Big things should be happening at this show. Theories have ranged from the promotion shutting down to time travel. Yes, you heard me correctly. For this momentous occasion on the US Indy scene, I figured the first PTBN live review would be in order.
Bryce Remsburg and Leonard F. Chikarson start on commentary.
Colony: Xtreme Force vs. Spectral Envoy
A fun opener to kick us off. If this is your introduction to Chikara, not a bad start. You get a clear sense of the rudo vs. tecnico structure and the characters that make Chikara unique on the indy front. Colony: Xtreme Force is relentless in going after the mask of Frightmare. Ultramantis Black has become the most sympathetic person on the the entire roster so having him be the face in peril was a wise choice. Where the Big Boys Play alum, Robert the Atomic Elbow gets a shout out. Cool. The Colony: Xtreme Force guys can be sloppy but did execute some fun triple team moves including a step ladder type belly to belly suplex from the top rope where you use your teammates as a step ladder. UMB gets the hot tag and a pier six breaks out resulting in the finish of Hallowicked garnering the win for his team with the Chikara Special.
Delirious vs. Dasher Hatfield
Dasher Hatfield is one of my least favorite gimmicks in Chikara with his ironically funny baseball puns. Delirious has seemed a little lost in the shuffle himself lately. This is a rematch from earlier this year where Dasher scored the surprising upset in 51 seconds. The Trocadero is a great venue. Decent back and forth match between these two including some good control segments by Delirious and a neat diving headbutt to counteract the aerial attack of Dasher. Dasher makes his comeback and looks to have the match in control, when Kobald runs in. He spears Dasher, and Delirious hits the Shadows from Heck for the win. Ending looked a little mistimed as the referee was staring right at Kobald entering the ring.
The Colony vs. Devastation Inc.
Incredible multi-man action. Low end MOTYC on first watch. The match started with Devastation Inc. hurling Green Ant into the balcony area and didn’t let up for the next fifteen minutes. Harkening back to the 2001 Red/SAT days, the pace of the match was relentless and featured too many crazy moves to count. Both Fire Ant and Green Ant died for our sins highlighted by Green Ant diving off the balcony. Devastation Inc. provided a great base for all the moves and executed their power spots well. Green Ant was the highlight of this spectacular match and mixed in some stiff strikes with his incredible dives. I was happy to see him pick up the victory with a Texas Cloverleaf.
Amasis vs. Ophidian – Sarcophagus Match
These guys have a long history and all the makings were there for an intense, hate-filled brawl. Instead we got a disjointed, meandering mess. I initially thought the match was hindered by following the excitement of Colony vs. Devastation but it just kept going and going with no focus. This is the equivalent of HHH vs. Brock at Wrestlemania. I can’t understand why Ophidian didn’t target the injured neck more. He had some nifty armwork in the early going that got blown off as well. For every stiff strike these guys threw, there were two lackadaisical ones. The stage that held the Sarcophagus was tough to see. After 20 long minutes, Kobald interjects himself into the match. Amasis is able to overcome the odds and pick up the victory after he removes Ophidian’s mask to reveal an Amasis one. I don’t understand what this means and honestly by this point, don’t care. Disappointing stuff.
Icarus gives a great promo running down all he has went through in Chikara. I’m sensing a title change.
Eddie Kingston gives a promo. I could listen to this man talk all day. He has such vigor and conviction in what he says. One of the most intriguing characters in the independents today.
Tim Donst vs. Gavin Loudspeaker – Hair vs. Hair
Gavin announces his own match which is awesome. Gavin comes out looking like Kyle O’ Reilly. Wink Vavasseur has taken over with Bryce officiating. This exemplified everything Chikara can do successfully and was a great match coming back from intermission. Donst was a great bully breaking Veronica’s baton, eating Gavin’s hair and abusing Turtle. Jakob and Veronica turning on Donst was great and the build to Gavin hitting the superplex for the win was well done. I have to give it to Donst to that he let his hair grow out as much as it could once this match was announced. A June 2nd headshaving is becoming a yearly ritual for him.
3.0 vs. Pieces of Hate – Campeonatos de Parejas
Dasher is on commentary. Not a fan of that. First fall was a heated sprint. 3.0 started off and were using their traditional double team moves. LFC makes a great comment about 3.0 being together for 11 years. The Shard is able to turn the tide and pick up an impressive pinfall in the first caida. Pieces of Hate neutralizes Jagged and immediately starts working over Matthews in the second fall. Great, traditional tag work is done working over the leg of Matthews. The hope spots were mixed in well, and when Matthews finally made the tag to Jagged, he was well rested. Finish sequence was nicely done and 3.0 is able to even up the odds. Third caida is worked in a All Japan finisher and save fashion but is dramatic and helped elevate the Shard. I especially liked the save done by Jagged diving onto Jigsaw while the Shard was in the Boston Crab. The Shard is able to break free due to Matthews weakened ankle and that is the demise of 3.0 as Pieces of Hate targets the ankle. The Shard locks in the anklelock. With Jagged being held at bay by Jigsaw, Matthews passes out from the pain and we have new champs. Really good stuff and the second best match of the night so far.
Eddie Kingston vs. Icarus – Grand Championship Match
It is now time for our main event. Icarus is in Marty Janetty gear which is a nice touch. This is Eddie’s 14th defense. History encompasses these two as well. Icarus defeated Kingston to win the Cibernetico in 2006. Icarus is an interesting character that has been through a lot in Chikara. He has been unmasked, lost two hair matches and is constantly ridiculed for his horrible back tattoos. This match was wrestled in a methodical pace like the sarcophagus match, but I was more forgiven of the action due to Kingston’s demeanor. The belt has driven Kingston to a certain level of obsessive possessiveness. He also did some work on Icarus’ back which played into the finish of the match. Icarus keeps fighting back and refuses to stay down for the three count. Bryce gets wiped out allowing Kingston to use the chair reserved for Marty Janetty three times on the injured back. This is still not enough and Icarus is able to reach down and lock on the Chikara Special. The crowd had been sort of dead up to that point, but is into the action now as it looks like Kingston has no escape. Bryce checks on Eddie, but Condor Security storms the ring. Around 20 individuals cart off Kingston, Icarus and Bryce. They then proceed to destroy the set in a crazy scene reminescent of Nexus ripping up the ringside area of their attack. LFC yells that he spots Archibald Peck as the show cuts to black Sopranos style.
I have no idea what this ending means. If this is the end of Chikara as some have proposed, this was an ambitious way to go out. I do think we see Chikara shows in the future, however. As a show, this was very good and better than any WWE PPV so far this year. Colony vs. Devastation Inc. was a great spotfest, Pieces of Hate vs. 3.0 was a really good tag match, and the main event while slowly plodded had some amazing psychology. Really the only thing that was a miss for me was Amasis vs. Ophidian. This has been a fun way to kill three hours during a Sunday, and I am interested to see what happens next in the world of Chikara.