Aniversario: Heroes Shed No Tears

May26-Aniversario

Philadelphia, PA – 5.26.2018

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

Commentary is provided by Leonard F. Chikarason, Icarus, Bryce Remsburg, Dasher Hatfield, and Scott Holladay.

Hype Rockwell vs. Tony Deppen

Icarus is on commentary for this bout. Rockwell frustrates Deppen by throwing him down out of two lock-ups. After a pair of shoulder blocks, Rockwell enzuigiri’s Deppen in the corner. Deppen avoids a Vader Bomb double stomp and sends Rockwell to the floor with a one footed dropkick. Deppen stomps on Rockwell’s hand on the ring apron. Deppen drops his weight on and applies pressure to Rockwell’s arm back in the ring. Rockwell out of instinct shoulder blocks Deppen, which is effective, but also hurts himself. After double clapping Rockwell’s ears, Deppen throws him down and drops a knee on his hurt arm. Rockwell fails to lift Deppen for the Hyperwheel, but does give him a one-armed airplane spin into a Michinoku Driver. Deppen ducks under Rockwell’s charge. He throws Rockwell down to the mat by his hurt arm and hits a Knee Trembler for the pin at 5:06. This was a solid match for Deppen to show the killer instinct Icarus sees in him, but nothing too substantial or memorable. *½

Officer Warren Barksdale vs. Volgar {PW}

Officer Magnum joins Barksdale, but quickly heads to the back after entering the ring. Volgar splashes Barksdale in the corner. Barksdale throws some shots to Volgar’s midsection, but Volgar cuts him off with a backdrop. He drops an elbow across Barksdale’s back for two. Barksdale avoids a Stinger splash. He fails to budge Volgar with his running clotheslines or stomach shots, so he stomps on Volgar’s foot and tries a couple pin attempts. Volgar lifts Barksdale up out of a sunset flip into a one-armed sit-out powerbomb for the pin at 2:54. A solid victory for Volgar is well and good, but Barksdale clearly did all the work in this one. ½*

Razerhawk {X2K}, Danjerhawk {X2K} & Icarus vs. Oceanea {CD}, Merlok {CD} & Hermit Crab {CD}

With Nytehawk still injured from the Closers attack at “The Infinite Gauntlet”, Icarus agreed to team with Razerhawk and Danjerhawk at last week’s Hour of Power after some tense words between Icarus and Razerhawk. Razerhawk dominates Crab to start. He and Danjerhawk double dropkick Crab. Oceanea falls victim to a catapult headscissors and dropkick from Danjerhawk. Icarus does an admirable job squaring up against Merlok, but ends up being turned inside out with a clothesline. Icarus escapes an Emerald Flowsion. Merlok catches Razerhawk’s high crossbody, but a springboard dropkick from Danjerhawk takes Merlok down. All three Tecnicos land stereo basement dropkicks on Merlok. The Hawx hit Oceanea and Crab with stereo 56k’s as Icarus suicide dives onto Merlok outside. All three Tecnicos attack Crab in the corner. Oceanea side steps a corner attack from Danjerhawk. Merlok cuts off a charging Razerhawk with a clothesline and splashes Danjerhawk into the buckles. Danjerhawk finds himself beaten down in the Creatures of the Deep corner, including a vicious gutbuster, as Crab tossed Danjerhawk over the top rope onto Merlok’s awaiting knee on the floor! Razerhawk fights Crab angrily after this super move, but Crab muscles him up into a Teardrop Suplex and the Creatures of the Deep now go to work on him. When Razerhawk finally had fought the Creatures enough to make a tag, Icarus was his only option as Danjerhawk was still out of commission. Icarus left Razerhawk high and dry, jumping off the apron and heading backstage! Merlok scoops the lone Razerhawk up into the Emerald Flowsion for the pin at 11:29. They told a really good story in this match, with the Hawx fighting their hardest, especially Razerhawk when the team was down one man, only for Icarus who accused the Hawx and others of being soft, to bail when he could have been of assistance. It’s a hypocrisy that eases him back onto the Rudo side of things with ease. The Creatures of the Deep did a great job overwhelming the Tecnicos and keeping things interesting. **½

Oceanea strongly hints to Scott Holladay after the match that the Creatures of the Deep could be entering King of Trios. Individually they may not have had much luck, but as a team, they’re unstoppable.

Green Ant vs. Fire Ant

Worker Ant is in Green Ant’s corner. Fire Ant shakes Worker Ant’s hand before turning around and pummeling Green Ant down in the corner. Green Ant fights back with a pair of superkicks. Fire Ant blocks some shots before hip tossing Green Ant into the buckles! Fire Ant follows up with a running dropkick to the shoulder. He puts Green Ant in a Royal Octopus stretch, converting into a vertical suplex. Green Ant fights back from Fire Ant’s overhand chops out of the corner, peppering Fire Ant with shots. Fire Ant shoves him away but Green Ant responds with a pair of shotgun dropkicks that send Fire Ant outside. Green Ant follows with a suicide dive! Back in the ring, he lands a high crossbody and a lariat for two. Fire Ant blocks a suplex and knee strikes Green Ant in the face. He goes for a brainbuster, but Green Ant reverses into a vertical suplex for two. Green Ant ties up Fire Ant’s arm and tries a crossface. Fire Ant rolls Green Ant onto his shoulders and muscles him into a one-armed powerbomb. Fire Ant nails the Yahtzee Kick and the brainbuster for two. Another Yahtzee Kick and lackadaisical cover results in another two count. Green Ant beckons Fire Ant. Fire Ant gives him what he wants with a basement dropkick and the Beach Break. Green Ant barely gets his shoulder up! Two more Beach Breaks follow, giving Fire Ant the pin at 8:01. Fire Ant walked the fine line of castigo de excesivo again, but since Green Ant isn’t a friend like Ophidian or Solo Darling, there was no hesitation in his attack or him going for a pinfall. Green Ant however gave the match of his young career, looking like a near equal to a CHIKARA veteran and one of the top performers on the roster. He certainly is someone to watch. ***

As Green Ant is headed to the back with Worker Ant, the Young Lions Cup champion Cameron Zagami makes his way out to the ring. Green Ant will be challenging Zagami for the cup at Beyond Wrestling’s “All Day” event tomorrow night. Zagami says Green Ant will come home empty handed after tomorrow and disappoint the CHIKARMY. He reminds us that it’s good to be Cam before heading back to his home state of New Hampshire.

Los Campeonatos de Parejas, The Closers, come out for their scheduled tag match. However, Sonny Defarge and Cornelius Crummels enter the ring, wanting to cash in their three points (of which they earned their third last weekend after the Closers match was announced) tonight. The Closers pull out some cash to pay them off, but then condescendingly flip Crummels’ hair and Defarge’s hat off of his head. Crummels and Defarge pocket the money, then attack Caprice and Roland from behind! The Beast Warriors, the scheduled opponents for The Closers, make their entrance and get to start the match was a nice advantage.

Oleg the Usurper & The Proletariat Boar of Moldova vs. Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice

Oleg splashes Roland against the ropes and sends him into a Gore from Boar. He almost gets a three count but Caprice is able to break the cover at the last second. Oleg picks up speed before splashing Caprice in the corner. Boar gives Caprice a sidewalk slam for two. They double chokeslam Caprice. Roland pulls referee Kris Levin out of the ring to stop a three count! Kobald throws an onion at Oleg from the ramp. Oleg leaves to go after him as the Boar sets up for a Gore. From behind, Hallowicked and Frightmare trip the Boar, pull him crotch first into the ring post, then send him head first into the post! Oleg makes his way back to the ring where Caprice give shim a headscissors and the Closers land their own double chokeslam. The Closers beat down Oleg as the Boar regains his bearings. Caprice misses a Swanton Bomb. Oleg takes him down with a Usurper kick. Roland Baldo Bomb’s Oleg for two. The Boar Gores Caprice on the apron. Oleg counters Roland’s powerbomb position with a jackknife pin for the victory at 4:46! This was a fun slugfest, with the Beast Warriors earning a big win over the current Campeones en route to three points. **

Jeremy Leary & Lucas Calhoun vs. Callux the Castigator {PW} & Frantik {PW}

Leary and Calhoun attack Callux and Frantik during their entrance. The two teams brawl all around the building. Leary stage dives off of a ladder onto both Callux and Frantik. Callux tosses Calhoun off the top of the bleachers onto Leary and Frantik. The Proteus Wheel bring Leary back to the ring to officially start the match. Leary is mauled by the Proteus Wheel. Calhoun jumps in but gets pummeled down by Callux. Leary hops off Calhoun’s back for a clothesline on Callux. Calhoun muscles Callux up into a Samoan Drop. Leary comes off the middle rope with a fist drop. Frantik drops Leary onto Calhoun to break Calhoun’s cover on Callux. Calhoun gives Frantik a super Samoan Drop for the pin at 2:57 officially (10:24 total.) Volgar attacks after the match, overwhelming Callux and Frantik. What this did was show that Calhoun and Leary stand a fighting chance when the sides are even, but need a partner if they want to take on the Proteus Wheel at full force (more on that soon.) It was a fun brawl that I kind of wish had stayed outside of the ring for the entire time. Having a non-starter as the first “match” sets it apart from everything else and shows the animosity between both sides in a really unique way. That’s just my take, but the four of them did a good job here. **¼

Elimination Match
Dasher Hatfield {T}, Mark Angelosetti {T}, Solo Darling, Travis Huckabee & Thief Ant vs. Hallowicked {LOR}, Frightmare {LOR}, Cajun Crawdad {CD}, Rory Gulak & The Whisper

Order of Elimination

– Thief Ant is eliminated in 19:08 via Kneecolepsy from Frightmare. This came after a series of dives to the floor, ending with the Whisper giving a top rope Spanish Fly to Thief Ant onto everyone, which Frightmare capitalized on back in the ring.
– Cajun Crawdad is eliminated at 20:14, submitting to Dasher Hatfield’s abdominal stretch.
– Dasher Hatfield is eliminated at 20:47, falling to Hallowicked’s Never Wake Up.
– Frightmare is eliminated at 22:11, after a Magistral cradle into a backbridge pin from Angelosetti.
– The Whisper is eliminated at 22:49, after a German suplex and butterfly suplex from Huckabee.
– Travis Huckabee is eliminated by Rory Gulak via backslide at 24:32.
– Rory Gulak is eliminated at 24:57 by Solo Darling with a pump-handle driver. Travis attacked Rory with elbows to the side of his head after Rory’s elimination. Travis was so angry with his former partner for stealing “his moment” (Travis had stated his mission of the match was to eliminate Rory to prove himself), he backfisted her! Icarus and Tony Deppen greeted Travis with smiles on the ramp and accompanied him backstage.
– Angelosetti wins the match for himself and Solo Darling by eliminating Hallowicked with the Flea Flicker at 26:25.

This match felt off from the start from the haphazard teams on either side. They did their best to try to make sense of it on social media and treat it as an Aniversario tradition/celebration, but it just felt like a hamfisted way to get these ten people on the card. The entire takeaway from this match was Travis backfisting Solo, which would’ve been more impactful had Travis not already officially ended his partnership with her a month beforehand. Did it resonate? Absolutely, as it officially marked Travis’ character shift and changed the dynamic between the two of them. But, it’s clear that this was an elimination match entirely for the sake of that moment being pulled off. In theory, that structure works out just fine if the rest of the match is compelling, but it wasn’t. One of the reasons I didn’t do play by play is because nothing before the first elimination was noteworthy. I also dislike eliminations that aren’t paced well. Putting them all so close together felt inorganic and took me out of the match. You can say they got what they wanted out of the match, but I’d argue this was not the right way to get where they needed to go. This was all very perplexing. *½

Grand Championship
Juan Francisco de Coronado vs. Mike Quackenbush

Juan Francisco de Coronado has been champion since 4.1.2017 and this is his twelfth defense. Quackenbush holds onto a cravate no matter Coronado’s several escapes. Coronado tries pushing Quackenbush’s arms to the mat for a pin in a double knuckle lock. Quackenbush catapults up into a sunset flip for two. Coronado runs the ropes for a double wrist drag, then armdrags Quackenbush, keeping the arm barred upon landing. Quackenbush reverses the wristlock and brings them both to their feet. Coronado reverses back. Quackenbush cartwheels himself free, so Coronado kicks him in the stomach. Quackenbush grabs Coronado’s legs and catapults him into the corner. The momentum carries Coronado to the floor and Quackenbush follows with a springboard splash. Back in the ring, Quackenbush captures Coronado in an Anaconda Vise. Coronado gets the bottom rope to escape. As Quackenbush leaps to the top turnbuckle, Coronado chop blocks Quackenbush’s knee and Quackenbush falls from the top rope back first to the canvas. Coronado capitalizes with a backbreaker and digging his knee into Quackenbush’s back. Quackenbush catches him coming off the ropes, slamming Coronado face first on the canvas and hooking him into a modified crucifix pin for two. Coronado flips Quackenbush forward to escape a Dragon Sleeper and delivers more shots to Quackenbush’s back. Quackenbush rolls through as Coronado tries to throw him off the top turnbuckle. Quackenbush catches a charging Coronado, attempting the Black Tornado Slam, but Coronado escapes. Quackenbush catches him instead with a sunset flip. Coronado keeps ahold of Quackenbush’s ankle when he kicks out. He tries the Coronado Clutch, but Quackenbush escapes and hits the Black Tornado Slam for two. Coroando pummels Quackenbush’s back. Quackenbush avoids another backbreaker, rolling Coronado into a pump-handle slam. Quackenbush desperately covers Coronado with one arm for a two count. After giving Quackenbush three backbreakers, Coronado goes for a Tiger Driver. Quackenbush fights like heck to block it, but Coronado refuses to let the double underhook go. Eventually, Quackenbush escapes and gives Coronado his own powerbomb. After a couple backdrops and a monkey flip, Quackenbush palm strikes Coronado to the top turnbuckle and brings him down with a Frankensteiner. Quackenbush lands a Swanton Bomb for two. He tries for the Quackendriver I. Coronado slips out and connects with the Tiger Driver, but just for a one count! Coronado tries going up and over in the corner. He gets caught with Quackendriver I for two. Quackenbush then hits Quackendriver III for two. He calls for Quackendriver II. Coronado dropkicks him away. Quackenbush elbows free out of a wristlock and kicks Coronado’s knee out. He comes off the second rope. Coronado catches him mid-air with a German suplex for two. He goes for the Coronado Clutch. Quackenbush uses his legs to send Coronado crashing into the buckles and head first into the mat. Quackenbush busts out the Neutralizer, giving a nod to Claudio Castagnoli before ascending to the top turnbuckle. Coronado brings him down with a superplex. Quackenbush rolls to the floor and Coronado uncharacteristically follows with a tope con hilo! Back inside, Coronado forearms Quackenbush’s back as he bounces him off the ropes. Quackenbush ducks a clothesline. He lands some slaps, but Coronado nails him with a clothesline. Quackenbush absorbs it and hits Quackendriver IV for a nearfall! He goes for Quackendriver II. His weak back makes it so Coronado can reverse it into the Coronado Clutch! Coronado adds a bodyscissors. Quackenbush passes out and his arm drops three times, giving Coronado the win at 26:51. This was exactly the type of match you would want from these two, with a well executed story to go along with all the intricate technical wrestling, and some genuine drama in the nearfalls. There was no hint of foul play from Coronado, which not only made for a better match, but makes sense considering who the opponent and the referee for this match were. Quackenbush gave us his greatest hits and some winks and nods to his students, but made them make sense in the context of the match. While it wasn’t the result I was hoping for, it’s hard to argue this wasn’t a fitting Aniversario main event. ***¾

Encore Match
Ophidian vs. Kobald {LOR}

Ophidian bends backwards to avoid Kobald’s spear attempt. Kobald backs Ophidian to the corner to halt the Death Grip and gives him a Death Valley Driver. Kobald misses the Demon’s Toilet. Ophidian knocks him down with a leg lariat and roundhouse kick for two. Kobald ducks a kick, hits one of his own, then back suplexes Ophidian into a bridge for two. The Demon’s Toilet misses again. He cazadora armdrags Kobald to the floor and follows with a suicide dive. Two double knees to the chest. Kobald avoid top rope double knees. Kobald goes for another spear, but Ophidian catches him and pins him with the bridging backslide in 2:57. This was a fun, succinct encounter. *

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