Saturday, October 24, 2009

Big Cup O' Wrestling #4 "Bragging Rights PPV Predictions"

Bragging Rights: What's with all the gimmick PPV's?

Oh, what the hell, I'm bored and I haven't written in a while so why not just do a PPV prediction post. I must admit that this PPV has me a bit interested, but possibly for all the wrong reasons. I am intrigued to see how things turn out and all, it just feels like this PPV seriously has the potential to be a mess. Oh well, enough with the uncalled for negativity, on with the predictions!

Match #1: "Intercontinental Champion" John Morrison (Smackdown) vs. "US Champion" The Miz (Raw)

This match is interesting right from the beginning when you consider the path that wrestlers careers have taken since there team split. When they first split, it really seemed that they were separated as a means to propel Morrison into super stardom and eventual main event status and that The Miz would just be tossed aside and probably just end up a jobber. Things didn't exactly turn out that way. After the split, Miz would go on to have a very significant fued of sorts with John Cena (I know he never really won, but it really helped get him over as a heel) and all the while his mic skills just kept improving. All this really showed that there was more to him then people gave him credit for. Morrison on the other hand didn't exactly have a smooth start after the split. After he was moved to Smackdown, he was turned into a good guy, which is fine in its own right, it's just that it was done with little to no grace. They never explained why all of a sudden he was a nice guy, he just all of a sudden was buddies with Teddy Long and being all nice to the fans. Very weird turn, almost confusing to certain extant. After a couple sloppy months, Morrison got himself back on track and has actually been very impressive as of late, most notably his matches with Dolph Ziggler. Both men have shown improvement since the split, but The Miz is the more impressive of the two since I really felt that he was doomed to be "future endeavored".

Wow, anyways, to get back to this match. Well, since this is non-title, the only thing really on the line is "show pride", I kinda have to go with Morrison. I really don't see this being a regular fued even though they work so well together, this really feels like a one time kind of thing just for this show, at least for the time being. I pick Morrison mostly due to the fact that I believe Smackdown will win the undercard matched, while Raw will win the big one. This will at least make it seem like both teams are even. Should be a great match either way though, expect to see this one open the show.

Winner: John Morrison (Smackdown)

Match #2: Raw Divas (Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim, Melina) vs. Smackdown Divas (Beth Phoenix, Michelle McCool, Natalya)

Is it just me or do these teams seem a wee bit unbalanced? Lets start with Smackdown, Phoenix is quite possibly the best female wrestler in all of the WWE right now, Natalya should be a good wrestler do to her lengthy experience and heritage (emphasis on "should", she's barely been given a chance to wrestle while in the WWE so it's hard to really measure her ability) and McCool, while she might get some shit for implied backstage pull *cough*Undertaker*cough* and her allegedly difficult attitude, she is getting pretty good in the ring with an increase in ability and all around vicious persona. Now on to team Raw, sigh. First we have the team captian, Melina, a perfectly respectable worker and easily the best wrestler on team Raw but ever since her face turn, she's been completely neutered. Next you have Gail Kim who really should be an impressive member of the team, but ever since her return to WWE she's been a mess. I have no idea what has happened, she was gold in TNA, but as soon as she returns to WWE she begins to have one botched filled match after another. Hopefully, I'm just exaggerating and she'll turn it around soon, she has shown such potential in the past. Last, and sadly least, Kelly Kelly. She most certainly has heart, but in all honestly, Maria probably would have been a better teammate and that's saying something. At least we get a straight forward heel vs. face dynamic with this one, unlike the 7 on 7 we have later. Smackdown divas will dominate this one so as to add another win for Smackdown, but expect some run ins, most likely from Mickie James since she's feuding with McCool and it would make sense story wise.

Winner: Smackdown Divas

Match #3: "WWE Champion" Randy Orton vs. John Cena (60 Minute Iron Man Match for the WWE Championship)

This one is a hard to call to say the least. Orton is a super over heel with many potential contenders waiting in the wings, but betting against John Cena, especially with the build this match is getting, is like betting against the Harlem Globetrotters. I'll have to go with my gut and go with Orton retaining for a few reasons. First, I really see a face winning the 4-way later in the show and Orton winning his would be a way to balance the show a bit, something WWE usually likes to do. Second, I've heard he's got another movie in pipe line so putting the belt on him now would be unwise. Third, don't forget the additional stip, if he loses, he's gone from RAW. I see this actually happening, he's been on RAW for quite a while and changing brands could really freshen him up a bit, he always runs the risk of getting stale. This move will give some of the midcarders on RAW a chance to grow and this will help stack Smackdown a bit which should help with ratings a bit. Curious to see the quality of this one, oddly Cena has shown that he has the capability to go for an hour (that amazing hour long match he had with HBK on RAW a ways back), but Orton is a sure bet yet, should be interesting one way or another. Hope they don't the trigger on the Ted Dibiase turn yet, way to early.

Winner: Randy Orton........I'm so going to get this one wrong.....

Match #4: "World Heavyweight Champion" The Undertaker vs. CM Punk vs. Batista vs. Ray Mysterio (Fatal Four Way for the Championship)

It still really feels like Batista and Mysterio just kinda got shoe-horned into this feud. I see the Undertaker retaining and then continuing his feud with Punk for at least one more PPV, probably with a Casket match or something. I really smell a Batista heel turn for this match. They seem like they've been building to it a bit lately with his sort of nice-guy routine as of late, I could be reading things wrong, but that's how it feels. If he does turn, look for the finish to go something along the lines of him having the match won (Batista bomb on Punk perhaps?) then have Mysterio break up the pin, Mysterio goes for the pin only for Batista to break that up, they start to fight leaving Undertaker to tombstone Punk for the pin. Batista can then blame Mysterio for the loss, feud with him for a bit, then go on to feud with Taker (you can just smell that's what WWE wants to do, ugh, two big guy that can barely move, should be fun to watch, again.) in a clear heel vs. face situation. This seems especially likely if Cena heads over to Smackdown since they seem a little light on main event heels.

Winner: The Undertaker

Match #5: Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown (7 on 7 tag match)

Team RAW: Triple H, HBK, Big Show, Mark Henry, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, and Kofi Kingston
Team Smackdown: Chris Jericho, Kane, Finley, R-Truth, D.H. Smith, Tyson Kidd, and Matt Hardy

Good god, everything about this match is a mess. First of all, though I agree with the changes, what's with almost completely changing Team Smackdown's lineup two days before the show? I mean, I'm glad they cut Drew McIntyre (I actually like him and shows promise, but this match was not for him, not yet) and Eric Escobar (thank god, what the hell was he doing in that lineup!?). It just seems like a waste to go through the buildup just to change the teams last second, it sorta made sense storyline wise I guess, but it still seems sloppy. Another problem with this match is that it is apparently "one fall to a finish" not elimination style, huh!? That seems insane to do the match that way when you have so many guys involved, I just can't see how they can book this without being a complete mess. I hope they prove me wrong. Well, I see Team RAW winning this (no surprise really) and I'm guessing the finish will probably go something along the lines of Big Show turning on Team Raw, tries to help Jericho but misses and accidently hits him, Triple H brawls with Big Show while HBK superkicks Jericho for the win. They seem to be building to a DX vs. Jeri-Show feud so this kind of end would make sense.

Winner: Team RAW

Wait, that's it? This PPV is only 5 matches long? WTF!?

Well, for something more positive, anyone catch Impact on Thursday?
Yeah, pretty good episode.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Cup O' Wrestling #3 Who's in TNA?!?

What the fuck is going on!?!

Sorry, but it just had to be said! I was originally going to write a column on Gabe Sapolsky's new role in booking Dragon Gate USA and give a personal reflection on the show they recently ran in Chicago (which I may still do at some point), but recent news involving one of my favorite indy wrestlers takes precedence over anything else.

Where to even begin? Ugh, my head is spinning from all the news and opinions that I've tried to ingest in the last hour.

Anyways, this column will be all about one of the greatest wrestlers out their right now, quite possibly "The Best in the World", the man who is always "in it, to win it":

-Nigel McGuinness-
(you thought I meant that other guy, nope, but we'll get to him later)

The end of this story is that Nigel McGuinness is officially part of TNA's roster. It's the "how" and "why" that make things interesting. McGuinness began his wrestling career in '99 and over the next ten years he made himself into one of the most successful wrestlers on the independent scene. With his unique wrestling style, his look, and his amazing ability to cut a promo, he was a lock to eventually make his way into the big leagues. Why it took ten years for the WWE to come knocking is anyone's guess. Yes, I said WWE, not TNA, this is where things get a little difficult.

Early in September '09, it was announced on Ring of Honor's website that McGuinness had agreed to a contract with WWE "in principal". This was right around the same time that news broke that fellow Ring of Honor star Bryan Danielson had also signed a contract with WWE. Around this time rumors were flying about that WWE was interested in signing various new talent that already had extensive wrestling experience and ability since they have had mixed results with most of their inexperienced talent that they were currently training down in Florida. It comes as little surprise that over the years WWE preferred to sign up guys that are largely new to wrestling since they would prefer to build a wrestler from the ground up and hopefully build them into just the kind of star they want, which works...sometimes. For every John Cena, there are a dozen Seth Skyfire's and Domino's. So when rumors of WWE interest in more experienced wrestlers came about it came as a bit of a surprise, but just as soon as that story hit the internet people began to make predictions on who would be getting signed. Many assumed that some of ROH's bigger names would be the first to go, and they were right, you don't get much bigger then McGuinness and Danielson.

The final event for both men with Ring of Honor was on September 26th in New York at the "Glory by Honor VIII" show. As a means to fully capitalize on their departure, both men wrestled each other in the main event in what is said to be an amazing match (not out on dvd yet) and afterwards both men gave emotional speeches to the crowd thanking them for their years of support.

And after that, there was nothing.

Nearly a month had gone by with little to no news regarding the status of either man. Were they going to debut right away or where they going to be sent to the developments for a while? Where they going to brought up together considering there past, or separate? Would they be able to keep there names? What brand would they be on? No answers to any of these, non what so ever. It's very unusual to be this in the dark, when news that wrestlers like Low-ki (aka Kaval) and Serena Deeb (aka Mia, I wonder if she's Italian) were signed, they almost immediately appeared in FCW (WWE's Florida-based development league). People didn't particularly seem all that concerned, it just seemed a little odd that everything was so quiet regarding two fairly big names.

Then came today.

News began to appear online late this afternoon that not only had contract discussions between McGuinness and WWE had stalled, but that he was already backstage in Orlando at that evenings TNA Impact tapings! Not only did his future with WWE appear to be dead in the water, it would appear he was about to make an impact (ugh...sorry) with their only real rival, and what an impact it would be.

It's October 20th and TNA are filming their tapings for the 10/22 edition of Impact. I'm not going to go through the entire show (the spoilers make it sound like one hell of a show to catch though), I will just focus on the bits that regard McGuinness (this entry is already getting crazy long). About half way through the show, Kurt Angle (one of TNA's biggest stars and more less a pretty huge name in pro wrestling) is being interviewed in the back where he is talking about how great the young talent is. Out of no where McGuinness shows up, introduces himself as Desmond Wolfe (I'll get to that later) and proceeds to say good things about Angle and then suddenly begins to beat the crap out of him. Later in the show, Angle goes to the ring and demands that Wolfe come to the ring and confront him. Angle gets impatient and goes to find McGui...Wolfe, but then suddenly Wolfe blindsides him, they fight for a bit, end up in the ring where Wolfe gives Angle a low blow and follows it up with what sounds like his "Tower of London" finisher, unreal! Wolfe then says something along the lines of "I could break your neck now, but that's to easy. I want you to think about this.", insane! This is his first day with TNA and he is already being put into a feud with one the biggest names in all of pro wrestling, now that's how you build up someone new, fast! It's a little early to make any predictions on where this feud will go, but so far, I am intrigued and I think I will do something I haven't done in a while, watch TNA.

That name, what do I think? McGuinness has been one of my favorite wrestlers for the last 5 years, it's hard to think of him going by any other name. I understand why he had to change it, so he could keep the legal rights to McGuinness, that's cool, I get it, but what an odd name to go with, Desmond Wolfe. Jury is still out on that one, but to be honest, I think it's already starting to grow on me.

So far it would appear that the stalled contract negotiations with WWE didn't really seem to have anything to do with any real disputes between the two parties, but due to the fact that WWE were just dragging their feet on getting him signed to an actual, tangible contract. Also news is coming out that WWE may have gotten cold feet when they learned about his long list of injuries that he has suffered (you would think that would look into that first before offering him a contract).

Basically, in my opinion, there are 3 fairly strong reasons to the quick appearance and seeming push of McGuinness (or should I say Wolfe?)

1. TNA very suddenly seems to be making a push to focus on not only their younger talent, but also talent that aren't cast offs from WWE or WCW. A perfect example of that is the fact that, for the first time in a while, none of their current champions are former WWE/WCW stars, all home grown, impressive, and the most certainly the right move to make.

2. McGuinness (or Wolfe, whatever) knows a lot of people currently in TNA that will easily vouch for him. Consider that he's competed against and had great matches with the likes of Samoa Joe, Homicide, Doug Williams, Christopher Daniels, and even Mick Foley. Kind of puts him in a nice place to start.

3. TNA is basically giving WWE a giant middle finger, well earned I say.

To be honest, TNA is most certainly a step down from the prestige of WWE, but in all honestly. If used right, McGuinness could really become a big star in TNA, while in WWE he might end up jobbing to leprechauns and doing comedy skits with C-list comedians. Hard to say, but to be honest, if this means I get to see more of him on TV and possibly live since I live fairly close to Orlando, then I'm a happy fan.

"My name is Desmond Wolfe, and I'm in it to win it!"
.....I'm sure he'll come up with something new.

I leave you with this question, where is Bryan Danielson?

(A fantastic tribute video to Nigel, enjoy!)
(I am such a spaz, I actually got goosebumps at the end of the vid)

Monday, October 12, 2009

#2 Chikara DVD review "2009 King Of Trios - Night 1" - Philadelphia, PA (Part 2!)

Well that was sad, I just started this blog and I'm already not meeting my own self imposed dead lines. Intended to have this up on Friday, blah!

Moving right back into the second half of...

King of Trios 2009, Night 1


- Match #5 - F.I.S.T. Vs. The Death Match Kings

F.I.S.T. = Gran Akuma, Chuck Taylor, Icarus
The Death Match Kings = Necro Butcher, Brain Damage, Toby Klein

Right off the bat, this match up looks scary on every concievable level. You really want to have these guys in a Chikara ring? Um, ok. Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy a good bloody brawl and I'm actually a pretty big fan of Necro ever since I meet him in NY (nicest guy in the world!), I just don't feel that they really mesh with the Chikara style, but hey, what do I know? At the very least, it makes for a very interesting match up.

F.I.S.T. out first and sporting some new, spiffy looking matching gear, nice touch, really makes them look like a solid team. Kings out next and all three members of F.I.S.T. bail as soon as they hit the ring. Match takes a bit to get started since not only are F.I.S.T. reluctaant to fight, but there seems to be some confusion with the Kings and the ref as he attempts to explain to them the concept of 'only one man in the ring' and 'tagging' which are foreign to the Kings. Match finally gets started with Chuck Taylor starting out against Toby Klein. Toby really impresses with some surprising agility and various counters to Taylors offense, showing off that he is more then just one dimensional brawler. The displays of wrestling skills quickly come to an end as an all out brawl begins with various members inside and outside the ring. During the brawl, Necro works over the cowardly Icarus outside the ring while Akuma is pelting the monster Brain Damage with some vicious kicks in the ring. While still outside the ring, for some odd reason, Necro grabs the ring bell and begins to ring it leading to some confusion. I suppose he was trying to imply that the match "might as well be over" due to the beating that F.I.S.T. was taking but it didn't really seem to come across that way. Out of nowhere, Gran Akuma grabs two chairs from the outside, sets them up inside the ring, and demands a sit down with any of the Kings, a bold as fuck move to make and it really gets a reaction from the crowd. Necro accepts the invite and they proceed to lay into each other with some vicious stiff punches and kicks. As the match progresses, F.I.S.T. begins to gain control and begins to feel like a regular tag match. In what can only be described as an unwise move, Icarus sucker punches B. Damage while he was on the apron, a move that noticable agreed the big man. Toby locks back up with Taylor and locks him into some sort of leg submission only to have Akuma to run in and lock a submission onto Toby (I know where this is going), next to follow is Necro who puts a cravat on Akuma only to have Icarus jump on Necro's back and put him in a head lock, yes, we currently have a five man chain submission. Brain Damage is the odd man out and attempts to put a hold on Icarus, but decides to just say "Fuck it!" and stiff punch Icarus right in the face causing the whole chain to fall apart, very cool spot! After some quick back and forth offense, Toby climbs the turnbuckle to go for a move only to have Akuma stop him with a quick kick. Stuck on the top turnbuckle, Taylor attempts to hit Toby with his signature finisher, and after some initial difficulty is able to hit a brutal looking Omega Driver. Toby goes completely rag doll and is easy pray as Taylor scores the 1-2-3 on him for the win.

As soon as the bell rings, F.I.S.T. bolts to the back to avoid the wrath of the beaten Kings. As the Kings slowly leave, B. Damage is noticably the most angry, even blurting out "We let those douche bags beat us!?" and seems to want a rematch, something he still hasn't recieved to my knowledge. To be honest, this match was so much better then I thought it would be, I'm not really sure what I expected, but I got a solid brawl with some great characters and a very impressive finish. I really enjoyed this one, and I almost the Kings do get a rematch as some point.

- Match #6 - Team DDT vs. The Future is Now

Team DDT = Kota Ibushi, KUDO, Michael Nakazawa
The Future is Now = Jimmy "Equinox" Olson, Lince Dorado, Helios

A little explanation on one of the teams. DDT, which stands for Dramatic Dream Team, is a Japanese wrestling promotion that have recently grow in popularity with their unique mix of american style sports entertainment and traditional Japanese puroresu, a mix of acting and ability. DDT is out first, and leading the group in Nakazawa (a regular when DDT stars come to america since he speaks very good english) and just he comes out from the curtain he begins to cover him self in a ridiculous amount of baby oil which is his gimmick, he believes it will make him an undefeatable wrestler since no one will be able to apply a hold to his slippery frame, seriously wacky shit to say the least. FIN out next, and for what ever reason Helios and Lince haul ass out from the curtain, around the ring, and then back to the back, only to come back out again this time joined by their stable mate Olson, odd and seemed pointless, but whatever.

Here's a short video of DDT member Kota Ibushi, who is probably their most well known wrestler due to frequent trips to the US to compete for various american indy feds. Not much of a video, but gives you an idea of what he can do (and it's not obnoxious, like most youtube vids) He's the one in the blue and white shorts:

Match begins with Nakazawa and Lince. Before they even lock up, crowd begins to chant for more oil which Nakazawa gladly gives them to the point where he begins to look like a horrific, shiny monstrosity. Lince tries time and time again to put Nakazawa only to slip right off, growing frustrated, Lince grabs a towel and proceeds to attempt to clean some of the oil off of Nakazawa to which the crowd responds with some heavy boos, philly fans seem to really love the oil. Olson now in against KUDO, things start simple only for KUDO to begin to unleash some vicious kicks all over Olson. Helios in next to go against Kota. These two seem to 'click' better then any one else in this match as we are greeted with some amazing, lightning-fast, back and forth action from the two. Match begins to go all over pretty quickly as FIN begin to break out multi-man moves that actually come kinda sloppy and poorly timed. DDT regain control and gives Nakazawa a chance to hit a sort of "slip and slide" back senton on a couple members of FIN, crowd is really loving Nakazawa's wacky gimmick. DDT really in control at this point, both Kota and KUDO break out some great hard hitting offense, especially a sick "handstand into double knees" from KUDO on Olson. All six are in the ring now as all three members of FIN are able to german suplex each member of DDT at the same time for a very spiffy looking spot. FIN try to follow it up by each of them hitting SSP's (Shooting Star Press) on the downed members of DDT, Lince and Helios miss. Things are really breaking down at this point as various wrestlers are on the outside trying to regather themselves from the flurry of offense they've had to endure. Kota takes this opportunity to pull of a huge moonsault to the outside on Lince while Helios does a dive of his own on KUDO. Inside the ring, Nakazawa hits Olson with an amazing looking roll through spear for a pin attempt (the spear was awesome looking, I wish I had a video of it to share). Now things get a little goofy, Nakazawa fills his mouth with oil in an attempt to spit it on Olson, only to have it back fire as hits him in the throat before he can spit it causing him to fall to the mat and begin to choke. Olson looks concerned and proceeds to stomp on Nakazawa as he then geysers up the oil. Not being a fool to pass up such a golden opportuinity, Olson locks in the Chikara Special submission manuever and gets the win. Crowd is pissed.

After the match, solid show of respect from everyone as they begin to exit. Crowd is noticably unhappy to see DDT lose in only the first round. Match was alot of fun with some really great athletcism and various well done spots and some great preformances from the likes of Kota, Nakazawa, and Helios. What hurt this match was some of the sloppy looking multi-man moves and various bits of bad timing. Still, a pretty good match all around.

- Match #7- Incoherence vs. Masters of 1000 Holds

Incoherence = Delerious, Hallowicked, Frightmare
Masters of 1000 Holds = Mike Quackenbush, Jorge 'Skayde' Rivera, Johnny Saint

Incoherence out first and this will my first chance to check out the abilities of their newest member, the rookie, Frightmare. I've heard good things, very exctied to see what he brings to the table. Next out are the 'Masters of 1000 Holds', a name earned due to all three members mastery of various forms of wrestling. Rivera comes out wearing his signature lucha mask, but removes it before the match. A Good crowd reaction all around for all three members of the Masters, especially for Saint who is a legit legend in the world of British wrestling. Saint, a man in his mid sixties at this point, looked to be in pretty good shape for his age, even though you could clearly tell that the decades of wrestling has clearly given him kind of a "tough" apperance.

Frightmare and Rivera to start things off, a good test of skill for the rookie. Rivera breaks out his usual array of unique submissions in an attempt to slow down the quickness of Frightmare. It only works for so long until Frightmare is able to catch Rivera with a dive to the outside. Already very impressed with Frightmare, he's amazingly quick and has great timing. I was afraid he was just going to be another "small guy" wrestler with limited offense, but he really seems to be something special, I seriously can't believe this kid's a rookie. Both men tag out and in come come two men who have been around Chikara since the beginning, Quackenbush and Hallowicked, and proceed to show how well they know each with a great series of back and forth offense. Tags are made and we now have Delerious in the ring against Johnny Saint, quite possibly the most bizarre match up off all time. They begin to trade a series of various submissions and counter for quite a stretch without barely even leaving the center of the ring, it's a very different style of wrestling then I am use to seeing, but I'm digging it, and so is the crowd. Frightmare gets a chance to shine some more, this time against Quackenbush, I'm starting to dig this kid! We get another series with Saint, but this time against Hallowicked. Before they lock up, Delerious warns Hallowicked that Saint "Has tricks!", funny stuff. Saint shows off some agility as he goes against the big man and is able to stay in control with his long list of holds, he keeps the man down, but at no time does he resort to any strikes, impressive stuff. The Masters begin to take control of the match as they are able to keep Delerious grounded and keep up with quick tags, Saint is able to lock in a Mexican Surfboard submission, crazy! Quick tags all around now as all men are in and out of the ring, as this is going on, Rivera is able to roll up Delerious with a schoolboy for the win.

Delerious seems angry at first with his loss, but quickly calms down and then we get a nice show of respect from all men as handshakes and hugs abound. An amazing match, a great mix of styles and a great display of all the wrestler's abilities. Frightmare really impressed big time, and seeing Saint wrestle was a blast.

- Match #8 - The UnStable vs. The Cold Front

The UnStable = Vin Gerard, Colin Delaney, STIGMA
The Cold Front = Al Snow, Glacier, ?????

Pre-Match promo from The Cold Front explains their lack of a third member:
Al Snow is still a good talker. Still a big fan of his, loved his short run in ECW.

The Unstable come out looking as greasy and unpleasant as usual, and now Colin and Vin are sporting matching mustaches (kinda hard to tell if STIGMA has facial hair under the mask, hmmmm....). Colin with quite possibly the second most cocky ring entrance I have ever seen (first still goes to McGuiness) as he able to slide under the ropes and lazily pose at the same time, impressive. Glacier out first for the Cold Front and he comes out with his full entrance (minus perhaps the blue lasers, but I think we'll live) full costume, Mortal Kombat music, blue lights, and even fake snow, wow, makes you wonder why this gimmick bombed back in WCW (sarcasm). Wait, didn't he sell his whole gimmick to Kaz Hayashi anyways, ugh..... Al Snow out next and he gets a great reaction from the crowd which should come as no surprise since the event is being held in the former ECW arena. Before the match can start, Chikara's commisioner, Leonard F. Chikarason, comes to the ring and says the The Cold Front MUST have a third member to compete and decides to just pick one from a hat. The drawings start as a way to tease poor Al Snow by pulling out former gimmicks of his such as Avatar, Shinobi, and the dreadful Leif Cassidy. Drawings start to get a little more serious as Amazing Red's name is pulled, referee Bryce Remsburg runs to the back and then back to the ring to proclaim that Red is not in the building. Next up is one of Chikara newests wrestlers, Green Ant, but he isn't there either, which actually seems really strange. Next name is former WWE superstar D' Lo Brown, and wouldn't you know it, he's in the back. We have ourselves a match!

Right off the bat you can't help but notice the HUGE size difference between the two teams, seriously, the Unstable look like a bunch of kids out there in comparrison. After some fairly lengthly stalling from the Unstable, the match starts between Glacier and Vin who apparently have a history since last years King of Trios. Going to just blaze through this a bit since I want to finish this before I pass out. All and all, the match moves fairly slow with some back and forth between the two teams, pretty flat. After a fairly long and mediocre match, Colin is able to pin D' Lo with a surprsie back slide from nowhere. Weak finish to a weak match, seems apt.

Holy crap, this took forever to write up, yikes! I still have two more nights of the event to work through, lord only knows when I'll get to those!

All and all, I do recommend this DVD, by no means the best I have ever seen, but still really good. A great variety in characters, wrestlers, and styles. Can't wait to check out night 2.

Probably going to hold off on night for the time being. My next blog will probably be me sharing my thoughts on the Dragon Gate USA event I caught in Chicago, crazy night!

Oh, please comment away!

All CHIKARA events can be purchased on DVD at

(too damn tired to proofread, take care of it later, sorry)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#1 Chikara DVD review "2009 King Of Trios - Night 1" - Philadelphia, PA

Oh, where to even begin?

I suppose some introductions are in order, my name is Boss Coffee (well, that's not my real name, har har) and this is my new blog "Big Cup O' Wrestling". This blog will cover all things "pro wrestling", whether it be the big leagues, the indy leagues, puroresu, lucha libre and everything in between. I might review events I've attended, review indy DVD releases, cover current news, or whatever else I get the impulse to talk about. I'm not really going to into the detail of the how's and why's of my fandom since that would take forever, just know that I've been a wrestling nut for the better portion of my existence and I thought I would share my love with any one interested/willing to read my ramblings, enjoy!

With this, my ever so important first column, I will be reviewing a DVD release from the Philly-based indy promotion CHIKARA, the first night of their annual event "King of Trios 2009", whooo!

I should probably give a little bit of a background into who and what Chikara is. Chikara started out as a training facility that opened it's doors in 2002 with "Lightning" Mike Quakenbush and "Reckless Youth" Tom Carter as the trainers. Since then they've grown into a full blown indy promotion of its own, not only are they responsible for training many current and future stars but have made waves in the industry with their unique style that blends the speed of Mexican lucha libre with the intensity of Japanese puroresu and mixing it all with a unique take on gimmicks and characters. All this adds up to Chikara having a style all it's own.

Enough with the introductions, lets dive right in!

King of Trios 2009, Night 1

King of Trios, 16 teams, 48 men, Tournament style elimination.

(I've always been a sucker for Tournaments, not sure why)

-Match #1 - Team Epic War vs. The F1rst Family

Team Epic War = Austin Aries, Ryan Drago, and Tony Kozina
The F1rst Family = Arik Cannon, Ryan Cruz, Darin Corbin

Before I start the review of the match, let me share with you a promo from "Team Epic War" that played before the match, it's fucking gold.
Seeing Aries play the super fan friendly guy is so incredibly bizarre considering his recent actions over at his home promotion of "Ring of Honor", yet he plays the character so perfectly. "I love the fans!"

Team Epic War make their way out first with Megadeth's cover of the Duke Nukem theme as their entrance music, odd, but I can dig it. Once they hit the ring Austin is really playing up his super babyface (or good guy) character to the extreme, running around the ring slapping hands and whatnot, all the while Drago looks on in disgust while Kozina just looks confused. Next comes out their opposition, The F1rst Family (I'm getting as sick of writing it like that as I am sure you are of reading it) who come out to some sort of bubbly pop music, which is not only obnoxious, but confusing considering Arik Cannon's "punk" gimmick, oh well, whatever.

I'm not going to necessarily going to go hold by hold here, just cover things that stood out to me. Through out the match Drago really impressed me with not only his ability, but his heel (bad guy) character which was in direct contrast to Aries. Don't really know anything about the guy or his tag partner Kozina even though he supposedly has 12 years of experience, neither guy must get off the west coast much, which is a shame. As the match continues, Aries' antics get even wackier as he starts to apparently channel the spirit of Tatanka (wait, he's not dead, is he?) as he marches around the ring chopping all three members of the F1rst Family, the crowd is completely eating up his shananagins. For a good portion of the match, Cruz and Corbin played punching bags to Epic War's offensive. At one point, Tony Kozina broke out a nearly awesome top rope head scissor to the outside, but kind of fucked it up since he couldn't completely get his opponent over the rope with out a little bit of help from Aries, still looked pretty cool. Soon after Arik Cannon hits Ryan Drago with a brutal Backdrop Driver, a move that always looks vicious, don't believe me? Look it up on Youtube, I can't imagine it's a pleasant sensation. To finish the match off, Corbin and Cruz hit some sort of reverse flap jack double team maneuver to put away Drago and win the match for the F1rst Family (my spell check hates me).

After the conclusion, because he's just such a nice guy, Aries starts to dance a bit to the F1rst Family's theme music and then proceeds to shake all of their hands to show he is a good sport, Drago on the other hand just leaves, what a heel!

All and all, the match was very solid, good timing all around. Team Epic War's team dynamic was great with all three members playing very different characters, on the other side, The F1rst Family was just kinda "there" when it came to charisma but still performed very well. Kinda wish Epic War won since it would have been interesting to see more of that team dynamic in later matches, oh well, can't win 'em all I suppose.

- Match #2 - Osirian Portal vs. Team Pro Wrestling Guerrilla

Osirian Portal = Amasis, Ophidian, Escorpion Egipcio
Team PWG = El Generico, Nick and Matt Jackson (The Young Bucks)

Not much to say about the Portal's entrance, except that Escorpion really stands out, the guy is so much bigger then his teammates. Next out is Team PWG, captained by a personal fav of mine, El Generico, followed by one of the most talked about tag teams in all of the indys, the Young Bucks. Though all three men make a presence all over both the US and Canada, they have chosen to represent California-based promotion Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. For reasons I don't completely understand, The Young Bucks choose to come out to Hanson's "Mmmbop", quite possibly one of the most grating and annoying songs ever written (I really think I'm not alone in this assumption). This is just a personal gripe, but it really seems like the Young Bucks go out of their way to make it difficult for the average fan to cheer for them. Their in ring ability is amazing, and their innovative tag team offense will always get the crowd cheering, but most everything else they do seems like they are trying to antagonize the fans into booing them. I mean, their look is a good place to start, they look like the Hardy Boys circa the early 90's, really what is with the tassels? Just say no to tassels! "The Incredibles" said no to capes, I'm saying no to tassels! Combine that with their music and some of their mannerisms and it just screams something the people are going to want to boo, if this is what they are going for so that they can transition into some sort of eventual heel turn then they are doing a absolutely fantastic job, if not, then I don't know what else to say. Wow, perhaps I should move on to the actually match, sorry 'bout that.

El Generico and Amasis start things off for this match. Amasis begins the match some of his signature dancing and begins to dance right out of Generico's various holds, much to his frustration. Generico retaliates with a bit of his own footwork, much to the delight of the crowd, even though his moves may not be as funky as Amasis'. Escorpion in now, this is the first time I've seen a match with Escorpion and I was intrigued to see what he could do. From little I read about him, he kinda had a bad rep, and sadly, now I see why. By no means is he awful, but from little offense he had in this match he looked painfully out of place, always off by a few steps, and downright confused at where he should be at times, I don't really know much about his past, so I'm not sure if this is just a lack of experience or if it's something else. Next in is Ophidian, quickly showing off how he earned his snake gimmick with some of his amazing quickness and agility. He goes on to have a great series of back and forth action with Nick Jackson. On a side note, I've clearly watched too much wrestling since Ophidian's mask no longer looks weird to me. The Young Bucks gain control of the match and begin to show off some of their very impressive tag team maneuvers, such as an especially impressive atomic drop/spinning neck breaker combo, nice! The Portal begins to regain control of the match with some of their own tandem offense, which kind of comes off a little sloppy looking mostly due to the out of place Escorpion (I'm starting to feel bad, like I'm picking on him or something). As the match continues and the Portal stays in control, Amasis decides to mock the ever so famous People's Elbow which gets him quite the negative reaction, nice move on his part to keep the crowd against him. The match begins to dissolve into your typical multi-man melee with various wrestlers in and out of the ring trying to hit that one big maneuver to put the other team away. Nick Jackson hits a particularly impressive springboard moonsault, which makes me wish for an eventual Young Bucks vs. Osarian Portal rematch. Time to bash Escorpion some more, Mike Quackenbush is on commentary during this match and he keeps trying to put over Escorpion as a big threat, saying things like "he's poised to strike" when it really looks like he's just standing there waiting for his cue. Out of nowhere, Ophidian rolls El Generico up with a prawn hold for the surprise victory.

Even with some rough spots involving Escorpion, the match was still a lot of fun. Great tag team maneuvers from both the Young Bucks and the Portal. Lots of great high flying and it's a plus to get to see my boy Generico compete. Ole!

- Match #3 - The Roughnecks vs. Team Uppercut

The Roughnecks = Eddie Kingston, Brodie Lee, Grizzly Redwood
Team Uppercut = Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, Dave Taylor

Pre-Match Promo, certainly worth a watch, Kingston at his best as usual:
"...and the Grizz...we had to get a third person."

Bryan Danielson is (or I suppose I should say was, since we just signed with WWE) one of the biggest names in all of independent wrestling. His technical ability is unmatched and his sheer intensity in unmistakable. Now that I'm done jerking his ego, let me just say that it is great to see Danielson in Chikara for what I believe is his first time, and it also great to see him get a such a positive reaction from the fans. With guys like Danielson and now Nigel McGuiness getting signed up by the big leagues, it makes you wonder why they haven't signed up Claudio, he's tall, in great shape, and fantastic in the ring. The only thing working against him is his thick accent, but that still isn't enough to explain his current situation. Oh well, I wish the best for him.

The match begins with Eddie Kingston demanding that he wants to start the match against Danielson, much to the delight of the crowd since this would probably be a first time meeting between the two indy superstars, but just as Danielson looks ready to lock up, Kingston bails, tags in Grizzly, and then flicks off Danielson, classic! If you've never seen Grizzly Redwood compete let me explain something, the guy is an absolute freak of nature. Now hold on, let me explain, I really mean that in a sort of positive way, yes he is very short, like under five feet short, but the guy is freakishly ripped, it looks literally unreal. Before Griz and Danielson lock up, they start to have some sort of flex-off which is quickly ended when Kingston decides to show off his gut; Kingston, not your typical looking wrestler to say the least, tough as nails though. Though Griz makes nice with Danielson with a handshake, much to the disapproval of his teammates, he is quickly cornered and dismantled by all three members of Team Uppercut, some one call child services! Danielson, being the well known wrestler that he is, has a few iconic chants that follow him around, one in particular basically goes "You're going to get your fucking head kicked in!", this chant is so well known that it can be heard in some of his Japanese matches which is a trip to hear. Anyways, not surprisingly, the chant has followed him to Chikara, but since it is a "family-friendly" promotion the fans censor themselves by replacing "fucking" with "effing", nice touch Chikara fans. The match so far has been pretty heavy on the comedy, but things start to get a little more serious as Team Uppercut begins to barrage Kingston with a serious of, well, uppercuts. Dave Taylor is really fired up for this match which is great to see out of legit legend like him. Perhaps a bit to fired up considering that he begins to climb to the top of the turn buckle and then signals for a SSP (uhh..a big flippy maneuver) but has to be talked down be his team mates, funny stuff. The match slows down as The Roughnecks are able to gain control on Danielson and begin to work over his knee. Danielson tries to fight back, specifically with a triangle choke on Brodie, but only for Grizz to run in and cause more damage to the already injured knee. Eventually Danielson makes the hot tag to Taylor who begins to clean house and when Grizz tries to slow him down he is meet with a huge boot from Claudio for his troubles, looks like he damn near took his head off with that one. Claudio quickly grabs Grizz by the legs and proceeds to put him into The Big Swing. Since Griz is so small, Claudio is able to keep the move going for an unbelievable amount of time, the crowd counts to a hundred rotations which is an awesome sight to see, even if it was probably more like 80-85. Easily a new record in people swinging! Both men look legit sick after the move, but before Grizz can even begin to shake things off, Danielson quickly locks in his signature submission move, Cattle Mutilation for the win.

Since I would like to encourage people to actually go out and buy the DVD's and support Chikara, I wasn't planning on including any actually footage of the matches, but I just had to include this:

Not exactly what you would call a wrestling clinic, but the match was still a lot of fun. Lots of great comedy all around and it was fun to see guys like Danielson and Taylor just out there having fun. And lets not forget that record breaking Big Swing, crazy. Speaking of which, Grizz got a big pop from the crowd as he was leaving which was nice to see, easily deserves after what he went through.

- Match #4 - Team CZW vs. Da Soul Touchaz

Team CZW = Pinkie Sanchez, Beef Wellington, Greg Excellence
Da Soul Touchaz = Marshee Rocket, Willie Richardson, Trauma

Pre-match promo from Touchaz, not really much to say, just basically introducing themselves, nothing special.

Team CZW comes out and gets a pretty big reaction which really shouldn't come as a surprise considering that CZW largely operates out of this very Arena (largely known as the "ECW Arena" though it has been renamed to the ever so creative "The Arena", blah). During the entrance, Pinkie jumps on a table but as soon as he does two of the legs buckle and Pinkie slides right off but is able to stay on his feet, good save. Touchaz make their way to the ring with Soulja Boy as their entrance music, not going to lie, really dislike that song, ugh. Touchaz really trying to play to the crowd, but it really seems to be a waste of effort since the crowd seems to be more behind the their local CZW boys. Mitch Ryder on commentary for this one, worth mentioning since I wasn't even aware he was still with the company at this point, odd. My notes are a little rough for this one, so bare with me. Not sure who started this one, but at some point both Beef and Willie were in the ring but before they could lock up, Beef demands a mike. With mike in hand, Beef begins to rap a dead on version of "Ice, Ice, Baby" and gets so into it that he is able to make Willie rap the last line, crowd loves it and so do I. The madness only continues as both Greg Excellence and Trauma climb into the ring, but before they can get started, Sugerhill Gang's "Apache" starts to play over the loud speakers and we are treated to a very bizarre dance off of sorts which ends with even the ref getting a few moves in. When it comes to actual ability and wrestling, Rocket and Pinkie seem to be the respective stars of their teams, fast back and fourth action from both of them. As the match continues, most of the wrestlers end up outside the ring brawling and in doing so, are rewarded with a huge (and I mean HUGE) dive from Willie, I don't think anyone will ever confuse him for a cruiserweight any time soon. Greg Excellence is able to recover and climb in the ring just in time to hit a very impressive rope assisted Pedigree on Marshee Rocket for what you would think would be the finish, but Willie is able to hit Greg with a HUGE top rope leg drop for the finish.

Pretty average match, didn't really expect much, and that's pretty much what I got. Unique comedy from Team CZW and some pretty impressive offensive from Rocket and Pinkie, sadly Rocket wasn't really given a chance to shine like I would have liked to have seen. There's always next round I suppose. Oh yeah, that rope assisted Pedigree was awesome.

Wow, only half way through night one and look how long this shit has already gotten! Alright, I'm going to go ahead and cut this sucker in half for the time being, I'll get the other half up hopefully by Friday evening. I apologize for any spelling or grammar errors, proofreading is not my strength.

Oh, please comment away!

All CHIKARA events can be purchased on DVD at