Young Lions Cup III, Night II

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Hellertown, PA – 7.22.2005

Commentary is provided by Dave Prazak, Mike Quackenbush, Larry Sweeney, and Eddie Kingston.

The show opens with all 12 of tonight’s Young Lions Cup participants already announced and standing ringside. Leonard F. Chikarason presents them their participation medals and then they take a picture around the trophy. Last night, Icarus advanced to the Finals. Who will join him?

Vries Kastelein cuts a promo in Dutch. I’m sure he says something about beating his opponent (Shane Storm) and then winning the Young Lions Cup.

Young Lions Cup III Quarter-Final Match
Shane Storm vs. Vries Kastelein

Storm backs Kastelein to the corner and breaks clean. Kastelein backs Storm to the corner but slaps him in the face. Storm reverses an arm wringer into a courting hold. Kastelein counters out into a wristlock. They trade waistlocks. Storm torques his arm, but Kastelein throws Storm forward. He and Storm reach a stalemate on the mat. Storm hits a trio of shoulder blocks. He connects with a leg lariat. Kastelein rolls to the floor. Storm holds up a STOP sign and gets a fan to hold it. Storm then dives onto Kastelein while he’s standing still. Storm throws Kastelein back into the ring. Kastelein throws him face first into the middle turnbuckle. Kastelein stretches Storm’s neck on the mat. He rolls him into a Gedo Clutch for two. Kastelein headbutts Storm in the mid-section multiple times. Kastelein stops a sunset flip attempt and gives Storm some closed fists to the face behind the referee’s back. Kastelein throws Storm around whilst admonishing the crowd. Kastelein boots Storm to prevent a corner attack. Storm reverses a hip toss with a DDT. Kastelein ducks That Japanese Move. Kastelein locks in a Stretch Plumb. Storm backdrops Kastelein to escape. Storm connects Kastelein with That Japanese Move for the pin at 9:24. There were too many sloppy moments to counteract the nice counter wrestling. Something just didn’t click with these two. *1/2

Young Lions Cup III Quarter-Final Match
Equinox vs. Lance Steel

Steel brings Equinox to the mat and cranks on his knee. Steel rolls out of a counter. Equinox rolls under Steel. Steel blocks an O’Connor Roll and sends Equinox to the apron. Equinox clutches Steel’s shoulders and rolls into a sunset flip for two. Steel goes for the Boston Crab. Equinox once again rolls into a sunset flip. Steel goes back to the legs. Equinox cartwheels out. Steel taunts Equinox, but Equinox takes him down with a crucifix pin for two. Steel catches Equinox mid-air and goes for the Boston Crab again. Equinox escapes but Steel places him on the top turnbuckle. Equinox comes off with an armdrag and a dropkick. He cartwheels into an armdrag and dropkicks Steel to the corner. Equinox wheelbarrows up and Steel catches him with a full nelson. He brings Equinox down and walks on him like a drawbridge. Equinox’s chops have no effect since Steel is wearing armor. Steel drops him with a Finlay Roll. Equinox counters the Boston Crab with a neck-tie headscissors. He hits Steel with a standing shooting star press for the pin at 5:00. I really liked the story of Equinox finding multiple counters for the Boston Crab. I was surprised he won as well, but he more than showed his worth here. **

Shiima Xion introduces himself as the first Filipino model wrestler and says he’ll be the Young Lions Cup champion tonight. He talks about how his modeling skills will translate over to wrestling and give him a win over Crossbones. We then cut to Crossbones who says he’s the first international model from Parts Unknown. He says he wears a mask because all the ladies would run at him if he wrestled without out. He says Xion will lose tonight and that he will drink ale out of the Young Lions Cup with women all around him.

Young Lions Cup III Quarter-Final Match
Crossbones vs. Shiima Xion

Crossbones is sporting some swank black and orange gear. Xion applies a standing headscissors after working Crossbones’ arms. Crossbones snapmares him down and kicks him in the back. Xion stupidly tries a few shoulder blocks. He trips Crossbones and applies a grapevine stretch while applying hairspray. Xion leapfrogs over Crossbones. He tries again but Crossbones catches him with a belly-to-back suplex. He lays in some Kawada kicks and drops Xion with a backdrop driver for two. Crossbones slams Xion and Jericho pins him for two. Xion steps on Crossbones’ head as Crossbones drops down. Crossbones kicks Xion as he comes off the ropes. Crossbones double stomps Xion and drops an elbow for two. Xion catches Crossbones with a huracanrana. Crossbones turns Xion inside out with a lariat. Crossbones goes for a senton off the second rope, but Xion rolls out of the way. Xion ducks a lariat and drops Crossbones with a neck breaker for two. Crossbones blocks “From Lust to Dust” with the Friggin’ Sweet Driver for the pin at 6:57 Killer finishing move from Crossbones. He and Xion put together a very effective big man/little man bout that I really enjoyed. I honestly think Crossbones’ new gear has helped him be a better wrestler. There’s no real logic to it, but I just feel that way. Very solid, enjoyable stuff. **1/2

Niles Young is backstage. He says he debuted at last year’s Young Lions Cup where he got beaten by Sabian. He thinks Young Lions Cup III will be different since he’s been making waves in CHIKARA all year long. He even makes a Young Niles Cup pun.

Young Lions Cup III Quarter-Final Match
Josh Abercrombie vs. Niles Young {CZW}

Abercrombie body drags Young down twice. Young sends Abercrombie to the floor. Abercrombie side steps a pescado. Young lands on his feet and hits a superkick. Abercrombie kicks Young and lands an Asai twisting body press. In the ring, Young carries Abercrombie out of the corner with a lungblower. Young chokes Abercrombie on the mat. Young hits a high knee strike for two. Young suplexes him into a Butterfly stretch. Abercrombie cradles Young for two. He goes for a sunset flip but Young geabs him by his hair. Young gives him a backbreaker for two. Young drops him with a side Russian leg sweep for two. Abercrombie goes for the Nose Breaker but Young ducks it. Young blasts him with a yakuza kick and Abercrombie gets his foot on the rope. Young hits a rolling elbow for two. Abercrombie ducks a second yakuza kick with a flash side slam. Abercrombie dropkicks his knee out. He hits a running knee strike and a basement dropkick. Abercrombie hits a quebrada for two. Abercrombie boots Young and calls for the Taliban Backpack. Young blocks and hits a wheelbarrow suplex into the corner. Young goes for a top rope suplex by Abercrombie counters with some headbutts. He hits the Taliban Backpack for two. Abercrombie misses the Phoenix Splash. Young drops him with the Tombstone Piledriver for the pin at 8:03. Abercrombie will go down in history for me as one of the most underutilized guys in independent wrestling. He’s just so good but never really got an extended run in any major company until the very end of his career. I would have loved to see more of him in CHIKARA because he did a very good job here. Kudos to Niles Young for being involved in this fun contest as well. **3/4

Young Lions Cup III Quarter-Final Match
KUDO {DDT} vs. Anthony Franco {ROH}

Anthony Franco endured a Round Robin Tournament with his fellow ROH graduates to enter this tournament. KUDO and Franco jockey for the advantage. Franco reverses a headlock takedown into a front chancery. KUDO reverses. Turner trips KUDO and reapplies the Front Chancery. KUDO cranks on a wristlock before hitting a dropkick. KUDO lays in some hard kicks to Franco’s back. He slams Franco for two. KUDO kicks Franco down in the corner. Franco hits him with double knees in the corner for two. Franco gives KUDO two suplexes and a spinning neckbreaker. Franco applies an STF and KUDO grabs the bottom rope to escape. KUDO nails Franco with an enzuigiri. He sits down on Franco’s back on the middle ropes and stretches his arms out. KUDO rolls back into a prawn hold for two. Franco chops KUDO in the face and clotheslines him down for two. KUDO flips over a clothesline and backslides Franco for two. Franco rolls him up for two. KUDO grazes him with a spinwheel kick. KUDO comes off the top rope with double knees to the chest for the pin at 6:55. Now here’s the hard hitting bout I expected from Cannon and Bomboy yesterday. Both these guys threw some impressive strikes with purpose. I’m happy KUDO showed a lot of ability here, because it allowed him to be brought back multiple times. But we’ll get to those matches in time. For now, this was great, and I commend Franco for being able to hang with KUDO. **3/4

Claudio Castagnoli compares himself and his crew to the three wise men. He says Arik Cannon failed the Kings last night, and says he won’t do the same.

Young Lions Cup III Quarter-Final Match
CJ O’Doyle vs. Claudio Castagnoli {KOW}

Claudio poses on the stool in which the YLC trophy was displayed. O’Doyle asks him to pose again. O’Doyle pulls out the stool causing Claudio to land on his bottom. Claudio throws O’Doyle down by his hair after exchanging wristlocks. O’Doyle fights out of a test of strength. He and Claudio roll on the mat trading pin attempts. Claudio rolls to the floor in a huff. Claudio comes in and wants another test of strength. Instead, O’Doyle ties him up on the mat. O’Doyle breaks and takes Claudio over with a few armdrags. Claudio rolls back to the floor. Claudio comes in and shakes hand, which is out of character of him. O’Doyle places him on the apron. Claudio is helped back in and shakes hands once more. Claudio places O’Doyle on the apron. He looks to help O’Doyle back in, but kicks O’Doyle in the chest as he comes back in. Claudio nails him with a European uppercut and chokes him with his shin. He then chokes O’Doyle on the bottom rope. Claudio does some showboating before hitting a legdrop for two. Claudio cartwheels into a European uppercut in the corner. He goes for a second but gets elbowed in the head. O’Doyle knocks him down with an elbow. O’Doyle fires up with a flurry of offense. He back drops Claudio and lays in some forearms. O’Doyle drops Claudio head first for two. O’Doyle blocks a clothesline with an inverted DDT for two. Claudio drops O’Doyle with a modified Burnng Hammer at 10:27. Funny when you consider all of these qualifying matches were announced as having a 10 minute time limit. But I digress. Claudio was awesome in this match, doing some hilarious heel shtick. O’Doyle was a serviceable foil but didn’t show me much. I was just infatuated with Claudio during the entire bout. **1/2

Chris Hero, Arik Cannon, and F.I.S.T. are together backstage. Cannon looks a little upset. Hero says he has transformed F.I.S.T., especially Icarus, into the monsters they are today. Hero points out that he injured Mr. ZERO and ended Jolly Roger’s career. Cannon claims he would have won the Young Lions Cup semi-final match last night were it not for Icarus. Hero stops their bickering before it gets worse. Hero says they’re going to do things as a team, but Cannon and Icarus walk away in opposite directions.

Darin Corbin {NSE}, Ryan Cruz {NSE}, Mickie Knuckles, & Trik Davis vs. Chris Hero {KOW}, Arik Cannon {KOW}, Icarus {F}, & Gran Akuma {F}

The Kings and F.I.S.T. verbally berate Eddie Kingston on commentary, specifically Hero. Hero and Akuma have to break up Icarus and Cannon before the bell. Trik Davis holds his own against his trainer, Chris Hero. A stalemate sees Cruz and Icarus tag in. Icarus takes Cruz down and tags in Akuma. Cruz quickly armdrags Akuma and tags in Corbin. Akuma shoulder blocks Corbin down, and Corbin responds with an armdrag. Knuckles tags in. Akuma rolls through a wristlock and chops her. Knuckles responds to every one of Akuma’s kicks and chops with one of her own. She lights up Akuma with chops and Akuma drops her by the hair. Cannon tags in and chops her. Knuckles lands an armdrag and tags in Corbin. Corbin blocks a hip toss and hits a wheelbarrow armdrag. He sends Cannon to the corner with a headscissors. Cannon drops Corbin with an exploder suplex. The Kings and F.I.S.T. wear down Corbin while preventing him from tagging out. Corbin dropkicks everyone off the apron and gives Akuma a DDT. He tags in Davis, who thwarts the double team attempts of the Rudos team. He hits Hero with double knees in the corner, then hops off Hero’s back with double knees to Akuma. He hops of Hero’s back and eats a spear from Icarus for two. This spear essentially sees Davis replace Corbin, as he is now the one to receive the extensive beatdown. Davis finally escapes their grasp by going through Hero’s legs and tagging in Knuckles. Knuckles goes nuts, absolutely pummeling everyone on the opposite team. Knuckles drops Icarus with a German suplex and Akuma breaks the pin. A chain of suplexes forms, seeing the Tecnico team suplexing Cannon and F.I.S.T. Hero accidentally back sentons F.I.S.T. in an attempt to break a pin. The Rudos throw the Tecnicos together then hit quadruple dropkicks. Cruz drops Cannon with the Boom Shaka-Laka for two. Icarus guillotines Cruz on the top rope and throws him to the floor. Akuma kicks Corbin. Corbin blocks a DDT from Icarus by sending him to the floor. Akuma kicks away at Corbin some more. Corbin goes for a backpack stunner. Davis doublestomps Akuma into the stunner for two. Davis takes Hero down with a headscissors on the floor. The North Stars and F.I.S.T. clear each other from the ring. Cannon cracks Knuckles with the Glimmering Warlock. Davis breaks the pin. Hero comes in and gets lit up with strikes. Cannon cuts him off. Hero powerbombs Davis onto Knuckles. Hero puts Knuckles in the Hangman’s Clutch, stating that the move is for Kingston. Knuckles taps out at 19:21. Eight people working their butts off will never get old. This was a fine match that let Knuckles and Davis shine and the Rudos come off as even bigger jerks. Really liked what this match delivered. ***1/4

Hero refuses to release the Hangmen’s Clutch. Cannon kicks Knuckles in the face over and over as Hero holds on. Icarus and Akuma prevent her teammates from making the save. Finally, Eddie Kingston leaves the commentary booth and clears the ring. Hero eggs Kingston on. Kingston snaps and attacks Hero. Bryce Remsburg and ringside attendants finally separate them. Hero says Kingston can’t hack it on his own and claims that he’s the real king. Kingston helps Knuckles recover. Kingston asks Bryce to go get Hero. Kingston laments that CHIKARA is his company and yet he was sitting at the commentary booth for four months. Kingston takes a seat in the ring, refusing to budge until he gets his hands on Hero. We’re alerted that Hero already left the building so Kingston won’t get his wish tonight.

Kingston is still in the ring yelling at Bryce when The Dark Breed make their entrance for the next match. They steer clear of getting in the ring with Kingston, who is pacing around the ring with his belt in hand. Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw, and Sabian make their way out. Kingston takes the microphone. He says Quackenbush needs a partner for tomorrow night to take out Hero’s crew. Kingston says he may not like Quack, but he respects him. Kingston says he and Quack share a mutual hatred for Hero, and asks to be Quack’s partner tomorrow night. Kingston says if Quack gives him the spot, he’ll let the show continue. Quack says Kingston’s done nothing but spit in his face up until now when he needs a favor. Quack is not happy with how Kingston handled the situation tonight. Quack instructs Kingston to “bring his boots” to Pittston tomorrow night, agreeing that Kingston can be on his team. This leads us into our six man tag match.

Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw, & Sabian vs. UltraMantis Black {DB}, Hallowicked {DB}, & Blind Rage {DB}

Sabian controls Mantis’ arm and kicks him in the chest. Mantis boots Sabian. Sabian takes Mantis over with a variety of armdrags. Hallowicked comes in and is met with a springboard dropkick from Hallowicked. The two throw punches on the mat and choke each other. Jigsaw takes out Hallowicked’s leg and stomps him on the back. Hallowicked misses a stomp of his own and gets taken down with an armdrag. Quackenbush tags in and kicks Hallowicked in the arm. Hallowicked sends Quackenbush to the apron. Quackenbush flies in with an armdrag. He evades a senton from Mantis. Sabian flies in with a frogsplash for two. Jigsaw splashes both Hallowicked and Mantis, then takes them down with an armdrag/headscissors combo. Both teams take a cornver. Quackenbush’s team rolls up the entire Dark Breed for two. Sabian dives onto Mantis with a tope con hilo, and Quackenbush does the same to Rage. Jigsaw hits Hallowicked with a leg lariat and sends him to the floor. Mantis hypnotizes him with a pendant, allowing Hallowicked to nail him with a yakuza kick. Jigsaw gets isolated from his partners and beaten down by the Dark Breed. Jigsaw rolls to the floor after a triple team boot. Hallowicked rolls him up for two and follows up with a clothesline. Hallowicked applies a chin lock while Mantis boots him in the face. The Dark Breed continue their attack until Quackenbush rolls to the floor. Sabian comes in a house of fire. Hallowicked hits a weak backbreaker for two. The Dark Beed team up against their opponents, wearing Sabian down whilst mocking Quackenbush and Jigsaw. Sabian fights off Hallowicked’s super fisherman’s buster and lands a swinging DDT for two. Quackenbush tags in and gives Mantis windmill chops in the corner. Quackenbush drops him with a quebradora. He powerbombs Mantis, but Hallowicked comes in with a step-up Frankensteiner. Hallowicked hits Quackenbush with a tope con hilo on the floor. Mantis hits a reverse Canadian backbreaker drop on Jigsaw. Sabian breaks the pin. Rage comes in and gets knocked down. He doublestomps Rage in the ribs from the top rope but Rage puts his foot on the rope. Rage backdrops Sabian to the floor. Quackenbush comes in and Rage takes him down with a modified dragonscrew leg whip. Jigsaw suprerkicks Rage and hangs him in a tree of woe. Hallowicked rolls up Jigsaw in an inside cradle for the win at 12:58. The heart of this match was the continuation of Hallowicked and Jigsaw’s feud, which was played off well. I’m not sure why this fell so much short of a match identical to this a few months earlier, but the fact that Reckless Youth was in that match and not this may have had something to do with it. Still, a serviceable trios contest. ***

Hallowicked and Jigsaw tear into each other on the floor. Their respective teammates separate them and keep things calm.

Larry Sweeney comes out for what he calls “The Sweet N’ Sour Power Hour”. Sweeney talks about Hallowicked and Jigsaw’s rivalry. Sweeney theorizes that Jigsaw and Hallowicked are hostile because they’re jealous of each other. Sweeney believe it’s because they want to prove that they’re the best Young Lions Cup champion there is. Sweeney ends the argument by stating that he is the best champion of them all. Sweeney says on August 13th when CHIKARA runs the ECW Arena for the first time, they’ll settle the debate over who the best Young Lions Cup champion is.

Young Lions Cup III Semi-Final Elimination Match
Shane Storm vs. Equinox vs. Crossbones vs. Niles Young {CZW} vs. KUDO {DDT} vs. Claudio Castagnoli {KOW}

All six men start in the ring. They all lock up and break cleanly. They all chop each other in a continuous chain. Things break down with Claudio and KUDO attacking Storm on the floor. Equinox sends Crossbones and Young to the floor. Equinox dives onto everyone but Storm with a top rope moonsault. Claudio chokes Storm back in the ring. Claudio throws him over and stretches his arms out. Storm breaks free but Claudio grabs him and hits an uppercut. Storm bodyscissors Claudio down and sends him to the floor with an armdrag. KUDO and Young tag in. KUDO brings Young to the mat in a headlock. Young escapes. KUDO ducks his clothesline and a big boot. He dropkicks Young and kicks him in the side of the head. Young rolls to the floor and KUDO follows with a pescado. Equinox and Crossbones tag in. Crossbones escapes a headscissors. Crossbones clenches on a wristlock and Equinox transitions into a headlock. Equinox takes Crossbones over with a variety of Lucha moves. Claudio and Storm tag in. Storm knocks Claudio to the floor with That Japanese Move. Equinox and Crossbones tag back in inexplicably. Equinox uses some armdrags but gets caught with a flying boot from Crossbones. Crossbones stretches Equinox out on the mat. Equinox catches Crossbones off guard with a standing shooting star press to eliminate him at 9:38. Young drops Equinox on his face as he goes for a headscissors. Claudio tags in and bullies Equinox with ease. KUDO tags in and stomps away on Equinox. Young tags back in and chops Equinox in the corner. Young rolls Equinox into a butterfly stretch. Equinox escapes and puts on a Butterfly bodyscissors. Young taps out at 13:01. Claudio immediately comes in and hits a gutwrench suplex for two. Kudo snapmares Equinox and kicks him in the back and neck multiple times. Claudio and KUDO stomp Equinox down in the corner. Claudio hits a rolling European to his neck for two. Equinox breaks from a bear hug and tags in Storm. Storm takes both Claudio and KUDO out. KUDO connects with an enzuigiri and Claudio follows up with an uppercut. Equinox rolls Claudio in a victory roll, but KUDO breaks the pin. Kudo spin kicks Equinox for two. KUDO hits a vertical suplex and goes up top. He comes down with a double knee strike to Equinox’s chest for the pin at 16:37.

Claudio and KUDO team up and stomp on Storm. Claudio and KUDO take turns tagging in and out just to beat on Storm. Storm never let’s up, kicking out of all their pin attempts. Claudio tries to boss KUDO around. KUDO has enough of Claudio’s barking and lights him up with kicks. He hits a fisherman’s suplex after double knees in the corner for two. KUDO misses double knees off the top rope. Claudio drops him with the Ricola Bomb for the pin at 20:20. Claudio hits Storm with an uppercut for two. Storm fights out of a headlock and hits Claudio with multiple forearms. He knocks Claudio to the floor and connects with a suicide dive. Storm throws Claudio into the staging area. Storm kicks Claudio in the face from the floor. Storm hops off the stage into a huracanrana. Storm brings Claudio back to the ring but only gets a two count. Claudio puts Storm in a tree of woe. Claudio uppercuts Storm in the back and brings him down with a modified burning hammer. Storm kicks out and the fans applaud. Claudio puts Storm on the top rope and hits an uppercut. Storm throws Claudio down by the head and comes off the top with a glancing clothesline for two. Claudio slips out of the Air Raid Crash. He looks for the Ricola Bomb. Storm blocks that and hits the Air Raid Crash for two. Claudio pushes the referee to the ropes to stop Storm from going up top. Claudio throws Storm off with a Fallaway slam. Claudio heads back up top and hits an elbow drop. Again, Storm kicks out to the fans delight. In disbelief, Claudio goes for the Ricola Bomb. Storm escapes and goes for That Japanese Move. Claudio blocks and hits the Ricola Bomb. Storm kicks out once again. Claudio drops Storm with a brainbuster. Storm gets up and hits a German suplex. Claudio pops up but gets his knee kicked out. Storm hits That Japanese Move and scores the pin at 27:43. You got to love the ending here, with the fans going nuts for every false finish. Storm goes on to face Icarus in the tournament finals, which should be an emotional doozy. It’s funny thinking just how much Storm and Equinox were put over in this match considering where they are today. Claudio helped Storm look like a million dollars and no one else could have made his win seem this important. ***1/2

A vast improvement over Night One in every way. More and more of the core roster is getting involved in storylines that seem important and now we have matches to look forward to other than whatever multi-man match the Kings of Wrestling are involved in. Needless to say, this seems like the beginning of a bright future for the company.

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