More from CHIKARA, and we’ve got a lot of the promotion’s resident Elvis in their latest installment of the secret season…
We start outside, with Lucas Calhoun (who’s since had a shave!) talking about the Infinite Gauntlet. Another car pulls up, and we quickly fade to black for the opening titles, before returning to see Jeremy Leary getting out of that care. They get in each other’s faces, then stare into the distance as we cut to the arena.
There’s another “proper” show open, which kinda feels redundant with the live pre-show stuff.
Jeremy Leary vs. Heidi Lovelace
From the initial lock-up, Leary takes Lovelace into the corner for some forearms, which get returned before Heidi takes Leary to the outside with a headscissors takedown.
The crowd scatters as she went for a dive, but she stopped herself through the ropes as Leary slid back on, only to have his suspended snapped back as she went for an O’Connor roll. Leary just lands a simple right hand to cut her off, which gives Mike Quackenbush an excuse to quibble just how closed a fist needs to be for it to be a DQ…
Leary cranks away at the neck of a seated Lovelace, before a brief spot of rope running ended with a slam by Leary for a near-fall. Lovelace takes a pop-up Pele kick for a near-fall, but she comes back with the Deadly Nightshade – headscissor ramming Leary’s head into the middle turnbuckles.
Some kicks follow from Heidi, rocking Leary, before landing an STO for a near-fall. Leary sweeps Heidi’s leg then comes in with a knee to the head for a two-count of his own, before he sets up for a Crane kick… then takes a bunch of kicks from Heidi instead. The Heidi-can-rana (‘rana to a kneeling Leary) gets a near-fall, but she gets crotched on the top rope as Leary grazes the top strand.
Leary takes Heidi off the top in an electric chair position, but she rolls forward into a Victory Roll, only for Leary to roll back and pull the tights to score the win. Not too bad for a TV match, but there’s a lot about Leary that I’m, well, leery of, especially in terms of his strikes. **¼
We’re back to those cars again, and we see Lucas Calhoun and Jeremy Leary in the driver’s seat, revving up the engines. They have a drag race, but we cut to black for more action.
DUSTIN vs. Ultramantis Black
Or Chuck Taylor almost everywhere else, except he doesn’t own the rights to his name here. Kayfabe.
DUSTIN starts by grabbing Ultramantis’ wrist, but it’s reversed back and forth until we get a rope break. Some shoulder tackles don’t move DUSTIN, but his does take down Ultramantis, as the pace quickens leading to a shoulder tackle that finally takes the former Chuck Taylor to the outside. He does an impressive vertical leap from the floor to hotshot Black on the top rope, before DUSTIN pulls away on the antennae of Ultramantis’ mask.
Back inside, DUSTIN punches away on Ultramantis, then follows with a diving forearm for a near-fall as he keeps up the pressure… until Mantis gets a boot up and dives into DUSTIN with elbows and clotheslines. A belly-to-back suplex gets him a two-count, but DUSTIN comes back with a high boot and a superkick out of the corner as the pendulum swung back his direction.
DUSTIN elbows out of an Electric Chair, but Ultramantis remains on his tail, hitting a full nelson slam then the Cosmic Doom (Falcon Arrow) for the win. A fun TV-style match, but again, there’s only so much you could have done with the six minutes they got. Ultramantis Black gets his third point here, so he too is in that logjam for a title shot… ***
We’re back to the cars, and there’s a pool of oil underneath Lucas Calhoun’s. They gut to Jeremy Leary – and his Ultimate Warrior pinbadge – and he’s holding up something which’d suggest he was responsible for the leak.
Next up is Race Jaxon, in his first appearance since imploding the team of N_R_G by pushing the CHIKARA set onto Hype Rockwell. Race is staring into a mirror, and he’s now got a “handsome” gimmick… which means that he puts down his opponents as ugly. Looks like Race now has an annoying pretty boy/Crossfit addict gimmick that’s delightfully one-note.
Race Jaxon vs. Lucas Calhoun
Jaxon’s booed, but you get the feeling this was cue-card booing rather than genuine heel heat. They give us a flashback to when Jaxon shoved part of the CHIKARA set onto Rockwell a few episodes ago, and then we go back to live action where Calhoun puts on Jaxon’s t-shirt.
Given the size difference in these two guys, I’m surprised it fit!
Calhoun’s bragging about a new karate technique, but first he has to escape a waistlock, then a headlock. Jaxon gets upset at Calhoun swinging for his face, since apparently he’s not allowed to touch it… that distraction gets Calhoun some boots to the face, but Calhoun comes back with a boot of his own, then a karate chop to the back.
Jaxon hits back with a knee in the corner, then he runs Calhoun’s eyes across the top rope, before looking to slip as he lands an enziguiri in the corner. Race tries for a butterfly lock, but Calhoun resists it, then surprises Jaxon with a pumphandle pendulum backbreaker that looked pretty sweet. The crowd chant “in the face” as Calhoun teases a karate chop, but Jaxon ducks and hits a dropkick, before sailing to the outside with a Miz-like clothesline in the ropes.
Race misses something off the top rope, and then finally gets punched in the face, but he’s able to grab the rope to save himself from getting pinned. Another dropkick from Race misses, before he’s catapulted to the outside… he stops himself though, but Calhoun grabs him as he skins the cat, only to get caught in a rolling forearm for the win. A typical TV match, but I’m not sure how smart it is to turn someone and build them up with a blatantly artificial reaction from the crowd. *¾
After the match, Jeremy Leary wanders onto the stage to talk down to Calhoun, saying that Lucas “hasn’t been himself lately”. This leads to a challenge for the ultimate trophy between the two – a hair vs. hair match. Leary then exits, but of course, we have to go back to the ongoing story of their drag race, where Calhoun grabs a mugging-for-the-camera Leary, before handing over his keys.
So, Calhoun lost a drag race and he’s had to hand over his car as a reward?
The Bloc Party (Mr. Azerbaijan & Proletariat Boar of Moldova) vs. Travis Huckabee & Solo Darling
Mike Quackenbush welcomes us back from intermission. Err? It seems that Solo Darling was the partner that Travis was nervous about in that past episode, but he’s not showing it here…
The Bloc Party leave the ring to avoid Solo’s initial sugar rush, but the Boar distracts her as Mr. Azerbaijan headed to the ring and grabbed her in a waistlock. Solo rolls out of a wristlock before scoring an eye poke as Huckabee tags in, then takes down Azerbaijan with an arm whip as the Boar then tagged in.
To the tune of some chants of “Boar-ing”, the Boar shoves away Huckabee, who comes back with a hammerlock, only to unwisely try for a slam. Boar picks him up and slams Huckabee himself, then scores with a leaping elbowdrop for the first near-fall of the match. Azerbaijan tags back in but almost gets rolled up for a win, as Solo was brought back in, getting a clothesline for a two-count for herself.
Azerbaijan just drops Solo as he was going for a side slam, then brings the Boar back in to take her down with another slam. Solo manages to sidestep a charge as the Boar runs into Azerbaijan, and that allows Huckabee to tag back in to try his luck with some Polish hammer-esque strikes. This time, Travis gets the slam on the Boar, but he can’t fight out of a Samoan drop as he’s left laying.
Solo tries again with some palm strikes, before she chopped away at Azerbaijan’s chest and follows up with a diving bulldog out of the corner for a two-count. The Boar breaks that up, but he quickly faces off against Huckabee, dropping the former referee with a spinning side slam. Travis escapes a gore from the Boar, before he and Solo land a double-team gore, as a butterfly suplex gets Travis the win! This was easily the best thing on here so far, again hamstrung by the time they had, but they were able to establish Solo and Travis as a new team with something in the tank. ***¼
The Closers (Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice) vs. Xyberhawx 2000 (Sylverhawk & Razerhawk)
A nice speed vs. power matchup here, and we start off with Sylver and Roland against each other, as a shoulder tackle sends Sylver to the floor. Razerhawk comes in and gets the same treatment, allowing Sylverhawk to come in and chop away on Roland, then send HIM to the outside with some headscissors.
Sloan Caprice comes in and quickly gets dispatched to the floor too, but they get confused at the Xyberhawx posing… before turning them around and waking them back up. Sylver takes a flapjack and a powerbomb from Caprice, who easy catches Razer before handing him off to Roland for a powerslam. Roland gets a legdrop in, then starts to punch away… but they don’t go for a cover, as Rick instead take Razerhawk into the corner for some elbows, and an avalanche.
An overhead belly to belly gets Caprice a near-fall, and my word, this crowd seems pretty rabid – we’re almost hearing loud cheers for the Closers’ one-sided demolition here. Razer hits a stunner on Caprice to avoid a waistlock, but Sloan comes back with a forearm, then a suplex.
Razerhawk rolls away from a Vader Bomb from Roland, before he crawls between Rick’s leg to get the tag out as Sylverhawk comes in to club away on Roland… a springboard clothesline nearly wins it for the rookie team, only for Sylverhawk to leap into a massive boot from Roland. Razerhawk runs back in, but he gets caught in a double hiptoss that leads to a Flatliner from Roland, as the ‘hawx are finished off with the Deal Breaker (clothesline assisted powerbomb/slam combo). Good for a basic TV match, but those crowd reactions surely weren’t what they wanted, no? The crowd cheering for the Closers’ offence?? **¼
We go backstage to a promo from Juan Francisco de Coronado, who vows to win his third point tonight against Missile Assault Man. Juan tells us to read the typo-riddled subtitles, but this was a good, basic promo to build up to tonight’s main event.
Juan Francisco de Coronado vs. Missile Assault Man
I think Missile Assault Man said his name three times in a minute… I thought this crowd knew who he was?!
We start with a headlock from Juan, who gets charged to the corner for a rope break, and another repetition of MAM’s name. The Coronado Clutch comes early, but MAM rolls through and goes for a Sharpshooter – with Juan this time scrambling for the ropes.
A back cracker follows from Juan for a near-fall as he’ ducked some clotheslines, then went for some knees to the back as he looked to soften him up for the finisher. MAM gets driven into the turnbuckles, but his attempted comeback is quickly neutered as Juan hits a Tiger Driver for a two-count. We get a similar result from a belly-to-back suplex, which prompts that comeback as MAM hits a dropkick, then misses a second, as Juan quickly gets back into it.
They exchange stomps and forearms, before an enziguri takes Missile Assault Man down for another two-count. A series of forearms to the back of MAM follows, before he returned the favour and gave Juan a big back body drop out of the corner. MAM comes close with a rolling death valley driver, as he followed in with the Sharpshooter, but again Juan was too close to the ropes and was able to pull himself onto the apron.
A reverse hotshot drags MAM onto the top rope, but he caught Juan as he climbed the top rope and went for the Missile Launcher – a crucifix buckle-facebuster of sorts – only for Juan to get free and hit a tiltawhirl backbreaker, then a second Tiger Driver for a two-count. The Coronado Clutch follows in the middle of the ring though, but MAM manages to crawl to the corner and climb up the turnbuckles to force his way free.
MAM rushes back into Juan and into a Tiger Driver… but this time he rolls through into a hurricanrana, and that’s enough for Missile Assault Man to get the win! Dreadfully one-sided before then, but not too bad as a match, I suppose. **½
Mike Quackenbush wraps up the show as Juan argued with the referee… so Missile Assault Man went for another uppercut, then a Missile Launcher again, but Juan escaped the ring.
We get the usual post-credits video, this time with Princess KimberLee and a character apparently called the Whisper. She asks him what’s next… but of course, we never find out as he whispers his answer to her.
This was perhaps the most bland of the series so far, with the matches being too short to mean anything, whilst we bizarrely were overdosed on the Leary/Calhoun storyline. I know these shows are somewhat supposed to be flashbacks, but it just feels like this episode was rushed – like they’d forgotten to insert a storyline in past episodes, so they just crammed it in?
After six episodes, there’s certain things starting to get tiresome – things like Mike Quackenbush introducing himself for every match. It’s almost like they recorded a bunch of matches not knowing where they’d fit into the jigsaw… but since they also recorded a bunch of intros too, surely there’d be no need to keep introducing everyone for every match. It’s almost like this was meant to be a series of individual matches, and not a TV show.