DVD Review: CHIKARA “Man Makes Plans, and God Laughs” (9.12.2009)

After ten long months, CHIKARA returns to West Springfield, Massachusetts of the New England area. Unfortunately, a major injury plagued this show, which resulted in Gran Akuma being pulled out of action from a main event Campeonatos de Parejas match against the Osirian Portal. As a result, Chuck Taylor left the side of the UnStable in a six-man match to help Icarus take on the Portal in non-title action. With that announcement, the new main event looks to be a battle of big men, as Claudio Castagnoli takes on none other than the “Nightmare Warrior”, himself, Hallowicked.

“Man Makes Plans, and God Laughs” is available for purchase on Smart Mark Video for a total of twenty dollars. However, you can also go on Hybrid Entertainment to stream the event for a reduced price of ten bucks. Upon buying access to the stream, fans can check out the show for two weeks total. Either way, CHIKARA is making money. It all depends on personal preference. Would you rather have a show temporarily or permanently? For the record, this particular time, I went with Hybrid Entertainment.

Main commentary is provided by “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush, Louden Noxious, Leonard F. Chikarason, Bryce Remsburg, and UltraMantis Black.

Frightmare defeated Brendan Michael Thomas via pinfall (Kneecolepsy) – Brendan Michael Thomas wound up beating Frightmare in the first round of the 2009 Young Lions Cup tournament. Many fans considered Thomas’ win over Frightmare to be a huge upset, so Frightmare got his chance with this match to prove why the “Prince of Pink” got lucky on “Young Lions Cup VII: Night 1”. Frightmare starts off quickly on the attack by attempting a step-up frankensteiner, but Thomas pushes him off and kicks him in the skull. Frightmare and Brendan exchange some chops and punches, but Thomas gets the best of it. Frightmare fights out of a headlock from Brendan, but gets a nasty gutbuster for his efforts. Thomas gets a two-count. Frightmare nails Brendan with a leaping clothesline, gives him a couple frankensteiners, and finishes him off with the Kneecolepsy in about three minutes. Probably the best three minute match you’ll see. Very enjoyable, but I wish they both could have gone a little longer. People can crap on Brendan Michael Thomas all they want, but I’m definitely a fan of his. On the other side of the equation, Frightmare’s arguably my favorite guy to watch in CHIKARA at the moment. *½.

The Badd Boys are outside, standing in front of the arena. Brad says that the Badds are putting the entire CHIKARA roster at risk because apparently, everyone in the company has a “bunch of bad(d) attitudes”. Chad supports Brad’s statement, and goes on to explain that the Badds are only in the company to kick some butt. According to Chad, everyone in CHIKARA is in for a “bad(d) day”.

Chad Badd and Brad Badd beat Fire Ant and Green Ant via pinfall (Demolition Decapitation) – This was the Badd Boys’ debut match in CHIKARA. Chad quickly tosses Fire out of the ring, and the Badd Boys work on Green Ant. Green Ant gets rocked with a shoulder block. Fire Ant attempts to get back in the ring, but the Badds quickly knock him back out again. Green Ant nails an overhand chop, but is quickly put back in his place with some relentless offense from the Badds. With a headbutt on Chad, Green Ant is able to roll onto the outside. In comes Fire Ant as the legal man now. Fire gets a prawn hold, but it’s only a two-count. Chad tosses Fire back to the outside. Green comes back in, but gets lariated off his feet. Demolition Decapitation on Green Ant ends it in about six minutes. The Colony hardly got in any offense, which didn’t make this match too enjoyable to watch. Nevertheless, the bout was fine for what it was. **.

Steve “The Turtle” Weiner defeated Grizzly Redwood via disqualification (low blow) – Steve Weiner pulls off his shirt to reveal that he is wearing some trunks. A good portion of the crowd starting dying laughing after Steve did this. I got a big chuckle out of it in my chair at home, as well. Steve looks for a handshake, but Grizzly doesn’t want any of it. Steve pulls out some signature Hulk Hogan taunts, as Grizzly looks on in shame. Steve catches Grizzly offguard with a huge splash in the corner. Grizzly and Steve shove each other back and forth for a bit. Grizzly tosses Steve into the corner and dodges a splash attempt. Kick to the balls from Grizzly, and this match is all over. DUD.

Colin Delaney appears to be in a shed, getting ready to cut a promo. Colin brings up that he was awfully close to winning the Young Lions Cup in August. According to Colin, the good part of participating in the tournament, however, was beating Dasher Hatfield shortly after making his debut. Delaney holds up a Christmas tree and tells Dasher that “tonight, Christmas comes early”. Colin Delaney hopes that Dasher brought his A-game because he is in fact, the “Big League Superstar”.

Dasher Hatfield defeated Colin Delaney via pinfall (Grand Slam) – Colin and Dasher lock up early on, in which no one really gets the better of each other. Dasher rolls up Colin, but only gets two. Dasher goes for a windup pitch, but Colin blocks it. Colin looks to capitalize, but gets thrown down on his back for his efforts. Colin takes it to the floor, and Dasher attempts a baseball slide. The two work their way back inside of the ring. Underhand chop by Dasher. Colin comes back in the ring. Dasher slides between the legs and Colin stomps him on the chest. Colin gets dirty by choking Hatfield with the middle rope and pins him with a crossbody for two. Colin gets Dasher into yet another pinning predicament, but he simply cannot put Dasher away. Colin with a seated lariat, but Dasher blocks it. Quick pin for two. Colin attempts to submit Dasher, but Hatfield works his way back up to his feet. Colin with a few slams onto Hatfield, but his lackadaisical covers allow Hatfield to kick out early. Leg lariat from Colin, but yet another two-count. Dasher begins to work his way back into the match by showcasing his highly innovative offense. Dasher sets up Colin into the ropes and nails him with a huge baseball slide to the face. Dasher attempts a dropkick, but Colin steps out of the way and nails him in the face with his signature seated lariat. Two-count. Colin with the Twist of Fate. Colin climbs to the top, signaling for the Swanton. Colin leaps down, but Dasher rolls out of the way. RKO out of nowhere from Colin! Colin attempts the Orton punt, but Dasher catches him in a pinning predicament. Colin rolls through the pin attempt and nails Dasher in the head with a punt! Just two, ladies and gentlemen. Colin sets Dasher up for the FU, but to no avail. Dasher sets up Colin on the top rope and kills him with the Grand Slam in approximately ten minutes. That’s enough for a three-count. I totally dug this match up. In fact, their encounter at “Young Lions Cup VII: Night 1” was probably one of my favorites all of that weekend. Dasher and Colin have excellent chemistry. Super enjoyable match that I definitely wouldn’t mind watching again in the future. ***.

UltraMantis Black has no words for the Smart Mark Video camera crew regarding his upcoming match against the Super Smash Brothers, but does have to frantically share his thoughts about someone or something going through his bags. Could the Eye of Tyr be missing?

UltraMantis Black and Delirious beat Player Uno and Player Dos via pinfall (Praying Mantis Bomb) – Right off the bat, Dos tries to hit Delirious with some chops, but they prove to be ineffective. Delirious attempts some moves, but Dos sends him down to the mat. Dos tags in Uno. Delirious tries to mount Uno down, but he moves out of the way. Clotheslines and leg lariats from Uno onto Delirious. Delirious catches Uno with a jawbreaker, and tags in UltraMantis by rolling to the floor. UltraMantis immediately targets the back of Uno. Uno blocks Mantis’ moves and nails a neckbreaker. Uno makes the tag to Dos. Dos nails a standing moonsault, while Uno follows things up with a fist to the face. Dos nails UMB with a legdrop, but he only gets a two-count. Uno sets up for a big move, but UltraMantis pulls down the top rope. With Uno out of the ring now, in comes Dos. Dos with a huge crossbody on Mantis. UMB tags in Delirious. UMB nails a clothesline, Delirious clocks him in the back of the head, and Mantis plants him down with a DDT. Delirious with an elbow to the head. UMB crashes down on Dos with a seated senton, but that’s only two. Dos mounts a comeback and knocks UMB to the floor. In comes Delirious with a slam attempt, but Dos reverses it into a DDT. Uno looks for the hot tag, but UMB pulls him off of the apron. Pele kick from Dos onto both members of the Order. Moonsault and DDT at the same time onto UMB and Delirious. Uno tags himself in, and the Super Smash Brothers flurry out a sequence of double team maneuvers. Cover on Delirious is broken up by Mantis. Dos comes in with a huge plancha onto Delirious. Uno covers Mantis with a uranage for two. Delirious nails the Panic Attack on Dos in the corner. Seconds later, Mantis drops Uno right on his head with the Praying Mantis Bomb for the win in about nine minutes. Uno left the ring without even bothering to look at Dos, clearly showing some frustration. Make that one point for the Order now. ***.

Tim Donst mocks the CHIKARA fans by blurting out a series of questions regarding Hydra. Donst says that even after he laid out Hydra on “Young Lions Cup VII: Night 3”, not one wrestler confronted him about calming down. Over the past five years, Donst mentions that he has wanted nothing more than to win the Young Lions Cup. Tim realizes that his attacks on Hydra will not allow him to be on the tecnico side of the Cibernetico and that he will no longer be able to train with Mike Quackenbush and Claudio Castagnoli, but he simply does not care. Donst says that he is going to be the guy that plays outside of the rules from now on. He’s in it for himself. Arguably one of Donst’s top promos of 2009. Some really great emotion shown.

Tim Donst defeated Hydra via submission (Tazmission) – As Hydra was making his entrance on the apron, Donst quickly knocked him to the floor. Donst continues to beat the crap out of Hydra on the outside by choking at him. The referee tries intervening, but to no avail. Donst lifts Hydra up from the ground and forearms hit back down. Hydra tries to wiggle away from Donst, but Tim stops him in his tracks. Donst continues to throw Hydra around like a rag doll by tossing him into the turnbuckle. Tim slams Hydra face-first down onto the apron. After landing a forward slam onto Hydra inside of the ring, the bell finally rings for the match to begin. Donst works in a body scissors and locks in the Tazmission. Hydra tries to stick in there for as long as possible, but finally taps out in sixteen seconds. Donst refuses to let go of the hold, so the referee finally pulls him off. This was an extremely effective encounter that showed Donst looking like an absolute animal. I’ve always been a big fan of Tim, but he’s definitely ten times better as a rudo. DUD.

Chuck Taylor was supposed to be on the rudo side of the upcoming six-man, but was pulled after Gran Akuma could not take on the Osirian Portal with Icarus. With that said, Chuck will replace Akuma in that match against the Portal and a new partner for the UnStable will be drawn now. Is Angelina Love in the house? No. Duke of Dorchester? Nope. How about Daizee Haze? Here she comes.

Vin Gerard, STIGMA, and Daizee Haze beat Mike Quackenbush, Equinox, and Lince Dorado via submission (STF) – STIGMA and Lince Dorado start things off. Lince goes for some shoulder blocks, but STIGMA dodesn’t budge. He finally takes the big man down with a dropkick and hurricarana. Vin tags himself in and gets taken out by Lince, as well. Tag by Equinox. Equinox and Lince double team the UnStable successfully. Just when it looks like the Future Is Now has some momentum going, Vin tosses Equinox out of the ring. Quackenbush comes in and dives through the ropes onto Vin. Quack steps back into the ring, but gets booted by Daizee. Quack goes for the palm strike, but suddenly realizes that he is about to hit a girl. With that hesitation, Daizee dropkicks Quackenbush out of the ring. Equniox gets pummeled into the mat by the UnStable. Vin locks in the STF, doing anything to keep Equinox away from his partners. Finally, Quackenbush and Lince a pair of superkicks onto the UnStable. Daizee makes her way back into the ring and slaps Equniox and Lince. With that, Quackenbush nails Daizee in the face with an epic palm strike! Quackenbush looks upset with himself for hitting a girl, but continues. Quack attempts the Black Tornado Slam, but gets rolled up for two. Lince and Daizee go at it. Lince goes for a headscissors, but Daizee reverses it into the Mind Trip! Awesome spot there! Equinox breaks the pin up at the last second. Lynxsault to the UnStable. Double shooting star presses by the Future Is Now onto the UnStable. Vin tries unmasking Equinox, but Quack stops the attempt with a palm strike. Quack tries some innovative offense on the back of STIGMA, but fails. Stigmata on Lince. Equinox with a dropkick off the top, but his leg fails underneath him. Vince capitalizes on the botch and forces Equinox to tap to the STF in twelve minutes. There was plenty of great double team offense in this match, making it extremely enjoyable to watch. Also, Daizee Haze looked like one million bucks and proved that she could hold her own against the guys. ***½.

Amasis welcomes back Ophidian, who has been sidelined to injury for the past few months. Amasis knows that their upcoming match against F.I.S.T. has been modified, but he says that that will make no difference on the match outcome. Amasis asks Ophidian if he is ready. Ophidian says that after many months of rehabilitation, he most certainly is. Can you dig that?

Icarus and Chuck Taylor beat Ophidian and Amasis via pinfall (Blu-ray DVD) – Chuck dominates Ophidian in the early going, but gets caught with a sunset flip for two. Ophidian wrenches back on the leg of Chuck Taylor, but he manages to escape. Clearly losing in the mat game, Chuck hits the floor. With Icarus in now, Ophidian also tags in Amasis. Icarus attempts multiple headlocks, but Amasis always finds a way to dance out of them. The Portal use some double team offense, which takes out Icarus to the floor. Chuck also throws Amasis out of the ring. With that, Ophidian tosses Chuck out of the ring, too. Icarus looks to spear Ophidian, but Amasis hops in the way and takes the attack for himself. Dug that up quite a bit. After getting beaten down by F.I.S.T., Amasis rolls out of the ring. Ophidian cracks Icarus in the head with a kick. He hits Icarus with a crossbody and knocks him down again with a spinning heel kick. Icarus nails Amasis with a pumphandle slam for two. Death Grip on Icarus gets turned into a Pedigree. Pedigree attempt fails and the Death Grip is on again. Chuck breaks up the Death Grip, so Ophidian locks it in on him. Nice stuff. Chuck breaks up the Death Grip with a powerbomb reversal. Double knees to Chuck from Ophidian. After a flurry of offense by the Portal, the two of them signal for the Osirian Sacrament. Chuck knocks Ophidian off the top at the last second, though. Sole Food on Ophidian’s bad arm! Icarus picks up Ophidian and throws him into the corner turnbuckle with the Blu-ray DVD to pick up the win in non-title action. This match was so fast-paced that it was hard to keep up with. Excellent work by all four guys in the bout. ***¼.

Claudio Castagnoli defeated Hallowicked via pinfall (reverse folding press) – Hallowicked and Claudio start by doing a lot of technical work on the mat. Some of the stuff looked really cool, while other sequences dragged on at times. Hallowicked and Claudio lock up. Both men attempt straight jacket holds, but fail. Claudio gets Hallowicked down with a hammerlock. Shortly after, Hallowicked catches Claudio with a series of armdrags and lucha holds. Claudio attempts to superkick Hallowicked, but gets rolled up for a two-count only. Claudio catches Hallowicked in the camel clutch, but the “Nightmare Warrior” escapes through Claudio’s legs. Crucifix pin gets a two-count. Hallowicked goes for a big boot, but Claudio catches him with a suplex for two. Double yakuza kicks! European uppercut attempt misses and Hallowicked rolls him up for two. Step-up enziguri by Hallowicked gets two. Hallowicked looks for the Go To Sleepy Hallow, but Claudio cracks him in the face with a superkick. Another two-count. UFO gets two, as well. Claudio tries the Giant Swing, but Hallowicked doesn’t budge. Instead, he rolls Claudio up once more. Another two. Claudio gets the Giant Swing this time for five rotations. Two again. Ricola Bomb reversed into the Sleepy Hallow, but Claudio escapes. Big boot by Hallowicked. Go To Sleepy Hallow! Finally! Yet another two-count. Graveyard Smash attempt fails. Rydeen Bomb, however, works. That’s just two. European uppercut into the corner. Hallowicked fights out of the Ricola Bomb, but gets caught with a reverse folding press in twenty minutes. One, two, three. I truly loved this match more than anything else on the show. What a main event. ***¾.

Quite frankly, I have seen plenty people call this CHIKARA’s worst show of the year. While it may be, that really does not mean that this is a bad show at all compared to other wrestling shows out there. Take a look at my match ratings, for example. While there may not be any four star matches on here, about half of the matches are three stars and up.

I hesitated on purchasing “Man Makes Plans, and God Laughs” for quite a while, simply because the reviews of the event were not impressing me at all. However, now that I have seen it, I am definitely happy that I didn’t miss out on Claudio Castagnoli versus Hallowicked, the Osirian Portal versus F.I.S.T., or the exquisite six-man that was two matches before the main event. While there are pretty much no storyline advancements on “Man Makes Plans, and God Laughs” at all, it is an overall fun wrestling show. With that taken into consideration, buy this show at your own will.

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