LIVE NOTES AND THOUGHTS FROM CHIKARA/ROH 'SYNERGY' DOUBLEHEADER IN CHICAGO
By Gregory Davis on 2012-04-29 17:56:28
Here are my live thoughts and observations from Synergy Day at the Frontier
Fieldhouse. Jonathan Murphy did a fine job with the play by play, so I'll focus
more on the live experience, and some match portions that might have been
While waiting in line for the CHIKARA Show, a couple staff
people came out for a trivia contest. The first question was "who's challenging
the Briscos at Unity?" As we all booed for it being easy, he said "of course the
first one is easy!"
Inside, it almost felt like a convention. You had a
CHIKARA table with all their merchandise, along with several of the wrestlers
signing. ROH had their table already set, so it nice to get the DVDs I wanted
while the table was quiet. Smart Mark Video had a table as well, and there was
even a table selling masks. So seeing all that, along with seeing a wide variety
of wrestling fans (from WWE only, to the indy only), as well as some local
wrestling stars, this did indeed feel like a Pro Wrestling Holiday.
Production wise, it was the complete ROH setup, with their stage, their
lighting, and their ring. There were a few obvious exceptions for the CHIKARA
show. The logo barriers were removed from the guardrails, blank ring skirts were
put up, and a CHIKARA logo curtain was put on the entrance. The Commentation
Station was to the side of the hard camera. I didn't get a chance to see who was
commentating during the various matches.
My CHIKARA knowledge is a bit
limited, but I'll try to fill in details of the stories as best as I can.
As always, Gavin Loudspeaker was your Rock and Roll Ring Announcer. He came
out with Steve "The Turtle" Weiner. After going through some of the rules of
CHIKARA, he brought out a guitar, and sang a song called "CHIKARA's come back to
Chicago (oh A oh!)" A fun, friendly way to start things off.
that, GEKIDO invaded the ring, and this led to the Colony and Jigsaw coming out,
and the match was on. Tons of action. There were also a lot of attempts to pull
each other's masks off, the worst thing you can do in CHIKARA. Again, fun
opener. The teams kept fighting after the match, so this is far from over.
I don't care what anyone says, Mixed Martial Archie is one of the best
things going in wrestling today. A complete and total parody of MMA fighters.
"Better than Brock" gets the best chant of the night IMO. As for the match, try
to think about the differences between MMA and Pro Wrestling. Take a ground and
pound position. In MMA, if you keep pounding your opponent and they aren’t
responding, the referee will end it as a TKO. In Wrestling, the referee will
call for a five count, and break it up. So after pounding Kobald, Archie thought
he won, and was celebrating. Similar actions occurred a few times, to the point
that he brought in Gavin for a post-match interview. Referee PJ Drummond had to
explain that he didn't win yet. Then Archie tried to pin Kobald with his stomach
down. Then PJ had to demonstrate how to properly pin Kobald (who was out for a
long time), complete with three count. Archie did eventually get the submission
The story of the next match was that Mark Angelosetti had been
fighting as a Rudo, and Dasher Hatfield wasn't happy with his actions. Mark
eventually said he didn't need Dasher, so Dasher said fine, and sat on the
guardrail for most of the match. The Batiri are deceptively talented wrestlers.
Mark retained his Rudo ways, and used his football helmet as a weapon to win.
After the match, Veronica came out in support of Mark, but then left separately.
If you understand the stories in CHIKARA, these "silly" matches come across so
After 17 easily beat Tianlong, Mike Quakenbush came out to
help his student.
I had best known Arik Cannon as an angry heel in AAW,
so it was a bit of an adjustment to see him as a high energy Tecnico. Too bad he
didn't have his usual PBRs, but what can you do. Another solid match from all
During intermission, fans had a chance to get in the ring with
Hallowicked. However, during the photo opt, Tim Donst took him out. This lead to
a 4 on 3 handicap match, until Hallowicked made his comeback.
came out during the 8 man tag. He seemed to be staring down Ultramantis Blank. I
apologize for not knowing the context of the situation.
I was shocked to
see the Grand Championship match so early. I was worried that Steen was going to
win, and thus they wanted a "happy" ending to the show. Steen was, well, Steen,
just without the swearing. I remember reading that he was basically banned from
CHIKARA for dropping an F Bomb in a match many years ago. Crowd wise, they were
split 50/50, and were all very vocal about it. Lots of brawling. Early on,
Kingston went for the Backfist to the Future, but ate the ring post. You figured
there would be a DQ. Steen once again left on his feet, happy with what he's
done. I feel like there needs to be a rematch.
The handicap match seemed
to be a way for the crowd to cool down. Missed in the report was that Gregory
Iron made an appearance to help Gran win.
To those unfamiliar with
independent wrestling, an intergender singles match is quite an odd visual,
especially when the match is in the main event. Then you realize it's Sara Del
Rey, who has main evented numerous CHIKARA events in recent years, and has a
legitimate claim to being the Best in the World. This was the match that I was
looking most forward to, and it did not disappoint. Brutal Yakuza Kicks.
Generico even hit Sara's Royal Butterfly for a near fall. The YES Lock got a
huge roar (obviously). And to end it all, a simple yet powerful Piledriver.
Great match, well worth getting the DVD for. And if this was your first time
seeing her, well then I highly recommend checking out SHIMMER Women Athletes
when they return to Chicago in late October. Check out shimmerwrestling.com for
more information. Cheap plug over, but more might be coming.
return to Chicagoland at the Logan Square Auditorium on November 10.
After that, we all had to leave, so we got back in line for ROH.
was a Meet and Greet before the event. Davey Richards, Briscoe Brothers,
Roderick Strong, All Night Express, and Maria Kaniellis. The Colony were also at
the CHIKARA Table. It was $10 per item, whether it was an autograph or photo op,
for a singles star, or $15 for a tag team. Some people complained about the
price, but I feel that the majority of indy wrestlers are underpaid, so this is
a good way to support them financially.
Of course, Kevin Steen came out
and shouted "Screw all of you, I'm signing for free!" And he obviously got the
biggest line. He had no 8x10s, but took a lot of photos.
announcer for the evening was Kevin Harvey, who's been a mainstay in the Midwest
indy scene for well over a decade. Currently, he's the C.O.O. for AAW Wrestling
in Berwyn, and a "proud SHIMMER lackey" which unfortunately had led to him being
abused by Saraya Knight over the last several DVD volumes. But anyway, you can
follow him at @KevinHarveyAAW.
The opening match was a solid opener.
Elgin is a beast, and especially after his recent performances, including a 60
minute draw classic against Silas Young last week, I think it's time for him to
go solo. HOT teased disension, but ultimately stayed together.
Bennett and Maria came out to have their "Unity" moment, a makeout session, when
Mike Sydal appeared. Nothing much.
The next match was quite odd. The
crowd was seemingly insulting both Bravados by calling one Justin Bieber, and
the other (Vote For) Pedro. But, they seemed to relish in it, and it made them
one of the more popular teams of the night. Fun match for what it was.
sucks that Death Before Dishonor is the same weekend as King of Trios. But
My friends thought that Jimmy Jacobs was actually the
alternate character of Gavin Loudspeaker.
Wild brawl. Glad to see BJ
Whitmere back. Insane suplex through a table to end the match.
this was done during recent shows, but during intermission, they played the
Final Countdown (for Bryan Danielson), Miseria Cantare (for CM Punk), and Cult
of Personality (also for CM Punk). This included adjusting the lights as if it
were a wrestler's entrance. The crowd ate it up, having fun with chanting,
banging the guardrail, and singing along. It's all about having fun, so I'm all
I wonder how many people knew that Barrister R.D. Evans was
actually Mixed Martial Archie?
I liked having separate ring announcers
for the CHIKARA vs. ROH matches, although I wonder why they didn't have them
during the CHIKARA portion? PJ Drummond was the CHIKARA referee, although I know
he has refereed for ROH in the past.
Another wild one for the CHIKARA
Rules match. There were times where PJ seemingly got in the way of Team ROH
"accidentally", so I wonder if this will be played up for future shows.
Whether it was burn out, or a lack of interest in all four, the co main event
didn't get much crowd reaction. I think it might be time to put the strap on
Steen to shake things up.
The main event was sold enough as well. After
two refs were taking out, both CHIKARA and ROH members came out to cheer on
their side. Afterward, there looked to be a big brawl brewing, but they ended up
embracing. The Briscoes also cut a promo on how despite their differences, "this
Overall, a great day of wrestling.