Chikara Once Upon a Beginning (4.5.19) review

Chikara Once Upon a Beginning (4.5.19) review

Chikara Once Upon a Beginning

 

April 5 2019

 

We’re in Jersey City at White Eagle Hall. This is one of my final shows of the weekend. I’ve only got a few others to look at. I’m slightly ahead of schedule. This aired on IWTV and this seems like as good a time as any to give them a shout out. Their streams were good and considering they’re supposed to be the cheap knock-off shitty version of WrestleMania they did a damn sight better job of it than WWN and probably WrestleCon too.

 

Chikara is a weird show and I don’t always dig it but I enjoyed King of Trios last year, which was my last exposure to them and historically they’ve always done great character work. I’m thrilled that this show is 2h15m, which is almost ideal for a lower level show. Chikara is a rarity nowadays because they’re a PG Indie and Mike Quackenbush has a very clear cut idea of how he wants wrestling presented.

 

CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) vs. Cornelius Crummels & Sonny Defarge

Chikara1Crummels

Lykos is finally looking healthy and sharp. I’m happy for him. He’s clearly benefitted from wearing a shoulder support and anything he can do, ring gear wise, to improve his chances of not being hurt should be top priority. Brookes brings his disgusting game here and is met with an equal level of finger-sucking sickness from the opponents.

Lykos is back to announcing the brainbuster, which is a fabulous piece of shtick. Crummels & Defarge are a solid team with good continuity. Chikara tends to produce competent wrestlers. They pull out this crazy double team finisher. It’s an assisted back roll monkey flip off the top. Lykos eats it and we’re done. I enjoyed this a lot.

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Missile Assault Man vs. Boomer Hatfield

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Missile Assault Man is like a gimmickless heel with a daft name. Chikara’s champ Dasher’s son Boomer is out to stop him here. I’m reading that sentence back and it is absolutely terrible and I can only apologise for any damage done to you while reading it. Boomer gets murdered and thrown face first into the buckles for the loss. I saw what they were going for here; big nasty heel crushing poor innocent rookie but it didn’t quite click for me.

Final Rating: **

 

Hallowicked, Hermit Crab, Arik Cannon & Cam Zagani vs. Jigsaw, Thunderfrog, Razerhawk & “Stokely Hathaway”

Hermit Crab’s entrance music is nothing short of majestic. It’s basically someone singing his name in a high pitch. Thunderfrog has his version of Thor’s hammer that no one can lift but him.

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“Stokely Hathaway” looks a lot like Chuck Taylor here. It must be the lighting in White Eagle Hall. This match is just ‘there’ until Thunderfrog’s hammer antics.

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It’s a decent match but it just doesn’t connect with me for whatever reason. Razerhawk finishes with a Swanton after Thunderfrog’s hammer shakes the ring enough to knock him down.

Final Rating: ***

 

Air Wolf vs. A-Kid

Air Wolf has just started with MLW and I have a match of his with Rey Fenix to watch. He’s a name to keep an eye on. Speaking of which; A-Kid is a sensational mat wrestler. One of the best young technicians in the world. They do an excellent job of building slow and working up to the big strikes and quick switches.

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They do some fun stuff and a lot of it is really hard. I’m particularly pleased that a lot of what they do is clinical mat work. When the match goes to the big spots it’s actually less effective because they go from Destroyer (no pin, no sell) to underhook superplex (false finish, both guys stay down for ages). A-Kid literally wins with the next move; a Spanish Fly. Or as he calls it “A Fly”. That was really good but the wonky selling and logic down the stretch cost it the four flakes.

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

Promo Time: Juan Francisco de Coranado

He tries to cut an impassioned promo about how badly his life is going and the crowd abuse him all the way through. Juan renames himself John Francis of Coranado and everyone laughs at the fucking dweeb. Go back to Ecuador!

 

Young Lions Cup

Still Life with Apricots and Pears (c) vs. Carlos Romo

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Speaking of fucking dweebs. Your name shouldn’t be this stupid if you’re a pro wrestler. And no, I’m not talking about Carlos Romo. Still Life has strong focus and goes after the leg and wins with a leg submission so I suppose I should be happy about it. Still has a stupid name.

Final Rating: ***

 

The Whisper vs. Princess Kimber Lee

Kimber starts fast and throws Whisper, her tag team partner, around.

Chikara1Kimber

Whisper tries to give her a receipt and Kimber batters him and hits another German suplex for the pin. That was…brisk! Kimber looked like a total badass here.

Final Rating: NR (too short)

 

FIST (Icarus, Travis Huckabee & Tony Deppen) vs. The Colony (Fire Ant, Green Ant & Thief Ant)

The Colony are firm favourites. We get a nice fast-paced encounter with them switching talent in ring and doing exciting dives and whatnot. Thief Ant is a great gimmick. He just steals all your moves and hits them…less well than you. My other favourite ‘bit’ from the Colony is heels working their antennae over. Any time someone has a mask, or a tail, and it’s treated like it’s part of the body I’m here for the wrestling logic of it. “There’s ants everywhere” is also a tremendous call. Green Ant constantly goes after the Chikara Special but Huckabee murders him with a version of the Stretch Muffler that looks awesome. I loved this but it could have been longer.

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

New Director of Fun

This was Bryce Remsberg but the pressures of being that much fun have gotten to him and there’s a replacement.; Sidney Bakabella.

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Ladder Match

Chikara Grand Championship

Dasher Hatfield (c) vs. Mr Touchdown

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Hatfield was the interim champion while incumbent champion Marc Angelosetti (aka Mr Touchdown) was out injured. When he returned Dasher refused to relinquish the title.

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Seeing as dickhead Sinclair put on a shite ladder match at MSG this year someone has to take the spot of ‘best ladder match’ of Mania weekend. Mr Touchdown has been out with a broken leg so the crowd is, understandably, freaked out when he falls awkwardly on the ropes and Dasher works the leg. Bringing that psychology in the ladder universe. The shinbreaker into the ladder in the corner is my shit and no mistake. If I have a complaint here it’s that they hit up the fatigue selling way too early in the match so we get some goofy slow climbing where it doesn’t belong. Touchdown can sell the leg and struggle to climb but Dasher should be living up to his name on that ladder climbing. I do really dig the ladders in the rope spot where they decide to wear each other down.

 

Boomer comes out to try and reason with his old man, which leads almost directly to Dasher wrapping a chair around Touchdown’s leg and smashing it with another chair. Touchdown uses the second ladder to try and stabilise the main one and promptly gets powerbombed through it. He’s dead, Dasher pulls the belt down and retains. This was fucking great. The leg work gave the match a focus and left them not needing the big crazy spot until the finish so there was only one! This was a million times better than the ROH three way.

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Final Rating: ****1/4

 

Summary:

I’m glad I saved a good show for my final day of viewing. Chikara was a solid card top to bottom. It was under two and a half hours and finished with one of the best matches of the weekend. At time of writing I have it ranked at #12 on the weekend. It was an excellent ladder match with tremendous limb work. Add in a strong undercard and Chikara charts comfortably in the top half of shows this weekend.

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