Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Chikara: Chikarasaurus Rex King of Sequel Night 2 - DVD Review

It’s debut time again here in The Two Sheds Review, and this time I’m taking a first look at a US indy promotion I’ve heard a lot about, Chikara. So to kick things off we’re going back in time just four weeks to July 31st for Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Sequel Night Two, held at a certain Arena in Philadelphia.

Disc one begins with women’s action between two stalwarts from the Japanese Ice Ribbon promotion, Makoto and Tsukasa Fujimoto, the Ice Ribbon Champion.

As a big fan of GAEA during the good old days of The Wrestling Channel I was really looking forward to this one, and I wasn’t disappointed. These two girls put in some great work here, with Fujimoto the better of the two, although Makoto did pretty well here.

We saw numerous near falls hear from both girls before Fujimoto took the pin after taking Makoto out with an escalator kick off the ropes. Afterwards the Chikara faithful gave them a “please come back” chant.

The next match saw Archibald Peck taking on Dasher Hatfield.

As with the previous match this is the first time I’ve seen these two in action. Peck seems to be a member of a marching band, while his valet, Veronica, looks like a baton twirler, while Hatfield is a masked baseball guy. And no, he looks nothing like Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz.

This one was played for laughs. Lots of gesticulating at the beginning here before Hatfield brought out such technical wrestling moves as the Greco-Roman noogie and the Greco-Roman wet willy. He even used a wedgie as a submission hold later in the match.

Later when Peck celebrated certain moves he marched around the ring making trumpet playing movements with his arms, knocking down the referee twice and almost earning a disqualification both times.

But in the end the marcher took the win, taking Hetfield down with his variation of the Styles clash for the winning pin.

It was back to women’s action for the next match as Daizee Haze took on Mima Shimoda.

Haze has had quite a bit of negative publicity in the past few weeks concerning her size and possible health problems, and she looked painfully thin here.

That being said, this was a pretty decent encounter. Shimoda impressed the hell out of me, using a variety of submission holds as she attempted to put her woman away.

But Haze kept coming back time after time, and eventually took the win after reversing a sunset flip attempt with a roll up and a couple of hand full of tights.

Shimoda was none too happy with the situation, knocking Haze out of the ring after the final bell and clobbering her with a chair, leaving her lying on the floor at ringside.

Six man tag team action followed as the masked trio of Frightmare, Hallowicked and Ultramantis Black, otherwise known as The Spectral Envoy, faced El Generico, Scott Parker (not the English one) and Shane Matthews, aka Team 3.Ole!, in a match contested under lucha libre rules.

I really enjoyed this one. There was plenty of fast paced action from both teams, mixed in nicely with some comedy moments, especially when Frightmare scared the hell out of his opponents by screaming in their faces. Each man dived out of the ring afterwards, refusing to get into the ring with him.

When the match was nearing it’s climax and bodies were flying everywhere Tim Dunst (I think that’s what his name was) came out from the back and nailed Frightmare in the ribs with a chair. As confusion began to reign Ultramantis took Generico down with a pile driver variation for the winning pin.

The tag team action continued as the F.I.S.T. team of Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano faced off against mystery opponents, with Atlantis and Rey Bucanero’s names being drawn out of the sweaty Chikra hat.

This proved to be a very entertaining encounter, with a very entertaining ending. Taylor and Gargano did very well against their more experienced CMLL counterparts, pulling off some great moves in the process.

Bucanero and Atlantis, for their part, put in a great effort, and I really enjoyed the way they combined high flying lucha style stuff with a more traditional mat-based game.

The end was right out of the Eddie Guerrero playbook. After Bucanero had taken out Taylor with a dive over the rope Atlantis took on Gargano in the ring, but while the referee was checking on those at ringside Gargano suddenly dropped to the mat clutching his groin, claiming the Mexican had delivered a low blow. The referee was fooled enough to immediately call for the bell, giving the F.I.S.T. boys the disqualification win.

The final match saw masked man Jigsaw taking on Eddie Kingston in Block B of the 12 Large Summit tournament.

Slow paced hard hitting action was the order of the day in this one as these best buds put on a great match to close out the first half of the show.

This is the first time I’d seen these two in a while, and both men impressed the hell out of me with their no nonsense style. Kingston played the part of the hard man to perfection, with Jigsaw doing a good job of working over Kingston’s previously injured knee.

Kingston’s rival Vin Gerard came down to try and interfere but found himself on the receiving end of a super kick from Jigsaw, ending his participation in this particular segment.

With the clock nearing the twenty minute mark Kingston took the masked man down with his back suplex variation, trapping one of his arms and bridging to get the pinfall win. Both men then got a great reception from the faithful in attendance, and rightfully so.

Disc two began with the match I was really looking forward to seeing as Colt Cabana and Johnny Kidd faced Mike Quackenbush and Johnny Saint.

For those of you who don’t know Johnnies Kidd and Saint are British wrestling legends from the World of Sport era. Saint is a technical genius who came out of retirement a couple of years ago, and at nearly 70 years old he looks a whole lot better than Ric Flair currently does.

There’s also a little history with Kidd and Cabana. Their match for Premier Promotions was voted the best match on British wrestling soil in 2004.

I watched this one with a massive smile on my face. It was by far the best match I’ve seen this year, with four technical masters putting on nearly thirty minutes of tremendous action.

The chain wrestling here was awesome, and it didn’t matter which combination of wrestlers was in the ring, and the best man in the match was Johnny Saint.

To list every great move in this match would take too long, so we’ll skip to the end where Saint pinned Kidd after another great series of moves.

Afterwards the fans gave all four men a standing ovation, and after Quackenbush paid tribute to the Brits it was Saint’s turn to speak as he thanked the fans for the great reception, once again earning a standing ovation.

The main event saw more action from the 12 Large Summit tournament, this time in Block A as Claudio Castagnoli, accompanied by Tursas, faced Sara Del Rey, accompanied by Daizee Haze.

This battle between BDK members began with team leader Castagnoli ordering Del Rey to lay down so he could get the pin. The only problem was that Del Rey didn’t want to.

What followed was a great match. Double C tried everything to put the Queen of Wrestling away, but time after time Del Rey kept fighting back, and when Castagnoli missed a corner attack and rammed his shoulder into the corner post Del Rey centred her attack on his left arm, locking in a couple of cross arm breakers which the Swiss eventually escaped from.

Castagnoli came back into the match, and when he took Del Rey down with the riccola bomb it looked all over. But when he went for the pin he pulled her off the mat as the referee was about to count three, and he did it again after he took her down with a big clothesline.

Then it happened. As Castagnoli held her by the hair Del Rey hooked both of his arms and rolled him up for the three count.

Things were far from over. As Del Rey and Haze celebrated in the ring Castagnoli came back in and took Del Rey out with a yakuza kick to the head from behind before choke slamming Haze, leaving the arena to a chorus of boos.

Disc two also contains the bonus material, a music video featuring Stan Bush (who?) performing his song “Dare”, and highlights of Chikara wrestlers competing for Osaka Pro in Japan.

In conclusion - wrestling shows like this are the reason I’ve been kind of down on WWE and TNA for a while now.

From top to bottom this was an excellent show, and one of the best I’ve seen this year. From the opening women’s match between Makoto and Fujimoto I knew what kind of show I was in for, and as the action went on it just confirmed my first impression, which was confirmed even further by the Cabana/Kidd/Saint/Quackenbush tag match.

Chikara really do have a hell of a product here, and it’s for that reason I’m giving this release the big thumbs up. If you haven’t seen this show yet then go and buy it as soon as is humanly possible.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Sequel Night 2 is available to buy online at www.smartmarkvideo.com.

For more information on Chikara, visit their website at www.chikarapro.com.