This is my first Chikara DVD. My first thought. What’s up with this ring announcer’s hair?
First match: Ophidian vs. Sara Del Rey
I liked the Ophidian gimmick. And I love Sara Del Rey. (She was cuter than usual here.) I hate intergender matches, so I hope this is ok. Chikara is a promotion that understands branding. I was really impressed with Ophidian. Not that I had any doubt, but Del Rey holds her own in the ring with men. She is just “one of the boys” and believable. There always seemed to be an issue with Chyna/Jackie/Jazz. With Sara Del Rey in this culture, this does not seem to be an issue. There were lots of near-falls and great drama here. Every pin felt this was going to be the last. Every time somebody was in a pinning predicament, I asked myself, “Is this it?” The last time I really didn’t know who was going to win was Punk-Cena at Money in the Bank. Great showing by both.
Winner: Del Rey
Second match: The Colony (Soldier Ant & Green Ant) vs. The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & Sugar Dunkerton)
I like what I have seen from The Throwbacks before but never seen them as a team. This is my first time to see The Colony. The two wrestled a really good match. They use lucha terms which makes me pop because I love me some lucha libre. Chikara seems to be very gimmick-heavy, which can be good or bad. This company is definitely on the good side. Green Ant really impressed me with his in-ring work.
Third match: Icarus vs. Gregory Iron
Icarus cut a mini-promo before the match. Apparently Icarus has this issue with Iron writing a blog and making up stuff. When he started to unzip his jacket the audience would boo. When he zipped it up, they cheered. See? Entertainment is not musical chairs on NXT. Icarus had some good moments. He seemed very committed. And of course, what can you say about Gregory Iron? Good match.
Fourth match: Tim Donst & Tursas vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
Tim Donst cut a really interesting promo. Tursas had on his beard crooked on his mask. The Jacksons/Young Bucks/Generation Me come out to Mmm Bop. They definitely should be the top heels in the company for that alone. The announcing was pretty good here. Tim Donst is one of my new favorites. The Young Bucks’ biggest strength is their double-teaming. They work really well together. I think I like AIW Tim Donst better than Chikara Tim Donst. I think Donst should call himself the Man of 1,005 Holds (as a tribute to Dean Malenko & Chris Jericho). I wasn’t really sure who I was supposed to go for here. I felt the match was really good here and had some really nice drama. Myself and Booker T are not the biggest Young Bucks fan (the only two wrestlers NOT in Booker T’s Fave Five). But I think they might have risen in my book. Especially after the three Northern Lights Suplexes.
Winner: Young Bucks
Good match from these four. We just need to get them a new theme song.
Fifth match: Ares vs. Marshe Rockett
If you want great wrestlers without gimmicks who just go in and wrestle, go find Ring of Honor. You are going to find gimmicks, but it’s ok. Gimmicks should be a part of wrestling. I liked Rockett’s mini-promo before the match. Remind me to never be on the receiving end of a Marshe Rockett chop. I liked what I saw from Rockett. Ares did a Pearl River Plunge after some interference.
The Dark Army (Kizarny, Obariyon, Kodama & Kobald) vs. The Spectral Envoy (UltraMantis Black, Hallowicked, Frightmare & Mystery Guy???)
I have no idea of anything that happened during this match. It was like an 8-man ringside brawl. The moves were completely insane. I was very impressed by what I saw from all 8.
Winner: The Spectral Envoy
Seventh match: Team F.I.S.T. (Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano) vs. Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw
I was really intrigued at this match. Must have been Best of 3 falls. QJ won the first fall and FIST won the second because of a low blow he faked. Are you kidding me? Old Cranky White Man hates heel refs. I’m impressed with Gargano’s work as a heel. I don’t know if he will ever be successful in the WWE, but he could have a very nice career doing ROH, Japan, Mexico and the indy scene.
The JoshiMania video packages are REALLY well done and make me excited about that event.
Main event: Fire Ant vs. Eddie Kingston
Eddie Kingston spent some time ripping a few fans in the crowd. Eddie Kingston as a heel is brutal (brutal here is convincing, not brutal to watch). The story was great. Kingston killed him and he kept on kicking out. This made me mad as a fan over how hard Kingston killed him and I know this was a work. Fire Ant did some awesome high-flying spots. Then somebody attacked Kingston from the crowd. And the match continued for a long time after that.
Well, first of all, I liked the Chikara product. I could watch it with my daughter and not overly worry about being offended. (Relax, Mom. I’m not going to watch wrestling with her until she can understand on camera vs. off camera.) I think Cranky Old White Man might do a blog on why Chikara can make a good product geared toward kids, but the WWE can’t.
I’m cool with all the gimmicks. This makes the wrestlers distinguishable. It’s also very story-heavy, which means there are some moments where you will have no idea what is going on. But as with any soap opera, you learn from that point on.
And another thing I noticed is the match length. The matches go on for a very long time. This is what we as wrestling fans want. Not only are they long matches, they are also really good matches too.