Thursday 28th February â€“ 3rd March 2008: CHIKARA King Of Trios 2008
HUGE thanks to Shawn Smith and specifically Pulse Glazer for their lovely hospitality and making this trip even possible. <3
Welcome everyone. For this yearâ€™s CHIKARA King of Trios, my Dad and I did the big thing and flew out to THA STATES to attend. CHIKARA went for their biggest shows ever, booking 28 trios teams, making this the biggest tournament ever.
Thursday 28th February
Flew out. The 8 hour flight was average; could have been worse. Our first taste of America was Philly, and I gotta say itâ€™s not that bad there. Good shops. Thatâ€™s it for today.
Friday 29th February (Night 1)
Woke up at like, 4 in the morning, which was cool. Went shopping and got loads of food earlier. The Reading Terminal market in Philly has some awesome food. Glazer, Shawn (Radio Exile) and Ed (BonesBarkley on the ROH Board) came at around 6 in the evening. After some shenanigans with the hotel/room booking, we went on our merry way to the show.
Our tickets and my CHIKARMY membership card were waiting for us at the door. When we arrived most people already had their place, so we got third row. The arena was smaller than I expected it to be, but awesome nonetheless.
Saw Team CAPSLOCK Japan (KUDO, SUSUMU and MIYAWAKI) selling some Japanese DVDs. I went over and greeted them in Japanese, and asked who was who and such. SUSUMU looked pretty lonely and seemed really happy to have someone talk in Japanese to him. Nice guys. TIM DONST was walking about, I said hi and had a brief chat with him. I went over to see Glazer and Shawn who were having some problems with the tickets, when I was there I met Brendan the Americool.
Show started late, about 7:40.
Match 1: First Round: ROH Students (Rhett Titus, Alex Payne and Shane Hagadorn) vs Las Chivas Rayadas (Chiva 2, 3 and 4): Pretty fun opener. I wasnâ€™t looking forward to the Chivas, and predictably, they were far from great. The ROH students are awesome heels. Chivas run wild to start with some good stuff and flips that didnâ€™t connect. Chiva 3 (I think) did face-in-peril. It was pretty good, but went way too long. Finally he made the hot tag and the match picked up. The Chivas badly botched a double team move, before a nice looking top rope moonsault from Chiva 3 got them the win. **.
Match 2: First Round Match: El Dorado (Go, Shimizu and Michael Nakazawa) vs The Colony (Fire, Soldier and Worker Ant): Team El Dorado were awesome. Michael is a sexy man who takes body oil to the ring and openly applies it onto his torso. The Colony looked great. Fire and Shimizu had some nice exchanges to start. Michael came in and Worker couldnâ€™t headlock/wristlock him because he kept slipping off. It was hilarious. Worker gets worked over. Michael went to DDT him, but slipped off (LOL), and Worker nearly made the hot tag. He eventually did and Fire came in like a house of Fire! Good finishing sequence, the highlight being Shimizu killing Soldier with a lariat. The Colony gets the duke with the Ant Hill (3 man splash). ***1/4.
Match 3: First Round: Kaiju Big Battel’s Sea Amigos (Unibouzu, Call-Me-Kevin and DW) vs The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple (UltraMantis Black, Hydra and Crossbones): This was better than expected. Louden Obnoxious is a great man. Mantis announces heâ€™s aligned himself with Dr. Cube, and Cube gives him Tartar sauce to help defeat Call-Me-Kevin. The Kaiju monsters worked face here. The match would have been 39479 times better if the ring was covered in buildings. Decent formula match; Mantis picks up the win with a Tartar sauce squirt followed by the Praying Mantis Bomb (J-Driller) on Call-Me-Kevin. **
Match 4: First Round: Team Egypt (Amasis, Ophidian and Mecha Mummy) vs Team AMEX (Mike Quackenbush, Shane Storm and Skayde): Skayde! He came out with the mask on, but Quack took it off of him when he was introduced. Team KOT (AMEX) were wild over. Rightfully so. We start it with Ophidian and Skayde doing some awesome lucha stuff. Shane and Amasis tag in and so similar stuff, but worse, obviously. Mecha and Quack had some funny exchanges early, too. Quack repeatedly palm-striked Mecha Mummy and kept praying for him to collapse after each one. Mecha eventually did to a huge pop. Storm did face-in-peril. Hot tag to Quack and it gets awesome. Just like at Chapter 11, Quack MURDERS Amasis with a high angle lariat. Mecha uses his robot hand to Palm strike everyone and itâ€™s great. Sweet finishing sequence despite Amasis doing a 450 which looked very out of place. Quack kills Ophidian with the QD2 for the 3. ***1/4.
Match 5: First Round: Team Dr. Keith (Jimmy Olsen, Brodie Lee and ??? vs Team WTF?! (Cheech, Cloudy and mckZ): Oh yeah. This was my favourite match of night 1. m.c. KZ comes out rapping and itâ€™s awesome. They use a special box to choose Colin Olsenâ€™s replacement. Colin Delaney? He wasnâ€™t there? Johnny Kashmere? The ref checked the toilet (lmao) but he wasnâ€™t there. We then get Retail Dragon. Yay? Brodie is pissed with him, and itâ€™s hilarious.
The match rocks. Cloudy does an awesome face-in-peril. The interactions between Brodie and Retail rule the world. We get a kickass finishing stretch, featuring Jimmy busting out the CRAZIEST f*cking move Iâ€™ve ever seen in a backflip Alleyoop powerbomb ïƒ Jumping Piledriver. Brodie and Jimmy unfortunately botch a 2 man DVD/splash combo and Jimmy injures his knee. Brodie bumps like a freaking cruiser throughout. Mad I tell you. Cheech and Cloudy nail Retail with the Shining Wizard/powerbomb combo, and m.c. KZ follows it with a top rope frog splash for the 3. Wicked match. ***1/2.
Post match, Brodie gives Retail THE BOOT.
Match 6: First Round: Team IPW:UK (Martin Stone, terry Frazier and Sha Samuels) vs Naptown Dragons Drake Younger, Scotty Vortekz and Dustin Lee) : HOLY SH*T the IPW guys were better than expected. Iâ€™ve seen them all before in IPW and theyâ€™re mega faces, but here they were super ultra mega RUDOs. Sha kicks my dad in the gut and Stone spits in some other fanâ€™s face during their entrance. Glorious.
The match starts off with some really good brawling. Very stiff. The Dragons do some flipping. This is super fun. Diehard (Dustin Lee) does face in peril pretty well. Good finishing portion with the IPW lads going over with a Boston Crab. ***.
I met Donst again and had a chat with him. Really cool guy. Got a photo, too. Got a photo with MIYAWAKI then went over to the Kaiju guys. I told Louden we came here from the UK, and his reaction was like â€œWOW! You came all the way from the UK just to see Louden Obnoxious and Kaiju Big Battel! Awesome!â€ What a great man. I got a photo (again) with him and told him I loved his wacky hair.
Match 7: Second Round: The Colony vs Las Chivas Rayadas: Chivas were eh again. Colony looked good. They did some antics with Bryce to start, and he took a picture of all 6 with the Chivas travelling camera. Crowd was pretty quiet; post-intermission. Match was pretty much what youâ€™d expect it to be between these 2 teams. Lots of double and trio teams. The multi man sequences got a bit sloppy at times, but thatâ€™s understandable. Fire takes it after a top rope Beach Break. **1/2.
Match 8: Second Round: BLK Out (Eddie Kingston, Ruckus and Joker) vs The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple: Good match. The Order have started becoming SERIOUS now, and I gotta say theyâ€™re mighty fine wrestlers. They worked face while BLKOUT were super-rudo. Good heat throughout. Hydra nearly got the upset on Joker at the end, but he got KILLED by a Rubix Cube Driver for the 3. ***.
Match 9: Second Round: Team AMEX vs Team WTF?!: Sir Pulse Glazer described this as â€˜Lucha perfectionâ€™ and gave it a very high star rating; I didnâ€™t necessarily agree. Lots of usual CHIKARA lucha-like spots early. WTF did the workover period, working down all 3 of AMEX consecutively. For AMEXâ€™s comeback Quack did a dive and got busted open on his head. Lots and lots of big moves in the finishing sequence, I remember some really dead parts in-between though. Cheech and Cloudy killed Shane Strom with a double team Tiger suplex. AMEX takes it when Skayde ties up KZ and rolls his shoulders down for the 3. My memory isnâ€™t great for this, so Iâ€™m gonna have to watch on DVD for a final opinion, but as it stands, I thought this could have been better. Still good though. ***1/2.
Match 10: Second Round and Your Main Event: Team IPW:UK vs IncoHelios (Delirious, Hallowicked and Helios): Awesome match. Team IPW must come back ASAP, theyâ€™re that good. IncoHelios were on tonight, so itâ€™s all good. Awesome crowd heat, as the IPW boys are hated SO much. Good workover period on Helios before he hot tags Wicked and Wicked kills everyone with Yakuza Kicks. Really good finishing sequence. Frazier applies the Boston Crab he won with earlier onto Helios (who took the workover period), and I actually thought there could have been an upset. Wicked came in and booted his face off though, put the CHIKARA Special on and got the tap out. MOTN. ****.
Overall: Good show. Loads of great matches and good stuff (Team IPW) present. The show didnâ€™t really flow that well though, and it felt a bit overkill overall. Nothing bad though, and I have a strong feeling this will come out a lot better on DVD.
Friday 1st March (Night 2)
Woke up at like 10 today. Went to have brunch at the Terminal Market with Glazer and co. Discussed lots of wrestling (mostly ROH) at the table, which was cool. We returned to the hotel and played some FIRE PRO before heading out to the Fan Conclave.
The Conclave was pretty good. My Dad and I talked to the IPW guys and they were delighted to see some fellow Brits. They were right from our area too. I got a photo with the Portal; theyâ€™re much shorter than I thought they were. Great guys.
The Q&A session was funny. I canâ€™t remember much of the jokes but it was really funny. Hopefully itâ€™s added as a DVD extra or something. Afterwards, player Uno lost at Fire Pro, which was unacceptable. I got photos with some of the tecnicos, including Death Rey, El Pantera and the Colony.
Got to the show at 6:25, the guy at the door said we should have came earlier to get better seats â€˜cos we had the CHIKARMY membership card. We got second row which wasnâ€™t too bad though. Place was f*cking packed tonight, gotta be CHIKARAâ€™s biggest crowd ever. I met John Kirschner before the show, nice guy. Reminds me of Jigsaw a bit.
Match 1: First Round: The Southern Saints (Marcus Oâ€™Neil, Reno Diamond and Shaun Reed) vs Team Japan (KUDO, SUSUMU and MIYAWAKI): Great opener. The Southern Saints were awesome with their heel shtick, they really try hard. Team Japan looked great. This was very stiff like youâ€™d expect. First time seeing SUSUMU, heâ€™s a cool little junior and fit well into the team. Formula 6 man with SUSUMU being face-in-peril (I think). Good finishing sequence with the highlight being KUDO killing Shaun with a trio of kicks to the head/chest. Team Japan take it after a swinging Yoshi-tonic by SUSUMU on Marcus. ***.
Match 2: First Round: Da Soul Touchaz (Acid Jaz, Marshe Rockette and Willie â€˜Da Bombâ€™ Richardson) vs Team BSE (Super Xtremo, Kobra Kai and La Sombra): DA SOUL TOUCHAZ. Awesome guys. They came out to SOULJA BOY doing the dance and all. Epic entrance. The BSE guys were okay. Kobra Kai sucked and was like, a confused heel. Had an awesome mask though. Willie Da Bomb is HUGE (at least 300 pounds) and did some AWESOME hot tagging and some flying. He hit a MASSIVE top rope leg drop for the 3. Fun match, if a little too long. **1/2.
Match 3: First Round: FIST (Icarus, Gran Akuma and Chuck Taylor) vs Sweet and Sour Inc. (Sara del Ray, Tank Toland and BOBBY DEMPSEY): Hilarious. I think screaming â€˜BOBBY DEMPSEYâ€™ at the top of my lungs was the highlight of my life. Tank and Sara were awesome. Tank was less of a bully and more of a wrestler, which was good and bad. FIST were in full rudo mode and were awesome. Akuma and Sara got it on early and it was pretty stiff. Such great crowd heat for this. Sara got worked down. Dempsey made the hot tag and hit a series of clotheslines. Tank hit some of his cool power moves. Dempsey got a rush of energy, hitting some lariats, but ran out of energy and Icarus Pedigreed him with EASE for the 3. Man that was funny. Really funny and a pretty good match too. ***.
Match 4: First Round: Fabulous Three (Mitch Ryder, Shayne Hawke and Larry Sweeney) vs Team Stranglehold (Tim Donst, Drew Gulak and Andy Sumner): This was pretty good. Nothing special, but didnâ€™t go 2 â€“ 5 minutes too long like a good number of the first round matches did. Shayne had a snazzy robe on him, which was awesome. Long sequence with Donst and Mitch to start. Gulak and Sumner ran wild and looked pretty good. Donst took the heat period but didnâ€™t get striked an awful lot. Shorter finishing stretch, I think Sweeney pinned Sumner after the 68 comeback special. **1/2.
Match 5: First Round: Team F1RST (Arik Cannon, Darin Corbin and Ryan Cruz) vs Team IWS (El Generico, Stupefied and Player Uno): Exactly what youâ€™d expect it to be, and in case you donâ€™t know, awesome. El Generico was super over, for good reason. Arik Cannon is seriously awesome in trios matches. Starts with the usual feeling out process. Cannon paused Uno and plugged in a N64 CONTROLLER and controlled him to dance and hit his team mates, which had everyone in stitches. Fun work-down on Stupefied, then wow, what can I say about the finishing sequence? A good 5 â€“ 8 minutes of non-stop crazy Dragon Gate style multi man action thatâ€™s always awesome. Too much stuff to document, my favourite part was when Stupefied hit a reverse rana like piledriver on Cannon, followed by a Generico Half Nelson for a really close 2. The SSB pin Cruz with their jumping double team piledriver. So much fun, would be 4, but not memorable enough. ***3/4.
Match 6: First Round: Los Ice Creams (El Hijo del ice Cream and Ice Cream Jr.) and Mystery Partner vs Mucha Lucha (Lince Dorado, El Pantera and Incognito): I really thought the Ice Creams partner was gonna be Vin Gerard, but I was horribly wrong. What I love about CHIKARA is itâ€™s so unpredictable. They do the drawing for the mystery partner, and it turns out to be Glacier from WCW. As Iâ€™m only 15, I didnâ€™t watch the man on TV as a child, so I wasnâ€™t marking out like crazy like everyone else. As I learnt later though, he was a really nice guy.
The match was pretty fun, I canâ€™t remember too much from it. For the first of many times this weekend, Incognito was grinning like heâ€™d just cheated to win the Royal Rumble. The Ice Creams brought out the SPRINKLES which was sick. Junior ends up taking a rana onto them from Lince and a top rope moonsault (also from Lince) gives Mucha Lucha the duke. Very fun! ***.
*Intermission time. I was tired so I sat around and did nothing. Go me. Glazer told Chris Sicoli about Glacier and he marked out. Glazer went over and got him a signed pic which was really cool. Demolition were signing autographs and taking pictures at the announcerâ€™s table; I was gonna get a pic but it looked like it cost money, so itâ€™s a no. Back to the show!
Match 7: Second Round: Team AZW (AkUa and the Immortals) vs Team Japan: Letâ€™s get this straight. The Immortals were the funniest thing Iâ€™ve EVER seen. They were like, heels, and really bad. They kept trying to get into fights with fans (who werenâ€™t even provoking them) and I was laughing UNCONTROLLABLY. It really doesnâ€™t sound funny, but it was. Oh it was.
AkUa was pretty good. He was in there 80% of the time, mostly getting an ass kicking. The Immortals decided to leave him. They did, then came back and stood around like idiots for the finish (they werenâ€™t celebrating AkUa getting pinned or anything). The stupidity made me laugh uncontrollably, again. I think when I get home Iâ€™m gonna buy every AZW DVD with the Immortals on. TWICE. Anyways, KUDO pins AkUa with a top rope double Knees. Not much to it, but Team Japanâ€™s awesome moves kept the fans into it well. **1/4
Match 8: Second Round: Team FIST vs Da Soul Touchaz: SOUL TOUCHAZ. Yeah. This was super face/super rudo squad, and it really rocked. The crowd was really into the Soul Touchaz this time around, and they really delivered. Willie went for a DIVE early, but Akuma cut him off from the outside for major heat. FIST worked down Rockette. He reminds me of Human Tornado, so obviously, his selling and bumping were great. FIST now do this triple team kick in the corner, and it looks really devastating. WILLIE made the hot tag and killed everyone. Super finishing sequence. Jaz gave Icarus a red/brown mist to the face, then rolled him up for a super close 2. Willie hit the top rope leg drop onto Akuma for another REALLY close nearfall. The Touchaz comes really close, but FIST were just too slippery and Jaz winds up in the Omega Driver for 3.
Post match there were massive â€˜Please come back!â€™ chants for the Touchaz. This was like, KENTA at ROH Final Battle 2005 ovation. The Touchaz were really pleased and really loved the moment. Quality match as well; really hope to see the Touchaz back in CHIKARA. ***1/2.
Match 9: Second Round: Team WWF (One Man Gang and Ax & Smash; Demolition) vs Fabulous 3: Sweeney and Akeem (OMG) have a strut off to start which everyone loved. Demolition hit some of their classic spots early, including the double team pound while their opponent rests on the top turnbuckle. Ax gets worked down I think. Mitch is such a great rudo. Ax made the hot tag, but OMG was hit by a brass-knuckled punch by Mitch and fell to the pin. More comedy and fun over wrestling. I wasnâ€™t very into it. *.
Match 10: Second Round and Your Main Event: Team IWS vs Mucha Lucha: Very disappointing. Basically, the deal here was this was the main event and last second round match, so these guys wanted to work a longer match due to its placing/importance etc. Thatâ€™s fine with me, but the way they did it was horrible. Instead of an extended workover or something, they worked their usual match at like, half speed; it really didnâ€™t work.
Iâ€™d say a good 75% of the matches this weekend (maybe more) started with a 1-on-1 from 2 guys on opposite teams, then another 1-on-1 with 2 other guys on opposite teams, and then a final 1-on-1 feeling out process deal with 2 guys on opposite teams. Thatâ€™s fine, but can start getting very dull and repetitive in the long run if it takes too long. And thatâ€™s what happened here. I get these teams have never met before and all, but man, the feeling put process shouldnâ€™t even touch 5 minutes. Unfortunately, here, it went around 10.
The workover stages were too short considering the super long early parts. When the finishing stretch hit the match picked up, but still wasnâ€™t awesome. Some cool spots with Lince hitting Generico with a perfect reverse rana and Generico getting a really close 2 off of Lince with his Yakuza followed by a brainbuster. Stupefied and Incognito had an AWESOME flip exchange to close things off, ending in Incognito hitting a super moonsault fallaway slam for the 3. Donâ€™t get me wrong, the match was good, just should have been WAY better. Barely scrapes 3. ***.
Overall: Another good show. Iâ€™d say on par with Night 1 â€“ Night 1 had better matches but Night 2 flowed better and had a much better crowd. The highlight of the night were surprisingly the Soul Touchaz â€“ great wrestlers and awesome charisma, I canâ€™t stress enough how much I want them back. Night 3 should rock.
Sunday 2nd March (Night 3)
Woke up at God knows what time. Aaron and Shawn stayed up late so skipped breakfast for some more sleep. Pumped for the show, I was. Going out to breakfast in the morning we found out BB King was staying in our hotel. On the way back, as we were going up to our room he was being crowded around by lots of people; I got a picture with him which was really cool. After being disappointed with our seats for Nights 1 and 2 (we didnâ€™t come all the way from the UK to get second and third row!), we left earlier to get a good place in line/actually use the CHIKARMY membership card to get in early.
The queue for the show was really cool. Aaron and Shawn dropped me and Dad off and went to park the car. On their way to the line they saw something hilarious. We went over and saw the CAGE OF DEATH over, casually stacked against the back wall of the Alhambra. Gotta love CZW. There were loads of light tubes too. It was great.
We waited at the (kinda) front of the queue. Dad talked music with Shawn while I had one of the best conversations Iâ€™ve ever had with Aaron. We talked everything wrestling from 5 star match criteria to what forum members we liked and disliked. So awesome.
The Japanese crew were also wandering about, as SUSUMU walked past he recognised me and said hi. I love that man. m.c. KZ got a photo of loads of the fans with his travel camera.
Got in to the show and got the best seats in the house. The ones directly opposite the hard cam; weâ€™ll certainly be on the DVD. Delighted about the seats.
Match 1: Quarterfinals: The Colony vs Team FIST: Massive shocker here, I thought this (or Colony/IncoHelios) would have been the finals for sure. Akuma got right in my face and Icarus verbally owned me pre-match. I think CHIKARA rearranged the brackets, whatever. Great opener. Like these 2 teamsâ€™ previous matches against each other but bigger spots and bumps. Worker is face-in-peril for a while before hot tagging Fire Ant. Good finishing stretch with the most notable part being FIST killing Worker with 2 HEADROP Germans and a running Yakuza from Chucky T, for a really close 2. Fire and Akuma unfortunately botched a top rope reverse Rana spot, which led to the Ants hitting the Ant Hill on Akuma for the 3. Really good match, the botch took lots of heat off the finish though. ***1/4.
Match 2: Quarterfinals: Team AMEX/QuackenSkaydeStorm vs Mucha Lucha : This was special. Easily my favourite (and probably the best) match of the weekend. Shane and Lince start, and out of about 5 armdrags/headscissors 3 are badly botched and 2 are done nicely. The botches are instantly forgotten as Quack and Incognito tag in and have some awesome, slower sequences. Incognito was in full grin mode again. Pantera and Skayde tag in, and itâ€™s really, really cool. They do some slow mat stuff, but itâ€™s executed so well everyoneâ€™s completely sucked in. Pantera comes out on top and tags Incognito. They double team Skayde until he tags Quack.
Then, one of the most amazing sequences of pro wrestling Iâ€™ve ever seen went down. Quack and Skayde duke it out Incognito and Pantera and do some of the coolest lucha stuff Iâ€™ve ever seen. Itâ€™s beautiful. Pantera and Incognito are owned and go to the outside, and Quack and Skayde both do a double dive fake out side by side. Quack raises his arm, points to him and yells â€œThatâ€™s my teacher!â€ and itâ€™s the most awesome thing Iâ€™ve ever seen. What I really loved was Skayde and Quack looked so happy to be doing this – tearing it up together for one last time while the fans go nuts.
The rest of the match was very lucha based and fast paced. We got a few nearfalls, until Pantera rolled up Quack with a relatively basic armdrag variation and got the pin! I was shocked at it ending there, but it made sense (Quack being caught up in the moment, not concentrating on the match so prone to a rollup) and when I thought about the match I just watched, I felt fully satisfied.
This match was pretty much 6 man stuff done at its best. Itâ€™s excellent for the pacing, execution and all, but the moment (the emotion with Skayde and Quack together) and sheer memorability put it over any of the other matches this weekend. The art of wrestling is suspending the viewersâ€™ disbelief, and I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve ever watched a match thatâ€™s hooked me in as well as this. Gotta be one of my favourite matches ever. ****1/2.
Post match Pantera challenges Quack for the NWA Jr. Hvwt title. Quack accepts. That match should rule. All 6 guys pose together and itâ€™s a real feel-good moment. I loved that match.
Match 3: Quarterfinals: Team Japan vs BLKOUT: Absolutely awesome. Everything youâ€™d expect it to be and more. Ridiculously stiff as expected. Starts with some brawling around ringside. Lots of crowd heat. We go in the ring and Joker and MIYAWAKI have an awesome shoulder-block exchange. MIYAWAKI chops HARD. KUDO winds up taking the face-in-peril. BLKOUT give him a beating until he comes back with a kick variant (donâ€™t quote me on that) and makes the hot tag.
SUSUMU comes in and does some fast stuff for a great hot tag. It breaks down and everyone starts hitting everything. Some dives on the outside. Back in everyone starts hitting all o their big moves and everyone is going crazy. MIYAWAKI takes a SICK Backdrop Driver and stupendously hard spinning backfist from Kingston. He really doesnâ€™t hold back on that thing. We wind up with SUSUMU and King going at it in the ring. SUSUMU tries for a Yoshi Tonic, but King is too big and reverses it into a powerbomb. The backfist gets the 3 moments later.
Some botches aside, this was an awesome match with everyone beating the complete sh*t out of each other. Big ovation for Team Japan afterwards. ***3/4.
Match 4: Quarterfinals: IncoHelios vs The Fabulous 3: Helios came out in Delirious costume and speaking Deliri-ish. Shayne Hawke, out of nowhere, walked up to me pre-match and declared he hates my guts. Match was good. Nothing great, but couldnâ€™t follow the last 2 matches anyway so it was good they didnâ€™t try anything too big or long. Nice old-school work down period on Helios. Wicked hot tags and hits some nice kicky offence. His step up-enziguiri thing in the corner is a thing of beauty. Shadows Over Hell and a standing SSP from Helios get the pin on Sweeney. Near perfect for its position on the card. ***.
Match 5: Tag Team Gauntlet: Not as fun as last years. I only remember this going about 20 minutes instead of around an hour like last years. Anyways, the NSE start withâ€¦THE IMMORTALS! I didnâ€™t think it was possible, but I ended up laughing at the Immortals MORE here than on Night 2. Shawn teased the shorter one about his big nose and he replied with something (I donâ€™t know what it actually was) completely incoherent. Aaron and Shawn were totally confused; questioning whether it was even in English while I cracked up.
Unfortunately they were eliminated first by Cruz Control. Next was THE KARTEL! As they made their entrance some fan said â€œChelsea Suck!â€ and Terry said â€œHe doesnâ€™t know what heâ€™s talking about!â€ to me and Dad which was cool. They did us proud and submitted the NSE to a Boston Crab/crossface combo. Some more teams, some more wrestling. The fans werenâ€™t very into it. Las Chivas came in and sucked ridiculous dick. Aaron and I determined they were the sloppiest wrestlers of the weekend. The smaller one took a stupid bump off a Dagon suplex, landing right on the top of his head, and got actually hurt. Serves him right at the end of the day.
It comes down to the Order and DEMOLITION, where Demolition CRUSH Hydra with the Demolition Decapitation for the win. From my angle, it looked like Hydra was literally broken in half. The match had its moments, but was mostly sloppy (Thanks Chivas) and dull. *3/4.
*Intermission. I got really tired during the gauntlet so once again, decided to sit and do nothing the whole time. Yeah.
Match 6: Semi-Finals: IncoHelios vs BLKOUT: HOLY SH*T did Helios take the most horrific beating Iâ€™ve ever seen here. He was dressed as Hallowicked, so I think thatâ€™s why the BLKOUT were so mean to him. Match starts good with the faces running wild. Helios gets isolated and then tortured. BLKOUT just go all out with strikes and suplexes on him. Kingston gave him slaps which had all the crowd gasping. Credit to Helios for taking this, as this was one sick, sick beating. He has the fans behind him well, and a snap rana to King leads to the hot tag.
As the big moves start coming Joker pretends he got low blowed by Hallowicked (behind Bryceâ€™s back) and Bryce calls for the DQ! Boo! The match was mostly the annihilation of Helios, but established the BLKOUT as super heels and got the fans back into the show (from intermission) very well.***.
Match 7: Semi-Finals: Mucha Lucha vs The Colony: I really wasnâ€™t excited for this on paper, and it didnâ€™t turn out to be great. Standard lucha exchanges to start. Canâ€™t remember who the work-over period was on. Face-face so outside of some of the nice moves the fans were pretty quiet. The finishing run came and things picked up a bit. Incognito was slamming the Ants a fair bit. Vin Gerard comes to ringside and instead of hitting Ant Hill, Fire jumps out onto him. That leaves Soldier and Worker with one less in the ring though, and Worker is pinned after a flipping senton/moonsault combo from Incognito. The match wasnâ€™t bad, but not particularly good. **1/2.
Match 8: Non-tourny: 4 way elimination match: Martin Stone vs Vin Gerard vs Reno Diamond vs GLACIER: Random yeah. Fans went nuts for Glacier again, he was really appreciative of the reception he got. Not much to the match. Stone pinned Reno with a lariat (I think). He goes after Glacierâ€™s leg and so does Vin. A Ricky Steamboat style palm thrust eliminates Stone. He stays a bit and attacks Glacierâ€™s leg. Vin continues. Glacier made a comeback and sold pretty well. Vin rolls him up (w/ tights) and gets the 3. *1/2.
Match 9: Non-tourny: MICHAEL Nakazawa vs m.c. KZ: Pretty solid match. KZ came out rapping again. Michael was in full OIL mode here, and it was obviously amazing. Full of great OIL spots, my favourite being Michael putting the oil in his mouth and using it as mist when KZ was up top to make him lose his balance and crotch himself. Half-way through, Aaron said â€œDragon Gate got desperate when Jack broke his face so they put his clothes on this guyâ€, great man. KZ picks up the win with his top rope frog splash. **1/2.
Match 10: Non-tourny: 8 man tag match: Los Ice Creams and The Osirian Portal vs Tim Donst, Create-a-Wrestler, Chiva 2 and Arik Cannon: This was purely fun. The Ice Creams were a more comedy here than Night 2. CAW botched some corner dropkick thing which was amusing. Donstâ€™s team has to be the most random partnering ever. Match ended 5 minutes when everyone applied sleepers on each other and passed out, while Donst was at the end of the chain so was declared the winner. **.
Match 11: CHIKARA King Of Trios 2008 Finals: Mucha Lucha vs BLKOUT: Huge styles clash going in and lots of people were disappointed that the Colony werenâ€™t in this, so these guys really had to deliver. Luckily, they did, and we got a really satisfying final.
I really couldnâ€™t imagine like, Joker and El Pantera working together, but exchanges like that in the early going worked out okay. BLKOUT were mega rudos with some nasty seizure jokes to Lince. Lince did face-in-peril really well. Incognito made the hot tag and tore it up with some suplexes and such. Over the weekend, he didnâ€™t do much, but what he did was perfect and he made a really solid edition to Mucha Lucha. No one can grin so awesomely, either. Anyways, solid finishing sequence if a little messy at times. Kingston took Lince up top, but Lince headbutted out of his grasp, and hit a perfect top rope SSP for one of the best nearfalls of the tourny. CHIKARA SPECIAL! Kingston taps! Mucha Lucha are your tournament winners! Very good match; awesome finish. ***1/2.
Overall: Scrapes best show of the weekend. The second and third matches were really awesome (with the second being a really special match for CHIKARA fans) and the other tournament matches were generally solid, if a little below average. The finals were very good and were a satisfying end to the weekend.
Monday 3rd March
Leaving day =(. Woke at 9 and packed our stuff. We had to check out by 11 but we could leave our bags at the hotel. We went to explore more of Philly. After what felt like a 10 mile hike down to the Rocky statue, we met all the Japanese wrestlers on the way back. They remembered us which was again, really cool.
Went to the airport at 4, where we met Martin Stone! We hung around with him for a good 2 â€“ 3 hours, talked loads of wrestling and stuff which was really cool. Turns out he made really good money off the shows. His next aspiration is to go to Dragon Gate, according to PAC theyâ€™re looking for more bases for high fliers nowadays. Really nice guy, and of course, great wrestler.
Plane journey back was eh. I slept. The ride home was average. In case you havenâ€™t noticed already, Iâ€™m really NOT big on travelling. Going back to school should be fun though.
Once again, massive thanks to Aaron for making this whole thing possible. Iâ€™ll see you guys in a few weeks time with a big review of CHIKARAâ€™s best of 2007 DVD.
Overall tournaments/trip thoughts: What an awesome weekend/tournament this was. The Mucha Lucha/AMEX match was pretty much worth the trip alone, but BLKOUT/Team Japan, The Soul Touchaz, IWS/F1RST, the IPW lads and half the matches on Night 1 were also super awesome. There was nothing consistently horrible (although I might be being a bit generous to the Chivas with that statement) and meeting the wrestlers was really cool.
Hanging out with Aaron and Shawn was really cool and despite what some say, I thought Philadelphia was a pretty nice city. Meeting other assorted internet people was cool too.
Overall awesome trip, I had a wonderful time.