Reviewed November 25, 2007
I ordered the Best of Chikara DVD for two reasons. The first
being that I had heard Chikara did
lucha libre type work and I am very interested in that form of wrestling. The
second was because I had heard good things about Chikara. This DVD has a variety
of matches and I was not disappointed. (Please see our Chikara Roster page for
information, including available stats on current Chikara wrestlers.)
I will list the matches and the winners of the matches as
they appear on the DVD. Please give me a break, readers, this is my first
Chikara experience. I’m still getting used to the masks. While I will try to
highlight certain portions of each match, this is one of those DVD’s that you
have to see for yourself. If you like real technical wrestling, this is the DVD
Lions Cup IV Night 3
Team F.I.S.T.(Icarus & Gran Akuma) & Claudio
Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw & Shane Storm, Technicos
Winners: The Technicos
Quackenbush, Jigsaw & Shane Storm when Icarus removed Shane Storm’s mask.
The wrestling mat in this match sounds hard and doesn’t
appear to have much give when a body lands. I have seen Claudio Castagnoli in
ROH shows and am very impressed with him. He
is a tall wrestler but very agile and moves as well as the lighter, smaller
wrestlers. I am not familiar with the other wrestlers in this match.
I have learned there are “Technicos” (baby faces) and that would be
the team of Quackenbush, Jigsaw and Storm and “Rudos” (heels) and that would
be F.I.S.T. and Claudio. Jigsaw and Shane Storm were the only two wrestlers
According to the rules of this type of wrestling, removing
another wrestler’s mask deliberately is grounds for disqualification not to
mention an insult to the wrestler who has lost his mask. One rule I was not
aware of: if a member of the team exits the ring and their feet touch the floor,
another member can come into the ring as if a “legal tag” had been made.
While this match appeared slow to me, this was not a brawl match.
This was very much a technical match although the Rudos did play dirty
now and then. More than once, team maneuvers were accomplished. According to the
ringside announcers (one of them was Larry Sweeney), Quackenbush had back
difficulties from previous back surgery but it did not appear to diminish his
performance. This was an excellent match in terms of wrestling maneuvers. All
six of the men involved are very capable wrestlers and did a magnificent job. It
was noticed during the match that Claudio wears a size 13 shoe. I knew he was a
big boy…if you got hit by one of those boots, you’d know you were hit.
Sweeney was very concerned about Claudio’s skin tone during this match and in
some of the upcoming matches that involve Claudio. Sweeney seems to think that
Claudio is much better now that he has finally gotten a tan. I hate seeing
Claudio as a heel, but his performance was impressive. There were some excellent
highflying moves during this match and several near pins. There were moves I had
never heard of but the announcers did a great job of naming moves during the
Shane Storm (masked)
Winner: Chris Hero
with a roll up and a three count.
I have seen Chris Hero before and he is always a heel and
quite good at it. This match was set in what appears to be a small gymnasium
with regular chairs for seating. The
room is so small that the crowd is in danger every time a wrestler leaves the
ring. The ring is not very far off the floor. Each time one wrestler goes flying
outside onto the floor, the crowd scatters to avoid being taken out. Hero is
another large wrestler who used his knowledge of wrestling maneuvers.
These two worked well together in this match and Hero took quite a bit of
heat from the crowd. Several times Hero stopped what he was doing in the ring to
argue with the mouthiest members of the audience. I should note there are no
protective mats outside the ring to cover the floor and, even if there had been,
the two men ended up almost all the way to the walls at one point during the
match. I don’t care how small the crowd was or how small the room was, it did
not stop these two wrestlers from putting on a great show. I may hate Chris Hero
as a heel, but I have respect for him in the ring after watching this match.
World Grand Prix Finals
World Grand Prix No. 3
Milano Collection AT & Skayde (masked), Technicos
Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli, Rudos
Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli when Hero pins Skayde
for the three count.
Before the match begins, there are three referees in the ring
and there are two title belts (tag team). I am not sure whom the current
champions are when the match begins, however Milano and Skayde appear to be the
crowd favorites. I have heard of Milano but have never seen him in action and am
not familiar with Skayde. If I
understand correctly, he is from Mexico. Again, Claudio and Hero are the heels.
Milano is not a large wrestler but
works this match as if he was the same size as Hero and Claudio. Hero is
surprises me again with his knowledge of wrestling holds—the legal kind.
Skayde is the shortest man in the ring but he is quick on his feet and shows a
good knowledge of wrestling moves.
World Grand Prix No. 3
Women’s Trio Match
Allison Danger, Ranmaru (masked) & Rain
Daizee Haze, Mickie Knuckles & Sumie
Winners: Allison Danger, Ranmaru & Rain
when Danger pins Sumie for the three count.
I have not seen any of these women in action before.
I can tell you Chikara is where women can and do wrestle as well as the
men. Mickie is a larger girl and tough, but the other girls, even Daizee,
although not as large are just as tough. There was more highflying and suicide
diving in this match than there have been in the previous matches and all of the
women took some hard knocks in this match up. I am always impressed with women
who can really work in the ring. I understand some of these women wrestle with
the Shimmer organization. If you have not seen these women work the ring, you
have not seen women’s wrestling at its best.
who pins Jigsaw for the three count.
I saw Jigsaw in the first match on this DVD but have never
seen Hallowicked. I have read about
him and was anxious to see him in action. There is a large bug, er, masked
cloaked and barefoot man on the floor who is known as Ultra Mantis. The
announcer tells us this the first singles match between Jigsaw and Hallowicked
ever. The beginning of the match has the men hanging onto each other all around
and over the ring. Jigsaw appears to be slightly shorter but it is difficult to
tell because even hooked up they are quick. Both men are well versed in
wrestling although Hallowicked is quicker to take swings than is Jigsaw. This
match takes place in a building with the audience again up close and scrambling
to get out of the way when the wrestlers come flying out of the ring. I don’t
understand a thing Ultra Mantis or Hallowicked and Jigsaw, if he said anything,
wasn’t loud enough for me to hear. It appears Ultra Mantis is either
Hallowicked’s manager or master or something along those lines. Jigsaw and
Hallowicked are great in and out of the ring. Ultra Mantis takes opportunities
outside the ring to work over Jigsaw. From the wicked laugh of one of the
announcer, I believe it must be Larry Sweeney. Whoever it is, he is certainly
talking up Hallowicked and talking down Jigsaw.
Lions Cup IV
Angel De Fuego, Equinox & The Colony, Technicos
Los Ice Cream, Crossbones & Rorschach, Rudos
Angel De Fuego, Equinox & The Colony when Equinox pins one of the Ice Creams
and gets the three count.
This is going to be one confusing match. Everyone is masked.
We have Soldier Ant (part of The Colony) who salutes after moves. This match is
being worked as a lucha tag match as described in the first match on this DVD.
When one of the opponents goes outside the ring and touches the floor, any of
his teammates can enter the ring as a legal tag. We have Fire Ant (part of The
Colony) who is a highflier. We have a discussion going on between the announcers
about which “Ice Cream” is in the ring, Junior or otherwise. I still don’t
know who it is. It does appear that Dos Ice Cream consists of Son of Ice Cream
and Junior Ice Cream. Fuego is another highflying worker. Some of these outfits
that appear they would slow you down but the wrestlers wearing them don’t
appear to be hindered. This match is another show of fantastic and well-oiled
wrestling machines that work well together and against each other. We again have
Larry Sweeney as one of the announcers who reminds us that the ultimate
humiliation is the removal of a mask and in Chikara the removal of an
opponent’s mask is an instant disqualification. The Ice Creams are making
their debut in this match up. To the best of my knowledge, I have never seen any
of these men in the ring. They are worth watching even if it is a little
confusing. This match even had a five man DDT – I kid you not! Then we have
one of the Ice Creams taking out sprinkles (yes, I said SPRINKLES!) and pouring
them all over the mat. I swear
these look like real ice cream sprinkles but when whichever Ice Cream it was
landed on them, he made them seem like tacks or nails!
World Grand Prix No. 3
North Star Express, Ryan Cruz & Darin Corbin
Kings of Wrestling, Claudio Castagnoli & Chris Hero
Winners: Kings of Wrestling
Claudio Castagnoli & Chris Hero when Claudio pins
Corbin for the three count.
No one is wearing a mask in this match up! Larry Sweeney must
be one of the announcers again because he is telling everyone about how great
Claudio is looking with his tan and how he can improve it even more. I have not
seen Cruz or Corbin in action. I like Claudio and am learning to appreciate Hero
more each time I see him in the ring. North Start Express are risk takers and do
well in this match even though they are smaller than Claudio and Hero. This
match also has lucha tag rules. Hero again gets quite a bit of lip from the
audience. JJ Dillon is outside the ring as part of North Star Express
(manager?). JJ doesn’t seem to be shy about interfering in the match, managing
to trip Hero inside the ring. The announcers seemed to think that Hero might
have been faking a trip but I think there truly was a trip.
Later in the match there is an actual – yes you can see it – blatant
trip to Hero by JJ. And once again, Claudio and Hero are the Rudos in this match
up. Claudio and Hero are a fantastic tag team when they work together in the
ring. It would be interesting to see them as opponents.
Winner: Mike Quackenbush
with a roll up and a three count.
Not fair! I like Claudio and he is now up against Quackenbush
who put on a fantastic show in the first match on this DVD. Both of these men
are magnificent wrestlers and they work as hard in this match as they have
worked in the matches before. Quackenbush is so fast but Claudio is no slouch in
the speed department. Claudio is much taller and I’m suspecting weighs more
than Quackenbush. Every time Claudio is sent out of the ring it looks as though
his ribs hit the ring apron. Quackenbush does a high dive to send Claudio to the
floor once he is out of the ring and Quackenbush lands on his feet. It is very
difficult for me to not want one of these men to lose but I know they can’t
possibly work this ring for much longer. It is one fast paced match but neither
man is slowing down. Claudio can’t even pin Quackenbush after a power bomb on
the unforgiving ring mat.
Winner: Eddie Kingston
Oh, yeah, and this one should be worth waiting for! I have never seen either of these men in the ring but have heard quite a bit about Kingston. Sweeney I have seen only in a manager position and he was rude, obnoxious and a pain. The match begins outside on the floor with Kingston appearing to be the aggressor. It is more of a brawl than a wrestling match. And Sweeney fights just as dirty, if not dirtier, than Kingston. This match has blatant chokes and punches. The match is being held in another small building with a smaller crowd on regular seats around the ring. The ring is close to the floor and there is no padding outside the ring on the floor. Kingston isn’t doing much once the match begins and it appears to be all Sweeney. I can’t tell from the audience who the favorite in this match is. Sweeney takes off wrist tape to choke Kingston and then removes a top turnbuckle cover to use as a weapon. Sweeney gets the same lip from the audience that Hero has been getting in earlier matches. At one point Sweeney takes down the straps on his outfit and a man in the audience tells him to put it back on. Even the announcer admits Sweeney is getting a little lip from the crowd. Kingston finally comes to life and goes to work on Sweeney. I can’t believe Sweeney kicked out when Kingston went for the pin. I’m not sure how Sweeney would do in a technical wrestling match but he is a great brawler. Kingston takes a lot of hits to the throat area. Sweeney tries for a pin and can’t believe he didn’t win the match when Kingston puts a foot on the ropes. Kingston is pounding Sweeney right and left and Kingston still can’t get the three count. Sweeney’s title was on the line in this match, but I’m not sure what title was up for grabs. Kingston won the title by winning the match.