From Zero to Hero (& Castagnoli)


Barnesville, PA – 11.12.2006

Commentary is provided by Larry Sweeney, Bryce Remsburg, Chris Hero, and UltraMantis Black.

The show title represents the theme of this show. An eight team tournament will take place. The winning team will have been victorious in three tag matches and thus will haved earned a Campeonatos de Parejas shot against reigning champions Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli. The winners will challenge Hero and Claudio in five days at “Brick” in Reading, PA. In just one night, one team will go from zero points to a shot against Hero and Castagnoli.

The show opens with a promo of the debuting Olsen Twins. Colin introduces them via Humpty Dance lyrics. Jimmy Olsen has a trap set up with a Savage Garden tape inside, which presumably is known for trapping wild Cloudy’s (Cheech and Cloudy are their opponents). They notice someone in the trap and pull it. It turns out to be Hydra, who apparently also loves Savage Garden. He scares the Olsens away so he can enjoy the tape by himself.

Tag Team Tournament Quarter-Final Round
Cheech & Cloudy vs. Colin Olsen {OT} & Jimmy Olsen {OT}

Jimmy stomps on Cheech’s hand. They each go for some various pin attempts. Cheech ends up putting Jimmy in a reverse parachute stretch. Cheech frightens the Olsens. He then baits them into a double crossbody from Cloudy. He and Colin trade some pinfalls themselves. Cheech headbutts him in the chest while holding onto a double knuckle lock. Cheech and Cloudy drop him with a tandem side Russian legsweep for two. Cheech sends him out with a leg lariat. Jimmy throws Cheech to the floor. He misses an Asai moonsault and Cloudy comes tumbling onto him. Colin uses the ropes to assist with a Frankensteiner to Cheech on the floor. The Olsens continue to beat down Cheech back in the ring. They actually show off some really impressive offense, but Cheech uses a simple suplex and yakuza kick to take down Jimmy and tag in Cloudy. After some elbows he gets a two count on both opponents. The M-Pro comedy spot leads to Colin and Cloudy pulling off stereo reverse huracanrana’s. They then knock each other down with stereo crossbody’s. Jimmy flings Cheech to the floor. Cloudy however manages to take on both Olsens on by himself. The Olsens end up catching him with a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo. Cheech is there to break the pin. Colin kamikaze suplexes himself and Cheech to the floor. Cloudy drops Jimmy with a Yoshi Tonic for the pin at 11:19. The Olsens had a terrific debut here. They had the right mix of humor and wrestling that makes certain people in CHIKARA successful. As good as this match was, they would have an even better showing in 2007. The Olsens turn down Cheech and Cloudy’s handshake. ***

Incoherence (Delirious & Hallowicked) are backstage. Both of them rant while Hallowicked holds onto a pack of printer paper. Delirious ends saying “Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, we coming for you, n-word!” To clarify, Delirious actually says n-word, not the actual word. I love the Booker T callback.

Tag Team Tournament Quarter-Final Round
Hallowicked {I} & Delirious {I} vs. Fire Ant {C} & Soldier Ant {C}

The Colony’s intro in this match has my all time favorite Larry Sweeney moment. If you have no clue what I am talking about, stop reading this and watch this video right now. Delirious freaks at the bell. Fire Ant gets Hallowicked in an abdominal stretch which he switches into a satellite headscissors. Dizzy, Fire Ant tags in Delirious. He seems ready to fight Hallowicked but then goes to the floor to bother some child. Fire Ant uses the ropes to snap off an armdrag. Hallowicked takes him down with a super snapmare for two. Fire Ant cascades up into a fireman’s carry. Delirious and Soldier Ant tag in. Delirious does not know what to make of his saluting. He asks Soldier Ant if he’s a punk. Soldier Ant rolls him up for two. He puts on a courting hold and cradles Delirious for another two count. Delirious slams Soldier Ant off of his shoulders. He says he’s going to squash Soldier Ant and stands on his back. Hallowicked slingshots in with a kick to Soldier Ant’s back. Soldier Ant armdrags Delirious to block a double backdrop. He puts Hallowicked in abdominal stretch before armdragging him to his corner. The Colony gives him the Ants Marching neckbreaker for two. Hallowicked blocks Soldier Ant’s bodyscissors by slamming him face first into the mat. Incoherence make some quick tags to keep Soldier Ant in their corner while also staying fresh. Soldier Ant ends up sunset flipping Hallowicked and giving him a GiANT Swing. Fire Ant comes in with dropkicks for all. He and Soldier Ant dropkick Incohernece to the floor. They of course dive after them. In the ring, Delirious hits Fire Ant with the Panic Attack. He follows with the In Vitro Fertilization but Soldier Ant breaks the pin. He gives Delirious a diving headbutt and Hallowicked breaks that pin. He drops Soldier Ant with a Rydeen Bomb. He gives Fire Ant the Graveyard Smash for the pin at 14:01. Incoherence becomes more awesome with each passing match. So do the Colony, who probably had their most significant match up to this point here. This was different from the opening match but just as good. It got a little too armdrag happy at one point but so did a lot of early CHIKARA matches. ***

The Silver Bullets are backstage in some ridiculous outfits. They cut a bland promo about how evildoers should beware.

Tag Team Tournament Quarter-Final Round
Silver Bullet #1 & Silver Bullet #2 vs. Icarus {F} & Gran Akuma {F}

Akuma starts with 2. After some wristlock exchanges, 2 trips Akuma into a legdrop from 1. Icarus comes in and gets caught with a double Side Russian Legsweep. 1 hip tosses Icarus out of the corner before snapping off three consecutive armdrags. Akuma kicks 1 from the apron so that Icarus can hit him with a dropkick. F.I.S.T. isolate 1 in their half of the ring, even using some new tandem combinations. 1 fires up from Akuma’s chest kicks. He slingshots Akuma to the corner and makes a tag out to 2. He slams F.I.S.T. onto each other before slamming 1 on top of them. He splashes F.I.S.T. for a two count. He gives Icarus a modified Roll of the Dice. Akuma breaks the cover. Akuma gives him the Cheetah Swipe. 1 pulls Akuma off of his partner. He hits the Bullet Point (a tornado DDT) for two. 2 puts his cape on and goes up top. The Bullets give Icarus the Rocket Launcher. Akuma saves his partner from an upset loss. Akuma gives 1 a Falcon Arrow. He follows that with a 450 splash for the pin at 9:16. I was expecting an unmitigated disaster based on the Bullets promo. They’re actually pretty solid wrestlers, just bland. The winners were never in doubt although that Rocket Launcher did seem to have the crowd buying into the Bullets for a minute. **1/4

Irish Airborne are backstage. Dave Crist isn’t sure who the BLK Out are, but he plans to take CHIKARA by storm regardless.

Tag Team Tournament Quarter-Final Round
Jake Crist & Dave Crist vs. Sabian {BO} & Joker {BO}

Joker suplexes Jake to escape a side headlock. Dave key locks Sabian’s legs and goes for a chinlock. Sabian doesn’t allow it. He puts on a headscissors. On their feet Sabian grabs a side headlock. After an armdrag exchange, Sabian sends Dave out with a headscissors. He drops the top rope to send Jake out also. Sabian tope con hilo’s onto both of them. Joker throws Jake into the ring post so that he and Sabian can work over Dave back in the ring. Joker damn near kills him on a suplex. Dave is able to tag out fairly quickly. Jake lays I some punches to Sabian and nails a dropkick for two. Jake and Sabian trade chops. Jake thumbs Sabian in the eyes and forearms Joker to the floor. Just like that, the dynamic of the match changes, with the Airborne using some Rudo tactics to keep Sabian isolated. Bryce proves why he is the greatest by dropping a Buster Bluth reference on commentary when Dave misses a quebrada. Joker tags in. Sabian gives Jake the Facelift dropkick and Joker follows with a cannonball senton. Dave breaks the pin. The Airborne maul Joker in the corner. Dave gets two with a slingshot DDT. Dave saves his brother from BLK Out’s double stomp/torture rack combo. The Airborne give Joker the Irish Air Raid for the pin at 9:14. There’s no doubt the Airborne have vastly improved since 2006, but even back then they were still quite good. I was expecting them to get killed by the BLK Out. The dynamic shift in the middle actually worked really well and helped to set them up as the Rudos in Round Two. **3/4

UltraMantis Black is backstage with Crossbones. Crossbones apologizes for referring to them as The Dark Breed at the last show. He says they’re apparently now the Order of the Neo-Nazi Temple. Mantis is quick to correct him: they are now the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple. Mantis notices the trap from the Olsens twins behind him. He pulls up the box and Hydra is underneath covered in lights while still jamming to the Savage Garden tape.

Equinox, Retail Dragon & Trik Davis vs. UltraMantis Black {ONT}, Hydra {ONT} & Crossbones {ONT}

Crossbones blocks Dragon’s armdrag with his own Japanese variation. Dragon trips him. Dragon avoids being tripped and hits a standing tumbleweed senton. Crossbones rolls to the floor to bring in Hydra. Davis chops him in the neck. Hydra stomps on his toes so he can put on a Japanese stranglehold. Davis reverses. He gets in a few pin attempts, causing Hydra to retreat. Mantis and Equinox tag in. Equinox monkey flips him out of the corner and hits a dropkick. Mantis places Equinox in the Order’s corner. Crossbones accidentally assists Equinox with a headscissors. He makes up for it by kicking Equinox in the side of the head when he looks for a dive. Equinox gets bullied by the Order. Davis tries saving his partner, but also falls victim to some triple teaming. Equinox manages to trip Hydra to the floor, now leaving Dragon with Mantis and Crossbones. Dragon manages to counter their double suplex attempt with a double DDT. Davis double dropkicks Mantis and Hydra to the floor and suicide dives onto them. Dragon dropkicks Crossbones and sends him out with an enzuigiri. Dragon somersault sentons after him from the top rope. In the ring, Equinox hits a standing shooting star press on Hydra. Mantis makes the save. He gives Equinox the Praying Mantis Driver. Dragon tries a dropkick but Mantis swipes him off. He gives Dragon a Burning Hammer for the pin at 10:01. More or less a match to establish the Order as a cohesive trio. The other team also had a good outing, but the action was kind of everywhere and never really came together. **1/2

Tag Team Tournament Semi-Final Round
Hallowicked {I} & Delirious {I} vs. Icarus {F} & Gran Akuma {F}

This is a rematch from CHIKARA’s last Barnesville show in which F.I.S.T. picked up the victory. Icarus uses a chinbreaker to escape Hallowicked’s chin lock. They trade pin attempts. Hallowicked sends Icarus to the floor with a step-up Frankensteiner. Delirious breaks a lock-up with Akuma in the corner and screams in his face. They exchange hammerlocks before trading holds on the mat. Delirious gets two with a running crossbody. He armdrags Akuma into a crucifix pin. Hallowicked puts on a hammerlock. Akuma rolls out and tags in Icarus. Icarus ducks a yakuza kick and spears Hallowicked for two. Akuma kicks him against the ropes. Icarus chokes him on the ropes and gets two with a fisherman’s suplex. Hallowicked continues to be beaten by F.I.S.T. until he uses the Lucha rules when being whipped to the corner to go over the top and to the floor. Delirious traps both F.I.S.T. members with the Neverending Story clothesline. He bulldogs Akuma for two. Delirious gives Icarus a Cobra Clutch backbreaker for two after countering the Wings of Icarus. Deliious tosses Icarus into Hallowicked’s Go 2 Sleepy Hollow. Icarus kicks out of Delirious’ pin. Alums sends Hallowicked to the floor. Delirious eats a barrage of kicks. Hallowicked comes back in and gives Akuma a Rydeen Bomb. Icarus makes the save. Icarus blocks the step-up Frankensteiner. He gives him a Shiranui for two. Delirious gives Akuma an enzuigiri. Icarus comes back in and gives him the Wings of Icarus for the pin at 14:27. A much better match for F.I.S.T. and another match for Incoherence on par with their first round encounter. I always like seeing Hallowicked and Icarus wrestle given their history and Akuma and Delirious did very well in their roles. Icarus and Akuma look more cohesive than ever. ***

Tag Team Tournament Semi-Final Round
Cheech & Cloudy vs. Jake Crist & Dave Crist

Dave gives Cloudy a couple armdrags. Cloudy snaps off a couple of his own and holds onto Dave’s arm. Dave uses the ropes to armdrag away, but Cloudy sends him out with a satellite headscissors. Jake clothelines him to the floor. Cheech runs the ropes in a knuckle lock. He takes down Jake with an armdrag, and then a forward roll headscissors. Jake sends him out. Jake goes for a dive but Cheech dives in from the floor with a spear. Cloudy suplexes Jake into a slingshot senton from Cheech for two. Jake knees Cloudy as he comes off the ropes. The Airborne give him a tandem waterwheel slam. Dave catches him with a quebrada press for two. Cloudy enzuigiri’s both Crist brothers. Cheech trades forearms with Jake. He drops Jake with a STO. Dave breaks the pin. He gives Cheech a hammerlock suplex. Cloudy gives him a tornado DDT. Jake strings a facebuster and neckbreaker together. Cheech takes Jake off the top rope and hits the Deluxe for the pin at 6:15. They sure did pack a lot of action into six minutes. I’m kind of surprised the Airborne didn’t come back after this show because they did a really good job. Probably the most energetic match of the tournament so far. **3/4

Osiris vs. Kazuchika Okada {TX}

Osiris is from the UWA Hardcore promotion, where Okada has also been working lately with his partner/trainer Ultimo Dragon. Okada twists on Osiris’ leg. Osiris rolls away. He then rolls Okada into a clutch whilst pulling on Okada’s arm. They trade side headlocks. Osiris puts Okada in another clutch for a two count. Okada gives him an armdrag and a dropkick. He gets two with a back senton. They trade chops. Osiris knees Okada in the corner, then snapmares him into a seated abdominal stretch. Okada gives him a big boot upon escape. He throws multiple chops at Osiris’ head for two. Osiris pokes him in the eyes and gives him a belly-to-back suplex. He drops Okada with a reverse brainbuster but Okada gets his foot on the ropes. He goes for it again. Okada slips out and hits a clothesline. He gets the pin at 7:02 with a bridging German suplex. CHIKARA went on record on their own Twitter to call this the worst match in CHIKARA history. I disagree. The LWA Showcase was much worse. Those guys botched so much stuff on CHIKARA’s biggest show of 2009 and were actively hated by the fans. These two just had a very boring match on a random show in front of a few dozen people who could not possibly care less about either guy. Then again, they got an ovation at the end and not “don’t come back” chants. ½*

Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, and Larry Sweeney laugh maniacally with their respective titles around their arms. Hero calls them a bonafide dream team. Sweeney says Kingston is the King of Nothing (not Diamonds) who is too stupid to know when to quit. It will be his pleasure to beat Kingston, along with Mike Quackenbush and Shane Storm in Barnesville tonight.

Mike Quackenbush, Shane Storm & Eddie Kingston vs. Chris Hero {KOW}, Claudio Castagnoli {KOW} & Larry Sweeney

Hero and Kingston shove each other. Kingston uncharacteristically uses some Lucha to take control. Hero bails to the floor. Sweeney and Storm tag in. Storm takes him down with a satellite headscissors. Storm cartwheels out of Sweeney’s headscissors attempt and dropkicks him to the floor. Storm tope con hilo’s after him. Claudio elbows Quackenbush down. Quackenbush makes fools out of Hero and Claudio by evading all their offense and using them to inadvertently hurt one another. Sweeney falls victim to the same chicanery. Quackenbush armdrags his way out of Claudio’s Mad Scientist Bomb. Kingston goes after Sweeney but gets jumped from behind by Hero. This gives the Kings and Sweeney the opportunity to wear down Kingston in their half of the ring. Claudio and Hero immediately jump on him when he begins to chop Sweeney in the corner. Hero accidentally sends Kingston to the floor, which tags in Storm. Hero grabs his legs and carries him back to the corner where Claudio and Sweeney put the boots to him. Just like Kingston, they end up booting Storm to the floor. Quackenbush jumps in and he too falls to the triple teaming of the Rudos. He escapes when Claudio pops him up and Quackenbush dropkicks Hero on his way down. He tags in Kingston who fights off Hero and Claudio with elbows. Sweeney tries to bail but Storm pushes him towards Kingston. Kingston gets in some strikes before Hero and Claudio jump him. Kingston and Storm double German suplex them. They then hit double That Japanese Moves. Sweeney breaks Storm’s cover on Claudio. Sweeney drops Storm with a Gord Buster. Quackenbush shoves Sweeney off the top rope. Kingston slams him and puts on the Kondo Clutch. Claudio uppercuts Kingston to break the hold. Quackenbush palm strikes him to the floor. Hero gives Quackenbush a release suplex. Storm goes for That Japanese Move. Hero ducks so Storm Oklahoma rolls him for two. The Kings throw Storm up in the air for a tandem slam. Sweeney gives him the 12 Large Elbow. Quackenbush breaks the cover. Hero puts Storm in a cravate. Strom turns that into the Air Raid Crash. Sweeney give Storm a piledriver. Kingston Saito suplexes Sweeney. Claudio gives Kingston the Alpamare Waterslide. Quackenbush turns La Mistica into a Skayde schoolboy to pin Claudio at 17:51. The repeated heat segments got a little redundant, but things were rocking by the end. They gave us a little taste of Kingston and Sweeney, but not enough to satiate our appetites before their pay off. It also was a nice continuation of Quackenbush and Storm’s feud with the Kings. This was a nice way to mix some current feuds while also providing some great action. ***1/2

Joker and Sabian come out to talk to Eddie Kingston. They show Kingston respect and hand him his CZW Championship.

Tag Team Tournament Finals
Cheech & Cloudy vs. Icarus {F} & Gran Akuma {F}

The winners of this match earn a shot at The Kings of Wrestling’s Campeones de Parejas, which they will cash in Friday night in Reading, PA. F.I.S.T. attack before the bell. Icarus pounds on Cloudy on the floor while Akuma chops Cheech in the corner. He misses a splash. Cheech headscissors him to the floor. He Fosbury flops into an armdrag on Akuma. Cloudy gives Icarus a flying forearm. He tries a sunset flip but Icarus sits down on it and throws multiple punches. Akuma puts Cloudy in a Cattle Mutilation. He releases and gets a two count. Cloudy is bleeding a little from between his eyes as Icarus throws more punches at his face. F.I.S.T. drop him with a tandem facebuster for two. They keep going after Cloudy’s face until he eventually escapes with a DDT to Akuma and a chinbreaker to Icarus. Cheech powerslams Icarus and fisherman suplexes Akuma. He gets two on Akuma with the Burnout. Icarus falls victim to Partly Cloudy with a chance of Cheech. Akuma breaks the pin. He takes a superkick/enzuigiri combo. Icarus saves his partner from being pinned. He hits the Wings of Icarus on Cheech, then rolls him into the Burning Wings. Cheech makes it to the ropes to break the submission. He manages to get up Icarus for the Deluxe. Cheech fires up but gets kicked down by Akuma. Akuma goes for the Yoshi Tonic. Cloudy stops him with an enzuigiri. He hits his own Yoshi Tonic on Akuma and gets two. Akuma gets placed on the top rope. Icarus gives Cloudy a Shiranui. Akuma hits a 450 splash with his knees to get the pin and the title shot at 11:45. Both teams came off like they really wanted to win. I really enjoy how both teams went back to what worked in their previous contests, as well as Icarus busting out the Burning Wings for the first time in awhile. More importantly, this elevated Cheech and Cloudy to being serious contenders even in loss. We now have an all Kings of Wrestling title match set for “Brick” in Reading. ***1/4


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