OBARIYON & THE SEA STARS PROMO - The Sea Stars are excited to be part of More Than Mania. They are obnoxiously bubbly and happy. The first words I heard on this show were Ashley Vox using the exclamation "suffering sea stars!" and I immediately wanted them to lose their match tonight, plus ever match they are ever in ever, unless they somehow wind up wrestling the team of Toru Yano & Grado. Then I'd root for a quick double DQ.
And don't get on my case about this because I'm not the only one they're annoying. Obariyon also got annoyed and told them to stop being so excitable. He told them that only way to win tonight's match would be to go to the deepest, darkest parts of themselves. Delmi Exo looked concerned about this. Ashley Vox just looked confused.
THE FURIES (Obariyon & the Sea Stars) vs. MERLOCK, HERMIT CRAB, & CAJUN CRAWDAD - 4.5/10
A fan gave the Sea Stars an inflatable hammerhead shark wearing a Zack Sabre Jr. t-shirt. The first spot in the match was Hermit Crab & Rock Lobster wanting to do some sort of goofy hand-claw thing rather than a normal handshake. Despite Obariyon yelling "DON'T PLAY WITH THEM!" at the top of his lungs while standing right next to them, these idiot Sea Stars did so... and the big thick Merlock then ran over and shoved them both down hard. Obariyon again yelled at them "THEY'RE NOT YOUR FRIENDS! DON'T PLAY WITH THEM!" I am completely failing to understand how I am supposed to believe that these women are part of a group called "The Furies." I see nothing furious about them. I'm not even sure the Sea Stars are capable of anger.
Ashley Vox was the babyface in peril and got her neck worked over. She eventually made a hot tag to Obariyon, who got to face off against Merlock. Delmi pinned Hermit Crab with a prawn hold. LOL.
JEREMY LEARY PROMO - He claims a mysterious man has given a counter to prevent Ophidian from humiliating him by defeating him like he did last month at Blink.
JEREMY LEARY vs. OPHIDIAN - 5.75/10
The story of the match was Leary working over Ophidian's head, but the real piece of news to come out of this match was that Ophidian's hypnosis did not work on Leary this time (who then knee him in the head and won soon after), which, both validates Leary's seemingly outlandish earlier claim, and seems to hint that there is more to Jeremy Leary than meets the eye.
YOUNG LIONS CUP MATCH: Space Monkey(c) vs. Wani - 4.5/10
I do not enjoy Space Monkey, so I really didn't enjoy a match built around his silliness. You might enjoy it more. Wani won the Young Lions Cups.
ZACK SABRE JR. vs. MIKE QUACKENBUSH - 7.5/10
Great British wrestling with lots of respect between the two men, even when the uppercuts started. This was a pleasure to watch, and was elevated by a very respectful crowd. My favorite little moment actually came after the match when they were showing each other respect and Quack raised Zack's hand... and then Zack flipped his wrist around and all of a sudden he was the one raising Quack's hand, and then Quack tried to flip it back and so on. It was funny and adorable and came off like one last little nod to British wrestling.
KOBALD vs. MISSILE ASSAULT MAN - 4.75/10
The crowd is going nuts for all of MAM's school boys for some reason. Kobald was hit in the head several times but this did not cure his case of the crazies like he had hoped.
SOLO DARLING & TRAVIS HUCKABEE PROMO - The biggest surprise of this whole show is that I found this hilarious.
FOUR-WAY ELIMINAITON TAG TEAM MATCH:
Los Ice Creams vs. The Colony (Fire Ant & Silver Ant) vs. The Legion of Rot (Frightmare & Hallowicked) vs. Travis Huckabee & Solo Darling - 7.75/10
Solo Darling wants to eat Los Ice Creams. That's not a sexual euphemism. She literally wants to bite into them and consume them so that her digestive system can turn their bodies into energy to power her body. Because she likis addicted to sugar, you see. Travis was trying to stop her, even as she was stalking one of Los Ice Creams around the ring. It was very funny. Then again, Solo later bit Frightmare, so maybe her gimmick is that she's secretly a cannibal?
On commentary, Quack lets us know that Hallowicked is one of the trainers at the WrestleFactory. I wonder how Mike justifies letting someone who is/was possessed by an evil demon bent on destroying/dominating the world near his young, impressionable students, and specifically in a position of authority over them that can easily be abused to lure them to the dark side and/or trick them into a position where they wind up being used as pawns of a great evil.
It took things a while to get going (pretty much until they were down to the final two), but get going they did, and this became great match. Fire Ant was the babyface in peril and got his head worked over. Frightmare, for his part, picked up where he left off after last night's match and tried to rip off Silver Ant's mask. Silver Ant eventually made him tap the Texas Cloverleaf, but left the hold in for a while afterwards, to the point where he was almost disqualified.
JUAN FRANCISCO DE CORONADO PROMO - He says he'll win the belt. He is very assured of himself.
CHIKARA GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
UltraMantis Black(c) vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado - 6.25/10
UMB hit the Preying Mantis Bomb early on but Juan rolled out of the ring. UMB kept up the pressure by diving onto him and taking it to him on the outside but Juan cut him off by whipping him into the guardrail. They did some stuff in the ring, then went back outside and all the way to the top of a big permanent bleachers/staircase type of set-up where UMB countered an attempted Tiger Driver with a Back Body Drop and Juan rolled all the way down to the point where it looked comical. Unlike a New Japan referee, Bryce Remsburg was, in fact, trying to count them out, but he was counting so slowly that it felt like he was deliberately trying to ensure they got back to the ring in time, so they wound up back in the ring at around thirteen.
Juan took out UMB's formerly injured knee, and then went to work on it. Unfortunately, UMB didn't sell it too well. When he got back on offense he was running around just fine. We got a ref bump, followed by UMB hitting the Cosmic Disaster for the visual pinfall. Juan UMB with his staff, the broke it over UMB's back, then hit him in the head with pieces for a decent false finish. This was the beginning of a short finishing sequence that seemed like it should have gone about five minutes longer than it did, and really felt like it petered out with UMB passing out in the Coronado Clutch. Juan is your new champion, ending UMB's reign at just two months in "real time" and just two successful defenses. UMB deserved better than this, and if I, someone who isn't a CHIKARA hardcore feel cheated out of the emotional high that UMB's reign should have been, I can't imagine how a true CHIKARA die-hard feels.
This was an extremely disappointing show from CHIKARA. The storyline moments were there, but some of (especially the title change) was the kind of thing that makes you think CHIKARA has lost their touch rather than getting you excited for what is to come. In the ring, the main event was a big disappointment, and I was hoping for a lot more out of Quack and Zack. Also, the fact that the only guys who really seemed to be able to deliver in the ring were Zack Sabre Jr. and a group of CHIKARA stalwarts (Quack, Hallowicked, Frightmare, and The Colony) does not give me bright hopes for the future of the company from an in-ring perspective. Storylines are great, but if you're going to have a very low level of in-ring work you need to be telling fantastic stories. CHIKARA has been able to do that in the past, but those days feel long gone.