Brief CHIKARA King of Trios 2008 DVD Review, 2/29/08 – 3/2/08

Got the DVDs and wanted to compare to live, so following are some brief thoughts/recapping.

Night 1

1. ROH Students vs Las Chivas – Ugh, really didn’t like this. Came off about the same as it did live – just utterly average with nothing special except Sugarfoot’s hilarious flipping senton botch. The ROH Students doing the workover period that NEVER ENDS really didn’t help this as an opener, also. Ended strongly (w/ the moonsault), at least. *1/2.

2. The Colony vs Team El DoradoDDT – Awesome match! Came off much better than live, as I thought you could see all the little details a lot better, espec. Team Japan’s antics. The match was more focused around general fun than wrestling, which turned out really well. Team Japan were so unique – pure comedy with Michael, the odd, odd man in Shimizu and the SRS BIZNESS ‘rassla in Go; I loved them. Anyways, great stuff that should have been the opener IMO. ***1/4.

3. Kaiju Sea Amigos vs The Order of The Neo Solar Temple – Overall, this was a lot better than expected. The ring introductions were certainly better on DVD because my ears weren’t getting destroyed by Louden’s super loud announcing. The Sea Amigos were pretty cool, especially DW Cycloptocus (sp?) with his spinning tentacle massacre as the hot tag. Entertaining stuff on the whole, that didn’t go too long or anything. **1/2.

4. Team Egypt vs QuackenStormSkayde – WOW did this come off better on DVD than live. I don’t remember an awful lot from live outside of some fun stuff scattered, but on DVD I was loving every minute. We got pretty much everything; Mecha-metal hand palm strikes, Skayde schooling young Ophidian, Amasis doing a 450 (which felt much less awkward than live), Quack hitting a superkick, and loads more. Cool underlying story with the Portal trying to get the big win of their careers over the vets too. Best first round match of Night 1. ***1/2.

5. Team WTF vs Team Dr. Keith – Wasn’t as good as live on DVD, mostly because pretty much all of the spots were a lot less ‘HOLY SH*T!’ I could hear myself marking out when they announced Colin Deleany as Colin Olsen’s replacement, but sadly it was not to be. At least we had Jimmy yell ‘Who?! I have no idea who that guy is!” at Chikarason. Thankfully Retail didn’t botch anything big and KZ looked real good in his debut, I hope we can see him back one day in the almighty future. Super fun match here. ***.

6. Team IPW-UK vs The Naptown Dragons – Unfortunately, this came off far worse on DVD. Live it was f*cking electric, but on DVD the buzz seemed absent. I liked the brawling at the start as opposed to the usual feeling out process, and the workover on Diehard was pretty good. A few off parts in the finishing stretch, but it’s the first time these guys have met so it’s understandable. Solid stuff, but nothing awesome like live, :(. ***.

7. Las Chivas vs The Colony – The crowd was pretty dead for this one, as it was post-intermission. I don’t have much to say about this, it was fine for what it was I guess. The height Worker got on his (missed) moonsault near the end was crazy. **.

8. BLKOUT vs TONST – Live this was great due to the pleasant surprise of the Order generally being more awesome than usual, while on tape it was less…special. Still, we had a nice underdog story going and the BLKOUT were super, super rudos. Eddie Kingston is awesome. I also loved how Ruckus was laughing at Mantis when he tried to hit the Praying Mantis Bomb on Joker. And, holy sh*t, what a sick finish. **3/4.

9. Team WTF vs QuackenSkaydeStorm – WAY too much Shane Storm. Everything where it was just him from his team in the ring sucked, while everything else ruled. I really liked the early feeling out process parts (especially KZ and Quack’s exchanges), but the workover stages kinda blew. I blame Shane Storm, mostly. It picked up when the finishing stretch hit – Quack’s Yoshi Tonic —> sitout powerbomb move ruled my soul. Shane Storm’s fighting spirit was comically bad, but at least the match ended good with Skayde schooling young KZ. Very good stuff, but too much Storm to be great. ***1/2.

10. Team IPW-UK vs IncoHelios – Just MOTN. I think IncoHelios were the perfect opponents for the IPW lads, as the Firm were completely hated after their first round match while IncoHelios were like, the super babyface (but not underdog) team against them in an epic battle. Helios did a good face-in-peril, leading onto a great finishing sequence with lots of big moves and nearfalls. I still bought the double submissions from the Kartel at the finish, before the awesome finish with the most over hold ever. Quality main event. ***3/4.

Overall: I’d say the weakest show of the weekend; if only because the crowd on Nights 2 and 3 were much, much better. This show was still good though, with loads of fun stuff throughout and nothing too similar/repetitive. For an overall score I’d say 7/10, and I really enjoyed it.

Night 2

1. Team Japan vs The Southern Saints – Good opener. I thought the Saints tried a bit too hard at times with their heel shtick, but it’s better than not trying I guess. Team Japan were big time over here, rightfully so. The Saints generally played the coward role (in there with stiff angry Japanese men) well, and took a good ass kicking. Fine opener. ***.

2. Tha Soul Touchaz vs Team BSE – KOBRAAAAAAAAA. Originally I was sad Xtremo didn’t get to showcase much of his stuff because I liked him a lot in his previous CHIKARA matches, but the Soul Touchaz were so awesome it didn’t matter too much. For the first time these 6 guys have ever stepped in the ring together I thought they did a good job and wrestled a pretty smooth match. C-Red seemed to do a lot more than I remembered him from live, too. Good stuff. **3/4.

3. SnS Inc. vs FIST – I really liked this. There was more wrestling than comedy than I expected, but they had a solid match with everyone playing their role nicely. Good thing the Dempsey love was heard on DVD, and his reactions to it throughout were priceless. Tank’s fitness based offence was cool, and Del Rey fighting men is always a fun time. Also, love to Akuma for his “Isn’t Bobby a trio by himself?” line pre-match. ***.

4. Stranglehold vs The Fabulous 3 – Solid and to the point. Normal formula except no overly long workover or finishing sequence, these guys knew what they had to do, went out there and did it without any unnecessary things thrown in. Nothing much standout outside Mitch Ryder being forever awesome. **1/2.

5. Team IWS vs Team F1RST – This is tying with BLKOUT/Japan (N3) for my 2nd MOTT honor. This was just as awesome as on tape as was live. Great Dragon Gate style 6 man with everyone going all out. The match is really good for the earlier stages, then when Corbin reversed a top rope moonsault from Stupefied into an Ace Crusher it gets excellent. My favourite nearfall was Cannon DYING off the reverse piledriver from Stu then eating Generico’s Half Nelson for the mother of all 2 counts. MOTN for Night 2. ****.

6. Mucha Lucha vs Los Ice Creams and Glacier – The start of a big weekend for ML. And a cool (pardon the pun) way to start it. Due to my unfamiliarity of him, I wasn’t big on Glacier live, but on DVD the crowd reaction for him certainly came off well. Incognito’s hot tag with the flips and sitout powerbomb on Jr. was great; infact everything this weekend with him in it was quite great. The finishing sequence lost some heat after Incognito’s tag, but picked up at the end with Lince owning Ice Cream Jr. **3/4.

7. Team Japan vs Team AZW – The Immortals NEARLY made me laugh as much on DVD as live. I wish they had a hand cam on them trying to pick fights with random members of the audience. I was dying when some fan shouted out “THIS. IS. SPARTA!” when he first saw the Immortals (pre-match). Anyways, the match itself was eh. I didn’t see the point in it really – if it was just to put over team Japan it didn’t really do that well. At least the commentary explained The Immortals leaving then coming back. *3/4.

8. Tha Soul Touchaz vs FIST – Awesome match. The Touchaz were big time over after their first round match and what better opponents to put them against. The early pairings were done really well (ie Icarus/Willie Richardson) and I was fond of Marshe’s face-in-peril period. Marshe has lots of potential with his height and athleticism, he reminds me of a young Human Tornado. The finishing stretch was lots of things great about wrestling, some of the nearfalls (Swiss Mist –> rollup, ‘Dropping Da Bomb’ legdrop) were freakin’ electric. Rightfully, everyone was sad the Touchaz lost, but the post match applause was just as great on tape as it was live. ***1/2.

9. Team WWF vs The Fabulous 3 – Team WWF’s pre-match promo was awesome. The match came off pretty much the same as live, with Shayne Hawke noticeably being a bit more of a baby. Everyone loved the strut off between Sweeney and Akeem. Mitch is so great in his role, the finish came off pretty well. Great for what it was. **.

10. Mucha Lucha vs Team IWS – Better than live. BETTER. After first viewing I thought the problem was with the super long feeling out process parts, but that wasn’t too bad at the end of the day. What the match suffered from was everyone selling exhaustion way too much in the finishing sequence. Loads of stuff (ie the dive sequences) could have been done without hesitation/exhaustion selling and it wouldn’t have been bad at all. Still, the match had its moments here and there, with many great spots down the stretch. Incognito’s standing flip over Stupefied’s body in the last minute was nuts. And the finish was strong. Good match, but could have been great if it was faster. ***1/4.

Overall: Super fun show. In ring it wasn’t so persistent, but what was good was really good and the not so good stuff served its purpose and was very fun (except maybe AZW/Japan). The crowd came off really well too, which was my favourite aspect of the show. Overall score would be 8/10, loved this.

Night 3

1. The Colony vs Team FIST – Great opener. Just like to say, it was pretty awesome to see myself front row and getting owned by Icarus pre-match. This went exactly how you’d expect it. Fun start, long workover on Worker then the hot tag and it all breaks down. The combo near the end on Worker was LETHAL, and his kickout was nuts. Sadly the reverse rana botch felt a lot more awkward than live, but the Ant Hill finish was good. Great way to kick things off. ***1/4.

2. QuackenSkaydeStorm vs Mucha Lucha – Just as good as live, if a little less special feeling. Before I got the DVD I checked out some of the match times for the weekend, and was shocked to see this went 19 minutes as opposed to 9 like I thought it did. And, on DVD, it did the same – went (roughly) 20 minutes but felt like 10. I can see why some would be under-whelmed by this, as there was no balls to the wall action or anything, but it completely sucked me in for 20 minutes and made me think of nothing else besides the match, so it’s excellent in my book. ****1/2.

3. BLKOUT vs Team Japan – This was f*cking awesome. This came off a little worse than live as I thought some blown spots here and there were more apparent, but the match was excellent despite that. The match was slower than I remembered early on, but they built things (especially the stiffness) very well until the finishing sequence where it just exploded. Loads of great spots and nearfalls. Joker stood out here, being this mean badass that was out to kill these bastard Japanese people. His backdrop Driver on KUDO was sick. Also, SUSUMU must have a broken face after the finish. Great stuff. ****.

4. IncoHelios vs The Fabulous 3 – I thought this was kinda weird. It starts normal and the workover is standard, then the finishing sequence ends as soon as it starts. It was like hot tag, some stuff, Standing SSP, finish. Still, the early parts of the match were really fun and it was good they didn’t go overboard on the nearfalls with such a long night of wrestling etc. Good match, wouldn’t have suffered from 2 extra minutes though. ***.

5. Tag Team Gauntlet – I really didn’t like this. It starts with the NSE and THE IMMORTALS~! (I thought it was gonna head for 5* when the Immortals came out). Immortal Black’s incoherent grumble at Shawn made the DVD, which was awesome. The Immortals, sadly, get eliminated, but out comes The Kartel and the crowd wakes up. In a wonderful moment, Dad saying “F*CK CHELSEA” to Frazier made the DVD. Anyhow, the Kartel eliminate the NSE and it’s all good. Then, the Southern Saints come out and I start hating wrestling. Marcus O’Neal was dreadful, hitting a shitty Dragonrana (seriously, if you can’t do the move well, don’t try it), which eliminated the Kartel.

Las Chivas come out and it gets worse. They eliminated the SS and the Super Smash Bros come out. Uno and one of them botch some stuff, and the fans are silent. The El Dorado guys come out and eliminate Las Chivas. YES. Anyhow, more teams come out and the match gets a little better. Death Rey (alongside Dempsey) hits a sick kick to Go’s head. The Order eliminates SnS Inc. and is left with one last team. Demolition. The fans go nuts as Demolition destroy TONST. The hit Demolition Decapitation on Hydra for the win! Live I thought Hydra died or something, but on tape it looked a lot less devastating. The match had some fun parts, but overall it was pretty poor. *1/2.

6. BLKOUT vs IncoHelios – Good, good stuff. This was on post-intermission so the fans weren’t super into it, but if this were to main event or something these men would really tear the roof off. The beatdown of Helios wasn’t as sick as live, but it still was quite the ass-kicking. Loads of really, really awesome stuff in the finishing sequence. Highlights being Wicked and King slapping the absolute crap out of each other and IncoHelios hit this AWESOME combo; an enziguiri from Delirious, step up kick to the face from Wicked and tornado DDT from Helios, for 2. The fake-foul finish was really clever, and made BLKOUT even more over as heels (they were already great). Very good match.***1/2.

7. The Colony vs Mucha Lucha – I thought this was good, but kept getting held down by botches. You could see the crowd, despite liking Mucha Lucha, was mega in favour of the Colony, and it was kinda disappointing when they were eliminated. Incognito have this weird botch where Incognito tries to wheelbarrow Pantera but Pantera just stands there, watching him and not catching him. I thought the Vin Gerard involvement was a pretty good idea, but I’d have preferred it if he actually did something to the Ants instead of just walking around and saying stuff. The finish with Incognito owning Worker was awesome. This was good stuff, but botches/sloppy parts really hurt its overall momentum. **3/4.

8. 4 way elimination: Reno Diamond vs Martin Stone vs Vin Gerard vs GLACIER – I love how this match would only happen in CHIKARA. I hate Reno Diamond. This was decent until when it came down to Glacier and Vin, where Vin’s attack on his legs would NOT end. It eventually did and Glacier made a brief comeback, but got rolled up (w/ tights) for the 3. Ultimately pointless. 1/2*.

9. Michael Nakazawa vs m.c. KZ – Fun little match. Michael proved why he needs to be brought back. KZ wasn’t too shabby either. The oil spots ruled. KZ’s “WHAT THE F*CK” scream (before he hit his spinebuster thing) being edited was funny. Fun match, just what it should have been. ***.

10. Tim Donst, Arik Cannon, Chiva 2 and Create-A-Wrestler vs Los Ice Creams and The Osirian Portal – I would have rather had Cannon face AkUa in a singles match, ignore Vin, Reno and CAW and have the 8 man be Donst/Glacier/Stone/Chiva vs Ice creams/Portal. But oh well. CAW’s corner dropkick (remembering the one at last year’s KOT) was hilarious. The finish was pretty funky too. Nothing super, but inoffensive enough considering everyone just wanted to see the finals at this point.
**.

11. BLKOUT vs Mucha Lucha – I loved this and thought it was a very satisfying final. The start was completely awesome with everyone going at it as fast as they could and Incognito doing those awesome flips of his. The face-in-peril on Lince was great, he’s really improved since last years KOT when he debuted in CHIKARA. BLKOUT were once again awesome, being ultimate pricks. The finishing stretch was good, although I thought it’d go a bit longer with this being the big tourney finals and all. The finish came off great with everyone going nuts for the Special. Awesome final. ***3/4.

Overall: This was my favourite show of the weekend. Almost everything came out as good as live, and I was very happy all of our interactions with the wrestlers made the DVD and such. I thought this show was the best of the weekend regarding matches, as BLKOUT/Japan, AMEX/Mucha Lucha and the finals all were really excellent. It was a great time watching all 3 shows again on DVD, and I’d definitely make the trip again if possible.

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