Framingham Civic League, Framingham, Massachusetts, United States
Hey, Chikara has once again left the lawless wasteland that is Pennsylvania as they’re now venturing into the lawless wasteland that is the Boston suburbs. I’ve mentioned it before but this is the beginning of Chikara becoming something of a touring promotion, in that they do this Massachusetts & Connecticut double shot twice in 2008 along with two shows in the Midwest and two more in Germany. That sort of thing will continue as they grow larger and more popular in the coming years. I suppose this is also partly due to the fact that Chikara’s about to lose its main venue here in a few weeks and aren’t yet big enough to use the ECW Arena as their home base but we’ll talk more about that sad fact later.
After Steve “the Turtle” Weiner runs down the card, we’re treated to our first 2.0 promo in ages to open the show, wooo!!! They say they were hurt when the phone calls from the Chikara office stopped coming but like all great teams, they’ve regrouped and come out better for it. They’ve been training up and down the Himalayas and tonight Chikara’s gonna be reacquainted with the flow of 2.0.
2.0 (Jagged & Shane Matthews) vs The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian)
Typical 2.0 match, in that it’s a fun-filled tune-up for a team the promotion cares more about. The Canadians jump the masked men during a dance off and manage to isolate Amasis for a while, showing off more of an aggressive, physical bent than we’ve basically ever seen from them. Crowd is kind of nonplussed about it, because this is sort of a rudo vs rudo match or maybe a match wherein the tecnicos are running control segments on the rudos, but in any case Framingham is happy to ooh and aah all the big spots. Portal make their comeback and take their first step back toward a title match with the Osirian Sacrament, their tandem top rope legdrop and diving splash combo. One point for the Portal while 2.0 stay at zero.
Shirtless in a back alley, Vin Gerard makes his usual complaints. He claims that he requested a tag match weeks ago but tonight he’s booked in a singles match for some reason. Director of Fun Leonard F. Chikarason enters the scene, saying that he’s tired of Gerard’s constant demands and that the guy is lucky he’s being booked at all after what he’s done. Gerard reminds Chikarason that Bull Pain’s suspension is up, so why not give him a tag match, but Chikarason deflects by suggesting that Gerard isn’t up to a singles match. The rudo scoffs and they both leave.
Vin Gerard vs Create-a-Wrestler
On commentary, Mike Quackenbush notes that this weekend will be Create-a-Wrestler’s last before assuming his new yearly persona for YLC. CAW does surprisingly well here, seeing through Gerard’s early gambit and upending him with some grappling and striking, but eventually the rudo’s tricks catch up to him. They throw some bombs of varying quality back and forth but before long Gerard’s able to transition from a rollup attempt into a STF and that’s it.
Icarus vs Jimmy Olsen
Awesome little match and a great example of how Chikara works at its best. For starters, Icarus is so good in matches like this. His loudmouth rudo antics and the fact that he’s a tag wrestler first and foremost allow him to establish up-and-coming singles guys in a way lesser baddies can’t. Of course it helps that Jimmy Olsen is astoundingly good, someone who’s flawless in his actions and undeniably charming as a character. These two only get six minutes in this quick filler match but they do a great job of showing what Jimmy’s capable of without diminishing Icarus’ status. A series of slick reversals end with Jimmy turning a Pedigree attempt into a three quarter nelson hold for the upset victory.
Leonard F. Chikarason congratulates Jimmy on his win and invites him to join the Young Lions Cup next month. They’re really stacking this tournament with guys I like and sadly not all of them can win 😦
F.I.S.T. (Gran Akuma & Chuck Taylor) vs Lince Dorado & Turbo
Another kind of awesome midcard match that clicks as well as you could ask for. Turbo shows off some delightful llave skills early on before F.I.S.T. get the best of a speedier sequence and isolate Lince. It doesn’t last too long as Turbo’s soon making the hot tag and initiating a fun finishing sequence of all sorts of flips and twirls. There’s a few flubs here and there but for the most part it’s a great little sprint, ending with the Awful Waffle on the diminutive luchador. The Akuma/Chuck incarnation of F.I.S.T. pick up their first point.
Grudyin & Tucor vs The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple (Hydra & Tim Donst)
First two guys here are from Kaiju Big Battel, with Grudyin being this angler fish/silverback gorilla hybrid whereas Tucor’s some sort of toucan/gerbil combination. The newfound feel-good tag team of the decade make quick work of them. After a few perfunctory goofs, which includes a game of chicken on a pair of Big Wheels, Hydra taps out the toucan with the Hydra Lock. Two points for the Order!
Dr. Cube makes a surprise appearance after the match, yelling at his monster creations for fighting the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple without his permission. The box-headed mad scientist then turns his wrath on Hydra, saying that UltraMantis Black will hear about this insubordination and that he’s ashamed Donst had to be dragged into this mess, which elicits a big ‘Hydra’ chant from the crowd.
Mike Quackenbush is backstage with Stupefied and Cheech ahead of this next match, an atomicos increibles affair. Quack says it’s good to challenge his students and partners in matches like this and asks the others for their thoughts as well. Before they can say much, Worker Ant bursts into the room and says he can’t find Tim Donst anywhere. He asks Quack if he’s worried and Quack, clearly trying to hide something and shut the ant up, says the only thing they should be worried about is this match.
Mike Quackenbush, Cheech, Stupefied, & Worker Ant vs Shane Storm, Cloudy, Player Uno, & Soldier Ant
This absolutely rules, continuing the hot streak of great matches on this show. In typical parejas increibles tradition, this is a spotfest featuring the action we’re used to unfolding in fresh, new ways. It’s not so polished as a high end Dragon Gate match but it’s similarly frantic and fun. Quack’s team is the first to take control, in large part due to the veteran’s coaching and people going after Storm’s recently wrecked nose, but before long this becomes a big mess with everyone flying around everywhere. After Stupefied lays out everyone else with a spiral tap to the floor, the two ants briefly go at it, ending somewhat abruptly with Soldier Ant applying the Chikara Special for the win.
El Pantera vs Jorge “Skayde” Rivera
Another quality match, this time in a maestro tradition that is rather rare in Chikara, especially with a pair of bonafide lucha legends. It unfolds the way you’d expect but features a bit more flying that you might expect from a pair of older guys known for their matwork, as well as some enjoyable crowd work that thankfully never feels like a crowd celebrating their own cleverness. Sort of feels like Pantera’s dogging it at points here but there’s more than enough high end work that I don’t mind so much when he wanders away from a hold. Sadly things fall apart a little toward the end, as these guys go for all manner of pin attempts leading up to the unsurprising outcome. A few times they go for holds and reverses of holds that find both men’s shoulders down for the three count but they clearly aren’t on the same page about which one should be the finish, leading to some confusion and repeated spots. Eventually a small package attempt from Skayde is altered enough by Pantera that referee Bryce Remsburg counts them both down, resulting in a draw.
Crowd ain’t happy about that outcome but they cheer both guys as they make the usual fruitless overtures about restarting the match.
The rudo contingent of Mitch Ryder, Shayne Hawke, and Brodie Lee are backstage heading into the main event. Mitch calls Claudio Castagnoli a “foreign goof” and says he hasn’t forgotten what he did to the Kings of Wrestling last year. What’s more Incoherence have the tag titles, so they’re marked men as far as the Fabulous Two are concerned. Hawke makes a joke about how Swiss chocolate rots your teeth but nothing’s as bad for your teeth as a boot from Brodie Lee.
The Fabulous Two (Mitch Ryder & Shayne Hawke) & Brodie Lee vs Incoherence (Delirious & Hallowicked) & Claudio Castagnoli
Claudio comes out in a spare Delirious mask and a Red Sox shirt, really fishing for pops. In general this match follows that same tack, as everyone’s just trying to send the crowd home happy in advance of the bigger upcoming matches between these opposing forces. Brodie and Claudio butt heads and bust out some big man offense, the Campeones goof around, the Fabulous Two cheat to get ahead, and they all do it at a good clip, smartly ending this around the 13 minute mark following two 20 minute matches that took a lot out of this crowd. A control segment on Claudio feels weird considering who he’s teaming with but the rudos do well to believably contain him before he’s eventually able to overcome the much smaller Hawke. Claudio wipes out Brodie with a big ol’ Taker dive, leaving Delirious alone in the ring to put Hawke away with Shadows Over Heck.
Great show! Easily the best Chikara show of 2008 so far, even if nothing here is quite as good as the two big matches from the first show of the year. Seems like Chikara’s finally shaken off the funk that’s plagued them since the fall.
As always, Delirious is for the children.