Chikara “Vivre Et Laisser Mourir” Review

urlPre-Show Notes
-Centre LGH. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. August 17, 2014.
-Icarus’ first title defense tonight. Does this make the Grand Championship a world championship? Or does it need to be defended across an ocean?
-Our title tonight is the French version of Live and Let Die.
-I’ve never seen a Roger Moore Bond movie.
-Also, Yaphet Kotto!
-The song, on the other hand, I’m all about. Wings, Guns N’ Roses, doesn’t matter. I’m in.
-Yes! A crowd worthy of Chikara tonight! Nice work, Montreal.
-Last chance for Canadian stereotype jokes!

vlcsnap-2014-09-27-11h34m46s238The Colony (Fire Ant & Worker Ant) defeated Los Ice Creams (El Hijo del Ice Cream & Ice Cream Jr.), the McGoths (Bloodlust McGoth & Spooky McGoth), & The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian) via Pinfall
Chikara has not let up on their fun 4-way openers. The matches are plenty good, and this one was no exception. I’d just like them to have some substance or consequence beyond the scramble for Campeonatos de Parejas points. Osirian Portal had two points and would earn a title shot with a win.

Sadly, Los Ice Creams weren’t at “Quantum of Solace.” One day, I will do Los Ice Creams’ weird arm waving thing. It also seems like the audio and video are out of sync on my Smartmark MP4. If this is their fault, it’d be the first time.

Los Ice Creams and the McGoths were featured heavily in the match. The Colony never even saw the ring for 11 minutes. Their first appearance was part of an awkward sequence where everyone crushed Los Ice Creams the corner. The Colony is the most consistently exciting team in Chikara. How have they bungled them so badly this weekend?

Finally, Los Ice Creams took out the McGoths with a flying butt bump. The Topes win a game! The Topes win a game! As they celebrated, Fire Ant connected with a crossbody, eliminating them. Los Ice Creams are the most consistently entertaining team in Chikara.

Down to the Osirian Portal and the Colony, the finish was hella exciting. The Colony won with a Pumphandle GTS to Amasis.

vlcsnap-2014-09-27-11h36m15s124Nøkken defeated Kodama via Pinfall
With no Obariyon this weekend or Ares ever, these two got a singles matchup. I think this is Nøkken’s first singles match in Chikara and he looked good early on. Kodama played the little guy well against Nokken’s imposing hoss. Nokken blasted Kodama with a chokelsam to win what was essentially an extended squash. It’s a good idea to establish someone as imposing as Nøkken, especially if he is the only remaining representative of the vaunted BDK.

vlcsnap-2014-09-27-11h40m30s116Ashley Remington vs. Chuck Taylor
It wasn’t exactly a rubber match, but it was the third matchup between these two. Remington won the first. He won in the second as well, but Taylor had a foot on ropes. Taylor came out not quite all business, but more business than usual.

Remington and Taylor work so well together. Round 3 wasn’t as fast or as fun as the others, but it played well off of their previous matchups. Taylor got the clean win with a wheelbarrow victory roll.

Chucky T winning here was the right call. Taylor needed the legitimacy and Remington needs to do more before challenging for the Grand Championship. Better yet, Remington took advantage of the loss for some character development. Ashley seemed perplexed and enraged that he lost, but was able to calm down.

Taylor tried to rub it in with a gift of French bread (because Quebec, you see…), but Remington turned it around by offering Chucky half. Remington kept his cool and continued to sail smoothly, but there are hints of troubled waters below the surface. Well done.

vlcsnap-2014-09-27-11h41m26s1663.0 (Scott Parker & Shane Matthews) & Archibald Peck defeated the Wrecking Crew (Flex Rumblecrunch, Jaka & Max Smashmaster) via Submission
Sydney Bakabella’s Wrecking Crew came out, missing Blaster McMassive and Bakabella himself, whom we haven’t seen forever. Rumblecrunch is nice guy to have around for filling out multi-man tag matches, but he’s easily the weak link of the Wrecking Crew.

The crowd was oddly dead during this match. In fact, they haven’t been that great all weekend.

Regardless, they got a good match. Shane Matthews proved to be Jaka’s equal at shenanigans early on and the soon match turned into a nice back and forth affair. The action was crisp, Rumblecrunch was minimized, great stuff. There wasn’t a ton to remember or take away, but it had my undivided attention the entire time. 3.Peck.0 picked up the win when Flex tapped out to the Boston Crab.

vlcsnap-2014-09-27-11h42m48s220Jimmy Jacobs defeated Silver Ant via Disqualification
Jacobs cut a nice video promo suggesting that his reputation for underhandedness has fooled Chikara fans into thinking he has some hidden agenda. He’s playing it straight, though, and is coming for the Grand Championship. A win tonight gives him that shot.

Silver Ant was a brilliant choice of opponent for Jacobs. Not only is he incredibly skilled and able to make Jacobs looks like a million bucks, but a Jacobs win would go a long way towards making Jacobs look like a threat, which is something they haven’t bothered doing so far.

Silver Ant came out firing but Jacobs took control through nefarious means. Jacobs worked on Silver Ant’s neck with an impressive guillotine choke sequence. Meanwhile, Mike Quackenbush explained Silver Ant’s name change as some sort of a larvae/pupa transformation from the “Rookie Green Ant” to “Submission Specialist Silver Ant.”

vlcsnap-2014-09-27-11h43m20s25Silver Ant came back and locked in the Chikara Special, bringing out Eddie Kingston. Silver Ant broke the hold and confronted Kingston. Jacobs whispered something into Kingston’s ear, causing Kingston to strike Jacobs. The referee called for the bell and Kingston immediately attacked Silver Ant, blasting him with a Backfist to the Future. Jimmy Jacobs won by disqualification as Kingston and Jacobs embraced.

For the most part, I liked this. If you are going to have a faction led by an evil mastermind, it helps for him to occasionally do smart things. I also appreciated that despite bungling Kingston’s turn the night before, they didn’t try to redo it tonight. There was no hesitation or internal conflict for Kingston. He was on a mission to help Jacobs pick up that third point.

The only problem I had is that the finish was obvious collusion. Like blatant. If Jacobs whispering into Kingston’s ear wasn’t enough, the celebration after the match should have been a dead giveaway. What’s keeping Dan Yost from reversing his decision based on all that evidence? Earlier in the show, Remsburg said Remington lost a point when Chikara officials found that Chuck Taylor’s foot was on the ropes in their second match. If that could be changed, why can’t this?

Still, this was the MATCH OF THE EVENING! Great wrestling while it lasted and sensible, if not exactly novel, storytelling to close it out.

vlcsnap-2014-09-27-11h45m05s44The Flood (GEKIDO (17 & The Shard) & the Colony Xtreme Force (Missile Assault Ant & Orbit Adventure Ant)) defeated the Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & Mark Angelosetti) & the Spectral Envoy (Hallowicked & UltraMantis Black) via Pinfall
There was a lot to love about this match. I wanted Jigsaw, but a wise man gave me some advice for these sorts of situation.

Throughout the match, they kept building the Shard vs. Touchdown rivalry stemming from their Campeonatos de Parejas bout. Shard would attack Touchdown when he was down and then immediately tag someone else in.

The crowd was into it for a while, but they checked out when the Flood broke up an UltraMantis Chikara Special. It’s too bad because they ignored a fantastic match. This whole show has actually been pretty killer, but the roster did not get the love they deserved.

The rudos used a ton of referee distractions to beat the heck out of Touchdown and UltraMantis. This led to a great reversal where Touchdown feigned an injury to allow the tecnicos to triple team the Flood in their corner.

Some flippy spots lead to your Hoss-Battle-Royal-Memorial “Awwwwww, Shiiiiit…” Moment as Shard stepped in to face Touchdown. They beat the hell out of each other. It was awesome. In stature, it was the smallest hossfight ever. Damn hossy, though.

Finishers were traded and Missile Assault Ant reversed a Go To Sleepy Hollow into a rollup with tights for the win. The Flood stole another match and headed into King of Trios with all the momentum.

vlcsnap-2014-09-27-11h46m20s25Icarus (c) defeated Juan Francisco de Coronado via Submission for the Chikara Grand Championship
Juan Francisco has been incredible thus far in both Wrestling is Fun! and Chikara, but he is not the guy to establish Icarus as a legitimate Grand Champion. Someone with a little more Chikara pedigree would have been a better choice. Bryce refused to hold the ropes for Juan Francisco and his jumbo Ecuadorian flag. Meanwhile, what I can only assume is the recorder version of “My Heart Will Go On” played in the background. I didn’t link that. You’re welcome.

Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston presumably cried into a pint of ice cream in the back. Are there no rematch clauses in Chikara? Man, how do they do it needing to actually tell a story?

This was a solid, workmanlike match, but there wasn’t really any drama. Will the newcomer with no signature wins defeat the guy who resurrected the company? Wait and see!

What the match instead tried to do was put over the heart of Icarus, as if saving the company and beating Eddie Kingston weren’t enough. Does he have enough heart to overcome his concussion? Now his leg is getting worked on. Can he overcome that?

Icarus was too injured to hit the Blu-Ray until he wasn’t. Finally, he tapped out Juan Francisco with a Sharpshooter because Montreal. It was a great match. It would have been incredible if there was any doubt in anyone’s mind as to who would win.

Overall
Honestly, I’d be okay if Chikara never came back to Canada. The 80 people in Quebec didn’t make a lot of noise and Montreal’s hundreds felt like even fewer. To be fair, though, these weren’t the first crowds that haven’t gotten into the storytelling this season. That’s a problem for Chikara, even if I’ve been relatively satisfied.

I think the biggest problem is still the perceived lack of consequences. Wrestlers are dying and the Flood is winning matches, but there’s still no endgame. We don’t know what we should be dreading right now. I want to dread something. Give me something to dread!

The Flood wants to destroy Chikara forever, but they are being treated like the BDK, who just wanted to dominate the company. Those are totally different things. The storytelling needs to reflect that.

Next is King of Trios, the greatest weekend in professional wrestling! I’m calling a Flood victory to further establish their threat.

Should I Buy It
For the Wrestling? Yeah. This was a really good wrestling show, even if the good people of Montreal sucked the life out of most of the matches.
For the Story? Not really. The only big thing was Kingston coming out to help, but his allegiances were already established.
For the History? First Grand Championship defense for Icarus. Not much else unless Jacobs uses his Silver Ant win as a springboard to take it away from Icarus.

*************************

More Chikara

I Am ChikaraYou Only Live TwiceQuantum of SolaceDiamonds Are ForeverGoldfingerThe Living DaylightsThe World Is Not EnoughPermis De TuerVivre 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

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4 thoughts on “Chikara “Vivre Et Laisser Mourir” Review

  1. A little late getting these up for King of Trios. I was calling a Flood victory too, like with the BDK in 2010. I was surprised who they gave the victory to, though. I followed the match on Wikipedia, by which I mean I checked late each night to see who had advanced.

    The first Podcast A Go-Go afterward, Gavin promised something special in a week. One week later, he’s holding a cat for part of the podcast and has dubbed it the podcat. So that’s the disappointment I had to contend with for Chikara. A podcat. I hoped for something a little better.

    I think the pacing could be better on the Chikara story, too. I understand that some of what they’re doing is keeping people out of the way for their other duties, but they ought to have some sort of follow-up if they introduced this stuff in the first place. Along with the lack of goal (kill enough Chikara wrestlers?) it forces the overall threat to seem not quite so threatening. Also, seeing as I don’t keep up with all the forums, why is Ares not involved anymore?

    Got to agree with you about Los Ice Creams. They’re great comedy. They didn’t disappoint the first match of theirs I saw on DVD, at KoT 2010. Los Ice Creams and Curry Man vs. Cuije, Alebrije, y El Oriental.

    • Yeah, I started an online MA program, so I have had precious little extra time since August. Just couldn’t get them up in time. I just finished watching Night 3 and I have to say that I was really happy with the weekend.

      The feeling that I got from Ares, and Tursas for that matter, is that they never intended to be back full-time. I think they just brought them back to build that threat, but that both parties understood it was going to be temporary. Ares hadn’t even wrestled for two years when they brought him back for “You Only Live Twice.” Of course, I don’t keep up with forums either, so I could be very wrong.

      I’m with you on the pacing and the storytelling. I think that’s why I loved KoT so much. It felt like the first big step forward for a couple of months.

      • Nah, it’s pretty obvious about why Tursas was only back temporarily. Archie mourning Latvian Proud Oak is as meta as Max Smashmaster mourning Tursas.

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