As I mentioned, I was in Chicago this past week on vacation.
A shout out to a few folks along the way during my vacation… first, to the folks at Mother Hubbard’s Sports Pub in near North Chicago…to Chicago’s Kathy Fitzpatrick, Mother Hubbard’s owner (no, not the one you’ve read about in my column over the years), the 3 “Jens” behind the bar, and all the assorted regular customers and characters. If you travel to Chicago, are staying anywhere near the Loop, and prefer a neighborhood sports bar that isn’t a tourist trap, has killer Buffalo wings and like to relax and have fun….go to State and Hubbard…this may well be your place.
A shout out to the original Bleachers Bums at Wrigley Field, crazy, but inclusive to anyone who wanted to have fun like they did at a Cubs game. They remind me of the ECW Arena crazies at the height of ECW’s tenure. Just a lot less sunburned at the Arena.
And two thumbs down (what did you want given my going on vacation to the home of Siskel and Ebert?):
One thumbs down to the people in Chicago who ran the Luchamania USA show there a week ago Sunday (yes, I plugged their show on my site) with badly handled crowd lines, including making people standing outside in oppressive temperatures and humidity past the originally listed start time. There were added multiple examples of botched online ticket sales made worse by people at the ticket windows who couldn’t seem to do anything about them. Not to mention long, unexplained interludes during the show, which added unneeded time to a long, oppressively hot evening at the un-airconditioned Congress Theatre. I’ve been to probably a hundred ECW Arena shows over the years, but even the worst handled lines back from 1996-2001 were never this bad.
The other thumbs down to American Airlines who managed to get me to Chicago leaving 90 minutes late after my flight to Chicago was delayed with no explanation and staff that got pissed off when different people asked them for a reason…and leaving 90 minutes late becasue “a pilot hadn’t been assigned to the flight”. I was one of the happier people at O’Hare as some people I spoke to needed to sleep overnight there. Why do airlines wonder why they aren’t making money resulting from less people are flying between TSA lines and flight delays after moments like these?
Well, I managed to get out of Chicago, get home, get everything straighened away, and begin a great wrestling weekend at the ECW Arena; beginning on Saturday night for Dragon Gate USA, in an insanely hot ECW Arena before a packed crowd there to see Bryan Danielson and the returning DGUSA roster. Here are the results:
Lince Dorado vs. Super Shenlong goes to a 10 minute draw
Cheech/Cloudy defeated Rex Reed/Tommasso Cimapa
Jimmy Jacobs defeated Sami Callihan
CIMA defeated Johnny Garagno in a hot opener with a Meteora
WARRIORS International match: Adam Cole vs. Chuck Taylor vs. Ricochet vs. Arik Cannon in an elimination match for a potential spot in WARRIORS International. Chuck Taylor pinned Riccochet to win the match. Taylor was over like crazy with the crowd, heavy with CHIKARA fans and Danielson fans.
Naruki Doi defeated Drake Younger in an eh sort of match. Doi appeared to be working hurt. Younger seemed to be trying hard but his style didn’t seem to mesh with Doi’s.
Rich Swann defeated Scott Reid in the post-intermission popcorn match. Then the real reason for the match came out as Brodie Lee preceeded to play “punt the little men”…and the female valet.
The team of Jigsaw/Hallowicked/Mike Quackenbush/Masato Yoshino defeated the team of. KAMIKAZE USA (Akira Tozawa/YAMATO/Gran Akuma/Jon Moxley) -. Eliminations in order: YAMATO eliminated Hallowicked after a Gallaria. Mike Quackenbush defeated Gran Akuma. Jox Moxley elimanted via DQ for using a chair. Yoshino submitted YAMATO with Sol Naciente, Quackenbush submitted Tozawa with a GH Lock.
BxB Hulk retained his Open the Freedom Gate title over Masaaki Mochizuki – BxB Hulk (who lost a hair match), came out and did his usual pre-match dance, wearing a wig. This was an Incredible match that got hurt only by a botched finish that eventually saw BxB Hulk retain via First Flash. Post-match, KAMIKAZE USA beat down BxBHulk, with Bryan Danielson making the save.
Bryan Danielson defeated SHINGO in a killer main event with false finish after false finish. Even though the crowd has to be exhausted and dehydrated…the crowd was up for this match. Its a safe guess that a lot of the large crowd came to see Danielson and went home happy after Danielson offered his services to the World-a faction and the show closed with “Final Countdown” playing and the crowd singing along to close the show.
Then, on Sunday afternoon, CHIKARA Pro Wrestling returned to the ECW Arena before a crowd estimated at 700 plus with raised ticket prices to boot. The temperatuires were mercifully cooler than Saturday night as the AC was working better and a heavy thunderstorm in the area dropped temperatures.
The biggest news of the day may have the announcement of the first American appearance of Japanese joshi legend Manami Toyota for CHIKARA appearances in Baltimore and New York City (the location interestingly was not announced until after the show, probably to avoid booing from the Philadelphia fans).
The BDK quartet of Tim Donst/Pink Ant/Lince Dorado/Tursas defeated The Colony (Soldier Ant/Green Ant/Fire Ant) and Frightmare with Pinkie Sanchez defeating Frightmare by to give the Bruderschaft the victory
Super Secret Seventh Bonus Match (actually the second)
SHINGO defeated Jimmy “Equinox” Olsen by pinfall
Eddie Kingston then came out to induct Tommy Dreamer into the ECW Arena Hall of Fame for 2010. As his banner was unveiled, Dreamer gave a short, nice speech, including how he and Taz couldn’t find the Arena on their first drive to it
THE CHALLENGE IS ANSWERED!
The BDK women’s duo of Sara Del Rey/Daizee Haze defeated Amazing Kong/Raisha Saeed with Daizee Haze hittign a German Suplezx on Amazing Kong (yes, you read that one right…and it looked good)
CHIKARA vs. DRAGON GATE TRIOS BOUT!
CIMA/Super Shenlong/Masaaki Mochizuki defeated F.I.S.T.’s team of Icarus/Chuck Taylor/Gran Akuma after CIMA pinned Gran Akuma. Post-match, Johnny Gargano came into in the ring, with Icarus then turning on longtime partner Gran Akuma Icarus & Taylor took the wrist guards and gave them to Gargano
REVENGE IS A TRIOS MATCH BEST SERVED HOT!
Drake Younger/The Osirian Portal defeated The UnStable after the Portal won via “Sacrament”. Post-match, Drake Younger actually danced with The Osirian Portal.
TAG TEAM SHOWDOWN!
The BDK tag team of Claudio Castagnoli/Ares defeated Tommy Dreamer/Eddie Kingston after heel ref shenanigans by BDK referee Derek Sabato and Castagnoli nailingr Dreamer with the Ricola Bomb
CHIKARA SEKIGUN vs. DRAGON GATE’s WORLD-1!
Mike Quackenbush/Jigsaw/Hallowicked defeated. Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino/BxB Hulk after Mike Quackenbush pinned Doi with the Quackendriver II in a killer main eventr
Until next time…
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