KOBALD vs. OLEG THE USURPER - 4.75/10
This was a little sloppy at times, but was that special kind of sloppy that made it feel more real. Kobald basically no-sold the first Off With His Head and later no-sold another. Oleg didn't sell too much either. Kobald finally got the win with Four straight Off With His Heads so he now has three points.
BLANK DEBUTS - He's wearing a white shirt and jacket, black jeans, white boots with black laces, and has a white mask with a zipper over the mouth like a gimp mask. The zipper is half-closed, but he's talking anyway. Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't it be better to unzip the whole thing? He speaks in the third person and issues a challenge to the Proletariat Boar of Moldova for National Pro Wrestling Day. Fans were incredulous of his chances. One of them even flat out predicted that "you're gonna die."
(On commentary, Mike Quackenbush would later inform us that this was Race Jackson, who had recently lost a "Loser Becomes Masked" match to his former tag team partner Hype Rockwell.)
GRAN AKUMA vs. TRAVIS HUCKABEE - 6/10
Icarus replaced Sidney Bakabella on commentary with Mike Quackenbush. He lets us know that Akuma's gimmick at the moment is that he thinks all of the recent WrestleFactory students are way too soft so he's been tearing through them like tissue paper. This probably makes him an immediate favorite for longtime CHIKARA fans who have been very disappointed at the... well... utter lameness of the recent classes, both in terms of gimmicks and ability to deliver in the ring. That being said, Huckabee is probably the best student in the ring since JFDC so Akuma could have a tough battle on his hands.
Travis did indeed hold his own against Akuma and fight through all of the punishment Akuma dished out and even got the win with a small package. Akuma was not happy about this and laid Travis out after the match. He should be more angry at himself, though, because if he didn't keep letting Travis out of holds in an attempt to prove he could easily put him back in them, he might have won.
CORNELIUS CRUMMELS vs. THE PROLETARIAT BOAR OF MOLDOVA - No rating, decent semi-squash
Crummels jumped Boar to start things off and dominated it the Boar hit the gore for the win. Bakabella was back on commentary and said that "tag team specialist" just means "someone who can't win by themselves."
HOLIDAY INTERVIEWS THE PROLETARIAN BOAR OF MOLDOVA - He accepts Bank's challenge.
FOUR WAY ELIMINATION TAG TEAM MATCH:
The Closers vs. Dez Peloton vs. The Throwbacks vs. The Legion of Rot (Hallowicked & Frightmare) - 6/10
The Closers are coming in with one point already. They got another point by eliminating Dez Peloton. Then The Throwbacks eliminated by the Legion of Rot but the Legion of Rot attacked them afterwards. The match went for a few more minutes until The Closers got the win to pick up their third point. This match felt like it dragged on for a very long time. Especially the first fall. This went over twenty-two minutes when it really didn't need to go any longer than thirteen or fourteen.
SCOTT HOLIDAY INTERVIEWS THE CLOSERS - The (slightly) smaller one of them cut a very good promo after the match saying that they would win the Campeonates de Parejas from Los Ice Creams.
"17" PROMO - This 17 is actually the guy we all know and love as Ophidian (hissing his "s"s might have made you suspicious). Apparently at some point in the past, he had used 17's full body covering gear to disguise himself as the real 17 and infiltrate The Flood (or maybe it was just Gekido back then). He vows vengeance on The Whisper, who stole his mask and is now going around masquerading as "Ophidian." A good promo for a potentially confusing situation. Props are also due to the CHIKARA team for splicing clips into this to both help clarify the situation and show us some of the things real Ophidian/"17" might be willing to do- and even go beyond- to wreak vengeance upon The Whisper/"Ophidian."
The responding promo from The Whisper/"Ophidian" also during the intermission was also good and well produced.
KING OF TRIOS ANNOUNCEMENT - Even with the Bullet Club All In show, CHIKARA is still running Labor Day Weekend. They're coming back to Pennsylvania, too. The theme for this year's advertising will be Star Wars. Let's hope that what Quack has planned has a plot less stupid than that of the past two Star Wars movies (it'd be hard not to).
LUCAS CALHOUN PROMO - Good. He has returned from his self-imposed exile. While he was gone, he picked up some gear that doesn't scream "I'm a one-note character!" Yes, I realize that it was purposely designed to contrast with the very much not one-note history of the character, but in a CHIKARA increasingly filled with characters who do not appear to have had any more thought put into them than "I am a crab" or "we ride bicycles," the fear that the conflicted and mysterious Volgar could be turned into another one-note loser with the atrocious nickname "That Old Juke Joint" felt very real.
Anyway, he starts out letting us all know that he missed us, and also that he's clone. He says it's easier to show us what he discovered than to tell us, so he asks us to close our eyes. That seems extremely counterproductive.
Wait... G-d damn it he's still using musical metaphors. I understand that his love of music and his experiences are going to be the thing that makes him different than the originals and different from all of the other clones, but telling me to close my eyes and imagine my favorite song feels so goofy and just... not heavy enough what should be a heavy moment.
He started talking about how everyone has a soul, and how we have all been out here "for a higher purpose," and between that and his southern accent he sounded for all the world like a preacher, and it got kind of weird. Not bad; but definitely a little weird. He says that "Professor Nicodemus'" "monsters of science" "did away with [his friend] Missile Assault Man." These are things that are said only in CHIKARA. He said that this has helped him find his higher purpose.
He calls Jeremy Leary (who is also a clone of the same dude, but a better model) than he is and says that they need to chat. Leary is a dick about being the improved model, but Calhoun doesn't begrudge him for that at all. He tells us that they were both created from "the Volgar Quotient" (which is also the formula that I use to determine whether a particular point in one of my reviews needs a colorful simile, or whether a string of f-bombs will be sufficient). He tells Leary that they are "more than the by-products of science experiments" and that they must team up to stop professor Nicodemus and the Proteus Wheel. Leary agrees, and they leave the ring together, united as "brothers." This was good, but...
I'm sorry, and I know it's not CHIAKRA's fault, but I can't quite take things seriously when you have two clones calling each other "brother" because it immediately conjures up images of Doctor Krieger.
Sorry. I just fell-down an Archer-based YouTube rabbit hole. That was forty minutes well spent.
"OPHIDIAN" vs. "17" - 7/10
This started off with "Ophidian" doing all of the usual Ophidian spots but "17" (A.K.A. the real Ophidian) exposes the fake by no-selling or easily avoiding or foiling all of his stuff. This continued for a while until "Ophidian" managed to send "17" headfirst into the big set-pieces they have in front of the curtain and then begins to work on his head and take over the match. "Ophidian" hit a Canadian Destroyer, because 1) they were working over the heads all match, 2) they only did ONE, and 3) I had seen the move kicked out of in every other match on the show, I actually bit on it as a potential finish. Funny how that works.
Real Ophidian/"17" made his comeback and started to dominate again until Whisper/"Ophidian" removed his own mask and threw it to 17, then fell down from the beating he took. S`17 picked the mask up... but then threw it down and did the sick shoulder-dislocating move, then just started to wail on him from a mounted position. Bryce called for the bell for a stoppage victory. I took Whisper/"Ophidian" taking off the Ophidian match as a sign of submission but the announcers pushed as a message of "I doesn't matter what you do to me; I've already won." I don't see where they're coming from at all. After the match the real Ophidian put his Ophidian mask back on.
SCOTT HOLLIDAY INTERVIEWS OPHIDIAN (the real one) - Ophidian says he still needs revenge on Frightmare and thus challenges him to a match at National Pro Wrestling Day.
OCEANEA & MERLOCK vs. HERMIT CRAB & CAJUN CRAWDAD - 3.75/10
Oceanea is having none of the Crab and the Crawdad's nonsense. She orders Merlock to "destroy them." He does. Oceanea got in at one point and one of the seafood guys grabbed her by the shoulder and she immediately called for Merlock to come in and save her, and he does. She got her licks in on the opponents, too, but she let Merlock do most of the work for her.
Hermit Crab finally got some offense in by targeted Merlock's knee but it didn't last long. Oceanea got tagged after Merlock destroyed the Cajun Crawdad and went for the pin but then she pulled him up at two. She fish hooked him and threw him around, ignoring Bryce's instruction to stop fish hooking. Oceanea got the win with her Reel Catch submission. After the match she demands that Hermit Crab and Cajun Crawdad "bend the knee" and they do so, Aquawoman's forces are growing in number.
CHIKARA GRAND TITLE MATCH: Juan Francisco de Coronado(c) vs. Hype Rockwell - 7.25/10
Once Juan stopped stalling, they started to tell a story about the size difference between the two men and they did a great job with that. Meanwhile, con commentary, the announcers (at this point Mike Quackenbush & Dasher Hatfield) built up the fact that no one has yet kicked out after being hit with Hype Rockwell's Hyperwheel. He managed to hit Juan with the Hyperwheel but Juan rolled to the outside. Juan eventually picked up the win with an excellent heel finish.
SUNNY DEFARGE vs. RAZERHAWK - 4/10
This was a few minutes of really fun big guy vs. small guy Lucha. It was all about making Razerhawk look good and it accomplished its goal. That being said, I still don't get the point of these "encore" matches being so short. They could have ended the show with their big long main event but instead chose to end it with this very short match.
This was a decent show from CHIKARA, but the promotion is still struggling to hold my interest. The CHIKARA approach has always been to get you invested in enough in the storylines that you don't mind that the wrestling isn't at the level of many other indies, but they're failing on that point at the moment. Sure they have some interesting stuff going on and some characters I care about like Juan and Dasher, but those situations are in the minority now, which makes it a lot harder to justify keeping my CHIKARATopia subscription and spending time following them promotion.