At Odds with Wrestling Homework: Chikara Aniversario A Horse of Another Color. If you want to follow along with their podcast head over to the official show link.
As the show and fans like myself have been watching Joe’s Chikara picks we’ve gotten used to many of the characters and stories. Except for tonight’s homecoming show. I’m not going to do a move by move breakdown here. Instead, these will be my thoughts while enjoying the hell out of this show.
My first impression was OMG this is going to be a long show. I had slight streaming issues which added even more time. Once the feed was up and running though the time flew by. I have a feeling this was an amazing show to see live. It appeared that every fan was deep into the world of Chikara and popped for everything on the show. I could feel the love through the TV, well, computer screen.
Gavin opens up the show with a Chikara homage version of Cameo’s “Word Up”. Fantastic.
Dasher Hatfield vs Ophidian.
As much as I dug Ophidian coming out with his mask trophies, it was even better when Dasher had a conversation with them. It was a full blown puppet show. Ophidian was in great form I thought. Instructing the camera man. His snake style moves is a hell of a gimmick. My favorite move of the night was the slingshot Oklahoma roll. Dasher flips out of a submission attempt and gets the pin. Real fun opener for the show.
Season 11 team of The Batiri (Kobald, Kodama, and Obariyon) and Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (Jakob Hammermeier and Tim Donst) vs Season 3 team of Knight Eye for the Pirate Guy (Jolly Roger and Lance Steel), Crossbones, Rorschach, and Shane Storm.
I am not that well versed in Chikara lore and I did not know any of the season 3 wrestlers. But I need to deep dive into the wealth of content on IndependentWrestling.TV so I can become familiar with them. The toilet paper streamers at the Batiri was a great touch. Crossbones looks like he could really fuck someone up. Did the crowd know ahead of time which previous season wrestlers were returning? Some of them received pops like the crows was unaware and loving the surprises. Crossbones looks like he wrestles a stiff style. Do they all have the same trainer? In theory, having a team that hasn’t wrestled in awhile against a team that’s on the road every weekend could be disaster. But they all flowed like they just wrestled last week. I loved the whole idea of Lance Steel’s armor. The Batiri chopping him and selling their pain was awesome. Great jousting spot. Donst finally gets annoyed and takes charge. Crossbones with some agile kicks for a big man. STOP! Holy crap, this entire thing is tremendous. Shane holds up a stop sign which brings the match to a halt. Everyone who sees the sign freezes. The season 3 team takes advantage. Wait, the other side of the sign says slow. Slow motion match. The crowd even chants in slow motion. This is the moment in which I wish I was there live. Steel locks on a Boston Crab but no one can break it! With his armor removed the season 11 team gets the advantage. Kobald comes crashing down with a demon toilet and then gets the pin. Such a fun match.
Kagetsu & Meiko Satomura vs DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko.
I know who Satomura is, but that’s it. That said, this needs to be another deep dive for me on IWTV. I can’t even begin to keep up with all the action here. The match flows so well too. Great psychology, great chemistry. They know each other so well. When Satomura turns the dial up holy crap she’s got to be one of the best in the world. Especially after watching hours of GLOW for the last couple months it is so much fun to watch these women who can wrestle their asses off go out there and show this appreciative American crowd why they’re amazing. If anyone reading has some Joshi suggestions, send them my way.
Mixed Martial Archie vs Darkness Crabtree in an MMA match.
Special judges: Jervis Cottonbelly, Swamp Monster, and Steve “the Turtle” Weiner.
Holy crap this was fun. This is the first time I’ve seen Darkness and I wasn’t sure of his gimmick at first. Once it kicks in though, what a lot of fun. Archie is absolutely on fire here. Crabtree slowly gets in the ring, he falls from the fist bump, he falls asleep or something in the triangle. But at the end of round one he takes his meds and it’s on! Darkness crashes in round 3. Archie off the top rope and then lands just to apply a choke. Is Darkness dead?! Fans chant “natural causes”. And the judges give the match to Darkness Crabtree! This is the most bizarre match I’ve ever seen and I’m loving the entire night. MMA attacks the judges but Swamp Monster no sells!
Mister Zero, Ultramantis Black, Hallowicked, Dragonfly, and Icarus vs Gekido.
Donst on commentary with the Pokemon jokes! This match was fun but odd because the larger story of GEKIDO invading Chikara doesn’t fit into the anniversary night. Gekido is destroying Chikara’s past, present, and future yet the technicos team has to get their moments. I loved the 5 person abdominal stretch assist from Gekido. But even better was when the other team returned the favor, and involved the crowd too. I’m feeling like everyone is having too much fun in this match until the end. 17 comes in and locks a “leg guillotine” on Dragonfly and he screams in pain. This is horrifying. I don’t know if Dragonfly was legit injured or if this is one of the best sells I’ve ever seen in wrestling. All of my complaints that Gekido was taken too lightly in this match are gone.
Post match, Tim Donst calls out Hallowicked. It’s such a great heel promo that pisses off not only Hallowicked, but also the entire crowd. Hallowicked runs at Donst and the two have to be separated by Jakob and Mantis. Very good segment building up their match.
Colt Cabana vs Mr Touchdown.
Touchdown with a great pre match promo line, “he, he, he – meaning I”. I’m not a football fan but the silliness here was a blast. Playing keep away with the ball, the line of scrimmage, the shoulder block! This is good and feels under rated. In a way Colt should have been “Mr Chikara”. His whole gimmick is silliness and moves no one else does but under that entertainment is actual wrestling skill. Colt misses the field goal but rolls with it. Great move where Colt picks up Mr Touchdown from the top for a fireman’s carry and then drops him across the buckles. Colt gets the pin and that probably makes the most sense here. Not that he’s a star of stars but he’s arguably the biggest one on the show.
Jigsaw, Green Ant, Shane Matthews, and Sara Del Rey vs Eddie Kingston, Scott Parker, Saturyne, and Soldier Ant.
The stream is deceptive because it says there’s an hour left, but only about 30 minutes left of the show for this match. There’s some extra stuff on here. I am loving the concept of splitting up partners and putting them on opposite sides. Everyone wants to get the win despite your buddy being across the ring. There’s a ton of tension and pairings that haven’t been seen before. One of the best one off ideas I’ve seen in WWE was the Survivor Series match set up the same way. It’s such a great way to get fresh matches, something new for the fans, see how wrestlers are against or paired with different people, plus it can set up lots of future stories. I’m still in a bit of a GLOW state of mind and have some thoughts on Sara’s leg scissors. 3.0 almost breaks apart! I know I’ve seen them after this show and of course now as Ever Rise. But damn that was a close one. The moment of the match is when Sara and Eddie face off. You can feel the tension, the energy, the crowd going nuts. This is screaming Chikara dream match. This screams main event. And then freaking Jigsaw comes in to ruin it. Just kidding. Jigsaw coming in here and getting the pin on Eddie is a great way to set up their upcoming title match. Eddie with an amazing heel move, shaking hands with everyone on the other team except Jigsaw. The energy in this match was amazing.
After the show there’s some tape of the crowd. Then we see Tim Donst vs Hallowicked in a furniture store. Great fight. Lots of fun. I’ll be honest, I wish more things were broken. I’m also hoping this show – Chikarasaurus Rex? – is a future homework assignment.