CHIKARA Torneo Cibernetico show review



Last night I attended what has become an annual showcase for CHIKARA,
their Torneo Cibernetico show. As I had just started attending regularly
this year, I had never seen a Cibernetico live. Suffice to say, it was
an incredible experience.
 
The show began with ring announcer Gavin Loudspeaker playing a song on
his guitar about the epic CHIKARA vs. BDK showdown. The crowd loved
this, and shockingly he got through the entire thing without being
interrupted by the BDK for I believe the first time this year. Speaking
of the crowd, I'm very bad at estimating attendance, but I was told it
was easily their largest crowd in Easton ever. They kept having to add
more chairs to the floor because the bleachers had long since filled up,
and even with the extra chairs there ended up being standing room only
attendance too. If I had to guess I would put it somewhere in the
200-250 range. The most interesting thing about a CHIKARA crowd is the
variety: there were indeed a lot of parents with small children to go
with the CHIKARA regulars who are at almost every show and the general
indy fans who seemed to have come out because they heard there's a buzz
around this show.
 
1. Dasher Hatfield beat Brodie Lee in 8:31.
I can't think of a better choice for an opener. Dasher was returning
after missing several months due to an injury and he is always one of
the most popular guys in the promotion. Brodie is just awesome as the
big monster and both guys played their roles to perfection here. Dasher
at one point untied Brodie's right boot while noting to the crowd that
he won't be using that on him (his finisher is indeed a big boot) and
then the ref made sure to sell how bad it smelled. Brodie hit him with
the foot anyway, but because his boot was off Dasher was able to kick
out. The finish saw Dasher escape a powerbomb attempt, get the legit
giant of a man up on his shoulders somehow, and hit a Death Valley
Driver to pin Brodie (who kicked out just after 3). Because Brodie
almost never loses- I believe this was his first lost fall of 2010- the
crowd went nuts for the upset. Great opener.
 
2. Ophidian submitted Dragon Yuki in 7:55.
I was not familiar with Yuki, who Gavin noted was celebrating his
10-year anniversary in pro wrestling this weekend. My friend said he was
pretty sure Yuki came to us from Pro Wrestling KAGEKI, and being that he
is far more knowledgeable than me on Japanese wrestling I'll take his
word for it. Apparently he had been to CHIKARA before and it seemed like
some fans were almost sarcastically cheering for him as a running joke.
He was basically a very stocky Japanese indy guy, nothing special but
did a decent job. Ophidian debuted a new variation on his mask that was
very cool looking. Anyway, they told the story early that Yuki was,
well, too fat to go up for any moves, and he no-sold all of Ophidian's
offense. It was simple but effective as the crowd was very hot for
Ophidian's comeback once Yuki finally started selling, and he finally
tapped out Yuki with the Death Grip. Another fun, short match in a
series of them tonight.
 
3. Frightmare defeated Johnny Gargano in 11:08 to retain the Young
Lion's Cup.
Originally this was supposed to be Frightmare vs. the only BDK member
not scheduled for Cibernetico, Lince Dorado, in a rematch of the YLC
finals. However, before the show Gavin announced Lince wouldn't be there
due to "family issues". So they came out here to draw a replacement out
of a hat in CHIKARA tradition, first drawing "Techno Team 2000". As
Gavin pointed out that was indeed a tag team and not a singles wrestler,
Gargano came out. He had won a "golden opportunity" on the last YLC cup
show and decided to cash it in here. So anyway, they had probably as
awesome of an 11-minute match as you could possibly have. Gargano at one
point caught Frightmare going for a dive to the floor and just whipped
him neck-first into the side of the ring in a very sick spot. After a
ton of near-falls Frightmare finally hit the Kneecolopsy (basically a
standing moonsault except he lands with his knees) for the pin, much to
the delight of the crowd.
 
4. Vin Gerard submitted Cheech Hernandez in 9:55.
This was probably the weakest match on the show, and that should tell
you how great this show was because this was still a very fun match.
Cheech's wacky surfer gimmick is like something out of 80's WWF and the
crowd got way behind him. Gerard has gotten himself in MUCH better shape
this year and kept up with Cheech well (although the crowd at one point
chanted "You're Still Fat!" at him). Gerard made Cheech tap to his STF
and afterwards mocked his surfer pose.
 
5. Obariyon & Kodama defeated the Super Smash Brothers (Player Uno &
Player Dos) in 11:32.
This was an unannounced bonus match, and it says a lot for how over the
SSB was because the crowd got very into them and this match even though
they were dying for an intermission at this point. Obariyon & Kodama are
mysterious face-painted heels that basically just showed up (first
Obariyon as a single at the YLC weekend        and then Kodama debuted as his
partner in Baltimore last month). I believe they are CHIKARA Wrestle
Factory guys but I could be wrong. If they are rookies they're very good
ones, especially Obariyon who is a damn creepy man. He got the pin with
his very dangerous-looking jumping DDT (he comes off the top rope for
this).
 
At this point there was finally an intermission. It should be noted that
CHIKARA does a great job selling merchandise; Gavin basically sets up a
bunch of stuff on the ring apron and sells to random fans while usually
one or two babyfaces are at the merch table willing to sign anything
fans want. I've never seen a CHIKARA show where they don't seem to be
doing brisk business.
 
6. Team CHIKARA (UltraMantis Black, Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw, Eddie
Kingston, STIGMA, Icarus, Hallowicked, & Vokoder) defeated Team BDK
(Ares, Claudio Castagnoli, Tursas, Tim Donst, Sara Del Ray, Daizee Haze,
Pink Ant, & Delirious) in 35:45 in Torneo Cibernetico.
For those unaware how a Cibernetico works, like I was coming in,
basically you have two guys (err, two people in this case) in the ring,
and the rest line up on the floor except for one on the apron. They can
tag in and out (lucha tag rules of dropping to the floor included) but
they have to stay in order, so the person who tagged out goes to the
back of the line. It's elimination rules and if one team is completely
eliminated, the remaining members of the winning team must fight it out
until there is only one "Cibernetico champion".
 
As far as incredible crowd heat + in-ring action, I really cannot think
of a better match in all of 2010, in any promotion, that I've seen. This
match was absolutely fantastic from start-to-finish. First of all, Bryce
Remsburg did indeed referee it, with BDK ref Derek Sabato relegated to
the floor (where he still managed to do little things like put a foot on
the ropes to break a pin or trip up a babyface throughout the course of
the match). The BDK group came out first and were about as hated as any
group you'll see in 2010. The CHIKARA "Gen One" team came out to a
thunderous ovation, and in a nice touch both Icarus & STIGMA were
wearing their original masks that they then pulled off in their
entrance. After the masked Vokoder had promised to reveal himself here
and Mantis had hinted he was someone related to Claudio's past, he
immediately unmasked as Larry Sweeney. To say the crowd was happy to see
him back was probably the understatement of the century. He cleaned
house on a shocked Claudio which set off a wild 8-on-8 brawl all over
ringside, which I don't believe was included in the announced
matchtime.
 
After order was finally restored, Sweeney first eliminated Pinkie
Sanchez with something that was honestly botched (though it was the only
missed spot in the match I believe). He fell pray to Tim Donst and the
Inverted CHIKARA Special, which began a running theme as Donst also used
the supposedly uncounterable move on STIGMA next to eliminate him as
well. Mantis got some big time momentum back for Team CHIKARA by
eliminating the BDK's captain Ares with his Praying Mantis Bomb, but the
enormous Tursas then used the world's largest flying body press on
Hallowicked to get back the advantage. We then had a series where the
usually hated Icarus got to kick out of basically every single move you
can think of, and the crowd heat was once again insane. However, Donst
finally submitted him with the Inverted CHIKARA Special at around the
20-minute mark, making it 6-on-4 BDK.
 
Mantis cut into that lead by eliminating his former charge, Delirious,
again with the Praying Mantis Bomb, but Donst again made it a 2-man
advantage with the Inverted CHIKARA Special on Jigsaw. Finally, he tried
the move on the inventor, and Mike Quackenbush figured out how to
counter it to an enormous ovation before locking in the standard CHIKARA
Special and submitting Donst. Claudio however came in and pinned Quack
with the Ricola Bomb, so at this point it was Claudio, Tursas, Sara, &
Daizee for BDK and only Mantis & Eddie Kingston for CHIKARA.
 
Eddie seemed to be in trouble as the girls went after the leg that
Claudio had targeted earlier in the match, but he finally hit
back-to-back Backfists to the Future to eliminate them in succession and
finally even things up again. It should be noted that his Backfist on
Sara was a normal one while the one on Daizee was easily the lightest
&        slowest Backfist I've ever seen, so I'm not sure what that says
exactly. Maybe it says that Sara is much stiffer than Daizee, as she
sure seemed to be kicking the crap out of people all match long. Both
girls were fantastic heels, Sara as the bully (she's seriously probably
bigger than the whole CHIKARA team save Hallowicked and maybe Jigsaw)
and Daizee as the annoying, run-away-and-taunter. Anyway, Mantis was
then taken out by the giant Tursas leaving Kingston 2-on-1. Claudio,
being a great heel, almost immediately low blowed Eddie and got himself
DQed, which the crowd was not happy with, rather than stay and fight
Kingston even with the advantage. He told Tursas to finish this and he
splashed Kingston, but Kingston kicked out. Tursas hit at least three or
four more big splashes but Kingston kept kicking out as the crowd went
crazy. Finally, Tursas hit a Black Hole Slam, but Eddie no-sold it and
immediately got up and hit two lariats, one from the back and then one
from the front. Tursas finally was knocked off his feet for the first
time since his debut to a THUNDEROUS ovation, but the monster still
kicked out. Eddie hit him with his Sliding D forearm to the face as he
sat up, and finally got the pin to win Cibernetico. The crowd went
apeshit once again and rushed the apron in CHIKARA tradition.
 
Overall, this was a show that you absolutely must see. The undercard
featured five short, fun matches, but obviously the Cibernetico was the
main attraction. CHIKARA did such an amazing job building up the BDK all
year long, and if TNA had a clue this is exactly how the "Immortal"
angle would go too. The nWo-like BDK debuted, didn't drop a single fall
for months, but the babyface comeback started months ago and slowly
peaked to this match. Of course it isn't quite over as they still have
the tag belts, with the Osirin Portal scheduled to get a title shot
today on the second show of the weekend. Between this show and the
Manami Toyota weekend, CHIKARA sure came across as the hottest thing in
indy wrestling right now. Make sure you see this show when it comes out
on DVD!
 
John Carroll
( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
 

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