Bad Wolf

badwolf500

Fern Park, FL – 4.1.2017

Championship Rundown
Grand Champion: UltraMantis Black
Campeones de Parejas: Sonny Defarge & Cornelius Crummels
Young Lions Cup Champion: Space Monkey

Commentary is provided by Mike Quackenbush.

Team Sea Stars are excited to be in Florida and a part of More Than Mania weekend. Obariyon says it’s fine to be enthusiastic, but sometimes to get where you need to be, you need to find the deepest, darkest place in your mind to take on the type of competitors they’re wrestling tonight. He asks Team Sea Stars to meet him there in that mindset.

Obariyon, Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo vs. Merlok, Hermit Crab & Cajun Crawdad

Obariyon discourages Team Stars to “too salty” the crustaceans. Merlok gives them a double clothesline. The Furies then pummel the Creatures of the Deep and send them tot he floor. After triple baseball slides, Team Sea Stars dive off the top while Obariyon hits a suicide dive. In the ring, Obariyon finds himself sent shoulder first twice into the ring post by Merlok. Vox tries to fight, only for Merlok to muscle her up into a running Samoan Drop. The Creatures of the Deep take turns wearing down Vox’ neck and keeping her trapped in their corner. She uses a neckbreaker on Crab and a low enzuigiri on Crawdad, but Merlok drills her with a spear to halt her comeback. Vox does finally escape with a London Bridge taking down Crab and Crawdad, allowing her to tag in Obariyon. He drop toe holds Merlok on the middle ropes and drills him with a running knee strike to the back of the head. He attacks Crab and Crawdad in opposite corners. He goes for a suicide dive on Merlok, but is caught and swung into the guardrails! Exo comes off the top with a crossbody to the Crawdad. She’s caught, and while Merlok headbuts Vox, Crab and Crawdad go for Low Tide on Exo. Exo escapes that and low bridges Crawdad outside. She counter Crab’s chokeslam with a prawn hold for the pin at 8:17. This was fine, albeit a little sloppy. Team Sea Stars have been looking for a mentor, and Obariyon may be the unlikely person to guide them to success. **

Jeremy Leary remembers when Ophidian embarrassed him at “Blink.” Recently, he was approached by a man who spoke lightly, but his message was loud, and he gave Leary an insurance policy to make sure he won’t be embarrassed again. He poses a question to Ophidian: what are you going to do when your back-up plan fails you?

Ophidian vs. Jeremy Leary

Leary attacks Ophidian before the bell. Ophidian answers with a series of chops and a hip toss across the ring. Leary rolls outside to avoid corner double knees, but Ophidian re-directs and suicide dives onto Leary. Ophidian tries to Skin the Snake. Leary traps Ophidian and hits a tiger feint kick to the back of the head. He pulls Ophidian in from the apron into a German suplex for two. He also gets two with a low flying clothesline. Ophidian stunts his momentum with a split-legged corner splash. Despite this, Leary brings him out of the corner with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Leary gets a nearfall with a powerslam, and another with a slingshot suplex. Ophidian takes a series of jabs, but Ophidian refuses to be knocked down. He blocks a jab and strings together his own series of offense. Leary ducks an enzuigiri. He goes for another slingshot suplex, but this time Ophidian avoids it and brings Leary down with a headscissors. Ophidian scouts a Blue Thunder Bomb and headscissors Leary to the corner. A spinwheel and pump kick take Leary down. As Leary comes back up, Ophidian grabs his neck and connects with the corkscrew enzuigiri. Ophidian drives his knees into Leary’s sternum. Leary sends Ophidian to the apron. Ophidian flings himself back in. Leary halts his headscissors and powerbombs Ophidian before nailing a superkick. Outside, Leary Beele’s Ophidian into the crowd and into multiple rows of chairs. Leary takes too much time working on his hair-do, allowing Ophidian to somersault senton over the guardrail onto Leary. In the ring Ophidian hits Meteora for two. Distressed over Leary kicking out of that, Ophidian sets up in the corner. He moves his arms to hypnotize Leary, but unlike at “Blink”, the hypnosis does not work! He cracks Ophidian with a knee strike into the side of his head for the pin at 10:15. I remember being remarkably uninterested by this match in person, and while it’s better on tape, 10 minutes is a long time to get to the point, especially when the action was fairly pedestrian until Ophidian’s last bit of offense. *½

Young Lions Cup
Space Monkey vs. Wani

Space Monkey has been champion since 2.4.2017 and this is his first defense. Monkey chows down on a banana after the bell rings. He ducks Wani’s charges, and when Wani tries to grab him, Monkey takes him down with an armdrag, barring the arm as he continues to munch the banana. After a leg lariat, he sends Wani to the corner with a Frankensteiner. Wani blocks a monkey flip, and when Monkey jumps off the middle turnbuckle, Wani catches him with an overhand chop. Wani mashes the rest of Monkey’s banana in his hand and throws it across the building. As Wani stomps and chops Monkey, a fan throws the banana peel back into the ring. Wani powerslams Monkey (and disposes the peel) for two. Monkey climbs up Wani’s shoulders and elbows him down to the knee. Wani follows Monkey into the ropes with a back elbow and muscles him up into a gutbuster for two. Monkey goes up the shoulders again, this time victory rolling Wani into a Tail Whip! Wani exits the ring, avoiding a pin. Wani catches his pescado attempt and drives Monkey back first into the ring post before bringing him back inside for a nearfall. He hangs up Monkey in a tree of woe after ramming him back first into two corners. Wani chokes Monkey with his own tail! Wani wants the Razor’s Edge. Monkey fights out and monkey flips him into the turnbuckles. He drives Wani’s midsection into his boots. Another consumed banana, as well as flurry of offense, leads to a middle rope moonsault from Monkey for two. He also gets two with a Michinoku Driver. Wani avoids being whipped into the corner. He ducks a clothesline and cracks Monkey in the face with a flying gamengiri. He wraps Monkey’s tail around his neck. Monkey escapes a waistlock. He misses a second rope attack. He tries to trip Wani on the banana peel. Wani avoids it. He then drives Monkey into the mat with a rolling Death Valley Driver for the pin and the Cup at 10:18. Monkey made the most of his only defense, using his agility and speed to create an exciting match. Wani was the antithesis of Monkey, striking harder and using chokeholds without slowing down the pace of the contest to a crawl or bore. Wani has become a much more interesting watch these past few months and I look forward to what he does with the Cup. I do hope this isn’t the last we see of Space Monkey. ***

Zack Sabre, Jr. is brought out to the ring. He tells the crowd that his scheduled opponent, Max Smashmaster, cannot compete due to an injury. Even though he’s only had a handful of CHIKARA matches, the company has big importance to him, because the person behind it is a good friend of his. He admires the person’s integrity and attention to detail. That very person is also a wrestler, yet Zack and him have never competed. Johnny Kidd got a match out of him, Drew Gulak got a match out of him, and if Zack doesn’t get a match out of him today, he may never get the opportunity. With that, Mike Quackenbush’s hits, and we have Sabre’s replacement opponent.

Mike Quackenbush vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.

Quackenbush and Sabre can’t help but smile as Quackenbush has difficulty escaping a courting hold. Quackenbush puts his leg over Sabre’s head and armdrags him down into a chicken wing. Sabre gets his foot on the ropes to break. Quackenbush graciously brings Sabre up to his feet. Sabre goes for a chicken wing of his own, only for Quackenbush to instead attempt a straightjacket choke. Sabre reverses. Quackenbush maneuvers his body so he steps over Sabre’s arms and then behind him to re-apply the hold. Sabre bridges down and floats over to switch the hold, which Quackenbush reverses back by going up behind him. Sabre steps out to end the exchange. They push each other down in a test of the strength. Sabre quickly tries a crucifix pin, but Quackenbush bridges his head up to avoid his shoulders being pinned. The demeanor in both men changes when Quackenbush ferociously holds onto a modified chin lock. This causes Sabre to uppercut Quackenbush twice, the first strikes of the match. Quackenbush responds with an overhand chop, causing Sabre to uppercut him four times and headbutt Quackenbush in the stomach. Quackenbush German suplexes Sabre after ducking another uppercut. He tries the Cerebro Lock, but can’t hold Sabre up, thus causing them to fall near the ropes. Some maneuvering sees Quackenbush’s tie up Sabre’s leg while bridging back and also applying a chin lock. Sabre puts his leg around Quackenbush’s head and outstretches his body and wrist. He then puts on a standing Octopus Stretch before converting into a sunset flip. Quackenbush kicks out and gives Sabre a spinning toe hold. Quackenbush locks his legs while putting on an abdominal stretch, standing up so he can lock his hands around Sabre’s neck. Sabre purposefully falls down into the ropes to escape. Sabre jumps up into a guillotine hammerlock. Quackenbush maneuvers Sabre out of position and into a slam. Sabre nails Quackenbush with multiple uppercuts against the ropes. Quackenbush catches him running with a firm clothesline. Quackenbush’s springboard senton doesn’t totally land, so he rolls through and lands a senton splash. Quackenbush goes for Quackendriver II, but Sabre counters with a European Clutch for the pin at 18:07. This followed the formula that Quackenbush vs. Gulak did, starting out as a sporting contest and turning into a more aggressive bout as the match wore on. It’s a concept that works and it’s the exact type of match you’d want to see from these two. I think the Gulak match had a little more substance to it, but this was very close to matching that fantastic encounter. It’s unfortunate Smashmaster wasn’t able to have the opportunity to face Sabre, but it’s hard to argue that there was any better substitute to face Zacky Three Belts. ***¾

Missile Assault Man vs. Kobald {LOR}

Missile knocks down a charging Kobald with uppercuts. He nails a bicycle kick for two. He digs his knee into Kobald’s back while stretching his arms out, converting into a backbreaker. After the Missile stomp, he rams Kobald’s head multiple times into the top turnbuckle. Missile tries a schoolboy but Kobald holds onto the rope and sits down on Missile’s chest. Despite this, Missile takes back over right away by reversing a chest whip to the corner. Kobald blocks an uppercut and small packages Missile. Missile reverses and again goes for the schoolboy. Kobald resists, so Missile drags him outside and tags him with an uppercut. Kobald rakes Missile’s eyes back inside the ring and gets two with a running seated senton. Kobald mimics Missile’s stomp, but takes too much time in between kicks, allowing Missile to recover and hit a Jon Woo dropkick. Kobald slips out of the Missile Launcher and spears Missile. He readies for the Superman Punch. Missile cuts him off with an uppercut. He hits a running forearm in the corner before delivering the Missile Launcher. He schoolboys Kobald for the pin at 5:58. The Whisper meets Missile in the aisleway as he comes to the back. This was really dull, but if the fans only cared about the magic move (the schoolboy), I wouldn’t do much either. ½*

Travis Huckabee runs down the opponents they have in the upcoming elimination tag team match, stating they can earn three points tonight. Solo is eating Skittles and gets excited about facing Los Ice Creams. Huckabee informs her Skittles are sugar free, causing her to spit them in his face. She checks the bag to confirm they are NOT sugar free and warns him not to say that again.

Elimination Match
Fire Ant {C} & Silver Ant {C} vs. Solo Darling & Travis Huckabee vs. Hallowicked {LOR} & Frightmare {LOR} vs. El Hijo del Ice Cream {IC} & Ice Cream Jr. {IC}

Huckabee outwrestles one of his trainers, Fire Ant, impressing the crowd. Silver Ant changes the tone by striking Huckabee with a forearm strike after some mat wrestling. Huckabee adapts, delivering his own strikes before hip tossing Silver Ant into a knee drop the arm. Huckabee and Darling drop Silver Ant with a tandem neckbreaker. Huckabee and Darling use some tandem offense to dispose of the Legion of Rot. Darling is tantalized by Los Ice Creams, which makes it easy for them to gang up on her in their corner. Darling escapes a corner splash from Jr. and elbows him away. Instead of tagging Huckabee, she consumes some Skittles to raise her energy. Unfortunately, Jr. waistlocks her, causing Darling to spit the Skittles out and into Huckabee’s face! Jr. O’Connor rolls Darling for the pin, eliminating her and Huckabee at 8:33. Fire Ant sends Jr. out with a flying Frankensteiner. However, Hijo hits him with the Cold Stone Stunner! Jr. comes back in and drops Fire Ant with the Jack and Jill Hammer. Jr. celebrates instead of going for the pin, so the Legion of Rot toss him outside and take matters into their own hands. Fire Ant finds himself trapped in the Legion of Rot corner. He is able to bandera both of them to the floor, but right before Silver Ant was knocked off the apron, so he had no partner to tag in, and Los Ice Creams were not interested in becoming legal. Hijo offers to tag in to Hallowicked when Fire Ant is yakuza kicked, so Hallowicked tags him in. However, Fire Ant rolls outside, making Hijo legal once again. Hallowicked drills Hijo with Never Wake Up for the pin and the Legion of Rot’s third point at 13:37.

Silver Ant comes off the top with a dropkick to both members of the LOR. He German suplexes Frightmare and Angle slams Hallowicked. With both men outside, Silver Ant follows with a suicide dive onto both opponents. Fire Ant gets in on the fun, wiping out the Legion with a springboard somersault senton. Back in the ring, Silver Ant tiger feint kicks Hallowicked into a shotgun dropkick from Fire Ant. The Colony nails him with the Ants Marching dropkick, but Frightmare breaks up Fire Ant’s pin. Frightmare throws Silver Ant outside so he can continue his abuse on Fire Ant. Frightmare cracks him with three yakuza kicks, but somehow Fire Ant gets his shoulder up in the pin attempt. Hallowicked tosses him into Go 2 Sleepy Hollow from Frightmare. Hallowicked assists Frightmare with a double stomp before delivering one of his own. Frightmare dives onto Silver Ant as Hallowicked drops Fire Ant with a Rydeen Bomb for two. He calls for Never Wake Up. Fire Ant avoids that, and a step-up enzuigiri. Fire Ant brings him down with a super Frankensteiner into the Mad Splash from Silver Ant. Frightmare targets Silver Ant’s mask but Fire Ant rescues him. Frightmare dumps Fire Ant with the Friggin’ Sweet Driver. Silver Ant kicks Frightmare in the back fo the head to break the pinning predicament. Frightmare and Silver Ant pummel each other with forearm strikes. Hallowicked dropkicks Silver Ant in mid-air to stop his springboard dropkick. The LOR bring him down with the Headless Horsemen. Frightmare goes for Silver Ant’s mask again. Fire Ant cracks him in the face with a punt. Fire Ant fights out of another Never Wake Up and moonsaults into a tornado DDT. Fire Ant suicide dives after him. Silver Ant unleashes non-stop forearms and kicks to Frightmare while Frightmare tries covering up. Silver Ant’s 2k1 Bomb and side slam lead to a Cloverleaf submission. Frightmare taps out, giving the Colony the win, and also washing away the LOR’s three points at 22:06. This match had a little bit of everything, both in wrestling styles and tone. The match was kept at a brisk pace so there was never a lull, and it got better as the match progressed. All the stories weaved together seamlessly, and the ending further fueled the flames in Silver Ant and Frightmare’s issue. All in all this was one of the better tag team elimination matches of late. ***¼

Juan Francisco de Coronado notes that he and UltraMantis Black have done battle before, and Mantis got the better of that exchange, but Coronado says he is a different man today. He will capitalize on all of Mantis’ mistakes and expose his weaknesses to fulfill his destiny of becoming CHIKARA’s Grand Champion.

Grand Championship
UltraMantis Black vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado

UltraMantis Black has been champion since “Whatever Happened, Happened” and this is his third defense. Coronado knees Mantis before pummeling on his shoulders. He drives Mantis back first into the corner before delivering a trifecta of dropkicks for a nearfall. Coronado peels Mantis up from the mat to his feet. Mantis gets in a few strikes before drilling Coronado with the Praying Mantis Bomb! Coronado has the wherewithal to roll outside to avoid a pinfall, but Mantis follows him out with a suicide dive. Mantis Mongolian chops Coronado. He tries to whip Coronado into the guardrails, but Coronado reverses and sends Mantis into the rails instead. The two fight on the ring apron, where Coronado German suplexes Mantis. Inside, Mantis escapes a shin buster with a sunset flip. Coronado kicks out and immediately takes Mantis back down with a dropkick. Mantis is able to maneuver Coronado to the floor and crash onto him with a somersault senton off the apron. Mantis takes Coronado up into the stands. Coronado attempts the Tiger Driver onto the floor, but Mantis counters with a backdrop. Coronado rolls down the stairs back near the reserved seats. When back in the ring, Coronado decides now is the time to begin attacking Mantis’ leg which was injured in the Summer of 2015 and took him out of action for a year and a half. He even tosses Mantis into the corner where his leg collides with the ropes and buckles. Mantis reverses Coronado’s figure four leg lock, forcing Coronado to grab the bottom ropes. Mantis tries the Praying Mantis Bomb. Coronado trips him. Mantis kicks Coronado away to avoid the Coronado Clutch. He drops Coronado with a full nelson slam for two. Coronado gives Mantis a chinbreaker as he comes to his feet. He tries an enzuigiri. Mantis ducks, and Coronado hits referee Bryce Remsburg by accident! Mantis hits Cosmic Doom but Bryce is out and can’t make a count. As Mantis checks on Bryce, Coronado grabs Mantis’ skull staff and jabs it into his stomach before breaking it across Mantis’ back! He hits Mantis in the head with it and carries Bryce over for the pin. Mantis kicks out at two! Coronado attempts the Coronado Clutch. Mantis rolls forward to escape and puts on a Cobra Clutch, converting it into a release suplex. The Praying Mantis Bomb follows, but Coronado kicks out. He prawn holds Mantis into the Coronado Clutch. Mantis gets close to the ropes, so Coronado pulls him back to the middle of the ring. Mantis passes out from the pain, and his arm drops thrice, giving Coronado the win and the title at 14:18. I don’t have an issue with Coronado as Grand Champion, but this felt way too soon. Nobody expected it because no part of it felt like the right time. Even the next challengers, Oleg and soon Obariyon, have history with Mantis and none with Juan. The match was good, with Coronado’s back work paying off and Mantis dropping his big offense when he could, but those intangible title match elements were lacking. The big fight atmosphere they were going for didn’t completely manifest. Unless you rushed and watched the Secret Season before attending these shows live, everybody here saw Coronado win the title before they could even see Mantis win it, so why bother checking out that episode now? Despite my issues, this was a good, but not great, main event. ***

In a post credits scene, Jeremy Leary approaches The Whisper. He tells the Whisper that he had his reservations, but whatever the Whisper did with his yo-yo worked and made him resistant to Ophidian’s hypnosis. The Whisper says Leary has something he wants. Leary passes to him a business card, telling him that’s who he needs to see:

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