|Not from Vince's show, but still a pic from the two guys on his main event|
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Chikara made their debut in Milwaukee this past Friday night and it was really, really awesome.
I could probably end this review right there, and anyone who has ever seen Chikara would gladly nod their head and accept my words as truth, but I'm far too long winded to end it right here. The truth is that I have been to three Chikara shows in the past year and this one was probably my favorite. I was at Chikara's Chicago debut show Case of the Bulletproof Waldo that featured the match that turned Sara Del Rey into a tecnico star, two other great 12 Large Summit Matches, Kingston vs. Cabana and a super hot main event. Up until Friday night this may have been my favorite live event experience. I also went to the Chikara half of this year's ROH/Chikara Synergy show. Hot Off The Griddle was another hot show featuring Eddie Kingston vs. Kevin Steen, Mixed Martial Archie and one of my favorite matches of the year with Sara Del Rey and El Generico squaring off in the main event. So when I say that this show was probably my favorite Chikara show that I have seen live I want you to understand that I don't make that statement lightly.
There are many reasons that I love Chikara - most of which I covered in a post (at my award winning baseball blog Miller Park Drunk) titled "Chikara is the greatest thing ever and you should go see it in Milwaukee on 8/17" - but you don't always get all of those great things about Chikara in one night. (Unless that night is King of Trios.) Sometimes you get the great wrestling but don't get the hilarious comedy moment you were hoping for. Sometimes you get the lucha but not the British style. Sometimes you get UltraMantis Black, but he doesn't do a Praying Mantis Bomb. Sometimes Bryce Remsburg doesn't assert himself in an awesome and memorable way or Gavin Loudspeaker doesn't play a song you like. Sometimes Icarus doesn't wear a shirt. Or whatever. It's hard to do every single thing that people expect of you all the time. I get it. You just do your best to put on a great show and hope it works out.
With that said Chikara put on a really great show Friday in Milwaukee that covered every single thing that I love about Chikara in a single show. Fun? We had tons of that. Comedy? We had laughs. Mysterious and Handsome Strangers? We had one of those. Slow motion wrestling? Only the best slow motion wrestling sequence I've ever seen. (Seriously.) Great wrestling? Up and down the card. British style? Colt and Quack put on a clinic. Icarus chants? Yes, we had one of those for some reason. No, I don't know why.
The funny thing about Shoot a Crooked Arrow is that before the show even started I had decided that The Mysterious and Handsome Stranger vs. Tim Donst would be my favorite part of the night. When that match came on second I was almost disappointed, as if the whole thing would be a letdown after the match was over. I loved the match. The Mysterious and Handsome Stranger did not let me down, but when I look back on the show I can't even put that match in my top five of the night. It was just one of those shows. Everything clicked, everything worked, everything was awesome.
By the time the main event came around I was starting to wonder what else Chikara could possibly do to top off a show like the one that they were putting on. What could they do that they hadn't already done? Or how could they do it better? Well, Colt Cabana and Mike Quackenbush came out and put on a match unlike anything else on the card. They put on a match that could arguably only work inside of a Chikara ring and they absolutely killed it. Think their Chikarasaurus Rex Night 2 tag team match, but just the two of them and just as awesome. It was the longest match of the night and it was the best one. Colt Cabana got on the mic after the match and was not his usual fun loving self. He wasn't mad he lost, he was glad he was involved and it was almost as if he was sad it was over. He was touched and proud of what he had just done and he should have been. It was awesome. It sent everyone home happy and loving wrestling. Which is exactly why you go to a Chikara show in the first place.
I could go on and on about this show. I could talk about the great company I had, the nice venue and hot crowd, how there were two tecnico/rudo teaming up matches (and three rudo/tecnico teams) that somehow weren't too much, Chuck Taylor stealing a woman's purse, how it is nearly impossible to pay attention to a match that has Sugar Dunkerton and Chuck Taylor on the apron, me winning Rafflemania (El Hijo Del Ice Cream mask), namedropping TH to Bryce Remsburg, Bryce saying that "the name Holzerman carries a lot of weight around Chikara" (no, he really said that. I'm not just kissing ass), a surprise appearance from the Grand Champ, ACH somehow ending in a standing position after the worm (?!), the weird rudo loving crowd, talking 90's music with Gavin Loudspeaker at the after party, the overall awesomeness of the after party, remembering that Jigsaw is really awesome, the Bravado Brothers, Dasher Hatfield telling me he liked my twitter profile pic (What!?), taking mark photos with Colt Cabana and so much more, but I think I said it best at the beginning of this thing.
Chikara made their debut in Milwaukee this past Friday night and it was really, really awesome. Please come back.