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CHIKARA's Action Arcade
by Samoa Rowe
Episode 9- May 30, 2020
Ophidian rants and raves about hope and fear. He calls scared Mike Quackenbush a broken relic of a lost age, and accuses him of misleading his students. Ophidian would never lie to his Crucible students, tricking them into believing that the old CHIKARA is still alive. He issues a challenge to hold the Cibernetico match under Crucible rules. He wraps things up by hissing at the camera.
From the Wrestle Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Who knows when this was taped, there are still real live people in the stands. Sidney Bakabella and Jason Worthington are on the call.
Blank vs. Mark Jackson
Blank seats himself down to lure the jobber into a trap and nails a suplex. He ties the poor young man in the ropes for some easy chops. Blank toys with Jackson while applying an armbar and tosses him through the ropes. Blank talks trash to the camera and hits a spinning lariat for the win at 2:05. Blank poses the fallen jobber and admires his handy work. Good squash.
Video package putting over the history of FIST, which goes back years, with alumni such as Johnny Gargano and Chuck Taylor. Everyone who associates with Icarus becomes a star. The current incarnation of the group, Icarus and Travis Huckabee, have two points on the scoreboard.
Red Queen and One Eyed Jack vs. Creatures of the Deep (Hermit Crab and Cajun Crawdad)
Jack stands tall and lets the Creatures hit him to little effect, but they use a double hip toss to take over. Hermit Crab uses his "pincers" to apply a shoulder vice. Crab catapults Jack into Crawdad's power slam for 2. Crab walks the second rope for a flying elbow. Crawdad spins off his partner's back for a senton for 2. Red Queen interferes with a flying head scissors takedown, and Jack recovers with a shoulder block and backbreaker on Crab. Red Queen hits a guillotine axe kick. She catapults Jack into a spear and continue to double team with impunity. The crowd gets impatient with all the blatant rule breaking. Crawdad gets a hot tag and gets Coast to Coast on Jack. The Creatures hit a tandem German Suplex, but Queen saves with a kick. Crawdad gets dumped hard, leaving Crab to suffer a series of tandem attacks. Crawdad botches his save, we get a visual pinfall, but the match continues. Jack DVDs Queen onto Crawdad for the win at 9:37. Good match bogged down by some rookie mistakes, which makes sense considering the participants, **¼.
Winners: Red Queen and One Eyed Jack
The Warp Zone looks back at a classic Cibernetico match, between Team Beyond Wrestling and Team CHIKARA. It's joined in progress and takes up a substantial amount of the show's runtime. This is clearly meant to pad out the program while COVID-19 continues wrecking everything. Beyond Wrestling wins the match and no one in the crowd seems all that impressed with the outcome.
Cibernetico Special Report: Mike Quackenbush isn't surprised that Ophidian would try to change the rules at the 11th hour, but accepts the Crucible Rules stipulation, if he wins a singles match. Snakes honor!
Cue some metal music as we get a montage of Sonny Defarge beating people up. Boomer Hatfield responds, saying he's been around CHIKARA since he was 11 years old, and isn't going to get riled up by Defarge's antics.
The Spoiler is all fired up that no one will accept his open contract for Cibernetico. That makes the Spoiler angry! Somebody better step up!
Ophidian vs. Mike Quackenbush
Quack ambushes before the bell, eager for a quick win. He hits a backpack stunner and super kick. He rolls him into a Stretch Muffler. Ophidian comes back with a spinning kick and destroys Quack's arm in the ropes. Double underhook lung blower by Ophidian gets 2. Quack shows some defiance while absorbing rapid blows and desperately returns fire. Ophidian cuts off a comeback and applies the Gory Stretch. He rolls Quack over for a cover, but Quack powers out for a Code Red. Ref bump, and Quack hits the Super Driver, for a slow 2 count. Ophidian locks on Hold #13 (one of the FORBIDDEN holds that Quack regrets having taught Ophidian). Good intensity in this battle between a mentor and lost student, even if it was a bit rough at times, **¾.
Ophidian summons his Crucible underlings to the ring. He assembled this group to preserve CHIKARA and now they are going to remove Mike Quackenbush from the Wrestle Factory by force. This goes on for a while and peters out.
Final Thoughts: Another likeable show from the good people at CHIKARA, although most of the mic work missed the mark. Commentary did a great job explaining the dynamics between the heels and faces throughout, and did an admirable job pulling together this frankenstein monster of a show trying to outlast COVID-19. Check it out.
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