(Hey. I’m writing this on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. While watching everything go to hell. I’m a little distracted but I watched these shows, enjoyed them, and want to get some thoughts out. I can’t fully concentrate here because I’m expecting something else crazy to happen before I go to bed. Stay safe out there everyone.)
This week reviewing three shows!
Chikara: Green Ice (March 24, 2012)
Brodie Lee Shoot Interview (conducted by Eddie Kingston) (March 24/25, 2012).
Chikara: It’s How You Play the Game (March 25, 2012).
Every week there isn’t a PPV the At Odds with Wrestling podcast assigns some homework for themselves and for listeners like me. This week in honor of the late Brodie Lee, the official assignment was to watch It’s How You Play the Game, featuring an amazing main event of Brodie Lee vs Eddie Kingston for the Chikara Grand Championship. It was suggested though that for a full experience of the weekend, watch the previous day’s event and the shoot interview that was recorded in between. It’s been a rough time for fans of Brodie Lee, and much worse for his family and friends. I knew I would feel better the more Brodie I watched so I spent the last week watching all three shows.
Sara Del Rey vs Kobald.
I’m a huge fan of SDR and I loved watching her matches every time I got to see her. She looks great here. She’s wrestling great. I feel she’s in charge of this match. I wasn’t impressed with Kobald at all in this match though. Something felt amiss, and I’ll come back to that later. The Batiri distract the referee and Kobald gets the tainted win.
Josh Alexander, Marcus Marquez, Sebastian Suave vs Scotty O’Shea, Alex Vega, Brent Banks.
Who ever has the basketball jersey is fantastic. O’Shea makes the pin and I know he’s on the same team as jersey. So that means he’s either Alex or Brent. This was a good match, a good showcase for everyone involved. But I didn’t know anyone in this match. From personal experience and watching these two shows, I think Chikara agrees to place local talent on a match somewhere on each card. This would be that match. Nothing against anyone. Good showing. But I had nothing to connect to.
Brodie Lee vs Fire Ant.
Look at the speed and energy from Fire Ant! I hope this guy can continue that momentum throughout his career. Fire Ant uses his smaller size and speed well. But there’s no doubt at any point Brodie is going to win. He’s amazing here. Strong, big, a monster against Fire Ant. But also way too fast and agile for his size. Just a freak of nature. Brodie gets the win. Not an easy win, but also not one that was ever in doubt.
Eddie is on the second floor balcony and starts calling out Brodie Lee. Tune in to tomorrow’s show!
Dasher Hatfield vs Archibald Peck.
I loved the story of Archie and Veronica. Archie is amazing here, and there were so many great spots. The hug spot was phenomenal. Veronica and Mr Touchdown stuff. I love the Dasher spot where he locks his opponents foot in his own gear. I had to rewatch this spot with my son and he loved it too. Dasher wins a great match.
Spectral Envoy vs the Colony vs not Los Ice Creams, but the Swarm.
Great fight through the crowd. There was a ton of long term story telling here. Colony vs Swarm and also Delirious vs Mantis. This really is getting me to want to watch Chikara in order. That would probably take me years but I’m debating it.
El Generico vs Tim Donst.
Donst does great here and seems like he can hang with anyone. The match builds and builds so well. Donst with a great heel move of using an obvious foreign object only to take away attention from the secret one. Shady win for Tim but great booking.
Quack and Jigsaw vs 17 and Shard.
Quack really shouts out to his tag partner doesn’t he? Thought he had a microphone the entire match. This was another fun bit of long term story telling and the injury angle out of this submission was really well done.
Eddie Kingston (C) vs Ophidian.
Eddie works his ass off here but never seems to catch on with Ophidian. Stiff back fist to the future for the win. I wonder if we’ll hear more about this match?
3.0 vs FIST. 2 out of 3 falls match.
3.0 is always entertaining as hell. This was a fun match but even with three falls it seemed way too quick. Great home country win for 3.0 but something felt lacking.
More on that in a moment.
Brodie Lee shoot interview.
I used to love shoot interviews. Hearing all the gossip, the scandals, the partying, the true feelings. But a while ago I had to separate the art from the artists in order to continue to enjoy pro wrestling. I like historical interviews. Career retrospectives. But saying who is and isn’t a piece of shit just isn’t my bag anymore.
That said, Brodie is great here. Absolutely captivating the entire time. He loves wrestling, loves giving people shit in that respectful way. And he isn’t afraid to call people and companies out. It’s clear even more could have been discussed here. A shoot interview after dark if you will. This also makes me wish Eddie wrestled for 2CW. I don’t think that ever happened but I’ve been wrong before.
Over on the House Show podcast I take crap all the time. That’s our dynamic. I’ve known the other two guys for decades now. But if an outsider ever came in and said shit about me, those two would be first in line to defend me. That’s how I felt watching Brodie and Eddie just bust each other’s balls the entire time. I don’t always want to hear how shitty the backstage world of pro wrestling can be but I will always want to hear banter like these two had.
Chikara: It’s How You Play the Game.
I hate short rings. This reaffirms my borrowed ring theory.
Mike Bailey vs Mathieu St. Jacques.
As does this match. Not bad. Good job for local guys. A little long, but it was fine.
Jigsaw vs Mr Touchdown.
More of the Veronica story. Jigsaw is fantastic here. Shocking win at the end though. I feel like a little more effort is happening here. Also, why didn’t Jigsaw become a bigger name?
Sara Del Rey vs Leah Von Dutch.
Absolute squash. Nothing against Leah. She did fine. But Death Rey is a beast here and does not fuck around at all. I love seeing her kick some ass. That might reveal some things about me.
Dasher Hatfield vs Ophidian.
Dasher has the coolest spots. The foot trap thing again. Running the bases. He’s just so very good here it’s awesome. Ophidian seemed a lot better on this show than the last one too. Still working towards this theory.
3.0 , El Generico vs The Batiri.
Oh this was so much fun! I love 3.Ole. The Batiri and I have been cool for years. This was just fun. Not the best match of the night. Not the worst. But in better times I called it a Chikara smile. That moment where the whole aura of the company first sets in. The moment you “get it”.
UltraMantis Black, Hallowicked vs 17, The Shard.
Way too quick. There’s a ton of talent here and I expected a longer match. Again, I get the long term story telling happening. But I felt a little cheated out of a bigger match here. What does happen was good though and again, I’m debating that Chikara watch marathon.
Archibald Peck vs Chuck Taylor.
This is incredible. I loved every moment of this match. Good wrestling. Great comedy. Great story with Archie. This was my favorite match of the night. Wrestling can be so much fun and still feature great athletic talent. And that was on display here. So much fun.
Here is where I have to discuss the theory.
Everyone is working harder on this show. This is a much better show than Green Ice. This is a much better show than the one I attended in Syracuse shortly after. (And hey, Eddie did wrestle in Syracuse.)
Syracuse was a wrestling crowd but not a Chikara crowd. They didn’t react well to things and I always felt that the show wasn’t as good as others I had seen. I loved being there and loved the show, but a “feel” was missing. Same with Green Ice. But this show feels like a more obsessed and familiar group of fans and thus they are rewarded with a better show.
The Colony vs The Swarm.
Not bad. Really good spots and good fights. But I knew something was happening for the story. I could smell the set up. I did not know that a mask removal is an immediate DQ in Chikara. Somehow I missed that one. If I had known that I would have predicted the ending, but it was well done and not the finish I expected.
Grand Championship: Eddie Kingston vs Brodie Lee.
Holy shit this was amazing. This put the shoot interview in a new light. I am amazed every time I see good friends beat the shit out of each other. There seems to be some level of trust in wrestling with your best friends. More is allowed. More is forgiven? These two do things to each other that would land someone else in jail. They would beat the hell out of anyone else that did half of this to them. But friends get a pass.
Again, Joe assigns a show that reminds me why I love wrestling.