Live report from CHIKARA: A Death Worse Than Fate
Thanks very much to Tristan Wolfe for sending in this review of Saturday’s Chikara show. I’ll hand you over to him:
Short story: I started to write this review and then I unplugged my computer with my foot as I was completing it…without saving it. I attended the show in Reading, PA last Saturday and I’d say it was a decent show. Nothing too spectacular though. (3 out of 5)
So now I present you with my half-assed (half-butted for you Chikara fans out there) review.
Submission Match: Ophidian defeats Green Ant with the Cobra Clutch Death Grip after dropping Green Ant on the exposed turnbuckle.
Basically this match was boring. It wasn’t totally the fault of the wrestlers as the ring shifted after Green Ant hit the ropes. The ropes pretty much became useless, and at one point Ophidian whipped Green Ant toward the ropes, only for Green Ant to hit the brakes, turn at the light, and ram himself into the corner instead. Silly.
Favorite point in the match: The end. This match brought shame to the “He’s Using Hypnosis” t-shirt I was wearing like a tool. OR My wife turning to me at the beginning of the match and asking “They leave the masks on the entire time?”
Bonus Match: Saturyne defeats El Hijo del Ice Cream with some crappy top rope move that I forgot.
Saturyne flopped around like a dying fish and is clearly a rookie. Despite this, El Hijo managed to make the match one of my favorites of the night. This guy is a real treat to see. See what I did there? Anyway, El Hijo Del Ice Cream threw Saturyne ALL OVER that damn ring. No punches were pulled. She got tossed around by her hair like three times. And the entire time delightfully hispanic ice cream puns were made.
Favorite point in the match: El Hijo covers Saturyne while holding out two fingers and then acts completed surprised that the count wasn’t tres.
Tag Team Match: The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield and Mr. Touchdown) defeat The Colony (Fire Ant and Soldier Ant) via DQ as a (probably) fake Green Ant tosses Dasher off the top rope. Good match. This is what Chikara is all about. This is my first time seeing Mr. Touchdown and he was pretty great and maybe the star of the match? The match went back and forth with some classic spots (Dasher running the bases, double corner dropkick from The Colony, and a failed 3-point stance from Mr. Touchdown). At the end it was a presumably fake Green Ant who caused the DQ by tossing Dasher off the top rope, garnering confused looks by all.
Favorite point in the match: Dasher puts Fire Ant into the tree of woe, he’s at first, tags second, rounding third AND Mr. Touchdown tags in.
First-Time Ever: Brodie Lee defeats Jigsaw with a sitout powerbomb.
Best match of the night in my opinion. Both guys had some hard-hitting action, but it was Brodie Lee that came back on top in his return match. After the match, Brodie claimed that he was coming for Kingston’s Grand Championship in a showdown in Canada that’s going to hurt just watching it.
Favorite point in the match: Jigsaw muscles Brodie over with a huge German suplex.
INTERMISSION: It’s announced that Gargano won’t be wrestling tonight because he is “injured and stuck in the Midwest”. As a result, Wink tells Icarus that he’ll defend the belts to which Icarus whines.
Favorite point in the intermission: Winkler gets the hot dog he was eating slapped out of his hand and sauerkraut ensues.
It’s got Colt in it: Colt Cabana defeats Kobald with the Billy Goat’s Curse
Typical Colt Cabana match. Lot’s of antics. Colt ripped out Kobald’s earring (the other inexplicably disappeared) to start the match. Most of the match was spent humiliating Kobald.
Favorite point in the match: Colt channels the spirit of Manami Toyota with a multi-directional rolling cradle.
8-Man Tag: The BDK (Tim Donst and Jakob Hammermeier) and The Batiri (Kodama & Obariyon) defeat 3.0 (Scott Parker and Shane Matthews), Gregory Iron, and Eddie Kingston when Tim Donst forces the tap with some wrist tape and a chin lock on Gregory Iron.
First time seeing Greg Iron and MAN was he the whipping boy of this match. Most of the wrestlers just kinda hung out on the outside while Greg got the crap beat out of him. There were a couple points in the match where Eddie Kingston or Shane Matthews were in the ring, staring at Greg in a submission hold awkwardly. Not a terribly well-coordinated match.
Favorite point in the match: Stereo Backfists to the Future that put all 8-men out on the mat at the same time.
Queen of Wrestling Showdown: Sara Del Ray defeats Archibald Peck (with Veronica) with the Royal Butterfly
I’m just gonna go ahead and say it. Sara Del Ray is overrated. I’m sorry. I know you hate me now. She’s good, but the Queen of Wrestling? Eh, I dunno. I’d rather give that title to Archie any day. This was a fun match. They played out a great “test of strength” bit with Sara eventually getting the upper hand after Archie sat in the middle of the ring pouting despite the crowd making Sara say that she was sorry. We got to see all of Sara’s classic moves with all of the fun antics of Archibald Peck.
Favorite point in the match: After the match, Archie realizes that Veronica is out cold on the outside of the ring after getting nailed by Sara. After letting out a shrill scream, he collapses at her feet and screams “NOOOO!” at the top of his lungs and then carries her out of the ring…screaming “no” another 2 times.
Campeones de Parejas, 2 out of 3 Falls: F.I.S.T. (Chuck Taylor and Icarus filling in for Johnny Gargano) defeats The Spectral Envoy (Hallowicked and Ultramantis Black) in the 3rd fall after Delirious runs in and lays out Ultramantis Black with the Praying Mantis Bomb
A good match from all. As usual, Chuck Taylor stole the show. I’m pretty sure he was forced to scream like a little girl no less than 3 times during the match. The first fall saw Chuck Taylor hand Icarus some powder (after about a minute of solid searching for it in his vest) who tossed it into the eyes of Hallowicked for the pin. The same trick was tried for the second fall, but Chuck accidently tossed the powder in the face of Icarus as Hallowicked moved out of the way. After Icarus laid out Chucky T with the pedigree, Hallowicked picked up the pin on Icarus with a big boot. For the third fall, both Icarus and Ultramantis were laid out in the ring with the referee nowhere in sight after Ultramantis hit the Praying Mantis Bomb. Delirious ran down and pulled Ultramantis on top of Icarus for the pin…but then turned on him and nailed him with his own Praying Mantis Bomb. Icarus covered for the 3 as F.I.S.T. retains.
Favorite point in the match: Oh dear lord, I had no idea that Icarus had facial hair now. It’s NEARLY as bad as the tattoo.
By Tristan Wolfe
AIW Intense TV Episode 27 (Johnny Gargano vs Shiima Xion)
IWE interview with JOHNNY GARGANO!
I conducted an interview with a man who is currently one of the top guys on the indy wrestling scene. Star of Dragon Gate USA, EVOLVE and more…..JOHNNY GARGANO!!
IWE: Hi Johnny Gargano, how are you?
Johnny Gargano: How am I? In a physical sense?.. or a spiritual sense?… or a sixth sense? This is a pretty deep question, man.. I don’t know.. Short answer? I’m doing just swell. No complaints!
IWE: What made you want to become a wrestler, and how did you go around doing it?
Johnny: Well, I wanted to be a Power Ranger, A Ninja Turtle, and Dennis The Menace when I was growing up.. turns out, unfortunately those aren’t real job titles. Who knew, right? I always mimicked what I saw on television, so of course I was a huge fan of Professional Wrestling growing up and I wanted to be apart of it. My Dad owns a catering company, and knew of my love for Pro Wrestling, so when an independent company came to him wanting to run a show in his back parking lot, he went with it. I was allowed to get in the ring at the show, and they showed me a few things (sidenote: horribly unprofessional as I was 8. Shrug.).. it kinda snowballed from there. I got formal training when I was 13 and had my first pro match at 16/17.
IWE: Do you have an all time favourite wrestler?
Johnny: I do. That Shawn Michaels guy is PRETTY good. Also.. favOUrite? Not favorite? Are you Canadian? Those Canadians with there random adding of U’s to things! Bah!
IWE: You are well known as one of the top stars in Dragon Gate USA, EVOLVE and Chikara, but they are not the only companies you wrestle for. Where else do you work?
Johnny: Most notably, I wrestle alot in my hometown of Cleveland, OH for Pro Wrestling Ohio (pwowrestling.com) and Absolute Intense Wrestling (aiwrestling.com). Two awesome places definately worth checking out! I’ve also gotten the honor of wrestling for Dragon Gate in Japan as well.
IWE: Your stable in DGUSA, Ronin, have taken the company by storm in the past year. In the finale of your feud with Blood Warriors, you eliminated both CIMA and Austin Aries via submission. You have usurped Aries as the top American guy, a role previously occupied by Davey Richards and Bryan Danielson. Did you expect to have so much success when you debuted for the company back in 2009?
Johnny: Um.. I’d LIKE to say yes.. but probably not, ha. I remember the very first DGUSA very vividly though. I remember it was actually my very first time in the Arena. I remember sitting up in the balcony being absolutely blown away watching The Young Bucks take on CIMA and Yokosuka. I thought to myself.. “man.. I wish I could do that” and now to be put in that position to go out there and have top tier matches with some of the best talent in the WORLD is absolutely amazing to me. It’s something i’m very proud of. I’m my own worst critic, and to even be mentioned in the same breathe as some of those guys.. is something i’m truly honored by. Trust me, It’s only the beginning though. Only the beginning.
IWE: In March, you made your debut in Japan for Dragon Gate. How did that go, and how did it differ from wrestling in America?
Johnny: Japan has always been my dream, so to be able to go over there for a company the stature of Dragon Gate was of course a dream come true. I loved it over there. In America, sometimes “Rasslin” is looked down upon, but over there the fans really treat it like a sport. It’s a HUGE deal to them. It’s a super cool atmosphere to be in as a wrestler.
IWE: What was the biggest match of your career (and why)?
Johnny: I got the chance to take on Bryan Danielson in one of his first matches back from WWE. It was for AIW, and we went to a 30 Minute Draw in my hometown. The one thing I can say about Bryan is he brings it every single time he steps in the ring. You dont realize how good someone truly is until you’re in the ring with him. Bar none, Bryan is the best wrestler I’ve ever been in the ring with, and the best wrestler in the world in my book. That match is to this day one of my favOrites. (See what I did there? Called that little Canadian grammar joke back, bam!)
IWE: Was that your favourite match?
Johnny: AHHH! Again with the U’s! Yes that was one of them. I also wrestled CIMA in North Carolina at the Open The Southern Gate show, which you can catch NOW at WWNLive.com (PLUG!) and we beat the crap out of one another, man. The crowd was electric and I really think that match helped solidify me in DGUSA. Like I said, I’m my own worst critic, so I barely like any of my matches.. but that’s one I’m proud of.
IWE: In 2007, you appeared on an episode of WWE SmackDown as Cedrick Von Haussen, in a match with MVP. How was that experience?
Johnny: That was my first “taste” of WWE, and it was a VERY big deal for me at the time. I was 19, and it was just that.. an experience. It really helped open my eyes to the wrestling world. Also.. when I came in the back after the match Vince Mcmahon said “Good Job, kid”.. so I probably could of retired after that and been happy.
IWE: Your second WWE appearance was as a security guard on NXT last year. Had much changed in the 3 years since you’d last been there?
Johnny: I dont think so. Not really. I’d grown up alot! Ha!
IWE: What are the biggest matches/shows you have lined up this summer?
Johnny: EVOLVE 9: GARGANO (That’s me) VS Taylor is on July 26th and you can watch that live on WWNLIVE.COM.. as you can tell by the name, it’ll be myself VS my brother from a completely different mother, Chuck Taylor. That should be quite the contest! On August 7th for Pro Wrestling Ohio , Wrestlelution 4 it’ll be a match pretty much 4 years and beyond in the making as I take on my mentor(s) and friend(s) per say. It’s Johnny Gargano vs Josh Prohibition vs Matt Cross (From WWE Tough Enough)! Go to PWOWRESTLING.COM for the info on how to watch that bad boy live online! That’s gonna be something! Then the big DGUSA midwest shots on Sept 9th, 10th, and 11th! A lot of cool stuff on the horizon!
IWE:Thanks very much for participating in this interview Johnny. Good luck with EVOLVE 9!
Note from Lee: Click the banner at the top of this page to sign up for wwnlive! There you can watch EVOLVE 9, Open The Southern Gate, and many other shows featuring Johnny Gargano!
Another note from Lee: Dragon Gate USA recently made Johnny Gargano vs Jimmy Rave (from Open The Ultimate Gate 2011) available for free download at the following link:
Yet another note from Lee: I’ve since informed Johnny that I’m English, and it is actually Americans who spell “favourite” incorrectly.