1) Austin Aries, Tony Kozina, & Ryan Drago vs. Arik Cannon, Darin Corbin, & Ryan Cruz – 4
2) The Osirian Portal & Escorpion Egipcio vs. The Young Bucks & El Generico – 5
3) Bryan Danielson, Dave Taylor, & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brodie Lee, Eddie Kingston, & Grizzly Redwood – 8
4) Pinkie Sanchez, Greg Excellent, & Beef Wellington vs. Da Soul Touchaz – 4
5) Necro Butcher, Toby Klein, & Brain Damage vs. Gran Akuma, Icarus, & Chuck Taylor – 6
6) Lince Dorado, Equinox, & Helios vs. Kota Ibushi, Michael Nakazawa, & KUDO – 6
7) Mike Quackenbush, Johnny Saint, & Jorge Rivera vs. Hallowicked, Delirious, & Frightmare – 6
8) D-Lo Brown, Al Snow, & Glacier vs. Vin Gerard, Colin Delaney, & STIGMA – 2
This is my first foray into the world of CHIKARA. I’ve heard much about this company and figured that I should probably check it out. We open up with Aries’ team cutting a promo. It should be noted about the difference between the ROH version of Aries and the CHIKARA version of Aries. The CHIKARA version is super cheesy and way over the top as a face as opposed to the ROH version which is an uber-prick. Corbin and Cruz hit a nice double dropkick on Aries. Kozina, who I’ve seen on a few ROH DVDs and recently in Dayton, halfway screwed up a hurracanrana when he took one of the opponents over the top to the floor (I forgot to note down who took the move, oops). Drago keeps tagging himself in for some reason, probably because he’s not happy with what Kozina and Aries are doing. Aries hit a sick clothesline and Kozina hit a really nice springboard bulldog. Aries did a nice triple chop spot that made the crowd pop. Corbin and Cruz hit a nice double team manuever for the finish. An enjoyable match mainly due to Aries’ performance but Kozina was good as well since he was bumping around quite nicely. I’m quickly becoming a fan of the Osirian Portal, especially Ophidian. He’s very smooth around the ring and pretty much moves like the character he portrays with the mask, that being a cobra. The Young Bucks hit a lot of double team moves, especially a lot of high-flying moves to the outside. Escorpion seemed like the weak link for his team by waiting for spots and slighty messing up a move or two. Generico took a sick back drop that he should’ve gotten frequent flyer miles with. The end had a lot of legal man issues and just seemed like a random amalgation of moves put together for no reason. The stereo 450’s were a nice touch to finish. Really fun match and this made me salivate for a Young Bucks/Osirian Portal match.
Next up, my favorite match of the entire show. Kingston showed great personality in the backstage promo beforehand, joking about having Grizz as a partner and how they’ll win the tournament. Danielson’s team has the crowd in the palm of their hands even before the opening bell. Kingston’s team was really awesome as the heels. Grizz and Eddie were bumping like crazy. The spots where Danielson’s team was trying to one-up each other with uppercuts was great. Did I mention that Dave Taylor was just great at hamming it up? He teased he was going to do a jump off the top rope but the fans and his teammates talked him out of it. Danielson was great at selling the knee after getting trapped and worked over by the heels for an extended period of time. Taylor came in after the tag and just knocked the shit out of everybody. Claudio gets involved and executes a 100-revolution giant swing. The thing that made that great was Ultramantis Black on commentary yelling things like “Stop this madness!” and “Smart Mark Video will run out of tape! Betamax doesn’t come cheap!” This had the perfect amount of ham and cheese sandwiched between slices of wrestling. Yum! Up next we have Da Soul Touchaz (consisting of Marshe Rockett, Willie “Da Bomb” Richardson, and Trauma) going up against the CZW Team. Ok, so CZW had all their roster to choose from and they picked these ridiculous fuckers? Beef sucked on the Tournament of Death show I reviewed and he wasn’t any better here. Greg was not excellent and Pinkie … well Pinkie looked like he just portrayed the character “Angel” from a stage production of Rent. Beef does a ridiculous rap and it’s followed by a dance-off? Please somebody kill me. I liked Mitch Ryder on commentary talking about how Pinkie was the only one on his team who really wanted to win the match. They asked him about Beef’s ass punch finisher and he stated “we don’t have that in Memphis”. For the Soul Touchaz, Rockett and Richardson really impressed. Richardson, mind you, is about three bills and did a dive over the top rope as the culmination to a dive sequence. He also managed to score the pinfall with a pretty cool top rope legdrop. Would’ve gotten a better score had team CZW not been so terrible.
My boy Necro and his wild ass team started off the second half in grand style by beating the piss out of Akuma, Icarus, and Taylor. The referee had no control of the match as people were just brawling all over the place and coming in and out of the ring as they pleased. Necro is always a blast to watch, especially with the reckless abandon he throws his punches with. Of course, the spot had to be worked in where Necro and another person (in this case, Akuma) were sitting in chairs across from each other and punching each other as hard as they can. Klein hit a wild spinning heel kick on Akuma at one point. There was a five-person submission spot that Brain Damage broke up by hitting Icarus in the face as hard as he could. Speaking of Icarus, the few matches of his online I have seen, I haven’t enjoyed. Probably because he reminds me too much about this moron I used to work with at a run-down movie theatre back in ’03. However, he redeemed himself by trying a hurracanrana from the apron and almost pulling it off. Kudos to you, but you still suck. Taylor hits Klein with a sick reverse Tombstone-esque move from the top rope for the pin. A stiff little match that was pretty fun, aside from the obvious legal man issues. I’ve seen Kota Ibushi from some puro stuff I’ve downloaded and he’s a lot of fun to watch, even though he’s stuck in a comedy fed like DDT. Nakazawa is obsessed with baby oil and KUDO is a martial arts expert. And their up against three of CHIKARA’s high flyers so this should be some fun. Ibushi and Dorado worked well together, exchanging strikes and the like. Helios is super, super fast and probably is the best high flyer of all six of these. Once the action gets going, it’s honestly too hard to keep up with so I was left with some really short notes aside from the horribly botched finish. Basically, Nakazawa drank some baby oil and then Equinox hit him in the throat, causing him to swallow it. So the ref waves like they need help and the timekeeper rings the bell. Huh? Equinox steps on Nakazawa who spews up the oil like a geyser and afterwards locks him in to a move dubbed the CHIKARA Special for the win. It was going along good until the finish which cost it a point.
Final two matches were just total polar opposites of each other. First up, Quack’s team takes on Delirious’ team in what looks like a really odd match on paper but it worked well. Frightmare was very energetic but for some reason, he was not existent in the second half of the match. Hallowicked didn’t impress me and I’m still not sold of Delirious. As for Quack’s team, I’m not really familiar with either Rivera or Saint. It was mentioned on commentary that Saint has been wrestling for 50 years. Wow, guess I better study up then. Rivera worked a nice quick style, Saint worked the European based style, and Quack molded both together. Despite being old enough to collect Social Security, Saint was in very good shape. Rivera and Quack took dives to the outside, with neither man having a pleasant landing leaving Saint and Delirious in the ring. Saint pulls off some trickery and rolls up Delirous for the pin. A real fun match to watch and a totally different pace from the insanity of the previous match. I’m surprised at how well Delirious’ team worked with Quack’s team. A dude named Iceberg was supposed to be on Glacier’s team but since he never made the show, a replacement partner was drawn from a hat. This led to some hilarity where they drew names like Avatar, Leif Cassidy, and Shinobi just to mess with Al. Finally, they drew legit names like Amazing Red and Green Ant but everytime the referee would run to the back he would look and then proclaim “not here!”. Finally, D-Lo’s name was drawn. The pre-match stuff was where the fun ended as this was just an awful match to close the show with. Delaney and STIGMA were just awful and Gerard wasn’t that much better. Snow and D-Lo worked the majority of the match. STIGMA screwed up a shining wizard and then gets knocked on his ass by D-Lo after he did one. The match went way too long, as in they could’ve shaved 15 minutes off this thing and been fine. We’re talking 26 minutes here and the longer it dragged on, it felt like torture. Delaney, after getting the crap kicked out of him by D-Lo, got a surprise backslide for the pin? What? The post-match beatdown by the faces was cool but that and the pre-match stuff were the only thing of value. Overall, a really fun show that makes me want to watch as much CHIKARA as possible. This is definitely a DVD you could justify dropping twenty on and not feel like you’ve wasted your money.