CHIKARA Martyr Yourself to Caution
By Big Red Machine
From September 18, 2011
12 LARGE SUMMIT BLOCK A MATCH:
Sara Del Rey (4) vs. Ophidian (0) - 7.75/10
This was an awesome opener. They took solid storytelling (Sara worked over Ophidian's midsection with her kicks, Ophidian worked over Sara's arm) and combined with some very exciting false finishes and a few spots that felt completely unique to this pairing of wrestling. A wonderful way to start the show.
THE THROWBACKS vs. THE COLONY (Solider Ant & Green Ant) - 6.5/10
A good match, but every time they really started to pick up steam to transfer into that next gear, they killed their moment by doing a comedy spot and resetting. The Throwbacks picked up the win, giving them their third point and thus setting them up for a title shot.
ICARUS PROMO - Too over the top. Being a hypocrite about lying can be good heel heat, but when you use the claim that your life was the plot The Lion King as an example of how you "never lie," you just become a goofball idiot rather than someone despicable.
GREGORY IRON vs. ICARUS - 6.5/10
Good babyface underdog story, but it does feel a little bit uncomfortably exploitative in hindsight. I can't put my finger on why it didn't feel that way at the time, but it does now.
TOM DONST (& TURSAS) PROMO - Very good.
YOUNG BUCKS vs. BRUDERSCHAFT DES KREUZES (Tim Donst & Tursas) - 7/10
This was a great small guys vs. technical wrestler and his big monster friend match. Matt was the babyface in peril this time. The action was great and everyone got time to shine, but what I really want to talk about is the commentary provided by Leonard F. Chikarason and Jakob Hammermeier. Vince McMahon and everyone involved with WWE's announcing need to watch this match just to listen to the commentary because this was a wonderful example of how you can have your commentators arguing with each other throughout the match while being entertaining and not having it feel like obnoxious bickering.
MARSHE ROCKETT PROMO - Good. He's getting revenge for his stablemates, who were put out of pro wrestling for good on Ares' orders.
MARSHE ROCKETT vs. ARES (w/Delirious) - 6.75/10
Solid vengeful babyface vs. despicable heel stuff. Ares wins after Delirious interferes on his behalf.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. UltraMantis Black and Hallowicked came out. Hallowicked tried to get through to the mind-controlled Delirious while UMB hit Ares with the Praying Mantis Bomb and said he was tired of Ares running from him and demanded a one-on-one match. Kobald came out and attacked Hallowicked, which also caused a distraction so that Sinn Bodhi could come out and attack UltraMantis. Delirious used this opportunity to pull Ares out of the ring and bring him to the back. Obariyon and Kodama then joined in on their stablemates' side, which led to Frightmare and Crossbones (the latter getting a big pop for his surprise return as the mystery partner) running out to join their buddies, leading to...
SINN BODHI & THE BATIRI (Obariyon, Kodama, & Kobald) vs. SPECTRAL ENVOY & CROSSBONES - 6.75/10
Good chaotic action.
CHUCK TAYLOR & JOHNNY GARGANO PROMO - Fine. Great cheating by F.I.S.T. throughout, and the concept of the low blow served as an important motif throughout. The heels winning by Eddie Guerrero-style phantom low blow and DQ for their first fall is the sort of thing I would normally hate, but they paid the spot off very well later in the match, it served as a fine reminder of Sabato's heelishness, and, in the end, greatly contributed to the idea that the champion got screwed out of their titles. That being said, the fact that the logical follow-up of building to a rematch never happened (this was, in fact, the last time Quack and Jigsaw have teamed up in a title match to this date) does put something of a historical black eye on the story.
12 LARGE SUMMIT BLOCK B MATCH:
Eddie Kingston (6pts) vs. Fire Ant (2pts) - 6.75/10
This match was a mess. Fire Ant had to win in order to stay alive in his block, and the match started off with Kingston playing the big heel- bruiser- even heeling on his hometown crowd- while Fire Ant played the underdog babyface. So far so good.
Then things took an odd turn when Vin Gerard came out of the crowd and attacked Kingston's knee on the outside when the referee and Fire Ant were distracted with each other. Gerard ran away, and then all of a sudden the match turned on its head and Kingston was suddenly the babyface who had been attacked by a spiteful heel rival and the hometown crowd was behind him. Then we went back to the original formula with Fire Ant as the underdog babyface and Kingston being heelish, including grabbing Fire Ant's mask. Then Kingston was a total babyface after the match showing Fire Ant respect.
Kingston got the win, which made Fire Ant look like an idiot for refusing to take a count-out win when his chance to become the first-ever CHIKARA Grand Champion defended on it, and then wind up losing the match despite having someone else run in and help him.
This was a very solid show from CHIKARA, but it unfortunately was one of those shows that started off a lot stronger than it finished. It didn't go downhill too much, as the action was pretty darn consistent, but the fact that the opener was the best match on the card by a clear margin and I was wishing that match had been the main event instead by the end makes the show feel like a bit of a downer.