Temple of Doom

templeofdoom

Chicago, IL – 12.3.2016

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.

Lucas Calhoun vs. Drew Gulak

This is a rematch from “Counting Backwards.” Gulak backs Calhoun to the corner. When Calhoun responds in kind, Gulak smacks Calhoun in the face and lays in the strikes. Calhoun takes him down in the opposite corner, causing Gulak to hit the floor. After a short breather he comes in and takes down Calhoun with a side headlock. Calhoun turns into a headscissors, but Gulak rolls out and takes Calhoun back over. The time, Calhoun’s headscissors is turned over by Gulak while still applied. Gulak pops out and grabs a double knuckle lock. He tries shoving Calhoun’s shoulders to the mat, but Calhoun bridges up to avoid being pinned. When Calhoun shows signs of taking over, Gulak monkey flips him out of the double knuckle lock. Calhoun himself takes to the floor to create distance. Gulak however is able to grab his own headscissors while smacking Calhoun’s rib cage. Calhoun turns it into a jackknife pin for two. Gulak stops Calhoun’s strikes with a headbutt to the stomach and a diving clothesline off the top for two. Calhoun is able to intercept a clothesline and dip Gulak before dropping him with a Samoan Drop for the pin at 8:23. This was just getting going when it ended. Calhoun showcasing what he can do technically fleshes him out since we already know he has the character and charisma aspect down pat. I expect a big 2017 from him. Gulak had bigger fish to fry later in the evening but had a fun showing here, despite the matches brevity. After the match, they slap one another before shaking hands. **½

Pierre Abernathy, Davey Vega & Gary the Barn Owl vs. The Big Deal, Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice

The Big Deal & The Closers are not pleased that the Submission Squad took their place at King of Trios and are looking for comeuppance. The Closers send Abernathy and Gary to the floor. Roland gives Vega a half-nelson backbreaker. Vega hits the floor with his partners and Roland hits a tope con hilo onto all three of them. Caprice puts on Abernathy’s hat before hitting his own somersault senton off the top rope and to the floor. Deal teases using a chair as a launching pad, but instead takes a seat. The bell officially sounds as Vega finds himself trapped in Team Big Deal’s corner. Vega escapes a bucket toss and low bridges the top rope to send The Closers outside, but it turns out to be a mistake as the Closers pull Gary and Abernathy off the apron so that Vega cannot tag. Vega is able to avoid a corner splash from Roland and hit an enzugiri. He Pele kicks Caprice. Deal foolishly calls for a powerbomb, which Vega even questions. He boots Deal down with ease and tags in Abernathy. He rocks Caprice with forearm strikes and strings a back elbow and stunner together. Gary comes off the middle rope with a swinging Complete Shot. Abernathy and Gary take turns lighting up Roland with strikes. Vega accentuates with a top rope dropkick. Deal breaks up the pin, but finds him surrounded by the Submission quad. The Closers attack them from behind. They both splash all three Submission Squad members in the corner. They stack up Vega and Gary for the Deal Breaker. Deal hits the Tadpole Splash for the pin at 5:48. Despite the somewhat thin backstory for this match occurring, the Submission Squad were very popular and a nice inclusion to the show. Like the last match, this was fun if not too brief. I’d like a direction for Team Big Deal heading into 2017. Why is The Big Deal even around? Why do the Closers continue to do his bidding in his absence? These are (some) of the questions. *½

Sonny Defarge says Dez Peloton have ruined everything for them: winning the Tag Gauntlet, their official Wrestle Factory debut, and the opportunity at the Campeones de Parejas. Dez Peloton are the only duo to have ever defeated himself and Crummels. This match isn’t about points, but showing Dez Peloton the way he and Crummels do business. Crummels sneezes so violently that his hat falls off.

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

Dez Peloton attack Crummels and Defarge after being coughed and sneezed on. They double hot shot Defarge on the top rope, then Crummels on top of him. Tippins crashes on them in a double Broken Arrow. Tippins holds Crummels up in a delayed vertical position. He then drops him to his feet before delivering the suplex. Tippins Finlay rolls him into a slingshot knee drop from Kluger for two. Crummels avoids Passing on the Right and rolls to the floor. Defarge comes in but is met with a double hip toss. He rolls out with Crummels. Kluger teases a dive, but instead assists Tippins with a Trust Fall off the apron onto them. Kluger brings Crummels back into the ring for a two count. Defarge trips Kluger from the floor, allowing Crummels to hit him with a running kick to the side of the head. After taking some damage, Kluger finds the opening to slide outside, triggering a tag to Tippins who with Kluger’s aid crossbody’s him. Kluger slingshots Defarge into a bicycle kick and seated senton from Tippins onto Kluger’s knees. Crummels breaks the pin. He stops Tippins from executing an up and over in the corner. Defarge deposits him shoulders and neck first into the canvas. Defarge rubs his gross hand into Kluger’s face before he and Crummels hit him with tandem offense in their half of the ring. Jippins is able to catch Defarge with a dropkick as Defarge comes odd the middle rope. Kluger comes in with multiple strikes to Defarge. Although Crummels sends him chest first to the corner, Kluger rolls back out with a headscissors from the apron. Defarge low bridges the ropes. Kluger tries to skin the cat but Crummels saves his partner with a dropkick. Defarge assists Crummels with a moonsault. Tippins stops the pinfall just in time. Defarge and Crummels attack Tippins in the corner. Tippins stops Defarge’s lariat with a bicycle kick. Kluger pulls Crummels in by his suspenders for a knee strike to the head. Kluger wheelbarrows Crummels into multiple kicks from Tippins on the floor. Kluger sends Crummels into Defarge. Tippins bulldogs Crummels into Kluger’s feet. Kluger then bulldogs Defarge into Tippins’ feet. Tippins sets up for Climb the Summit. Crummels stops him by shoving him off the top rope and into the ring. Kluger goes to monkey flip Defarge. Defarge stops him by placing him on the top rope. Crummels runs off of Defarge’s back for a super monkey flip! Great Expectations on Kluger gets Defarge and Crummels the win at 12:36. This was the best match of their series and that either team has had in CHIKARA thus far. Defarge and Crummels looked more crisp than ever and the finishing sequence was really superb. Dez Peloton have quickly become one of my favorite acts in the company, but I leave this match optimistic that Crummels and Defarge will grow even more in the next year. ***

Members of the Tecnico side of CHIKARA roster file around the ring while Mike Quackenbush and Bryce Remsburg stand inside of it. Colony members Silver Ant and Fire Ant escort Soldier Ant, who uses a walking cane to make his way to the ring. Because he now has both antennae ripped off his head, he can longer see. Mike Quackenbush says old soldiers never die, they fade away. He says although Soldier Ant may fade from the fans’ sight, he will never fade from their hearts. Bryce pins a medal to his shoulders. Soldier Ant is saluted by the roster and fans alike, leading to a “Thank you Soldier” chant. Soldier salutes as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” plays over the speakers. The roster heads to the back. Soldier leaves the ring with his cane, salutes Silver and Fire Ant,and then the Colony heads to the back as a team one last itme.

Sidney Bakabella is standing by with Max Smashmaster backstage. Bakabella tells Solo Darling to think of this match as her main event, because they’re thinking of it as her swan song. Max Smashmaster isn’t a happy man and he will take out that anger on Solo Darling. Max will put down the “one-legged sympathetic dog” and make her a forgotten memory.

Solo Darling vs. Max Smashmaster

Sidney Bakabella is in Smashmaster’s corner. Smashmaster offers Darling the opportunity to leave, but instead she kicks Smashmaster in the leg. She absorbs his punch and punches him repeatedly in the stomach until he goes through the middle ropes to the floor. She lights up Smashmaster with chops around ringside. Smashmaster catches Darling’s dive off the apron and drops her entirely onto the apron. He chokes her in the corner and Smashmaster clobbers her from the apron. Darling kicks Smashmaster from the second rope. She tries a spring-back bulldog, but Smashmaster cuts back and slams her into the mat instead. Despite her strikes, Smashmaster kicks her down in the corner. He tries for the Quackendriver I, but Darling converts into a sleeper hold while punching Smashmaster in the ear. Smashmaster pulls her over in the hopes for a tombstone piledriver, but she instead goes for an ankle lock. Smashmaster grabs the middle rope to break her grasp. Smashmaster cuts off her momentum as she comes off the ropes with a running crossbody for two. He mocks Oleg by picking up more speed on the ropes, but it backfires as he misses a corner splash. She gets in some punches off the second rope, and this time the bulldog works! The referee Travis counts three at 6:32! Smashmaster’s foot was on the ropes, but Travis the referee did not notice. Smashmaster and Bakabella verbally abuse Travis before shoving him down! Bakabella reigns in Smashmaster from doing further damage, but and angry Travis’ decision remains steadfast and Solo is declared the victor. The match itself wasn’t remarkable, but it accomplished it’s goal of giving Darling the surprise win, showing Smashmaster’s instability, and showing Travis’ willingness to stand up for himself. It’s fitting as Travis was the one who flubbed the Campeones de Parejas switch in July. *

Cajun Crawdad reintroduces himself. He says he’s mastered “claw maga” while wrestling alligators in the bayou. He and Hermit Crab are going to leave Los Ice Creams “too salty.”

El Hijo del Ice Cream {IC} & Ice Cream Jr. {IC} vs. Hermit Crab & Cajun Crawdad

This is Crawdad’s first match since “Babylon Springs” due to an injury he suffered. He and Jr. avoid one another’s offense at the start. They shake hands before rolling outside to tag in their partners. Hijo gets in a shot, but then misses a running crossbody. Crab, Jr. ,and Crawdad all fail to connect with anything. Hijo and Jr. fail to tangle Crab in the ropes, so Jr. dropkicks him to the floor. Crawdad from behind flings Jr. into Hijo, then tosses Jr. to the floor. The Crustaceans finally get some offense in on Hijo, isolating him in their corner. Crab asks for Crawdad to move Hijo for his Naniwa elbow. Crab instead lands on his feet and drops an elbow for two. Hijo bandera’s Crab to the apron and punches him to the floor. He does the same to Crawdad on the opposite side of the ring. Jr. tags in a house of fire with nobody to wrestle inside the ring. He comes outside and clobbers both Crab and Crawdad where they stand. He does this again, and on the third go around, Crab hits him in the throat with his claw. In the ring, Crab lifts up Hijo by his throat for a football tackle from Crawdad. Crab then puts Hijo in a Boston Crab. Hijo escapes, so Crab assists Crawdad with a pop-up elbow drop. Jr. jumps into break the pin just in time. Hijo ducks a double clothesline and sends Crawdad and Crab into one another. Hijo gives Crab the Cold Stone Stunner. He hits both Crawdad and Crab with El Asesino and pins Crawdad for the win at 9:39. I can’t complain about a light match before a heavy main event. It was to good to see Crawdad back and utilizing some unique stuff. *½

Lucha de Apuesta; Mask vs. Mask
Amasis {OP} vs. Frightmare

Frightmare charges and is met with a knee strike from Amasis. Amasis follows up with a tope con hilo to the floor. He hits the 450 Splash but Frightmare kicks out at two. The Tenchi Crash and That Move I Beat Moses With yield the same result. Frightmare goes to Amasis’ eye holes before laying in forearm strikes. Amasis responds with some of his own. Amasis sole butt kicks Frightmare before hitting a Pele kick. Frightmare dodges the 540 kick by leaving the ring. Amasis tries a running knee but Frightmare runs out of the way. Frightmare hits the Friggin’ Sweet Driver on the floor near the entrance! Amasis crawls back in right before the twenty count. Frightmare stomps on Amasis’ spine and grabs a chinlock. Amasis kicks Frightmare away, but he comes back with a double stomp to Amasis’ back for two. He throws a number of kicks to Amasis’ back before landing a standing moonsault for two. Frightmare drives his knees into Amasis’ neck and shoulders in the corner. The chinlock is reapplied after multiple headbutts to the back. Amasis kicks Frightmare away again. This time, he avooids the double stomp and spikes Frightmare with a leaping DDT for two. Amasis fights through his back pain to compose himself, but it gave Frightmare time to come back with a yakuza kick and a pair of sentons to the back. He comes off the top with a Swanton bomb to Amasis’ back for two. Amasis fights off another chinlock but gets kicked in the ribs. Frightmare tosses him outside where he drives his back into the ring post and ring apron. In the ring, Amasis turns things around by turning Frightmare around in a corner and stringing some strikes together. He takes a yakuza kick in the opposite corner, but Amasis comes in on the other side with a forearm. Frightmare stuns him with a reverse Frankensteiner! He tries for a Crucifix Driver. Amasis instead spins out Frightmare face first onto the canvas. The two men collide with kicks mid-ring, knocking one another down. Amasis strikes first, dropkicking Frightmare into the turnbuckles and bringing him out with a spinebuster for two. Amasis does the deal with a slingshot Falcon Arrow. His back in pain, he cradles Frightmare’s legs for a two count. Frightmare avoids a corner dropkick, and Amasis collides with referee Bryce Remsburg instead! Frightmare rips part of Amasis’ mask, but Amasis is still able to hit a front flip DDT! Amasis tends to Bryce since Bryce can’t count the pin. Frightmare rips away at Amasis’ mask and kicks him in the groin! He hits a second Friggin’ Sweet Driver. Bryce crawls over to make the count, but it only gets a one count! Frightmare front kicks Amasis into Kneecolepsy for two. Frightmare goes to the top rope. Amasis hits an enzuigiri before following him up. Amasis brings Frightmare down with a superplex. After another Falcon Arrow, he pulls Frightmare towards the turnbuckles and climbs up. He fights through the back pain to hit the 450 splash. Frightmare kicks out. Amasis tells Frightmare it’s over as he charges to the corner. Frightmare stops him with a boot. He comes off the second rope with a back cracker. After two Kneecolepsy’s, Bryce yells at Frightmare, telling him he’s flirting with Castigo de Excesivo. Amasis stops Bryce from admonishing Frightmare. Frightmare punts Amasis before hitting Kneecolepsy for the pin at 19:33. There was a large disconnect between the opening moments of the match and how the rest of the match fleshed out. Amasis going for bombs early is fine in theory if Frightmare responded accordingly after the fact. Frightmare working over Amasis’ back is a sound strategy, but in a match that’s supposed to be so personal it doesn’t fit the theme, especially after Amasis’ balls to the wall showing in the early going. The only thing that opening flurry ended up accomplishing was adding to the total number of nearfalls, and making Amasis’ second 450 splash later on in the match less impactful. The big moves, kick outs, and referee bump mean something if there’s a story thread to connect to them. Without passion or meaning, they don’t register, and I don’t think they did here. The hatred between the competitors didn’t feel genuine. They tried very hard to will this into a classic, and to me the puzzle lacked a few key pieces. Your mileage may vary here, but I come away feeling that both men put in great effort to a flawed outline. I really wonder how much differently I would feel about the match had Amasis not gone nuts at the start, or if the match took a very different direction after the fact. **½

Amsis begins to unmask, and Frightmare pulls the mask off to expedite the process. An emotional Amasis stands unmasked in front of the Chicago crowd. Frightmare throws the mask in the garbage on his way to the back. The crowd chants Amasis’ name as Amasis tearfully soaks in the adulation. Ophidian comes out to embrace his partner with the mask Frightmare threw away in hand. Amasis hands Ophidian the mask before leaving the ring in tears. Ophidian leaves the mask mid-ring.

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