Back again with more of my Smart Mark Video On Demand “watch pile”, with a show that I bought for two reasons. Firstly it’s the inaugural CHIKARA event, so I decided to pick it up to see what CHIKARA was like back in the day. In addition, the show also features CM Punk in the main event, and I found the idea of him being part of all this very amusing, so decided to buy the show to see what sort of shenanigans he would get up to in a CHIKARA ring.
For those not au fait, CHIKARA is a company out of the Tri State area that mostly deals in family friendly Lucha Libre inspired wrestling. The best thing I could compare it to would be a comic book movie where the fight scenes are replaced by wrestling matches. As a result CHIKARA can get pretty silly sometimes, but there’s a joviality about it all that I really enjoy and I was a semi-regular viewer of the company’s major shows up until about 4 years ago or so when I fell out of touch with the product.
I’m not expecting much in the way of amazing wrestling here, but every company has to start somewhere and this show certainly has its fair share of the tropes that CHIKARA would go on to be known for.
Jeff Hardy finally won the big one at Armageddon during the best singles run of his career so brother Matt is out here to talk about happy they’re both champions at the same time. He doesn’t mention Kozlov so I guess that one-week feud is over. Chavo Guerrero interrupts as Vickie wants revenge for a Hardy taking Edge’s belt so Teddy Long walks out dressed as an elf to make this match officially serious.
We’re in Skoplane, WA (home of Chuck Jones & David Lynch so it sounds like a lovely place). Matt Hardy retained at No Mercy last week so our main event is announced as…an eight man tag guest-starring Kofi Kingston and CM Punk. And absolutely nothing is made of the fact the former World Heavyweight Champion is returning to ECW, Striker simply hypes the ”young, upcoming talent” and try to pretend Punk’s Worst Run As Heavyweight Champion Since Tim Sylvia didn’t happen.
It’s been a few weeks since the last ECW on Sci-Fi recap due to my hard drive dying and getting locked out of The Blog Of Doom so I’m glad there’s a news-worthy episode or this would have been ”Savio Vega at NWO 1998” levels of anti-climax.
It’s the show after Night of Champions but that’s only half the story: Around sometime the week before the show, Michael Hayes got drunk on doot-doot-doot and declared he was ”more of a N-Word than you” to Mark Henry, who somehow didn’t see the funny side of the N-Bomb being dropped by a guy that used to wear the Confederate Flag on his face while singing ”It used to be called Goodstreet until you guys moved in!”
It’s the show after Million Dollar Mania exploded and Vince died (again) so Teddy Long starts the show by wishing Mack-Man a speedy recovery. But anyway we’re in Houston, Texas and the Draft has happened which means the WHOMP-ASS version of ECW on Sci-Fi is finally here!
Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. Shelton Benjamin & Mike Knox
Sydal is re-named and officially part of the ECW roster after last week’s thrashing from Shelton Benjamin. Unsure why they thought Hitler’s wife was a good influence but at least Dolph Ziggler doesn’t feel lonely anymore.
After winning last week, Colin Delaney is officially part of the ECW on Sci-Fi roster. Armando gives him his new contract and books Delaney vs. Knox for tonight. Sadly Delaney didn’t sign it like Arnie in The Running Man.
The biggest episode in ECW on Sci-Fi history starts with…Mike Adamle talking on the mic. Even in the ring he talks with Shatner pauses. He covers his resume (Olympics, American Gladiators etc.) but even with all that he didn’t realise how hard this job would be. He admits he’s made mistakes but asks the crowd to enjoy the episode and thanks them for listening. Like Adamle’s hiring, I don’t know what this accomplished.
We’re in London, England and we have a big-ass main event with ECW Champ Kane teaming with WWE Champ Undertaker! Oh and it’s also Joey Styles’ last show as he’s moving onto working for WWE dot com (which he did a marvellous job of supercharging) which I’m thankful for as he’d been white noise for months. Let’s hope his replacement will be better. Oh, he’s here at the desk let’s-
”What happens when you take that man’s sun-glasses off? OK! I understand! We won’t go there!” starts Adamle and it’s impossible to convey how awkward and forced he sounds from his opening line and the realisation there’s another hour of TV to go.
CM Punk, Jimmy Wang Yang, Shannon Moore, Kofi Kingston vs. Elijah Burke, Deuce, Domino, Shelton Benjamin
Adamlemania continues to run wild as he talks over the ring introductions and repeats everyone’s name to remind himself who everyone is.”They will have a say in tonight’s…*looks at notes* eight-man tag team match.” He notes Kofi Kingston will be CM Punk’s tag partner. ”How do you like me now?” Adamle says Shelton will be teaming with Burke. I mean he’s technically right but he’s talking like it’s the first eight-man tag match he’s ever seen. Domino starts by getting double-teamed by Shan & Wang but it’s hard to ignore Adamle’s dead air and confusion. Punk and Shelton jostle until Shelton hurls him outside the ring and we go to break. We get Burke vs. Punk one last time before Burke leaves forever in a few weeks. Yang gets worked over by Benjamin as Tazz struggles to fill the silence as Adamle can’t think of anything to say. Deuce tags in and gets under the skin of the opposite team while he beats down Yang. I think reminding everyone he was still employed would have been enough aggravation. Eventually he makes the hot tag to Kofi who takes out Deuce with a ”leg kick” and lands the Boom Drop and we get Adamle’s legendary:
Kofi takes out Deuce with the Trouble In Paradise and it’s ”Uno, Dos, Adios.”
Winners: The goodies (I’m surprised they had a eight-man tag match, last time they were in the UK they didn’t have that many wrestlers on the entire episode. It didn’t matter though, it was a simple multi-man that would have been forgotten instantly if it wasn’t for Adamle’s best Eric The Actor impression.)
Adamle tells us ”The Tazz” is in the ring for Diva Dance Off, somehow managing to overshadow titties and jiggling.
Tommy Dreamer vs. Mike Knox
There’s a MIKE KNOX WAS FRAMED sign in the crowd, oh wow remember that whole thing?
Police out of Henry County, Georgia are moving on in the Mike Knox steroid link investigation. They are more interested in finding the supplier of the drugs. Knox formerly lived in a residence in Henry County with three other wrestlers, but steroids were left behind in an attic after they moved out. Knox said the steroids weren’t his, and WWE believes him as they have defended him publicly (and continued to push him on TV).
Jon Bravo has been on the hunt for a while. Anyway, Armando wants Mike Knox to wrestle a competitive match with a future world champion…Colin Delaney!
Colin Delaney vs. Mike Knox
Knox does a better job of disposing of Colin than he did those steroids. Delaney takes some Taz-esque suplexes before Knox pins him.
Winner: Mike Knox (Armando was a glorious shit-eating dick during this Colin feud.)
Adamle starts talking about ”Mike The Miz” taking on Undertaker & Kane in a ”mitch-match” tonight while staring at his notes on camera.
Miz & Morrison talk backstage about being stronger than Kane & Undertaker as they’re always fighting each other. Morrison isn’t scared as Miz is going to be starting the match. Miz looks like he
The Miz & John Morrison vs. Kane & The Undertaker
WWE Tag Team Champions vs. ECW World & WWE Champion. ”You may think he looks like Tarzan but hits like Jane, but you’d be wrong.” OK I’ll give Adamle credit, that’s a good line. Didn’t really fit what he was going for as he was trying put over Morrison but he’s batting low so I’ll allow it. Miz starts with Kane and that goes as well for Miz as you’d expect. Undi takes in and he’s still peak-athleticism so he gets Old School early and big boots a charging Morrison like it’s nothing. Undi tries for the apron leg drop but Morrison stops him like he’s trying to leave for WCW in 2000.
Back from break, Miz & Morrison are working over Undertaker. Tazz calls them the World Tag Champs instead of the WWE ones, Adamle is contagious. Undi resumes offence on Morrison until he tags in Kane. Morrison tags in Miz but he doesn’t want any of him so Kane has to throw him in. That was cute. Kane tries the top rope clothesline but Morrison pulls him off (not like that) so Kane boots him off the apron and Morrison takes a face-first bump onto the floor like a madman. This allows Miz to get the advantage on Kane with his Scrappy Doo offence. Kane gets isolated and worked over but Kane doesn’t tend to sell body-work so he big boots Miz down and tags in Undi. It’s weird seeing Undertaker running so fluidly at this stage of his career. Benjamin Button can’t get a double chokeslam on Miz & Morrison but Kane helps him make it a single chokeslam on both. Undertaker finishes with the Tombstone Piledriver.
Winners: Kane & The Undertaker (Harmless house show match to get Undertaker on the show, who the crowd obviously loved.)
Overall: This would have been a forgotten show if it hadn’t been for Adamle’s debut. Despite the star power in the main event and eight-man tag match, there wasn’t anything that stood out above Adamle’s Holy Shit Didn’t Anyone See If This Dude Could Commentate Wrestling Before Hiring Him performance which was at least 0.8 Art O’Donnell. It would later emerge that Adamle was struggling with CTE, making this all the more alarming.
We’re still in Miami, Flordia for the ECW on Sci-Fi after Wrestlemania and our NEWWWWW ECW Champion Kane is here to fill in the exposition in case you missed his match because you were away buying merch or blinking. CM Punk shows up with his briefcase to also fill in the gaps but promises he’s not going to cash in on Kane, but if he wanted to he could do it anytime. Chavo interrupts, calling Kane’s win a fluke. Punk calls Chavo a record breaker by having the shortest match in Wrestlemania history. (He may be right there.) Benjamin comes out and says ”do you feel lucky Punk?” generating this well-deserved reaction:
anyway blahblah tag match tonight that isn’t changed into a nine-man match by Shane McMahon.