-7.20.2014. Wonderland Ballroom. Revere, Massachusetts.
-This is the second and final Chikara show of July. “The Living Daylights” was held in New York the day before.
-Title match tonight! Plus, Icarus returns to action after missing June with a concussion.
-Wow. That’s a looooooow ceiling… Good thing no one on the card likes to fly. Word is that they were moved from the actual ballroom to the bar for some reason.
-Danielle Matheson did a road diary for this show. It’s amazing and you should read it.
-Is this a bad time to mention that I liked Pierce Brosnan as James Bond? Let’s see if Christmas comes more than once for Chikara fans tonight!
3.0 (Scott Parker & Shane Matthews) defeated the Odditorium (Oliver Grimsly & Qefka the Quiet) via Pinfall
3.0 had me in tears to start as they made fun of the low ceiling and the sound effect bell-ringing. This was a nice match to start the show, although it felt way shorter than it could or maybe should have been. 3.0 won with the Sweet Taste of Professionalism at 5:35.
The Odditorium continues to be Circus Slaters, not really a threat to anyone. But, that’s pretty obviously not their job this season. If their job is to make their opponents look good, they’ve been doing great work all year. In fact, they probably deserve a raise.
Ashley Remington defeated Archibald Peck via Submission
Yet another thumb war segment ended up on the official MP4. I’m not sure what these are doing on the final cut, but thank goodness the two twenty-something dudes jobbed to the little kids.
Archibald Peck came out and Halperted the hard cam when the low ceiling kept him from finishing his entrance. Ashley Remington was still sailin’ smooth, although we did get to see a little anger flair up before he smoothed it over with a few deep breaths. Remington and Jervis Cottonbelly have somewhat similar shticks, but this was the first time we’ve seen either wrestle another tecnico. If you don’t love Smooth Sailin’, we can’t be friends.
Everyone loving Ashley Remington might be my favorite gag in Chikara right now. Even Bryce Remsburg and Archibald Peck were smitten with Remington, culminating in a three-way hug that included joyful jumping. This GIF, you guys. Everyone, that is, except Chuck Taylor, who was hilariously irascible on commentary throughout the match, although even he admitted that “he wants to hate” Remington, but doesn’t.
A wrestling match eventually broke out, only to be interrupted by more comedy. No one’s complaining here, though. This was top-to-bottom gold and the sort of thing I would show people as evidence that wrestling can be legitimately funny. There’s too much here to mention without just transcribing the match, so I’ll let you track it down. Finally, Peck tapped to the Anchors Aweigh at 15:24.
The Flood (Dr. Cube, Sinn Bodhi, & The Wrecking Crew (Max Smashmaster, Blaster McMassive, & Flex Rumblecrunch)) defeated Icarus, the Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian), & the Spectral Envoy (Hallowicked & UltraMantis Black) via Pinfall
Sinn Bodhi was billed as Kizarny in New York the day before, billed as Sinn Bodhi on this match’s title screen, but referred to as both Kizarny and Sinn Bodhi by the announcers. Confused yet?
Icarus made his first appearance since “You Only Live Twice.” As brilliantly as his turn was executed, I’m not a big tecnico Icarus fan, mostly because it feels like changing his alignment immediately bumped his WWE 2K14 rating about 10 points. That said, he’s really important to this story, so I’m glad he’s back.
The storytelling throughout the match, particularly with Icarus, was spot on. Icarus was constantly trying to get into the mix while his teammates tried to keep him from pushing too hard too early. Meanwhile, the announcers talked up the difference between “cleared to wrestle” and “healed from injury.”
The in-ring action, however, was a little sloppy. The Devastation Corporation kept throwing worn-down faces out of the ring, a baffling strategy with supposed mastermind Sydney Bakabella right outside the ring and two more, Dr. Cube and Sinn Bodhi, RIGHT NEXT TO THEM.
Making matter worse, despite the huge improvements from McMassive and Smashmaster, Dr. Cube doesn’t wrestle for obvious reasons, Sinn Bodhi is useless if he’s not beating on a face in peril, and Flex Rumblecrunch has three true outcomes: kick, punch, and rope-walk shoulderblock.
The Flood collected the win as an overzealous Icarus ate a Black Hole Slam and Swanton from McMassive and Smashmaster at 9:19. Icarus appeared loopy after the match. Looks like Icarus will need to overcome a concussion through the power of LOVE OF CHIKARA.
Shynron defeated Missile Assault Ant via Pinfall
Shynron was actually the first name that came to mind when I tried to think of wrestlers who might be handicapped by the low ceiling. Of course, he’s also the sort of dude who can hit a 450 Splash from the bottom rope, so I’m sure he’ll manage.
If you are having a bad day and really need a laugh, find Shynron’s TERRIBLE new entrance theme. Imagine if Chris Hero’s “Chris Is Awesome” was terrible/worse, said Hero’s name over and over again, and also that Chris wasn’t good enough to merit having his own name in his entrance music.
Aaaaand the match ends at 2:33 with said 450 Splash. I’m done laughing.
Look, I like Shynron, but why does he need a squash over Missile Assault Ant, the guy who has carried Xtreme Force this year and just beat Silver Ant the night before? Shynron’s biggest accomplishment this year was lasting 20 seconds when Eddie Kingston started trying. I don’t get this at all…
But, like the song says, “Shynron! Yeah, he’s the spirit dragon!” Touché, terrible song. Touché…
The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & Mr. Touchdown) defeated the Pieces of Hate (Jigsaw & the Shard)(c) 2-1 for the Campeonatos de Parejas
Three things guaranteed to wash a bad taste out of your mouth? The Pieces of Hate, the Throwbacks, and 2/3 Falls Matches.
This was the first defense of the tag titles this year and the first ever defense by the Pieces of Hate, who claimed the straps from 3.0 at “Aniversario: Never Compromise.” And remember, every Campeonatos de Parejas defense is 2/3 falls. Also of historical note is that these teams are the last two winners of the Tag World Grand Prix.
Pieces of Hate jumped the Throwbacks to start. Both rudos, but Jigsaw in particular, are masters of rudo jawing and mannerisms. In fact, Jig is probably my favorite guy in Chikara right now.
Pieces of Hate dominate the Throwbacks early. Touchdown got the worst of it, but Dasher ate a Jig N’ Tonic at 5:08 for the first fall.
Pieces of Hate continued to isolate Dasher while constantly cheapshotting Touchdown at every opportunity. Finally, Touchdown had enough, Spearing both Shard and Jigsaw, who was mixing another Jig N’ Tonic for Hatfield. The Spear flipped Jigsaw into a Sunset Powerbomb to even the score at 10:21.
Business promptly picked up, so much so that a ceiling fixture was knocked down when Hatfield hoisted Jigsaw for a move. The next several minutes saw the Pieces of Hate throw everything they had at the Throwbacks. A couple sequences were hindered by the low ceiling, but the Throwbacks looked tough and resilient without the match venturing into Davey Richards territory.
The Pieces of Hate went for a second Double Stomp/Jig N’ Tonic, but Shard was shoved off the ropes. One Prime Time later and we had new Campeonatos de Parejas at 17:32. Fantastic match and an easy MATCH OF THE EVENING!
The Throwbacks totally deserve this. They’ve worked their butts off and are two of Chikara’s best. They’ve completely gelled as a team and have put together some great tandem offense after getting on the same page at Wrestling Is Fun’s “Cruel Summer.”
My only wish is that we’d have gotten to see Pieces of Hate burn down some houses defending those titles before dropping them. For those keeping track, Pieces of Hate currently have a 100% Match of the Evening rate and now lead Chikara with four. If you are concerned about bias, I might reconsider their “The Living Daylights” match and I will say that their “Goldfinger” match was mostly the Spectral Envoy.
Jervis Cottonbelly defeated Eddie Kingston via Disqualification
Jervis came out selling a rib injury from a Tursas flying splash the night before. I bet Jervis is in pain, but at least he’s still alive…
Eddie was again sans ring gear, obviously not interested in locking up with an injured Cottonbelly. Jervis told Kingston that he’s “better than this.” Kingston repeatedly asked the audience “What do you want from me?” Floyd, perhaps?
Jervis threw some elbows and Kingston threw a few kidney punches before losing interest again. Two observing Plague Doctors attacked Cottonbelly to end the match at 4:11.
Kingston tried to walk away, but Jimmy Jacobs came over the PA, saying that this “sedated” Kingston wasn’t the one Jacobs or “She” needed. He urged Kingston to destroy a Plague Doctor and become Jacobs’ right hand. Very Emperor Palpatine.
Kingston agonized over the decision, which was probably made more difficult by the half of the crowd that didn’t understand that Kingston beating a Plague Doctor was a bad thing. Eddie finally rocked one of them with a Backfist to the Future before looking at his handiwork in horror and walking right out of the building.
The story is progressing, but we still don’t know what direction it’s headed. They’re really dragging this thing out, and that’s okay. I don’t mind a slow burn.
Worker Ant defeated Arctic Rescue Ant via Pinfall
Congratulations, Worker Ant, for delivering Chikara’s first flat-out bad match of the year. To say that Arctic Rescue Ant wrestled circles around Worker Ant would be an understatement of British proportions. (There’s a really snarky “worker” joke laying around here somewhere).
All of Worker Ant’s punches seemed to be in slow motion. He trudged from move to move without any snap and sleepwalked through his power moves before winning with a vicious Pumphandle GTS at 5:34.
I can only think of five explanations:
1) Worker Ant was really sick and is not Michael Jordan.
2) Someone Worker Ant loved died and is not Brett Favre.
3) Worker Ant wanted to quit, but Quack kidnapped Worker’s family and threatened to kill them if Worker didn’t keep wrestling.
4) Worker Ant thought this was a walkthrough and was just trying to get a feel for the match’s blocking.
5) Worker Ant was inspired by the show’s title and decided someone had to be Denise Richards.
I hate getting negative about Chikara or indie wrestling in general, but Worker Ant couldn’t have looked more uninspired. I’ve seen Worker do a lot better, so this just must have been an off-night or something.
On the plus side, Chikara clearly learned from “Diamonds Are Forever” and spaced their squashes throughout the card.
Baltic Siege (Estonian Thunderfrog, Lithuanian Snow Troll, & Latvian Proud Oak) defeated the Bloc Party (Mr. Azerbaijan, The Proletariat Boar of Moldova, & Prakash Sabar) via Submission
Hmmmmm…Why is this match, a side feud completely detached from the Flood, the main event? Particularly when you had a Campeonatos de Parejas defense earlier? Oh no… There’s going to be post-match shenanigans and they’re going to be very bad for somebody in Chikara, aren’t they?
Welp! Time to ignore the voice in my head going “OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD” and enjoy the match! This is a rematch of sorts from National Pro Wrestling Day when Baltic Siege seemingly ended a promotion-spanning feud by winning a trios match. Interestingly enough, Estonian Thunderfrog killed Brown Morning of Belarus by crushing him with the Hammer of Peace after the match.
National Pro Wrestling Day was pretty cool, wasn’t it? Sorry. I’m just stalling for reasons that will become clear when you get to the end. This trios match was an elimination match and the losers had to wave the winners’ flags.
A brawl started things off, as it often has this year. Snow Troll got in a gorgeous tornado DDT and a nice suicide dive before the Proletariat Boar crushed him with a Gore, eliminating Snow Troll at 3:08.
It looked like Baltic Siege was going to even it up with a Froggy Splash, but the Bloc Party used their numerical advantage to break it up and beat down Thunderfrog. Baltic Siege, however, came back and eliminated Sabar with a Crucifix Bomb tossed into an Edge-O-Matic at 7:01. Latvian Proud Oak took down Mr. Azerbaijan, but ate a Gore mid-handstand and was eliminated at 7:48.
The Estonian Thunderfrog suddenly faced a very tall order. He took a beating until he dodged a Gore, sending Boar into Mr. Azerbaijan. Thunderfrog rolled up and eliminated a distraught Boar at 11:12.
The eliminated wrestlers spilled into the ring and briefly brawled before Thunderfrog and Azerbaijan squared off. Thunderfrog hit an Estonian Stampede and locked in the Chikara Special for the win at 12:35.
Elimination matches, much like 2/3 Falls matches, are ripe for great storytelling. This one had that and some excellent action to boot. Thunderfrog is hugely popular and Proletariat Boar has turned into a certified Hoss.
Block Party reluctantly waved the Baltic Siege’s flags as the show ended and nothing horrible happened.
As per weekend closing tradition, the Flood came out after the main event, this time beating down the Baltic Siege. A tangible, oppressive wave of inevitability overtook the room as Deucalion stormed the ring. At least four people muttered “Oh, no…” as he walked by, and those were just the fans close to the camera.
Deucalion made a beeline for Estonian Thunderfrog and dropped him with a Chokebreaker on the floor. Proud Oak and Snow Troll grieved over their fallen comrade before carrying him away.
Congratulations, Chikara. You made me cry at wrestling. Are you happy now?
For the most part, this was a very good show. We got three great matches and a couple more that moved stories along.
As sad as I am that they killed off Estonian Thunderfrog, they executed it beautifully. The day before, he took out Tursas, striking back for Chikara, but making himself a marked man in the process. And in the moments leading up to his demise, Thunderfrog was transformed into a folk hero. He defied 2-to-1 odds to win his match and he did it with the Chikara Special, a hold reserved only for those purely Chikara.
And then, at his professional peak, he was struck down by the Flood. I would have loved to have seen Chikara tease the Hammer of Peace or have Deucalion shockingly block a Hammer shot, but this Deucalion was probably the most terrifying version we’ve seen. There was no gloating. There was no intimidation. There was no showboating. He came in, killed Estonian Thunderfrog, and left. Swift. Brutal. Decisive.
Thunderfrog’s death, however, raises an interesting question: Will he, and the others, stay dead? Killing off deviANT and Tursas is one thing. They won’t be missed, especially if the BDK is banished forever. Kobald and Thunderfrog on the other hand? Can anyone envision Chikara without the Estonian Thunderfrog after this story ends? How do they raise the dead without undermining the story they just told? The good news is that it’s Chikara, so I don’t think they’re going to Dexter anything.
As sunny and cheerful as all of that is, there are a couple of problematic elephants in the room, if you don’t mind mixed metaphors.
First, where the heck was the Chikara roster at the end of the show? Someone has literally kayfabe died EVERY TIME we’ve seen Deucalion. There’s a zero percent change he wanders out, buys a Submission Squad tee, and leaves. What was everyone doing?
I get that Icarus was concussed/injured, but I don’t buy that he’s the only one who can rally Chikara here. It makes perfect sense that he was the only one who cared enough to resurrect the company, but now everyone is here. It’s all back. If they still don’t care enough to stop Deucalion, then maybe Chikara deserves to die.
The biggest problem, however, is that we have no sense for how the Flood plan on destroying Chikara. Follow me here for a second…
There’s suspense when a bad guy has a gun pointed at a good guy because we know that a pull of the trigger sends a metal projectile to tear up the protagonist’s vital organs. There’s suspense with a missile strike because we know missiles explode things and incinerate people.
But how does the Flood kill Chikara? Do they win X amount of matches? Do they win so much that Chikara gets sad from losing and quits? Does Deucalion keep murdering people until the roster becomes too depleted to support a promotion? We can’t feel suspense if we don’t know what we are supposed to be fearing or dreading.
So there it is. “The World Is Not Enough” moved things along well enough that it feels like we are reaching a breaking point. It’s not the end of the season yet, but it feels like the right time to blow off a little steam before building towards the end of the season. This was a great show to close out a great weekend of Chikara wrestling.
Speaking of which, Chikara heads to Canada in August. Next up are “Permis De Tuer” in Quebec City and “Vivre Et Laisser Mourir” in Montreal August 16 & 17. That’s “License to Kill” and “Live and Let Die” for us non-Québécois.
Should I Buy It?
For the Wrestling? Yeah. There were a couple duds in here, but the title match and the main event were fantastic. I’d buy for Peck/Remington alone.
For the Story? Yes. More body bags are sending this story hurtling towards some sort of cataclysm. You won’t appreciate the blowoff if you didn’t witness the build.
For the History? Absolutely. One of Chikara’s most popular perished and new Campeonatos de Parejas were crowned.
I Am Chikara – You Only Live Twice – Quantum of Solace – Diamonds Are Forever – Goldfinger – The Living Daylights – The World Is Not Enough – Permis De Tuer – Vivre Et Laisser Mourir – King of Trios 2014 (Night One)(Night Two)(Night Three) – Thunderball – Moonraker – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – For Your Eyes Only – Tomorrow Never Dies