Rhys Review: CHIKARA UK Tour – Cardiff 5/4/2015

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Greetings, readers of the Wicid viewership, to another one of my featured reviews for the website. I recently got the opportunity, thanks to the lovely people running this very organisation to see another show (with some heavy persuasion I’m sure), another wrestling show I should say. Except this one is quite a big one for the promotion that I’m covering, and it will focus on the recent first-time-ever show in Wales for the promotion known to all as CHIKARA.

To try and sum up the promotion as a whole from what I heard beforehand, just imagine a bunch of multi-coloured over-the-top characters, like from a comic book, manga, cartoon series, or anything out of the ordinary, doing insane high risks moves, with lots of comedy that appeals to all ages and throwing the rule book out of the building for their matches and the stipulations involved (entering the ring when someone gets thrown out in tag matches, 20 counts outside instead of 10, winners of matches winning ‘points’ towards future championship matches, and loads more). Sounds crazy, right? Well that’s CHIKARA for you, but crazy in the good way, if there ever is a good way to be crazy.

Now, I have always heard interesting things about this promotion for many of the reasons described above, but I have never really got into them. Not because I didn’t like them, but because as a wrestling enthusiast just didn’t see myself watching any of their shows. I have seen some of their starts appearing for other promotions such as Ring of Honor and that one appearance from Ophidian in my first review of Dragon Pro Wrestling, but again, I just never really seemed to get into it. Then I heard that they would be touring the United Kingdom for the first time, and Cardiff, Wales happened to be one of the venues. So I thought, what better time than now to see what CHIKARA is like than by seeing them live? So I did, and here is what I thought of the whole thing.

To start off with, the venue was nicely chosen (The Masonic Hall) and the ring set up was very well done. A nice size to the ring, in a high ceiling room, which was a concern for me with the Dragon Pro shows I attended. And the audience was mainly packed with young adults to adults. There may have been one or two young kids there, but for the most part, this sold-out show was packed with people over the age of 18, and I was so happy to see this. Again, CHIKARA is a family friendly show, but sometimes I’d like not to sit next to a bunch of 5 year olds when watching a wrestling show like I did last time. No shotgun shooting kiddies this time.

Now just a heads up, there was a pre-show before CHIKARA held by ATTACK Pro Wrestling, who got thanked later in the night, but I wasn’t able to attend that as I was lucky enough to get tickets to see the main CHIKARA show, asking for the pre-show tickets for free would have been a little too much for someone who hasn’t seen either promotions live before. Some day though guys, some day?

The night was taken under control by the ring announcer, Gavin Loudspeaker, and with a name like that you’d expect him to be, I don’t know, loud, maybe a little bit? Well take his name and times it by twenty, because this man got the crowd into each match and moment during the entire show. He was one charismatic guy to say the least.

And, of course, it’s always nice to mention the referees who took part in a majority of the matches, Bryce Remsburg and Jon Barber, who had their own moments during some of the matches that had the crowd chuckling while still calling each match as fairly as they possibly could. But I’ve rambled on too much, let’s talk about the show!

Opening Match – 4 Corner Elimination Tag Team Match
Drew Gulak & Chuck Taylor defeated Los Ice Cream (El Hijo del Ice Cream & Ice Cream Jr), United Nations (Juan Francisco De Coronado & Prakash Sabar) and Jaka & Oleg The Usurper

While this match definitely started with some more comedy spots from the Ice Creams and Coronado & Sabar, the match was still entertaining for the in-ring action. From high-flying dives to hard hitting action, this match was a great way to get people pumped up for the rest of the show. Very enjoyable indeed from all people involved.

Elimination order
1st – United Nations
2nd – Los Ice Cream
3rd – Jaka & Oleg

The next match was titled the Chikara Secret Magic Move Match, where a wrestling move was pulled from a raffle before the match begun, and if that was executed anytime during the match,everyone in the crowd would win a prize! The manoeuvre that was chosen was the ‘Shooting Star Press’, and after the first entrant in the next match (Silver Ant) entered the ring, his opponent was also chosen by raffle. A few jokes were made by pulling out more well-known welsh names like Tom Jones to the ref saying “They aren’t here!?” to the disappointment from everyone. Although the name of current TNA wrestler and Cardiff’s own, Mark Andrews, got chosen, and he actually was there in a nice surprise.

Singles Match
Mark Andrews defeated Silver Ant

This was a step above the opening match as it featured nice technical skills from both wrestlers, while Silver favoured more submission skills and Mark displayed more aerial and flashy moves, which in the end got him the win by a ‘Shooting Star Press’! So, of course, everyone in the crowd would be winning a prize, which would be some type of Chikara coloured roster cards, or something. Sadly I didn’t quite catch what the prize was and I never actually got mine after the show finished. This is mainly because I felt that I was overstaying my welcome, what with getting free tickets to the show already, plus drawing some of the crowd plus talents during intermission and after the show. I’m sure it was a cool prize, but again I felt like I didn’t deserve to have it. A really classy thing for Chikara to do regardless though, a nice sentiment.

The next match was titled a ‘Challenge of the Immortals’ match, which was the first of many throughout the night. I wish I had more info about what this meant as this was contested during many different types of matches, but at least it sounds interesting.

Challenge of the Immortals – Tag Team Match
Night Mare Warriors (Blind Rage & Frightmare with Hallowicked) defeated Fire Ant & Amasis

This was an interesting match, while it started somewhat slow with Amasis showing some smooth dancing skills, it soon picked up in both speed and action as the match went on. A very fun match for sure.

Next, everyone had a break for Intermish (Intermission) as Loudspeaker called it, and to be honest, this was the only bad part about the show. Or maybe bad is the wrong word, it just didn’t last long. As I was expecting to get a few drinks at the bar and go to the toilet, the queue for both was a little long and the actual Intermish hardly felt longer than ten minutes, maybe fifteen at most. I just wish they slowed down for another five minutes for me to settle myself down in time without rushing, maybe if I had some more time for quick sketches. But I suppose with as fast paced action as Chikara was showing thus far, slowing down doesn’t really apply to them.

Challenge of the Immortals – Trios Match
CHIKARA Grand Champion Icarus, Dasher Hatfield & Mister Touchdown defeated Ultramantis Black, Komada & Obariyon

Now this, personally, was the match of the night. I have always heard incredible things about trios matches, and have seen some great ones from other promotions, so I expected good things from this match, and boy was I ever pleased. With some comedy from the start which included a sequence of all the wrestlers (plus the referee) biting each others, erm, backsides, they quite possible made a much safer and funnier version of the Human Centipede. There was also a submission sequence from Hatfield where he didn’t even lock a submission of one of his opponents, he just jammed their foot in their own trunks while they screamed in pain… yup, so much humiliation for that guy.

But as with the other matches, starting off on more of a comedy note, it definitely picked up in the best way possible with many impressive moves and risks taken from all involved. You had to see it to believe it for sure. But in the end, it was the Grand Champion himself who scored the win in this truly amazing match.

Challenge of the Immortals – Singles Match
Soldier Ant defeated Worker Ant

This match was far different from the other ones as it didn’t really have much high speed or risk about it and was definitely the one that included the most heavy hits. But the match itself told the best story throughout. Maybe it was because Worker was constantly shouting “WHY?!” at Soldier in what I assume is a part of an actual storyline between the two, I can’t really say though as this is my first time seeing CHIKARA. But that’s just it, I didn’t need to know as much backstory about either of them, the way they battled either other throughout the match told enough of a story for me to get invested in, and it definitely worked. Definitely the slowest match of the night, as the crowd can also relate to as they weren’t as vocal as with the other matches, but it was by far one of the most interesting matches.

Before the main event began, we got announced that the ATTACK Pro Wrestling promotion would be having a show in Cardiff on May 9th – interesting. Hopefully my studies don’t stop me from having a spare few hours to breath (it likely won’t – darn you animation), because I’ll see if I can head over to that show.

Main Event – 2 out of 3 Falls
CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas Championship
The Devastation Corporation (Blaster McMassive and Max Smashmaster) retained against Race Jaxon & Hype Rockwell

This was for what is a more fancier name for CHIKARA’s Tag Team Championship and it was a solid way to close the show. It had a solid mixture of styles throughout. Brawling, high-flying, bits of technical here and there. While it was not the most impressive match of the night (to me personally) it still got the crowd going through the whole thing and ended up with the champions getting two straight falls, winning the match 2-0.

So yeah, there are the results of the show, and for my honest opinion, I’m glad I went, I truly am glad to have been a part of CHIKARA’s first show in Wales. I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t see Ophidian again, as well as CHIKARA’s Young Lions Cup Champion, Heidi Lovelace (she’s really someone to pay attention to people), but I suppose they had other commitments. Maybe some other time hopefully. Adding to that, I really hope this isn’t the last time we’ll hear from CHIKARA taking a trip to the UK as this show in Cardiff was definitely worth it.

So, to anyone who has managed to read through all of my unnecessary rambling up to this point, just watch CHIKARA. Whenever you get the chance to see them, whether it’s on their website, on any Pay Per View they do, or if it’s for another UK Tour, go, seriously, just go to it. I really enjoyed, and I’m positive that you will too.


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Related Article: Rhys Review: Dragon Pro Wrestling: You Want Some? 15/3/2015

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