Cibernetico 2020


Championship Rundown
Grand Champion: Dasher Hatfield
Campeones de Parejas: Solo Darling & Willow Nightingale
Young Lions Cup Champion: Ricky South


The Cibernetico 2020 event was originally scheduled for March 28th. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the event back, and after a number of date changes, CHIKARA settled on taping the event in a closed door environment and presenting it over two weeks of Action Arcade Series episodes. It was then released as one comprehensive show on demand.

An incredible video highlighting Cibernetico’s past, and the matches of this year’s event, kicks off the show. Sam Leterna then welcomes us to the event. She tells us it is 2 AM at the Wrestle Factory, and the Crucible is steering the ship for the event. Because of this, sSome of the CHIKARA roster watching at home are peeved at this. The crew includes El Hijo del Ice Cream, Nytehawk, Thief Ant, Still Life With Apricots and Pears, Hermit Crab, Cajun Crawdad, and Scott Holladay, as the Crucible would not let them into the building.

The Wrestle Factory is bathed in red light, the Crucible logo is on both of the monitors in the building, and candles adorn the blocks propping up the televisions to represent the “fires” of the Crucible. Since the Crucible did not allow for any CHIKARA staff to be in the building (with the exception of the officials), there is no commentary. We do get to hear and occasionally see the live reactions of those CHIKARA roster members watching together from afar. All of this is an incredibly smart way to explain a no fans environment while also still providing noise, and it totally fits the narrative of the Crucible vs. CHIKARA story.

Boomer Hatfield vs. Sonny Defarge

Defarge had been getting Hatfield’s ire up for weeks, questioning if Boomer was even worthy of the Hatfield surname given he had failed to live up to the standards of his Grand Championship father. Naturally, Boomer was hot on the draw to start the match and got the early advantage. Defarge would use the ropes to damage Hatfield’s neck, and utilize big boots and uppercuts to shut him down. Hatfield’s strategy was to take away Defarge’s height advantage by working over his left knee, which would neutralize his devastating rebound lariat in the process. Even with this, Defarge continued to over power the little slugger, making sure to do a lot of damage to the neck and back in the process. Hatfield surprised Defarge with much of his offense, doing his best to try and sinch a surprise pin, but to no avail. There were some incredible reversals and sequences, including a step-up superplex from Defarge, Defarge counter to the Heidi-Can-Rana, and Hatfield hitting a Code Red after being dumped directly on his head with a belly-to-bell suplex. The build up to Hatfield finally connecting with the Fastball Special was well executed. There was a lot of excitement when Hatfield grabbed Defarge’s knee for a submission, but on both occasions Defarge was able to grab the ropes to escape. Hatfield ascends the ropes, screaming to Defarge something about his surname, and when he comes off the second rope, Defarge catches him in mid-air and carries Hatfield’s momentum into a swinging facebuster for the pin at 21:05. This match was totally insane, with both competitors beating each other to exhaustion, but with purpose. It is maybe the most intense either have looked to date (Boomer in the Mask vs. Mask may rival that), and the way the match went portrayed how much pride was on the line for both competitors. This entire build up saw Defarge try to get into Hatfield’s head, and despite him saying it didn’t work, the closing moments show that it did indeed. This was a match that should have solidified both competitors in CHIKARA’s upper echelon for years to come. ****

Ophidian tells Devantes and Lance Steel that Tunku Amir and Frey Nassar are nowhere to be found before they go into battle. He sends them to go find Tunku, and Matt Makowski and Princess KimberLee are told to go find Frey. The CHIKARA roster members at home wonder what will happen if they aren’t around for the Cibernetico match.

Cabana Man Dan vs. BLANK

Although Dan gain the opening early on thanks to a flip flop chop (which he only did because BLANK tried a glove slap), each time BLANK took a seat, he got in Cabana’s head and snuck in a cheap shot. Even when Dan learned from his mistakes and kangaroo kicked BLANK, moments later Dan found himself taking a neckbreaker in the ropes. His head collided with the turnbuckle when BLANK yanked him off the top rope. Dan reversed a whip to the ropes, coming back with several pinfall combos for multiple nearfalls. He also got a nearfall on a Brodie Knee and blockbuster. BLANK pulled Dan so his whole body crashed into the ropes. When Dan used his foot to break out of BLANK’s straightjacket crossface, BLANK took to the floor. Dan was able to duck and dodge BLANK’s attacks, leading to a springboard Code Red earning him the pinfall victory at 10:47. BLANK had Dan mentally bested for most of the match, with Dan outwrestling BLANK on the mat. When Dan finally was able to get a mental advantage on BLANK, it was over for the tortured artiste. These two have good chemistry, and my only complaint was I think trimming some of the fat after the Magistral cradle would’ve made for a more cohesive package. **¾

Sam Leterna says she will try to get comments from folks as they left the building, noting Defarge had just left (and I guess had no comments), and that they’re at a disadvantage not being in the building when it comes to grabbing interviews.

Icarus {F} & Travis Huckabee {F} vs. The Red Queen & One-Eyed Jack

Both teams are coming into this contest with two points, meaning the winning team will have earned enough points to challenge for the Campeones de Parejas. Huckabee tried sneaking in a quick O’Connor Roll on Jack before the bell but to no avail. Although this did give Huckabee some advantage to start by grounding Jack, the Red Queen gave Huckabee a taste of his own medicine with a fisherwoman’s suplex across the ring. Jack and Icarus compare their shirtless bodies. Huckabee struck Jack against the ropes, apparently hurting his arm on the fall, but it never comes up again in the match. Queen and Jack manage to keep Icarus isolated in their corner even after Huckabee’s interjection due to Huckabee’s fall, doing a lot of damage to Icarus’ mid-section, including a modified La Bombe de Rougeau where Queen did a headstand off of Jack’s shoulders. Huckabee dragged Queen to the outside, and then with Icarus hit F.I.S.T. Kicks on Jack. Queen cut off Huckabee with a flying blockbuster, then Icarus saved Huckabee from a pin after some double team action. Huckabee’s swing-out cutter took out the Queen, giving him and Icarus space to nail Jack with Custer’s Last Stand. Just in time, Queen cartwheeled over Huckabee and hit him with a dropkick to break up their pin. Jack recovered and dangled Icarus on the top rope where the Queen came off the top with a splash. Because they were too close to the ropes, Jack had to drag Icarus mid-ring, and this allowed for Huckabee to sneak in a schoolboy on Jack while holding his tights, while Icarus halted the Queen, giving F.I.S.T. the win and the pin at 9:39. Both teams showed some great tandem offense, but the match was put together in a strange way. That may be because both teams are Rudos, or that there were germs of bigger ideas that were put together in a way that didn’t pay off, but either way it was a puzzling match and not the strongest ending to the first half of the show. **¼

Sam Leterna was able to catch Boomer Hatfield exiting the building. He is disappointed in himself for losing such a hard fought battle, but maybe he did gain a little respect for Defarge. However, he knows Defarge’s trash talk won’t stop, and they will continue to not effect him. Defarge’s words don’t matter to him. Boomer knows he will get another chance against Defarge, and the outcome will be different when he does.


Ophidian is pacing backstage when Lance Steel and Matt Makowski return to inform him that their respective searches for Tunku Amir and Frey Nassar have come up empty. Ophidian says this is unacceptable, and that their search does not end until they have to fight. The Whisper, not scheduled for the Cibernetico, walks into frame and gives the camera a look as he releases and catches his yo-yo. The CHIKARA roster who are watching at home believes he may have something to do with the absences of his fellow Crucible teammates.

The Spoiler heads to the ring for his open challenge. He’s just one win away for this third point and a Grand Championship opportunity. The familiar music of The Colony plays, and we then see Green Ant sitting backstage with his head down. Mike Quackenbush takes a seat beside him and playfully alerts Green Ant his music is playing and asks if he’s “going to go dance.” Green Ant wonders what the original Green Ant would do in the situation. Mike Quackenbush tells Green Ant he can relate to his insecurities in carrying the mantle of a predecessor, as their were many “The Master of 1,000 Holds” before him, such as Dean Malenko, Johnny Saint, and George Kidd. Today he has the strangest match of his life, as the Cibernetico will be less about wrestling and more similar to a game of Tekken. If he just sat backstage wondering what his predecessors would do, want him to do, or what would make them proud, he’d be paralyzed by those thoughts. Similarly, the Spoiler isn’t the first guy to use that moniker, same goes for the Masked Enforcer. Green Ant may never know what would make the original Green Ant proud, but Quackenbush trained them both, and he knows that if he can go out there and have the best match possible, that would make both of them proud. These words of encouragement, plus Spoiler goading Green Ant, leads to Green Ant entering the ring confidently.

Green Ant {C} vs. The Spoiler

Green Ant comes in a house of fire on the offensive, almost submitting Spoiler to a short-arm scissors in relatively short order. Spoiler managed to escape his grasp and pulled Green Ant neck first into the top rope. After hitting Old School, Spoiler goes for the Claw, but Green Ant fights Spoiler off before it can be applied. Spoiler tells Green Ant that it’s his fault that the Young Lions Cup is across the world, but it will be his fault that Green Ant leaves in an ambulance. Green Ant fought out of Spoiler’s sleeper hold by driving him into the corner and applied one of his own. Referee Kris Levin did not see The Spoiler low blow Green Ant to escape. Spoiler tried for a couple quick pins after that to no avail. Green Ant avoided the Claw again, this time in the corner. When Spoiler went for another low blow, Green Ant caughts his arm and locked on the CHIKARA Special! Spoiler tapped out at 5:51. Green Ant says to the camera “sorry to spoil your plans.” Green Ant getting his confidence back by defeating one of the most undeservedly confident people on the roster was a nice story, and these two had a nice rapport I did not expect. I think this was a very appropriate way to wrap-up the Season for both competitors. **¾

Backstage, Mike Quackenbush talks strategy with his Cibernetico team. He believes adaptability is the name of the game as the batting order shrinks and the person across the ring from you changes. Mind your corners, mind your counters, and protect your head as they have a couple knockout artists. He says he doesn’t understand why Princess Kimberlee, a friend of there’s, felt she had to join the Crucible as a form of penance, but they need to remember to not hesitate just because she is an ally. She is to be treated like any other opponent. It is important that they keep getting back up no matter how hard they hit, and run up the clock because their opponents are used to two minute matches. He ends with a “go get em, boys” before they head to the ring.

Boomer Hatfield joins the rest of the CHIKARA roster watching from afar in the living room. They give him a hard time for not bringing any pizza or soda, but give him some reassurance when he mutters about losing.

Torneo Cibernetico
ZERO, JoSue Ibañez, Joshua Wells, Xavier Faraday, Mike Quackenbush & Mobius vs. Lance Steel {TC}, Matt Makowski {TC}, Princess KimberLee {TC}, Ophidian {TC}, The Whisper {TC} & Devantes {TC}

The Rules

The match is the most unique Cibernetico yet as it is contested under Crucible rules. This is due to a wager between Mike Quackenbush and Ophidian which Ophidian won. This means that the ropes have been taken off of the ring, and eliminations can only occur by Knockout, Tap Out, Ring Out, or a Referee Stoppage, no pinfalls. The other Cibernetico rules remain intact. Lucha tags are in effect, meaning in addition to physically contacting your partner, leaving the ring counts as a legal tag. Each team has a batting order that must be followed. That means that the wrestler in the ring must tag out to the next man in the batting order. Only the next wrestler in the batting order is up on the apron while the remaining teammates on each team wait on the floor. If the batting order is broken, the team can be disqualified. The order in which the participants are listed above is the batting order for both teams. The match is contested under elimination rules, but there can only be one winner, so if more than one person on a team survives when all members of another team have been eliminated, those teammates must wrestle each other to determine the winner.


– Mike Quackenbush was the first eliminated via ring out, when Devantes shoulder tackled him to the floor at 11:56. This was a shocking development for both teams, as well as the roster members watching together at home, and a major blow for the Wrestle Factory contingent.
– Mobius was eliminated by Ophidian via referee stoppage via package piledriver at 12:07, right after Devantes took him down with a spear. Ophidian forcefully rolled him to the floor for good measure. This leaves the four youngest and least experienced members of the Wrestle Factory team to fight all six members of the Crucible.
– Matt Makowski was eliminated by ZERO via knockout at 18:41. Ophidian scrambled to leave after taking the Last Shaven Unicorn Drop. Every single member of the Crucible attacked ZERO until it circled back to Ophidian being in the ring with him again. ZERO backdropped his way out of a package piledriver. He almost dropkicked Steel to the floor, but Makowski tagged himself in before it could happen. ZERO evaded Makowski’s submission attempts and knocked him out with That Japanese Move, enraging Ophidian.
– ZERO was eliminated by Princess KimberLee via submission at 19:16. ZERO had taken so much damage, once KimberLee applied the Fujiwara Armbar, he tapped out shortly after.
– Princess KimberLee is eliminated via ring out, surprised by Ibañez with a bicycle kick from behind that sends her crashing to the outside at 19:28. Ophidian lost his mind at this.
– JoSue Ibañez was eliminated by The Whisper via submission at 20:24. Whisper knocked Ibañezdown with the Endless that turned into a gutbuster, then put him in a modified sharpshooter that applied extra pressure to the knees until he tapped out.
– Joshua Wells was eliminated by Devantes via knockout after a TKO at 22:23. Wells was elbowing Devantes in the side of the head before being picked up for the devastating maneuver. This leaves just one person on the Wrestle Factory team standing…
– Xavier Faraday was eliminated by Devantes via knockout after a TKO at 23:15. This left the four remaining Crucible members to fight for supremacy.
– Devantes eliminated himself via ring out at 23:47, kneeling and doing the Crucible pose at Ophidian’s feet before willingly stepping to the floor, with Ophidian thanking him for his service.
– Lance Steel eliminated himself via ring out at 24:01, kneeling and doing the Crucible pose at Ophidian’s feet before willingly stepping to the floor.The CHIKARA roster members watching at home are furious if this is how Ophidian is going to win.
– The Whisper wins the 2020 Cibernetico, lastly eliminating Ophidian via knockout at 27:24. The Whisper looked as if he was about to willingly step outside the ring like Devantes and Steel, but instead turned around and began throwing strikes at Ophidian! Whisper put up a very valiant fight. Ophidian was ready to whip Ophidian with his belt after a powerbomb across his knees, calling him a worthless dog, but Whisper caught his hand before he could strike. He grabbed Ophidian’s neck and hit his own corkscrew enzuigiri! Whisper dropped him with the Endless. He then picked up Ophidian, telling him to his face that he is Ophidian superior. He hit the Endless a second time across his knee, knocking out Ophidian and making Whisper the winner.


– Neither Tunku Amir or Frey Nassar were anywhere to be found, so the match ended up a six versus six Cibernetico with Whisper joining the Crucible side of the equation.
– Princess KimberLee stirred the pot between the Crucible members during the match. As Quackenbush had Devantes in an ankle lock, she said to Makowski “that’s who Ophidian put his faith in? Why isn’t it you?” Later she said to Devantes “”Why do you let Ophidian talk to you like that?”
– At 27:24, this is the shortest Cibernetico ever, defeating the previous record of 35:45 in 2010.

This was a very effective Cibernetico, with the Crucible showing their dominance, and the Wrestle Factory showing their might. Just about everyone came out of this match looking stronger than they did going in, but in many ways Devantes was the true stand out of the match, coming off like an unstoppable powerhouse. From a story perspective, the Crucible may have won, but we have some dissension in the ranks with Whisper finally standing up to Ophidian and KimberLee actively trying to dismantle the group from within. CHIKARA did an incredible job repurposing their 2020 events into the Action Arcade series, and it made the Cibernetico feel like a big deal, and the players involved made it feel like a fight with some serious stakes. ***½

The CHIKARA folks watching at home celebrated Whisper’s victory to end the show. It was announced on Twitter that this event was the Season 21 finale, but little did we know watching live that it was actually CHIKARA’s overall finale.

As most people reading this know, after some damning stories about the Wrestle Factory and their trainees came out during the “Speaking Out movement”, Mike Quackenbush announced on June 24, 2020 that he would be discontinuing CHIKARA.

Now What?

It’s been over a month since these stories came to light, and these are the decisions I have made in regards to the CHIKARA Special review blog and its sister websites:

– This blog will remain active, as an archive of sorts, with June 20, 2020 serving as the final date of reviews. There are many shows and appearances of Wrestle Factory students that in other promotions that precede this event that I am still interested in reviewing. By their very nature, some of these reviews will involve individuals who have been accused, or may be accused in the future. Their inclusion in my reviews, past or present, is not an endorsement. Any comments on these matches strictly speaks to the characters being portrayed.

– The CHIKARA Special YouTube and Tumblr will also remain active for archival purposes. New videos may be uploaded to the YouTube channel, and as stated above, any videos uploaded that may include individuals who have been accused is not an endorsement. Since all of the content on the YouTube page is not my intellectual property, I do make any money from the channel. The Tumblr as it stands will stand strictly for historical purposes, and new posts may be strictly to promote ex-CHIKARA talent (for example, Eddie Kingston’s match against Kevin Steen that was recently posted to the Ring of Honor YouTube channel.)

– If CHIKARA does return, I do not plan to cover those shows in any manner on any CHIKARA Special platform. If for some reason CHIKARA does return and none of the accusers are involved, including Mike Quackenbush, this stance could be reconsidered, but I do not foresee that occurring.

– If you have any issues with any of the above, please feel free to send me a message on Twitter or via email at

– I believe and stand with victims.

In Conclusion

It’s been twelve years since I began covering CHIKARA, starting with the defunct Cool Kids Table website, moving over to 411 Mania, and then to my own platforms. I want to give a big thank you to Brad Garoon, Jake Ziegler, and Sam Berman for bringing me onto the Cool Kids Table website, taking a chance on me when I was a completely unproven commodity as a writer and podcaster. Brad and Jake heavily influenced this very website, and their template allowed me to cultivate my own voice over time. I also need to thank Jason Sterlacci for providing a shining example of what a well written CHIKARA column looks like, and for allowing me to impress my girlfriend’s parents for knowing a Jeopardy champion. I owe a big debt of gratitude to the late great Larry Csonka for giving me a home at 411 Mania, and giving me complete control over my reviews and columns. I miss you so much, boss. I am grateful that both Jerome Cusson and Chris GST agreed to co-found Pro Wrestling Ponderings with me back in 2009, for it gave me a platform to share my love of independent wrestling and help me evolve into a much better podcaster. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I need to thank Justin Houston for being my CHIKARA podcast co-pilot for nearly a decade. His passion is infectious and his perspective of wrestling is so unique and I appreciate him dearly.

A lot of CHIKARA talent has expressed their gratitude towards my coverage of the promotion and their matches outside the company, and the fact that any of them took the time to read or listen to what I had to say, and even comment on it, still blows my mind. For that I am truly grateful, and was a big part in why I think keeping the CHIKARA Special websites active is important.

For those who have read my reviews, thank you. Every time someone mentioned reading them, enjoying them, or that in some way my writing had shaped their CHIKARA fandom, I hope you know that those sentiments meant more to me than I could possibly express, and continue to be such a motivating factor.


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