Young Lions Cup XIV – 1st Stage

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Philadelphia, PA – 3.17.2018

Championship Rundown
Grand Champion: Juan Francisco de Coronado
Campeones de Parejas: Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice
Young Lions Cup Champion: Vacant

Commentary is provided by Mike Quackenbush, Icarus, Bryce Remsburg, Dasher Hatfield, Jeremy Leary, and Scott Holladay.

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Brett Domino is here to represent the New England Pro Wrestling Academy and Chaotic Wrestling. He’s worked hard the past three years to make it to this tournament, and he’s not here to waste that opportunity.

Young Lions Cup XIV Quarter-Final Elimination Match
Brett Domino vs. Green Ant vs. Omari {FCP} vs. Percy Davis {SOR}

Green Ant takes the opening exchange with Domino by running the ropes to armdrag his way out of Domino’s courting hold. Domino shoulder blocks him down and sends him outside with an enzuigiri. Davis attacks Domino from behind and takes him down with a side kick. He rubs his boot laces in Domino’s face. Davis sets up for a punch when Omari blind tags himself in. Domino armdrags Omari coming in. Omari blocks the second and hits his own side kick in the corner. He comes off the second turnbuckle with a dropkick. Davis bites Omari’s ear, then Domino’s. Davis then bites Green Ant’s antennae given his lack of outer ear. All three of them kick Davis down in unity. Domino stacks up all of his opponents in the corner, then with a dropkick knocks them all down, like dominos! Davis catches a rolling maneuver from Domino and nails him with a Pounce. A ripcord haymaker from Davis eliminates Domino at 6:42. Omari dropkicks Davis out of the ring. Green Ant lights up Omari with a series of strikes. Davis pounces both Omari and Green Ant as Green Ant sets up Omari in a front facelock. Davis hooks Green Ant up for the ripcord haymaker, but Green Ant intercepts with a backslide, pinning Davis at 7:44. Green Ant chops up Omari before kicking out his legs. Omari doesn’t budge on a crossbody. He picks up Green Ant with one arm. Green Ant slides out of his arms and gives Omari a brainbuster for two. Green Ant jumps off the second rope with a double stomp to Omari’s face for two. Omari catches Green Ant’s high crossbody and hits the OZone for the pin and the win at 9:53. Percy Davis was the highlight of this bout, adding a whole lot of personality to an otherwise dry match. This isn’t to say the wrestling wasn’t good (it definitely was), but it didn’t seem like the other competitors added to much to the match personality wise. The last bit with Omari and Green Ant was very good, and arguably could’ve used a little more time, but from this match I’ll remember Davis the most. **½

Dylan Bostic talks about how huge today is for him. Everyone will remember him when all is said and done.

Young Lions Cup XIV Quarter-Final Elimination Match
Blanch Babish vs. DL Hurst vs. Dylan Bostic vs. Fuego Del Sol

Babish is the newest member of the CHIKARA roster, making her debut in this match. She places her chewing gum on the top turnbuckle, and Hurst puts it in his mouth. Babish gives him a sole butt kick before tagging in Sol. Sol uses a variation of armdrags on Hurst, then baits him into a hip attack from the apron. Sol flies in with a springboard dropkick to send Hurst outside. Babish and Sol do a little dancing and invite Bostic to join them. Bostic sends Sol away so he can dance solo with Babish. Babish kicks Bostic in the stomach. Hurst drags her out of the ring when she hits the ropes. Bostic uses a series of kicks to Send Hurst to the corner. He whips Hurst chest first into another corner and German suplexes him into the middle of the ring. Hurst kicks out Bostic’s knee and lands a senton splash to his back for two. Hurst forearms Sol off the apron for good measure and gets admonished for poking Bostic in the eyes. Hurst and Babish work over Bostic’s back, blind tagging themselves in on each other. Bostic escapes an Angle Slam and dumps Hurst on his head with a back suplex. Bostic tags in Sol who takes down Hurst with a casadora facebreaker and a step up Frankensteiner. He tiger feint kicks Hurst as Hurst is seated on the middle turnbuckle, then brings him down with a back cracker for two. Hurst hip tosses Sol into a tree of woe. Babish tags back in, but Hurst suplexes her onto Sol! They both roll out, leaving Hurst to suffer a sneak attack knee strike from Bostic. Bostic then suicide dives onto Sol and Babish. Hurst moonsaults onto Sol and Bostic on the floor, with Babish following up with a somersault senton onto Bostic and Hurst. Sol ends things with a sobule springboard cancun tornado to Bostic and Babish. Hurst nails Sol with a rolling forearm strike. In the ring, Bostic superplexes Hurst, but can’t capitalize due to his hurt back. Babish however swoops in with a jackknife pin on Hurst, eliminating him at 12:27. Bostic drops Babish with a double knee gutbuster. Bostic’s back is too hurt to give Sol a second. Sol strings a Slingblade backbreaker into a Complete Shot, eliminating Bostic at 13:08. Sol misses a Spiral Tap on Babish. Babish rolls him into the Soda Jerk submission (a variant on the AT Lock) in 13:29. I never love eliminations coming so close together, but it worked fine here. Bostic did an awesome job as the connective tissue between the participants, Sol looked good when he was in there (though I’d like to have seen more), and Babish was an instant hit with the CHIKARA faithful. Hurst was fine but seemed like the odd man out with no distinct character. This was about as good as the match that preceded it. **½

Super Beetle has been told over and over that he needed to be in CHIKARA. Despite the change of scenery, his mission statement doesn’t change: hornbutt everybody.

Young Lions Cup XIV Quarter-Final Elimination Match
Anthony Greene vs. Cajun Crawdad {CD} vs. Gabby Ortiz vs. Super Beetle

Greene and Crawdad attack Ortiz and Beetle before they can get the match started. Greene hits “Be Kind, Rewind” (a spring back Ace Crusher) on Beetle. Ortiz valiantly fights off Crawdad and Greene, sending Crawdad outside with a dropkick. Greene drives her back first to the corner but can’t bring himself to hit her. Greene catches her coming off the top and passes her back and forth between Crawdad. Beetle joins the fray and assists Ortiz with a double cutter to Greene and Crawdad for two. Beetle also assists her with a headscissors to Greene. Ortiz and Beetle both clobber Crawdad. Beetle and Ortiz do a little celebratory dancing until Ortiz rolls Beetle down into a pin and then spikes him with a DDT. Greene ends up blasting her with a punch for two. He gives Ortiz an X-Factor for two. Crawdad Gator rolls Ortiz but ends up being sent outside. Greene attacks her as she hits the ropes, but misses a dive in from the entrance stage. Ortiz gives him a pair of atomic drops and a basement dropkick for two. Greene recovers with a suplex for two. Ortiz ducks under a punch and puts Greene in a Royal Octopus Hold. Greene grabs the ropes and drops her to the mat. Crawdad denies a tag from Greene. After some kicks, Ortiz gives Greene “Broad Street” (a spin-out neckbreaker), eliminating him at 8:19. Crawdad knocks Ortiz out of the ring. Beetle dropkicks Crawdad across the ring. Crawdad kicks out his right knee. Crawdad puts him in a half crab. Beetle escapes and unloads another dropkick. He gives Crawdad a hornbutt and brainbuster for two. Ortiz blind tags herself in on Beetle and unleashes forearm strikes to Crawdad. She goes for Broad Street again, but Crawdad lifts her up into his elevated twisting neckbreaker, eliminating her at 11:25. Beetle fails to get three with a schoolboy. He hornbutts Crawdad twice for another two count. Beetle transitions mid-air from a back suplex into a chest first slam for two. Beetle ascends to the top turnbuckle. Crawdad brings him down with the Clawesome Bomb for the pin and victory at 12:36. This did a better job of keeping the action moving along than the last contest. Even though a lot of people were excited for Beetle, Ortiz ended up being the stand out. Greene is solid but I don’t get the character. His face says sleaze, but the rest of his says “retro”, and I don’t get WHY his character is retro, or how that helps him as a professional wrestler. Crawdad was good but was seemingly absent for most of the match. My takeaway from this is that Ortiz is somebody I’d like to see more of in a CHIKARA ring. **¼

Geddy Cahoon says he has been looked down upon and hurt his entire life. Wrestling is the only place he can’t be ignored and seen as an equal. Everyone in the tournament will feel the pain he has felt for twenty two years and they will not forget his name.

Young Lions Cup XIV Quarter-Final Elimination Match
Air Wolf vs. Cameron Zagami vs. Eli Isom {ROH} vs. Geddy Cahoon

The angry Cahoon mows down Zagami with a clothesline after absorbing all of Zagami’s offense. Isom leapfrogs twice over Cahoon before delivering a knee strike. Cahoon tags in Wolf. Isom drives him to the corner and follows in with a running uppercut. Wolf evades a second attack, kicking Isom in the face and coming off the ropes with an alita armdrag. After Wolf dropkicks Isom, Zagami tags himself in and throws Wolf outside. He gives Isom an overhead suplex. Cahoon tosses Zagami to the floor and yanks Wolf in from the floor back into the ring. Zagami sneaks in from behind but gets caught in Cahoon’s arm. Cahoon drives him into Isom and Wolf in opposite corners. He slams Zagami onto Wolf and Isom as well. Isom sends Cahoon and Zagami outside, then dives onto both of them. Wolf lands a corkscrew plancha onto all three opponents! In the ring, Cahoon cracks Wolf with a fist. Zagami takes him down with a headscissors and gives Cahoon the Acid Drop. Wolf tumbles forward and takes down Zagami with a crossbody. Isom gives Wolf a tilt-a-whirl arm capture backbreaker, following up with a release Northern Lights suplex. Cahoon blasts Isom with a lariat before giving him a Death Valley slam, eliminating Isom at 6:47. Cahoon catches Wolf coming off the middle rope with a chokeslam for a very close nearfall. After a gamengiri in the corner to Cahoon, Wolf comes off the top with a splash to eliminate Cahoon at 8:35. Zagami counters Wolf’s headscissors by dropping him face first into the mat. Wolf avoids the Acid Drop. Zagami however drops him with the Stroke and locks on the American Grip (a seated Cobra Clutch). Wolf gets to the bottom rope. Wolf takes down Zagami with a standing Spanish Fly for two. Wolf comes off the top with a splash. Zagami gets his knees up and cradles Wolf for the pin and victory at 10:56. All four competitors left a lasting impression. It seemed everybody wanted Air Wolf to win, and Zagami taking him out of the tournament makes him one of the most hated persons leading into the next round, a role that suits him perfectly. Cahoon I wasn’t too sure about going into this, but did a great job as the overwhelming monster. This was my first time seeing Isom and liked what he brought to the table. A fun match that was easily the best of the first round bouts. ***

Tag World Grand Prix 2018 Qualifying Match
Cheech Hernandez & Colin Delaney vs. Oceanea {CD} & Merlok {CD}

Oceanea unloads forearms to Cheech’s chin to break a wristlock and take him to the corner. Cheech stops her uppercut barrage with a backslide. She kicks Cheech after being taken down with a sunset flip. She hooks him in the mouth and tosses him across the ring. Oceanea kicks Cheech’s leg out to drop him onto the top turnbuckle, then kicks him to the apron. Cheech ducks a clothesline and comes in from the apron with a roll-up for two. Delaney tags in and gets slammed by Merlock quickly. Merlok tosses Delaney on his behind when Delaney fails a headlock takeover. Delaney gets taken down with a shoulder block, but pulls off a headscissors from the mat. He pulls off another and tags in Cheech. Cheech gets his leg kicked out as he charges towards Merlok. Cheech gets Oceanea outside and wheelbarrows Delaney so Delaney can send Merlok outside with a headscissors. Delaney and Cheech land stereo dives onto the Creatures of the Deep. Oceanea trips Delaney as he tries to get back into the ring, causing him to crash face first on the apron. In the ring, Merlok cuts off Cheech with a running shoulder block. As Delaney recovers, Oceanea and Merlok abrade Cheech in their corner. Cheech momentarily stuns Merlok with a knee to the face, but Merlok wise rolls outside so Oceanea can legally stop Cheech from tagging out. Cheech cartwheels off the top and kicks Oceanea. He side steps a charging Merlok and tags in Delaney. After a pair of forearms, Delaney drops Oceanea with a tornado DDT for two. Merlok grabs Delaney’s foot as Delaney hits the ropes. Delaney baseball slide dropkicks Merlok, but Oceanea follows Delaney to the mat in the hopes of applying the Reel Catch. Delaney grabs the ropes. Cheech scoops Oceanea up, but she brings him down into the Reel Catch. Delaney breaks the hold. Delaney forearms Merlock outside. Delaney hits a sliding German suplex to Oceanea to take her off the second rope. Delaney baseball slide dropkicks Merlok before giving Oceanea a diving Ace Crusher. Cheech catches her momentum and delivers a bridging German suplex for two. Cheech kicks Merlok as he tries to enter the ring. Delaney hooks up Oceanea onto Cheech’s shoulders for their “Lincoln Logs” maneuver. Merlok drags Cheech out of the ring to stop his pin on Oceanea. Oceanea catches Delaney with a boot. Merlok gives him a lariat and Samoan Drop. Oceanea comes off the top with a flying senton. Cheech breaks the pin. Merlok gives Cheech the World’s Strongest Slam. Oceanea gives Merlok a Code Red off the top and onto Cheech (a move they call “the Tidal Wave”) for the pin at 15:07. It was really great seeing Colin and Cheech back in a CHIKARA ring. I’ve followed their team in AIW for years now and I think they’re a perfect fit for the tag division. They did a very good job making me think they had a chance against the surefire winners and it took a devastating tandem maneuver for Melrok and Oceanea to get the win. Really good stuff. ***

This video shows us how the following singles match came to be.

Ophidian vs. Fire Ant

Ophidian evades Fire Ant’s relentless offense. Ophidian gets a series of nearfalls before Fire Ant catches Ophidian with three hard straight right hands. It seems as if Ophidian is possibly knocked out on the floor, but Fire Ant “helps” him from the apron into the ring. Ophidian avoids a leg sweep and a dive. He flies out of the ring through the ropes and headscissors Fire Ant into a ring post. Fire Ant pops Ophidian up to the apron and sweeps his legs out from underneath him. Ophidian ducks a Yahtzee Kick. Ophidian rolls away on the second rope evading more kicks. A pair of kicks to Fire Ant’s head leads to Ophidian sending him to the corner with a slingshot headscissors. Ophidian lands double knees in the corner. Fire Ant peels himself up off the mat but is met with a palm strike. Ophidian catches a Yahtzee Kick attempt. Fire Ant blocks Ophidian’s forearm strikes, turning things over and blasting Ophidian with his own forearm strikes. Ophidian once more ducks the Yahtzee Kick and rolls up onto Fire Ant, looking for the Death Grip. Ophidian keeps a body scissors on as Fire Ant forearms him down to the mat. They interlock fingers. Ophidian tries a Mexican catapult, but in mid-air Fire Ant unlaces their fingers and cracks Ophidian with a forearm strike. He drops Ophidian with a brainbuster. The Beach Break follows, but Fire Ant does not go for a pin. Bryce threatens a castigo de excesivo call to which Fire Ant seemingly resigns. However, he hits a Yahtzee Kick in the corner. Fire Ant goes for the Beach Break. Ophidian fights that off, holding onto both of Fire Ant’s wrists as he stacks him up in a bridging backslide for the pin at 10:00. Fire Ant is angry at the flash pin, but Bryce Remsburg successfully cools him off. Reading my write-up does not do justice to the intensity Fire Ant showed and just how well executed the evasions were pulled off by both competitors. Little things like Fire Ant looking directly into Ophidian’s eyes as Ophidian lay on the mat but keeps his bodyscissors applied added so much emotion to an already emotionally volatile match. This was a very well told story between two of the best on the roster. ***¼

Scott Holladay asks what’s next for Ophidian. He says all three points he earned have meaning – he had to claw out of his own grave for the first point, fight his own guilt for the second, and fight one of his closest rivals and allies in Fire Ant for the third. The next step on his journey is through Juan Francisco de Coronado. On March 31, he is cashing in those points, and he will do whatever it takes to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. The dark journey ends with him becoming Grand Champion.

Tag World Grand Prix 2018 Qualifying Match
Solo Darling & Travis Huckabee vs. The Whisper & Troll

Troll chops Darling after being backed to the corner. He runs away and tags in Whisper. Darling takes him down with a tornado DDT. Whisper knee strikes Darling and drops her with a neckbreaker for two. Troll rakes her back and eyes upon being tagged back in. The Troll releases it to try and tag out, but Darling pops him up into a powerbomb. The Whisper saves Troll from being dropped off of Huckabee’s shoulders. Whisper slams Huckabee himself for a two count. He also gets two with a launchpad legdrop. Huckabee headbutts Whisper in the chest and brings him down into a crucifix pin for two. Troll comes to aid Whisper, but Whisper orders him out of the ring. Darling catches Whisper with a modified Rydeen Bomb. Huckabee swings Whisper in a Stretch Muffler. Darling puts him in the Sharp Stinger. Troll jabs Darling in the throat to break the hold. Darling slaps him out of the ring. Whisper slams hero into a chinlock abdominal stretch. Troll takes too long to assist Whisper with a double team move, that by the time it’s executed, Darling is long gone. Huckabee baseball slide dropkicks Whisper and Troll thrice each. Whisper ducks the fourth, but gets sent back in the ring where Darling pops him up into a powerbomb. Darling taps him out with the Sharp Stinger in 9:09. Unlike the previous TWGP qualifying match, you never thought the team least likely to win stood a chance. But, you weren’t supposed to. The Whisper earned three points with the fake Amasis and knows what a good partner looks like. Troll is anything but – he’s weak and ineffective. The wrestling was just okay and lacked cohesion. *

Juan Francisco de Coronado makes his way to the ring with Grand Championship in hand. He’s come to the Wrestle Factory tonight for one reason. Ever since losing at the Season Finale, Dasher Hatfield has joined the Commentation Station to try and sully Juan’s name by stating he is a cheater. Juan says Hatfield is a cheater himself and asks for Bryce Remsburg to come to the ring. He asks Bryce if it is against the rules to attack an opponent before the bell and with a closed fist, both of which Dasher did at “Closing Time.” Bryce answers both questions “yes” and then Juan tells him to get out of the ring. Bryce knocks his Ecuadorian flag down as he exits. Juan says he will not rest until Hatfield is exposed for the hypocrite he is. After placing Juan on the top turnbuckle, Dasher Hatfield tells Coronado his claims are nonsense, but owns up to the fact that he lost to Juan. Dasher says he is somebody his son Dasher Jr.(who is ringside watching on) can watch and be proud of. He will soon be somebody the CHIKARMY will be proud to call Grand Champion. Juan says he will expose Dasher for the cheater he is. At the end of the day, everybody will know the truth.

Young Lions Cup XIV Semi-Final Round Match
Blanche Babish vs. Cameron Zagami

Babish figure eight headscissors Zagami. She grabs a side headlock, but Zagami sends her outside and hits a low flying suicide dive. Back inside he gives Babish an exploder suplex into the corner and a second mid-ring for two. Babish catches Zagami with a forearm in the corner as Zagami does a headstand. Babish gets two with a German suplex. After the Acid Drop, Zagami goes for the American Grip, but Babish scurries to the ropes to escape. They trade forearms and chops with Babish getting the better of the exchange. She hits a fallaway kick and a Code Breaker for two. Zagami stomps on her back in the corner. He misses a split-legged moonsault. Babish uses another figure eight headscissors. She hip tosses Zagami into a knee strike, then DDT’s him for two. Babish dives off the top with a high crossbody. He rolls her into the American Grip upon catching her, and Babish taps out at 5:07. This was good back and forth action, ending with Zagami eliminating another fan favorite en route to the finals. Both of them got to expand upon the work they showcased in the first round, especially Babish. Kudos to both competitors for making the most of the five minutes. **½

Young Lions Cup XIV Semi-Final Round Match
Omari {FCP} vs. Cajun Crawdad {CD}

Crawdad quickly tries a pinfall with his feet on the ropes to end the match to no avail. Omari tosses him outside and follows with a tope con hilo. In the ring, Omari spears and leg lariats Crawdad in the corner. Crawdad ducks a second leg lariat and lands some forearm shots. Omari ducks an enzuigiri and muscles Crawdad up into a Liger Bomb for two. Crawdad slides out of the OZone and hits an Ace Crusher for two. He Curb Stomps Omari for two. Omari takes a strike exchange, but Crawdad gives him an Alabama Slam to counter Omari’s forthcoming offense. Omari maneuvers his way to the top turnbuckle. Crawdad tries the Clawesome Bomb. Omari escapes but ends up driving his own shoulder into the middle turnbuckle. Omari however is able to catch Crawdad on the second rope and bring him down with a Spanish Fly. Crawdad tries a wheelbarrow, but gets suplexed out of it by Omari. Omari’s weak back allows Crawdad to turn the tide and give Omari an elevated twisting neckbreaker for two. Crawdad’s prawn hold also does not work. Crawdad crashes down attempting a springboard maneuver, and Omari pounces on him right away for a two count. Crawdad is able to get to the second rope. He leaps right into Omari’s arms, where Omari swings him into the OZone for the pin at 10:25. Both of these guys worked really hard and put on a back and forth match the crowd got invested in. Unfortunately, the missed maneuver by Crawdad threw the rest of the match off. It wasn’t a major flub and didn’t take away from everything that preceded it, but it made for a flat finish to an otherwise very good bout. **¾

Encore Match
Thief Ant vs. David Dennison

The name David Dennison is pseudonym used by Donald Trump, and the wrestler here dons a Trump like wig. Thief Ant lays him out with several double chops. Dennison tries a stunner. Thief Ant fights it off and hits his own Stunner for the win at 1:02. A nice decisive win in Thief Ant’s official debut.

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