Friday, May 20, 2016

Professional Wrestling Review: CHIKARA "Dead Man's Chest"

I'm sure that by now you're all sick of hearing my "not enough hours in the day" speech about not only how much professional wrestling exists out there to watch but then taking the time to write about it.    However, since I have been writing weekly about WWE, TNA, Lucha Underground and ROH I've found that watching other promotions and not writing about them has been fun.    With ROH having their pay-per-view Global Wars which I was really excited to see but probably shouldn't have watched and then EVOLVE and others holding Cruiserweight Classic qualifying matches (plus EC3 showing up in EVOLVE), I decided if I'm going to be writing about all of these promotions (some not for the first time) a sort of update is due for CHIKARA, one of my favorite promotions because it's a mix of most everything I enjoy about professional wrestling except for the hardcore violence.  

I also feel- to some extent- that talent from CHIKARA could be picked for the Cruiserweight Classic and perhaps CHIKARA could host at least one qualifying match.   That'd bring me back to writing about CHIKARA no doubt, but even if they don't now I can find some wrestlers who are perhaps left out of the CWC and so I can say, "Well, here are the Top 10 wrestlers who should have been in the CWC but were not".   Obviously, someone like Davey Richards won't be in the CWC because of injury and being in TNA, but you know, the talent that is available should be utilized.   I think WWE could even work out a deal with ROH, but that might just be me.   

Match One: Jaka (w/Jakob Hammermeier) vs. Shynron

Since I last wrote about CHIKARA, I have seen Shynron in TNA.   Is CHIKARA working with WWE for the Cruiserweight Classic?   I think Shynron should be in it.    And Jaka still reminds me of a smaller Kamala.    These two have a decent enough match as Jaka plays the role of a wild brawler and yet at times also lets his wrestling skill shine through.   Shynron put on a great outing but somehow Jaka got the win which is just proof that you can't win them all.   So, really, I liked the Shynron aspect of this match but for Jaka to pull out the win it lasted a bit too long for my tastes.

Just a note now in between matches: The microphone in the ring is a lot quieter than the commentary.   So when I turn the volume up to hear what Rad Vlad is saying during the ring introductions, I find myself having to turn it right back down as soon as Quack and Bryce start their commentary.   Something that maybe could be fixed from a technical aspect somehow.

Match Two: Pinkie Sanchez vs. Syd Gilmour

No idea who Syd Gilmour is, but I'm pretty sure that Pinkie Sanchez deserves a better opponent from him.   With Wrestling Super Store creating action figures for ROH and then they have this "legends" sort of line as well as a "futures stars" line or something.  Anyway, I'd love to see Pinkie Sanchez in his full entrance attire, which can be found as reference at the start of this match.   I'd try to make a custom action figure of him myself but there is no way I could pull off that entrance mask.     This was a rather short and painless match for Pinkie Sanchez.   I'm not even sure Syd Gilmour got any offense in.   I think he was going for a top rope move and got caught up in the ropes, which lead to the finish.   So, in some ways, Syd Gilmour really defeated himself.   Oh, and what I said during the first match about Shynron being in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic applies tenfold to Pinkie Sanchez.

The Devastation Corporation cuts a promo backstage and I have to turn my volume up.  Flex Rumblecrunch was so much nicer when we met him.   Now he sounds like he would rip my head off.

Match Three: Dasher Hatfield & Heidi Lovelace vs. Los Ice Creams (El Hijo del Ice Cream & Ice Cream Jr.) vs. Hermit Crab & Rock Lobster vs. The Devastation Corporation (Blaster McMassive & Flex Rumblecrunch) (w/Max Smashmaster)

In this match, I don't recognize the team of Hermit Crab and Rock Lobster but they seem to be very over with the crowd.    I'm not sure why, but one of Quentin's favorite songs since he was two or three years old has been "Rock Lobster" so he'll likely enjoy this team.   I haven't seen Los Ice Creams in what seems like forever.   Can someone out there start making wrestling figures for CHIKARA?  Please?  Do we need to start a Kickstarter or GoFundMe?  Because I'd buy them all.    CHIKARA has such colorful characters and they are among the best going today.   The Devastation Corporation is still somewhere between the Road Warriors and Demolition, but it's okay because they're two big guys who kick butt (I'm keeping it PG for CHIKARA)  I don't know why, but in ROH I'm not a fan of War Machine and yet I can't get enough of Devastation Corporation.    Sometimes things just do or don't click with me.    Heidi Lovelace looks like Rachel Dratch still, but it's okay because Dasher Hatfield looks like a baseball.   In most cases, I don't like watching matches with more than four participants because it gets to be a bit of a mess, but CHIKARA has found a way to pull it off.    It just feels like a two on two match most of the time, even though it's really two on two on two on two.   Quack mentions that the ring is on loan from Create-A-Pro Wrestling.   Is that Brian Myers promotion/school?  #LetsGoMets    This was an elimination match- which also helped it not feel like too many people involved- and it came down to Devastation Corporation vs. Dasher & Lovelace.    Dasher played the victim for a while and then Heidi got the hot tag.   As much as Heidi tried, she could not overcome the odds and Devastation Corporation won this match.

Match Four: The Estonian ThunderFrog (c) vs. The Proletariat Boar Of Moldova (CHIKARA Young Lions Cup Title Match) 

I'm pretty sure I've not seen either of these competitors before, but the Boar sounds familiar.   It will be easiest just to think of these two guys as The Boar and The Frog, so here we go.    This is ThunderFrog's first defense of the Young Lions Cup and during the match Quack- I believe- says only one wrestler has lost the YLC on his first defense and that was Fire Ant.   So... Odds are in ThunderFrog's favor then.    And- to no surprise- ThunderFrog wins this one with the Froggy Splash, but hey, it was a good match between two overly gimmicked wrestlers-- which is how I like it in CHIKARA!  

Match Five: Battle Hive (The Colony (Fire Ant & Worker Ant) & Amasis) & Officer Warren Barksdale vs. The Arcane Horde (The Batiri (Kobald, Kodama & Obariyon) & Oleg The Usurper) (w/UltraMantis Black)

So this eight man tag is basically The Colony of sorts vs. The Batiri- who I recently saw in Blitzkrieg! Pro but have seen in CHIKARA before as well- and one of my absolutely favorite gimmicks ever: Oleg The Usurper.    The Colony appears to have a cop with them, but not like Big Boss Man more like someone from that television show "CHIPS".    At one point during the match, Oleg begins running the ropes and Officer Barksdale runs the ropes with him and proceeds to "pull him over".   That was a pretty funny moment and something I've not seen before.   The fans chanted "Eat the ticket" and Oleg did.    It's been getting colder all day and there is that smell of rain in the air, but it keeps also going from dark to bright.  Well, during this match the rain finally broke and I had to get up and shut the windows.    The Demon's Toilet sealed the fate of Officer Barksdale and The Arcane Horde won this match.  

Jakob Hammermeier cut a promo about how much he likes Jaka but Pinkie Sanchez forgets his hood at the dry cleaners.    It sounds like he's setting up a match between Jaka and Eddie Kingston but Jaka already fought and the match card says Jakob himself is fighting Eddie Kingston.   Ah well.  

Match Six: Eddie Kingston vs. Jakob Hammermeier (w/Jaka & Pinkie Sanchez)

So even though Jakob said Jaka is better than Pinkie, both men still came out with Jakob, go figure.   For the record, Chris Hero is having an action figure made of him by Wrestling Super Store as some sort of independent stars line.  I do believe Eddie Kingston should do the same.     Pinkie Sanchez jumped Kingston before the match, rolled him into the ring, and then Jakob hit one punch, rolled him up and got the three count.    Jakob declared himself some kind of king and, man, if I was there to see Eddie Kingston I'd be upset.   Thankfully, I'm at home and I've seen Eddie Kingston before, so I move on.  

Match Seven: Princess KimberLee (c) vs. Soldier Ant (CHIKARA Grand Title Match)

We go right into our next match.   You can feel how you want about the men fighting women, but here we go.   Kimber Lee is Champion and she is about to fight Soldier Ant.    I guess this match doesn't bother me because it seems fair where as watching Cage destroy Sexy Star on Lucha Underground feels a bit more ridiculous.  Kimber Lee is a princess and she gives her tiara to a young girl in the crowd before the match Bret Hart style.    It is also worth noting that I really want to see Ivelisse become Lucha Underground Champion, so for CHIKARA to have a woman as their champion is pretty cool.   Side Note: I emailed Kimber Lee once about doing an interview and she never got back to me, so there's that.    They said this is Kimber Lee's second title defense and also mention she has a recent pinfall victory over Mickie James.    That might sound impressive, but I bet out there somewhere Kelly Kelly also has a pinfall victory over Mickie James.    Kimber Lee's quest for the title is recapped in words and it was said that Rolling Stone covered it so no wonder why she wouldn't do an interview with the likes of me, haha.    According to the talk of commentary as well, the title defense before this was against Oleg The Usurper, so it looks like it's time to buy some CHIKARA Blu-Rays.   Kimber Lee uses the pinning combination which is her finisher- something about an alligator- and wins clean over Soldier Ant.   I don't know, guys, I might have to buy these Blu-Rays that are under the Reign of Princess Kimber Lee.   I suggest you do the same.  

After the credits roll, we come back and the crowd is chanting "One more match", which we get.    How often has an encore worked in professional wrestling?  

Match Eight: Rick Beanbag vs. Wani

Someone keeps saying "ichiban" to Wani as he enters.   Wani is a masked Japanese wrestler and I guess if I wanted to further anger Al Snow I could say that Wani reminds me of Shinobi.   Rick Beanbag gets a "Ricky B" chant going and I have no idea why.   Let's keep the kayfabe alive, people!  (You can read Cage Match or watch the show yourself to find out why that chant makes sense)   A fairly quick but entertaining match and Rick Beanbag gets the win.    

Overall this was one of the better CHIKARA shows I've seen lately, though I've yet to see a CHIKARA show I don't like and the first time I saw them was back in 2005 or so when I purchased some of their VHS tapes off of eBay.   There is just this large amount of talent represented on "Dead Man's Chest" and even though I can typically feel overwhelmed by matches with six or eight people in them, CHIKARA can pull them off.    I used to feel like the cross between Japanese style wrestling and lucha libre was what made CHIKARA special.   Now I feel like it might be that they have a woman as their main champion.    But when you always find these reasons I can only assume it means that CHIKARA is just special overall and I'm glad we didn't lose them that time I heard that they were shutting down.    Do everything you can to support CHIKARA because they are top notch.   Oh, and someone make them some wrestling figures.   I'm sure someone could be commissioned to do it.  

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