant “SWISS N’ SOUR!” in approval of Sweeney’s proposed team, and chant “SHAKE HIS HAND!” when Sweeney asks for a hand shake from Claudio. Claudio listens to the crowd and shakes Sweeney’s hand! Sweeney busts out a custom made t-shirt for Claudio as well out of his fanny pack! Claudio puts the shirt on and it’s an arrow through a heart that says “Larry + Claudio.” An embarrassed Claudio shakes his hands as the crowd chants “BFF’s!” Sweeney says on December 14th in Philadelphia, Swiss N’ Sour will take down the Fabulous Two. Sweeney jumps into Claudio’s arms for a hug. Sweeney and Claudio leave as a unit. There were so many awesome things about this segment I can’t even explain. I did my best, but you all should see this too.
Four Team Elimination Match
The Fabulous Two (Mitch Ryder & Buck Hawke) vs. The UnStable (STIGMA & Colin Delaney) vs. The Colony (Fire Ant & Soldier Ant) vs. Incoherence (Delirious & Hallowicked)
Leonard F. Chikarason walks into the building and is stopped by Colin Delaney. Colin asks why he and the UnStable doesn’t have theme music. An annoyed Chikarason wants to know if Colin knows how hard he worked to make sure the UnStable has their own locker room every show. Colin says where he comes from, Stamford, he’s used to getting flown and getting catered. Colin adds that Vin is the Young Lions Cup champ and he and STIGMA have a point so they deserve their own music. Colin says Chikarason knows what happened to Bob Saget, and with just one phone call, Colin can make the same happen to him. Chikarason says Colin doesn’t have to make any calls, and that he’ll take care of everything.
Incoherence comes out with a brand new member; Frightmare. He comes out chained up with Hallowicked controlling him on a leash. Frightmare is frantic and crazed, just like his fellow stable mates. Frightmare is led into the ring and released after Delirious and Hallowicked speak with him. Frgithmare goes crazy and runs through the crowd, then out into the streets of Wallingford. An interesting first time appearance.
STIGMA cuts off Delirious’ pre-match chaotic run with an elbow smash. Delirious comes back with a series of flying clotheslines. Delirious and STIGMA fight on the floor, tagging in Colin and Fire Ant. Fire Ant punishes Colin with a series of arm drags ending in an arm lock. Colin rolls up but Fire Ant applies an Octopus stretch. Fire Ant sends Colin to the floor with headscissors, and follows him with a pescado. Buck Hawke and Hallowicked come in as the legal men. Buck asks for a test of strength. Buck twists Wicked’s one arm, and goes for a punch. Hallowicked grabs Buck by the head and slams him to the mat. Buck tries for a running double axe handle and fails. Hallowicked runs Buck face first into the corner. Wicked tags in Soldier Ant after a back body drop. Buck salutes but gets slapped in the face. Soldier salutes, and Buck says its not fair, so he puts his hand down. Soldier Ant slaps Buck anyways, and leaves the ring annoyed. Soldier Ant follows Buck around the ring and slaps him again. This is great comedy. Fire Ant gets in the ring with Buck. He lands a fireman’s carry for a two count. Buck hits a chin breaker and then a clothesline. Buck tags in Mitch who catches Fire off the ropes with an elbow to the face. The Fabulous Two keep each other in the ring while continuing to beat on Fire Ant. Fire Ant tags in Soldier Ant who takes out both members of the Fabulous Two with power moves. Soldier Ant hits a German suplex to pin Mitch Ryder! The Fabulous Two are out, and the Colony now have earned five points.
STIGMA wastes no time and attacks Soldier Ant. STIGMA smashes Soldier Ant with a forearm then slams him to the mat. The UnStable hit a tandem splash then Colin delivers some hard knees to Soldier Ant’s back. STIGMA scrapes his boot on Soldier’s head then hits a running kick to the head. After finally escaping STIGMA’s attack, Soldier Ant tags in Delirious because Fire Ant was taken off the apron by Colin Delaney. Delirious hops in takes it to STIGMA. Colin jumps in when STIGMA runs out and hits the FU on Delirious! Colin was going to hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but stopped and cockily told the crowd he didn’t even need to hit it to get the pin. Colin lays across Delirious, but Delirious rolls him into the Cruxifix Pin for the elimination! Incoherence now has two points; only one away to earn a title shot!
The Colony and Incoherence stare down in the middle of the ring. Delirious says he is going to stomp on the ants. The Colony fire themselves up. Hallowicked and Fire Ant go at it with Hallowicked landing the Go To Sleepy Hollow! Fire Ant ducks the Big Boot and turns the Rydeen Bomb into a wheelbarrow stunner! The Colony hit the Ants Marching neck breaker on Hallowicked! Delirious breaks up the pinfall attempt. Soldier Ant comes off the top rope, and Delirious catches him with a headbutt to the gut. Delirious goes for the Panic Attack but misses. Delirious blocks a clothesline and turns it into the Here It Is Driver! Fire Ant breaks up Delirious’ pin. Incoherence toss Fire Ant aside and look for a double suplex. Fire Ant makes the save, and The Colony suplex Incoherence! The Colony head up top and hit stereo double stomps, much like at Tag World. Both members of Incoherence kick out. Delirious turns the Beach Break into the Cobra Stretch, and Hallowicked turns the TKO into an abdominal stretch! Both ants reach the ropes to break the submissions. Soldier Ant and Hallowicked get in a chop fest. Hallowicked hits the Rydeen Bomb and Delirious squashes him with the Shadows Over Hell for the two! Incoherence pick up Soldier and place him up top. They go up as well looking for the tandem fisherman suplex. Soldier Ant pushes Hallowicked to the floor and Delirious to the mat. Fire Ant hits the senton and Soldier Ant hits the saluting diving headbutt, yet Delirious still kicks out! Hallowicked comes in and mows Soldier Ant down with the Big Boot. Fire Ant responds with an Antzugiri off the top rope, and Delirious responds with a punt to Fire Ant’s temple. Delirious looks for the Cobra Stretch, but Fire Ant turns him around and hits the Beach Break for the victory! The Colony wins the match, and now has an unprecedented six points in their name towards title contention! The match was pretty good, but when it came down to Incoherence and The Colony it became really awesome. The fans got into the moves and got to see The Colony win, which they wanted. ***3/4
The 411: A mixed bag you get with this show. I really liked the eight man tag, Ultramantis vs. Helios, the Kingston/Claudio match (especially the after match antics with Sweeney), and the main event. The other half of the show was pretty good too. I’d recommend this show, even with the disappointing Young Lions Cup match.