CHIKARA Best of 2007 DVD Review: Part 2

CHIKARA Pro: Best of CHIKARA 2007 Part 2:
Disc 2 Continued:

13. Chuck Taylor vs. Ricochet (8/18/07) International Invaders 2nd Stage: These 2 have been feuding for ages in CHIKARA. Back at Young Lions Cup V Night 3 Chuck beat Ricochet to win the cup and the tournament. Due to their seemingly never ending battles, Chikara made this Chuck’s cup vs Ricochet’s Chikara career.

Match: Chuck attacks Ricochet right at the bell. He dominates the first 3minutes without Ricochet getting anything in. Ricochet gets some arm drags in and such, but it’s not long before Chuck starts working him over again. Ricochet eventually comes back after a reversal sequence, hitting a standing moonsault for 2. The finishing sequence consists or Ricochet getting lots of nearfalls, but can’t string enough together well enough to put Chuck away decisively. Chuck is just too slippery and rolls him up, with a low blow, for the 3.
Winner: Chuck Taylor.

Pretty average match. Seeing as it was the big, decisive Chuck/Ricochet battle they went for a much slower, gradual build, but it didn’t really work as neither dude seemed very desperate and most of it was like their other matches, only slower. They got the fans into it pretty well at the end, but overall this match is nothing special.
**3/4.

14. Claudio vs. PAC (8/18/07) International Invaders 2nd Stage: Pretty much a random exhibition here.

Match: Lock up to start. Some standing counters and such until PAC starts flipping and hitting stuff. Claudio goes to sweep his legs, but he backflips to avoid it, hits a kick then a beautiful twisting moonsault for 2! He hits a headscissors variation, before CC nails him with his Bicycle Boot out of nowhere to gain control.

Claudio works over PAC with the usual power stuff, but adds some new moves too. Doing ‘la Majistral’ and even doing some moves back from his Swiss Money holding days is a REALLY cool touch, because Claudio’s trying to show he’s his own, independent wrestler, instead of a part of the King of Wrestling. Really cool subtle way to advance that storyline. Anyways, PAC makes his comeback, hitting a dropkick and a twisting moonsault to the outside.

Back in, PAC hits some smaller flips for nearfalls. Claudio tries to slam PAC, but he jumps onto his shoulders and hits a snap rana for 2! He tries for an enziguiri, but CC hits a dead lift German putting PAC RIGHT ON HIS HEAD. It gets 2. Both exchange some more nearfalls. PAC hits a DDT out of a moonsault which rules. Claudio pops him up, he stands on CC shoulders and moonsaults off and gets a rollup for a REALLY close 2! PAC goes up top for a Dragonrana, but CC isn’t weak enough yet and catches the Brit in the Ricola Bomb for the 3.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli.

Excellent match. This was your usual awesome CC vs flier/Power vs Speed match, but with a difference. The difference was this was done a lot slower, and with a lot less spots. That might sound bad, but it actually worked great, as this proved to be a lot more memorable than every other CC/flier match I’ve seen. Super exciting, one of my fav matches on this comp.
****1/4.

15. Olsen Twins vs. Cheech/Cloudy (9/22/07) Cibernetico & Robin: Going in, these 2 teams know each other really well, having faced each other loads in other promotions and once before in CHIKARA too. Cheech and Cloudy have been very successful in Chikar-past, almost capturing the tag titles back in April. Despite some impressive outings, The Olsens have never come close to gold, so let’s see if they can start here.

Match: It starts normally, with Cloudy running wild on Jimmy with headscissors and such. Colin enters, and the Olsens realise they’re gonna need to step things up if they wanna win. Colin suddenly explodes with loads of wild lucha stuff on Cheech. Cheech goes to the floor to rest, but as soon as he catches his breath Jimmy hits him with a crazy tope into DDT on the floor! The Olsens double team Cloudy and work him down in the ring.

Cloudy does the normal face-in-peril, but when he makes his comebacks he can’t tag Cheech because Cheech isn’t there (is still hurt on the floor after the DDT). Eventually, Cheech recovers and Cloudy comes back with a reverse rana on Jimmy. Cheech makes the hot tag but is soon cut off by the Olsens targeting his neck. The crowd is super behind UIS.

Lots of nearfalls in the finishing sequence, with it being an uphill battle for UIS. The Olsens hit both Cheech and Cloudy with enough big moves, but one of them is always there to save their partner. As both The Olsens focus on Cloudy, Cheech sneaks in and dropkicks Colin out of the ring, which leads to UIS hitting their Shining Wizard/Knee Powerbomb combo on Jimmy for the 3!
Winners: Cheech and Cloudy.

That match was awesome. The story of the Olsens stepping it up, not just in moves but through strategy (injuring Cheech then isolating Cloudy) was awesome, and got the fans super behind UIS. The finish with the Olsens not attacking their opponents equally (ignoring Cheech and putting all focus on Cloudy) leading to their downfall was also really well done. Great story, perfect ol’ US tag formula and still all the awesome spots to love make this a Chikara tag team classic.
****1/4.

End of Disc 2.

~~~~~

Disc 3:
16. Incoherence vs. Icarus/Taylor (10/26/07) Bruised: In Chikara, a team needs 3 points to challenge for the tag belts. Over the course of the last year, Incoherence won their 3 matches, so head they’re cashing in and getting their shot at the seemingly un-dethronable FIST.

FIST’s music hits, but only Icarus comes out. He cuts a promo saying Akuma is injured, and out Akuma walks in crutches. They say they can’t defend the belts. Commissioner of Fun, Lenny Chikarason gets on the mic and says they HAVE to defend ‘em or they’ll be given straight to Incoherence. FIST have no answer, so Lenny goes backstage and drags out Chuck Taylor! Chuck isn’t even dressed to wrestle (he was on his way out), but is forced to. Wippee!

Match: Like, a minute in, FIST get the first fall when Icarus pins Hallowicked a confusing rollup. Incoherence get control and work over Icarus for a bit. Wicked is soon made face-in-peril. After 5 minutes or so of heat on him, he comes back and Delirious gets the hot tag. It breaks down, and Delirious hits Chuck with a perfect Chemical Imbalance #2 for a 3 count. 1 – 1 now, final fall time. The third fall is pretty much all nearfalls, but it’s all good. Both teams hit all their signature stuff but no one is going down. Hallowicked no-sells a pedigree, but gets hit with another one for his trouble. 1…2…NO! Delirious takes an Omega Driver, but Wicked breaks up the pin. Seeing as FIST can’t put Incoherence down normally, they go to cheat, with Akuma trying to hit Wicked with his crutch, but Wicked ducks and he connects with Icarus! Wicked rolls him up! 1…2…No! Icarus hulks up, but Wicked runs off the ropes and boots his face OFF with the Yakuza Kick! 1…2…3!
Winners, and NEW Campeones de Parejas: Incoherence.

Awesome match. They were totally going for the epic dethroning of the hated champions (FIST), and it totally worked. Sufficient length and formula, and the finishers and (contextual) no selling in the finishing stretch made this one for the ages. The action was very slow and pretty sloppy at times, but overall this was great.
***3/4.

17. Cheech/Cloudy vs. Osirian Portal (10/26/07) Bruised: Cheech and Cloudy have 1 point going into this, as do the Portal. Should be a fun tag match.

Match: This is only the Portal’s second match in Chikara. Cheech and Cloudy are mega over, as they should be. We start with Cloudy and Ophidian. Cloudy runs wild with some arm drags and such. Cheech and Cloudy hit some cool double teams, including a flipping senton from Cloudy off of Cheech’s shoulders. The Portal soon slow it down and isolate Cloudy. They do some cool double teams and things. Cloudy comes back on Ophidian, hitting the Swiss Hammer (Torture rack ace crusher)!

Hot tag to Cheech. He comes in and KILLS Amasis with a lariat. We get some nearfalls for both teams, until UIS hit ‘partly Cloudy with a chance of Cheech’ (619/back of head dropkick combo) and their Shining Wizard/Powerbomb onto Knee combo for the 3 on Amasis.
Winners: Cheech and Cloudy.

Fun match. For their experience, the Portal are awesome, and Cheech and Cloudy were their usual good selves. Add some good formula and you have yourself a great little undercard match.
***.
18. Icarus vs. Tim Donst (10/27/07) New Star Navigation: Donst in 2007 was amazing. He entered the year as a complete nobody, but soon got ridiculously over, through taking some of the most brutal beatings in CHIKARA history (sorta like Mikey Whipwreck). He is a young, collegiate style wrestling American Hero, looking to make his name in CHIKARA. Icarus is part of the longest running team in CHIKARA history (along with Gran Akuma, Team FIST), and is one of the best and most over heels in CHIKARA today. This match is super-tecnico vs mega-rudo, so should be awesome.
Icarus comes out and cuts a promo pre-match. He talks about how he got his face kicked and such last night, so he wants an easy night tonight, having a straight up wrestling match. And if you want a straight up, amateur wrestling match in Chikara, there’s no-one better to turn to than Tim Donst.

Match: We start how Icarus wants, with some amateur wrestling. After a few minutes, Icarus can’t gain control and Donst owns him on the mat, so Icarus does what we’d expect him to – gets pissed and beats the hell outta Donst. The beating is ridiculously stiff. I mean, so are all of the Donst ones, but this one is like, really, Icarus, you’re gonna kill the kid. After a couple billion strikes, an Irish whip into a wall and a few submissions, Donst comes back on the outside, hitting Icarus with a bale of hay! The HAY OF DOOM gets control for Donst, but not for long as Icarus is soon quick to lay the beating on him again.
Back in the ring Icarus takes off Donst’s amateur wrestling headgear and CHOPS him with it! Donst fights back though, grabs the headgear and whacks Icarus in the FACE with it! We get some heated nearfalls, with the fans super into it. Donst gets an arm drag, locks on the CHIKARA SPECIAL (wacky Mexican stretch variant) and Icarus taps!
Winner: Tim Donst.

Quality stuff; the Donst formula never gets old, and combined with Icarus bringing his A-game this was a super fun match.
***1/2.

19. Shane Storm vs. Chuck Taylor (11/16/07) Battle Who Could Care Less: Both men have been losing a lot recently, so both would like to rebuild themselves with a win here.

Match: Chuck goes right to work on Shane with punches. He charges at him in the corner but Shane moves and hits some arm drags. He goes for a dive but Chuck cuts him off with a big boot through the ropes. Back in Shane runs wild a little more with a standing rana, but it’s not long before Chuck slows it down and gains full control.

Chuck wears him down with the usual stuff before Shane makes him comeback. He hits lots of forearms and tries for a DDT, but Chuck reverses and hits Sole Food. Shane catches him with a sh*tty spinbuster though. Sweeney is hilarious on commentary – “Spinebuster variation from Shane Storm. *pause*. Would have made Arn Anderson vomit! *longer pause* Effective, nonetheless.” Chuck hits a DDT and gets out the grenade. Shane throws the grenade up and hits Chuck with That Japanese Move on the way down. It gets 2. Chuck places Shane on the top rope and hits the Awful Waffle, for 3.
Winner: Chuck Taylor.

Fun little match. Chucky T is a great base for Shane, making all of his offence look good. Add some good ol’ Chucky T comedy and we have an awesome undercard match.
**1/2.

20. Claudio Castagnoli vs. MIYAWAKI (11/17/07) Sordid Perils: Claudio is gonna take a night off beating up the Kings of Wrestling here, and is gonna enjoy himself with a nice good wrestling match with MIYAWAKI.

Match: We start with both men feeling each other out on the mat for a while. MIYAWAKI takes CC down with a shoulder tackle. He tries more power based offence but it has no effect on Double C, so he starts working over one of Claudio’s legs. He hits some Dragon Screws and stomps to the leg. He applies a Figure 4 but CC reverses it and makes a comeback. Claudio works over MIYAWAKI with his usual power offence, including some backbreakers and slams.

MIYAWAKI comes back using some of his speed. He hits a second rope dropkick to the knee, but it doesn’t slow down CC. Both start hitting big moves. Claudio hits a HUGE Bicycle kick for 2. MIYAWAKI hits a flatliner onto the ropes, German suplex and kick to the gut, but Claudio annihilates him with the Pop-up uppercut! Both men exchange rollups for close 2’s. MIYAWAKI hits a reverse DDT for 2, as CC hits a big running uppercut for a nearfall. They wind up on the top rope where CC knocks MIYAWAKI off and hits a diving European Uppercut. The Ricola Bomb moments later gets him the 3!
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli.

Very good match. It was very slow and methodical, but that worked as both men’s strategies failing and how they worked around it hooked me in enough. MIYAWAKI knew he couldn’t match power with Claudio for long, so tried to take out one of his legs. He put too much effort onto the leg though, as Claudio wasn’t very tired despite his leg being hurt. Claudio could easily make a comeback then and worked down MIYAWAKI. MIYAWAKI saw how the leg failed (by there being little effect when he went back to it later) so tried to use power and fighting spirit against Claudio, but Claudio was just to fresh and put MIYAWAKI down with the Ricola bomb. Great stuff.
***1/2.

21. Incoherence vs. Cheech/Cloudy (11/17/07) Sordid Perils: Cheech and Cloudy have racked up the 3 points, time to give Incoherence their first title defence. As it’s a Campeones de Parejas defence, it’s 2 out 3 falls here.

Match: Instead of Cheech and Cloudy, Incoherencito (Cheech dressed as Delirious and Cloudy dressed as Hallowicked) come out! The first fall begins, and as there are 2 Delirious’ in the ring, hilarity ensues (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBeQL31XVRI – here’s a preview). This first fall is pretty much all comedy. Hallowicked and Hallowickedcito tag in and hit each other with the same moves in succession (they’re both Hallowicked, so both have his moveset!). The smaller Hallowickedcito goes for a slam but the bigger Hallowicked falls on top and scores the 3! The first fall goes to Incoherence.

Things get a bit out of hand as everyone starts running around. Everyone disappears to the back. Incoherence come running back, as Cheech and Cloudy make their entrance! Bryce tells them the second fall has started and they’re a fall down. Their reaction is priceless – “What?! We just got here!” They start wrestling, as Cheech and Cloudy work over Hallowicked for a few minutes. He comes back and tags Delirious.

Incoherence start to work over Cloudy. Things are SERIOUS now. Standard workover, Cloudy makes the hot tag to Cheech. He goes up top, jumps down and springboards off Delirious’ back and catches Hallowicked in a Frankensteiner! He hits Delirious with the ‘Go to Cheech’ knee to the head and scores the second fall for UIS!

Third fall and it’s nearfalls all the way. Cheech and Cloudy hit all of their signature stuff (double STO, partly Cloudy with a Chance of Cheech) but can’t put the champs down. Delirious hits Cloudy with the Chemical Imbalance #2 for a 2 count. UIS get a big nearfall off the shining wizard/powerbomb onto knee combo on Wicked, before Delirious breaks up the pin. Wicked kills Cheech with his Yakuza Kick, and drops him with the Graveyard Smash for the third fall! The champs retain.
Winners, and still CDP: Incoherence.

Very good match. What was great about this was, it was a unique mix of things, just like what Chikara is. The first fall was all wacky comedy. The second fall was traditional formula wrestling. The final fall had all the nearfalls which is one of the best attributes of Indy wrestling. I thought the match could have been faster overall (some dead points in the third fall were awkward), but it was still extremely fun.
***3/4.

22. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Hero (12/9/07) Stephen Colbert > Bill O’Reilly: This match was supposed to happen at Chikara’s Chapter 11 show, but due to Lince Dorado badly injuring himself in a match beforehand, the show was ended. So instead, Chikara ran a free admission show in Penn State University with this match headlining it.

Match: It starts mat based. Lots of stretches. Claudio starts to run wild, tying Hero up in knots. Hero will have none of it and nails CC with some kicks as he loses a hold. Hero starts working over Claudio, with lots of strike based offence, not focusing on any particular body part or anything. Claudio gets some moves in every few minutes, but is too worn down to make a prolonged comeback.

He eventually does with a sweet diving uppercut off the ropes. He starts unloading the uppercuts. Both men get some nearfalls with rollups. Claudio hits his Bicycle kick followed by the Alpamare Waterslide for a close 2. Hero gets a close 2 off a roaring forearm and release vertical suplex. Hero can’t deal with Claudio’s power anymore so goes for a backslide, but Claudio gets out of it and hooks him in the Ricola Bomb! He connects with it and gets the 3.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli

As usual with these two, good stuff. There’s not much to say about this other than it was the good, easy to watch affair that you’d expect from these men, and gave a satisfying conclusion to their feud.
***1/2.

*There’s also bonus material in a recap of the Hero/Equinox feud and a highlight package of the Mitch Ryder/Lince Dorado feud. I don’t actually have the DVD (as I have all of the matches on this comp on separate DVDs of the shows), but both feuds were good so it should be good stuff.

Overall: I think the match reviews should speak for themselves; buy this set if you already haven’t. It’s only $20 (£10) for 22 matches too, which is a bargain.

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