Hot off the heels of “Throwing Life’s Instructions Away” in Easton, CHIKARA presents “Three-Fisted Tales” from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the final show of season eight. Big matches announced for the event beforehand were Helios versus Yujiro Kushida, Mike Quackenbush and Jorge “Skayde” Rivera versus Icarus and Chuck Taylor, Player Dos defending the Young Lions Cup against Lince Dorado, Claudio Castagnoli versus Eddie Kingston in a respect match, and the Colony defending the Campeonatos de Parejas against the Osirian Portal.
As of December 8th, 2009, “Three-Fisted Tales” has become available for purchase on Smart Mark Video for twenty dollars. That’s eight matches, as well as backstage interviews, and bonus content for two thousand pennies. Crack open your piggy panks now, CHIKARMY. This season finale event doesn’t look like a show any wrestling fan should have to miss out on. Thoughts and feedback can be sent via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out a short form below this article.
A brand new “Previously at CHIKARA” video by Taylor Mcknight played before the actual show began. The video primarily highlighted the feud between the Colony and the Osirian Portal, the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple versus “BDKorg”, Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze’s recent frustration with the lack of competition in CHIKARA, the mysterious Carpenter Ant, and the feud between Claudio Castagnoli and Eddie Kingston.
Brodie Lee, Vin Gerard, STIGMA, and Colin Delaney beat Green Ant, Carpenter Ant, Dasher Hatfield, and Sugar Dunkerton via pinfall (big boot) – Brodie Lee seriously looked like he could fit in the UnStable perfectly when he made his entrance with the rest of the gang. Maybe it was because he was wearing a Vin Gerard shirt. Before the match began, Dunkerton yelled at Brodie Lee to wash his stained wifebeater. All eight men could not make up their mind as to who should start off first. In the end, it came down to Brodie Lee and Sugar Dunkerton — two of the tallest individuals in the match. Sugar looks to slam Brodie with a basketball in the corner, but Lee rejects him in midair. Now, we have STIGMA and Carpenter Ant. Carpenter catches STIGMA with a huge superkick, but this only angers the big man. He throws Carpenter into the corner and begins forearming away at his head. Green Ant fights off Vin Gerard, so the leader of the UnStable retreats. Dasher and Colin pounding away at one another. Colin with a seated lariat. Shades of yet another baseball game when Vin stops Dasher from sliding into Colin’s face in a tree of woe position. Sugar steps up to the plate and Brodie Lee takes Vin’s spot as the relief pitcher. Slap to the face of Dunkerton by Lee! No baseball game today, people. Moments later, Brodie Lee nails Green Ant with a big boot out of nowhere to pick up the win for his team in eleven minutes. A typical CHIKARA eight-man tag team match. Nothing too special, but it made for a nice opener. **Â¾.
Helios defeated Yujiro Kushida via pinfall (630 senton) – Excellent technical wrestling from both workers to start off the match. Helios catches Kushida with a headscissor, but Kushida manages to use the momentum from the move to land on his feet. Deep armdrags from both gentlemen followed by a couple of pinfall attempts. Kick ducked by Helios and both dropkicks miss. Didn’t I just see that exact sequence of moves in Dos versus Kushida from “Throwing Life’s Instructions Away”? Kushida wants a handshake from Helios, so he accepts it. Kushida tries catching Helios off-guard with a quick kick, but Helios catches the leg and throws him into the turnbuckle. Kushida reverses it and goes for the Tarantula. Helios reverses the submission attempt into a wheelbarrow. Kushida with a step-up enziguri, using the ropes to his advantage. Multiple chops by Kushida off the top rope. Third one is blocked, but Helios gets rocked with a low double palm strike by Kushida, anyways. Standing moonsault by Kushida only gets two. Tumbleweed attempt by Helios misses, so Kushida plants the man with a vicious cradle piledriver. Lackadaisical cover by Kushida allows Helios to get the shoulder up at two. TAJIRI-based springboard elbow from Kushida. Kushida goes for the buzzsaw kick, but Helios blocks it. Papagiorgio takes Kushida’s belt away. Just as Papagiorgio has his back turned, Kushida throws a flag from around his waist over Helios’ head. Vicious kicks from Kushida now. Another horrible cover by Kushida allows Helios to get to the bottom rope, breaking the count. While Kushida argues with Papagiorgio some more, Helios kicks him down to the mat and nails the 630 senton for the victory. Terrific match, but there were times when I felt like I was watching Dos versus Kushida from the previous show. Now that HUSTLE has closed, I would love to see Kushida make CHIKARA his new home. Yujiro Kushida is truly an awesome wrestler that made Helios look like a million bucks in this exhibition bout. As he left the ring, the Philly crowd gave Kushida a standing ovation. ***Â¼.
A seemingly depressed Player Uno says that he doesn’t have any words for the Smart Mark Video camera crew, but apparently, he does. Uno says that he’s not thinking about the opponent in his upcoming match, Tim Donst. Instead, he has so much more on his mind. Uno explains that he has lost everything, including the opportunity to become Young Lions Cup Champion, not even making it to King of Trios, losing to Claudio Castagnoli, and losing Cibernetico. Uno also believes that he’s close to losing his best friend in Dos. He leaves the CHIKARMY with one question before leaving, “what’s left for him to lose”? A great promo that showed a ton of emotion. I think there will be a lot of question marks as to where Uno is heading in 2010.
Player Uno defeated Tim Donst via submission (Joy Stick) – Donst has the torn up muscle suit of Hydra around his shoulder, as he makes his entrance. The Philly crowd finds an interesting way to boo Donst, as they incorporate it into his entrance theme. Almost reminded me of a “you suck” type thing for Kurt Angle. Uno and Donst trade chops in the center of the ring. Donst works over Uno’s leg by ramming it into the ring post. Donst fires away at Uno’s chest in the corner with some hard chops. Nasty suplex by Donst on Uno from the ring apron. Donst attempts to put Uno in the Hydra Lock, but Uno counters it into a stunner. A quick cradle by Donst, but it only gets two. Uno charges for Donst in the corner, but Tim rocks him with a high elbow to the face. Uno catches Donst with a neckbreaker in the middle rope. Uno quickly follows things up with his new signature submission hold, the “Joy Stick”, which is pretty much like a crossed armbar. Donst has nowhere to go, so he taps out in six minutes. Uno cannot believe that he won the match and celebrates in bewilderment. Actually a really fun match, but it was kind of short. Both, Uno and Donst, looked to be on the top of their game. **Â½.
UltraMantis Black, Delirious, Crossbones, and VÃ¶koder of the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple are backstage, discussing their upcoming tag team match against Incoherence. UltraMantis reflects on the success of the Order since Delirious joined the stable. Not only that, but UltraMantis Black congratulates Delirious on a successful tour of Pro Wrestling NOAH recently. UltraMantis says that all of his accomplishments on the tour were great, but tonight, they must focus on attaining three points. Crossbones butts in on the discussion and reminds UltraMantis that if he and Delirious lose tonight, then UltraMantis and himself still have two points. UltraMantis tells Crossbones that his idea is “unnecessary” and “ridiculous”. UltraMantis tells Crossbones that all he has to do tonight is watch the Order’s back during the tag team match, as he no longer trusts Crossbones in the ring.
UltraMantis Black and Delirious beat Hallowicked and Frightmare via pinfall (Praying Mantis Bomb) – This match was a long time coming and opened with Incoherence trying to talk some sense into their old partner, but Delirious was completely under UltraMantis’ control. Delirious begins pummeling away on Frightmare as soon as the bell rang. Hallowicked tried telling Delirious to stop, but Black grabbed his legs and threw him into the barricade. Hallowicked and Delirious found themselves in the ring together a few minutes later, so Hallowicked tried talking to him again. UltraMantis barked orders at Delirious, though, so he listened and attacked his former partner. Big boot by Hallowicked sends Delirious out of the ring and brings UltraMantis in. Frightmare catches UltraMantis off-guard with a huge crucifix bomb, but he only gets a two-count. Flying crossbody by Frightmare on Delirious. Frightmare runs off the ropes to attack some more, but Delirious drops him on his head with an elevated suplex. Delirious and UltraMantis take control of Frightmare with back and chest rakes. Frightmare make the hot tag to Hallowicked in an interesting, yet smart way by diving onto Delirious on the outside. Delirious and Hallowicked exchanging some super stiff strikes right now. Could’ve sworn that I just saw Delirious’ head turn after a shin kick from Delirious in the corner. Delirious comes down hard against Hallowicked’s back with the Shadows Over Heck, but Hallowicked kicks out at one! Crazy stuff! Two Yakuza kicks from Hallowicked onto the temple of Delirious, but UltraMantis breaks it up at two. Go 2 Sleep Hollow and Kneecolepsy combination by Incoherence on UltraMantis is broken up by Delirious. Delirious picks Frightmare up and powers him down with the Praying Mantis Bomb in eleven minutes to steal the win. The Order now has three points. Match wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be, but the encounters between Delirious and Hallowicked were pretty sweet. ***.
An energetic Tim Donst is backstage, hyped up for a promo. Donst brags about defeating Hydra at “Throwing Life’s Instructions Away” and puts himself over as being one of the hottest stars in CHIKARA at the moment. Mike Quackenbush cuts him off in the middle of his promo, though, and tells Donst that he has a bone to pick with him. Quackenbush reveals that Donst went to him before this year’s Young Lions Cup tournament because he wanted an edge over the other competitors. Mike taught him the inverted CHIKARA Special and has never told anyone else. With that said, “how is it that Carpenter Ant could have learned a move that [Quackenbush] only taught [him] and used it to win the Cibernetico”? Donst laughs at Quackenbush and tells him, “Don’t you know? He’s from the future”. As soon as Donst turns his back on Mike, he slaps Tim in the face, sending him to the floor. Quackenbush ends the promo by saying, “teach that one to Carpenter Ant”. Pure greatness.
Icarus and Chuck Taylor beat Mike Quackenbush and Jorge “Skayde” Rivera via submission (Cross Crab) – Not sure how many of you are aware of this, but this particular match was originally going to be a trios bout. Akuma and Jigsaw apparently got injured in Easton the previous night, so they could not compete for their respective teams. Jorge Rivera got a loud pop whenever he entered the ring, while Icarus got the exact opposite treatment from the Philly fans. Skayde dominated over Icarus in the early going, but Icarus gained control after Rivera turned his back on him to argue with Chuck Taylor. Lots of solid technical work by all four guys. Chuck catches Quackenbush with the Sole Food, which sends him out of the ring. F.I.S.T. is doing whatever they can to work over the knee of Rivera. Double pendulum by Quack and Rivera. Skayde locks in a cloverleaf and ankle lock combination on Taylor. Just when it appeared that Chuck was moments away from tapping, Icarus broke the hold up. Finish saw Chuck Taylor force Skayde to submit to the Cross Crab in about eleven minutes. Icarus and Chuck Taylor now have one point. A perfectly fine tag team contest for what it was worth. Other than that, I do not much to say. ***Â¼.
Player Dos defeated Lince Dorado via pinfall (frog splash) to retain the Young Lions Cup – Lince Dorado earned his shot at the Young Lions Cup after eliminating Dos in last month’s Torneo Cibernetico. Dos and Lince exchange a lot of moves back and forth, including Dorado hitting Dos with an awesome 450 off the apron to the floor to gain the advantage. Dos attempts to end the match with the B13, but Dorado manages to counter it. Lince attempts a shooting star senton, but lands right on his behind. Dos and Lince continue the match by exchanging forearms on the apron. Suddenly, out of desperation, Dos suplexes Lince from the apron right onto the ring steps! Lince just landed right on top of his head! After recuperating, Dos rolls Lince’s lifeless body into the ring and finishes him off with a frog splash in thirteen minutes to retain the Cup. Following the match, Jigsaw, Equinox, and Helios lifted Lince to the backstage area. Lince took a crazy bump on those ringside steps, but I don’t think he got legitimately injured. A lot of fans are already saying that the finish was supposed to be some sort of a dÃ©jÃ vu type situation, in which Lince suffered a seizure in the ring back in 2007. Overall, though, this was most likely the best singles match I have ever seen Lince Dorado in. Both, Lince and Dos, beat the crap out of each other. Even though the match was spotty as heck at times, I still thoroughly enjoyed both workers’ efforts. So far, the best match of the show. ***Â½.
Eddie Kingston has some words that he would like to let out to the public before his respect match with Claudio Castagnoli. Kingston says that no matter what happens tonight, he will always no who Claudio really is. Kingston says he wants to take Claudio out and “knock him stupid”. Eddie promises to make Claudio say that he respects him.
Claudio Castagnoli defeated Eddie Kingston via pinfall (European uppercut) in a respect match – About five minutes into the match, I realized that Claudio and Kingston had already surpassed their incredible match from “Aniversario Yang” back in May. Anyways, Claudio attempts to pull off a win immediately with a bicycle kick and Ricola Bomb, but the attacks only get him a two-count. Kingston then nails the Backfist to the Future, but it only gets him two. The bottom line is that Kingston and Claudio basically went at each other like bulls in a China closet. Crowd was also evenly split for both wrestlers. Kingston nails a suicide dive to the outside onto Claudio in mid-match. They both fight on the outside until Claudio throws a crew member in Kingston’s path. Claudio uses the opportunity to hit a bicycle kick and then the Alpamare Waterslide onto the edge of the apron. Kingston manages to get in at a 19-count. Inside of the ring, Claudio hits him with the Ricola Bomb again, but Kingston somehow manages to kick out at one. Claudio hits some more big moves, including a German suplex, a short-arm clothesline, and a gutwrench superplex, but they all only get two-counts. The crowd increasingly got behind Kingston for his efforts before Claudio finally got the win with a flurry of strikes that ended with a European uppercut in just about fifteen minutes. Following the bout, Kingston refuses to say that he respects Castagnoli. Before dropping Claudio down with a Backfist to the Future, Kingston called Claudio and his former tag team partner (Ares) “shady” individuals. Interesting? I certainly think so. Up to this point in the show, the respect match pretty much blew everything else on the DVD away. It also easily made for Claudio and Kingston’s best match together yet. ****Â¼.
Fire Ant and Soldier Ant beat Ophidian and Amasis via pinfall (super Beach Break) to retain the Campeonatos de Parejas – Gran Akuma and Icarus are sitting by the entrance ramp, scouting to see who they will challenge for the Campeonatos de Parejas next. Meanwhile, UltraMantis Black is calling the match on commentary with VÃ¶koder at his side. Crowd is evenly split between the Colony and the Portal. Both teams fire everything they have at one another, but in the end, it was Ophidian and Amasis of the Osirian Portal who took the first fall. Amasis caught Fire Ant with the Egyptian Conniption in eight minutes. Ophidian quickly looks to take Fire Ant out for another fall, but fails to do so. Fire Ant makes the hot tag to Soldier Ant and momentum starts collapsing for the Portal. Soldier Ant forces Ophidian to tap out to the CHIKARA Special in thirteen minutes to win the second fall. Bodies are flying everywhere now, as both teams certainly want to walk out as the Campeones de Parejas. Fire Ant attempts to finish Ophidian off with the same hold he made him tap to at “Hiding in Plain Sight“, but Ophidian reverses it into an unsuccessful pinfall. The Colony hits tandem double stomps off the top, but it only gets them two. The Portal misses the Osirian Sacrament at first, but scores it on a second attempt on Soldier Ant, but it’s broken up. The Portal go for the Osirian Sacrament for the third time, but the Colony fights back, catching Ophidian and Amasis on the opposite corners of the ring, and the two of them deliver a super Beach Break and a super TKO simultaneously for the victory in twenty-three minutes. Easily the best encounter I have ever seen by the Colony and Portal all year. The third fall, in particular, was pretty incredible. Definitely a top candidate as being the best match of the year for CHIKARA. ****Â¼.
As fans celebrate at the end of the match, things begin getting a bit weird. The two “BDKorg” gentlemen enter the ring by leaping over the barricade. The Portal and the Colony got into opposite corners together, as the smaller “BDKorg” guy grabs a microphone and says that “a war is coming” and that they are tired of waiting. At this time, the majority of the CHIKARA locker room surrounded the ring to listen to what the “BDKorg” individuals had to say. Mike Quackenbush and Claudio Castagnoli confront the two mysterious men in the ring directly. The smaller “BDKorg” man tells Quackenbush and Claudio that they are not interested in them, but instead, want UltraMantis Black one on one. UltraMantis gives the Eye of Tyr to VÃ¶koder and Black enters the ring. UltraMantis tells “BDKorg” that he is sick and tired of their threats. In fact, UltraMantis has no idea who the masked guys even are. At this time, the bigger masked man unveiles himself to be Tursas, a new CHIKARA wrestler. The smaller guy unmaskes as Ares, Claudio Castagnoli’s old partner as part of Swiss Money Holding. As soon as this happens, Claudio nails Quackenbush with a bicycle kick. VÃ¶koder jumps the Order from behind and even Carpenter Ant gets in on the beatdown. Eventually, Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze start kicking around, as well. In the midst of the chaos, Ares’ group gets into a military formation. Carpenter Ant reveals to be Pinkie Sanchez.VÃ¶koder then unmasks as Tim Donst. The newly-formed group then do a salute with their arms crossed like a “T”. Then, Torsas pulls out a remote control, presses a button, and the show ends. Super, super cryptic stuff going on to end season eight.
Following the Smart Mark Video credits and such, we see Leonard F. Chikarason on his cell phone. He tells the person he is on the phone with to cancel all of his appointments for tomorrow. Chikarason yells at Gary, the SMV camera dude, for filming at such a bad time and tries opening his office door. Just then, a young man that Chikarason refers to by the name of “Dieter” opens the door. Chikarason tells Dieter that students are not allowed backstage. Dieter tells Leonard that he is no longer in charge of CHIKARA any more and that he is late for his meeting with the board of directors for a performance review. The cameras cut after Chikarason says “this is got to be a mistake”, giving the CHIKARMY the impression that the company is no longer in good hands.
The last two matches on “Three-Fisted Tales” are what makes this DVD for me. Castagnoli versus Kingston, as well as the Colony versus the Portal are arguably two of the better professional wrestling matches I have seen in all of 2009. Other than that, though, I seriously did not care for the undercard on this event too much, but the whole angle that ended the show made up for it all.
In my opinion, “Throwing Life’s Instructions Away” definitely provided much better overall professional wrestling. If you don’t mind picking up a one or two awesome match DVD with some excellent storyline angles intertwined, though, then maybe “Three-Fisted Tales” is a good choice for you. What am I even saying, though? If you have the money to spare, put down the forty bucks, and pick up both CHIKARA season finale DVDs to add to your wrestling collection. Even though I sort of prefer one show over the other, they absolutely are both excellent events in their own ways.
Tags: Chikara, Claudio Castagnoli, DVD Review