Monday, November 14, 2011

Chikara: High Noon Thoughts

From Chikara Pro's Facebook page
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart on Twitter

After all the hype, and all the promotion, Chikara’s first iPPV High Noon is in the history books. If this was any indication of what Chikara is capable of producing when it comes to big shows, I say bring on the next Pay Per View. The only negative element I can I attribute to Chikara is there were several guys not on the show that I would have liked to have seen, but then the show would have been about five hours long.  Everyone involved with Chikara should be proud of the show they put together.

Dr. Keith Lipinski and Steve “The Turtle” Weiner hosted the preshow and did a good job of promoting the card and stressing the importance of the Quackenbush/Kingston match.  I also liked that Chikara had a superstar phone line fans could call into during the PPV and talk to members of the Chikara roster. It was a throwback to the WWF and WCW pay per views from the mid-90s.

Jigsaw and El Generico did exactly what they should have done as the pre-show match.  They went out there, had a high-energy match and got the crowd worked into a frenzy for the main show. As we predicted in the roundtable discussion, Jigsaw winning was the right call as it puts him in line for potentially challenging for the Grand Champion title.

Young Bucks vs. The Colony
It was surprising to see Marty Jannetty accompany the Bucks to the ring. I just wonder what happened to him after the match started. If Jig and Gen got the crowd hyped for the show, the Bucks and Ants made sure they weren’t going to get bored at the start of the show. This match delivered everything that was expected. Lots of creative tag team moves and pretty much total non-stop action. While I’m not disappointed the Colony won, I would have like to have seen the Bucks win, as a tag title match between them and F.I.S.T. would be something new. But I don’t know what the Buck schedule is like or how much it costs Chikara to fly them in for shows, so the Colony winning is probably the better business decision. Plus, the Colony and F.I.S.T. have yet to have a bad match so when they do meet in the ring the match should be outstanding.

Sara Del Rey vs. Jakob Hammermeier
This wasn’t the beat down I was hoping for but it was another decent match. The winner was never in doubt and I’m curious to see where both Del Rey and Jakob go during Season 11.

Future of Osirian Portal
This went down pretty much how I expected. Amasis announced he has to retire due to injury and Ophidian turns on his partner laying him out then taking Amasis’ mask. Maybe it’s the cynic in me but I don’t know if I buy the severity of Amasis’ injuries. Amasis’s speech was too similar to Edge’s retirement speech.  That leads me to think he made make a miraculous recovery and reemerge at some point in Season 11. If the injuries are legit, I’d like to see Amasis come back as a manager for a new Portal.  Guessing Ophidian will also seek out a new tag team partner for next season.

Green Ant vs. Tursas
This match showed the one negative I had with the show. With how big this feud was I expected more of a reaction from the crowd. For the most part the crowd would be hot at the start of a match and then cheer at the end of the match. During the matches it sometimes felt like the show was taking place in an empty arena.  Maybe it was just my computer or maybe the crowd wasn’t mic’ed well. Whatever the cause, the lack of noise was disappointing. This was a perfect ending to the feud. Tursas treated Green Ant like a rag doll at times. Green Ant would make his comeback, hit some big moves and eventually win with a new version of the Chikara Special submission hold.

Peck vs. Cabana (from Chikara Pro)
Colt Cabana vs. Archibald Peck
Talk about a miscarriage of justice. I don’t know how Colt Cabana can sleep at night. Colt needed an assist from Colt Cabunny, who hit Archie with Veronica’s baton, to score the upset victory. There as more comedy than I expected in the match because I thought with this being a rematch they would go for a more serious encounter. But given the two guys involved this was a well-worked comedy match as you could imagine.

Gregory Iron vs. Icarus
I said in the roundtable Gregory Iron didn’t impress me much in the few times I’ve seen him. I believe it has more to do with his size than with his cerebral palsy. While he’s probably an inch or two taller than Rey Mysterio, Gregory doesn’t have the larger than life persona. While I’m not as impressed with Gregory as other fans are, I can’t deny this was a good match. Lots of drama and well booked. Sure Gregory winning would have been a feel good moment, but Icarus cheating to win then having Akuma make his return seeking revenge on Icarus laid the foundation for an interesting story going into Season 11. (Seeing a trend here? It’s called long-term booking.)

Spectral Envoy vs. BDK
Without a doubt the most chaotic and violent Chikara match I’ve seen. Given Chikara’s family friendly attitude and presentation, this could have come across as a watered down grudge match. Instead it came off as four guys trying their hardest to maim and annihilate their opponent. And they did without any of the men bleeding like a stuck pig. Ultramantis Black picked up the victory, and gained possession of the Eye of Tyr, after Tim Donst walked out on Ares.  Yet again, an exceptional match with a satisfying ending setting the stage for new storylines going forward.

New champ! (courtesy: Rob Naylor)
Mike Quackenbush vs. Eddie Kingston
While speculation is this match was originally supposed to be Eddie Kingston vs. Claudio Castagnoli that was thrown out the window when Claudio signed with WWE. I wonder who Quack would have fought if the original plan were in place. This was the perfect match to headline the first Chikara Pay Per View.

In the roundtable discussion, Adam had suggested Quack turn Rudo in his attempt to win the title. During the match that scenario looked plausible with Quack not breaking holds until the count of 4 and using eye pokes to get the advantage.

I liked the way the locker room emptied as guys came out and surrounded the ring to cheer on the two wrestlers. It was a nice touch to include guys who were no longer on the Chikara roster like Reckless Youth, Hydra and Mr. Zero. Seeing the show of unity gave the match an aura of specialness.

Eddie Kingston winning the title and having the title presented to him by Larry Sweeney’s brother and friend was the perfect ending to the show. The emotion surrounding the ending of the show coupled with Kingston’s speech challenging WWE and TNA to put on a show as good as Chikara set the bar for season 11.

Title presentation (from Chikara Pro Facebook page)
Overall there really is nothing I can complain about on this show. If you didn’t see the show I highly recommend you order the replay on GoFightLive or buy the DVD from Smart Mark Video when it’s available. I don’t know what the plans are for future iPPVs.  Hopefully High Noon did well enough financially and Chikara and GoFightLive worked well enough together that we get future shows.

Again, hats off to the entire Chikara roster, referees, and behind the scenes crew. You put on an excellent show that hopefully made some new fans. Chikara’s next round of shows is Joshi Mania in the first week of December. I believe Season 11 will kick off around the end of January. It’s going to be a long two months waiting to see what fallout occurs from High Noon.

High Noon may be over but don’t think My123Cents will be taking it easy. We’ve got plenty in store for the rest of the year. Stay up to date on Facebook and Twitter

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