Like Phantoms, Forever

chikara110516

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.

Bullet Ant vs. Rock Lobster

Bullet Ant drags Lobster twice out of a collar and elbow tie-up. He brings Lobster down by his wrist. Lobster kicks Bullet Ant’s hands away. Frustrated, Lobster calls for a test of strength. He baits Lobster into a jab to the throat. Bullet Ant throws some rapid fire strikes, but Lobster forearms him across the back to stop him. He delivers a swift kick to the back of Bullet Ant’s head. Bullet Ant takes Lobster over with a step-up Frankensteiner. Lobster retreats to the corner after eating a clothesline. Lobster stuffs his claw into the eyes of Bullet Ant after sending him to the apron. He traps Bullet Ant in the ropes and the ring apron before delivering a neckbreaker. Bullet Ant fights out of a double wrist clutch, dropkicking Lobster away. Lobster comes back with kicks to the ribs. He puts Bullet Ant in a seated abdominal stretch, but Bullet Ant rolls Lobster onto his shoulders for two. Lobster goes back to the eyes. He tries a cutter in the ropes. Bullet Ant is able to shove Lobster outside then suicide dive onto him twice. Lobster scouts the third, but Bullet Ant hops off the middle rope with a swinging Frankensteiner to the outside! Despite this, Lobster is able to get control back in the ring, maneuvering Bullet Ant into a double underhook backbreaker over his shoulder. He goes for the F5. Bullet Ant lands on his feet and pushes Lobster down into the Gedo Clutch for the pin at 8:44! Both competitors offer innovative and smart offense, which for Bullet Ant makes it easy for him to transition into his new role and win the crowd over. This was a fun way to start the show and for two relative newcomers to showcase themselves. **½

Dez Peloton repeat “359 miles” over and over. In the background Donald Kluger keeps repeating things and walking back and forth while Jasper Tippins talks about how difficult the bike ride was from Cape Cod to get here tonight for their open challenge, only to find out they’re facing Sonny Defarge and Cornelius Crummels again. They’re gross, but losing to Defarge and Crummels is even worse than their hygiene. 359 miles ends with Dez Peloton being victorious.

Jasper Tippins {DP} & Donald Kluger {DP} vs. Sonny Defarge & Cornelius Crummels

Kluger snaps Crummels’ suspender straps into his chest. Kluger then pulls them down and gives Crummels a wedgie! Crummels ducks under his clotheslines and sneezes in Kluger’s face. Although Kluger escapes a side headlock, Crummels sends him throat first into the top rope. Defarge gives him an uppercut. Oliver Twist leads to a lariat from Defarge and a two count from Crummels. Kluger finds himself trapped in their half of the ring. Kluger however scouts another attempt at Oliver Twist. Crummels tries sending him to the apron, but Kluger slips to the floor instead, legally tagging in Tippins, who takes Crummels and Defarge down with double clotheslines. He stacks Crummels onto Degfarge’s shoulders, then kicks Defarge’s knee out so that he powerbombs his own partner. Tippins gutwrench suplexes Defarge for two. Kluger sneaks in, schoolyard tripping Defarge after a crossbody from Tippins. Tippins then bicycle kicks Defarge onto Kluger’s knees and sits down onto his chest. Crummels breaks up Kluger’s pin attempt. Kluger monkey flips Defarge and backbody drops Crummels. Kluger teases a dive, and the diversion allows Jippins to fall off the top onto both men. In the ring, Kluger drops Crummels out of a wheelbarrow into pedal kicks from Tippins, Kluger wheelbarrow suplexes Crummels. Defarge shoves Tippins onto them to break the pin. Defarge headbutts Tippins to assist Crummels with his sunset flip. Defarge chop blocks Tippins into Crummels’ knees. Crummels small packages Tippins, but Tippins shifts the weight and pins Crummels at 9:25! This was the best of the encounters the two teams have had, which Defarge and Crummels’ offense looking more crisp than usual and Dez Peloton’s charisma resonating with the crowd. There’s a bit of story developing between the units, as this makes two times in which Dez Peloton have cost Defarge and Crummels title opportunities. It’s a simple story, but one that interests me in future interactions between them. **½

Oleg the Usurper vs. Wani

Wani ducks a strike in the corner. His chops have no effect on Oleg. Oleg chops Wani before tossing him outside. Oleg follows and Wani sends him face first into the ring post. Back inside, Oleg shoulder blocks Wani in the corner before delivering a backbreaker. A somersault senton gets Oleg a two count. Wani holds onto the ropes to avoid a dropkick. He hits a diving clothesline and a knee strike as Oleg is grounded. Oleg picks up Wani to escape a chinlock. Oleg swats away Wani’s dropkick. He picks up speed, but Wani cuts him off with a running shotei. Wani throws kicks to Oleg’s chest, peppering him with forearms as Oleg gets to his feet. Oleg splashes Wani against the ropes. Oleg follows Wani to the floor with a somersault senton off the apron. In the ring, Wani is able to hit the Finlay Roll and a senton splash for two. Oleg and Wani fight up from the apron. They headbutt and slap one another until Oleg boots Wani down in the corner. Wani grabs one of his swords out of anger. Oleg heads to the back and grabs his own sword in response. Wani’s sword falls out his hands when coming into contact with Oleg’s. Wani jabs Oleg in the throat and picks up his sword. Oleg ducks an attack and nails the Usurper Kick. Oleg picks up his sword as Kobald makes his way down the aisle. This distracts Oleg, allowing Wani to deliver a dropkick and the Dragon’s Claw for the pin at 9:44. This was a meandering way to remind us that Oleg promised to never harm Kobald and that Kobald can toy with him. *

Fire Ant {C}, Soldier Ant {C}, Worker Ant {C} & Amasis {OP} vs. Frightmare, Jigsaw, Kodama {B} & Kobald {B}

Amasis has morphed into Pharaoh Ant for this contest. A fracas started when Amasis tried to attack Frightmare but was intercepted by Jigsaw. All competitors fight ringside. Soldier Ant brings Kodama back inside and lands a falling headbutt. Amasis is halted by Frightmare and is speared by Kobald. He drops multiple elbow drops for a two count and applies a modified stump puller. Amasis leans back to pin his shoulders to the mat. He catches Kobald with a quebradora backbreaker and the Tenchi Crash. Worker Ant assists Amasis on offense, dropping him with a spin-out flapjack. Frightmare jumps on Worker Ant quickly. Kodama jumps in when Worker Ant halts his offense. Worker Ant tackles Kodama after ducking a clothesline. Soldier and Worker Ant double back elbow Kodama for a two count. Soldier Ant stomps Kodama in the corner. Frightmare distracts him so Jigsaw can attack him from behind. He toys with Soldier Ant until Soldier Ant takes him over with a vertical suplex. Fire Ant tags in. He and Soldier Ant hit the Ants Marching neckbreaker. Frightmare again comes in to break the pin. The Batiri follow, so Worker Ant and Amasis enter to even the odds. The heXed Men clear the ring of everyone but Worker Ant. Worker Ant and Frightmare evade one another’s attacks. Frightmare slips out and Kobald dropkicks Worker Ant to the floor. Amasis uses the ropes for a Falcon Arrow on Kobald for two. Kobald ducks the 540 kick and hits a Death Valley Falcon Arrow for two. He dropkicks Amasis to the floor. Soldier Ant gets the better of a punch exchange with Kodama. Kodama catches him with a springback Ace Crusher off the middle rope. Soldier Ant sends him out with a rolling forearm strike. Jigsaw comes in but is caught on the middle turnbuckle. Soldier Ant brings him down with a super Frankensteiner! Soldier Ant suicide dives onto Kodama and Kobald. Fire Ant lands a high crossbody onto Jigsaw. Jigsaw ducks the Yahtzee kick. He strings a back elbow and enzuigiri together. Fire Ant counters Jigsaw’s brainbuster with one of his own for a nearfall. Jigsaw stops the Beach Break with a knee strike and superkick. Fire Ant counters another brainbuster with a stunner. A satellite DDT takes Jigsaw outside. Fire Ant lands a tope con hilo onto Jigsaw and the Batiri. Soldier Ant looks poised to attack when from behind Frightmare rips off Soldier Ant’s other antennae! Amasis then comes in with a 540 kick to Frightmare. Fire and Worker Ant tend to the down Soldier Ant while Amasis rips at Frightmare’s mask! This is payback for Frightmare ripping his mask in Haverhill. Bryce Remsburg calls for the bell at 13:00. Jigsaw attacks Amasis as the Batiri drag Frightmare away. The heXed Men flee as Vlad Radinov announces the result as a No Contest. Breaking away from the normal trios formula to portray the animosity between the two sides was smart, and it makes sense for Frightmare and Amasis’ build towards a mask vs. mask match. Who knows what’s to come of Soldier Ant after this, but if he’s written off for the sake of this rivalry, I hope it isn’t in vain. ***

Sidney Bakabella says part of his job is to serve as advisor. He advises Princess Kimberlee to not even bother getting in the ring with Max Smashmaster. It’s not going to be pretty or fun, it will just be a beating.

Princess KimberLee vs. Max Smashmaster

Sidney Bakabella is in Smashmaster’s corner. Smashmaster offers KimberLee a free shot. Bakabella then distracts KimberLee sho Smashmaster can double jab her in the throat and throw her face first into the top turnbuckle. After choking her on the ropes, he throws Kimber Lee outside and comes off the apron with a fist to the small of her back. Smashmaster tosses her back first out of a Razor’s Edge into the ring post! Smashmaster yanks up the ring mats. As he goes to pick her up, KimberLee unloads with forearm shots. Smashmaster knocks her down to stop the onslaught. KimberLee slides off of Smashmaster’s shoulders and sends him face first into the ring post. In the ring she rocks Smashmaster with chest kicks and forearm strikes before driving her knees into his chest. Smashmaster elbows out of a German suplex attempt. Bakabella strikes KimberLee from the floor! Smashmaster is quick to cover but KimberLee still gets her shoulder up. A boot gets Smashmaster another two count. Smashmaster splashes her twice in the corner, picking up speed on the second one to mock his former partner Oleg the Usurper. KimberLee low bridges the top rope to send Smashmaster to the apron. She kicks him so that he is sitting on the apron while holding onto the bottom rope. She then double stomps Smashmaster onto the exposed floor! In the ring she reels Smashmaster with a dropkick. Nevertheless, Smashmaster is able to give her a Buckle Bomb. He sets up for a moonsault, but KimberLee slides under and brings him down with a powerbomb! She looks for the Alligator Clutch. Smashmaster slides under and puts KimberLee in a Boston Crab. He stomps on her head, and in that opportune moment KimberLee small packages Smashmaster for two. Smashmaster drives her to the corner and places her on the top turnbuckle. KimberLee almost gets a tornado DDT, but Smashmaster stops the momentum. He brings her down with Quackendriver I! KimberLee gets her shoulder up just in time, surprising Smashmaster. He powerbombs KimberLee twice before going up for the moonsault again. KimberLee takes the moment to bring him down with a German suplex! The Alligator Clutch gets her the pin at 13:27. This was structured in the best way possible, with Smashmaster dominating KimberLee, but KimberLee striking at advantageous times, trapping Smashmaster in her impenetrable finishing hold thanks to his placement on the second rope. Personally I’m sad this didn’t result in a Smashmaster title bout, but I do think he has the chance to be THE guy in the company next year. ***¼

Ophidian has been around for a decade, but has never bared his soul to the camera. Over the watchful eye of Osiris he is going to do just that. He admits he is full of fear heading into his match with Hallowicked. He has been tasked to take down Nazmaldun by himself, against somebody whose accolades are second to none and who has taken down all who oppose him. He felt that fear in Haverhill, MA as he heard UltraMantis Black’s cackle, took the Batiri’s beating, and felt Amasis’ soul being ripped in half as Frightmare tore his mask apart. Ophidian decided to not succumb to that fear, and instead use it as motivation, becoming the first person on the CHIKARA roster to defeat Nazmaldun. That defeat caused a sliver of doubt in Hallowicked’s mind. He will use that doubt to defeat Hallowicked, defeat Nazmaldun, and become CHIKARA Grand champion.

Grand Championship
Hallowicked vs. Ophidian {OP}

Hallowicked has been champion since 5.30.2016 and this is his fourth defense. UltraMantis Black is in his corner. Ophidian bicycle kicks Hallowicked to the corner right at the bell and unloads with forearm strikes. Despite two yakuza kicks from Hallowicked, Ophidian fights right back with a bicycle kick and more forearm strikes. Ophidian catches the third kick and takes Hallowicked down in the corner with an enzuigiri. He lands running double knees. Hallowicked stops him on the top. Ophidian rolls through the super snapmare and delivers two sets of double knees in the corner. Hallowicked rolls to avoid a potential Meteora. Two more double knee strikes give Ophidian the opportunity to deliver Meteora on the second try. Hallowicked goes outside, but Ophidian follows with a tope con hilo. Hallowicked takes control with a Rydeen Bomb on the ring apron and a yakuza kick! In the ring he hooks Ophidian for Never Wake Up. Ophidian unwraps the arms but holds onto Hallowicked’s wrist. He snaps Hallowicked’s arm and neck across the top rope. He drives his body weight onto Hallowicked’s arm before adding a scissors. Hallowicked grabs the bottom rope to break it. Ophidian hooks him in a Magistral cradle for two. Hallowicked reverses an Irish Whip and catches Ophidian with a backbreaker. Ophidian doesn’t take much damage. He headbutts Hallowicked’s arm before flipping him out of an arm wringer twice. Ophidian slips under a yakuza kick. He trips Hallowicked by his leg and stomps his knee into the canvas. Hallowicked pummels on Ophidian’s back. Ophidian uses the ropes for a Duat Driver. He nurses his back before turning Hallowicked over for a two count. Ophidian catches Hallowicked in the corner with the Death Grip! Hallowicked drives Ophidian into the corner to escape. Ophidian headstands in the corner and Hallowicked yakuza kicks him to the outside. Hallowicked pops Ophidian up and into the wall back first! Hallowicked is happy to leave Ophidian laying on the floor for a count out, but the cobra supernova makes it back in the ring just in time! When he does, Hallowicked hooks him for Never Wake Up. Ophidian maneuvers into the Death Grip! Hallowicked backing him to the corner does not work, as Ophidian holds onto the clutch and re-applies his bodyscissors when Hallowicked tries. Hallowicked leaves the ring, but Ophidian keeps the hold on! Hallowicked goes to run Ophidian into the guardrail and ends up sending Hallowicked face first into post. Unfortunately for Ophidian, this makes Hallowicked dead weight. He calls for help from the CHIKARMY to assist in getting him back inside the ring! Back in the ring, Ophidian applies the Death Grip. Hallowicked swings him around for Never Wake Up. Ophidian drops flat and comes back up, hoping for the Egyptian Destroyer. Hallowicked stops that and tries Never Wake Up again. Ophidian headbutts Hallowicked in the chest many times. He catapults up into the Egyptian Destroyer! Hallowicked gets his shoulder up just before the count. Ophidian tries to hypnotize Hallowicked. It doesn’t work. He kicks Ophidian twice before the super snapmare is executed. Go 2 Sleepy Hollow and the Rydeen Bomb follow for two! He places Ophidian on the top turnbuckle. Ophidian fights back and gets on a Cobra Clutch. Hallowicked breaks it and hits a super variant on Never Wake Up for the pin at 21:50. The story leading up to this match is that Ophidian is the one who would give Hallowicked his biggest challenge yet and they did an excellent job of showing this. Hallowicked’s offense wasn’t as effective as it’s been on opponents past, Ophidian on multiple occasions escaped from Never Wake Up, he was relentless in applying the Death Grip, and the Egyptian Destroyer brought him incredibly close to victory. The crowd responded exactly how they should have. The fact that fans assisted Ophidian back into the ring to avoid a count out was a nice touch, and shows that they understood how important a win for Ophidan would be. While they each did an admirable job working over a body part, it could’ve been more focus with no detriment to the overall story. That’s a minor complaint though, as the atmosphere they created resulted in an emotional and important battle. ****

Hallowicked drags Ophidian ringside, holding him in a full nelson in front of Mantis who tries to hex him! The lights go out as Ophidian’s arms burst upwards out of the nelson. When the lights come back on, Ophidian is inside the ring with a golden mask! He appears to be exhausted. Mantis is now on the ground and shaking. Hallowicked hoists him back into his wheelchair and hurries him out of the arena. Referees Bryce Remsburg and Troy Nelson help Ophidian to his feet and to the back.

Encore Match
ThunderFrog vs. Mr. Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan stomps ThunderFrog down in the corner to start. He goes to lift ThunderFrog’s hammer with no luck. ThunderFrog takes him down with a hip toss. He threatens Azerbaijan with his hammer, so Azerbaijan hits the floor. ThunderFrog follows him to the floor, where Azerbaijan sends him face first into the ticketing area. In the ring, Azerbaijan release suplexes ThunderFrog. Azerbaijan puts on an intense chinlock. ThunderFrog fights out, but Azerbaijan drops him out of a side slam position. Azerbaijan runs into a vertical press, getting a two count on ThunderFrog. ThunderFrog chops Azerbaijan to stop his charge into the corner. He then comes out with some running forearms to the face. ThunderFrog goes for the Estonian Stampede. Azerbaijan slips out. He rolls up ThunderFrog while holding his tights for two. Azerbaijan calls for a pump-handle slam. ThunderFrog counters with a Blue Thunder Bomb. He goes up top for the Froggy Splash. Azerbaijan knocks him down and tries suplex. ThunderFrog knocks him away and picks up his hammer. He hits the canvas with it, causing Azerbaijan to fall. ThunderFrog places the hammer on Azerbaijan and pins him at 5:54. This was exactly how the match should’ve gone. I appreciated the nod back to this feud and just seeing Mr. Azerbaijan again brought me joy. *½

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