1. Jigsaw vs. Fire Ant - 7
2. Jakob Hammermeier vs. Gregory Iron - 2
This first match is one of those matches that are in the same vein as Quack vs. Ophidian from Michigan in that it defined CHIKARA. Both guys started out slow here, attacking one another. Jig teased the Danielson-style surfboard and locked Fire in a nasty Gory Special submission that looked more painful than sitting through a Ke$ha concert. Fire began picking apart the shoulder of Jig, who is recovering from an injury in the deltoid region -- great psych and Jig sold all the shots to the shoulder vocally, adding a nice touch of realism. Hell, Fire hit two dives and Jig continued to focus mainly on the shoulder while selling. High marks on him from me for maintaining focus and sustaining his selling. Technically, Jig looks better than ever, hitting a nice sequence including an ensiguiri, suplex, double stomp, and dive all in a nice, sequential order. Back to the selling, Jig hit a German and tried to bridge, but pulled out his arm from underneath once again because of his injury. You can't shake a stick at Fire Ant though, as I thoroughly dug that sweet counter to the brainbuster into the stunner. OH! One more great, great little thing: Jig goes for the Jig-n-Tonic, but Fire Ant SLIDES DOWN JIGS ARM FOR THE SUBMISSION. FUCK YES! It was so smooth!~~! Really great match~~
The next match saw Iron over huge against the flamboyant German ring announcer turned worker. Unfortunately, we didn't get much of a match out of this as the ref bumped and Jakob started choking Iron, only to have UMB (Ultramantis Black) come down and hit the Praying Mantis Bomb to get Greg the victory. Nice little heel tactics by Jakob, though.
3. Eddie Kingston vs. Adam Cole - 5
4. F.I.S.T. (Johnny Gargano, Icarus & Chuck Taylor) vs. Team 3.Ole! (El Generico & 3.0) - 6
Adam Cole in CHIKARA is like milk and chocolate. That shit just goes together! Cole plays the arrogant cocky heel which he has perfected in CZW as the junior heavyweight champ. I was half expecting him to grab his junk and make girations to the crowd -- that wouldn't fly in Quackland. Cole started the match out hot by diving on King while he made his way to the ring. My favorite thing to witness unfold happened yet again: knee psych in a Kingston match. Cole went for the drop kick to the knee, and you know shit was getting heavy. Cole attacked the knee like a morbidly obese child attacking the ice-cream cake at Chuck E. Cheese, leaving none for the children who would rather play in the ball pit, by tying up King's leg more than anything that came out of the dearly departed Auntie Ann's Pretzel Co. King's grimacing was on par here with his other work. More of that great subtlety came in when King hit the northern light's and couldn't hold the bridge due to the knee. Nice touch! Nice little match.
Suffice to say that this match started off with each team elbow dropping one another's t-shirts that lay limp on the mat. This match was worked in a steady lucha formula that had guys coming in and out, but the legal man problems were much less noticeable as each man seemed to get in and get out as quick as the other one. Matthews got a real hot-tag and his his trademark head-scissors spot, which piqued the lucha breakdown with one man coming in after another, hitting offense and leaving just as quick. Taylor took an exploder suplex in the corner by Genny, and then an assisted lung blower by 3.0 and took the fall. Lucha style, baby. Lucha style.
5. World Of Sport Match: Johnny Saint vs. Johnny Kidd - 8
So this next match nearly had me in tears of joy. I was contemplating just how I would get across how much I like it, and figured I would copy and paste the notes I took on it. Here they are (tl;dr, sorry about your damn luck~!):
Been looking forward to this since the announcement
Loved Saint breaking up Kidd’s hands to break holds
Saint keeps getting shoulder off the mat despite Kidd’s efforts by pinning his arms.
Saint puts Kidd in pinning position even though Kidd had Saints head between his legs
Kidd uses size advantage to get upper hand via wrist control
Saint reverses out of bearhug by bridging out and under Kidd’s legs to a trap hold
Beautiful sequence by Saint teasing Kidd by pulling his arms and bridging his back for the pin attempt
Pattern: Kidd has the power and size advantage, but Saint is evasive
Saint squirms out of body scissors
Kidd tells Saint to ‘look over there’ to get out of leg hold, haha
Kidd gets Saint over his leg for the submission, but Saint rolls over his knee and grabs the arm for a wrench
Saint baits Kidd in, asking him to grab his hand and gets Kidd into the submission, but Kidd rolls him off
Kidd goes for the trip while Saint is turned around, but Saint pats him on the back because he knows he’s there. Haha.
Flawless abdominal stretch by Saint
Kidd walks right out of Saint’s attempted leg takedown
Delicious bridge out by Saint out of the straight jacket to turn it around onto Kidd
Nice finishing stretch that saw Kidd gets the victory after Saint got rolled onto his shoulders in a great little quick paced, rope-running finish.
Thoughts: So crisp, so divine, so delicious. This was grappling at it’s finest. I loved it. Although Saint had the most impressive display, both men played their part excellently as Kidd got the pinfall in the end to cap off what was a really historic match for CHIKARA
6. Sara Del Rey, Daizee Haze & Makoto vs. Portia Perez, Shimoda & Fujimoto - 6
7. Tursas vs. Green Ant - 5
8. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Mike Quackenbush - 6
This was a hell of a way to pimp the upcoming Joshimania. I loved the Del Rey and Shimoda faceoff - talk about an Amazonian battle! Shimoda bumps around the ring pretty well by whipping her head around and bouncing it off of the mat. I don't want this to seem one-sided, but Shimoda is great; even when she's on the apron all you want to do is watch her. Perez has a nice mean streak as she raked at the eyes of Makoto who screamed and squealed as it was happening. Love that vox selling. Alright, let's talk about the one joshi star that I haven't talked about: Fujimoto. Her energy is great as well as the aura she has that surrounds her. Her personality really shines through in her work as well. Fujimoto showed a bit of a mean streak as Shimoda came in and the two of them worked over Makoto's knees by bury them in the mat. Makoto screamed like a banshy. The match capped off with Haze royally fucking up a DDT on Shimoda, which was kind of glaring to say the least. I still recommend it because it really showed an American audience how women should fucking wrestle and throw down properly.
There's a lot of emotion going into this match as Green Ant has fought valiantly against Tursas in the past, even slamming him on one recent occasion. Fighting back from a shoulder injury at the hands of young lion Keita Yano from the BattlArts promotion at Young Lions Cup last year, this storyline was the best thing Green Ant had going for him as he made his way around the country in the Flex Express, pimping his match with the big man. Obviously, this match had a lot of emotion going into it as Green Ant donned the American flag mask and bodysuit, going up against the Norsk beast that is Tursas. Fired up, Green Ant really took it to the viking, hitting a splash as Tursas laid on the floor. Tursas turned the match around hitting Green with a suplex into the ring. From here it was sheer domination, as Tursas used a piece of an American flag to stab Green Ant. I enjoyed the aspect of the little man trying to get the big guy down, as Green Ant tried hard with "hanging" submissions (hanging from the body of a standing opponent), but always ended up getting slammed on his back from Tursas, who ultimately ended up missing the Vader Bomb, turning the match into Green Ant's favorite. The finish was great. I don't want to spoil it, but I didn't see it coming. Get some!
The final match pitted two of the biggest names in the company against one another. Claudio is a damn solid worker. He put over Quacks lucha maneuvers like he was getting hit by a truck. For example, a nice armdrag by Quack would lead to Claudio bumping and getting himself all tied up in the ropes. We got some great rib psych from Claudio after he lifts Quack up laterally and slams him into the ring post on the outside, stomach first. In the ring, he moved to a more focused attack on the midsection including a claw hold, standing on the stomach, headbutts to the abdomen, knees to the gut, and an ab stretch. Just really sound and solid wrestling on his part. Quack's valiant efforts to come back from the rib work worked well as he hit a great moonsault to the outside and a dragonrana in the ring that looked fluid. Claudio got some of his big offense in, including a really great European uppercut that he deflected from a tornado DDT attempt. Solid back-and-forth from both men in a match that really lends itself to a viewing or several!!
All-in-all it's safe to say that this show owned the hell out of everything and everyone occupying planet Earth. It now moves up the CHIKARAWESOME Meter. Hell to the yeah!
Match Average: 5.63
1. Makoto vs. Tsukasa Fujimoto - 6
2. Dasher Hatfield vs. Archibald Peck - 3
3. Mima Shimoda vs. Daizee Haze - 5
Starting off hot with that great Joshi style comes Makoto and Fujimoto. Both women start with leg strikes including some textbook dropkicks to the chest and face region. The striking here kept getting better and better as Makoto hit Fuj right in the gut with a double knee somersault. Also, the finish was a strike, too, which is beyond awesome in my book because it breaks up the monotony of hitting finishing moves to put a match away. This worked great here with Fuj walking up the ropes and hitting an ensiguiri on Makoto to get the pinfall. Again, a really great showcase of what we're bound to see in December.
*Side note, Joshi fan Brian will be joining me for a three part coreview of CHIKARA's Joshimania in December. AWWW YEAH!
This next bout was really one of those that you could take or leave. Peck's showmanship and comedy is great. He's easily one of my favorite guys to sit back and watch act like a fool. Peck kept inadvertently hitting the ref and such, which held the match back in terms of wrestling. Veronica (his valet) ended up using the baton on Hatfield, leading to Peck hitting a new finisher that looked really similar to a Style's Clash. Little bit of filler here, but fortunately it didn't really kill the mood of the weekend.
This joshi match was pretty interesting. Haze looked good (much better than the night before at least), hitting a nice plancha off of the top rope. Shimoda came off as a bitch in this match. Her leg lock on Haze was really deep, and she made sure to put an exclamation point on it by locking in a really nasty crab hold. Haze hit a nice German for a nearfall, to which Shimoda responded with four ax kicks to the back of Haze's head. After the match, Shimoda got a chair and threw it at Haze's head. Shit was nasty!
4. UltraMantis Black, Hallowicked & Frightmare vs. Team 3.Ole' (El Generico & 3.0)-5
5. Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano vs. Atlantis & Rey Bucanero - 5
6. Eddie Kingston vs. Jigsaw - 6
This next match was good and served it's purpose as a sprint in the middle of the show. I really enjoy Hallowicked's performance here. His little subtle movements, like walking up the ropes to get out of an arm hold, are really nice little gems. Generico, my boy, channeled Terry Funk with his great stumbling around the ring after taking a running knee in the corner. Let's talk about Frightmare. His energy is his biggest asset. He explodes onto the scene after receiving his tag with more energy than fat kids chasing an ice-cream truck. Parker and Matthews honestly didn't make an impact in this match, as the novelty of having Generico on the team was the main focus. Generico hit a really nasty looking Yakuza on Wicked as he attempted a springboard into the ring. Mantis hits the Mantis Bomb on Generico for the win.
Wow. Bucanero and Atlantis got a shitty pop considering their legendary status. I dig Atlantis. He worked over Gargano's legs and made his way to his arms -- digging that overall body psych. A nice added touch by Gargano here, seeing him return the favor by working over Atlantis' arm. You had that classic lucha element with the lucha staples, like the double spinning back breakers on FIST. Bucanero looks great. His springboard senton onto Gargano looked great, as Gargs was draped across the legs of Atlantis. Ouch. The luchador team worked well together, giving us a match that was enjoyable.
Jigsaw looks great after returning from his injury. He hit a nice arm drag on King, but held on and got to his feet to hit King with a dropkick. King started that great psych on Jig's shoulder by taking his arm and slamming it down on the mat. King got himself into some psych, too, after hitting a tope and tweaking the knee on the landing. OH HERE WE GO SON! King was quite nasty, putting Jig's arm in the guardrail and twisting it around. Nice little touches here. As King attempted to get in the ring, Jig hits a dropkick on the knee of King. THE DREADED DROP KICK TO KINGSTON'S KNEE! Here was a great little moment of showmanship: Jig draped King's leg across the rope and kicked it. As King tried to get out and put weight on his leg, he swung at Jig but couldn't walk, and fell down into a big pile of spandex. It was great. One of my favorite things in wrestling are transitions. King had a really nice one, hitting a Saito suplex and then chaining it together with a keylock. We capped off with a slapfest in the ring, followed by both men hitting Tenyru-style ensiguiris. So solid. Great wrestling.
7. Johnny Saint & Mike Quackenbush vs. Johnny Kidd & Colt Cabana - 7
8. Sara Del Rey vs. Claudio Castagnoli - 5
The next match will be another CHIKARA classic, for sure. Instead of detailing specific spots (As a lot of them were similar to the night before), I figured I'd discuss the impact the match had on me. I sincerely believe after watching this that Colt and Quack are clones of Saint and Kidd. This looked to be so fun for Colt and Quack as they got to show their stuff to the people they watched and respected so much coming up in the ranks. The match featured such great chain wrestling that it's unrivaled by anything that's ever happened in this company before. Saint is indeed a saint in the wrestling ring, but all of these guys had such great chaining and evasive maneuvers. It was just so fresh and, honestly, beautiful to watch unfold. This is one of those matches I'd point to if someone were to ask me why I loved wrestling so much. About as fresh and clean as a slice of salmon sashimi.
So here were are. It's come to this. The Queen of the BDK taking on the leader. Already you have a really interesting story that could really go places. Claudio wanted Sara to lay down for him and to know her role. I smell dissension in the ranks! Sara started kicking the hell out of Claudio's chest and was showing a nice mean streak. Claudio had the real dick aura about him as he basically manhandled Sara... well, as much as you can manhandle an Amazon like her. Sara took quite the beating, and she made the most of it, too, getting all of the fans behind her. Sara hit this nice cross-body and then going right to an arm submission. This was shortly followed by Claudio belting her right in the face!~ Those cross arm breakers were nasty!! I'd love to see where this story goes. A fun match indeed. Loved seeing Sara's intensity. She really should be working the main event more often.
While night one was a bit stronger than night two, this was a great weekend for the company.
Match Average: 5.25
"CHIKARASAURUS Rex: King of Sequel N. 1 (5.63)
"CHIKARASAURUS Rex: King of Sequel N. 2 (5.25)
"King of Trios: Night 3" - April 17, 2011 (5.1)
"Creatures from the Tar Swamp" - March 13, 2011 (5)
"A Demon in His Pocket" - June 25, 2011 4.88
"The Case of the Bulletproof Waldo" - June 24, 2011 (4.78)
"King of Trios: Night 2" - April 16, 2011 (4.75)
"The Evil that Lies Within, Part 4" - June 26, 2011 (4.75)
"Chaos in the Sea of Lost Souls" - January 23, 2011 (4.75)
"Anniversario and His Amazing Friends" - May 21, 2011 (4.63)
"King of Trios: Night 1" - April 15, 2011 (4.6)
"Caught in a Cauldron of Hate" - February 19, 2011 (4.5)
"Anniversario: The Legendary Super Powers Show" - May 22, 2011 (4.5)
"Clutch of Doom" - February 20, 2011 (4.25)
"Operation Big Freeze" - March 12, 2011 (4)
"Engulfed in a Fever of Spite" - May 14, 2011 (3.9)