Easton, PA – 2.1.2014
Commentary is provided by Dan Yost, Gavin Loudspeaker, Leonard F. Chikarason, and Bryce Remsburg.
2 out of 3 Falls
Drew Gulak vs. Colt Cabana
This is a rematch from the final “Wrestling is Art” show, which ended in a double pinfall draw, hence the 2 out of 3 falls stipulation. Cabana brings Gulak to the mat in a wristlock. Gulak gets to his feet and reverses it. Cabana maneuvers around and tries a reverse key lock to the legs. Gulak gets the ropes. He puts Cabana in a full nelson. Gulak transitions into a hammerlock. Cabana frees himself. He puts on a hammerlock. He sends Gulak to the ropes and schoolyard trips him. He tries a bodyslam, but Gulak falls into a lateral press for two. Cabana digs his foot into Gulak’s left leg. He then key locks the legs. Gulak twists out applying a cravate. Cabana launches Gulak into the ropes, and Gulak rolls to the floor. He comes back in and headbutts Cabana in the stomach twice after whipping Caban to the ropes. On the third try, Cabana attempts a sunset flip. Gulak reverses into a jackknife pin. Gulak tries a schoolyard trip but Cabana sees it coming and avoids it. Gulak avoids a flying hip attack and prawn holds Cabana for a two count. Gulak slides under Cabana’s legs. He rolls him into a Gedo Clutch. Cabana gets the ropes to avoid the pin. Cabana tries crawling under Gulak’s legs after hopping off the second rope, but Gulak backs away to avoid it. Cabana looks for a test of strength, then elbows Gulak in the face. He gets two with a bodyslam. Gulak headbutts him in the stomach twice. Cabana tries another body slam. Gulak slips out and applies the Gu-Lock. Cabana taps out at 7:53, giving Gulak the first fall. Gulak avoids a boot from Cabana as he charges him in the corner. Cabana hops over Gulak. Gulak rolls him into a Gedo Clutch. Cabana reverses it into the Billy Goat’s Curse. Gulak taps out at 8:57, tying up the match at one fall a piece. Caban goes for the Billy Goat’s Curse again. Gulak kicks out his leg and goes for the Gu-Lock again. Cabana lifts up Gulak. He rolls Gulak into a seated pendulum stretch. Cabana transitions into a leg-capture Regal Stretch. Gulak submits at 10:56. This was a fine pro wrestling match to kick off the show. These two are very proficient technical wrestlers and showcased their skills and abilities from bell to bell. They whipped in a little story too, making it an all around success. ***
The Estonian Thunderfrog, Latvian Proud Oak & Lithuanian Snow Troll vs. The Proletariat Boar of Moldova, Mr. Azerbaijan & The Brown Morning of Belarus
The Polar Baron is in the Bloc Party’s corner. He destroyed the Estonian Thunderfrog’s hammer in “Wrestling is Fun!” and is carrying the remnants of the hammer with him. Azerbaijan uses a handshake to bait Oak into a kick to the stomach and a series of forearm smashes to the back. Oak back elbows Azerbaijan to the mat. He picks him up and hip tosses him five times. He lands a back senton for two. Azerbaijan and Oak engage in a backrake battle. Azerbaijan comes off the second rope with a backrake, sending Oak to the apron. Oak comes off the top with a backrake to one up him. Troll ducks a double clothesline from Boar and Morning. They end up slamming him out of a running crossbody attempt. Thunderfrog comes in to even the odds, attacking the Boar. Boar misses a kick and is sent to the floor. Troll drop toe holds Morning onto the second rope. He and Thunderfrog give Morning the Broken Arrow. Boar big boots the Troll. Thunderfrog Thesz Presses the Boar. Thunderfrog rolls into a forearm to Boar in the corner. He then gets a two count with a bridging Northern Lights suplex. He sends Morning to the floor and puts Boar in a tree of woe. Oak holds Morning over the Boar as he sits on the top rope. Thunderfrog and Troll suplex Azerbaijan onto both of his partners. The Polar Baron attacks Oak from behind, allowing the Bloc Party to take control and wear down Oak in their corner. Oak and Azerbaijan knock heads. This gives Oak a moment to tag in Thunderfrog. He Estonian Stampede’s Boar, then slams Morning on top of him for two. Troll comes off the top with a dropkick to the Boar. Azerbaijan releases Oak out of a suplex. He does the same to the Thunderfrog. He tries it on the Troll, but Oak and Thunderfrog catch him and ram him head first into Azerbaijan’s stomach and posterior, sending him to the floor onto Morning. Troll tope con hilo’s onto both of them. Oak falls off of the ring apron onto the three of them. The Thunderfrog looks to Asai moonsault onto everybody, but the Boar gores him onto the pile instead! Boar goes for a pin on the Thunderfrog but the Oak breaks it up. Azerbaijan gives Oak a pump-handle slam. Troll knees Azerbaijan in the stomach, then gives him the Lithuanian Destroyer. Morning goes for a suplex. Troll counters into a small package for the pin at 15:13. This was fun, and if you were following Wrestling is Fun! at this time, this was a satisfying conclusion to this feud. The problem is, most people don’t, so for some of my friends and viewers at home it was confusing as to who these guys were. The wrestling itself was quite good with some strong moments of action. The Morning is pretty dreadful, but thankfully his participation was kept minimal. I found this to be very fun. **¾
The Polar Baron attacks the Troll right at the bell. The rest of the Bloc Party joins him. The Thunderfrog brings out a new, larger hammer. The Boar and Mr. Azerbaijan take notice and bail. Oak slams Morning. Thunderfrog comes off the top with the hammer, nailing Morning in the chest with it! The Bloc Party has to carry him to the back. It would be the last time we would see The Brown Morning of Belarus, ever.
Hallowicked vs. Michael Bennett
Bennett receives a “you tapped out” chant, referencing the fact that he tapped out to the CHIKARA Special, applied by Hallowicked in the finals of the 2012 King of Trios. Bennett escapes Hallowicked’s side headlock and shoulder blocks him down. Bennett avoids Hallowicked’s running shoulder block and mocks him with a Young Bucks pose. Bennett shoulder blocks him again. Bennett grabs the ropes after ducking a leapfrog. Hallowicked clotheslines Bennett to the floor. When Bennett comes back in, Hallowicked catches his leapfrog and schoolboys him for two. Bennett rolls to the floor after taking a step-up enzuigiri. Hallowicked looks for a suicide dive but Bennett clocks him with a forearm strike to stop him. In the ring, Bennett clotheslines Hallowicked in the corner. He applies a chinlock while digging his knee into Hallowicked’s back. He drops Hallowicked with a spinebuster for two. Bennett looks for a piledriver on the ring apron. When Hallowicked avoids it, the two of them trade forearms on apon. Hallowicked superkicks Bennett while Bennett big boots Hallowicked. Hallowicked makes it into the ring first and suicide dives onto Bennett. In the ring, Bennett clobbers Hallowicked with a right hand. Hallowicked responds with a Rydeen Bomb for two. Bennett gives him a chinlock. He hits the Photo Finish for two. Hallowicked sends Bennett to the corner with a Frankensteiner. Bennett superkicks him to block an oncoming charge. He hits the Box Office Smash for two. Bennett looks for the piledriver, but Hallowicked counters with a jackknife pin. Hallowicked cracks him with a yakuza kick. Bennett avoids the CHIKARA Special. Hallowicked rolls out of a second Box Office Smash and yakuza kicks Bennett. He locks on the CHIKARA Special. Bennett taps out at 10:09. This was a great throwback to the King of Trios finals. They had a good back and forth bout with some fun natured shtick out of Bennett to get the crowd against him (as if they weren’t already). The story was easy to tell and fun to follow. ***
You can watch this match in its entirety here.
Dasher Hatfield vs. Eddie Kingston
Hatfield is replacing the originally scheduled Francis O’Rourke. An aggressive lock up ends with Kingston chopping Hatfield in the corner. Hatfield goes for another chop after pushing Kingston to the ropes, but Kingston shoves him away and hits the floor. Kingston messes with some young fan who shows no fear. Hatfield throws a chop, causing Kingston to roll back into the ring. Hatfield gives him a few more chops back in the ring. Kingston responds with a headbutt and hard forearm strikes to the back. He kicks Hatfield in the chest before choking him on the middle rope. Kingston snapmares Hatfield into a series of back kicks. He overhand chops him as he lay on the mat. He peppers Hatfield with slaps to the face. Kingston stomps on his chest. Hatfield elbows Kingston in the chest and sends him to the floor with another elbow. Hatfield misses a baseball slide. Kingston hot shots him onto the second rope from the floor. Hatfield throws some chops back, so Kingston pokes him in the eyes. He drops Hatfield with a twisting neckbreaker back in the ring for two. Kingston gets another two count with a bridging suplex. Hatfield throws a couple forearms, so Kingston responds with some of his own, knocking down Hatfield in the corner. He reddens Hatfield’s chest with a flurry of chops. Hatfield fights off Kingston after being whipped across the ring. He comes off the second rope with a sunset flip for two. Kingston tosses him out of a belly-to-belly suplex for two. He calls for the Backfist. Hatfield blocks it, leading to another forearm exchange. Hatfield brings Kingston’s to his knees and delivers a baseball slide dropkick. He hits the Jackhammer for two. He looks for the Suicide Squeeze. Kingston blocks it with a Saito suplex, then another. Hatfield trips Kingston to avoid a third Saito suplex. He Oklahoma Rolls him for an upset victory at 11:56. Not surprisingly, these two had a really fun, hard hitting bout. Kingston’s character is always letting his anger get the best of him and this was another example of that. Hatfield is so underrated that it hurts my feelings. That point was further driven home in this bout. ***¼
The fans chant “Next Grand Champ” at Hatfield as he exits. Kingston yells that CHIKARA is dead and for them to shut up. The fans chant “CHIKARA”, sending Kingston angrily backstage.
Sonjay Dutt vs. Eric Corvis
Dutt applies a headlock. Corvis turns it into a shoulder hold. Dutt trips Corvis, so Corvis grabs the bottom rope. Corvis grabs the book he had in the corner. Dutt waistlocks him. Corvis dropkicks him down so he can get a moment to read it. Dutt kicks Corvis as he charges him in the corner. Corvis blocks a second kick but eats a back elbow. Dutt drives him into the middle turnbuckle with a Complete Shot. Dutt rakes his feet across Corvis’ face. He puts on a standing Octopus stretch, then rolls him up for two. Dutt wipes Corvis’ book of answers on his posterior. He snapmares Corvis into a seated abdominal stretch while digging his elbow into Corvis’ ribcage. Corvis fights out, but Dutt drives his knee into his stomach. Dutt gets two with a back senton. Dutt snaps off a Frankensteiner for two. Corvis violently drives Dutt face first into the canvas. Corvis catches him with a sole butt kick. He drives Dutt shoulder first into his knee with a package piledriver. He superkicks Dutt to the floor, then from the ring as Dutt’s outside. Corvis looks to dive but Dutt cuts him off with a gamengiri. Dutt flies back in. Corvis pops him up into a German suplex for two. Dutt blocks the Machination. He kicks Dutt from the apron, then legdrops the back of his head across the second rope. He flies in with a springboard splash for two. Dutt looks for a standing Shiranui. Corvis blocks it. Dutt lands a standing moonsault, then a second one from the second rope for two. Dutt superkicks Corvis. Corvis blocks the standing Shiranui and places Dutt on the top rope. He looks for a super German suplex. Dutt elbows Corvis to the mat. He looks for his moonsault double stomp, but Corvis avoids it and rolls up Dutt for the pin at 8:49. This was some great back-and-forth, fast paced action. The finish was rather weak, and it didn’t help that the crowd was really into Dutt’s offense only for him to lose to a modified roll-up. That’s not to say Corvis doesn’t deserve the win (he did get a nice applause for the win after all), but it’s not as if it amounted to anything, so why not have Dutt’s hard efforts pay off? **¾
Shynron vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado
These two have met in five singles contests prior to this one over the last few months. Shynron won three (two in “Wrestling is Fun!”, one in “Wrestling is Art”) while Coronado has won two (both in “Wrestling is Fun!”). Coronado tries attacking Shynron from behind, but Shynron catches him with a moonsault press for an early two count. Coronado begs for mercy on the floor. He then drives Shynron back first into the ring post. He chops Shynron before bringing him back into the ring. Coronado looks for a Tiger suplex. Shynron sweeps out his legs. Coronado goes for it again, but Shynron takes him over with a Frankensteiner. Shynron flips out of a German suplex attempt and dropkicks Coronado to the corner. He lands a 360 splash of the bottom rope for two. He does push-ups while locking his legs around Coronado’s neck. Coronado brings him up to his shoulders. Shynron slides off and lands a back senton. He headstands to the top rope. Coronado shoves referee Jon Barber into the ropes, crotching Shynron on the top turnbuckle. Coronado brings him down with a reverse suplex for two. Coronado slams him into a legdrop for another two count. Coronado sends Shynron to the apron. Shynron slingshots back in, but Coronado catches him with a TKO. He whips Shynron into opposite turnbuckles. Shynron sneaks in a schoolboy, but Coronado kicks out and turns him inside out with a lariat. Coronado applies a chinlock. He then puts on a bodyscissors. Shynron ties Coronado’s unlaced boot while he has the hold, making Coronado angry and the fans happy. Coronado suplexes Shynron for yet another two count. Shynron throws a series of boots to Coronado’s head. Shynron pops right back up from Coronado’s forearm strikes. Shynron huracanran’s Coronado from the apron for two. He gives him a Shoryuken shot the chest, sending Coronado to the apron. He hits a tiger feint kick to the back of Coronado’s head. Coronado pulls him off the apron, driving him face first into the ring apron. He wants a German suplex from the apron and too the floor. Shynron escapes the waistlock and superkicks Coronado. He uses the ropes for a tiger feint kick, then hits a shooting star press to a standing Coronado on the floor. Back in the ring, Coronado catches Shynron coming off of the second rope and drops him with a spinebuster for two. He drives Shynron into the corner with a Tiger Driver. A regular Tiger Driver earns a two count. Coronado goes up top. Shynron follows. Coronado headbutts Shynron back to the canvas. Shynron headstands up with a headscissors. However, Coronado puts on the Coronado Clutch while Shynron hands in a tree of woe position. Shynron’s arm drops twice. He musters the strength, to roll forward and send Coronado crashing to the mat. He skins the cat up to the second rope. He lands a 630 splash for the pin at 14:35. Despite their conflicting styles, these two mesh together supremely well. They made use of the No Disqualification stipulation in terms of rope breaks rather than weapons, which is totally in the spirit of the day and their characters. This was a strong way to end these guys’ feud and made me look forward to seeing whatever these two can produce in the future. ***½
Wrestling is Heart’s “La Copa Idolo”
Joe Pittman (Champion) vs. Heidi Lovelace
Lovelace kicks Pittman’s legs. She throws a forearm and chop before landing an enzuigiri. Pittman grabs Lovelace by the hair and drives her back first across his knee. He mockingly walks across her back. Pittman brings her out of the corner with a running powerslam for two. He drops an elbow on her back. She comes back with a sunset flip. Pittman picks her up by the head and drives it into the mat to to counter. Pittman teases tossing Lovelace over the top rope and to the floor. Lovelace fights off of his shoulders. She slides in from the apron and rolls Pittman in for two. Pittman slams her for two. Lovelace catches Pitmann and throws multiple kicks to his chest. Pittman avoids a kick and gives her the Uncle Slam for two. He whips Lovelace to the corner. Lovelace drives him face first into the middle turnbuckle using her legs. She drives her boot into Pittman’s head thrice. A gamengiri gets her a two count. She goes for her basement Frankensteiner facebuster, but Pittman counters it with a powerbomb for two. He applies a half crab. When she escapes, her spins her out into a Side Effect. Lovelace rolls to the apron. She comes off the top with a crossbody. She drops him with a crucifix bomb for two. Lovelace then rolls Pittman with into the CHIKARA Special. Suddenly…
The side curtain opens and a sea of Rudos enter. These Rudos include all the factions that have been shutting down the satellite “Wrestling Is” companies in months past: the GEKIDO (17, The Shard, deviANT, & combatANT, who shut down Wrestling is Intense), Dr. Cube and his minions (who shut down Wrestling is Awesome), The Odditorium (Sinn ‘Kizarny’ Bodhi, Sir Oliver Grimsly, & Qefka the Quiet, who shut down Wrestling is Art), the BDK (Ares, Nøkken, and Milo Schnitzler, who shut down Wrestling is Cool), and the Wrecking Crew led by Sidney Bakabella (The Devastation Corporation, Oleg the Usurper, and Jaka, who shut down Wrestling is Respect). Also joining them are the Colony: Xtreme Force and three men in plague masks. Nøkken chokeslams Lovelace and Jaka and Oleg the Usurper dispose of Pittman. A group of Dr. Cube’s henchmen file in and surround the ring. One of the men in plague masks stomps on La Copa Idolo. The Submission Squad appear. Evan Gelestico says that if the Rudos group want to destroy CHIKARA once and for all, they have to be dealt with first. The Submission Squad are attacked and manhandled. Icarus leads a group of wrestlers out, including Dasher Hatfield, The Colony, Wrestle Factory students Kid Cyclone and Create-A-Wrestler II, and Hallowicked. The lead man in the plague mask reveals himself to be Jimmy Jacobs. assailANT is beckoned by the group to join them, but assailANT decides to stay with the CHIKARA team. A man behind the entrance curtain whom we can’t see pulls 17 back by a cane. Jimmy Jacobs tells the CHIKARA team to look at the army he has assembled. He wants to know how Icarus and the rest of the group expects to battle an army so large. Icarus says he didn’t expect to beat an army so large with just that group. Suddenly, Cube’s henchmen unmask and they’re all CHIKARA roster members: The Batiri, The Osirian Portal, the Baltic Siege, Mark Angelosetti, Jervis Cottonbelly, Frightmare, UltraMantis Black, Blind Rage, the Swamp Monster, and Los Ice Creams join their team and a huge brawl between the two sides ensues. A Delorean vehicle pulls up outside of the curtain. Out from it steps Archibald Peck and 3.0! They join the fight. With CHIKARA having the upper hand, Jacobs commands his army to retreat through the curtain and to the outside of the venue. The fans rejoice with the victorious former CHIKARA roster. Former foes Archibald Peck and Mark Angelosetti embrace. Icarus holds up a sign that reads “5.25.14.” He tells the cameraman to tell the world that “they” are coming back. CHIKARA will return from the Ashes on May 25, 2014, the 12th anniversary of the company’s first show.
With all that celebrating comes a bonus match:
Icarus, Fire Ant, Green Ant, Amasis & Ophidian vs. Obariyon, Kodama, Kobald, El Hijo del Ice Cream & Ice Cream Jr.
Icarus shoulder blocks Kobald. He dropkicks him to the corner, then hip tosses him intoa Perfect neck snap. He knee lifts Kobald to the floor. Fire Ant and Kodama engage in a Lucha exchange in which Fire Ant toreadors Kodama into a fireman’s carry. Kodama shoulder blocks Fire Ant from the apron and slingshots in with an armdrag. Fire Ant gets him in an Octopus Stretch. He turns it into a headscissors, then dropkicks Kodama to the corner. The Colony give him the Ants marching dropkick. Obariyon attacks Fire Ant and pitches him to the floor. Green Ant antzuigiri’s Obariyon twice, then slingshots off the second rope with a headscissors. He suicide dives onto Obariyon. Amasis does some dancing. Jr. kicks him in the stomach and applies a side headlock. He shoulder blocks Amasis. Amasis does the splits to avoid some attacks and dropkicks Jr. for two. Amasis slaps Jr. into a backslide from Ophidian. Hijo trips Ophidian as he hits the ropes. He uses his feet to twist up Ophidian’s neck. Hijo pinches his fanny. Ophidian chops Hijo causing him to cry. Hijo then kicks Ophidian in the back of his leg. Ophidian tries a crucifix bomb but Hijo drops him with a Samoan Drop for two. Ophidian blocks an armdrag with one of his own. He schoolboys Hijo for two. Amasis shoulder tackles Hijo out. He fights off the Batiri on his own, but ends up succoming to the Skull Bronzing. Green Ant flies in with a top rope dropkick to Kodama. Obariyon drop toe holds him on the second rope and drives his knee into his back. Fire Ant high crossbody’s Obariyon and spikes him with a tornado DDT. Kobald spears Fire Ant and drops an elbow onto him. Amasis forearms Kodama, Ophidian takes him off of Amasis’ back with a rolling Complete Shot. Los Ice Creams break the pin. A suplex chain wins with all ten competitors. The Tecnicos end up suplexing the Batiri and Los Ice Creams. Green Ant gets a two count on Kobald. They exchange strikes. Green Ant bicycle kicks Kobald and puts him in the cloverleaf. Obariyon frees his partner. Green Ant gives him a Blue Thunder Bomb and sends him into a kick from Fire Ant. The Colony superkick Obariyon out. Kodama Jon Woo dropkicks the Colony to the floor. Ophidian drives his knees into Kodama’s chest twice. Hijo palm strikes Ophidian. The Portal hypnotize all of the Rudos. The Portal dance for a bit. They stomp the mat to break the hypnosis, causing the Rudos to fall to the floor. Ophidian dives onto Obariyon while Amasis tope con hilo’s onto Kodama and Kobald. Fire Ant suicide dives onto Kodama. Icarus gives Hijo the Shiranui. He locks him in the CHIKARA Special. Hijo taps out at 14:22. I never noticed that Icarus didn’t do almost anything in the match (sans ten person suplex) until the very end until now. Not sure if that means anything or not, but it’s certainly worthy of noting. This was fun, a true throwback to the CHIKARA style with fast-paced action and humor; exactly the type of match one would want to see after announcing CHIKARA’s return. ***