Chikara “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” Review

OHMSSPre-Show Notes
-Haverhill, Massachusetts. Haverhill High School. November 15, 2014.
-If you missed “Moonraker,” Archibald Peck is dead. Anything can happen. Everything is exciting and simultaneously sadder.
-It’s George Lazenby time! Hopefully tonight’s show is closer to the film and further away from Lazenby’s performance…
-“OHMSS” is apparently being held in every high school gym in America. 2001 Conference Champs!
-The shadow hanging over this weekend is the season finale, “Tomorrow Never Dies.” Good money is on this weekend helping set up that event. But hey, sometimes the setup is better than the finish. Here goes!

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h24m40s85The Flood (Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (Jakob Hammermeier & Nøkken) & Oliver Grimsly) (w/ Slaash & Milo Schnitzler) defeated 3.Cheeri0 (Scott Parker & Shane Matthews & Jervis Cottonbelly) via Pinfall
Milo Schnitzler handled the introductions and earned Jakob’s disdain by mispronouncing his name. Milo was also sporting hair and a goatee, sort of killing off the “Make You Think About Nazis without Saying Nazi” vibe the BDK had going for it. That’s probably a good thing, by the way. 3.0 came out with old-timey mustaches, which Matthews was not feeling.

Oliver Grimsly was alone representing the Odditorium tonight. Given that they are still on the schneid, it’s possible that Deucalion killed Sinn Bodhi and Qefka in between shows. Grimsly can go, though, so I’m glad he’s here. Jervis got worked over by the rudos as soon as the shenanigans ended.

3.0 got the hot tag and things picked up a couple of notches. Some nice fast pace action ended with Jervis on the receiving end of Jakob’s Knockout Punch. It was a fun little match to kick things off. Everything clicked in the ring and the BDK picked up another strong win, adding to their development as a feature player in the overall feud.

Also, Oliver Grimsly won! Maybe Sinn Bodhi was the problem… After the match, Milo’s showboating got him in trouble with the rest of the BDK. Come on, Milo. There’s no “I” in “Bruderschaft des Kreuzes.” Or “me,” now that I think about it.

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h27m15s100Missile Assault Ant defeated Princess KimberLee via Pinfall
Princess KimberLee is back after blowing the roof off of “King of Trios Night 1.” This was mostly an extended squash for Missile Assault Ant, but I really enjoyed it. Chikara usually does intergender matches well, but sometimes there’s this formula for the rudo not taking the woman seriously and she has to “earn” the rudo’s respect throughout the match. Missile Assault Ant was terrifically overconfident throughout the match, but it felt like it was because of his strength advantage rather than his opponent’s gender.

More importantly, he showed KimberLee respect throughout the match by kicking the hell out of her. He didn’t pull any punches, literally or figuratively, throughout the match. His overconfidence got him in trouble, but KimberLee didn’t have the fortified flesh to match her over-abundantly willing spirit. Missile Assault Ant picked up the win by European Uppercutting KimberLee as she jumped off the turnbuckle.

Was that the most overworked shoehorning of a Biblical passage in the history of writing?

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h28m23s13Worker Ant defeated Prakash Sabar via Pinfall
At “Moonraker,” the Colony defeated the Bloc Party in a trios match. The non-fued continued tonight. Prakash left a fan’s high-five hanging, earning a “Please deport him” chant from the crowd. I’m assuming Haverhill is not a fan of President Obama’s most recent executive order.

This was a, pardon the pun, workmanlike match from both men. Both seemed a bit too tentative earlier on, making things feel awkward and unimpactful. However, their chemistry and confidence grew throughout the match and it ended very well. Worker Ant got the win with the Get the Sugar and a spinning lariat, which seemed to be the “move of the night.”

Both guys are still a bit green, but are coming along nicely. Both should be solid players for Chikara by this time, or earlier, next year.

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h29m41s30The Spectral Envoy (Frightmare, Hallowicked & UltraMantis Black) & The Batiri (Kodama & Obariyon) defeated The Flood (Deucalion, GEKIDO (17 & The Shard), Jimmy Jacobs & Volgar) via Pinfall
Deucalion is wrestling and his match is right before intermission? Oh no…

The Spectral Envoy has been an interesting part of this feud so far. They haven’t had much to do, but their potential for something much more has remained high. Now that Delirious has the Eye of Tyr, I’m looking forward to the Envoy retaking center stage. The Batiri were back, facing the man who killed Kobald. Now that I think of it, it’s odd that the Batiri were such an integral part of this story early on and have basically disappeared since.

This was Deucalion’s first official match in Chikara and it began, appropriately, with a huge brawl. Has Deucalion forgotten he was going to kill Jacobs for losing to Icarus? Does Deucalion have space in his cold, dead heart for mercy? Or is my conspiracy theory about secret-rudo Icarus accurate?

I loved (almost) everything about this match. It was pitch-perfect storytelling on multiple levels. This match was all about Deucalion, who DESTROYED Chikara on the outside, fulfilling their most important obligation: preserving the mythic quality of Deucalion. The risk you run putting Deucalion in a match is to humanize the unbeatable monster. Thankfully, he was taken out of the equation only once and only by double and triple-teaming. By the end of match, Deucalion looked unstoppable but just vulnerable enough to offer a glimmer of hope that someone could beat him…

A match did occur in the background while Deucalion picked apart the Batiri. The Flood dominated until the Envoy came back and unloaded on 17, Shard, and especially Volgar. Frightmare hit the Kneecolepsy on Shard for the win. The action was chaotic and the cameras didn’t catch much of the match itself, but that’s okay. This wasn’t about the match.

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h29m18s55 vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h30m33s39 vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h31m09s153 Post-Match
Deucalion seemed to be having so much fun that he was unprepared for the match’s end. That, of course, can only mean one thing: Scapegoat time! Deucalion rolled into the win and grabbed Frightmare. Suddenly, 17 blasted Deucalion with a Palm Strike, allowing Frightmare to escape. 17 fled, presumably making Zoidberg wooping noises in his head.

Jacobs implored Deucalion to hunt down 17, but Deucalion seemed to remember Jacobs’ failures past and present. Jacobs realized what happening and tried to convince Deucalion that 17 was to blame. Deucalion wasn’t buying it, so Jacobs shifted to the Shard. Deucalion accepted Jacobs’ explanation and Chokebreakered Shard to death, silencing Chikara’s best theme music forever 😦

Jacobs seemed horrified by his own cowardice throwing Shard under the bus. Intentionally or unintentionally, the parallels with Kid Cyclone are impossible to avoid. Fantastic character work from Jacobs.

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h33m50s208Then, since that wasn’t enough, Jacobs and Volgar found 17’s gear laying on the ground, heavily implying that that wasn’t actually 17. Either that, or there’s a naked wrestler running around Massachusetts.

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h34m36s166Shynron defeated the Proletariat Boar of Moldova via Pinfall
If you read my thoughts on “Moonraker,” “Thunderball,” and “King of Trios Night 3,” you know that this isn’t exactly Shynron Central. I’ve got occasional problems with his indiscriminate filppiness and constant problems with his ability to tell a story.

That’s why his opponents this weekend were perfect. Proletariat Boar tonight. Nøkken tomorrow. Two hosses less concerned with disabling working body parts Shynron needs to remove from the match and more concerned with inflicting general pain Shynron can fight through. Plus, Shynron’s nonstop flipping suddenly makes sense. A crazy aerial attack is the only gameplan for Shynron. He’s half a Boar and a third of a Nøkken. He’s going to get murdered doing anything else.

The result was a fantastic match. Boar has secretly become one of Chikara’s most consistent performers. His character is simple and effective. He is smart and strong, but conservative in his approach. Boar doesn’t think or wrestle outside of the box. This opens the door for creativity from his opponents and few are more offensively creative than Shynron.

And that was the match. Shynron used his creativity to seize momentum and Boar took over as soon as he caught on to Shynron’s antics. They stuck to those themes until Shynron hit the Second Rope 630 Senton for the win. Great stuff.

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h36m02s7Juan Francisco de Coronado defeated Ashley Remington via Pinfall
Before the match, Juan Francisco cut the world’s smarmiest promo complete with feigned friendliness and a sarcastic gun-finger. This guy is incredible. Also, what is up, Brunette Ashley Remington Valet?

Juan Francisco was all smiles and played along with Remington’s shtick until he couldn’t stomach anymore and slapped him. He took advantage of Remington’s enraged state, working over Remington’s left arm. And holy smokes, did he work that arm. Long periods of time. Every move and counter imaginable. In fact, Juan Francisco was so relentless that they lost the crowd a little bit.

I loved the dedication to the story, however. Ashley came back, but Juan Francisco worked that arm before seizing a German Suplex, and some rope leverage, for the win.

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h36m14s102 vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h36m28s4 vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h36m50s221 vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h37m12s191Juan Francisco gloated a bit before pulling out a whole basket of bananas. Ecuador is a leading banana producer, after all. Ashley was honored, but Juan Francisco used it to crack Remington over the head. One smirking gun-finger and Juan Francisco was out of there.

See you two crazy cats for the tie-breaker at “Tomorrow Never Dies.”

vlcsnap-2014-12-04-17h38m40s40The Wrecking Crew (Jaka, Oleg the Usurper & the Devastation Corporation (Blaster McMassive, Flex Rumblecrunch & Max Smashmaster)) (w/ Sidney Bakabella) defeated Icarus & the Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & Mark Angelosetti) & the Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian) via Pinfall
Everything has been building to this match since King of Trios. Sidney Bakabella’s entire stable against five of the top Chikara tecnicos. This one’s gonna be good…

And it certainly was your MATCH OF THE EVENING! If you watch Indy wrestling, you have an idea of the ebb and flow of the match, so I’ll spare you the tales of faces in peril hot tags.

Everyone in this match was fantastic. It was slow when it made sense and chaotic when that made sense. Even the intramatch storytelling was great. Jaka and Oleg clashed with the Osirian Portal, taking each other out of the match at the end. Icarus and Max Smashmaster faced off, referencing Max’s pinfall on Icarus from “The World Is Not Enough.” The Devastation Corporation and the Throwbacks picked up some steam towards what has to be an imminent title challenge.

And throughout the match, Jagged was dynamite on commentary. Chikarason asked him if he hoped the Wrecking Crew wore down the Throwbacks before 3.0’s title match the next night. Parker answered that the selfish part of him says “yes,” but that Chikara is involved in something bigger than the Campeonatos de Parejas and as such, he wants the Wrecking Crew to get wrecked.

Great stuff. A signature barrage and some nice back and forth action culminated in a Death Blow on Dasher, giving the Wrecking Crew the win.

Overall
Usually this season, we’ve seen the Saturday show set ‘em up and the Sunday show knock ‘em down. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was definitely busier than Chikara’s average Saturday. It helped push things towards the Season 14 finale and it added some new wrinkles for Season 15.

I’m most interested in the developments surrounding Deucalion. He’s still a monster of mythic proportions, befitting a man who survived a mythic flood. However, he seems to be losing control over his army. Rule by respect is usually more effective than rule by fear. Did 17 defect? Or did someone disguise themselves? Deucalion’s authority is called into question if the former and his effectiveness if the latter. And if that wasn’t 17, who was it? Kid Cyclone? Quack in disguise? The ghost of deviAnt?

Furthermore, Jimmy Jacobs seemed to be doing some reflection befitting a leader of his intelligence. He’s starting to realize his role in everything that’s happened and that he’s living on borrowed time himself if they can’t win. Deucalion is asking Jacobs not only to win the war but every battle as well. That’s not reasonable. Does Jacobs turn on Deucalion to save his life? Or maybe even his soul?

Jacobs looking at the lifeless body of the Shard was the Chikara equivalent of Amon Goeth looking into the mirror after the dinner party (20 year old spoilers, I guess? How the hell have you not seen Schindler’s List yet?). Jacobs now has a choice. He can emerge a changed man and fight for good or he can harden his convictions and continue his crusade. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

Tomorrow, it’s “For Your Eyes Only” from Connecticut!

Should I Buy It?
For the Wrestling? Another show of very good wrestling that was rarely transcendent. Your call.
For the Storytelling? Oh, heck yes.
For the History? Not really anything to be remembered a decade from now, unless Deucalion becomes Grand Champion at some point. Tonight was his in-ring debut.

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8 thoughts on “Chikara “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” Review

  1. AND the Shard? I actually liked the Pieces of Hate.

    I hope you’ll have a review up so I can see how it ends without buying the show.

    But you know who is most likely to have been masquerading as 17, right? Sure, 17’s a ripoff of Quackenbush, but the main guy I know to do an open palm strike is Quack himself.

    Plus, Quack hasn’t been wrestling in his new role. And way back at National Pro Wrestling Day, 17 was pulled away through a curtain. Technically, it’s possible Quack hasn’t been out of the game at all.

    I guess you’ll find out, at the opera tonight…

    • I know, right! Pieces of Hate were my favorite team in the company, but that’s on hold (at the very least for now).

      Quack was my first guess as well, although it almost seemed too, I don’t know, obvious maybe? Still, though, he does make the most sense, especially, as you suggest, if this and the cane and everything else is a long con on his part.

      And holy crap! I totally forgot about the NPWD stuff! I has assumed it was just a remove him from the brawl thing, but it could have been something much deeper. The only problem with that is that 17 was very much not Quack at King of Trios. He even got to talk and everything.

      I suppose you are right. SmartMark usually gets iPPVs up really quick, so I’ll probably find out very soon.

      Here’s my opera song!

      • If not Quack, then my second choice would have to be another famous practitioner of the palm strike: Mecha Mummy. His palm strike even took Quack by surprise, I remember.

        Still, it seems like Chikara’s got so many different people now. Peck’s dead (though I still hold out hope that the Mysterious and Handsome Stranger may show up in his place). F.I.S.T. is all broken up. The Colony is different (with Soldier Ant still missing). Tim Donst and Sugar Dunkerton aren’t around anymore. STIGMA seemed to have gone back to being Shane Storm at some point during the Wrestling Is period, but he’s not around. Dragon Dragon was killed by Oleg, too.

        At least I still have Los Ice Creams.

      • I had to look Mecha Mummy up, but it was well worth it.

        Yeah, it’s crazy, isn’t it? I started die-hard watching Chikara in 2012 and it’s barely recognizable. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Seriously, though, if anything happens to Los ice Creams…

      • I’m with you. Los Ice Creams must stay! The world would be a worse place without the most lovable rudos around.

        At least we know that when Bryce is killed, he just comes back as the UnderBryce, so he’s safe.

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