We’re back with more from CHIKARA, as we flash back to the past to fill in the blanks!
Like the prior shows, we open with the barber’s chair again. This time it’s referee-turned-wrestler Travis Huckabee sitting there, who’s feeling somewhat lovesick over someone who he’s got nothing in common with. In the end, he’s going to ask this mystery woman to be his tag partner… fair enough!
After a run through of the card for the night, we see Lucas Calhoun building up to his match with Wani later tonight. Calhoun looks like he’s not seen a razor for a while, which may mean our lovable Elvis impersonator’s losing his mind? We then go to the arena for yet another opening sequence, with an over caffeinated Bryce Remsburg joining Vlad Radinov, who unloaded a confetti cannon into the crowd, like a U-rated Kota Ibushi.
Lucas Calhoun vs. Wani
Wani’s coming into this with two points, so a win could create quite the log jam in the CHIKARA title picture, given that Dasher Hatfield won three points in the Infinite Gauntlet last time out.
Wani starts by jumping Calhoun, who’d threatened Wani with some karate at the bell. He eventually displayed some with a chop and a kick, as I’m left wondering if Lucas was this keen on karate last time he was in action. A back suplex from Wani helps him take over, before a big boot and a diving clothesline earned the masked man a two-count.
Calhoun gets choked in the ropes, but he comes back with some Khali chops to the head, only for another belly-to-back suplex to cut him off again. Wani misses an elbow as Calhoun goes back to those head chops, then rolls through a series of karate moves from just about every kung fu B-movie you’ve ever seen.
Jeremy Leary heads out as Calhoun hits a Samoan drop on Wani – and Leary’s impersonation distraction allows Wani to hit a flying knee to score the win. Well, they didn’t even acknowledge Wani’s third point, which is the big problem when you put so much stock in winning streaks for title shots. This was fine as a TV match, but there really wasn’t much to it. **
We cut to a promo with Sonny Defarge and Cornelius Crummels. They’ve got their three points, but they don’t know when they’ll get their shot at the CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas – Moustache Mountain.
Hermit Crab & Cajun Crawdad vs. Sonny Defarge & Cornelius Crummels
Mike Quackenbush acknowledges on commentary that this is an all-rudos match – which is a weird one for CHIKARA to book.
The number one contenders jump their crustacean opponents, as Crummels takes Hermit Crab into the corner, before their “Oliver Twist” combo ends with a Defarge clothesline for a near-fall. Hermit comes back with a chokeslam to Defarge, but he can’t make the tag as Crawdad gets knocked off the apron.
Hermit takes down Crummels with a spinebuster after sidestepping a corner charge, as Crawdad comes in to clear house with some bicycle kicks. Defarge takes an STO for a two-count, before the Low Tide (chokeslam into a flip-over tackle) keeps the crustaceans on top. A Boston crab forces Crummels to the ropes, as Defarge’s interference sees him go after Hermit Crab.
Crawdad hits a belly-to-back superplex to prevent a top rope monkey flip as the back-and-forth got the crowd into it. Crummels tries to block a Boston crab after Defarge had taken a Doctor bomb, before the crustaceans caught their foes in a pair of simultaneous submissions that barely lasted because of the referee’s five count.
A rope-walk elbow drop almost went awry from Hermit Crab, but Crumme;s just knocked him to the outside as Crummels and Defarge targeted Crawdad with a step-up top rope monkey flip, before the Great Expectations (like a Vertebreaker, but flipping into a splash instead) gets the win. This was pretty decent, although why we had an all-heels match just confused me. **¼
Kobald vs. Ultramantis Black
Apparently this came as a result of Ultramantis eliminating Kobald during the Infinity Gauntlet, and at the start Kobald asks whether he’s Ultramantis Black or Nazmaldun (a reference to an old stable in CHIKARA from before I started watching…)
Ultramantis Black starts by charging into Kobald with clotheslines, before a double underhook suplex took down Kobald, who then escaped another suplex before giving Ultramantis a couple of Regalplexes for near-falls. A dropkick takes Ultramantis to the floor, for a running seated senton off the apron as it was Kobald who took control of the match, utilising a short DDT for another near-fall.
Kobald pulls Ultramantis’ neck onto the top rope, as he goes outside for another running seated senton, missing this time as Mantis followed up with a cannonball instead. Back inside, a leaping tackle takes down Mantis, but Kobald didn’t go for a cover, and instead went up for another seated senton, which misses.
Ultramantis Black capitalises from that miss with a back senton for a near-fall, before blocking a Regalplex and dumping Kobald with a Praying Mantis Bomb for the win. This felt way too short, with Kobald coming across as a proverbial one-move guy. It told a story, but did nothing for me. *¾
We’ve got a clip of Obariyon in the Wrestle Factory absolutely squashing Hiptoss Hank with a Dragon sleeper. Fire Ant and Ophidian come in the ring and offer him a place in their newly-formed faction, but he just walks away.
Another backstage promo from Princess KimberLee, and she’s agonising over her match with Solo Darling later tonight. Points for anyone who spotted her Fight Club Pro hoodie.
Princess KimberLee vs. Solo Darling
KimberLee’s got two points going into this, as does Solo Darling, so someone’s likely going to enter that title scene log-jam here.
From the sugar rush, Solo’s taken into the corner before rushing out with a series of clotheslines before a strait-jacket neckbreaker collected a near-fall. A spear gets Solo a near-fall, but KimberLee rebounds back with some mounted punches to turn the match around. Eventually Solo blocks a chop in the corner then fires back with some of her own, only to take a pump kick for a near-fall.
KimberLee kicks Solo hard in the back a couple of times, then ties her up in a leg-assisted full nelson, before being forced to release the hold as Darling rolled back into a pinning predicament. The princess kicks away Solo’s drink to prevent future diabetes, then kills Solo with a backwards high to the head, scoring another two-count from that. Some suplexes follow from KimberLee, who followed up with a senton bomb, only for Solo to roll out of harm’s way.
A La Magistral cradle gets Darling a two-count, before KimberLee kicked out, punched Solo and finished her off with a Ganso bomb. I liked this vicious, almost heartless side of KimberLee, who showed little of the reservations she had before the match. **½
Xyberhawx 2000 (Razerhawk & Sylverhawk) vs. Team Sea Stars (Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo)
We start with Delmi getting caught in a headlock, before she reverses out whilst Mike Quackenbush rather contradicts himself – saying in commentary that the Xyberhawx team will be unfamiliar with the Sea Stars, after initially saying that they’d had chance to review footage of them. Which is it Mike?!
A blind tag brings in Sylverhawk as Delmi takes a double dropkick to the outside – which allowed Ashley Vox to come in to take a step-up clothesline from Razerhawk. The Xyberhawx then pose and freeze into place, before waking up as the Sea Stars tried to attack them… but they had no answer for a pair of superkicks as the Sea Stars took over with diving dropkicks in the corner.
Vox whips Razerhawk to the outside, which allowed Sylverhawk to come in to land a back elbow as the futuristic team got the upper hand briefly, before Delmi tagged in to clear house on the ‘hawx. Razer takes a swinging neckbreaker and a bulldog that turned into a DDT of sorts, before Razer countered a Hart Attack with a small package, as the rookies took the win. Decent for what it was, but the characters and the time really hampered both teams. **
CHIKARA Grand Championship: Icarus vs. Hallowicked (c)
Our main event of this outing is for the company’s Grand Championship, pitting former champ Icarus against Hallowicked. Fun fact, these two used to be a team, called the Night Shift, back in 2002 CHIKARA when Icarus was known as Ichabod Slayne…
When we get going, Icarus suplexes Hallowicked as the challenger starts off hot in a bid to end this one early. Hallowicked dives to the outside to break a waistlock from Icarus – who also spilled to the floor – before whipping his challenger into the ringpost. Back inside, Hallowicked keeps on top of things, wearing down Icarus with a slam and a flip senton to collect another near-fall.
Hallowicked whips Icarus’ legs into the mat, then sends him to the outside once more, where Icarus was grabbed in a cravat before being thrown into the apron. They again return to the ring where Hallowicked continues the beating, whipping Icarus hard into the turnbuckles before a jack-knife roll-up gets him a two-count. Finally, Icarus side-stepped a charge and came back with a springboard clothesline, before the pair went back and forth with forearms that sent the champion out… into perfect position for a tope!
A Shiranui from Icarus almost wins it, but he gets crotched on the top rope as Hallowicked looked for an Iconoclasm, only for Icarus to roll through to safety. After landing a big boot, Hallowicked ran into a Michinoku driver for a two-count, before a Pedigree would have won him the match… but Frightmare appears on the ramp to distract the referee. Ophidian makes the save, which Quackenbush calls as if it were nothing.
Hallowicked goes for the Never Wake Up, but Icarus reverses out into another Pedigree attempt, but Hallowicked popped up into the Go To Sleepy Hollow, then the Never Wake Up DDT is landed as he retained. A pretty fun match, easily one of the best in the season so far, although I’m not at all sure what purpose the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it run-in served. ***¾
Icarus gets helped to the back by the referee as the show ends with another Vlad Radinov outro, before we get a post-show segment with team Sea Stars rushing to Ultramantis Black as they ask him to mentor them. He refuses, saying that he’s immersed in darkness, before urging them to find someone else.
Another “bingeable” episode here, as save for the main event there was little of note going on. I keep harping on about it, but Mike Quackenbush’s anodyne commentary is both a positive and a negative to this product – adding some information to the storylines, but at the same time, he’s so easy to ignore as well. For instance, the main event run-in was acknowledged with all of the passion of someone reading out their shopping list, which just bamboozled me… but it is what it is, I guess.
At time of writing there’s just one more episode left in the current “block” of TV, and still so many questions remain unanswered before the “past” meets the present.