Saturday, June 29, 2013

Canada's Favourite sons


 Hello my lovely friends and welcome back to The Dark Match! I must apologize for being gone for so long. I had a very good May, bringing out three blogs. Unfortunately my June has been less than a relaxing one. Taking on a new job position has left me rather tired and unwilling to write. So unfortunately the blog has suffered a little, as well as other writing projects. Hopefully I get used to the position soon so that I can continue bringing you this service, which I love to provide. Moving into the future I will begin a six part serious labelled “End of a Era” recapping the six final Chikara shows. This will be spiced up with as always, 2012 recaps. Once 2012 and 2013 are complete this blog will supply a place for people to jot their memories if and when Chikara returns. So last I checked the poll at the bottom there was a crazy tie with multiple wrestlers receiving single votes. Thus I will just pick one from your choices at random, and I am going with 3.0! The year of 2012 was one of soaring heights and rocky bottoms for 3.0, and they grew as a tag team. Lets get into it!

CHIKARA Debut - Tag World Grand Prix 2006  February 26, 2006


3.0 (Scott Parker and Shane Matthews)
The Badd Boys (Brad Badd and Chad Badd)

        The bombastic duo of Scott Parker and Shane Matthews exited 2011 with a single point towards tag title contendership. That made their very first tag encounter of 2012 all the more important as they began the year facing the crumbling BDK. The problems between Jakob Hammermeier and Tim Donst started in this match, and 3.0 took that as their advantage to win and gain their important second point. That meant heading into February if they could garner a single point between two shows that they would be able to contend for the titles on home soil in March. The first match in February took place in Reading and was non-tag. However, the atomicos match they were a part of was the beginning of the Director of Fun's tinkering with Chikara pairings. In the end they would lose the encounter with the BDK and Batiri. The next afternoon in Long Island, New York, would prove critical if they were to challenge for the CdP. Dasher Hatfield and distant relation “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angel were coming off a surprise win the previous day in Reading over tag favorites Fire Ant and Soldier Ant. In a match that featured brute physicality as well as name calling went to the surging Canucks as they took the final point needed to contend for the gold. It was set that in Vaughn, Ontario 3.0 would challenge F.I.S.T for the tag titles.

        It had been some time since 3.0 had the necessary points to challenge for the belts. In fact it had been over a year since they had challenged Claudio and Ares. This added the incentive they would need to drive into Vaughn with the confidence to take home the belts. It was in the main event of Green Ice that Parker and Matthews would challenge Icarus, standing in for the injured Johnny Gargano, and Chuck Taylor. The first fall went to F.I.S.T after some underhanded tactics from the rudo squad. Scott and Shane would persevere and take the next two consecutive falls to win the tag titles and reach the Promised Land. They stood tall on home soil as the locker room emptied to celebrate with them in the ring.
        Glory was short lived though, as it often is, as 3.0 were challenged for their tag belts two months later in Lafayett,e Indiana. In Apri,l the reunited team of Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano, back from injury, gained three points in a four way elimination match. It was the second time in company history a single team gained all the necessary points in a single match. The advantage was theirs as the Bravado Brothers injured Scott's ribs the previous afternoon in Chicago at the Synergy event. Even with the injured rib,s Scott fought valiantly alongside his lifelong tag partner. After falling behind by a pinfall, 3.0 took the second fall to even up the two out of three contest. But it was the injured ribs that would be the thorn in the boisterous tandems side as Gargano and Taylor would turn 3.0's own tag specialty, the Sweet Taste O'Professionalism, against them for the final fall. In their first title defence, the proud Canadians vacated the Promised Land.
        It was because of the chair shot from Harlem Bravado that Scott was injured and was unable to fairly contest the tag belts. In Chikara's final outing to Canada 3.0 were able to take their revenge on the Bravado's in Strathroy. A extremely physical battle would go the way of the Canucks again on home soil as a small measure of revenge was regained in their victory. That wouldn't mean that 3.0 would not come across the boys from Carolina again.
        Since February, the odd pairings of Wink Vavasseur had only grown and he had even decided on a mathematical equation, Chikarabermetrics, that would pair Chikara teams together based on their strengths and pin fall ratio. That would mean that 3.0 would be paired with the newly resigned talent of Gran Akuma. In the past Akuma wasn't a fan of the fun loving Canadians. That meant that there was some friction between 3.0 and Akuma when they discovered they would be teaming together. The Akuma who was wrestling in 2012 was no longer the member of F.I.S.T who insulted Scott and Shane. In their first three contests together as a team they would defeat F.I.S.T, the Swarm and the Batiri. It would seem that there might be something behind the odd pairings of Mr. Vavassuer.
        Even though they were on a winning streak with Akuma, 3.0's focus was not on trios competition but getting back into the hunt for the tag gold and returning to The Promised Land. After harassing Wink for long enough they were entered into a four way tag elimination match. They entered with two points, one gained from their grudge match with the Bravado brothers and another from a DQ victory over Gekido from earlier in the summer. Going into a tag elimination with points is difficult to manage, it means that as a team you must avoid being eliminated three times. That was exactly the fate of 3.0, much to their great distaste. It would be by the Bravados that 3.0 would be sent back to the bottom of the tag pool.
        September would bring the always exciting King of Trios tournament. For two consecutive years, 3.0 had competed with fellow Canadian El Generico. Since Wink had far too much pride in his Chikarabermetrics creations they would enter into the tournament with their new partner Gran Akuma. The trio had functioned well together in the summer and was looking like they had put their past behind them. They had even begun to use the fan created nickname of “BooyAkuma.” Like the previous years 3.0 would make a first round exit as they were defeated by the nefarious tactics of the Batiri. 3.0 would make another appearance that weekend in the hysterical comedy match on night 3. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly encourage it.
        Resting in October, the boys made their return to a Chikara ring in Chicago in November. Another four way elimination match would give them an opportunity not to lose points this time, but work towards gaining three again. Unlike their last elimination match this one would fall into their favour as they made the last two eliminations. One match would secure the Canucks two necessary points. Later in November they would be part of Team Chikara in the 2012 rendition of the Cibernetico. Lasting deep into the match 3.0 eliminated the Young Bucks before being eliminated themselves. It was a strong showing for the team and would put the confidence in them they needed to gain their third point on IPPV to close out the season. With three points it would mean Shane and Scott could challenge for the CdP again in 2013.
        3.0 were a team known for a long time for their antics and comedy styling. The year of 2012 showed how serious they could be, and what competition truly meant to them. Thank you for taking the time to read The Dark Match today! Remember to tell your friends about me and always come back because you never know when I'll have something new available. Next up will be the 2012 recap of Delirious and his haunting of UltraMantis Black. Make sure to give me a follow on twitter @MurrayDarkMatch and I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. I promise my next entry will be much sooner than this one! Until then, keep wrestling fun.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Colony: Extremely Annoying

        Hello everyone and welcome back to the Dark Match! I just want to tell you that if you missed it there is a interview from Gran Akuma just below this blog discussing his match with Johnny Gargano fromJust Shadows in the Fog. Thanks again to Akuma for being so kind and providing his thoughts on the match. Today's blog brings us to the recapping of the second March event, Watchmaker. This show brought us the fallout from the tag title affair, as well as placed Jigsaw in a match where it would be much more difficult to run away from Mr. Quackenbush. There were also a few surprises along the way that made this event quite the gem. In addition to all this was a QWEST showcase match between Eddie Graves and Oliver Grimsley. If you want more from Grimsley you can check out his work from National Pro Wrestling Day on the afternoon card. Now onto the first match from Watchmaker!

The Watchmaker  March 10, 2013

Colony Extreme Force (Soldier Ant, Arctic Rescue Ant, Missile Assault Ant and Orbit Adventure Ant) versus The Batiri (Kodama, Obariyon, Kobald and Ophidian)
        The previous event, Just Shadows in the Fog, was the debut of Soldier Ant's new teammates. Most people were under the impression of the team members would to be chosen by Soldier. That wasn't what came to be. Instead three new ants with quite flamboyant personalities and ring attire were assigned by the Director of Fun to be the new comrades of Soldier. What was witnessed the prior night however, demonstrated that his new ants were far more concerned with themselves than with Soldier. That was no different here. For much of the match Soldier Ant was left in the ring to attempt to defend himself, but the Dark Army would not be merciful simply based off of the incompetence of their opponents. While the Colony Extreme Force proved again that they are capable of triple team maneuverings, they completely disregarded Soldier Ant. These three characters, who look more like action figures than wrestlers, proved that it was their names that counted above all other things. If you have seen the match than you already know how often they say them. Attention seeking from the crowd with one another lead Soldier to be left in the ring with Ophidian and forced to tap out. The sweetness of the win was likely short lived for Ophidian as he was finally confronted by Amasis who did not waste his opportunity to punish the Snake and drove him into the mat. Ophidian attempted to mist Amasis with his venom, but was unsuccessful and chased from the ring.

Jakob Hammermeier versus Hallowicked
        Hallowicked's singles success continued the evening prior, while Tim Donst continued to sabotage Jakob's chances at being Young Lions Cup champion. Jakob still wore his cut up tights, courtesy of Veronica from the night before. Notably, he was also alone at ringside tonight. It doesn't appear that Donst is interested in crossing Hallowicked again. This would also stand as a opportunity for Jakob to take revenge on Hallowicked the wrestler, the man who put Tim into the state that he is in currently. All Jakob simply wants is his trainer and best friend back. The same aggression witnessed during Jakob's match with Gram Akuma the month prior was on exhibition again. But even fueled by his hatred towards the Nightmare Warrior wasn't enough to capture a victory. Hallowicked bested Jakob, but the kid is beginning to stand firmly on his own.

Mr. Touchdown Mark Angelosseti versus assailANT
        assailANT wanted this match to be for the Young Lions Cup, but his age exceeded the twenty-five year limit. It would then stand as a set up match from assailANT who would then go on to challenge Mr. Touchdown in Wrestling is Fun for the Banana Championship. Big Blue put his best antennae forward in this match showcasing his new repertoire of moves; the Rolling GTS and the Chikara Special: Blue. It wasn't Mr. Touchdown's love for cheating that cost him this encounter but instead his constant showboating. He physically could handle assailANT, but ultimately overconfidence caused him to be caught by a big knee and be forced into a submission.

Fire Ant and Mike Quackenbush versus Jigsaw and the Shard
        With nowhere to run how would Jigsaw handle a much more intimate encounter with his mentor and old tag partner? By controlling the pace of the match. In Tampa, Jigsaw could manipulate his encounters with Mike because of his ability to tag out to another team besides Shard. With limited options, Jig decided his best bet would be to focus his attention on Fire Ant. Whenever Mike would get anywhere near the ring, Jigsaw would make sure that he was tossed to the outside. Mike and Fire Ant's game plan seemed pretty simple: hit The Pieces of Hate as quickly as they good from the opening bell. Mike pulled out a Quackendriver III before the match had even hit the one minute mark. Fire Ant, the Shard and Jigsaw have history dating back into last year. It was at Under the Hood that Jigsaw planted Fire Ant with a brainbuster but pulled him from the mat during the pin. As well Fire Ant had his ankle injured at the cruel hands of the Shard. This all came flooding back when Fire Ant dropped Shard with a Beach Breaker. He could have won the match for himself and Mike but instead pulled Shard from the mat. This lead to him being targeted again and forced to tap out. As it stands the dream team of Shard and Jigsaw have in one way or another bested Mike's ramshackle teams every time.

Archibald Peck versus Tim Donst
        This rematch is due to Tim kicking Archie rather blatantly below the belt in February. As is the usual now Tim was accompanied to the ring by his ragtag band of misfits: Jakob and Veronica. There was a rather intense brawl that began outside of the ring and moved around the bleachers and crowd. Once in the ring, the action was quite back and forth. Also, mimicking the events on commentary the previous night, Steve Weiner was enamoured with Veronica. At one point in the match Veronica made her way into the ring to assist Tim. She was accidentally hit by her old partner Archie and collapsed to the mat. Steve rushed to Veronica's aid. Once ensuring that she was okay, he viciously assaulted Archie and thereby had Tim disqualified. It would seem that Tim is collecting a unusual following.

Green Ant, Gran Akuma, Scott Parker, Shane Matthews and Dasher Hatfield versus Max Smashmaster, Blaster McMassive, Icarus, Johnny Gargano and Sugar Dunkerton
        Originally slated for this match was Saturyne but was replaced by Green Ant when his title shot was moved into May. So many of the participants of this are coming off of singles or tag matches with one or multiple members of the other team. The Devastation Corporation lost to 3.0 and Johnny Gargano lost to Gran Akuma. That would leave Green Ant, Sugar D, Dasher and Icarus to play the wild cards. The woes continued for F.I.S.T as there is a rift between Sugar D and Gargano. It has been proven that Icarus can work together with Chuck Taylor and Sugar. It would almost seem like Sugar and Chuck can maintain the same space without causing too much trouble despite Chuck's often colourful remarks. When Sugar and Johnny get together however, there is no chance of co-habitation. During a attempted dive Johnny actually tripped Sugar. Then later in the match, Sugar accidentally struck Johnny leading to the ultimate loss of their team. If Gargano didn't try and force Sugar to cheat he wouldn't be constantly in the compromising positions he is.

        Well that wraps things up for the month of March. Two very enjoyable shows with bucket loads of action and all sorts of storyline development. I hope you enjoyed the read and I certainly know I enjoy bringing this stuff to you. Next blog with be a 2012 recap! Then I will move onto the Wrestlecon showing from April. All kinds of fun ahead so be sure to tell your friends all about me, give me a follow @MurrayDarkMatch on twitter and remember to keep wrestling fun.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Words From a Warrior

 Hello one and all and welcome back to The Dark Match! Today I bring you something very special and something that I am very excited to provide. Back in March, Gran Akuma had a amazing match with one Johnny Gargano. Now you may remember that it was Mr. Gargano who ousted Akuma from F.I.S.T. Well I was able to get a few comments from Gran Akuma about his match with Johnny from March! Enjoy...

1.How many hours of wrestling "tape" do you watch per week? In the weeks leading up to your encounter with Gargano how many matches of his did you study to analyse his in ring style?
  It's funny, I actually have somewhat of a reputation as a borderline obsessive the point that even other wrestlers give me a hard time about it. I started following wrestling in Japan and Mexico seriously in 1998, so my collection is pretty big. I have literally hundreds of old VHS tapes, probably more DVDs, and with MP4s becoming the norm, I have a 2 TB external hard drive I'm filling up with stuff from SMV. I'd estimate that I watch upwards of 20 hours of wrestling per week. With Johnny, I watched more iPPVs than anything. Johnny's everywhere these days, and 2013 Johnny is a different animal than the Johnny I wrestled in DGUSA years ago. 

2.I know you are a great student of the wrestling "game" so to speak, how to you evaluate yourself and decide what type of arsenal you want to take into the ring against a fairly versatile opponent like Johnny?
  Like I said, Johnny has evolved (pun intended) quite a bit over the past few years. I've been able to make the comeback I have in the past year or so because I'm honest with myself, and I had to be willing to evolve too. I was able to do what I did in the match with Johnny because I stepped up my game. I filled in the gaps, got rid of the elements that didn't work, and made myself into a more complete wrestler. Johnny Gargano is arguably the top guy in the indies right now. To get in there and hang with the best, you have to rise to their level.

3.What were the last thoughts you had before your entrance music started and you walked out to the ring for your match?
  Honestly, I wasn't nervous. I should have been, because everything I went through coming back was to get to that point. It was my chance to show I could still gang with the top guys. My confidence is at an all time high these days. I came through the curtain and tore my robe off ready to take on the world.

4.During the match you had taken a fair amount of punishment (a super-kick, cheetah swipe, lawn dart,) how do you keep yourself composed when you are beginning to feel the fatigue of a match?
By that point, it becomes very primal. Adrenalin takes over. When you're in the heat of battle, you feel indestructible. The next day is a whole other story...

5.How satisfying was it to bring Johnny's chest down onto your knees for the Tenchi Crash?
  It was the exclamation point on the statement I wanted to make. After being labeled a weak link, after being written off by wrestlers, promoters, and even fans... I finally showed them all I was back and better than ever.

6.Now that you have exacted a small amount of revenge on Johnny what is your next step in your history with F.I.S.T?
  I think that chapter of my life is over. F.I.S.T. seems to be a thing of the past. I'm excited to move on to bigger things.

        I don't think I will be able to thank Gran Akuma enough for his insight into his match with Johnny Gargano! Thanks for stopping by The Dark Match to check this out and keep your eyes open because The Watchmaker recap is coming soon.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Well That Was Awkward...


 Hello one and all and thank you for returning to the Dark Match your premier source of Chikara story line news. In March Chikara continued their plan for world domination as they made their way down into Florida for the first time. The first show, titled Just Shadows in the Fog, presented itself as a bit of evening of redemption. Mike Quackenbush would be stepping into the ring with his once great protege Jigsaw and Gran Akuma would finally get his singles opportunity to face off with Johnny Gargano. There were also two championship matches on tap for what would make up a glorious evening of wrestling. So let us get right into the action!

Just Shadows In The Fog  March 9, 2013

Mike Quackenbush and Green Ant vs the Batiri (Kobald and Kodama) vs JigShard vs F.I.S.T (Icarus and Sugar D.)
        I was shocked that this match came first on the card, but when you want to start a show off right, there would be no better way. This match contained so many different fragments of stories. Mike was still hesitant towards his old partner who continues in his ruthless ways. As well, Sugar and Icarus were having their issues in February but they were beginning to show signs of progress. Icarus doesn't want to give the impression that Sugar is beginning to rub off on him so he takes as many opportunities to show his rudo under tones as often as possible. Last month, Mike teamed with Hallowicked and Frightmare in a losing endeavour against the Gekido. His continual partner roulette doesn't seem to be working for him. Green Ant is a fine mat technician but he and Mike have little chemistry together. Jigsaw and Shard are building momentum very quickly as a tag team. Any time Mike stepped into the ring Jigsaw was on his way out. Even though Jig wants to talk trash to Mike he isn't interested in besting him in wrestling contest but rather antagonizing him. At different points of the match Jig picked away at Green Ant between other teams tags, taunting Mike to enter into the ring. Only when Mike was completely vulnerable did Jigsaw give his attack. Despite being assaulted by Jigsaw and Shard, Green Ant continued his submission dominance forcing Kobald to tap out. Unfortunately for the makeshift technicos, Jigsaw, with the assistant from the ropes, pinned Mike. This would leave the Dream Team to possibly dispose of the confused duo of Icarus and Sugar. As many problems as F.I.S.T seem to have there are definite moments of great cohesion. Last month Icarus punished Sugar for fooling around too much. With a more composed Sugar, Icarus was a completely different tag partner. We saw both members in purple F.I.S.T tights attempting to rally the crowd. They even picked up the final fall with a tandem muscle buster. Things will be interesting moving forward.

Gran Akuma vs Johnny Gargano
        This is Gran Akuma's first singles contest with Johnny after he was removed from F.I.S.T in 2010. Akuma had taken his revenge on Chuck Taylor and Icarus already so Gargano is his last member of F.I.S.T to conquer. Coming into the match, Johnny didn't seem to be very concerned with losing, in fact his main focus was how old Akuma is. Age aside, it didn't take Akuma long to remind Johnny that he has upped his power game recently and can throw vicious strikes as well as utilize high impact maneuvers. Gargano was not without his cunning though. He proved why F.I.S.T reached King of Trios 2012 final. It truly came down to who could out work the other man and could go deeper into their arsenal of devastating moves. At the end it was clear that Akuma was the ring veteran, being able to avoid more of Johnny's assault than vice-verse. This evening Akuma prevailed and took at least a small amount of revenge on Johnny Gargano.

Archibald Peck vs Obariyon
        After last months monumental win for Archie he has finally been able to leave behind his past discretion with Mr. Touchdown. On the road to new singles accomplishments, he starts with the rather large test of Obariyon of the Batiri. Typically a tag team specialist with Kodama, this would stand as a opportunity for Obariyon to prove his singles worth as well. This must have been a first time encounter for these two as Archie was a little timid around the demon. It didn't take long however for him to get his heart into things. While comical, Archie showed a lot of cunning in the match. He used multiple tactics to wear Obariyon down instead of having to physically contend with him. Archie would need this because, as always, Obariyon was accompanied by Ophidian at ring side. The numbers game was against Archie, but he was able to overcome the obstacle. There was even a move debut for Archie you will have to check out the DVD or MP4 to see.

Ophidian Promo
        Ophidian came back out to the ring after the previous match. Bringing the Batiri with him, he wasn't empty handed as along with him was a new serpent scepter and Amasis' old mask. Ophidian recapped his actions at High Noon against his former partner. He believed that by taking Amasis' mask as well as Heiracon's that he captured their souls. Using that power, he was brought to his present state of being. Ophidian believed that at Under the Hood the soul of Amasis reappeared and has been haunting him, and he would like this to end. Using his scepter and an incantation, Ophidian tried to rid himself again of Amasis. Instead the true Amasis rose to meet him in the ring. Leveling the Batiri, Amasis chased the cowering Ophidian from the building.

Sean Waltman vs Hallowicked
        As of recently Hallowicked has been on the singles trail a bit as he bested Chuck Taylor in February. The way it appears to stand, Wink is looking for wrestlers who prove themselves as dominant singles wrestlers to challenge for the Grand Championship. Who better to prove your ability against than one part of the most popular stables in WWE history? That might have been Sean's greatest downfall. He hasn't been predominantly a singles wrestler. Knowing that a Grand Championship may be on the other side of a singles victory over his opponent Hallowicked put it all out there to down the still wily veteran.

Fire Ant, assailANT, Dasher Hatfield and Saturyne vs. Soldier Ant, Missile Assault Ant, Arctic Rescue Ant and Orbit Adventure Ant
        Originally, everyone believed that after February Soldier would be able to choose his own partners for his upcoming confrontations in March. Well Wink put a damper on that idea and later changed his plan. So who were we as fans treated to in Tampa? Even more ants! Wink's plan culminated in the Colony Extreme Force of Missile Assault, Arctic Rescue and Orbit Adventure Ant. They most certainly looked like their larger than life titles with very elaborate ring gear. It would even appear as they fell in line for Soldier Ant that Wink may have indeed found Soldier Ant his army to command. If you thought you might forget which ant was which, well they certainly were a very vocal trio for their first match, constantly shouting their own names. As a trio they worked rather well together. With Soldier though they were less than a adequate team. The move sets of the new trio definitely suited their gimmick; Orbit Adventure Ant walks like he is in zero gravity, Missile Assault Ant runs with his arms like rockets and Arctic Rescue Ant does a snowboard stretch. Moving into the future, Soldier would have to take control of his team if he was going to succeed alongside them. New trio aside, Soldier Ant and Fire Ant are still unable to face each other in the ring. When they do decide to lock up, they know each other so well that most attempts at an advantage end in a stalemate. Wink should recognize they make better partners than adversaries.

Jakob Hammermeier vs Mr. Touchdown
        Jakob really needs to get himself a new best,friend. With hopes of Disney World following his match, he still holds onto what shards of friendship he may still have with Tim. Tim still tries to further himself from Jakob, now having his newest follower Veronica cut up Jakob's ring attire. Veronica has even gone to the lengths of writing her own high school grade poetry for Donst. Pre-match angst aside, there still was the Young Lions Cup in contention this evening.  In the ring it is becoming rather clear that Jakob's frustration with Tim is translating into a much more aggressive style. He has even began developing a rather powerful knockout punch. Tim's presence at ringside was more of a hindrance for Jakob than an aid as usual. Veronica's presence at ringside was more of a distraction for Steve “the Turtle” Weiner on commentary. There might be a budding romance there. In the end with an assist from Veronica and Donst, Mr. Touchdown retained his YLC over Jakob.

3.0 (Scott Parker and Shane Matthews) vs The Devastation Corporation (Max Smashmaster and Blaster McMassive)
        This now counts as 3.0's second occupancy of the Promised Land. They have faced the Dev. Corp in the Wrestling is Awesome promotion and suffered a loss at the rather large hands of the brutes. Whether we are in the territories or not, the fact remains that 3.0 had two mountains to overcome. Smashmaster and McMassive are rudos to the absolute bone. The first fall came to these behemoths as Smashmaster held Matthews in the corner and had him watch as McMassive powerbombed Scott into a pin. That does not mean we need to count our newest champs out. Shane and Scott understood that to take down a mountain, you must first crumble the base. Their superior speed allowed for them to take the second fall away from the Dev. Corp when Smashmaster attempted a moonsault and Matthews capitalized quickly on his miss. As the match progressed, 3.0 wore down the monsters with continual kicks and knees to the head. In the end, it would be a mistake by Sidney Bakabella attempting to cheat using one of the tag belts that would propel 3.0 into their first successful defense of the titles.

Eddie Kingston vs Amazing Kong
        If there is one aspect of Chikara that I love it is their ability to allow female wrestlers to work with the men to full capacity. Nobody holds the likes of Amazing Kong, Sara Del Rey or Saturyne back from showing their ability against male opponents. As well, they don't force the men to limit themselves while in the ring with the ladies. This is equality in wrestling at it's finest. Now that I am off my soap box, this is a non title match between two users of the back fist. Before the match began, you could sense some paranoia in the Grand Champ. With all that has happened between Eddie and Wink, Eddie has been holding onto his belt a little tighter lately. Early on, this agitation came through as Eddie began throwing chairs against the side of the ring and ricocheting them off the ropes. He also was fixated on his hand, constantly twisting his wrist and trying to adjust himself. Kong brought her set of striking abilities and Eddie his. The match came down to who could outlast the others massive blows. In this contest, it was Eddie. Post match, Eddie became perturbed by Gavin announcing his win and threw more chairs. His feud with Wink is beginning to affect him physically as well as psychologically.

        This was quite the card from Chikara! We were introduced to three news ants as well as having two different title defenses. As always, I want to thank you for taking the time to visit the Dark Match and remember to tell your friends. The next blog will feature the happenings of the Orlando show from the next evening. After that, it is up to you guys who you want me to recap from 2012! Head down to the bottom of the page and check out the poll and make your voice heard. Follow me on twitter @MurrayDarkMatch and always remember to keep wrestling fun.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Dream Team

Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw

        Gosh does it feel good to be back and writing again! Hello CHIKArmy and as always I am sorry about how long it has been since posts. It feels like it has been awhile but really it has just been awhile since I delved into the vault that was 2012 to do a story line recap. Once I get this blog finished I will start in on the Florida shows from this year. Then there will be some more space for me to go back into 2012 and continue my recaps from last year. Today I am bringing you the year that was for Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw. These two have been with the company from the doors opening. When someone thinks of the perennial Chikara stars, Mike and Jigsaw easily come into mind. Last year was quite the turbulent time for them considering their prior status as holders of the tag belts. I have decided to pair them in the same blog because so much of what happened between these two men surrounded each other. So without further adieu lets get into it!

Mike Quackenbush

CHIKARA Debut - The Renaissance Dawns  May 25th 2002
Affiliations: Quackensaw (Jigsaw and Mike Quackenbush)
                 Black T-shirt Squad (Quackenbush, Christian York, Reckless Youth and Don Montoya)
                 Superfriends (Chris Hero and Mike Quackenbush)
                 Shane Storm and Mike Quackenbush
                 Team Frightening (Mike Quackenbush, Frightmare and Hallowicked)
                 Sweet N' Sour International (Larry Sweeney, ShareCropper, Mano Metalico, Crossbones, Rorschach,                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Claudio Castagnoli, Ultramantis Black, Hallowicked, Spyrazul, Mobius, Flex Fenom)
CHIKARA Debut - Young Lions Cup 1 2002
Affiliations: Conundrum (Jigsaw and Rorschach)
                 Toxic Trio (Jigsaw, Eddie Kingston and Jack Marciano)
                 Shanesaw (Shane Storm and Jigsaw)
                 The Future is Now (Jigsaw, Helios, Equinox and Lince Dorado)
                 Quackensaw (Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw)

        The opening of 2012 was a split for Mike and Jigsaw. While Jig was able to best the up and coming member of the Batiri, Kobald, Mike had his hands full of a different green character. Green Ant, who has been building his reputation as a submission grappler, and Mike had a hold for hold shoot-out to begin their year. The protege proved his worth and bested the Master of a Thousand Holds debuting his own variety of the Chikara Special, the Chikara Special: Green. Post match, Mike was rather upset and it seemed as though his emotions from losing the 12 Large Summit at the season 10 finale would carry over and he might take those out on Green Ant, he did not. Instead he shook his hand and left him to bask in the submission victory. For now, all things seemed to be okay between Mike and Jig, and Quackenbush was keeping himself composed. He would need it in the months to come.

        Branching out into the world, Chikara debuted in Long Island in February for their show Caught in a Spider's Den. Mike and Jigsaw were participating in a atomicos match with Fire and Soldier Ant against the always treacherous Batiri and BDK (at least what was left of the BDK, Tim Donst and Jakob Hammermeier). During what most could see was the final stretch of the match, one likely to be won by the technicos, Green Ant came out to the ring. That was followed up by Green Ant coming to the ring? This was a strange sight to behold, until the first tore off his mask revealing himself to be another ant. His comrades rushed the ring and five new masked faces assaulted the technicos. Only the locker room rushing to the aid of Mike, Jig and the Ants saved them from this new faction. Pictures surfaced only revealing three new ants and two other characters who vaguely resembled Mike and Jigsaw. These doppelgangers would reveal themselves to be 17 and the Shard.
        On Chikara's arrival to the Great White North in Vaughan, Canada, Mike and Jig were looking for revenge on the two masked assailants who attacked them on Long Island. As the match began, it took little time for the GEKIDO members to show that it was not only their look that resembled the Chikara favourites. First Mike was the victim of his own Quackendriver 3, and then Jigsaw was blasted in the face by a super-kick. Then it happened. While seated on the mat, 17 was able to manoeuvre himself behind Mike and put him into a very painful looking submission. Torquing the arm around 17 was able to make Mike tap and, in the process, broke his wrist. It took little time for GEKIDO to show Mike and Jig that they were more than new faces, they were a new threat.
        With a broken wrist, Mike was put onto the Chikara injured list for the rest of the Spring events. However, in classy style, that never stopped him from attending the shows in support of Jigsaw and the rest of the locker room. This attentiveness would allow him opportunities to observe the new GEKIDO stable and maybe figure out who was behind their masks. With Quack out of action, Jigsaw was able to focus on his singles advancement. With no system in place for who would be in line for the Grand Championship, Jig wanted to make sure he proved his singles worth and hopefully gain a title shot. Jig was able to best both Tim Donst and Icarus with his new super-brainbuster. It should be mentioned that he was one of the few who was able to escape the devious shoelace of Donst. Between those matches, he also helped the Colony defeat the GEKIDO at Hot Off the Griddle. It was during this match that Mike was on commentary with Gavin. One of the GEKIDO threw a deep arm drag and it got his gears turning. Mike jumped up from his post and rushed away ranting that he knew who the GEKDO were. He would reveal in a blog that the Swarm was Jose and the two Franks. These three gentlemen were once Wrestle Factory trainees but dropped out because they couldn't handle the rigorous methods of the the trainers. It would appear that the GEKDIO were trying to skip to the front of the Chikara line after quitting their ranks. Soon after in a blog, the Shard would reveal that he trained with Jigsaw before Jig was recruited by Mike to the Wrestle Factory.
        May brought Chikara's anniversary events and a once in a life time opportunity for Jigsaw. His singles competitions with Donst and Icarus did not go by the sometimes drowsy eye of the Director of Fun. Jig was awarded his title opportunity on evening two in New York. First, he would stand across from Eddie in a atomicos match in Easton PA. As he did in the past, Jig was able to end the match and pin Eddie with his super-brainbuster. This was the first time in 2012 that Eddie was pinned. A strong message going into New York for their title affair. Both men gave every ounce of blood and sweat that they could. In one of Jigsaw's finest matches he fought Eddie with cunning and guile. The wrestling enigma used almost every move in his arsenal, but it just wasn't enough the best the heavy weight beast that is Eddie Kingston. Post match Eddie and Jig had a beautiful moment of respect, mending any tears in their friendship that the match may have caused.
        After those two blockbuster events, Chikara rolled into Philly for their second IPPV event. Jigsaw was billed to stand with Eddie and the Colony in a match against the GEKIDO. Prior to the festivities, the Swarm assaulted Fire Ant and injured his leg. This would mean that Jig, Eddie and the Colony would be one man short against the doppelganger squad. As things began, it would appear as though the technicos might be able to defend themselves in the odd man assault. They wouldn't need to though because Mike returned from his injury unannounced! Hitting the ring with fury, Mike hit the very man who put him out of competition with a springboard drop kick. Back from injury and without missing a beat, Mike and Jig were hitting tag offence like they hadn't been apart for a moment. After defeating the rudos, Jig, Eddie and the Colony began to make their way to the back leaving Mike and 17 in the ring. Crouching down Mike whispered something mysterious into the ear of 17 before breaking his fingers! Mike took his eye for a eye, or in this case some fingers.
        After suffering a defeat at the IPPV and losing their ring general, GEKIDO did not appear to be the dominating force that they were a few months prior. In the early summer heat, Chikara visited Syracuse and Jigsaw finally had a opportunity to face his doppelganger one on one. Like previous matches the two had, Shard attempted several times to put Jig away with his own moves. A snake can not be poisoned by his own venom however and Jigsaw was able to defeat the Shard with his high flying ability. Shard had developed a strong striking offence but Jigsaw's lucha background enabled him to best his opponent. Oddly, after the match the Shard attempted to shake the hand of Jigsaw, but he was slighted as Jig passed him over.
        July came and went with little to say for the dynamic team, but August promised to be a more intriguing month. It would seem that 17 had recovered from having his fingers broken by Quack and was ready to return to action. His first obstacle would be Jigsaw in Everett, MA. 17 wrestled a smart match and if he had chosen to stay within the Chikara rule system he might have won the match. Instead, he decided to drive his leg into the nether regions of Jigsaw and disqualify himself. A reminded that the GEKIDO aren't around to win matches but to destroy the Chikara regulars. Mike ran out to make the save but 17 had already fled. This blatant disrespect for competition heated Mike's blood and prepared him for his match against the Shard and 17 the next evening. When the bell rang in Indianapolis, nothing was going to stop Mike from taking his revenge on 17 and the Shard. The GEKIDO tried their best to cut Jigsaw off from Mike and work over his leg but it wasn't enough to secure a victory. Instead, Mike made his statement to the world. Getting 17 in the ring with him alone he drove him into the mat four times using each of his signature Quackendrivers in order. Mike didn't make any attempts to win the match though, his only intent was to cripple and end the career of 17. The referee had no choice but to disqualify Mike for using excessive force. While the crowd was heartily in the corner of Mike, Jigsaw was furious. He screamed at Mike, telling him how it wasn't necessary to destroy 17 the way he did. Since they were disqualified Mike and Jig collected no points, even though 17 was clearly left unable to continue.
        A wedge was beginning to come between Mike and Jigsaw. The once strong tag partners were no longer seeing eye to eye. Instead a rage was building in Mike, a rage that saw him leave 17 without a career. King of Trios brought Mike, Jigsaw and Manami Toyota face to face with combatANT, deviANT and Soldier Ant in round one. Victory came to the technico side after some aerial assaults from one of the best female wrestlers of all time, Toyota. After their victory, while Jig's back was turned, Mike grabbed combatANT around the neck and gave him a strong jerk. He left him laying on the mat motionless. Once Jig realized what had happened he was again furious with Mike. He reminded him that tomorrow was round two and that he needed to focus. Mike's reality was slipping and instead of winning matches, he was destroying careers. On their way out for their round 2 match up, Jig and Mike were trying to rally themselves as a team. Mike promised Jig he would stay focused. The match appeared as though the duo was working the way they had when they won the belts: efficiently with one mind. That was until Mike accidentally hit Jig was a palm strike in the corner, removing him from the match. Mike was then subject to the onslaught of the Sendai girls and was pinned. Jig wasn't there to pick him up, he had already left down the ramp.
        Despite the obvious objections from Jigsaw, Mike continued his antagonizing of the GEKIDO. He began posting blogs asking deviANT and Shard which parts of their body they wanted to have broken. Mike would have to wait until November before he and Jig could get back into the ring with Shard and deviANT. As the match started in Cleveland, it would again look like Mike and Jig were on the same page. The tag offence was coming easily and Mike looked focused on gaining a point towards tag contention. As the match wore on, Mike's concentration slipped from victory to crippling either deviANT or Shard. His need for vengeance again cost himself and Jig points. Jig was furious, he screamed at Quack that you can't gain three points with this kind of attitude. His patience had ran out for Mike.
        One of the great Chikara annual events also came in November, the Cibernetico. Though neither Mike or Jigsaw had a match on the card, what transpired there would change Chikara for the foreseeable future. After his match, the Shard was taking his frustrations with Mike out on Fire Ant trying to snap the ankle he helped injure back in June before CRex. Mike came out to make the save, but Jigsaw came out to make the save on Shard! Mike gets on the microphone and explains to Jigsaw that while they might not agree about how to treat the GEKIDO, they are being torn apart. Mike asked Jig what needed to happen to fix their relationship. The crowd wanted them to hug it out but Jig answered by super-kicking his partner! Years of tagging together ended by a foot being launched into a throat. Jigsaw was under the belief now that Shard and deviANT needed a mentor to guide them, not destroy them. Mike was finished with invaders and only wished to be done with GEKIDO, even if that meant going through his partner.
        Landing a super-kick on Mike set up a atomicos match at the season finale between Mike and the new Colony and Jigsaw and the GEKIDO. It was obvious from the the ringing of the bell that Mike was conflicted by his own actions. He didn't want to hurt Jigsaw but Jig had no such qualms. He was out to prove a point to Mike, that he too could senselessly injure his opponents. He used Mike's emotions to manipulate him while he assaulted the leg of Fire Ant. In the end GEKIDO stole a win from the technicos, but the ramifications were there. Mike and Jig had lost their friendship, but more importantly Jig had crossed over and became the new leader of GEKIDO.
        It was quite the tumultuous year for Mike and Jig. Two men who went from being partners and best friends to enemies. I could have never guessed that when the GEKIDO invaded they would tear about such a strong team. My next two blogs will cover the Florida shows from March, but after that I would like you guys to pick my next 2012 recap blog! There will be a poll at the bottom of the blog so please vote! As always, if you like my work tell your friends. Follow me on twitter @MurrayDarkMatch and always keep your passion for Chikara hot!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Promise Land


        Welcome back to the Dark Match for your second dose of Chikara's February 2013 debut weekend. If you look directly below there will be a recap of the first show from this weekend. Coming into day two, there are two very important matches featuring defenses of the Grand Championship and the Campeonatos de Parejas. As well, Mr. Touchdown was defending his Young Lions Cup. It was a day full of action and so many matches had title implications on the line. Lets jump right into the fun that was Chikara's second show from season 12... 

While the Dawn is Breaking  February 10, 2013

“Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti vs Saturyne
        Mark had competed the night previous, losing to Archibald Peck, but this was Saturyne's first chance in a Chikara ring in 2013. This match proved the amazing improvements she has been making over the past several months. It is clear her time spent in Wrestling is Fun is paying dividends right now. Saturyne showed her tenacity, taking the fight to Mr. Touchdown for a majority of the match. She debuted a few new moves, including a mighty powerful axe kick. Mark's main offense came from his obvious size and strength advantage. Saturyne showed her grit and even kicked out of a vicious elevated spine buster. Another interesting note is that Veronica was nowhere to be seen. After watching her boyfriend lose, and spear her into the turnbuckle, it didn't appear she was very interested anymore. Mark won the match cleanly, simply proving to be too much of a challenge for the fledgling Saturyne. There will be a rematch, and when it comes we will probably be looking at our first Lioness.

Gran Akuma vs Jakob Hammermeier
        It was still hard to look at poor Jakob after Donst cut off his hair. He was also still wearing the cut up shirt from the previous day. Jakob looked tortured and rightfully so. I can only imagine how long this verbal, physical and psychological abuse can continue from Tim before Jakob snaps. Gran Akuma was in a particularly good mood, he clapped along with the fans and even partook in the “wrestling!” chants. I guess time spent with 3.0 after gaining his contract has lightened his heart. Jakob showed some real fortitude in this match. He became frustrated after receiving chest kicks and almost knocked Akuma out with a wild punch. There was a real fire in Jakob's eye during the match as he picked up the upset victory. His days of being kicked like a pound puppy are coming to a close. We could see a real blitzkrieg from him soon.

Wink Promo
        Wink comes out to address a problem that has persisted in Chikara since last summer: Soldier Ant's insubordination. Out of all the Ants, Soldier is the one who has come out with the lowest standing since Wink mixed up the Colony and Swarm. Wink came out to let Soldier Ant know that when Chikara makes their debut in Florida that he would be captaining his own team.

Tim Donst vs Archibald Peck
        Archie is coming off his monumental victory over Mr. Touchdown from the previous evening. Jakob still accompanies Donst out to the ring, even after being emotionally and literally cut down. Even though Tim clearly despises the praises that Jakob gives him, he doesn't mind having his help when it comes to winning matches. Speaking of low people, it didn't take long until Veronica made her way out to ringside. The temptress sure isn't very subtle about her ways, Archie is back on top and that is where she wants to be. She might think twice about being near the ring because she ended up taking a stiff elbow from Donst, albeit a accidental one. Jakob found it to be rather hilarious, probably because Tim hurt someone who wasn't him. After punting Peck between the legs and giving him the DQ win, Tim decides to lecture Archie about his poor character and how sweet and beautiful Veronica is. In a strange move Donst actually leaves with Veronica. Again, Tim's actions alienate Jakob.

The Colony (Fire Ant, Green Ant, assailANT) vs F.I.S.T (Sugar Dunkerton, Icarus, Chuck Taylor)
        If you are assailANT, your life is pretty great right now fitting into the Colony. If you happen to be Sugar Dunkerton on the other hand...not so much. It would appear that every member of Colony Classic sans Soldier Ant, for good reason, has accepted assailANT. Again, there are moments in this match where you would think that Sugar is part of F.I.S.T. There is almost a dynamic that has grown between Icarus and Sugar. Almost. They still can't seem to agree on the proper mentality to enter a match with but once the action begins, Icarus seems to get caught up in everything and works rather well with Sugar. This can be seen when they hit a assisted shiranui and elbow drop combination. Icarus and Taylor obviously continue to be the great partners they have been for years. The Colony also show signs of improved trust in assailANT. They no longer need to invite him into the triple team drop kick, it just happens. Also, Green Ant who hasn't been regularly tagging with assailANT like Fire Ant has, is showing signs of fluidity with him. To top it all off assailANT, ended up having quite the surprise for Sugar Dunkerton to end the match. I won't spoil it for you, you'll have to watch to see.
        Post match Sugar Dunkerton gets a hold of a microphone and he has a few words for Mr. Dasher Hatfield who was on commentary. He starts off by mentioning that he started off in Easton with his friend Dasher. Sugar says that Dasher owes him after all of the feuds that they survived together. He's put on a smile while in F.I.S.T but things are starting to fall through. Now it has been no secret that Sugar doesn't like Mr. Touchdown, the man who took his spot in the Throwbacks. However, Dasher wasn't going to let him run his family member into the ground. Dasher left Sugar standing in the ring, and was not going to be making any apologies.

Dasher Hatfield vs Kobald
        After having words with Sugar in the ring moments before this match Dasher was in a foul mood. I'd also like to point out that Dasher had stopped bringing his bat to the ring, but it was present again with him tonight. Kobald was ordered to come out in this match and avenge his overlord Delirious, who lost to Dasher the previous night in Reading. Dasher showed a heightened amount of aggression in the match. This isn't the type of aggression where he wanted to release his anger after falling out with Sugar, he was almost toying with and torturing Kobald. At one point Dasher was bouncing Kobald's head off a turnbuckle. Not a very Dasher like manoeuvre. Delirious came out to the ring part way through the match, but was shaken off the apron by Dasher. After skulking around the ring and biding his time, he helped Kobald pick up the victory. After pinning Dasher, Kobald leaped into Delirious' arms. It was rather father and son reminiscent. Sugar came back out to help Dasher after his loss, but he ended up on his rear end. Dasher doesn't seem to want to settle his Sugar issues publicly, but somehow I can't see it going any other way.

Gekido (Jigsaw, Shard & deviANT) vs Team Frightening (Mike Quackenbush, Frightmare & Hallowicked)
        Mike seems to have finally realized the error of his actions from the previous season. In a prematch promo he admits that he lost himself last year and that means that he has lost many things that were dear to him. Unfortunately for the Gekido, the master of a thousand holds has not lost his temper. As the match started off deviANT was showcasing some of his fine striking. At the Geikdo's genesis last season their purpose was to duplicate the Colony and their movesets. As they have moved forward, assailANT has developed the most personality of his own. Now deviANT is beginning to join his ex-Gekido member in emerging with his own talents and abilities. There was still a lot of sentimentality and hesitation from Mike to Jigsaw. The Master of a Thousand Holds still seems to believe that there are remnants of good left in Jig. It wouldn't appear as such, Jigsaw almost didn't take the match seriously. He often times was toying with his opponent in the ring, mocking and ridiculing them. Both factions worked well together, but the Gekido side proved that they are growing ever closer together under the tutelage of Jigsaw. Shard and Jigsaw along with deviANT picked up the win over Team Frightning and continue on their path towards supremacy as the “dream team.”

Eddie Kingston vs Kevin Steen
        Gavin wasn't even able to get his announcements off before Eddie and Steen came brawling out from the back. This match was different from the others that they have shared previously in Chikara. Steen has focused less on his matches and more on the antagonism of Chikara and the morals that it has stood for. Eddie has played more the role of the hero defending his company and the beliefs on which it was founded. Neither man was in this particular role this evening. Kevin wrestled a much smarter match, focusing on the knee of Eddie and looking for a technical victory instead of one based simply off brute strength. After so many back and forth moments between these two about the company, it was refreshing for the match to go in this direction. Wink came out part way through the match to watch the events unfold live in front of his eyes. After a brutal contest, our Grand Champ retained and Wink seemed a little less than pleased. I can only imagine the cruelty that Wink has planned for Eddie now. Green Ant came out after the match and asked Eddie for a title shot based off his win the prior night. Eddie agreed and set the date for the next set of shows in Florida.

Ophidian Promo
        Ophidian comes out to the ring to rant that he isn't crazy and is wise to the plans of Amasis. He says that he can summon Amasis to the ring and will do so. His methods were a little less mystical than expected as he proceeded to attack fans with Amasis masks until the true Amasis revealed himself in the ring. Amasis taunted Ophidian enraging him further until Delirious and Kobald came out and dragged Ophidian into the back avoiding a confrontation.

3.0 (Scott Parker and Shane Matthews) vs The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson)
        Scott and Shane understand that it is a rare opportunity to attempt to return to the Promise Land twice. They have beaten both of their rivals, the Bravado Brothers and F.I.S.T, on their way back to earning a tag opportunity. The typically fun loving and easy going duo, who have teamed together for ten years, were beyond serious about this match . Matt and Nick are the constant professionals and ambassadors for tag team wrestling and they are never interested in losing matches. Much like the last bout, there was little shenanigans to be had in this match. Both teams fought hard the first two falls and each team gained one pin. The third and final fall was the longest of the three and the hardest fought. During the third fall, the technico locker room came out to ringside, lead by Gran Akuma, to cheer on 3.0. After dealing their second Sweet Taste O' Professionalism to the Bucks, the entire building thought that Bryce counted three. This was not the fact, and was evident when watching the MP4 version. This mistake only fired 3.0 up more and lead them to a very emotional submission victory. The eccentric Canadian duo brought the gold back home to Chikara and became only the second tag team to hold the belts twice.

        This was such a fun show with so much action and drama. Chikara really outdid themselves this year with two awesome shows to kick off the year. I have only heard good things about the Florida weekend and I anticipate the release of those MP4s greatly. Thanks as always for reading The Dark Match, it is always my pleasure to bring you guys my best. Never forget to tell your friends about me and send them here if they need to catch up on their Chikara! Follow me on twitter @MurrayDarkMatch and let me know how you think I am doing. Until next time, taker easy out there CHIKArmy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Bird is the Word

         Hello, hello, hello my CHIKArmy friends it is fabulous to be back! It has been quite the past couple of weeks with February debut shows coming out. As I said last time, I will be recapping current story lines before I continue my work on 2012. I will finish 2012 however, I still want this blog to be a complete story compendium. It is important to keep the blog updated with prior shows for anyone who will be attending a current one, so my intent is to have blogs up before the next set of shows. This then will be supplemented with last years history. If all goes well everything should be cleaned up soon! Back to our true intent of the day, the February shows! I was so happy that Smart Mark Video got these  shows out. I was in a real need for my Chikara fix. So unlike my previous work, these blogs will be broken down match by match instead of as one massive text column. So without further adieu, let us break into 2013! First up was the fantastic event...

All the Agents and the Superhuman Crew  February 9, 2013

deviANT and Soldier Ant vs Fire Ant and assailANT
        DeviANT is still pretty impressed with himself for pinning assailANT last year at the finale event. He tells Soldier that if he listens, good things will come to the team. Someone aught to remind him that it was a Shard double stomp that put assailANT out, not a maneuver of his own. Soldier still isn't having any of this and tells him “Enough” and walks away. This is literally the only word I have heard him use that wasn't “Sir yes sir” or “Sir no Sir.” Unlike the odd Swarm pairing, Fire Ant and assailANT are getting along much better. There doesn't seem to be any animosity between the two and they're working well together. This didn't stop there from being a lot of tension in the match. Fire Ant and Soldier Ant still refuse to face each other. At one point they sat back to back in the centre of the ring in protest of the match. At certain points, when they did choose to engage with each other in the ring, they still worked like a tandem against their opponents. Finally Soldier became upset with deviANT who kept attempting to steal the win from him and put on his coat and left. Fire and assailANT put deviANT away with a Colony classic Ants Go Marching. Bryce was right, it as a good thing Soldier didn't see it. It's obvious Fire Ant hasn't moved on yet, he still remembers his old tag partner. He does accept assailANT though, and that will continue to cause tension.

Dasher Hatfield vs Delirious
        This match was over before Dasher or Delirious were able to get their full ring attire off! Dasher was still wearing his jersey when he scored a quick roll-up victory. Delirious is obviously distracted by his loss from last year, and his focus isn't on anyone else other than Ultramantis. Delirious' embarrassment caused him and Kobald, who joined him post match, to assault Dasher, finally being sent to the back. If he wants to win matches he is going to have to move past Ultramantis. Another fun note, this was the first time I can remember Dasher bringing his bat to ringside.

The Batiri (Kodama and Obariyon) vs Los Ice Creams (Ice Cream Jr and El Hijo del Ice Cream)
        Pure comedy enjoyment at its finest between these two teams aided by Kobald sticking around to do commentary. Something most people don't give the Batiri credit for is their comedy matches. These guys are more than blood thirst demons from the underworld, they've got a sense of humour too. Both sides showed off some new offence, proving their interest in gaining three points towards title contention. The Batiri picked up the win, but it easily could have gone to the cool duo of cones.

Ophidian vs Frightmare
        Ophidian is a man haunted by his past. Amasis revealing himself at Under the Hood has clearly rattled his old teammate. Ophidian spends his entrance screaming at fans, claiming that Amasis is dead and that he isn't crazy. He goes as far as to try and tear masks off of good paying CHIKArmy members, trying to prove that Amasis wasn't underneath. Once Ophidian stopped harassing fans and entered the ring to face Frightmare they had a very competitive and athletic contest. Ophidian lost however after being distracted by someone by the ring entrance. He starred and shook like he had seen a ghost. It would seem that Ophidian is starting to regret his decision to blast Amasis in the face with his poisonous mist.

Gekido (Jigsaw and Shard) vs F.I.S.T (Icarus and Sugar Dunkerton)
        Here we have a showdown between two relatively new teams. Jigsaw and Shard are choosing to team together, Jigsaw believing that the Shard needs his guidance. On the other side of the ring stood two men who are being forced to work together, but that doesn't stop Icarus from trying to work things out with Sugar. I know, I'm as shocked as you are. Icarus is taking his wrestling career more seriously as of late, explaining to Sugar that he hasn't been spending his time fooling around, but attending a clinic held by Marty Jannetty. Icarus seems to want to take his tag situation seriously. It isn't that strange since he has held the belts and knows what it takes to hold onto them. Jigsaw and the Shard too have been spending their off season training. Their moves are crisp and they work tags like a team who have been working together for years. JigShard worked together succinctly the entire match, but there were spots of glimmer for Sugar and Icarus. It would almost appear that they could have won the contest. That was until Icarus left Sugar to take a beating at the hands of JigShard. Icarus was trying to teach Sugar a lesson, to stop fooling around and wrestle. It will be interesting moving on to see if Sugar stops dancing, if Icarus will willingly tag with him. Jigsaw and the Shard took the victory and their first point. They are a dangerous team, who in a short time have gained a working knowledge of each other other tag teams have spent years developing.

Green Ant vs Eddie Kingston
        Green Ant is insulted that everyone would think that he would die and get pummelled by the Grand Champion. He isn't looking for any sympathy or pity, he just wants to prove that he is worthy of a title shot. From what he showed in this match, he fully well could deserve one. Green Ant wrestled a smart contest, he knows about Eddie's knee and focus on that area. It helps when you are a submission specialist like he is to be able to work over body parts. That being said, Eddie proved why his has held the champion's belt for well over a year. Eddie used his raw power to utilize a wide variety of suplexes and strikes to combat Green Ants submission techniques. At one point of the match Kevin Steen, who was to be Eddie's opponent the next night, came out for some pre-match antagonism. Caught in the cross fire was Wink Vavassuer, the Director of Fun. Eddie accidentally struck Wink while attempting to assault Steen. Wink's ire towards Eddie was already great, and his accidental attack only fuelled the hate. After the match Wink told Eddie he would be defending his title the next night against Steen, a match originally scheduled to be a non-title contest. Green Ant showed a lot of heart in the match and a lot of cunning. His improvements have been great and if he continues to mature as a wrestler there will be nothing stopping him from becoming a light weight power house fusion.

Kevin Steen and the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson vs 3.0 (Scott Parker and Shane Matthews) and Gran Akuma
        This match would serve as a prelude to the two title contests to be contended the next afternoon. The anticipation for the next day would build, as neither the Young Bucks or 3.0 spent much time in the ring interacting. Instead the majority of the match was spent by the rudo squad working over Gran Akuma. I don't want to admit it, but the Wink select trio of 3.0 and Gran Akuma have began working as a efficient unit. Since Steen and the Bucks don't regularly tag, they were not using triple team offense the way 3.0 and Akuma did. The moments when 3.0 were in the ring with the Bucks were mainly dominated by the Chikara favorites, 3.0.

Chuck Taylor vs Hallowicked
        While there isn't a known feud between F.I.S.T and the Spectral Envoy there was a sense of a grudge match between these two, likely because of the loss F.I.S.T took at the hands of the Envoy in the semi finals of King of Trios 2012. Since the introduction of the Grand Championship belt singles matches of this variety help gauge the next contender for Eddie. Both of these men fought hard and utilized striking and throw offences to try and gain the win. Go back as far as the 12 Large Summit, it was evident that Hallowicked was a strong singles competitor. He continued to prove this advancing passed Chuck. As a side note, this match also featured a much more serious version of Taylor, which is a pleasure to see.

Tim Donst Promo
        Really have to appreciate the dig Gavin takes at Donst before he steals the microphone. Donst is clearly still upset about losing to Eddie in the main event of Under the Hood. He doesn't believe that wrestling is cool, fun or an art, just pain. Tim still believes that he could be the salvation of Chikara Pro, but people don't seem to get it. Jakob thinks he understands Tim though, and he still says he wants to be just like his BFF. Donst asks if he really wants to be like him, and Jakob answers yes. Tim took out a pair of scissors and cut Jakob's beautiful hair as Hammermeier begged him to stop! This was honestly uncomfortable to watch, more uncomfortable than Mr. Touchdown belly flopping on Sapphire. Donst destroyed Jakob here.

“Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti vs Archibald Peck
        This match is the culmination of everything terrible that Mr. Touchdown has ever done to Archie. Mark stole his girlfriend, his career and killed his best friend, Sapphire and Archie finally had his revenge here. Archie apparently doesn't blame Mark for taking Veronica from him, but he does call him out for being a bully and a coward. This match featured all of the different personas that Archie has been over the last year; Peck, Mixed Martial Archie and the Mysterious and Handsome Stranger.  Now it would have appeared a few months ago that things between Mr. T and Veronica were on slippery slopes because of Archie dumping the slop of her, but she still came out with her current boyfriend. Since the match was a non-disqualification bout, both men at different points used items that suit their particular character. Archie brought a marching drum with him to ringside, which he would later use to club Mr. T and at one point Mr. Touchdown hit a shoulder tackle while wearing shoulder pads. Despicably, Touchdown even attempted to use a fake pigeon to attack Archie. That was until the real and NOT dead Sapphire was brought to the ring by a very professional looking male nurse. Nobody could believe it, especially Mr. Touchdown. Man and bird united again and Mr. Touchdown would suffer their tandem offence. In the end we were able to see Archie reclaim some of his lost dignity and his best friend. At this point it would be unclear what Veronica, who had been accidentally speared by her boyfriend during the course of the match, would do after Mark's loss.

        This was a fantastic debut event! So many great stories were revisited as well as new ones beginning to develop. My next blog will cover the story progression from the next day, While the Dawn is Breaking. It will be after that in which I will go back to 2012 and recap the year for Jigsaw and Mike Quackenbush. Until then I hope you are enjoying your March, remember to visit me on twitter @MurrayDarkMatch, and spread the word to your friends. Until next time CHIKArmy!