Chikara opened up their 2010 as they closed their 2009: on a Sunday in Philadelphia, on the day of a major WWE PPV. Oh yeah, and awesomely, likely better than the WWE show.
Written 1/24: A little more insight on how Chikara’s 2009 ended for the benefit of non-hardcores, not quite in such fashion as the Lost recap videos online. The mysterious B.D.K. group that threw the Chikara roster into disarray on November 22nd has revealed themselves as the Bruderschaft des Kreuzes, or Brotherhood of the Cross. Led by Claudio Castagnoli (back as a heel) and Ares (back period), this covert group of nogoodniks is made up of a collective of personalities frustrated with the hand Chikara dealt them: Tim Donst (who took the Eye of Tyr back from UltraMantis Black while undercover as Vokoder), Sara Del Rey, Daizee Haze, and Pinkie Sanchez (formerly undercover as Carpenter Ant, now adapting a new persona of Pink Ant). Added to this group is Tursas, the large masked and bearded man of Finnish descent, and a mystery eighth man. Seemingly allied with the Bruderschaft is Dieter VonSteigerwalt, a Chikara student promoted to Director of Fun by shady people at the top of the Chikara ladder. Old DoF Leonard F. Chikarason is still in the promotion, but demoted to just doing commentary. Add to this the uncertain (and glitchy) future of Create-A-Wrestler/Dasher Hatfield, Mantis pumping his chest but still acting scared of the Bruderschaft (and still with Zombielirious by his side), and King of Trios looming in April, and 2010 is shaping up pretty sweet.
1/31: On to the show! Big crowd! Louden Noxious has changed his name to Gavin Loudspeaker for some reason (probably from the same electrifying incident on Chikara’s podcast in November that made Dasher Hatfield glitchy) and looks more like a disheveled rock-n-roller, complete with beard (he even dubbed himself the only rock-n-roll ring announcer). He was still a babyface though. The Bruderschaft had their own ring announcer – Jakob Hammermeier – sporting slicked blond hair, an all white suit, and spoke in whiny German as he announced when they came out and when they won (resulting in me not being able to get times for the matches won by the Bruderschaft members). Also, sometimes he’d take a seat during the Bruderschaft’s matches… right in front of my section.
1. Pinkie “Pink Ant” Sanchez defeated Green Ant with a Burning Hammer. Pinkie came out sporting his Michael Jackson jacket and a white and pink variation on the Colony mask. He took it off for the match, revealing a head of pink hair, and wrestled in Pinkie/Colony/Bruderschaft hybrid attire. Right off the bat, the crowd was solidly pro-Chikara and anti-Bruderschaft throughout the night, so that was all fantastic. This was a good and very competitive match, and Green Ant held up his end very well. He used a lot of ramming headbutts to fight back (including no-selling some of Pinkie’s headbutts like a Samoan) and nearly got the win with the Texas Cloverleaf and a splash off the top. Pinkie and the rest of Bruderschaft throughout the show were straight-up heels without taking too many short cuts and playing up the foreign menace card… except for the semi-main event later. (12:49)
2. Player Uno & Sugar Dunkerton &
Create-A-Wrestler Ultimo Breakfast Dasher Hatfield defeated The UnStable (Vin Gerard & STIGMA & Colin Delaney) when Dasher gave Colin the Grand Slam. The UnStable get the jump on things, and Gerard and C-A-W fought to the back. Gerard came back out alone a little later. After a few minutes of action, which included Sugar breaking out his new “Pants on the Ground” elbow drop, C-A-W returned as Ultimo Breakfast to much surprise. He did well for himself and was about to hit his take on the Vader Bomb (“It’s Breakfast Time!”) before getting stopped, at which point he returned to the back again. At some point Uno injured his hand, tending to it in front of my section. The heels had their way with Sugar and Uno. Finally, Dasher Hatfield made his triumphant return for the new season, ready at the plate when he was most needed and a house on fire when he was tagged in. The glitch was apparently fixed, and the match was fun times. (10:01)
3. Daizee Haze & Sara Del Rey defeated Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian) when Ophidian was given a piledriver by Sara and pinned with a great German suplex bridge by Daizee. Slight Bruderschaft takes on the ladies’ gear. This was a solid match if not a little clunky in the strike exchanges. The ladies didn’t hold back, though Sara did most of the heavy lifting while Daizee did a spot where she ducked in cowardice before going on the offense. Basic tag wrestling with Amasis getting worked over before Ophidian got the hot tag. The Portal attempted their doomsday superplex on one of their opponents before the other baseball slid into Ophidian as Amasis helped him up, and this led to the strong finishing sequence. (7:21)
4. Hallowicked (w/ Frightmare) defeated Brodie Lee with the Rydeen Bomb. Despite a few wars between Incoherence and The Roughnecks in late 2008/early 2009, this was the first singles match between these two since November 2008 in Framingham, MA. Brodie’s been bullying Louden/Gavin pretty much throughout the last year, but it’s kind of gone under the radar with me. Here, he scared him right up to the entrance. Funny stuff. A lot of back and forth stuff, with Frightmare (recently voted as Wrestling Observer’s 2009 Rookie of the Year!) at ringside to rally behind Hallowicked. They took their fight to the floor for a bit, and Brodie showed off a little more of his freakish agility. Frightmare kept cheering on his partner until Brodie booted him off the apron to the floor. Hallowicked managed to come back and hit three yakuza kicks to Brodie before finishing him off with the Rydeen Bomb. Mighty fun match, and several fans in my area chanted, “You’ve Got No Friends!” at Brodie afterward. (8:14)
5. The Order of the Neo Solar Temple (UltraMantis Black & Delirious & Crossbones) defeated Grizzly Redwood & Pelle Primeau & Andy Ridge when Mantis gave Ridge the Praying Mantis Bomb. This was Grizzly’s first time back to Chikara since October, Pelle’s return to Chikara after last appearing at the 2008 Young Lions Cup, and Andy Ridge’s Chikara debut. Grizzly was still acting heelish and kind of bossing around his plucky babyface partners. The story was that Mantis took this match so as not to deal with the Bruderschaft this time out. He still had his cult fan following, and Delirious was still under Mantis’ control as he worked over the Ring of Honor students he usually teaches (different timelines here). Grizzly was worked over heavily before making a hot tag late in the match. Not a complete squash, but the Order were still clearly dominant despite hot flashes by Pelle and Ridge’s right leg kicks. Delirious was ready to give Ridge the Praying Mantis Bomb before Mantis decided to take the glory for himself this time. The students got a nice reception from the crowd. (9:48)
6. Tim Donst defeated Player Dos with the inverted Chikara Special to win the Young Lions Cup. Donst is wearing a white version of his Vokoder costume. Fans started skid mark chant toward him when they noticed a brown line down his backside that could have possibly been part of the design. Very enjoyable match with a lot of close calls and the crowd solidly behind Dos. He did at least two big dives onto Donst on the floor. Donst nearly got the win with the Donstitution (Olympic Slam with a bridging pin), and this weird STO from a DDT position he utilized while playing Vokoder, and a full nelson with the body scissors. Dos kept fighting and tried getting the Chikara Special locked in, but he didn’t have it locked in correctly. A frog splash attempt was met with knees, ultimately leading to the submission victory and Donst finally winning the cup. (13:36)
7. Claudio Castagnoli & Ares & Tursas & Lince Dorado defeated Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw & Jimmy “Equinox” Olsen & Eddie Kingston when Claudio gave Kingston a low blow behind the ref’s back and rolled him up. This match was chaos from the start, with Dorado originally coming out with the babyfaces but then revealing himself as the Bruderschaft’s eighth member by jumping Olsen while on the ring steps. Dorado, who’s been getting lots of boos anyway for the past two years, remarked throughout the match how Jigsaw took the Future Is Now stable away from him, something that’s been simmering under the surface for quite a while now and makes sense in the long run. The rest of the Bruderschaft had their way with Quackenbush and Jigsaw for a while. Claudio, as first evident by his last tour of NOAH, as switched over to short trunks. Tursas was the proverbial immovable object, absorbing every strike thrown at him and never leaving his feet. He was also the least experienced wrestler from the looks of it. Claudio and Ares would do a couple of doubleteam moves that would be capped off by a big move by Tursas. About midway through the match, Kingston finally came out to even the odds, getting a big reaction as he briefly dished it out on Dorado. He seemed to have a bum knee though, and it was targeted. Kingston, Quack, and the rest kept dishing it out to Tursas, who still never fell but definitely started feeling some pain, plus his beard was shedding from continuous strikes. The action towards the end began resembling the crazy 8-man tags Chikara’s become known for, with Claudio and Ares keeping up with all of the smaller wrestlers. The crowd was nuclear for all of it as the babyfaces increased their chances of winning. Kingston attempted to suplex the massive Tursas before Claudio hit him low and scored the pin to much dismay. A hell of a match. (14:32)
- Afterward, the Bruderschaft held Kingston down in the middle of the ring as Claudio demanded he show him the respect he was supposed to in November. Kingston told him he would never respect him, so they laid the boots to him and Claudio gave him the Ricola Bomb. After the Bruderschaft left ringside, Kingston got up while his Chikara partners were at ringside, stared at them, and left on his own. This combined with the match was awesome.
8. The Colony (Fire Ant & Soldier Ant) defeated F.I.S.T. (Icarus & Gran Akuma) to retain the Campeonatos de Parejas 2 Falls to 1. Good action to start, but the crowd felt a little burnt out from the previous match. Lots of back and forth stuff that these four guys are used to, including Fire giving both a double fireman’s carry off the top, followed by a top rope quadruple stomp by him and Soldier. Another near fall from Ants Marching, bu F.I.S.T. scored the first fall when Akuma gave Fire Ant the Rubik’s Cube at just over 12 minutes. With Fire Ant down, Soldier Ant took over but was beat down a lot. Things fell apart some when Soldier Ant’s comeback move – a reverse rana on Akuma – ended with Soldier just bending back and landing on his head. This took him out of commission for a while. Icarus and Fire Ant exchanged close nearfalls after the Beach Break and Wings of Icarus respectively, neither of which seemed to have as much heat as they should have had. Soldier Ant eventually came back into the match, giving Icarus a headscissors transitioning into the Chikara Special to score the second fall at around 21 minutes. Shortly after all of this, Fire Ant reversed another attempt at a Rubik’s Cube into a prawn hold/victory roll on Akuma for the deciding fall. Pretty good overall, but these two teams have done better before, and there was no way they’d be able to follow the 8-man tag. (22:56)
Overall: I thought this was a pretty awesome show to start the year. More ground work continues to be laid down, plus there were a lot of fun matches. The 8-man tag is definitely worth checking out for the action, the story aspects, and the atmosphere. The main event kind of disappointed though. BDK going 4-0 this time out was certainly needed. I didn’t expect them to sweep Chikara here at first, but it makes sense to prove how threatening they can be despite consisting of two smaller wrestlers, two women, and now Dorado, who’s not the strongest candidate for a monster heel faction, but someone the fans can hate (especially for his actions on this show). I suspect they’ll have at least one strong presence in King of Trios, and Daizee & Sara look like they might challenge for the Campeonatos down the line given how they’re booked for at least two more tag matches down the line (though it might be hard for many to see them as a threat). Kingston joining the war was great, yet it seems to be an uneasy alliance. Chikara could use some more soldiers though… ain’t no doubt about it.
Chikara’s schedule, featuring dates in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Michigan, is all set up through June and can be found HERE.