Posted on November 22, 2009 by Brian Streleckis
Brian Streleckis gives his thoughts on Chikara’s final event of 2009 – their Season 8 Finale – in Philadelphia with a couple of standout matches and a wild ending straight out of a Lost finale (imagine Ben Linus as a Swiss wrestler).
It was announced at the start that Jigsaw and Gran Akuma would not be wrestling tonight because they were not cleared by doctors (though both were in attendance). They were in the main event against each other last night in Easton, so they must have really taken a toll on each other. Also last night was Hydra vs. Tim Donst in a Loser Leaves Chikara Match, and poor Hydra was sent packing back to the sea.
1. Brodie Lee & The UnStable (Vin Gerard & STIGMA & Colin Delaney) defeated Carpenter Ant & Green Ant & The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & Sugar Dunkerton) when Brodie nailed Green Ant with the big boot. It’s been teased that this would be the last appearance of Dasher before he reverts back to Create-A-Wrestler, but it’s universally agreed on by fans that this character is too good to get rid of. Green Ant came out sporting a cape (Soldier and Fire Ant are sporting them now too), but Carpenter Ant didn’t have one, seemingly content coming out on his own. Sugar let us know at the start that this match was sponsored by Vitamin Water. He attempted to use his basketball early to dunk over Brodie, but he was stopped. A lot of fun stuff throughout, with Carpenter continuing his aggressive ways and acting agitated outside the ring after someone would get the better of him. Green Ant and Dasher were worked over quite a bit. We nearly had another impromptu baseball game break out (see the 9/13 Nashua, NH show, “Hiding in Plain Sight,” for the first one), but Brodie put an end to it very quickly. Finish came as a member of each team followed the other for duel moves. Fun times. (11:14)
2. Helios defeated Yujiro Kushida with the 630 senton. Kushida is a Japanese competitor from the recently-closed HUSTLE promotion, and he was trained by Tajiri, which was evident in some of his offense. The match started slow with some mat work, but picked up a little more as it went along. Both guys were pretty slick here. Towards the end, Kushida was choking Helios with his long belt, so the ref asked him to relinquish it. As the ref put the belt away, Kushida removed the Japanese flag he was wearing as a skirt over his pants, tossed it into Helios’ face as a distraction, and gave him a buzz saw kick. This was just a nearfall, and Helios capitalized on Kushida fighting over the flag after this to set up the finish. Above average with some bright spots. (10:46)
3. Player Uno defeated Tim Donst with a new arm submission. An unannounced match, with Uno making a surprise appearance here after not being around last night. Tim Donst was the big heel for vanquishing Hydra last night, while Uno had everyone’s support. Good little match, with Donst working over Uno’s leg a bit. Donst attempted to put Uno in the Hydra Lock, but it was countered into a stunner. The submission was kind of like an armbar with both of Donst’s arms crossed. Uno called as being Game Over for the match, but was really surprised how it got the job done and celebrated in bewilderment. (6:17)
4. The Order of the Neo Solar Temple (UltraMantis Black & Delirious w/ Crossbones) defeated Incoherence (Hallowicked & Frightmare) when Delirious gave Frightmare the Praying Mantis Bomb. This match was a long time coming and opened with Incoherence trying to talk some sense (in their own gibberish) into their old partner, but Delirious was firmly in Mantis’ control. He and Hallowicked had some nice heated exchanges later on in the match, including a flurry of yakuza kicks to Delirious (including one by Frightmare) and a point when Delirious gave him Shadows Over “Heck” and Hallowicked kicked out at one. In the end, Incoherence seemingly had it won when Hallowicked gave Mantis Go To Sleepy Hollow and Frightmare followed it up with the standing moonsault into the double knees, but Delirious broke it up to hit the finishing move. Crossbones didn’t get involved, but simply stood as a lookout for the “BDK” guys from last month. Mantis & Delirious earned their third point with their victory in this fun match. (10:51)
- Intermission, when it was announced that the Season 9 premiere would be back in Philadelphia on January 31st.
5. F.I.S.T. (Icarus & Chuck Taylor) defeated Mike Quackenbush & Jorge Rivera when Taylor made Rivera tap to the Cross Crab (half crab with heel hook). Good, standard stuff with some nifty lucha stylings. This was originally going to be a trios match, but the third members of each team were Akuma and Jigsaw. Rivera was quite beloved and the boos for Icarus were at their loudest. Rivera had his leg worked over, setting up the eventual finish. Rivera nearly got the submission with a cloverleaf/ankle lock combo on Taylor before Icarus broke it up. The babyfaces also did simultaneous pendulum swings and attempted a double pin. Perfectly fine stuff. (11:43)
6. Player Dos defeated Lince Dorado with an unnecessary frog splash to retain the Young Lions Cup. Dorado earned his shot here after eliminating Dos in last month’s Torneo Cibernetico. The two guys traded a lot of moves back and forth, including Dorado hitting Dos with an awesome 450 off the apron to the floor to gain the advantage. For a while, this was maybe the best singles match I’ve seen Dorado have, as he was looking very crisp. Then a little later he botched a 619-type kick through the ropes, but they recovered and continued on. Dos attempted to end it with the B13 (Mind Flip), but Dorado countered it. In return, he attempted a Shooting Star Leg Drop and landed right on his ass after Dos moved. Both men fought on the outside apron, and in a moment of madness, Dos ended up giving Dorado a German suplex off the apron into the ringside steps. Dorado looked dead, Dos eventually got up and shoved the lifeless Dorado back into the ring, and Dos still inexplicably went up top for the frog splash. Ref Bryce Remsburg sold it big time, and Jigsaw, Helios, and Jimmy Olsen came out to tend to Dorado. This kind of plays into both Dorado’s concussion at the end of 2007 and Dorado’s current frustrations. Still, a pretty fun match. (12:55)
7. Claudio Castagnoli defeated Eddie Kingston in a Respect Match after a barrage of moves culminating with a regular European Uppercut. This was basically like their match from May cranked up to 11. Claudio attempted to get win immediately with a bicycle kick and Ricola Bomb, but only got a nearfall. Kingston then hit a backfist, also for a nearfall. These two came in to win immediately. They went at each other like bulls and hit all of their big moves, and the crowd was split for both. Kingston even hit a tope to the outside, where they continued to fight until Claudio threw a crew member/trainee in Kingston’s path. Claudio used the opportunity to hit a bicycle kick and then the Alpamare Waterslide onto the edge of the apron. Kingston managed to get in at a 19-count, Claudio hit him with the Ricola Bomb again, but Kingston managed to kick out at one. Claudio kept hitting more big moves, including a German suplex, short-arm clothesline, and a gutwrench superplex, but they all only got nearfalls. The crowd increasingly got behind Kingston for his efforts before Claudio finally got the win. An awesome match. (15:53)
- Afterward, per the match stipulations, Kingston had to admit that he respected Claudio. Kingston said he did not respect him because he took everything Claudio had and still kept coming. He said that Claudio has everyone fooled, and that just like his former tag team partner (Chris Hero), he’s shady and dirty. He turned to leave, Claudio grabbed him by the shoulder, and Kingston knocked him down with a backfist. Kingston left to some cheers as Claudio eventually got back up and marched angrily to the back.
8. The Colony (Fire Ant & Soldier Ant) defeated The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian) to retain the Campeonatos de Parejas 2 Falls to 1. The Portal came out babyfacing it up, with Amasis slapping fans’ hands, and the Colony came out in their capes (still strikes me as weird, but pretty cool). The crowd was split for both teams (the Portal has had a large amount of fans in Philadelphia even when they were clearly heels), and both teams wrestled clean. This was the rubber match between these two teams this year; the Portal beat the Colony in a special one-fall title match in January to retain the titles in January, then the Colony won the titles from the Portal two months ago in two straight falls. Icarus & Gran Akuma, who have three points, came out to sit in the entrance and scout each team they could potentially challenge for the titles. The Portal scored the first fall when Amasis hit Fire Ant with the Egyptian Conniption, a twisting face plant out of the Razor’s Edge position. The second fall went to the Colony after Soldier made Ophidian tap to the Chikara Special. A lot more back and forth action during the third fall. Fire Ant attempted to make Ophidian tap with the same armbar on his bad arm that won the Colony the titles, but Ophidian managed to fight out of it. The Colony hit tandem double stomps off the top for double nearfalls. The Portal missed the Osirian Sacrament at first, but scored it on a second attempt on Soldier Ant for a nearfall. More big moves included a cobra clutch suplex by Ophidian. The Portal attempt the Sacrament for the third time, but the ants fought back, caught each guy on the opposite corners of the ring, and delivered a Super Beach Break and Super TKO simultaneously for the finish. Very good stuff, especially during the third fall. (23:15)
- As fans celebrated the end of the match and of the year with some streamers, things got weird. A lot of talk about this already, but this is what I witnessed first hand. The two BDK guys – masked men in white, one of them larger with a horned mask – made their entrance and got in the ring. The Portal and the Colony got into the opposite corner together as the smaller BDK guy said a war was coming and that they’re tired of waiting. Several people from the back, including Leonard F. Chikarason, the majority of babyfaces, and 2.0 for some reason (they weren’t on the card) came out as Chikara backup. Quack and Claudio got directly in the ring to stare down the two intruders. The BDK guy told them not to insult them, and that they’re here to talk to the man with the real power, motioning toward UltraMantis Black up in the commentation station with his mysterious new ally Vokoder standing over him. This appeared to be in reference to the Eye of Tyr in Mantis’ possession, and Mantis handed it to Vokoder before coming down to the ring with Vokoder and Delirious. Mantis, sans mic, told the BDK guys that he’s tired of the mind games and videos, and he doesn’t even know who they are. The smaller BDK guy then unmasked and unveiled himself as Ares, Claudio Castagnoli’s old partner as part of Swiss Money Holding. As soon as this happened, Claudio nailed Quack with a kick. Vokoder jumped the Order from behind, and Carpenter Ant started jumping guys from within the Chikara crowd. Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze, working the merchandise tables this evening, joined in on the beatdown. Soon everyone, including Chikarason and Louden Noxious, were left laying by this mysterious group. Ares’ group then got into a military formation as some fans chanted “This is crazy.” Carpenter Ant unmasked himself to reveal he was indeed a more experienced wrestler: Pinkie Sanchez! I didn’t recognize him and even had to ask who that was; his hair was shorter, and admittedly I’ve only seen him in his Chikara guest spots. He had a devilish grin on his face. Then Vokoder revealed himself to be Tim Donst! The larger, horned BDK guy never unmasked, but he did take off more clothing to reveal a long gray beard underneath, giving off billy goat vibes. The group then did this salute with their arms crossed like a plus sign. Then the horned guy pulled out a remote control with a long antenna and shut down the lights, allowing them to make a quick exit (and some fans to chant for Sabu). The lights came back on and the Chikara wrestlers were helped to the back by crew members or helped each other, and the fans chanted for Chikara. No official ending.
Overall: A very fun year-ending show for Chikara’s great 2009. A lot of fun stuff on the undercard, especially the Order-Incoherence match, but the top two matches really make this card worth it. The Easton show from last night, “Throwing Life’s Instructions Away,” sounded like it had the better card though. Even more so, the show-closing angle tonight is definitely worth getting the DVD for and seeing with your own eyes. I thought it was really well done, and if this was Lost, Heroes, FlashForward, or any of those other shows, this angle would be considered a “game changer.” Not sure yet if it really ties into the Eye of Tyr, or is simply a story of retribution and dominance, but at least we only have to wait two months to find out (and maybe we’ll get some video content on YouTube during the down time). Perhaps the Order become babyfaces or tweeners from this, catching up with their cult adoration? Here’s what I think is certain:
- Claudio turning heel here to join Ares means Kingston had a point about Claudio having us fooled and being a shady character, so maybe Kingston will play a part in Chikara’s forces.
- Del Rey and Haze joining this group ties in to the frustration they’ve had the past few months in finding better competition, as expressed in their ChikaraPro.com blogs and this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBDAt_IOT_8
- Carpenter Ant revealed as Pinkie Sanchez, in addition to rookie ant not being that much of a rookie, kind of plays into some history Sanchez has with the Order (he was a possible recruit as a third member early in the year, but got beat down for his troubles). Also helps in making him a more serious character.
- Donst as Vokoder means he’s been doing this charade since May when the character first popped up. Opens up a whole can of worms, but a can that makes some sense. After Donst was eliminated from the Young Lions Cup tournament this year, Donst illegally re-entered the tournament as Vokoder when a spot opened up on the second night and went even further. Donst was even supposed to wrestle Vokoder in Nashua in September, but got suspended before it could happen after a vicious beatdown on Hydra. Both this and the Carpenter/Sanchez reveal makes sense of the original theories that both characters were actually visitors from the future.
That’s all the theorizing I can muster at this late hour, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on and hold interest until the next Chikara show. They (the promotion, not the Ares/Claudio group) will have some involvement in this coming weekend’s Dragon Gate USA show.