The Crushing Weight of Mainstream Ignorance

crushingweight

Hellertown, PA – 7.22.2006

Commentary is provided by Bryce Remsburg, Mike Quackenbush, Chris Hero, UltraMantis Black, Larry Sweeney, and Leonard F. Chikarason.

Claudio Castagnoli is backstage. He’s bragging about his nice jacket. He comments that he is wearing a doorag because he has a gash in his forehead. I believed this happened in ROH last weekend during the Cage of Death, but I’m not totally certain of it. He’s confident about his match against Equinox, because he’s 6 foot 5 inches and Equinox is not. He then laughs as he walks away.

Equinox vs. Claudio Castagnoli {KOW}

Claudio is surprised Equinox is able to armdrag him after he powered Equinox to the corner. Equinox flips up and armdrags Claudio to avoid an uppercut. Claudio nails a clothesline to slow him down. Claudio lifts him up and throws him to the floor! Claudio slingshots him into the ring post. Claudio picks him by the throat and lifts him back into the ring for a two count. Equinox flips up but eats a big boot right away. Claudio drops him throat first across the top rope for two. Claudio drops an elbow after a slam. Equinox flips to the apron. He headstands his way into a huracanrana. He dropkicks Claudio to block Swiss Death. He headscissors Claudio to block the Alpamare Water Slide. Equinox gets two with a high crossbody. Claudio uppercuts Equinox on his second trip to the top rope. He enzuigiri’s Equinox and fisherman suplexes him for two. Equinox uses a reverse DDT and hits the standing shooting star press for two. Claudio blocks an alita. Equinox sunset flips him for two. Claudio blasts him with an uppercut for the pin at 8:20. This is clearly the best Equinox has looked so far. Even after being whooped on for a few minutes, all of the hope spots he got in had the crowd believing he could win. That also is to the credit of Claudio and just how wonderful he is. **3/4

UltraMantis Black is with Hydra. He is now officially through with Hallowicked. He claims he helped build Hallowicked’s glory and does not like that Delirious thinks he can just walk in and take that glory for himself. He believes he and Hydra will succeed in their quest for tag gold.

Fire Ant {C} & Soldier Ant {C} vs. UltraMantis Black & Hydra

This is Mantis’ first match since October when he faced Larry Sweeney. Hydra and Mantis jump the Colony as they enter the ring. Hydra wears down Soldier Ant. He is not strong enough to suplex him, so Mantis comes in to help out. Mantis wears down Soldier Ant’s neck. Mantis hits a full nelson slam for two. Mantis and Hydra continue to bully Soldier Ant until boots Hydra out of the corner and forearms Mantis off the apron. He GiANT Swings Hydra before tagging out to Fire Ant. He fireman carry’s Mantis and forearms Hydra. Repeat this process once more. Fire Ant crossbody’s Hydra while wrenching on Mantis’ wrist, flipping Mantis over as he falls. Mantis puts Hydra on his shoulders to help with a superplex. Fire Ant however blocks it by giving Hydra a Blockbuster off Mantis’ shoulders. The Ants Marching neckbreaker get The Colony a two count. Hydra throws Fire Ant off the top rope. Mantis gives him the Praying Mantis Bomb for the pin at 7:48. This was a nice way to showcase Mantis and Hydra in their first match as a team. They worked smartly but still had flaws here and there. The Colony still look formidable and Fire Ant’s blockbuster is sweet. **1/2

Lance Steel vs. Lance Steel

I apologize; this review is going to get very confusing very quickly. I’m so sorry. It doesn’t really matter in the beginning because neither guy is able to get control. Steel armdrags the other Steel to the floor. Steel hip tosses the other Steel when he comes back in, sending Steel back out. Steel goes for a clothesline. Steel trips him and goes for the Boston Crab. Steel climbs to the ropes to break free. The other Steel comes out and gets his back rammed into the apron twice for it. Steel wisely targets Steel’s back. That would be the older, dragon-hating Steel on offense. Young Steel brings him down with a headscissors for two. The older Steel headbutts young Steel in the stomach so he can injure the back some more. He even takes young Steel’s armor off. Lancelot fight for positioning on the ropes. The younger Steel ends up pulling the older Steel’s armor off. He hits a missile dropkick to the chest. This leads to a chop battle. They fight for a Boston Crab. The younger Steel is the one who gets it applied. Steel kicks his way free. Young Steel hits the Finlay Roll and a senton for two. The older steel brings in a chair. Bryce takes it away and he switches positions with the younger Steel. Bryce begins to berate the young Steel thinking he was the perpetrator of the chair. This allows the elder Steel to put on the Boston Crab and make young Steel tap out at 11:26. That was a bit tedious to write, but pretty enjoyable to watch. They kept things basic but told a good story and were able to make a distinction between each other even in identical outfits. That itself is quite the feat. **1/2

Cheech & Cloudy vs. Darin Corbin {NSE} & Ryan Cruz {NSE}

Cloudy and Corbin start off. It’s been five months since we saw the North Stars in CHIKARA. Cloudy stomps on Corbin’s feet. Corbin begins to block them which leads into somewhat of a dance fest. They sweep each others’ legs to go for a quick pin. They stand off before tagging in their respective partners. Cheech delivers a chop. Cruz slams him right on his chest and face. Cloudy jumps in as does Corbin. Cheech and Cloudy’s do-si-do misfires. They get sent to the floor and taken out with stereo tope con hilo’s from the North Stars. Cruz gives Cheech a standing moonsault for two. Cheech London Bridges Cruz and Corbin to escape their grasp. Cloudy stomps Cruz and dragonscrew leg whips Corbin. He puts on a modified sharpshooter but Cruz frees his partner. Cheech drops an elbow on Corbin for two. Cheech gets two with a Northern Lights suplex too. Cheech and Cloudy side Russian leg sweep him for two. Their double teaming of Corbin ends when Corbin elbows his way out of their corner. Cruz takes out Cheech and Cloudy by himself. He hits Cheech with the Side Effect. Cruz side steps a 619. Corbin gives Cloudy a back breaker. Cheech Fosbury flops onto Cruz and breaks Corbin’s pin. Cheech gives Corbin an inside out suplex. Cruz misses a top rope legdrop. He eats Partly Cloudy with a chance of Cheech. Corbin breaks that pin. Cruz and Corbin slam Cloudy on his face. Cruz tornado kicks Cloudy when the pin is broken. Cruz monkey flips Corbin into Cheech. The North Stars hit Cruz Control for the pin at 9:29. That was a lot of fun. This was the exciting non-stop of action you would expect these two teams to have with each other. It took one match for Corbin and Cruz to get back into the CHIKARA groove and I look forward to more. ***

Eddie Kingston says Sweeney broke a cardinal rule of wrestling: no matter how much you hate a man you’re in the ring with, you do not try to end his career and take away his livelihood. He says Sweeney did just that when he choked Kingston to the point of making him need help. That moment got him to thinking. He realized that all the times he tried to injure people in the ring came back to bite him in the behind; “you reap what you sow.” He does not think Sweeney is ready to go down that path of being on his own and paying for what he does to others. Tonight he will make Sweeney feel the pain and the joy of a man who was never a boy.

ICW/ICWA Tex-Arkana Television Championship
Larry Sweeney (Champion) vs. Eddie Kingston

Kingston attacks Sweeney and brings him to the floor. A chop exchange leads to Sweeney forearming Kingston in the face. Kingston responds with one that knocks Sweeney down. Kingston gets in some offense back in the ring until Sweeney hot shots him. Sweeney chokes him with his wrist tape again. He grinds Kingston’s neck against the ring post. Sweeney drops an elbow across Kingston’s throat. He puts on a sleeper hold. He chokes Kingston with his wrist tape which Bryce takes away quickly. Sweeney takes off the top turnbuckle in one corner while Bryce checks on Kingston. Sweeney rakes his eyes for good measure. Kingston drives Sweeney back first into the exposed turnbuckle to break his sleeper hold. Sweeney goes to Kingston’s throat to block being thrown into the turnbuckle again. Sweeney drops a forearm off the second rope for two. Sweeney playfully smacks Kingston in the corner. Kingston chops Sweeney multiple times in response. He nails a yakuza kick and a Northern Lights suplex. Sweeney comes back a with a gord buster for two. He catapults Kingston throat first into the exposed turnbuckle. It takes some time, but Sweeney lifts him up for a piledriver. Kingston gets his foot on the bottom rope. Kingston misses the 12 Large Elbow. Kingston hits three shotgun lariats for two. Kingston delivers a backfist. Sweeney ducks a second. Kingston sits down on Sweeney’s piledriver attempt to get the pin and the title at 10:14. I really liked what they did here with Sweeney working the throat all match long only for Kingston to squeak out a win and steal his title. This was a great next chapter after their YLC IV match and I anticipate their next encounter. ***

Sweeney is completely incensed with anger when he sees Kingston carrying the belt in his mouth. So much so he foams at the mouth when yelling at Bryce Remsburg. He even knocks down some chairs and a trashcan on his way to the back.

The Lance Steel who was victorious earlier tonight comes back to the ring. He admits that his and Lance Steel’s match tonight was confusing. What is not confusing though, is that there is not room for him and the other Lance Steel in the present. He proposes a “Loser Leaves the Present” match between the two of them next month in Hellertown. That match will end up happening.

Chris Hero reminds us that the last time he was in Hellertown, it was the first steps he and Claudio took to becoming Campeones de Parejas. He knows his opponent Shane Storm is a hard worker, but Hero says it’s his skill that makes him better. He will show the people the difference between a lowly peasant and a king. Shane Storm is then standing with Jigsaw. He talks about how he was able to defeat the Kings of Wrestling when push comes to shove (defeating Icarus at YLC III and defeating Akuma in Mask vs. Mask). He and Jigsaw are confident they will win both their matches tonight. Arik Cannon interrupts to ask if he can join Storm and Jigsaw in a six man tag next month. They seem open to the thought, but ask Cannon to let them think about it. He encourages them to defeat Icarus and Hero tonight. He even suggests that they could all bring their Young Lions Cups if they team next month. Storm likes how that sounds.

Shane Storm vs. Chris Hero {KOW}

Hero shoulder blocks Storm after being unable to grab a headlock. Storm armdrags Hero twice and delivers a toreador. Hero side steps a dropkick. Storm blocks him coming off the ropes. He flips into an armdrag, sending Hero to the floor. Storm goes for a dive. He rolls through but eats a big boot. That was a cool sequence. Hero slingshot stomps Storm back in the ring. Hero headbutts him right on his forehead. Storm gets up an elbow to block a corner attack. He snaps off a huracanrana but eats a powerslam. Hero gets two with a senton. Hero tosses Storm out of the ring. This awesome moment happens: Hero runs around the venue, jumps onto the ledge that stands between the entrance stage and the ring, and comes down with a double stomp onto Storm! Even though he capitalizes on a pin right away Storm kicks out. Hero is quite the loud mouth while he stomps and keeps on Storm. He lets his guard down and Storm rolls him up for two. Storm gets his knees up to block a senton. Storm hits a spinwheel kick to send Hero to the floor. Storm steps on Hero’s hand when Hero ducks. Storm armdrags his way to the floor. Storm huracanrana’s Hero from the ring apron. Back in the ring Storm gets two with a DDT. Storm goes for the Air Raid Crash. Hero Saito suplexes Storm to block. He gives Storm a cravate breaker. Storm fights out of the Hero’s Welcome. He kicks out the legs and goes for That Japanese Move. Hero backdrops Storm, but Storm sunset flips him for two. He German suplexes Hero for two. Storm goes for That Japanese Move again. Hero just clobbers him with a right hand for the pin at 12:08. Hero and Storm really laid into each other while keeping a nice quick pace. If there were any people Storm worked well with it was the Kings of Wrestling. ***1/2

Mike Quackenbush lets us know that he requested a match tonight with Gran Akuma. Since Tag World 2005, he says the Kings of Wrestling have been a thorn in his and the rest of CHIKARA’s sides. He notes how Hero refers to them as predators, but Quackenbush plans to turn the tables on him. He plans to take out the Kings of Wrestling one-by-one leaving Chris Hero for last. Even though Hero took a vow to never face Quackenbush in a singles match ever again, Quackenbush does not plan to let that promise stand. He knows that they have been talking about targeting his back (which he’s had two surgeries done on) but he’s ready for that attack. He reiterates the fact that he plans to make the Kings of Wrestling the hunted instead of the hunters from now on.

Mike Quackenbush vs. Gran Akuma {F}

They kick each others’ legs upon locking up. Akuma obviously wins that exchange. Quackenbush shoves him to the corner and punches his mid-section. A running corner Thesz Press and the Kangaroo Blaster lead to double knees and a one count. Quackenbush gives him a gut buster. A slingshot double stomp and slingshot senton get him a two count. Quackenbush sentons onto his back for another two count. Akuma stops a huracanrana by running Quackenbush’s chest to the corner. Akuma hits a coast-to-coast dropkick while Quackenbush dangles from the top rope. Quackenbush kicks out of the pin. Akuma’s bow and arrow fails so he kicks Quackenbush in the back. Quackenbush kicks Akuma in the forehead to try and get him off his back. Akuma kicks him again before locking on the sharpshooter. Quackenbush scurries to the ropes to break the hold. Akuma kicks him in the corner. Quackenbush boots Akuma away. He alita’s Akuma into a roll up for two. Akuma baits him into a powerslam for two. A simple suplex gives Quackenbush great pain. So does a spinebuster. Akuma puts on a half crab. Quackenbush escapes. Quackenbush catches his corner attack and delivers a release German suplex. Akuma rolls out of the way of an Arabian Press. Quackenbush headbutts Akuma in the chest to send him to the floor. Quackenbush suicide dives after him. Back in the ring he hits a missile dropkick. Windmill chops, a bulldog, and a dropkick to the head only earn a two count. Quackenbush powerbombs Akuma for two. Akuma shrugs off the Black Tornado Slam. A modified Lightning Spiral leads to a crucifix pin for two. Quackenbush ducks Akuma’s kick, but it leads to Akuma hitting the Yoshi Tonic for two. Akuma blocks a palm strike with a backbreaker for two. Akuma sets up for the 450 splash. Quackenbush moves out of its trajectory. Quackenbush blocks the second Yoshi Tonic. He connects with the Palm Strike and the Quackendriver III for the pin at 13:13. I like both of these guys quite a bit and even I was surprised by just how good this was. It was so smartly worked. The fans were totally behind Quackenbush even thought they respected the work Akuma put in (as noted by their applause as he walked to the back). If this was only Quackenbush’s first match in running through the Kings of Wrestling, I can’t wait for the others. ***1/2

Young Lions Cup
Arik Cannon (Champion) vs. Jon Moxley

This is Cannon’s first defense of the Cup. Moxley defeated Cannon in May, before Cannon won the Cup, so it makes sense he would get a shot. Cannon snaps off an armdrag to send Moxley to the corner. He does it again after headbutting Moxley’s out stretched arm. Cannon stomps on his hand. He fails to get a female fan to kiss it for him. The fan is actually independent wrestling valet Noel Harlow, who as of this writing is engaged to Big Vito of WWE/WCW fame. How bout that? Moxley sends Cannon out with a dropkick. Turnabout is fair play as Moxley steps on his hand. Harlow kisses Cannon’s hand which does not sit well with Moxley. So much so that he punches Cannon in the side of his face. Just for that Cannon kisses her on the lips. God forbid Vito see this match today. Moxley puts on a headlock. Cannon gives him three armdrags. Cannon throws Moxley’s head into the top turnbuckle multiple times. Moxley grabs Bryce to stop Cannon. He forearms him in the back of the neck. Moxley rakes Cannon’s eyes across the top rope. Cannon ducks a clothesline and cradles Moxley for two. Cannon chops him up but gets mowed down with a back elbow. Moxley puts on a straight jacket choke after a legdrop. Cannon escapes and begins exchanging blows. Cannon drops Moxley with a neckbreaker. Cannon backdrops Moxley out of the corner. Total Anarchy gets him a two count. He sets up for the Anarchist Hammer. Moxley instead puts on a sleeper. Even though Cannon escapes twice, Moxley is able to put it back on. Moxley sneaks in a Death Valley Driver for two. Moxley reapplies the Sleeper, but Cannon escapes with a Saito suplex. Moxley gets whipped to the corner. He boots Cannon and goes up top. Cannon catches him coming off with an exploder the suplex. The Glimmering Warlock gets the pin at 13:23. While the psychology was sound, this failed to have a real story and couldn’t follow up to the excellent matches that proceeded it. Most of that I blame on Moxley, who was inexplicably more pedestrian and low key here than his previous CHIKARA outings. **1/2

Icarus pulls off his face the mask he stole from Jigsaw last month. Icarus says Jigsaw did the dumbest thing he could have done – made it personal by saying he wanted to take his hair. If he were Jigsaw, he wouldn’t worry about being unmasked by rather his neck and his career. He plans to put Jigsaw on the shelf along with Mister ZERO and Jolly Roger.

Lucha de Apuesta – Mask vs. Hair
Jigsaw vs. Icarus {F}

If Jigsaw loses, he must unmask. If Icarus loses, his head will be shaved.

Icarus brings out the mask he stole to taunt Jigsaw with it. Gran Akuma is in Icarus’ corner while Shane Storm is in Jigsaw’s. Both men aggressively jockey for position. Jigsaw takes a mount of sorts but gets kicked away. Jigsaw key locks the legs and stretches Icarus’ back out. Jigsaw grabs the ropes when Icarus grabs his leg. Jigsaw locks his foot behind Icarus’ neck while grabbing his leg. Icarus gets the ropes. Icarus pulls Jigsaw out to the floor where he wails on his back with forearms. Jigsaw responds with some chops. Jigsaw sweeps Icarus’ legs back in the ring. He comes in with a double stomp to the back. Jigsaw gets one with a knee to the head. He stomps Icarus like crazy down in the corner. Akuma grabs Jigsaw’s leg when Icarus whips him to the ropes. Jigsaw backdrops Icarus onto Akuma to block the Wings of Icarus. Jigsaw tope con hilo’s onto both of them. Akuma grabs Jigsaw’s leg again so Icarus can get a kick in. Icarus legdrops Jigsaw as he dangles on the second rope for two. Icarus’ fisherman’s suplex and senton both get a two count. Same goes for a neckbreaker. Icarus clotheslines Jigsaw when he breaks the headlock. Jigsaw and Icarus knock each other down with stereo boots. Jigsaw comes off the top, only for Icarus to spear him in mid-air! Jigsaw still manages to kick out. Icarus goes after the mask. He stops upon realizing that if he is disqualified, he will still have to shave his head. Icarus delivers a fallaway slam and goes for the Burning Wings. Jigsaw manages to grab the ropes. Icarus puts on a Camel Clutch, forearming his face in the process. Jigsaw headbutts his way free and backs Icarus to the corner. Jigsaw blocks a superkick with an enzuigiri. A forearm strike exchange devolves into slaps. Jigsaw ends it with a Blue Thunder Bomb, getting a two count. Jigsaw misses a boot. Icarus gives him a reverse DDT for two. Jigsaw comes back with a brainbuster for two. Icarus blocks the Rack Bomb. He drops Jigsaw with a TKO for two. Jigsaw knees out of another reverse DDT. Icarus rolls through an O’Conner Roll. Akuma holds Icarus’ hands to assist with the pin but Storm knocks him down with That Japanese Move. Jigsaw blocks the Shiranui. He drops him with the Jig N’ Tonic for two. Jigsaw hands him in the tree of woe. Icarus avoids a double stomp. Icarus grabs Bryce so Akuma can give Jigsaw a Falcon Arrow on the floor! Jigsaw seems down and out, but manages to crawl back into the ring right before the twenty count. Icarus gives him another Falcon Arrow for two. A leaping reverse DDT gets him two again. Icarus goes for the Jig N’ Tonic himself. He hits it and Jigsaw kicks out. Icarus ducks an enzuigiri and German suplexes Jigsaw. Jigsaw superkicks him and happens to fall onto Icarus for two. Icarus blocks the Leap of Faith. He sets up for a super Wings of Icarus. Jigsaw turns it into a super Jig N’ Tonic for the pin at 22:44. They did an amazing job of making Jigsaw seem hopeless during the match. Icarus shoved Jigsaw’s stolen mask in his face and used his own finisher to taunt him, but it ended up backfiring when Jigsaw used it (off the second rope no less) to pick up the victory. This was exactly how the feud should have ended. This match stands the test of time. ***3/4

Icarus has to be revived with a smelling salt. He is freaking out over the loss and goes to bail out the back door. When he opens the door, Jolly Roger appears to stop him! Icarus then tries to go out the front door only to be met by Mister ZERO! The two men whose careers that Icarus ended are back to make sure he upholds the humiliating stipulation. How awesome is that? Icarus is crying as he sits in the middle of the ring. Leonard F. Chikarason and Bryce Remsburg have to restrain Icarus while Jigsaw does the honors of cutting his hair. He of course lets ZERO and Roger take a turn cutting as well. Akuma ends up covering Icarus’ head before the job is done and takes him backstage. A minute or two later, Mike Quackenbush brings Icarus back out so Jigsaw and his crew can finish the job. Icarus runs backstage with some hair left, but most of it sits in a pile in the ring.

Backstage Icarus is freaking out when looking in the mirror. Akuma tries to calm him down by saying the bald look works for him personally. This does not make Icarus happy, so he storms off.

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