Aniversario: School Reunion

aniversarioSchoolReunion500

Hellertown, PA – 5.27.2017

Championship Rundown
Grand Champion: Juan Francisco de Coronado
Campeones de Parejas: Sonny Defarge & Cornelius Crummels
Young Lions Cup Champion: Wani

Commentary is provided by Mike Quackenbush and Scott Holladay.

Xyberhawx 2000 of Sylverhawk and Razerhawk say they have no problem taking great risk for great reward. Tonight, they take one step closer to being Campeones de Parejas.

Elimination Match
Sylverhawk {X2K} & Razerhawk {X2K} vs. Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo vs. Officer Warren Barksdale & Officer Bruno Meloni vs. Hermit Crab & Cajun Crawdad

Ashley Vox has an aggressive disposition, still angry at Merlok destroying Jawsolyn. The crustaceans taunt her which only makes her more angry. Barksdale and Sylverhawk trade armdrag variations. Barksdale evades a dropkick. Crawdad blind tags himself in on Sylverhawk. A Lucha exchange with Barksdale sees Crawdad send him to the floor with a casadora armdrag. Meloni sweeps Crawdad’s leg for a one count, and then gets two with a Magistral cradle. Crawdad rolls outside when Meloni takes him down with a belly-to-belly suplex. Crab uses his claw to thwart Meloni’s offense and sends him out with a Frankensteiner. The XWK nail Crab with stereo dropkicks. Razerhawk hops off Sylverhawk’s back for a headscissors on Crawdad. Exo opens up the ropes so Vox can suicide dive onto the crustaceans. The crustaceans interrupt a double dive from the X2K, but Vox has to be restrained by Exo as Vox unloads shots on Crab and Crawdad. The Force try to calm her down, but Vox unloads with forearms on the X2K and the Force. She even takes a swing at Exo! From behind, Crawdad slams Exo for two. He and Crab take turns wearing her down. She’s saved when she slips out of a slam from Crawas and the X2K come in with stereo top rope dropkicks. Sylverhawk misses a corner attack. Crawdad pulls him outside as Crab chokeslams Razerhawk for two. Crawdad sticks him with a standing neckbreaker. Crab goes for the Naniwa elbow, but Razerhawk cuts him off. He takes down Crab off the middle rope with a leaping Frankensteiner! Barksdale cleans house on Crawdad, getting two a Falcon Arrow. The Force call for Law & Order but the Crab saves his partner. Crab shoves Meloni into Vox. Crab brings Barksdale off of Crawdad’s shoulders with a doomsday Ace Crusher, pinning Barksdale at 9:48. Vox angrily unloads forearms and chops on the crustaceans. Exo intercepts to calm her down, perhaps foolishly. The Sea Stars go for the Shark Attack on Crawdad. Crab catches Vox as she hits the ropes and drags her outside, leaving Crawdad to small package Exo for the pin and elimination at 10:40. As of now, Crab and Crawdad have three points. Razerhawk nails Crawdad with a back handspring hip attack. Sylverhawk hits the Sylver Splash. Razerhawk nails him with a Swanton Bomb for the pin and the win at 11:19, leaving the match with two points. This was a fun, action packed match, the exact type you’d want to kick off the show. There were a few contrived moments, but everything came across as they wanted it to. Vox needs to channel her aggression productively, Crab and Crawdad are becoming a force to be reckoned with, and the Xyberhawx are the new standard for high flying teams on the roster. It would seem they’re being built to face the Campeones de Parejas in the future. **¾

Crossbones says he came back to fight. His record with sea monsters in impeccable, and tonight against Merlok will be no different. He tells Merlok to prepare for his first defeat.

Crossbones vs. Merlok

The two hosses trade forearm strikes. Crossbones barely budges Merlok with a running shoulder block, so he kicks Merlock in the side of the head. Crossbones jabs Merlok and nails him with a jumping pump kick. Merlok shakes it off. He gives Crossbones a thrust to the throat before giving him the World’s Strongest Slam! He hits a low flying clothesline. Merlock smothers Crossbones with a corner splash. He whips Crossbones into another corner, bringing Crossbones to his knees. Crossbones throws shots when getting to his feet, but he grabs Crossbones by the neck and drives his knees into his face repeatedly. Crossbones calls for the Samoan Spike. Crossbones blocks and punches Merlok in the stomach repeatedly. Merlock drives Crossbones into the corner. Merlok misses a splash. Crossbones dizzies him with a forearm strike. He gets in a flurry of shots before Merlock cuts him off with a throat thrust. Crossbones catches Merlok coming off the ropes with a Boss Man Slam for two. Crossbones headbutts Merlok to a vertical base, then comes off the middle rope with a splash for two. Merlok cuts off his second attempt and jabs Crossbones in the throat with the Samoan Spike. He pulls Crossbones down from the second turnbuckle with the Emerald Flowsion, getting the pin at 6:23. This was exactly the type of match I wanted from these two bruisers. There was no time wasted, they didn’t go too long, and now Merlok has some more credibility behind him after defeating a man of similar build who has “CHIKARA cred.” ***

Fire Ant {C} & Mark Angelosetti {T} vs. Jigsaw & Arik Cannon

Cannon and Fire Ant start in a lock-up, with Cannon snapmaring Fire Ant across the ring. Jigsaw brings Fire Ant down in a side headlock. Fire Ant puts Jigsaw in a Royal Octopus Hold upon escaping. When he starts to escape, Fire Ant transitions into a reverse prawn hold for two. Angelosetti resists Cannon’s hard running shoulder block. Angelosetti sends Cannon tumbling to the ropes with one of his own. Angelosetti ducks a clothesline and takes Cannon off his feet with a shoulder block. Jigsaw and Angelosetti look for control on the mat, reaching a stalemate when they each go for a pin attempt. Cannon blind tags back in. Fire Ant laces his legs. Cannon double wrist clutch drags Fire Ant from the apron before sending him outside with an armdrag. Angelosetti resists an O’Conor Roll. Jigsaw chops and shoves Angelosetti away. Angelosetti rocks Jigsaw with a shoulder tackle and slam. He strings together a series of splashes for two. Jigsaw goes for a monkey flip. Angelosetti lands on his feet. Jigsaw rolls under a leapfrog. Angelosetti looks like he hurt his knee on a tumble, so Jigsaw kicks it out and laces it when going to tag in Cannon. Cannon and Jigsaw take turns targeting Angelosetti’s left leg, isolating him in their corner. Angelosetti finds a moment of relief when he avoids a stomp to his leg and tackles Jigsaw to the corner. However, Jigsaw rolls right outside and yanks Fire Ant off the apron to avoid a tag. Despite this, Angelosetti is able to give Cannon a spinebuster, giving Fire Ant enough time to get back to the apron for a tag. Fire Ant takes down Cannon with a high crossbody and spikes Jigsaw with a tornado DDT. Jigsaw intercepts Fire Ant’s dive and gives him a brainbuster on the apron! Cannon hits another brainbuster on Fire Ant in the ring. Angelosetti breaks up the pin. Angelosetti’s leg makes it so he can’t complete his corner tackles to Cannon. Fire Ant notices and hits a leaping forearm strike to Cannon in the corner. He tells Angelosetti to go up top. Jigsaw pulls him down. Cannon blocks Fire Ant’s super Frankensteiner. He suplexes Fire Ant in the corner, leaving him open for a coast-to-coast dropkick from Jigsaw! He and Cannon are in disbelief when Fire Ant kicks out of their pin. Jigsaw goes for a brainbuster. Fire Ant counters with a stunner. Cannon gives Fire Ant a haymaker. Angelosetti spears Cannon, then grabs his knee in pain. Jigsaw double stomps the leg and puts Angelosetti in a half crab. Despite Cannon’s attempt to stop him, Fire Ant is able to dropkick Jigsaw and break the submission. Cannon swings Fire Ant into a neckbreaker. Total Anarchy follows. Fire Ant sends him outside and slingshots out into a Frankensteiner! Jigsaw enzuigiri’s Angelosetti. He comes off the top with a double stomp but misses. Angelosetti ducks a kick and lifts him up for the Flea Flicker. Jigsaw stops him and grabs the leg. Before he can attempt a submission, Angelosetti small packages Jigsaw for the pin at 15:48. There was a good story and fun action here, but I think the match was just getting going when it ended. I’m not sure the match needed more time, but they certainly could’ve kicked the match into the next gear a bit sooner and crescendoed to an even more exciting conclusion. That said, it was really good seeing Cannon and Jigsaw again, and both teams gelled well with their partners and opponents. This isn’t the best Golden Dreams match, but a worthy entry into the pantheon. ***¼

Missile Assault Man vs. Oleg the Usurper

Missile goes for a sharpshooter right away. Oleg uses his legs to toss him away. Missile escapes Oleg’s chokeslam attempt and tries a sunset flip. Oleg picks him up and drops him in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He hits a somersault senton for two. Missile uppercuts Oleg and stomps him in the corner.Oleg halts a Missile Launcher attempt and sends Missile to the corner. Missile whips Oleg into the opposite corner. Missile comes off the top with a diving headbutt to the kidneys. He gives Oleg the Missile stomp and multiple uppercuts. Oleg asks Missile if that’s “all he’s got.” Missile increases the uppercut frequency but Oleg asks for more. Missile obliges. Oleg tags Missile with a forearm strike, taking Missile down immediately. Oleg picks up speed before attempting a corner splash. Missile catches him, walks Oleg to mid-ring, and takes him down with a Northern Lights suplex. He then turns Oleg over into a sharpshooter. Kobald makes his way ringside in an Oleg the Usurper shirt and with a bag of onions. Missile knocks him to the apon with an uppercut, with a mess of onions and onion skin falling into the ring and around ringside. This distracts Missile long enough for Oleg to crack him with a Usurper kick. Kobald passes an onion to Oleg who takes a bite. Oleg splashes Missile against the ropes and does the deal with a Falcon Arrow. Missile kicks out. Missile escapes an Air Raid Crash and Jon Woo dropkicks Oleg to the corner. Kobald grabs Missile’s leg as he tries to ascend the ropes. Oleg goozles Missile and chokeslams him onto the apron! Kobald puts the ring bell in the ring. As Oleg comes back in, Kobald distracts referee Larry Peace. Oleg considers using the ring bel but decides against it. He goes for Off With His Head. Missile kicks Oleg away, knocking Oleg into Kobald on the apron. Missile ducks a clothesline and brings down Oleg in a crucifix pin for the win at 11:30, earning Missile his third point. This was a very solid outing between the two competitors that would’ve been made better without Kobald. I don’t mind Kobald interjecting, but his motives were very unclear. Is he truly trying to help Oleg, or is he messing with him? It’s hard to say, but either way, Oleg comes off dumb being distracted by him. Missile winning was a good call, as he and Coronado had two solid matches in Season 17, and a rubber match for the Grand Championship makes sense. **½

The Whisper greets Missile Assault Man with applause in the entrance way as he makes his way backstage.

Donald Kluger said it took him and Jasper Tippins only 8 hours to make a 36 hour bike ride to Hellertown. Jasper Tippins says they’ve more trophies and medals in other countries than germs that Crummels and Defarge have on their bodies. Tonight if their biggest journey to date, and they will take Crummels and Defarge on a ride.

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

Defarge & Crummels have been champions since “The Shape of Things to Come” and this is their third defense. In their opening exchange, Tippins gets Crummels in a number of pinning combinations but is unable to get a three count. He dropkicks Crummels to the floor, and does the same with Defarge when he enters. Dez Peloton play some mind games by posing with the title belts. Tippins trips a charging Defarge and holds onto his head while allowing Kluger to tag in. Kluger holds onto Defarge’s wrist while knocking him down with multiple clotheslines.He swings Defarge into a Gourd Buster and kicks him in the side of the head. He monkey flips Defarge across the ring for two. Dez Peloton hit him with the Broken Arrow. They double hip toss Crummels into a tandem powerbomb. Crummels and Defarge try to walk out with their title belts. Dez Peloton give chase. While Bryce is taking away one title belt, behind his back Defarge clocks Kluger with the other! Crummels DDT’s Tippins on the floor. Defarge pins Kluger at 6:50 to pick up the first fall. Defarge tries to pick up a second fall on Kluger, but Tippins breaks it up. Defarge throws Tippins back outside so Kluger is left alone to be beaten down in his and Crummels’ corner. Kluger is able to catch Defarge with a backslide, and although Defarge kicks out, he is able to slide outside. Tippins comes in with a crossbody. Defarge catches him, and slams him onto Kluger, who reappeared from behind to try and schoolyard trip Defarge. Kluger is able to hit a crucifix driver on Defarge for two. Defarge backs Kluger to the corner and tags in Crummels, who nails a corner dropkick for two. Kluger catches Crummels with a powerslam. Defarge and Crummels back him to the ropes to prevent a tag, but Kluger smartly hits the floor. Tippins comes in with a double crossbody. He splashes both Crummels and Defarge in the corner before slamming Crummels and flapjacking Defarge. Tippins hits the flying Bicycle Seat onto Kluger’s knees, getting Dez Peloton the second fall at 14:52. Kluger assists Tippins with multiple kicks to Crummels in the corner. Tippins butterfly suplexes Crummels. Tippins notices Defarge backing away, turning Dez Peloton’s attention towards him. They corner him on the floor where they slam him face first into the ring apron after a pair of forearm strikes. Crummels dives onto Dez Peloton, but gets caught and slammed onto Defarge. Tippins hits Climb the Summit on Defarge. While Bryce counts three, Crummels puts Defarge’s foot on the bottom ropes. Bryce has to end Dez Peloton’s premature celebration and inform them of the situation. Crummels pulls Kluger face first into the ring post. He brings in a title belt, distracting Bryce. Bryce catches Defarge with the other belt. As Bryce is disposing of the belts, Defarge low blows Tippins! Defarge and Crummels hit Great Expectations for the third and final fall at 18:29. After a terrific performance in Chicago, this fell short of expectations. Dez Peloton really felt like such non-factors in this match, lacking their usual energy and explosive element that makes them so unique and beloved. If they reeled in their shenanigans because they were taking the title match seriously, that didn’t come across at all. Defarge and Crummels played their roles as “dirtiest players in the game” perfectly, and while cheating in a title match isn’t preferred, it fits the rapport these two teams have established over the past eight months. Overall, it felt like some intangible was missing to put this above the “good” category. **¾

Juan Francisco de Coronado finds himself in a ten man tag tonight. He calls himself the captain of his team. Even though there’s a lot of rich history on his team, including a former Grand Champion, he is the present and the future. He will be victorious.

UltraMantis Black, Mister ZERO, Icarus, Dasher Hatfield {T} & Ophidian vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado, Hallowicked {LOR}, Frightmare {LOR}, Gran Akuma & El Hijo del Ice Cream {IC}

Hijo is pleased with himself after overhand chopping ZERO and pinching his fanny. ZERO however is able to take him down with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Hijo slips out before he can go for a Camel Clutch. Hatfield and Akuma kick one another while intertwined in a double knuckle lock. Neither man is able to knock down one another with shoulder blocks. They knock one another down with stereo shoulder blocks, leading to Hallowicked and Icarus being tagged in. Before they can lock-up, Frightmare strikes Icarus from the apron. He and Hallowicked each attack Icarus in the opposite corner. Coronado misses a splash, leading to Mantis and Icarus each attacking him, and Ophidian taking him down with an enzuigiri. Hijo strikes Ophidian in the face and feeds his arm to Akuma for a water pump across the shoulder. Hatfield suffers the same fate, but Mantis reverses and feeds Hijo’s arm to Akuma without Akuma noticing. Akuma notices all his opponents on the floor cheering him on and finally figures it out. Coronado admonishes Hijo for his incompetence and shoo him away, so the Tecnico team take him on as a sixth partner. Once things calm down, Hatfield and Coronado pick up the pace with an armdrag exchange. Hatfield monkey flips Coronado after Coronado fails twice to monkey flip him. Like they did with Icarus, Hallowicked clubs Mantis from the apron. However, Mantis reverses their double suplex and suplexes them both himself. We get an UltraZERO reunion, with Mantis and ZERO landing tandem hip tosses and basement dropkicks. Some back and forth leads to the Kinjan jump from all participants. Hallowicked and Frightmare dispose UltraZERO to the floor, and former tag partners Icarus and Akuma jump in as the legal participants. Icarus throws chops to the chest while Akuma responds with kicks to the same area. They meet each other with elbow strikes against the ropes, as well as sole butt kicks. Akuma stops Icarus’ cascade with a powerbomb. Icarus tags in Hijo after sending Akuma to the floor. Hijo nails Icarus with a Cold Stone Stunner! It was all a ruse by the Rudos, and it allows them to take control and isolate Icarus. After a few minutes, a submission chain is formed with the ten participants, complete with ZERO reading the Business section of the newspaper as he has Frightmare in a Camel Clutch. Bryce Remsburg works to get the participants in the ring down to two. Coronado rips the newspaper out of ZERO’s hand and tosses him outside. Hatfield takes down Hallowicked with various armdrags. Hallowicked catches Hatfield diving with a mid-air Go 2 Sleepy Hollow for two. Hallowicked’s partners assist in targeting Hatfield’s mid-section. Hatfield is able to catch Hallowicked with a Liger Bomb, but Frightmare breaks the up the pin. He hits a standing moonsault for two. Hatfield ducks a yakuza kick and slides outside. Mantis gets in some shots before allowing Hatfield to come in with a springboard clothesline. Ophidian nails Frightmare with Chocolate Rain. He pummels Frightmare with forearms to the face and back. Frightmare pulls him down into a back kick. Frightmare hits the Friggin’ Sweet Driver for two. The Rudos wear down Ophidian’s neck and back. Ophidian blocks a corner kick from Frightmare and drills him with the Egyptian Destroyer! Ophidian avoids a corner attack from Hijo and Hallowicked. He clotheslines Coronado before tagging in ZERO. He cleans house on the Rudo quintet, escaping Coronado’s Tiger Driver before giving him the Last Shaven Unicorn Drop for two. Icarus goes for the Shiranui on Akuma, but Akuma counters with the Tenchi Crash for two. Akuma, Hijo, and the Legion of Rot are whipped into each other before put into a quadruple row boat. In the middle, Ophidian puts Coronado in a Gory Stretch backslide for two. Coronado’s kick out breaks up the row boat stretches too. Frightmare drills Ophidian with a Frankensteiner. Icarus stops the pinfall. Hallowicked halts Icarus’ Pedigree on Frightmare. He assists Frightmare with the Headless Horseman on Icarus. Hatfield breaks the pin. Hallowicked and Akuma double hip toss Hatfield into a bucket bomb. The Rudo team assists Frightmare with a splash on Hatfield, getting a two count. Mantis clears the ring before finding himself forearm struck by Coronado. Mantis clotheslines him from behind in the opposite corner and drops him with a Japanese Ocean Cyclone suplex. Frightmare breaks up the pin, but Icarus takes him down with a Shiranui. Ophidian hits double knees off the top onto Frightmare. Hatfield muscles him into a Jackhammer. Coronado breaks the cover. Mantis tries Cosmic Doom, but Coronado reverses into the Tiger Driver. He locks on the Coronado Clutch. Mantis rolls forward, sending Coronado to the apron and elbowing him to the floor. Mantis follows with a suicide dive. Akuma kicks Mantis from the apron. ZERO forearms Akuma to the floor and follows with a somersault senton. Hatfield springboard sentons onto Coronado and Akuma, while Icarus Asai moonsaults onto Hijo and Frightmare. Ophidian springboard sentons onto a large group of persons. In the ring, Mantis catches Hallowicked off guard with the Praying Mantis Bomb for the pin at 36:32.

The locker room files out near the entrance, including CHIKARA luminaries Shane Storm, Firefly, and Rorschach. UltraMantis is left in the ring by himself. He takes off his gauntlets and leaves them in the middle of the ring. He unlaces his mask and considers taking it off, but decides against it. He then celebrates with the locker room by the entrance who help lead the audience in a “Thank You Mantis” chant.

This match was about celebrating the company’s history and some of the biggest, most colorful, and important characters in CHIKARA’s rich tapestry. It was giving the fans a feel good moment to cap off the 15th anniversary. Most importantly, it was (presumably) a farewell to one of the most essential figures in CHIKARA’s history. In all these ways, it succeeded. All the usual CHIKARA tropes we’ve come to know and love were here, with all ten characters playing the hits. The matchups you expected happened, the team-ups you expected happen, and the Hijo story was a fun twist to throw in, especially when he felt like the odd man out when the teams were first announced. Of course, some people won’t have the same sentiment as I did watching this match, but for me, this was a great encapsulation of why I enjoy CHIKARA so much. ****

Encore Match
Travis Huckabee vs. The Proletariat Boar of Moldova {BP}

Huckabee evades Boar’s opening attack and gives him some shots in the corner. He comes off the second turnbuckle hoping for a sunset flip. Instead, Boar picks him up and Beele’s him across the ring. Boar follows him into the corner with a clothesline. Boar pulls him up into a spinning backbreaker for two. He digs Huckabee’s face into the top rope. Huckabee ducks a bit boot and lariat. He drives Boar’s arm into the mat and goes for a cross armbreaker. Boar muscles Huckabee up into a one-armed seated powerbomb for two. He picks up Huckabee, who small packages Boar for two. Boar muscles up Huckabee into a vertical suplex position. Huckabee slides onto his back into a reverse prawn hold for two. Huckabee Jon Woo dropkicks Boar to the corner. Boar catches him and tries the Baconator. Huckabee counters with a successful sunset flip for two. He headbutts Boar in the chest, so Boar mows him down with a boot! Boar sets up for a Gore. Huckabee steps over and kicks Boar away. He takes Boar over with a bridging butterfly suplex for the pin at 3:56. As much as I love both these guys, they had an uphill battle after the great main event and Mantis’ presumed farewell. It wasn’t bad at all, they just had a very tough act to follow. I still concede that these matches should have ended with Quack vs. Gulak. *

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