Chikara “A New Start” Review

2015-01-25-ANewStart
Pre-Show Notes
-2300 Arena. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. January 25, 2015.
-Welcome back, Chikara! And welcome, everyone, to Season 15!
-I’m back! I started doing these reviews last year because no one else was and nature abhors a vacuum. There still appears to be a vacuum, so here I am I guess….
-“A New Start” seems like an appropriate title after the “resurrection” of Chikara and the success of their subsequent campaign for survival. It’s an imperfect analogy, but think of the resurrection as the American Revolution and Season 14 as the War of 1812. I think that makes King of Trios the Burning of Washington D.C. and Kingston’s defection as the Battle of Lake Champlain? I’ll show myself out…
-Speaking of Season 14, feel free to check out my reviews from 2014.
-This year’s title theme is Arrested Development, which is a show I’m meaning to get around to SO HARD. Unfortunately, there’s probably several dramas on my queue before my top comedies.
-The sound mixing was not particularly good on the MP4. The announcers were WAY louder than the crowd and the action in the ring. It’s tough to invest emotionally if you don’t feel surrounded by the crowd. At least Chikara’s announcers are fantastic…
-The Camerawork was kind of sketchy as well, although that seemed to be the result of having no good place for the hard-cam, which was set up really far away from the ring.

vlcsnap-2015-02-11-16h32m45s65The Wrecking Crew (The Devastation Corporation (Blaster McMassive, Flex Rumblecrunch & Max Smashmaster), Jaka & Oleg the Usurper) (w/Sidney Bakabella) defeated the Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & Mark Angelosetti), Jervis Cottonbelly, Princess KimberLee & Shynron via Pinfall
The Wrecking Crew kicking off the new season? Yes, please! And Max Smashmaster has hair now! It’s almost as weird as seeing Kane with hair. To meet Sidney’s open challenge, the Throwbacks recruited the often-squished Jervis Cottonbelly, Rey de Voladores Shynron, and Princess KimberLee. This smells like “Team of Unbooked Tecnicos,” but I’m in. The Devastation Corporation stopped having bad matches early last year, the Throwbacks were my 2014 Chikara MVPs, and the other three can be fantastic when used properly.

Jonathan Barber checked the inflation of Mr. Touchdown’s football to start, which was probably a decent joke on January 25th. On February 10th, not so much. Thankfully, Dasher busted out an old-timey air pump to save the day. Joke status: Rescued. Continue reading

Chikara “Moonraker” Review

urlPre-Show Notes
-Richmond, Virginia. Greater Richmond Convention Center. October 26, 2014.
-Jimmy Jacobs challenges Icarus for the Chikara Grand Championship!
-Tonight’s Bond movie was of a Roger Moore persuasion. Apparently Moonraker was really average, but made boatloads of cash. It’s the one in SPACE! I seem to remember playing Nightfire, which shared some settings and character types. It might have been my favorite non-Goldeneye Bond game.
-Real talk: If Jacobs doesn’t win, how or why is the Flood even a thing. Is that too extreme at this point? Doesn’t the Flood have to do something at some point other than kill of a few ancillary wrestlers? Regardless of what happens tonight, this storyline has the feeling of a multi-year arc. I get the feeling that “Tomorrow Never Dies” is going to unload something big on us.

vlcsnap-2014-11-15-10h48m58s165Shynron defeated Missile Assault Ant via Pinfall
This is a rematch from “The World is Not Enough,” where Shynron squashed Missile Assault Ant in two minutes because there is no God. Apparently Shynron lost to Missile Assault Ant in a Young Lions Cup qualifier, meaning this match is actually a rubber match. In a pre-match promo, Shynron said that Missile Assault better have a great ground to air attack because he’s the best flier. They’re called surface-to-air missiles, Shynron. Now I hate you more.

Missile Assault Ant used his strength and technical ability while Shynron used his ability to flip. Missile dominated until Shynron came back with some aerial maneuvers, finally winning with the second rope 630 Senton.

That finisher will never stop being impressive, but Shynron still has a lot of work to do. He was much better in this match than the Silver Ant match at “Thunderball,” but there were lots of times where it seemed like Shynron didn’t quite remember the sequence and left Missile Assault Ant awkwardly waiting to take a move.

vlcsnap-2014-11-15-10h49m38s44 vlcsnap-2014-11-15-10h50m05s66 vlcsnap-2014-11-15-10h50m14s159Archibald Peck, Ice Cream Jr., Mark Angelosetti & Shane Matthews vs. Ashley Remington, Dasher Hatfield, El Hijo del Ice Cream & Scott Parker
So, let’s get this straight: The four wackiest teams and friendships in Chikara are being split onto opposite teams. There is no way this isn’t the best thing ever…

Everyone began against their better half. The Throwbacks had a crazy grappling sequence, 3.0 had a stalemated lockup, Los Ice Creams had an awkwardly long hug, and Ashley Remington and Archibald Peck broke up that hug so they could have an awkwardly long hug of their own. Ashley busted out the gun fingers, accidentally shooting Peck in the stomach! Peck tried to get revenge, but Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Chikara “You Only Live Twice” Review

livetwiceIntroduction
-May 25, 2014. Palmer Center. Easton, Pennsylvania.
This is why I love professional wrestling. You should probably read this so you understand my wrestling values, if you will.
This is why I love Chikara.
-I didn’t plan on reviewing Chikara’s 2014 shows. However, it’s been a week and Googling “Chikara Diamonds Are Forever Review” returns zero reviews. I like doing things that no one else seems to be.
-You’re not going to get star ratings or hold by hold replays here. I’m going to focus on match quality and how it works with the characters and the stories Chikara is trying to tell. If it sounds good, buy it and watch it! You can find pretty much everything Chikara has ever done on Smartmark Video. They are good people.

ashes-of-chikara-movieThe Ashes of Chikara
The Ashes of Chikara is a feature-length film that tries to bridge the gap between “Aniversario: Never Compromise,” where Chikara was “shut down” by evil Director of Fun Wink Vavasseur, and National Pro Wrestling Day, when Chikara was reborn, repelling The Flood, a group of rudos bent on destroying the last remnants of Chikara.

It’s incredibly ambitious and had the potential to be great. After all, the story of a bunch of evildoers slowly destroying the things we love seems like a great blueprint for drama. Unfortunately, it suffered from horrific execution. Continue reading