Friday, September 10, 2010

CHIKARA ANNIVERSARIO ELF 05.23.10

SUPER SMASH BROS. VS. FIST VS. 3.0 VS. EQUINOX & HELIOS
There's plenty of fun sprinty stuff here. Super Smash Bros. are one of my favorite teams as Uno is a ball of fun and Player Dos is amazingly athletic and fun to watch.  Dos stretching the ropes for Uno's crazy dive was pretty fun and also made the dive a lot cooler. They stole the match before getting eliminated first and you could tell the crowd kind of deflated because of it. Olsen was also bringing some understated good with his punch to Dos's head and his shot on Chuck Taylor. I can't really get into 3.0. I think they're likable enough but not anybody that I'd support. I think their 80's 90's hipster referencing isn't all that funny but I've been kind of annoyed with that humor for awhile. It's like, for example, when some one is drops a Goonies reference or something like that. The person saying it isn't funny, it's the memories that are suddenly conjured up that are funny. Yet they misinterpret this as they themselves being humorous. So then people just start digging up references all day. "HEY HEY HEY, ZUBAZ PANTS HERE. I'm wearin' zubaz. Remember zubaz?! Wasn't it wacky?! I'm HILARIOUS!" A good reference joke can be funny here and there, but building an act around it can be tiresome. I think the less schticky stuff 3.0 does the better off they'd be. Especially with Scott Parker being a pretty good rassler.

Anyway.. Team FIST was pretty unspectacular but it felt like they were just making room for all the flippy people in the match. Gran Akuma did some leg holds that would be finishing submissions in any other company, but for him it's just a wear down hold. I hate it when people just toss in a Sharpshooter for kicks. It drives me nuts. I'd rather see him actually work the leg with a grapevine than just sit in a Sharpshooter. Equinox and Helios are both strong, and pick up a nice win in the match. I think the three teams that were left did a great job of getting the crowd very excited very quickly once Uno and Dos were eliminated. Some fun spots and nice warm up for the rest of the night.

FIRE ANT vs. LINCE DORADO
Man I really like Lince playing up a heel persona. It's perfect and actually makes him even better. I thought he was fine as an underdog face, but him hitting his moves cleanly and being a dick about it may force these people to start cheering him.
This is pretty fun, and even though it doesn't have some of the neat spots from the first match, I find it just as satisfying if not more so. Both Lince and Fire Ant work well together and there's some fun counters and jockying for position. It's not my ideal style of match as they're still just fighting to do CAW moveset stuff(Michinoku Driver! Spanish Fly! Shooting Star Press!) I will say Lince has an absolutely beautiful Lionsault and I think he should just use it as his finish. It just looks so good.

AMASIS vs. VIN GERARD
There's something very Vance Archer-y about Vin Gerard. But possibly wore. This is kind of clunky, and they don't seem to be on the same page. They do this little "run at me with no discernible attack so I can run my hand behind your legs, sweeping you and getting a near fall" trade off thing that looked awful. You can see Amasis wave over Vin to come on over and get swept so they can do this spot. It's just not very good. Vin Gerard works the back a little but Amasis doesn't even sell "tired" let alone "bad back". Until the STF section. The STF spot is pretty lame. Amasis basically falls asleep in Vin's STF. The ref lifts the arms, Amasis wakes up at 2 1/2 and crawls to the ropes. It looked lame.Almost as lame as the STRIKE OFF! They look like cats pawing at each other. You know that playful pawing when the kitty is just pawing at the fake mouse on a string. That's these two "goin' all out" I actually like Amasis in his tag matches, but this wasn't his best night. And Vin Gerard is not my cup of bourbon.

MIKE QUACKENBUSH, JIGSAW, and THE THROWBACKS VS. TURSAS, PINK ANT, SARA DEL RAY, and DAIZEE HAZE
Before he did a single thing I became in love with Tursas. He's just a big dude that throws around the little guys and I love his mask. Cool stuff. The match was a little cluttered and disjointed. I'm a little weird about inter-gender matches, especially when it looks like the guys are overly acting like the woman is stronger. Sometimes I can believe it. For example, Chyna could totally beat up Crash Holly. But Daizee Haze doesn't look like she can out leverage any of the guys in this, and it feels like they let her. Sara Del Ray however looks like she could totally knock Quack out. It's tough work, and they do make it work for the most part. They create a neat sub-plot where Sugar Dunkerton is totally into Daizee and she uses this to mess him up threw out the match. Then he finally snaps and does Lash Leroux's old finisher. REMEBER LASH LEROUX?! Man, I do. And if you do, then you'd know what move I'm talking about. If you don't remember then you don't know the move, which means now you have to go look up some Lash Leroux matches. Knowledge doesn't come easy, folks. But yeah, it's a little cluttered with 4 on 4 and two of them being chicks. I actually came out of this really needing to see a Quackenbush vs. Tursas singles match. What interaction they had was great and Quack really made Tursas look dangerous. the real star of the match was Jigsaw, who is just really damn good and probably one of my favorite guys in Chikara.

TIM DONST vs. SOLDIER ANT
I love Soldier Ant. He's one of the best characters in the company and he sticks with the character hardcore. Watch him parade Donst around the ring chopping the guy in the chest. He does his little march step the whole time. And then when climbs into the ring he does one of those army crawls under the bottom rope. And it's not a big show when he does it. That's just how he walks. That's just how he gets in the ring. It's not second nature, it's primary.
The match isn't too hot. I'm not big on Donst and I there were a couple of comeback spots that I expected Soldier to show more fire. For example they do what appeared to be a "fighting spirit" where Soldier Ant gets suplexed into the turnbuckle and he just gets angry and gets up to nail Donst with the Saluting Elbow. It just didn't have that super fire needed to look good. Instead it looked like he kind of just went, "Aww dang it, this is getting on my nerves. I'm going to stand up now."
The finish was cool with the story being Donst tapped to the Chikara Special, so he goes for the Inverted Chikara special to tap Soldier Ant. Soldier Ant is too tough and passes out rather than taps out. It's a cool story on paper, but Soldier Any just doesn't have that suer emotional connection to pull it off. Maybe it's the character. Maybe it's the mask. Maybe it's just the wrestler. But it didn't work, and I expected more.

ARES and CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI vs. HALLOWICKED and FRIGHTMARE
Oh this was totally awesome. This has to be one of the best crooked ref matches of all time. And it feels like a real battle for the heart and soul of Chikara. You've got Bryce sitting in the booth going absolutely bananas that this ref is so biased. You've got all the Chikara associated guys at ring side slammin' the mat and getting the whole building fired up. And you've got Frightmare and Hall-o-wicked working their asses off in a great under dog performance. There's some super fun spots like the amazing hurricanrana from the lights, and even though the good guys didn't win, they really couldn't with the crooked ref calling the shots. But that doesn't mean they didn't drop some huge bombs and look like the stronger team. Just great stuff that continues the story and keeps the good guys looking awesome. Definitely the best match so far, and depending on which Tommy Dreamer comes to work, it'll be the match of the night.

EDDIE KINGSTON vs. TOMMY DREAMER
Okay okay...so this isn't particularly good. Watching this match I tried to think of that last Tommy Dreamer singles match I enjoyed. What came to mind was his stuff with C.W. Anderson. That was about 10 years ago. The difficult think about twilight career Tommy, is that he's trying to work smarter, because his body is so bruised up. And sometimes it works. For example, he's got that nice front flip off the apron on to a standing opponent. It's not a "hard on the body" type of move and it gets the crowd pumping. But once Eddie starts acting like his foot is broken, Tommy's leg work kicks in, and it's not very good at all. I mean, there's basic stuff, like him slamming the leg onto the mat. That looks cool. But Tommy decides to start working this Texas Cloverleaf Hold and it is totally awful looking. I've seen a couple of different ways that wrestler's lock their arms conjunction with the legs. Some go through, some go around. But I'm not really sure what the hell Tommy is doing that makes his turn out like it does. All I know is that it looks awful and like he's making the hold harder on himself. Anyway, it's really kind of boring, and the finish being just an angle for a future tag match, makes this kind of pointless to sit through.

OVERALL SHOW:
This is actually one of the weakest CHIKARA shows I've seen. I'm usually totally into them but this is really a 1 match show. Everything else outside of the awesome tag match was either bad to just good. Guys that I expected to give me a good show, fell flat. Other than the big tag, you might want to check out Lince's heel work and the Super Smash Bros. in a really nice opener. Skip the rest.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!
First person to comment and tell me the movie I'm referencing in the picture I altered at the top of the page gets a virtual high five!

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