At Odds with Wrestling Homework: Chikara Hot Off the Griddle.

Welcome to another post when I hand in my At Odds with Wrestling homework to Dr Joe and Professor Adam. Every week there is not a PPV, the hosts take turns assigning a wrestling event for the other to watch. This week was a fantastic show, which means it was Joe’s pick.

First the supplemental material.

Kevin Steen cuts a promo from his home against Eddie Kingston. Kevin, always ahead of the times, using Zoom and social distancing a decade ago. This promo becomes amazing thanks to a Tranformers Bumblebee mask. “Look into my robotic eyes.” I was on the floor. Then Steen puts the goggles down to close out the promo. Genius work.

Quick Chikara event center videos. Mixed Martial Archie cuts an amazing promo with the mouthguard still in. “Juijitsu even though I’m not Jewish.” Some might debate getting away with that. I say intent goes a long way and this MMA gimmick is so over the top that jokes like this are fine. Another video features promos by Sara Del Rey and Chuck Taylor. Finally a promo video for Tianlong and everything screams Power Rangers.

Now it’s time for the main show – Hot Off the Griddle! Taking place April 28, 2012 in Chicago.

Gavin Loudspeaker sings a “Chikara in Chicago” song. Why wasn’t there a Syracuse song, Gavin?

Jigsaw and the Colony vs Shard and the Swarm.

Shard and Swarm sneak in while Gavin is going over the rules for the event. The faces come in and we got a hot fight to start the show. Some in stereo moves pop everyone. This is a good crowd. Four corner turnbuckle punches spot. The idea here is that the Gekido faction will reveal the dark secrets of Chikara

Guess they were successful.

Anyways, Gekido are still trying to remove the masks. Green Ant takes the main beating for the faces. There’s a good story here of Gekido not playing according to the established rules of Chikara and the Colony doesn’t want to cross that line. But that might be the only way they can win. Mike Quackenbush is announcing and leaves the table because he recognizes one of the moves by a member of the Swarm. Is that a thing? The more one is familiar with wrestling, the more it is possible to guess the identity of a masked wrestler based on the move set? Could the hosts of At Odds do this? Let’s find out…. Does Joe know the Shard?

Soldier Ant makes CombatANT tap to the Chikara special and then Soldier Ant goes over the top to splash them post match.

Kobald vs Mixed Martial Archie.

This is one of the most entertaining matches I’ve ever seen. Kobald scares a kid on the way out. The bell rings and Archie immediately takes down Kobald. Archie hits a good amount of punches and kicks. Kobald hits a massive spear inside the “four sided octagon”. Kobald drops elbows but Archie catches the last one. Kobald escapes and goes up top. Archie catches him coming off and Kobald is out cold. Archie celebrates. Waits for his post match interview. This is tremendous. The referee has to explain to him how to make a cover in a wrestling match. Of course Kobald kicks out when Archie finally figures it out. Another submission attempt but again Kobald reaches the ropes. Kobald tries the spear again but Archie catches him with a rear naked choke and gets the tap out victory.

Great match.

Dasher Hatfield and Mr Touchdown vs the Batiri.

The Throwbacks cant get on the same page. Miscommunication to start and Dasher gets so upset he sits out the match. Hangs out on the guard rail with the fans. It’s not until Mr TD apologizes that Dasher agrees to jump back in. Once Dasher gets in he takes control of the match until the requisite every person in the match fights. Mr TD sneaks his helmet into the ring and hits a Batiri to get the cheap win. Is that good sportsmanship? I think we’ll have to stay tuned.

Tianlong vs 17.

Alright. The Power Ranger. The hyped debut. Lets see what this guy has.

Well, thanks for coming Tianlong. That was fast. Some slow sizing up and then boom 17 with this disgusting submission hold that looks like it could break steel, much less an arm. 17 gets a dominant win and Tianlong is helped away.

Young Bucks vs Arik Cannon and Darin Corbin.

The Bucks are showcased every Wednesday so I knew what I was getting there, but C and C here impressed me. Arik is shockingly agile for his size. And he’s not that big, he’s just big compared to most of this roster. He would be the beast of a cruiser weight division. Corbin was looking great too. But then the Bucks gotta Buck and after a spot fest they get the win.

During intermission a masked fan attacks Hallowicked. But that’s no fan! That’s Tim Donst! Stay tuned.

Jacob Hammermeier, Tim Donst, the Bravado Brothers vs 3.0, Ultramantis Black, Hallowicked.

Hallow is no where to be seen after the beat down he just received. I had to look up who Katherine Heigl is. Lots of great heel work while they’re a man up. “Running water or Skype.” “You can buy water.” I’m going to start a list of my favorite commentary lines. Delirious comes out to steal Mantis’s necklace. The heels take a water break and even drink from the Young Lions Cup. Hallowicked makes his come back and takes out the heels. He goes after Donst. Mantis dives at Delirious but he moves and a Bravado goes down. Jacob taps out to the Boston Crab.

A lot going on here but as I’m watching multiple “episodes” of Chikara this match was great as part of a larger story.

Eddie Kingston (C) vs Kevin Steen.

Huh. This is a huge match, but not the main event? Why pray tell? This match is brutal. Eddie smacking his hand against the ring post was disgusting. There’s no way he didn’t hurt himself for months off of that spot. I wouldn’t be shocked if he still feels it today. Then the story that comes out of it. Eddie going for moves despite how much pain he is in. Every signature move causing more pain in the hand. So good. Then they spit on each other! The man that commands respect and will beat it out of you if you don’t give it, has Steen spit on him! This was just as impactful as any other move. They both trade off big moves. Eddie keeps coming up short because of the pain he is in. He cant get some moves off at all and others aren’t to their full potential. Meanwhile, Steen is just beating the hell out of him but the King will not stay down. The match is getting good and then Steen with a nut shot to cause the DQ! What a damn shame. I mean, that’s probably the only ending they could have done but it still was disappointing ending to a great match.

Gran Akuma vs FIST (Chuck Taylor, Icarus, Johnny Gargano).

Does Gran Akuma have a snap away hood? Akuma hits some big moves which allow him to focus on FIST one on one. This works for a bit until FIST is back in control. Great spot where all 3 members hit running kicks to Akuma in the corner. Akuma fights out from Icarus and then hits some DVD/Samoan Drop combo that looked painful as hell. Akuma could have won a one on one match but keeps getting distracted by the rest of FIST. Icarus hits Akuma with his backpack and this causes Gregory Irons to run out from the back. Irons goes after Icarus allowing Akuma to roll up Gargano for the pin.

The main event of the evening.

El Generico vs Sara Del Rey.

Ok, I like both of them but this is the main event? In Chicago? For 600 something fans? Alright.

And then they have an amazing match! I loved this. I went nuts for it. This is maybe my favorite match in the homework series. Sara is so good, always. And to be a guy for a moment she looks amazing here. Maybe the best I’ve ever seen her. The match starts great with El Generico not wanting to hurt Sara. This makes a ton of sense and really builds up tension. Which is then broken with a massive Yakuza Kick! Then these two start trading some of the best hit suplexes I’ve seen in awhile. But its only two count after two count. Some closer than others. The crowd is eating this up. Every time Sara kicks out Generico goes even harder at her and yet she still kicks out. All of his initial trepidation is gone. Sara keeps fighting out. There’s another Yakuza Kick but Sara fights. She puts on a Yes Lock but Generico makes it to the ropes. There’s a sick exploder suplex into the corner. Sara dodges another Yakuza Kick. Del Rey hits a piledriver and omg she gets the 3!

Wow.

Sara heads for the back with help. Generico stops her and after a pause, shakes her hand. He then insists she gets back up on the ring to take in the applause.

Take a bow Sara. This match was awesome.

Now all I want is to see Del Rey get her WWE moment much like Adam Pearce has lately. Maybe a Rumble appearance? A surprise tag partner? Just one moment in the bright lights?

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