DVD Review: CHIKARA “Hiding in Plain Sight” (9.13.2009)

CHIKARA made their New Hampshire debut on September 13th, 2009 and delivered with quite a memorable show. With Bryan Danielson making final CHIKARA appearance and a huge match for the Campeonatos de Parejas in the main event, I forced myself to make the trip to Nashua, New Hampshire to check out this show live. For the record, I, along with the other two hundred people in attendance, seemed to greatly enjoy the show.

In case you are wondering, I was planning on doing a live review for “Hiding in Plain Sight”, but my busy schedule got the best of me that particular weekend. Fortunately enough, I now have a copy of the show in my hands and will be able to give you my thoughts on the action from a completely new perspective. Without further adieu, here is my DVD review of CHIKARA’s “Hiding in Plain Sight”. Prepare to be amazed by the event’s greatness.

For your own interest, the event is currently available for purchase on DVD at Smart Mark Video for twenty bucks. Follow along if you’d like. Then, share your comments and feedback on “Hiding in Plain Sight” below or via e-mail at royreynolds@insidepulse.com.

Hallowicked and Frightmare beat Icarus and Chuck Taylor via pinfall (Graveyard Smash) – Chuck Taylor stole a Frightmare replica mask from the merchandise table and put it on, just as Incoherence was making their entrance. Either Chuck was trying to play mind games with the youngster or maybe he’s just a really big fan of Frightmare. You be the judge. Frightmare is known for his lucha libre moves, but he showed more of Japanese junior heavyweight style by busting out multiple stiff kicks throughout the match, which is something I have never seen him do before. Frightmare nailed the Kneecolespy on Chuck, but Icarus was able to break up the count at the last second. After Hallowicked tossed Frightmare onto Chuck on the outside, Hallowicked scored the three count over Icarus following the Graveyard Smash in about ten minutes. Incoherence now has two points and are just one away from earning a shot at the Campeonatos de Parejas. One of my favorite CHIKARA opening matches in a long time. This is definitely one of those bouts that you’ll want to watch over and over again. ***.

Ariel wants everyone to know that she is making her CHIKARA debut tonight against one the best female wrestlers on all of the independent scene, Sara Del Rey. Ariel explains that with the New England fans behind her, her CHIKARA debut will be a “victorious one”. Big words coming out of the newcomer’s mouth.

Sara Del Rey defeated Ariel via pinfall (Royal Butterfly) – Ariel tries winning over referee, Jonathan Barber, by shaking his hand before the match. Del Rey counters and hugs the man, and Ariel feels the need to match it with an embrace of her own. Then, they hug one another. Isn’t this so sweet? Ariel has great ring presence, but that doesn’t surprise me because she’s been in the business for a solid amount of time. Del Rey busts out the rolling wheel kick, which is somewhat reminiscent of Low-Ki. One of my favorite moves, by the way. Sara lifts Ariel up and plants her down with the Royal Butterfly. One, two, three. And this one is all over. Honestly, this may be the best one on one women’s match I have ever seen CHIKARA put on since 2008. Real solid all around. I wouldn’t mind seeing Ariel come back for a few appearances in the future. She impressed me quite a bit. **½.

Leonard F. Chikarason, Hydra, and Steve “The Turtle” Weiner proudly present the first “Champions of Charity” award to none other than New England wrestling legend, Jeff “Lobsterman” Costa. Costa comes out with one of his female students to a massive pop. Lobsterman gives a real heart-warming speech and accepts the award for not only just himself, but also all of the wrestlers that he broke into the business with that are no longer here today.

Shane Matthews grabs a microphone and tells everyone to sit down and shut up. While all of this craziness is going down, Tim Donst comes out from behind and takes out Hydra. Then, Jagged knocks down Lobsterman with a jab to the head. 2.0 steals the plaque and takes off, but Chikarason catches Donst in his track. Chikarason yells at Donst for his poor behavior lately, cancels his scheduled match against Vökoder for tonight, and tells him that he’s done with CHIKARA for the next sixty days. Donst goes after Hydra some more, but Chikarason threatens to ban him from CHIKARA for ever. This is enough to make Donst retreat and Chikarason apologizes to Lobsterman and his student for the senseless that just went down.

UltraMantis Black and Delirious beat Eddie Kingston and Grizzly Redwood via pinfall (Praying Mantis Bomb) – Despite both teams being rudos, the Order and the Roughnecks have quite an “odd sense of following”, as Bryce Remsburg puts it. They’re both cheered like tecnicos. Eddie Kingston pulls out some lucha libre maneuvers early and even throws in a dropkick on UltraMantis Black. Yes, Eddie Kingston can certainly do it all. Grizzly and Delirious go after one another’s beards, but Grizzly gets the better end of it by chopping Delirious down by the legs. Mongolian chops by UltraMantis, but Kingston fires back with multiple hard knife edges. Rolling neck snap by UltraMantis only gets a two count. Delirious goes for the Panic Attack, misses, and Kingston drops him on his head with a German suplex. Urange suplex on Black! Kingston refuses to tag in Grizzly Redwood, but is still able to throw around the Order quite easily. Suicide dive on UltraMantis Black! Air Yonkers! Wow! Grizzly’s in now and continues the assault on Delirious inside the ring with a brainbuster. Headbutt on Grizzly. Just like that, Delirious catches Redwood with the Praying Mantis Bomb to steal the victory in a little over ten minutes. Grizzly and Kingston argue afterwards, but Redwood takes off before anything crazy can happen. Kingston bows to the Easton crowd for their appreciation before taking off. Overall, this was a pretty fun tag contest. Nothing memorable, but it was nice and solid. **¾.

Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw beat Claudio Castagnoli and Bryan Danielson via pinfall (Alligator Clutch) – Dragon with a terrific ovation from the Nashua fans, even getting a “best in the world” chant going for him before the match began. Jigsaw tells Danielson that Quackenbush wants a piece of him, so he tags in Mike. A fingerlock from Quack and Danielson is enough to get a “this is awesome” chant. I guess that goes to show you how legendary both of these wrestlers are to the independent scene. Excellent, excellent technical work by all four men. Uppercuts by Danielson on Jigsaw! Jigsaw fights back with forearms! Armdrags by Jig! Dropkick! Quackenbush tags in, but Bryan gives him an uppercut, as well. Suicide dive by Jig to the floor onto Danielson! The two WrestleFactory trainers are at it now. Somersault plancha by Quackenbush, but Claudio catches him and throws him back into the ring! Uppercut to the back of the head! I can’t get enough of this match already. Team Uppercut continues works on the knee of Jigsaw, as Jig yelps in pain. Dragon drills Jigsaw with some super stiff elbows into the floor! Claudio with an uppercut to the knee! One-legged giant swing by “Double C”. Danielson wrenches back on a Boston crab, but Quack’s had enough and he palm strikes Dragon across the face. Uppercut! Palm strike! Uppercut! Palm strike! Quack ducks the uppercut and lays in the palms to Bryan’s chest. Hurricarana by Quack that’s enough to spike Claudio on his head! Kick to the back and Danielson rolls it into the Cattle Mutilation! Jigsaw breaks it up. Stereo superkicks by QuackSaw! CHIKARA Special locked in by Quack! Claudio breaks it up with a European to the face. Airplane spin with no hands! Holy crap! Out of nowhere, Quackenbush reverses a pin by Danielson into the Alligator Clutch for the three count in close to twenty-two minutes of nonstop action. Friggan awesome match. I feel like I learned so much just by watching it. This match is an example of exactly why I love professional wrestling and CHIKARA. ****¼.

Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli start to head for the curtain, but the crowd stops Dragon with overwhelming “thank you, Dragon” chants. Bryan grabs a microphone and says that he isn’t the best wrestler in the world. People like the Young Bucks, the American Wolves, Claudio Castagnoli, Jigsaw, and Mike Quackenbush have been all along. He shakes Quack and Jigsaw’s hands, thanks the Nashua fans, and departs. Thanks for the memories, Bryan. Good luck in WWE.

Sal Rinauro of all people is backstage, preparing himself to cut a promo. Sal says that he is sick of Mike Quackenbush sitting around and not defending his NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship. He is tired of Mike dodging NWA bookings and this October, Quack will be forced to put his title on the line against him. Rinauro lets out a loud chuckle before disappearing off screen.

Jagged and Shane Matthews are standing in front of a white strip of poster board. Jagged believes that the reasoning for that is because it is a sort of metaphor, since 2.0 are starting from scratch and will now begin their quest for three points once again. Leonard F. Chikarason interrupts 2.0 and brings up the Badd Boyz. Shane and Jagged claim to know that they do not know what Leonard is talking about. Before leaving, Chikarason says that he will be keeping a close eye on 2.0 and the Badd Boyz from now on.

Jimmy “Equinox” Olsen has been pulled from the scheduled ten-man tag team match and a replacement will be chosen randomly by Leonard F. Chikarason from a hat. The tecnicos’ partner is Matt Classic? Not here. Their partner is Scotty Goldman? Not here, either. Colt Cabunny? Nope. The tecnicos’ partner is Colt Cabana? Yes, he’s here!

Dasher Hatfield, Lince Dorado, Green Ant, Carpenter Ant, and Colt Cabana beat Vin Gerard, Colin Delaney, STIGMA, Jagged, and Shane Matthews via pinfall (shooting star press) – Cabana and Delaney have a funny confrontation, as both men were formerly employed by WWE. Cabana toys around with Colin and continuously slaps him across the face. Colt Cabana with elbows on all of the rudos, taking 2.0 and the UnStable down with relative ease. Dasher attempts to dropkick Delaney into the corner, but Vin Gerard blocks him from doing so. Louden Noxious then suddenly takes the microphone and begins baseball commentary. This is absolutely happening, by the way. Vin Gerard is the pitcher, STIGMA is the catcher, Bryce Remsburg is the umpire, and 2.0 are in the outfield. Colt Cabana takes a few swings outside the ring, but finally decides to step up to the plate. Ball one called by Remsburg. Strike one by Gerard. Vin throws the next pitch, and it’s a high pop fly. 2.0’s coaches apparently never told them how to “call” for a ball, so they end up bumping into one another. That’s going down as an error, ladies and gentlemen. Dasher, Green Ant, and Lince all score by kicking Colin Delaney in the face, who is in a tree of woe position. STIGMA gets the ball and is ready to block the plate from a charging Colt Cabana. He knocks the big man down and slides in safely. Homerun by Colt Cabana! The rudos complain to Remsburg that STIGMA held onto the ball, but Bryce wants none of it. In fury, Shane Matthews dumps a bottle of water over Bryce Remsburg’s head. And that’s enough for Bryce to kick Shane out of the game! Colin throws a rosin bag at Dasher, and that’s enough to get a fight to break out! Bodies are flying everywhere! Get these men under control! Topes to the floor by Green and Carpenter. Stereo moonsaults to back it up by Cabana and Dorado. Lobsterman is back! While Bryce is busy taking care of business on the outside, Lobsterman cracks Shane Matthews over the head with his lobster hand. Costa removes the hand and it is revealed that brass knuckles were underneath them all along. Lince takes advantage of the situation by planting Matthews with a shooting star press. That’s enough to get the win in a sixteen minutes. Super fun trios match put on by all ten wrestlers. Cabana got a standing ovation, following the bout. However, I’d like to say the MVP for the contest was probably Lince Dorado. It’s amazing to see how much Lince has evolved over the past few years. He has totally sharpened up his game up and deserves a lot more credit for his work. ***¼.

Dasher Hatfield is backstage and explains that he has felt a bit lonely as of late. He’s tired of waiting around for Uno and Dos to team up with him again. With Dos as the current Young Lions Cup Champion, that’s pretty much impossible right now, anyways. Now, it’s time for Dasher to get his own backup. Short promo, but nice for what it was.

Player Dos wants Player Uno to know that he’s a bit worried that Uno is seemingly willing to destroy their friendship, just so that he can become the Young Lions Cup Champion. He doesn’t want the Super Smash Brothers to be over with any time soon. Before heading off to the ring, Dos explains that if Uno somehow manages to defeat him tonight, then he’ll be the first one to shake his hand.

Player Dos defeated Player Uno via pinfall (B13) to retain the Young Lions Cup – Crowd battles over cheering for either Uno or Dos. By the way, Uno looks like a million bucks ever since he started going on a diet. Definitely appears to be more agile in the ring now, too, ever since he shed some extra pounds. Uno hit multiple suplexes and slams on Dos that are usually only executed if you are well over two hundred pounds. That’s what makes Player Uno such a threat to any opponent. Even though he’s not a huge dude, he can pull off moves that are absolutely ridiculous for his size. Uno nailed both, a Michinoku Driver and a moonsault, but only got a two count for his efforts. Dos finally is able to put Uno away with the B13 in about fifteen minutes. A tad better than their match from “Young Lions Cup VII: Night 2”, which was also superb. Honestly, Uno and Dos could wrestle twenty times before I got bored of them competing against one another. They always know how to pull something new from under the table. ***¾.

Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, Green Ant, and Carpenter Ant are all in the locker room area, getting ready for their upcoming tag title match against Ophidian and Amasis. Green Ant gives a motivational speech, in which Soldier Ant replies “yes, sir” to. Green asks Carpenter if he thinks Fire and Soldier will be able to win the straps. Carpenter replies saying that “I don’t think they will pull it off; I know they will pull it off”.

Fire Ant and Soldier Ant beat Ophidian and Amasis via submission (short arm scissor) to win the Campeonatos de Parejas – Soldier Ant comes out with new red and camo gear. Fire and Soldier lit up both members of the Portal early with several hard chops to the chest. Both teams appeared to be equally matched until Fire and Soldier took huge risks by diving onto Ophidian and Amasis to the outside. After crawling back into the ring, Fire Ant nailed Amasis with an enziguri and a pair of stiff kicks. Fire then took out Ophidian on the outside, as Soldier clocked Amasis with a TKO to score the first fall in about thirteen minutes. Ophidian goes for the Death Grip on Soldier as soon as the bell rings, but they tumble out of the ring. Ophidian tries locking in the Death Grip once more, but fails to do so. Amasis misses a 450 splash on Soldier and suddenly, the Egyptian is found in the CHIKARA Special. Ophidian breaks up the submission before Amasis taps out, though. Fire Ant with a huge kick to the skull of Ophidian. He nails the Beach Break, but only gets two. Fire quickly turns it into a short arm scissor and Ophidian is forced to tap out in twenty-five minutes. The Colony have prevailed in Nashua! They are the new Campeones de Parejas! Ophidian and Amasis present Fire and Soldier with the belts before leaving, hinting at a potential tecnico turn in the future. Truly a magnificent match. Both, the Portal and the Colony, looked like two of the best tag teams in all of wrestling. ****¼.

From top to bottom, this is one of the best CHIKARA shows I have seen all year, right up there with “Aniversario Yang“. In particular, QuackSaw versus Team Uppercut, Dos versus Uno, and the main event are all mandatory to be checked out by independent wrestling fans. I also thoroughly enjoyed the opener with Inocherence and F.I.S.T.

In case I am not making myself clear enough, put down twenty bucks and check out one of the most entertaining wrestling events of the year. There is just too much awesomeness on this DVD to be missed out on. Why should you believe what I am saying? Because I’m the Miz and I’m awesome. Well, not really, but you catch my drift.

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