CHIKARA Stop Making Sense (6/17/2005)- Reading, PA
CROSSBONES PROMO- annoying.
YOUNG LIONS CUP QUALIFIER: Crossbones vs. Andy Sumner- 1.25/10
They wrestled for a few minutes. It wasn’t bad, but the rather small crowd was very quiet for pretty much all of it.
SKAYDE & EQUINOX vs. PRESCRIPTION THUGS (Darkness Crabtree & Dr. Cheung)- decent comedy match.
YOUNG LIONS CUP QUALIFIER: Din Mak vs. Matt Bomboy- 4.75/10
On commentary, Larry Sweeney mentioned that he got tips about tanning “from Playboy.” I’m going to assume he meant Buddy Rose, but it was still a shocking thing to hear on CHIKARA commentary. This started off really dull and while it wouldn’t be fair to say that the announcers (Sweeney and Kingston) gave zero sh*ts, I think it’s fair to say that between the two of them the most they could muster up was about a quarter of one. This almost started to get decent by the end, though. Bomboy won and was then a total heel after the match.
LARRY SWEENEY- promo tells us that while we won’t be seeing him in the ring tonight, Larry Sweeney has a big surprise for us tonight. That’s literally all he said.
YOUNG LIONS CUP QUALIFIER: Icarus vs. Kanjyouru Matsuyama- 4/10
Before this match started, Kingston told us Black Jack Marciano was sick and gave a number that fans could call him at to wish him well. He apparently has a knee injury. And, according to Sweeney, possibly herpes as well. On CHIKARA commentary. They also repeatedly said Matsuyama’s last name in a stereotypical Japanese accent.
The match was okay aside from the times when it was just ugly. Twice during the match Matsuyama pulled out a collapsible fan… and did nothing with it other than hold it. This was bad not only because it was pointless but also because the referee made no effort to get this foreign object away from him. Icarus hit his Pedigree, but then rather than go for a pin, rolled Matusyama into this weak-looking submission that it took him a good two or three tries to lock in correctly, and then that was the finish.
YOUNG LIONS CUP QUALIFIER: Gran Akuma vs. Shane Storm- 5.75/10
Storm is out for revenge on Akuma for his role in taking out his tag team partner Mr. Zero (possibly forever), so he charges right at Akuma to start things off. The match was very good for the time it got, with Akuma working over Storm’s head with his vicious kicks while countering all of Storm’s big stuff until Storm was able to hit a Super Air Raid Crash for the win.
KINGS OF WRESTLING PROMO- good.
Hero buries his opponent tonight, Sabian. Claudio points out that he hasn’t been beaten by anyone in CHIKARA guy all year and vowed to remain undefeated throughout the Young Lions Cup.
YOUNG LIONS CUP QUALIFIER: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Jolly Roger (w/Allison Danger)- 6.75/10
This was a very good match that built well off of Claudio’s promo, giving Roger the right stuff at exactly the right moments to make you think he might really pull off the upset. The only problem came during a two-minute section in the middle where it felt like things ground to a total halt. It started with a sequence of events that led to Danger slapping Claudio right in front of the referee and there being no DQ, and then Claudio doing his stalling vertical suplex right afterwards, during which Roger’s feet accidentally knocked down a ceiling tile and they didn’t react to it at all. That should have been a sign for Claudio to put the guy down, but he just kept him up there for about twenty seconds or so, and it was just boring.
The other thing here was Allison Danger’s attire. She was wearing a plain bright yellow longsleeved shirt and plain black pants. The shirt was bright enough that it drew your attention whenever she was on camera, but everything else about her attire was so generic and non-descript that she looked less like an experienced professional wrestling manager and more like a random fan who had decided to stand up and root really hard for Jolly Roger. She did her job as a manager very well, rallying the crowd behind Roger and point out Claudio’s cheating to the referee, etc., but could she not have worn, like, an Allison Danger t-shirt or something?
That being said, her bright yellow shirt did give Sweeney the opportunity to affectionately refer to her as “pineapple,” which was hilarious. Those two are coming off of an angle that culminated at Anniversario weekend where there was a tag match where if Sweet N’ Sour International lost they would have to wear diapers, but if they won, Sweeney would get Allison Danger as his slave. Obviously they lost, but Sweeney’s comment here about how he could have taught Danger “how to be a classy broad” makes me quite sad at the thought of the numerous wonderful vignettes that we’ll never get to see. I like to think that Sweeney harbored a grudge about this for many years, which explains his terrible words and actions towards Allison a few years later at the ROH Sixth Anniversary Show.
SABIAN vs. CHRIS HERO- 7.5/10
The story of this match was that Hero was the arrogant veteran bully who wasn’t going to let this young kid show him up. Hero was wonderful in his role and Sabian was a great babyface. I was so disappointed when he tapped out. Kingston’s commentary in which he was clearly anti-Hero but struggling to be professional was excellent and really helped the match.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Hero wouldn’t release the hold. When he finally did he locked on a different variation, then stomped on Sabian. Refs tried to get him to stop but Hero just shoved one of them and threatened him, having apparently had a previous physical encounter with this ref last month. This was good for what it was except for the fact that I was totally flabbergasted that the decision wasn’t reversed with Hero being disqualified for excessive punishment.
DARK BREED & CEREMONY- goofy and lame.
This was grown men outside in goofy costumes playing with grass and a body covered with a sheet. They needed better props and better atmosphere. How the hell do you even do a dark ritual in the middle of the daytime?
MIKE QUACKENBUSH, RECKLESS YOUTH, & JIGSAW vs. THE DARK BREED (UltraMantis Black, Hallowicked, & Blind Rage)- 8/10
Sweeney and Kingston joked about how they would rather kill themselves than watch this match go sixty minutes. That’s even more uncomfortable to hear now than it would have been back then.
There was one awkward moment where Reckless was in a grounded side headlock and so he slapped the mat a few times to get the fans into it and it looked for all the world like he had just tapped out to a headlock, but aside from that this was an awesome main event. They shined the babyfaces up well with some nice Lucha, got great heat on Reckless, and the babyfaces made a big comeback that transitioned into some really fun, fast-paced action to bring us to the finish. Said finish was Jigsaw getting a flash pin on Hallowicked, who slapped him afterwards, starting a brawl between them which it took their respective teammates a lot of effort to break up.
A pretty good show from CHIKARA, with a great top two pulling up an undercard that was… well… what you should probably expect from most eras of CHIKARA. The storylines are the things that most people watch CHIKARA for, and while the Young Lions Cup qualifiers give this some storyline importance, nothing else that happens here fells like it matters much in the grand scheme of things. That being said, at just under two hours, you definitely won’t feel like you wasted your time watching it, either. A mild recommendation, unless, of course, you’re a CHIKARA completist.
PWG, EVOLVE, AAW, WWN, etc
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