Thursday, December 31, 2015

CHIKARA Tomorrow Never Dies Review

Can Icarus overcome the monster Deucalion inside of a Steel Cage?!


CHIKARA Tomorrow Never Dies
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 12/6/14

Pre-Show

1.) Young Lions Cup XI – Finals – Heidi Lovelace vs. Missile Assault Ant (with The Colony: Xtreme Force): **3/4

This was the Finals of the tournament to crown the new Young Lions Cup holder. All of the previous rounds in this tournament took place on Wrestling is Fun! shows. I thought this was a pretty decent match. It sucks that it got moved to the pre-show, but it was still decently good. I’m very happy that Heidi Lovelace won this. She’s one of the best women’s wrestlers on the North American independent scene, and her being the first woman to win the Young Lions Cup is pretty cool.

iPPV

1.) “Smooth Sailing” Ashley Remington vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado: ***

The iPPV kicks off with a battle of two fascinating personalities. The story here is that, since both men utilize a German Suplex as their finisher, the only way the match could be won was via pinfall following a German Suplex. JFDC came out with two girls in exotic jester-like outfits, but Remington topped him by coming out with four beautiful ladies. This was a pretty solid opener. Remington is easily the breakout star of CHIKARA in 2014, and JFDC has been arguably the main success story of the various “Wrestling is…” promotions. They did a good job throughout the match building to the German Suplex. At one point, JFDC hit Remington with a German Suplex on the ring apron! Unfortunately, he was not able to follow up. Remington eventually hit a German Suplex of his own and got the pinfall for the win.

Remington tried to present a fruit basket to JFDC, but the Ecuadorian left the ring.

2.) Eddie Kingston vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ***

Earlier in the year, Jacobs convinced Eddie Kingston to join The Flood. Kingston was part of the stable for a time, but then broke off, and joined back up with his CHIKARA brethren. The Lithuanian Snow Troll (a “slave” of The Flood) and Volgar accompany Jacobs at ringside for this match. This was another solid match. It didn’t go too long, and it had some good action in it too. Kingston not only would pick up the win here over Jacobs, but he would also get his 3rd point towards a shot at the CHIKARA Grand Championship.

After the match Kid Cyclone (who was last seen fleeing after Deucalion killed the rest of the Green Horned Militia during King of Trios) comes out and attacks Eddie Kingston with a wrench. He then cuts a promo essentially saying that he's disgusted by the fact that after all the things Kingston did in the past (most recently, being a part of The Flood for a few months and playing a role in the other members of the Green Horned Militia getting killed by Deucalion). Kid Cyclone then unmasks in the middle of the ring, revealing himself to be Kevin Condron. He frees The Snow Troll from his chains, and he follows Condron to the back. I think the idea here is that Kevin Condron really isn't on either side. He's against both CHIKARA & The Flood.

3.) CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas – 2/3 Falls Match – The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti) vs. The Devastation Corporation (Max Smashmaster & Blaster McMassive with Sidney Bakabella): ****1/4
                                             
A CHIKARA Season Finale wouldn’t be complete without a match for the Campeonatos de Parejas. Now The Throwbacks are always an entertaining team, but going into this, I wasn’t too sure how The Devastation Corporation would do here. Too the surprise of many (myself included), they were great here. This was an awesome match!! It told a great story with the dominant rudos of The Devastation Corporation taking the 1st fall, forcing The Throwbacks, the champions, to fight back from underneath to score the second fall. Their best effort, however, wasn’t enough, as The Devastation Corporation won the 3rd fall to capture the Campeonatos de Parejas! Not only was the story great, but there was a ton of exciting action, and the crowd was really into it. This was easily the best match that The Devastation Corporation have ever had. It was a very nice surprise.

4.) Loser Leaves CHIKARA Match – Delirious vs. UltraMantis Black: **3/4

These two have been intertwined for several years, and you could say this was their….Final Battle (pun intended)! Delirious came out covered in war paint (literally) from head to toe. This was a really....interesting match, to say the least. It was basically a match that had a lot of finishers being hit left & right. There was a ref bump, and Derek Sabato (a former rudo referee who worked for the BDK) made his return to CHIKARA. He's back now, apparently, as a technico referee. Mike Quackenbush noted on commentary that him coming back was "part of the deal" he made with Sabato. Eventually, UltraMantis Black score the win! This means Delirious must leave CHIKARA!

After UltraMantis Black wins, Hallowicked & Frightmare come out to celebrate with their Spectral Envoy leader, but Delirious used The Eye of Tyr on Hallowicked, who then turns on UltraMantis Black and attacks him! Frightmare seemed to be not be as hindered by it, though he did fall to the ground in spasms as Delirious used it. He tried desperately to fight off it's effects, but eventually followed Hallowicked to the back. These are some interesting developments, to say the least. It’ll be interesting to see what a rudo Hallowicked & Frightmare are like.

5.) Torneo Cibernetico – Team CHIKARA [The Colony (Fire Ant, Silver Ant, & Worker Ant), The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian), The Batiri (Kodama & Obariyon), & Jervis Cottonbelly) vs. The Flood [The BDK (Jakob Hammermeier & N√łkken), The Wrecking Crew (Flex Rumblecrunch, Jaka, & Oleg The Usurper), Oliver Grimsly, Soldier Ant, & Volgar]: ***1/4

Of course, the Torneo Cibernetico is another CHIKARA tradition. This match pitted Team CHIKARA vs. The Flood. The match itself was relatively solid. These matches tend to be giant clusters, and it was in the beginning. However, it got better towards the end. The big story here is that Soldier Ant was running rough shot, no selling the majority of everyone's offense. It came down to Fire Ant & Silver Ant vs. Soldier Ant & Hammermeier, and eventually, Fire Ant vs. Soldier Ant. Both Fire Ant & Silver Ant were conflicted with fighting Solider Ant. In the end, Soldier Ant eliminated Fire Ant to win the 2014 edition of the Torneo Cibernetico.

While they were setting up the Steel Cage for the Main Event, we some announcement about 2015. The first show of Season 15 would take place at the 2300 Arena (the site of this show) on January 25th, the same day that WWE would hold Royal Rumble in Philadelphia, and the day after ROH would hold a TV Taping in the 2300 Arena. Chuck Taylor then came out to announce that he would be challenging for the CHIKARA Grand Championship on the Season 15 Premiere.

We also got the announcement that CHIKARA would be doing a tour of the UK during the first week of April, the week after WrestleMania. They also announced King of Trios 2015, which had a Harry Potter theme.

6.) Non-Title Steel Cage Match – CHIKARA Grand Champion Icarus vs. Deucalion: ***3/4

It’s now time for the Main Event! This is only the 2nd Steel Cage Match in CHIKARA history. The entire CHIKARA vs. The Flood storyline has built to this moment. Deucalion came out with a chain carrying the masks of all of the wrestlers he's killed. Icarus comes out carrying The Estonian ThunderFrog's Hammer, not only proving that he was indeed worthy, but cementing his status as a full-fledged technico. As far as the match goes, it was much better than I was expecting. Given Deucalion’s (presumed) lack of experience, we were able to get a drama-filled Main Event. The crowd was totally invested in the outcome.

About halfway through, the rest of the tecnico roster came out to cheer on Icarus. They told a really good story here with Icarus going after the arm Deucalion uses to hit his Choke Breaker. I really enjoyed it. Icarus was able to fight back against this monster, and eventually reversed The Choke Breaker into the CHIKARA Special and got Deucalion to tap out!! Icarus wins the match for CHIKARA!!

After the match, Deucalion calls out The Flood to help him. It looks like they're going to, but Jimmy Jacobs stops them, saying that Deucalion will kill them all if they go to help them (probably to take out his anger on them for his loss). Jacobs tells Deucalion that he made his bed, and that he would now have to die in it. Icarus then gets the ThunderFrog's Hammer inside The Steel Cage and jumps off the top rope, using the hammer to kill Deucalion!! The technicos celebrate CHIKARA’s triumph to close the show.

Right at the very end, we get a very strange vignette that hinted at the return of The Estonian ThunderFrog.

Overall: 7.5/10




Despite all the criticism regarding the return of CHIKARA and the booking in general of Season 14, I thought this was a really enjoyable Season Finale. The CHIKARA vs. The Flood storyline finally came to head in a big way, with a Steel Cage Match that was much better than expected. There was also a ton of other storyline developments, including the debut of Kevin Condron, Delirious leaving CHIKARA for good, but not before getting in a last parting shot against UltraMantis Black by using The Eye of Tyr on Hallowicked, turning him rudo, and Soldier Ant winning Torneo Cibernetico. As far as the wrestling was concerned, it was generally good, with the Match of the Night easily being The Throwbacks vs. The Devastation Corporation. I really enjoyed this show when I saw it live, and it was a really good and satisfying conclusion to 2014 for CHIKARA.

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