At Odds with Wrestling Homework: Bunch O’ Chikara.

It’s time for another homework assignment from the fine folks over on the At Odds with Wrestling podcast. Each and every week without a major pay per view, the hosts alternate a wrestling show for each other and fans like myself to watch. This week, Joe has a mix of Chikara highlights to get us to the next show we’ll watch in its entirety.

Part 1 from Give Em the Axe: The Mysterious and Handsome Stranger vs The Shard.

I was shocked this match was so quick. The Shard has had many good matches in Chikara and I loved seeing him live for the first time way back on that Syracuse show. The Stranger steals the show and almost takes it down too. The hobby horse spot is inspired but the entrance took down the entire entrance. An entrance that never seemed to fully recover. This seemed like a Chikara smart audience, not only because of how many people rushed to help but also the amazing chants heard. “He’s so handsome” was tremendous. I’m going to see if I can get that going when I walk into a room. Fun match and I love the Stranger gimmick, but what happens when he is no longer mysterious? Stay tuned.

The Young Bucks vs The Throwbacks.

Veronica comes out with the Throwbacks and I don’t think I’ve seen angry full blown heel Veronica before. I don’t deal well with angry women and found myself apologizing to her for things I didn’t do years later through the always great IndependentWrestling.TV.

Opinions vary on the Bucks and for good reason. This match was fantastic though. Bucks ended up winning 2 falls to 1 but the Throwbacks held their own against the self proclaimed best tag team in the world. I was really sick the night I was watching all of the segments for this assignment, but this match made me forget all of that and get lost in a great match. If you’ve been enjoying new faces on AEW Dark lately, you’ll find this match very good too.

The Event Center features the Stranger doing his best Dusty Rhodes impression and if I wasn’t already on the floor I would have ended up there after the “Sapphire the feral pigeon” line. I don’t think those words have ever been said in that order before in all of human history. Hit me with the full force of surprise and laughter.

Live from First Energy Stadium: the debut of Devastation Corporation.

Sidney Bakabella brings out two hungry rookies who want a match and then debuts two of the largest men ever seen in a Chikara ring – Devastation Corporation. They make short work out of their opponents and look impressive in the short time they’re in the ring. Are they big guys who look good when protected or do they have talent? Time will tell.

What I don’t need any time for is my immediate recognition that this is the shittiest crowd I’ve ever seen in wrestling. Not due to low attendance. It seems like a good portion of the crowd is all to one side and a scattering of fans along the other 3 sides of the squared circle. But most of those fans appear to be the worst kinds of fans: those trying to get themselves over. The worst thing to happen in the last 20 years of wrestling is the first time Stone Cold Steve Austin said “what?” Now jackoffs like the guy who dominates the audio for this think they’re funny for saying it. Plus the fans that want to play tough and get in the wrestler’s face. If you’re not coming to wrestling to enjoy it, then stay at home. What idiot pays money to mock something in public? I can’t stand people who act this way and I have purposely moved away from or declined invites from people who I knew would act this way.

From Ring of Wax: The Mysterious and Handsome Stranger vs Lancelot Bravado.

Now is where the aforementioned familiarity comes into play. Lancelot has had the opportunity to see the Stranger a couple times at this point. His moves and ways are no longer mysterious. Still handsome though. However, the character is still evolving. Just because you’ve seen his tricks doesn’t mean you’ve seen all his tricks. This is the Stranger’s most competitive match to date but he pulls it off and shows a deeper arsenal than Lancelot expected.

Know what I love about Chikara? Throughout its history no two wrestlers are the same. It would be so easy to copy a previous gimmick but they don’t. Take the Stranger for example. It would be easy to take the schtick of wrestlers long gone from Chikara like Archibald Peck, or Mixed Martial Archie, and bestow their moves upon him. Yet the Stranger wrestles his own unique way and it helps him stand out from those who came before.

ACH vs Mr Touchdown to crown the new Young Lions Cup champion.

So many great moves. A great story in which either man could win at any time. That Heisman shove move was an instant classic. Dasher on the outside wanting Mr TD to win on his own and not with the help of Veronica. This match had it all. Both men leaving it all out there. As if the winner was going to win a million dollars and they brought out every move and spot they could think of. Some light hearted humor in the early parts of the match but once it got going this was intense. An amazing win by Mr TD and it was great to see him celebrate with Veronica.

Which leads to the question, what happened to him? The guy I just saw win the Young Lions Cup should be a star of independent wrestling today. That guy should have been in NXT, misused, and tearing it up on AEW now. With maybe a stop in ROH or Impact along the way. I just witnessed one of the best Chikara matches I’ve ever seen, and up there with all time enjoyable wrestling matches, yet there’s no footprint. There’s no legacy, there’s no marker. All of this potential in the ring and it feels like that was the highlight. Now Mr Touchdown Bundy is sitting with one hand down his pants, watching TV, remembering his Young Lions Cup victory while Veronica smokes in the kitchen before asking for money.

King of Trios Report #1.

3 nights, 4 events, and Adam has to watch them all over the next few homework assignments! But seriously, there are some interesting teams announced and I’m very curious who and what we will see upon Joe’s next turn.

Throwdown Lowdown Mr Touchdown.

Reminding us of the Mr Touchdown and Archie feud. But, Scarlett. If I could have a homework assignment that is nothing but hours of her looking into the camera and saying sweet things to me, that would be great. No time limit. I’ll make the time. Adam? Joe? Gerry?

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