The Beginning of Season 10~! I'm planning on reviewing every CHIKARA release that we get this year. Let the madness begin!
FIST vs. The Osirian Portal - 6
We start off with a sweeter than aspartame dance-off. Bryce took the floor and served every son-of-a-bish within a 10-mile radius -- poppin' moves left and right. Gargano seems to have found his niche in FIST, and I personally believe that he's made a better third member than Akuma ever did. He just fits the mold better. Icarus hit a nice sequence of vertical suplexes and transitioned into a choke hold that I found to be quite interesting. He also sold a stunner better than the Rock ever did. Jonathan Gresham, who know dons a mask and is known as Heirechon) looked good as usual, making use of his quick and controlled offense. FIST made use of their unique offense, hitting a burning hammer double stomp lung blower on Ophidian. Yep. The moves were coming quick and hard, and each guy was tearing it up. This was the quintessential opener and it worked great.
Daizee Haze vs. Madison Eagles - 5
Eagles has a ridiculous height advantage on Haze and she made use of it. Some really nice mat wrestling going on early in the match. Madison had the arm control on Haze, and Daizee had the leg control on Madison. I'm liking this already. Haze feigned a nose injury after suffering a legitimate one at the finale last year. That was quite a nice touch. Haze went back to the leg of Eagles after a break, which really struck a nice chord with me because I love sustained psych... something Davy Richards never really got a grasp on. Madison also kept limping throughout which made me even more happy.
The Roughnecks vs. The Throwbacks - 5
I'm digging this feud these two are having. It's cool seeing a pumped Dasher and Sugar. I enjoyed the scorn look on Dunkerton's face throughout, conveying a message of hate and seriousness. Brodie was tearing it up, beating the crap out of Dunkerton. Dunkerton did a great job of getting the fans behind him throughout the match, really turning up the emotions of the crowd. Brodie's strikes looked really stiff, too, but Dunkerton shoved them back in his face. I'm digging this~! Dunkerton took a powerbomb on the outside onto the ring steps that garnered a "OHHH!" from Bryce and I. I loved the decimation of the Throwbacks in this, solidifying the dominating factor by the Roughnecks.
Da Soul Touchaz vs. Tursas, Sara Del Rey, & Lince Dorado - 5
Touchaz vowed a more serious attitude. I already dug them before, so this should be even better. Things got started off hot, with DST charging the ring and going after the BDK team. Sabado was doing his best at getting cheap heat as the ref by not seeing tags and getting in the way. His shtick is just too fun. Rocket's selling was the best out of all the participants. After the hot tag he laid on the apron and sold nearly the entire time that Jazz was in the ring. Jazz hit this sick reverse STO on Lince who spiked himself on his head so much that RVD would be jealous. Lince was bumping like a crash test dummy, even taking a sky high-esque maneuver from Willie on the middle rope. Add a unique finish to he match and you've got a good one.
Hallowicked & Frightmare vs. Obariyon & Kodama - 4
The neon green monsters are awesome, but you already knew that. Frightmare hit a sick leg drop on Obariyon, who landed on his neck. Incoherence was functioning like a well-oiled pumpkin machine, but both seemed to screw up their headscissors. The Batiri (OB and KOD) have this great Jr. Heavyweight Puro style to them that is just awesome to watch. I'm really glad both of these guys are part of the company. Bodhi came out to calliope music with a new member to the roster who looked to be shorter than Frightmare and as energetc as a squirrel on angeldust, speed, and crack all at the same time. Mantis came out and more havoc ensued...ECW style.
Ultramantis Black vs. Sinn Bodhi - 2
Feeding in from the last match, both guys started brawling on the outside. Bohdi's outfit looked like Pennywise crossed with a pedophilic icecream man. Totally not judging, though. Bodhi looked pretty bad after getting fired from WWE and gaining 60 lbs. This turned into more angle development rather than an actual match, with Sabado as the ref. Simply not good. God help the man known as Sinn Bodhi, for he needs to bathe in a pool of acid to cleanse his disgusting pores.
Eddie Kingston vs. El Generico - 7
King looks to have put on a few pounds, but I was still poppin for this like a madman. I love both of these guys. Generico was eating Kingston's chops with gusto, as was Kingston with Generico's speedy offense. I loved seeing Generico take the chops and consequently grabbing his chest and and grimacing. He's so great at emoting despite being under a mask. Kingston brought out that badass New Yorker flair that worked great. Excellent back and forth complete with some stiff shots and great moments of heat made for a fun as hell match. The Yakuza kick battle turned out to be great as well. Oh yeah, I forgot: KINGSTON TOOK A FREAKING BRAINBUSTER ON THE APRON!~!~! AHHH!!! I. loved. this. match.
Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw & The Colony vs. Claudio Castagnoli, Ares, Delirious & Tim Donst - 4
Los campeonatos nueves Quack and Jigsaw teaming up with The Colony to take on the BDK? I'll take it. The BDK team seemed to be a cohesive unit, all picking apart the technico team methodically. Jigsaw did a great job of getting the fans behind him in this match after taking a bunch of beatings by the BDK. Jig took quite the beating, but the hot tag to Fire Ant led to some of the ever-interesting offense by the ants. I do find myself wishing the ants were a bit stiffer in the ring, though. While it wasn't a really good match, it was acceptable and a decent finish to the show.
Match Average: 4.75
See: FIST vs. Osirian Portal; Kingston vs. Generico; Roughnecks vs. Throwbacks
---------"Caught in a Cauldron of Hate---------
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Dasher Hatfield - 4
I swear Claudio can work with anyone. You put him in there with anyone from Davey Richards to Dasher Hatfield and you'll get, if nothing else, at least a fun match. While this match wasn't necessarily groundbreaking, it was still fun to watch. Claudio was getting heat by avoiding Dasher and jawing with the crowd. Dasher was getting worked over by Claudio, but had that really great babyface comeback. Loved the end of the match, with Claudio calling out Kingston, hitting the Ricola Bomb on Hatfield.
3.0 vs. Vin Gerard & Stigma - 3
3.0 went into this match with the objective of making Vin Gerard to quit being such a jerk, moreover, to get him to smile. Interesting. The first part of the match was quite awkward. Trying to get Vin Gerard to smile is about as futile as hoping gas prices will come down. I just wasn't feeling this match, to be honest. Nothing set it apart from and made it special.
Icarus vs. Gregory Iron - 4
So presents itself the perfect opportunity for Icarus to get cheap heat. For those of you who don't know, Greg Iron has physical disabilities from cerebral palsy, leaving him with one immobile arm. Iron had the crowd being him 100%, seeing as everyone hates Icarus. Iron busted out this Zach Gowen-esque dive (using the legs to assist in a rotation) which looked great. Loved the fin, a DVD into the buckles to finish the match. Short, but worked well.
Brodie Lee vs. Sugar Dunkerton - 5
I dug the tag match from the season opener, so I can't wait for this. I love a serious Sugar. Brodie is so stiff and I love it. The best part about this match was the fact that Sugar was hanging in there with Brodie, stiffing him back after receiving some stiff shots himself. This is excellent build to the Throwbacks/Roughnecks feud. Sugar just outdid himself in the match by screaming and yelling as he locked Brodie's legs around the post in a Sharpshooter. Excellent. Nice striking, nice brawling, really good match.
The Osirian Portal vs. The Colony - 4
Really crisp and clean trios action going down in Reading. Tonight was Green Ant's return to the ring after his injury at last year's YLC. I loved the way both teams played off of one another throughout the match. Ophidian stepped up his game tonight and laid in his stuff, including a really sweet looking running kick the chest of Fire Ant. Hierecon looked awesome as well, playing the catch style game of chess with the Ants. This had your typical CHIKARA six man written all over it, and it did deliver; however, a really odd finished plagued the match.
Frightmare vs. Rich Swann - 5
These two were a perfect match for one another. Swann busted out some personality in the match, channeling his inner heel by making homoerotic cat pawings towards audience members. My mind is blown. The energy throughout this match was quite amazing, as both guys were just move for move with one another. I loved the lucha-inspired chain wrestling going on in center of the mat, warranting a change of pants. Swann's heel persona really shined through here as he ate a nice kneecolepsy and took the 2009 Rookie of the Year's offense, selling it very well.
Max Boyer vs. Tim Donst - N/R
Hallowicked was beating the crap out of Tim Donst behind the curtain, thus we never really got a match out of this as Boyer simply pinned Donst for the 1-2-3.
Eddie Kingston vs. Johnny Gargano - 5
Sabado playing heel ref in a non-BDK match? Interesting. Match started off really slow with the fans chanting for every submission that was put on, which got old quick. I loved the hand psych going on in the match after Kingston attempted a backfist on the outside, but hit the post instead. This worked really well seeing as King uses the backfist as a finisher. In great classic King fashion, he sold his hand like a champion. He went for these elbows but kept his hand out of the way as to not injure it more. I loved the little subtle things he does to convey the message that a body part is injured. Gargano simply keeps making his mark in the company, and I'm really glad to see him venturing into some single matches.
Quack and Jigsaw vs. The Bitiri (Obariyon and Kodama) - 6
The Bitiri are beasts. I love the intensity on their demonic green faces. I was making sure to pay attention to the Bitiri's selling throughout the match seeing as I never really paid that much attention to that aspect of their in-ring before, and I have to say that I was quite impressed. They were shouting and grimacing with every piece of offense they took. I enjoyed the leg psych on Jigsaw after he got his leg caught in the rope, especially how there was this almost beast-like quality in Obariyon and Kodama once they saw that Jigsaw had an injury. Jigsaw's selling was some of the best I've seen out of him I really dig the intensity of the Bitiri, and can't wait to see them live this coming June. This was a good match. Things were taken slowly and the spots came in spurts and not all at once a la the CHIKARA matches at the DGUSA shows.
Match Average = 4.5
See: Brodie vs. Dunkerton; QuackSaw vs. Bitiri
1. "Chaos in the Sea of Lost Souls" January 23, 2011
2. "Caught in a Cauldron of Hate" February 19, 2011