Johnny Kidd Invitational 2017

johnny_kidd_invitational500

Philadelphia, PA – 6.18.2017

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

Commentary is provided by Mike Quackenbush on all matches but the first.

Johnny Kidd Invitational 2017 Quarterfinal Round Match
Mike Quackenbush vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.

This is a rematch from “Bad Wolf.” Sabre brings down Quackenbush in a wristlock. Quackenbush kips up and Sabre rolls away. Quackenbush holds onto both of Sabre’s arms behind Sabre’s back. Sabre fails to escape upon flipping to the canvas, allowing Quackenbush to dig his feet into Sabre’s shoulders while keeping hold of his arms. Sabre rolls back so he can use his feet to kick Quackenbush’s arms away. Sabre puts on a cravate which Quackenbush turns into a wristlock. Despite some fancy maneuvering and multiple snapmares, Quackenbush keeps ahold of the wristlock. Sabre does eventually free himself, but Quackenbush rolls up and puts Sabre in an Octopus stretch. He converts into a backslide for two. Sabre brings down Quackenbush in a wristlock, digging his knee into Quackenbush’s neck. Quackenbush kicks Sabre down by his right leg and grabs the left ankle. Quackenbush cartwheels through Sabre’s rolling escape. When Quackenbush grabs the ankle again, Sabre maneuvers him into a headlock takeover and does some ankle damage to Quackenbush himself. Quackenbush tries pulling Sabre into a side headlock. Sabre quickly turns it into a bow arrow, which Quackenbush flips out of and gets two with a lateral press. Quackenbush pulls Sabre up and drops him on his hips and lower back. Sabre throws an uppercut, the first strike of the match. Quackenbush remains composed until Sabre throws several more and a headbutt to the stomach. Quackenbush clobbers Sabre with a clothesline as he comes off the ropes. Quackenbush uses his legs to muscle Sabre down. Sabre ducks a palm strike and half-nelson suplexes Quackenbush into a bridge for the pin at 10:23. This was a great follow up to their initial encounter. Sabre couldn’t best Quackenbush on the mat, so he threw Quackenbush off his game by changing things up and it paid off, as making Quackenbush angry ultimately cost him the match. I could watch these two wrestle every month. ***½

Rory Gulak talks about how much of an influence Johnny Kidd has been worldwide and in CHIKARA. Entering into the tournament named after him is an honor. Travis Huckabee may be a golden grappler, but Rory is amazing.

Johnny Kidd Invitational 2017 Quarterfinal Round Match
Travis Huckabee vs. Rory Gulak

Gulak grounds Huckabee with a double leg takedown. He trips Huckabee while holding a half-nelson. Huckabee grabs a waistlock. Gulak has difficulty escaping, but eventually reverses on the ground. Huckabee uses the same single leg takedown Gulak did out of the full-nelson. Gulak fireman’s carries Huckabee into a bottom rope splash. He throws Huckabee overhead while holding onto the arm, then fireman’s carries him into a lateral press. Huckabee bridges up, so Gulak butterfly suplexes him. Gulak pulls Huckabee’s leg around his own leg, pulling the bottom of Huckabee’s foot near his head. Huckabee escapes. Gulak slams him, but Huckabee uses his feet to stop another splash. Huckabee tries pinning Gulak in cradles but Gulak won’t let him get both his shoulders down. Gulak has issues finding a lateral press himself. Huckabee tries a front facelock. Gulak switches out and catches Huckabee in an inside cradle for the pin at 5:54. With a lifetime of amateur wrestling, coaching, and training behind him, it made sense that Gulak would outshine the rookie Huckabee and have ways to prevent himself from being pinned. Having Gulak defeat Huckabee in a short time also sets him up as a force to be reckoned with right off the bat. *½

Johnny Kidd Invitational 2017 Quarterfinal Round Match
Matthew Riddle vs. Hallowicked {LOR}

Riddle goes for waistlocks while Hallowicked counters into front facelocks. When Hallowicked tries a hammerlock, Riddle puts on his own front facelock. Hallowicked slides out and both men stand off. Riddle grabs an armbar, but Hallowicked goes to the ropes right away. He also blocks Riddle’s cross armbreaker quickly with the ropes. Riddle knee strikes him to the corner. Hallowicked turns around and overhand chops Riddle. Riddle answers with one of his own. Riddle forearms him several times in the corner. He ducks a clothesline and winds Hallowicked into a kick to the head. A jumping forearm in the corner and an exploder suplex leave Riddle standing tall. He gets two with a running senton splash. Riddle gives Hallowicked a gutwrench suplex. Hallowicked gets his knees up to block a second senton splash. Hallowicked kicks away at Riddle’s ribs before whipping him across the ring for a step-up Frankensteiner, getting him a nearfall. He snapmares Riddle and dropkicks him in the back of the head for two. Riddle catches Hallowicked with a belly-to-belly throw. Riddle and Hallowicked fail to hit Bro To Sleep and Go 2 Sleepy Hollow, so Riddle German suplexes Hallowicked for two. Back on their feet, Hallowicked successfully lands Go 2 Sleepy Hollow for two. Riddle avoids a back suplex. He knee strikes Hallowicked in the face before hitting a fisherman’s buster for two. Riddle senton splashes Hallowicked across the back. He kicks away at Riddle’s stomach and drops him with the Rydeen Bomb for two. The two men trade blows as they get to their feet. Riddle dizzies Hallowicked with another knee. He hits Bro To Sleep and a German suplex. Miraculously, Hallowicked kicks out! The BroStone piledriver gets Riddle barely a one count! Wasting no time, Riddle locks on the BroMission. Hallowicked taps out at 11:20. Riddle likes to end his matches fairly quickly, and to counteract, Hallowicked tried taking the air out of him and stuck close to the ropes. It took everything Riddle had to take down the two time former Grand Champion, making both competitors look very strong. I think the tone of this match being more throw and strike based after two very technical battles was really smart and added diversity to the opening round. This was fantastic. ***¾

James Mason says it’s a pleasure to be invited to the JKI. Johnny Kidd is one of his best friends and he’s looking forward to perform in Philadelphia.

Johnny Kidd Invitational 2017 Quarterfinal Round Match
James Mason vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado

Coronado bails outside as soon as Mason takes him down with a shoulder tackle. Coronado teases locking knuckles, but goes back outside instead. When Coronado does commit to the knuckle lock, Mason makes him pay for it by twisting on the wrist and lifting him overhead. Coronado reverses, but Mason reverses back and brings Coronado to the mat where he cracks Coronado’s fingers. He wrenches onto Coronado’s wrist as he whips him to the mat and bars the arm. Coronado goes to pin Mason’s shoulders to the mat in a double knuckle lock. Mason gets his shoulders up on the counts. Mason monkey flips Coronado and both men get to their feet when Bryce begins counting both their shoulders down. Surprisingly, Coronado actually shakes Mason’s hand, but does kick him in the stomach right after and takes down Mason in a side headlock. Mason tries rolling Coronado to his shoulders but fails to get a pinfall. Mason wiggles his way free of the headlock. Mason uses his hips to escape a waistlock. From a sunset flip, Mason and Coronado seesaw for the pin advantage, ending up back on their feet. Mason locks up Coronado’s legs. Coronado goes behind and tries for the Coronado Clutch. Mason rolls forward to avoid it, but Coronado immediately hits him with a dropkick. He takes two shots to Mason’s lower back before delivering a clothesline. Mason puts on the breaks in the corner. Once again the men seesaw after a sunset flip. At the end, Coronado tries the Clutch once more, but he’s too close to the ropes. Mason gets in a few European uppercuts before landing a high speed somersault senton. He uses his legs to apply pressure to Coronado’s neck and shoulders. Mason full nelsons Coronado into a full nelson for two. Coronado converts into a Rings of Saturn. Mason escapes and comes off the middle turnbuckle with a crossbody for two. Mason monkey flips Coronado into mid-ring. He tries a second monkey flip, but Coronado pushes him down. Coronado pins Mason in a folding press while putting his feet on the ropes for the pin at 12:54. Mason put in an exemplary performance, showcasing a lot of innovation and excitement in his offense. Coronado was a very good antagonist for him to showcase what he had, and to Coronado’s credit, he was able to “hang” with one of the practitioners of the style this tournament celebrates and prove himself to be on Mason’s level. I really do hope to see Mason back in a CHIKARA ring. ***

Young Lions Cup
Sylverhawk {X2K} vs. Hermit Crab

Sylverhawk has been champion since 6.4.2017 and this is his second defense. Crab throws Sylverhawk down to the mat by the back of his head to end a wristlock exchange. Sylverhawk picks up the pace, sending Crab outside with an armdrag. Sylverhawk tries following with a suicide dive, but Crab catches him and chokeslams Sylverhawk on the apron! Back inside, Crab hits the Naniwa elbow onto Sylverhawk’s shoulder blades. He gives Sylverhawk a vertical suplex onto his knee for two. Sylverhawk sends Crab to the corner. He misses an attack, crotching himself on the middle turnbuckle. Crab strikes him in the back and puts Sylverhawk in a Boston Crab in the ropes! In the ring he suplexes Sylverhawk for two. Crab digs his pincers into Sylverhawk’s clavicle. Sylverhawk fights free and sends Crab to the corner with a bicycle kick. Sylverhawk favors the back as he hits two Stinger Splashes. Crab drives Sylverhawk down with a spinebuster. Sylverhawk escapes a Boston Crab attempt. Crab strikes him in the back a few times. Sylverhawk drills Crab with a DDT to counter another spinebuster. Sylverhawk misses a top rope splash. Crab pulls him into the Boston Crab. Sylverhawk taps out at 5:41, and Crab wins the Young Lions Cup! These two told a succinct and effective story with Crab’s offense solely focused on wearing down Sylverhawk’s back and it paying off. They kept a good, nonstop pace and the win came off as both surprising yet hard earned. Nothing bad to say about this one. **¾

Zack Sabre, Jr. says Johnny Kidd is one of his heroes. Watching Kidd as a youngster blew Sabre’s mind, and Sabre feels Kidd is the embodiment of everything good in pro wrestling. Sabre emulated Kidd for years, and while he thought Kidd might take offense, he was very warm and friendly when they finally crossed paths. Sabre would’ve been heartbroken if he wasn’t in this tournament, and he’s happy if for nothing else to spend some time with Kidd on this day.

Johnny Kidd Invitational 2017 Semifinal Round Match
Zack Sabre, Jr. vs. Rory Gulak

Gulak and Sabre have a bit of fun with the crowd before locking up. Gulak goes for the legs. He doesn’t keep control for long, as Sabre tries a cross armbreaker, but Gulak is quick to the ropes. Sabre bridges back when he gets Gulak in an Indian Deathlock. Gulak rolls free and Sabre gets the ropes before Gulak can grab a limb. Sabre rotates Gulak into an ankle lock, then locks Gulak’s leg while putting on a modified surfboard. Gulak falls into the ropes to escape. Gulak grabs a waistlock, which Sabre turns into a crucifix pin. Gulak pulls Sabre’s arm behind his head in an overhead wristlock. Sabre retaliates with a surfboard, putting Gulak down onto his shoulders for another nearfall. Sabre handlebars Gulak’s arm and digs his head into Gulak’s shoulders. Gulak turns it around, using his foot to apply pressure to Sabre’s shoulders. Sabre escapes the handlebars and uppercuts Gulak. After trading strikes, Gulak catches a kick from Sabre and puts on an ankle lock. Sabre rolls Gulak into a cross armbreaker. Gulak reverses back into the ankle lock. Sabre gets to his feet and puts Gulak in a Guillotine. Gulak maneuvers Sabre up into a bodyslam. Gulak chops Sabre while Sabre responds with uppercuts. Sabre trips Gulak into a reverse rolling prawn hold with a back bridge. The back bridge opens Sabre up for Gulak’s Dragon Clutch! Sabre taps out at 9:47. While it wasn’t a story told on commentary, Sabre defeated Rory’s brother Drew in the Cruiserweight Classic, and here Rory was able to get revenge for his brother (even telling the camera “that was for you, Drew.”)Given this is Gulak’s first night in CHIKARA aside from the Infinite Gauntlet, him defeating Sabre, Jr. instantly showcases him as being a cut above by besting Sabre at his own game. More urgency and story to the action would’ve made this match a bit better, but it was still quite enjoyable. **¾

Johnny Kidd Invitational 2017 Semifinal Round Match
Matthew Riddle vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado

Coronado doesn’t shake hands with Riddle, but Bryce is happy to oblige the King of Bros. Riddle throws down Coronado in a waistlock twice, the second time lifting Coronado off the mat, then dropping him right away because Coronado had his hands on the ropes. Coronado digs into Riddle’s eyes to escape Riddle’s grasp. He German suplexes Riddle and drives his shoulder into his stomach in the corner. He snapmares Riddle into several knee strikes and a forearm strike to the small of the back. Coronado nails Riddle in the side of the head with elbows in the corner before whipping him into the opposite corner. Riddle uses open handed shots and forearms to escape a chinlock, but Coronado cuts him off with a dropkick. Riddle counters Coronado’s Tiger Driver attempt with a waterwheel slam. Coronado overhand chops Riddle repeatedly after Riddle misses a diving forearm. Riddle absorbs them, gives back his own chops, and rocks Coronado with repeated forearm strikes. The leaping forearm connects the second time around, and Riddle capitalizes with an exploder suplex and three gutwrench suplexes. However, he only gets two with a senton splash. He goes for Bro To Sleep. Coronado blocks with a German suplex which only gives him a one count! Coronado cuts off Riddle with an enzuigiri. The Tiger Driver lands but Riddle kicks out at two. Riddle hits the Bro To Sleep and a German suplex for two. He goes for the BroStone. Coronado turns it around and puts on the Coronado Clutch. Riddle tumbles forward to escape and scoops up Coronado into the BroStone. Coronado rolls to the outside to avoid a pin. He grabs his title belt and tosses it into the ring. While referee Bryce Remsburg is busy with that, Coronado nails Riddle from behind with the Ecuadorian flag. He puts Riddle in the Coronado Clutch. He adds kicks to the back of Riddle’s skull. Riddle passes out and his arm drops thrice, giving Coronado the win at 9:58. You just knew this wasn’t going to end cleanly, but at least the wrestling before that was compelling and hard hitting. Coronado cheating his way to the finals makes him the antithesis of what Johnny Kidd stood for, which is a nice contrast to what Gulak has done in his two matches, setting the table for an interesting final round. ***

Jessica Troy says her and Mick Moretti traveled to America to put Australian pro wrestling on the map. Tonight is their first singles match together. She’s excited to prove herself to one of the people who trained her and to the CHIKARMY as well. Troy is aware of what Moretti can do and how unpredictable he can be, but she’s also fully aware of how to defeat him. Together, they will prove Australian pro wrestling belongs here.

Jessica Troy vs. Mick Moretti

Troy outmaneuvers Moretti. She doesn’t have the leverage for a schoolboy. Moretti sends her face first into the canvas. Troy backs her to the floor and puts him in a side headlock when he comes back in. Some counters on the mat lead to Troy booting Moretti in the face. They reverse pin attempts. Moretti punches the mat by accident. Troy snapmares him but misses a double knee drop. Troy snaps off a Frankensteiner and brings down Moretti with a double wrist clutch armdrag. Her double knees connect the second time around. Moretti side steps a bicycle kick. He drives Troy throat first into the top rope when countering a waistlock. Troy fights off Moretti’s shoulders, but Moretti muscles her back up into a fisherman’s buster for two. He brings Troy up to the top turnbuckle. She slides out and brings Moretti crashing down face first into the top turnbuckle. After some strikes, Troy springboards in with a neck-tie headscissors. She hits the Deja vu headscissors, sending Moretti to the corner. Another bicycle kick gets a two count. Moretti headstands into a mule kick. He knocks out Troy with a snapmare driver for the win at 5:25. Troy showed a lot of great skill and ability, but Moretti’s cunning could not be overcome. This was a great showcase for both competitors. I have to imagine we’ll see both of them back in CHIKARA sooner than later. **¼

Razerhawk {X2K} & Nytehawk {X2K} vs. Sho Tanaka {NJ} & Yohei Komatsu {NJ}

This is the Tempura Boyz’s CHIKARA debut and the first match for Nytehawk in Season 18. Komatsu and Nytehawk feel each other out to start. Komatsu arm whips Nytehawk overhead, but is taken over with a shoulder throw. Nytehawk follows up with a cartwheel elbow in the corner and a lariat. Razerhawk and Tanaka tag in. Tanaka resists Razerhawk’s shoulder blocks. Razerhawk opts for a headscissors but Tanaka puts on the breaks. Razerhawk however sends him out with a knee strike. Komatsu trips Razerhawk as he hits the ropes. He brings him outside and delivers a superkick. Tanaka hits a flying dropkick to Razerhawk’s back. Nytehawk comes in but is quickly tossed outside. Komatsu holds him so Tanaka can hit a penalty kick from the apron. The Tempura Boyz wear down Nytehawk back in the ring while Razerhawk recovers. Nytehawk halts a backslide from Tanaka, maneuvering him into chops from Komatsu. Nytehawk dropkicks both Tanaka and Komatsu away. Razerhawk tags in and takes out both of them with double armdrags and back handspring elbows. Razerhawk tope con hilo’s out onto Komatsu. Nytehawk unloads with kicks on Tanaka. Nytehawk nails a Superfly splash. Razerhawk follows with a Swanton bomb. Komatsu breaks the pin. He brings Nytehawk down with diving double knees. Razerhawk wipes out Komatsu with a tornado DDT. Tanaka clotheslines Razerhawk. Xyberhawx take him down with double dropkicks. Razerhawk huracanrana’s Komatsu. Tanaka breaks the pin and German suplexes Nytehawk. Razerhawk fights off both Tempura Boyz with chops. Tanaka and Komatsu hit a flapjack/Complete Shot combo for two. Komatsu wipes out Nytehawk with a dropkick. The Tempura Boyz land a Diamond Dust/Gory Bomb combo for the pin at 8:15. The Tempura Boyz made a great first impression, matching X2K’s speed and bringing the power in their offense. With Razerhawk and Sylverhawk being the “main” team of the triumvirate, them taking a loss here doesn’t hurt their points standing and allows the new team to look strong in their debut. Very good stuff. ***

Johnny Kidd Invitational 2017 Final Round Match
Rory Gulak vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado

Johnny Kidd comes out to show off the ring the winner of this match will receive. Gulak shakes his hand, Coronado does not. The two stare each other down after the bell rings. Gulak immediately throws Coronado to the mat. He rolls Coronado in a front chancery. Coronado escapes but Gulak puts on the Dragon Clutch. Coronado taps out in 0:52 and wins the inaugural Johnny Kidd Invitational! In one night, Gulak established himself by defeating one of CHIKARA’s top prospects, an international superstar, and the Grand Champion, perfectly setting him up for a championship opportunity in the future. There’s only one rating for this match: AMAZING!

In a post-credits scene, the Whisper and Juan Francisco de Coronado meet-up backstage. Coronado mentions the “trick” the Whisper did to Jeremy Leary at “Bad Wolf.” The Whisper says it was “a simple post hypnotic suggestion; a tiny little trick.” The Whisper suggests it may of use to the illustrious Grand Champion. With a smile, Coronado nods in agreement.

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