Counting Backwards

countingbackwards-350

Philadelphia, PA – 11.5.2016

Championship Rundown
Grand Champion: Hallowicked
Campeones de Parejas: Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate)
Young Lions Cup Champion: ThunderFrog

Commentary is provided by Mike Quackenbush and Joey Styles.

Lucas Calhoun vs. Drew Gulak

Calhoun uses the ropes to break Gulak’s waistlock. They break a double knuckle lock in the corner. Gulak grabs a toe and ankle hold. Calhoun tries to escape himself, but ends up grabbing the bottom rope. Out of a collar-and-elbow tie-up, Gulak slams Calhoun and applies a chinlock. Calhoun again gets the ropes. Gulak grabs a side headlock. This time, Calhoun counters into a headscissors. Gulak breaks the scissors before headstanding for nearly a full minute. He falls forward back into the side headlock on Calhoun. Gulak lands a running crossbody for two. He whips Calhoun into the corner and headbutts him in the chest multiple times. Calhoun cuts him off with a jumping knee strike as Gulak comes off the ropes. He slams Gulak for two. Gulak open hand strikes Calhoun to take back and over places him on the top turnbuckle. He hangs Calhoun in a tree of woe, dropkicks him in the stomach, then hits a rope-assisted splash for two. He uses the ropes to accentuate a trifecta of stomps. He laces Calhoun’s leg while slapping him in the side. Calhoun trades shots with Gulak as they get to their feet. Calhoun delivers a karate shot to the chest. Gulak weaves under a clothesline attempt. He catches Calhoun in a sunset flip out of Calhoun’s leapfrog for the pin at 10:14!

Calhoun grabs the microphone and asks Gulak to stick around. He says you never really learn about yourself unless you test yourself. Gulak is one of the biggest tests he’s had to date. This match made Calhoun realize he had more in him than he thought and asks for another few minutes in the ring with Gulak right now. The fans are in favor, and Gulak accepts!

Lucas Calhoun vs. Drew Gulak

We start with both men throwing blows. Gulak gets in some kicks to the stomach, but Calhoun reverses a whip to the corner and follows in with a clothesline. He hits the Shake, Rattle, and Roll for two. Gulak weaves under a whip and headbutts Calhoun in the mid-section. Gulak smacks Calhoun down to his knees. Calhoun blocks a punch and lands a series of punches to the chest. Calhoun hooks Gulak in an abdominal stretch, bringing him down into a Cobra Twist for the pin at 1:40! This feels like a circuitous way for Calhoun to get a win over Gulak, but also not earn 3 points. That said, Calhoun may have never looked better in singles competition than he did here, and I am interested in seeing more from him in the future. **¾

A new interviewer, Toni Wilson, asks for Gulak’s comments on what transpired. Gulak isn’t upset that Calhoun stole a win from him, but that he lost in his hometown. Embarrassed and angry, Gulak tells Calhoun that he will pay.

Backstage, Rick Roland of the Closers reminds us that Los Ice Creams sent them back to zero points. Sloan Caprice says they don’t like fat, which is why they lost to Ice Creams, and they’re putting them on the back burner. They verbally put down their opponents, but do give Chuck Taylor™ credit for having a beautiful singing voice. Tonight, they make the impact the fans know they’re capable of, for the boss.

Elimination Match
Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo vs. Race Jaxon {NRG} & Hype Rockwell {NRG} vs. DUSTIN & Chuck Taylor™ vs. Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice

The Big Deal is in Roland and Caprice’s corner. DUSTIN takes cover behind Bryce Remsburg when Exo chops him. Taylor™ comes in looking to stand up to Exo, but gets chopped to the ropes and taken down with a boot to the chest. DUSTIN and Vox tag in. Vox delivers some chops and locks DUSTIN in Cristo. DUSTIN swings her out, but Vox fish hooks his mouth! She chops DUSTIN to the floor. Vox has no luck taking Roland off of his feet, but does sidestep a boot, causing his leg to collide with the top rope. The Sea Stars fail a double suplex. They hit Roland with double kicks as they escape to the apron to avoid a double corner splash. Vox dropkicks Roland into a schoolgirl trip from Exo. Vox then lands an elbow drop off the middle rope and Exo covers for two. Roland baits Exo into a kick from the apron from Caprice. DUSTIN picks up Exo. Taylor™ pulls her off of his shoulder’s and hits the New and Improved Sole Food. Caprice shoves DUSTIN to the floor and Taylor™ bails to the apron. Vox gets the better of Caprice with uppercuts and forearms to the chin. The Big Deal distracts Vox, allowing Caprice to catch her on his shoulders. Roland stacks up Exo onto Vox and the Deal Breaker eliminates the Sea Stars at 7:40. N_R_G jump in to fight the Closers. Rockwell sends Caprice to the floor. He and Jaxon double team Roland in the corner. Jaxon puts on a sleeper hold. Roland backs Jaxon into Rockwell who is setting up Caprice for the Hyperwheel. Jaxon rolls to the apron. He holds his head and walks to the back, leaving Rockwell on his own! The Closers give him a side slam/neckbreaker combo for two. Jaxon does make his way back to the apron as Rockwell is being worn down by the Closers. Rockwell pops Roland up into a powerbomb. Rockwell rolls out. Jaxon hesitates, but does climb the ropes. He’s caught by Caprice in a crossbody. He drops Jaxon with a Death Valley Driver, eliminating N_R_G at 12:20. DUSTIN unloads overhand chops on the Closers, but gets double booted to the corner. DUSTIN hops over Roland and drop toe holds Caprice into him. Taylor™ is eating Chick Fil-A waffle fries ringside as DUSTIN kicks the Closers outside and lands a tope con hilo onto both of them. Roland however recovers first in the ring. DUSTIN slips off his back. He sends Roland to the ropes where Taylor™ jabs him in the throat! DUSTIN schoolboys Roland for the pin at 14:06. DUSTIN/Taylor™ and N_R_G were largely absent from the match, but the plus to that is the Sea Stars got plenty of time to shine and the Closers got to continue their dominance. I won’t kid you and say the match quality was amazing or anything, but Taylor™ and DUSTIN were so fun together and the other teams did exactly what was needed of them. **½

Toni Wilson asks DUSTIN and Taylor™ how they feel about winning their match. Taylor™ can’t believe it. He thanks his parents, wife, and 19 kids at home. He gets sad at all the dead musicians he tries to thank. He tells DUSTIN that them teaming means a lot to him. He sings a song to DUSTIN. DUSTIN says nobody knows that song and walks off with Taylor™ trailing him.

Young Lions Cup
ThunderFrog vs. Hermit Crab

ThunderFrog has been champion since 2.6.2016 and this is his fourth defense. He throws down Crab in a waistlock. Crab backs ThunderFrog to the corner and the referee separates them. He backs ThunderFrog to the corner again. ThunderFrog stops his pincers at first, but Crab jabs them into the side of ThunderFrog’s head and belly-to-back suplexes ThunderFrog head first into the turnbuckle. He goes for a half crab. ThunderFrog kicks him to the corner. Crab buys time by kicking ThunderFrog away. Crab hits a Naniwa elbow to the back of ThunderFrog for two. ThunderFrog bandera’s to the apron. He comes back in after Crab hits the corner and lands a cannonball senton. He calls for the Froggy Splash. Crab rolls to the floor, so ThunderFrog tries the double axe handle. Crab evades it and rams ThunderFrog back first into the ring post. Crab gets in the ring. ThunderFrog comes to the apron. He stops Crab’s chokeslam attempt. However, Crab and ThunderFrog ascend the ropes and Crab comes of the second, chokeslamming ThunderFrog on the ring apron! He then puts on a Boston Crab in the bottom ropes, breaking before he can be disqualified. ThunderFrog kicks out of Crab’s three lateral press pin attempts. Crab gives him a spinebuster. He goes for the Naniwa elbow. This time ThunderFrog catches Crab on his way down and hits the Blue Thunder Bomb for two. ThunderFrog misses a Froggy Splash. Crab rolls him into the Flat Crab! ThunderFrog escapes. Crab goes to pinch him but ThunderFrog holds onto his wrists. Another Blue Thunder Bomb leads to the Froggy Splash for the pin at 7:37. There was a solid foundation with Crab working over ThunderFrog’s back for a more effective Flat Crab finisher, but the construction of the match itself could have used some work. It felt like they had the pieces of the puzzle in the wrong order. At least they paid off the Froggy Splash. **½

Officer Warren Barksdale vs. The Big Deal

The Closers are in the Big Deal’s corner. Deal tries to bribe Barksdale into laying down for him. Barksdale writes a citation for attempting to bribe an officer. Deal tears it up right away. More money doesn’t sway him, so Caprice gives the referee a “tip.” Barksdale writes another citation and Deal rips it up once again. The Closers attack Barksdale from behind. Deal stomps on Barksdale to officially start the match. After a hip attack, he dumps Barksdale to the floor where the Closers do some damage. Deal gives him a middle rope-assisted stunner. He uses his one foot to pin Barksdale and only gets two. Deal drives his body weight into Barksdale with a seated splash for two. He hits the Attitude Adjustment and steps on Barksdale’s face. Deal teases the CHIKARA Special but instead stomps on Barksdale’s face. He gets two with a DDT. Deal digs his fingers into Barksdale’s neck. Barksdale escapes with elbows and a pair of bodyslams. He struggles to muscle up the squirming Big Deal. Deal trips Barksdale and slaps him around. Barksdale knocks him down with a boot for two. Barksdale tries to pick Deal up again in a waistlock. Deal pokes him in the eyes after holding onto the ropes. Barksdale however strikes him down and hits Cease & Desist for two. Roland distracts the referee so Caprice can toss Barksdale’s own helmet to Deal. Deal cracks Barksdale’s with it, and Deal hits the Tadpole Splash for the pin at 5:57. This was just like The Big Deal’s singles match from last month: despite the opponent’s best efforts, cheating and interference from the Closers get the Big Deal the win. *

After the match, The Closers hold onto Barksdale and Deal splashes him in the corner. Roland drops him with a running Complete Shot.

Heidi Lovelace says a year ago today, Dasher’s Dugout was in first place in the Challenge of the Immortals, and in a moment that was ripped away from them. In the course of that year, the two men her and Dasher teamed with have changed. Icarus used to protect her, and now somebody will need to protect him. Dasher says Mr. Touchdown hasn’t changed. He’s always been evil, and now he has the outlet to be his true self. He takes some of the blame for Touchdown as he was the one who introduced him to CHIKARA in the first place. Hatfield plans to take him out tonight.

Dasher Hatfield & Heidi Lovelace vs. Icarus & Mark Angelosetti

Hatfield demands Angelosetti start. Angelosetti halts the charging Hatfield, allowing Icarus to sneak attack by kicking Hatfield’s left leg out from under him. Angelosetti pitches Hatfield to the floor. Lovelace unloads with forearm strikes to Angelosetti. Angelosetti resists her offense and goes for the Colossal Bomb. She instead maneuvers Angelosetti into a knee strike to the face. Angelosetti throws her down by the arm, reigning down with forearms to the back of the head. Lovelace escapes the Wings of Icarus. She drops him with an STO for two. Icarus propels her to the corner where he follows in with a dropkick. He vertical suplexes Lovelace into a body splash and knee strike to the head from Angelosetti. The heXed Men wear down Lovelace in their corner as Hatfield watches on. Lovelace is able to get her knees up to stop Icarus’ senton. She rolls to the floor, but Icarus grabs Bryce Remsburg so he can’t see it. Bryce gets tied up with Hatfield while Angelosetti tosses Lovelace back into the ring. Like he did during King of Trios, Icarus pulls up Lovelace after hitting the Wings of Icarus instead of getting a three count. Lovelace stops a corner attack from Icarus and gives him a monkey flip into the buckles. Hatfield finally tags in. He disposes of Icarus before throwing shots with Angelosetti. He hits a sliding boot to the side of Angelosetti’s head. He goes for a sliding corner kick, but Angelosetti turns him inside out with a lariat for two. Hatfield throws underhand slaps to Angelosetti’s chest. Angelosetti tries a backslide. Lovelace instead superkicks Angelosetti into a backslide from Hatfield for two. Hatfield and Lovelace hit the 3D on Angelosetti, but Icarus is there to stop the pin. Icarus gives Hatfield a uranage slam for two. Hatfield weaves Icarus into the Jackhammer, but Icarus counters into the Shiranui. Lovelace jumps in from the floor to break the cover. Lovelace dumps Icarus on his head with a Saito suplex. Icarus low bridges the top rope to send her outside. Hatfield intercepts his dive. Icarus kicks Hatfield and brings him to the corner. Hatfield armdrags Icarus into the buckles. Angelosetti hits a diving tackle to Hatfield’s leg before giving him a pump-handle backbreaker. Lovelace hits the Heidi-Can-Rana on Angelosetti. Icarus sneaks in, trying for the Blu-Ray, but Lovelace counters with a Saito suplex for two. Hatfield tosses Icarus and Angelosetti to the floor and suicide dives onto both of them. Lovelace then comes off the top with a high crossbody onto them. Angelosetti shoves Hatfield back first into the ring post. In the ring, Icarus avoids flying double knees from Lovelace. Icarus hits the Blu-Ray. Hatfield dives in just in time to stop the pin. Angelosetti and Icarus give Hatfield a tandem spinebuster. Angelosetti pummels Hatfield with closed fists. Bryce Remsburg pulls Angelosetti off of Hatfield. Icarus powerbombs her into Angelosetti’s knees. Angelosetti hits the Colossal Bomb, but does not cover her. Icarus goes to setup Hatfield. Instead, Hatfield catapults Icarus. Angelosetti saves Icarus and places him gently out of the ring. Hatfield catches Angelosetti with a Liger Bomb. Icarus stops the pin by twisting Hatfield’s mask around. Icarus tries the Shiranui. Hatfield’s mask corrects itself as Icarus’ body rubs against it, allowing Hatfield to turn the Blu-Ray into the Jackhammer for the pin at 18:41. I got exactly what I wanted from this match: high emotion with no hesitancy from Hatfield and Lovelace in attacking their former friends. At times this felt like a fight, and after not making contact for almost a year, seeing Angelosetti and Hatfield mix it up felt like a truly cathartic moment. The finish was really well done too, as it seemed like all hope was lost for Hatfield when his mask went askew, only for it to work out in the end. This was fun. ***¼

Toni Wilson asks Heidi and Hatfield if they’re satisfied with their win. Hatfield sounds very distraught as he admits that Angelosetti is actually hexed, and not just choosing to be evil as he once thought. He laments betraying his family member and vows to make things right.

Zack Sabre, Jr. vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado

Sabre takes control early by digging his knee into Coronado’s left leg. Coronado is quick enough to avoid a toe hold. Sabre brings Coronado down in a wristlock. Coronado comes back up and gets on his own toe and ankle hold. Sabre converts, putting Coronado into a surfboard after painfully manipulating his legs. He twists on Coronado’s fingers before releasing the hold. Coronado escapes Sabre’s cravate with an overhead wristlock. Sabre takes him down in a headscissors. Coronado switches into a jackknife pin for two. He grapevines Coronado’s leg, almost switching into the Coronado Clutch, but Sabre rolls forward to avoid that fate. Sabre uses his legs to trip Coronado into a leg capture crossface. He outstretches both of Coronado’s arms, sitting down on his back to add more pressure. Coronado prawn holds Sabre for two. Sabre defiantly escapes a hammerlock. Coronado is caught with a running chest kick against the ropes. Sabre goes for double knees onto Coronado’s outstretched arm, but Coronado notices and moves. With Sabre’s knees crashing into the mat, Coronado smiles as he begins to target his attack on Sabre’s left knee. Sabre rocks Coronado with an uppercut. He pump-handles Coronado’s arm over his shoulder before his leg gives out. He uses his good leg to boot Coronado’s arm in the corner. Coronado snaps Sabre’s leg backwards, then gets two with a fisherman’s suplex. Coronado grabs the leg, but Sabre uses his own legs to drag Coronado to the mat and hook his arm. He twists his legs to add incredible pressure to Coronado’s arms. Coronado tries to fight back. Sabre uses his right leg to kick away at Coronado’s shoulders and bring him down in a shoulder lock. He and Coronado end up rolling each other in pin attempts. Coronado brings Sabre down with a dragonscrew leg whip. Sabre ends a strike exchange with a schoolboy roll-up. Coronado ducks a pair of high kicks and enzuigiri’s Sabre to the corner. Sabre uppercuts him as he comes to the corner. Coronado catches an uppercut in mid-air, bringing down Sabre in a backslide, then picks him up into a Tiger Driver for two. Coronado goes to the ropes to escape a full nelson. Sabre kicks his bad arm, then hits a half-nelson suplex for two. Sabre goes for the Penalty Kick. Coronado catches the leg and puts on the Coronado Clutch! Sabre rolls forward to escape. He throws Coronado in a suplex before hitting the Penalty Kick. Coronado kicks out just in time. Sabre twists up Coronado’s arm in the Jim Breaks Special. He and Coronado collide face to face when Sabre lifts him up. Coronado dropkicks Sabre and goes for a figure four leg lock. Sabre tries to hold Coronado’s leg to stop him, but Coronado gets the hold applied. Coronado taunts him, so Sabre grabs his arm and re-applies the Breaks Special. Coronado rakes Sabre’s eyes before breaking his lock. Sabre ducks an enzuigiri. He puts on a modified Fujiwara armbar, and Coronado gets his foot on the ropes to escape. Coronado holds onto the top rope to avoid a whip. He takes some uppercuts. Coronado tries a German suplex. Sabre counters with a prawn hold. Coronado turns that into the Coronado Clutch. Sabre rolls Coronado into the European Clutch for two. As Sabre charges, Coronado clips out his damaged leg. Her German suplexes Sabre for two. Sabre holds an armbar out of it. He turns a Tiger Driver into a cross armbreaker attempt. Coronado once again counters into the Coronado Clutch. Sabre taps out at 21:43! This match received a lot of buzz, and rightfully so. This more or less elevated Coronado’s stature, not just by defeating a man the caliber of Zack Sabre, Jr., but showcasing his technical finesse against someone of Sabre’s skill level. While a few things (like Sabre ignoring his hurt leg when it was convenient to do so) could have been tweaked, and ultimately Coronado’s match against Touchdown was better, this will be the match people point to as Coronado’s breakout performance. ***¾

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