War Of The Felines
Date: October 13, 2018
Location: Forrest Lodge, Sellersville, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Tim Taylor, Brad Demayo
This is Excellence Professional Wrestling and for reasons I don’t think I want to know, its shows have cat themes. I’m not sure what that is going to mean here but you never know what you are going to find in the indies. I know some of the names on this show and that might not be a bad thing, as this feels VERY Chikara style. Let’s get to it.
A woman is at her desk when a masked man comes in and brings Felina (said woman) her lunch and the posters for upcoming events. She says she knows his secret but she’ll keep it as long as he plays nice with her cats. Ok then.
Chat D’Kroger/Cornelius Crummels vs. Too Many Cooks
I think D’Kroger was the masked man from the opening segment and Too Many Cooks are Sloppy Joe and Assistant Chef Smoothie Blackmon (there’s an indy name for you). The Cooks have very oversized spatulas and the fans seem REALLY happy with them. Granted it might be their snappy theme song, which says Too Many Cooks over and over. Joe mocks Crummels with the spatula before the bell as the referee tries to get two in and two out. Crummels takes his jacket off and apparently smells rather horribly.
Blackmon and Crummels start things off and fight over wrist control, with Crummels handing it off to D’Kroger. That doesn’t go well for D’Kroger, as he gets taken into the corner so Joe can take him into the corner as commentary talks about their love of gumbo. The Cooks double team D’Kroger down so Joe can roll over him (the Rolling Pin, which is rolling but not a pin) but Crummels throws his horrible jacket at Joe’s face.
With Joe panicking over the germs and smell, Crummels gets to come in and stomp away. D’Kroger grabs an armbar before it’s time for some stomping/choking in the corner. Crummels adds a running elbow as commentary tries to figure out if D’Kroger is a wrestler named Buck Gunderson. A leg lariat gives Crummels two but Joe fights up and it’s a double clothesline for a double knockdown. That’s enough for the hot tag off to Blackmon so house can get cleaned….which lasts for about two seconds as D’Kroger rakes his chest. Everything breaks down and a Hart Attack finishes D’Kroger at 9:35.
Rating: C. The wrestling wasn’t great but the Cooks were a lot of fun and that is why you put them in the opener. They are an entertaining team with a unique gimmick and the fans liked them. Putting them out there in the opener against some heels is a great way to go and this worked well. Not a great match, but a good start to the show.
Hold on though as here is someone named Blaxstrom to help jump Joe. Cat #2 and Johnny Moran run in for the save and here is Felina to make the six man tag.
Chat D’Kroger/Cornelius Crummels/Blaxstrom vs. Cat #2/Johnny Moran/Assistant Chef Smoothie Blackmon
Cat #2 and Blaxstrom start things off as commentary talks about the cat-like things everyone does. Blaxstrom gets armdragged into an armbar as commentary remembers it is Spanish Heritage Month and starts speaking in stereotypical Spanglish. Moran and D’Kroger come in with the latter being shoved down in a heap. D’Kroger pulls up and then takes down his strap, setting up a lowing effort in a test of strength.
With that going nowhere, it’s off to Crummels vs. Blackmon, with the latter taking him down and hammering away. Crummels gets him into the corner so the villains can start the alternating stomps. Blackmon finally gets an elbow up in the corner but Blaxstrom clotheslines him right back down. That means the stomping can continue, with D’Kroger adding a headbutt for two as commentary dubs him the Nickelback of cats.
Blackmon finally rolls over and makes the hot tag off to Cat #2, who is cut off almost immediately with a jumping knee to the face. A release gordbuster gives D’Kroger two and it’s back to Crummels to slowly stomp Cat #2 down. D’Kroger comes in and….starts playing with Cat #2 like they’re both cats, leaving commentary confused until Crummels gets him out of there.
With that bizarre exchange out of the way, Blaxstrom comes in to work on Cat #2’s arm. That doesn’t last long as Crummels comes in and gets crossbodied down, allowing the double tag to Moran and Blaxstrom. Moran’s sunset flip is countered into a sliding knee to the face and it’s D’Kroger grabbing a crossface chickenwing. Cat #2 comes in to pull D’Kroger’s mask for the save and Moran hits a Widowmaker to finish D’Kroger at 14:20.
Rating: C-. This didn’t work as well as the opener as Blackmon wasn’t a factor, leaving the charisma down. Blackmon could have been dropped here and nothing would have changed, which doesn’t make for the most thrilling match. It also doesn’t help that the cat stuff is already starting to get a little old, as it is the running theme throughout the entire show. Not a terrible match, but it felt long and not that interesting.
Will Goonet vs. Icarus
Goonet is a hockey player and Icarus is a Chikara mainstay who runs around the ring a lot before getting inside. Icarus slingshots into the ring and the fans want him to do it one more time for no apparent reason, though he does it anyway. Goonet jumps him from behind before the bell (maybe because Icarus had to do a dozen things first) but Icarus comes back with a shot of his own for an early two.
That earns Icarus a trip into the corner and there’s a loud forearm to the chest. A suplex gives Goonet two, with commentary wondering why he even bothered to cover after a single suplex. There’s a kick to the back for the same, as commentary is talking about a wrestler named Danger Jameson.
We hit the chinlock for a bit before Goonet takes him into the corner for some right hands. The referee actually breaks it up and the beating is on, complete with Icarus pulling Goonet’s jersey over his head to make it worse. A shot to the back of the head takes Icarus down again but he’s right back with a Russian legsweep. Icarus grabs a top wristlock as we hear about Barry Darsow for some reason. A legdrop gives Icarus two (Taylor: “That would have put him away in 84.”) but Goonet’s belly to back suplex gets the same. Goonet puts on a chinlock of his own but Icarus is right back up with Sliced Bread #2 for the pin at 8:00.
Rating: C. Goonet was just a gimmick guy and that’s all he needed to be in a spot like this. At the same time, you have Icarus, who is probably going to be one of the more solid performers on this show. Sometimes you need a solid enough match like this one and this worked out fine, as Icarus shrugged off what Goonet threw at him and then won in the end, nice and clean.
Post match, commentary explains that Icarus gets a title shot if Danger Jameson wins a match later tonight. See how easy it is to explain something like that?
Frightmare vs. MC Hardbody
Hardbody seems rather popular with the fans, possibly because he doesn’t even weigh 150lbs. They pose at each other to start before going to the test of strength. You don’t do that with someone named Frightmare, who knocks him down to frustrate Hardbody a bit. This sends us to the required Toy Story discussion as Frightmare grabs an armbar, which is reversed into an armbar.
Hardbody grabs a chinlock, with commentary suggesting that him leaning on Frightmare won’t do much good. Frightmare fights up without much trouble but gets wristdragged into the corner, setting up a slingshot Stunner. A springboard….snapmare leaves Frightmare sitting down, where he covers his eyes. Hardbody sits in front of him for a shot to the face but a 619 is blocked. Instead Frightmare kicks him in the face to send us out to the floor, where Frightmare offers to let some young girls chop Hardbody.
That won’t be happening so they go back inside where Frightmare gets to stand on him n the corner. A slam gives Frightmare two and a standing moonsault is good for the same. Hardbody fights out of a headlock so Frightmare runs him over with a shoulder. There’s a release German suplex for two on Hardbody, with commentary criticizing the cover technique in their best Gorilla Monsoon impressions (minus the impressions).
Hardbody is back up with a kick to the face into the 619 to put Frightmare on the floor. The big dive connects and now some young fans will chop Frightmare in a funny bit. The camera operator gets in a chop before a boy hits Frightmare in the face. Back in again and Hardbody hits a missile dropkick for two but Frightmare plants him with a Pentagon Driver for the same.
The standing moonsault misses though and Hardbody scores with a Death Valley Driver for two more. A running basement DDT…is badly mistimed, as Hardbody doesn’t get his arm around the head so Frightmare kind of DDTs himself. Hardbody misses a Swanton though and it’s the Kneecolepsy (standing moonsault knees to the chest) to give Frightmare the pin at 12:08.
Rating: C. This one falls more into the entertaining but not exactly great category, as there is only so much you can get out of someone as small as Hardbody who isn’t flying all over the place. The stuff with the fans slapping Frightmare was fun, but that’s about the highlight of the match. It wasn’t awful, though I never got into it very well.
Green Ant and Johnny Moran interrupt a chat with Tim Taylor to say they’re not done with Blaxstrom and Hermit Crab.
Green Ant vs. Hermit Crab
Hold on though as there is no Hermit Crab to start so we’ll go with Green Ant instead….but he doesn’t come out either. Then both of them fight through the curtain and the bell rings so Ant can start in on Crab’s arm. A spinebuster gets Crab out of trouble as commentary tries to figure out what kind of a shirt he is wearing. Crab hits a suplex but misses a middle rope crab walk (just go with it) elbow.
Ant can’t quite grab an octopus stretch so he settles for a springboard spinning crossbody for two. A gutwrench powerbomb gets Crab out of trouble but he can’t get a Boston crab. The nerve hold goes on, with Crab not exactly appearing to put on too much pressure. That means it isn’t hard for Ant to get up and hit a superkick for two, only to have Crab come back with a teardrop suplex. Now the Boston crab can go on, though again Crab isn’t great at putting on a hold. Ant slips out and grabs the octopus for the tap at 5:58.
Rating: D+. The match was short (like the two of them) but the bigger problem here was they didn’t exactly seem to be laying it in. That nerve hold was embarrassing and for two guys who started fighting in the back, they didn’t seem like people who wanted to hurt each other. I wasn’t feeling this one and it was pretty disappointing.
Post match Ant keeps the hold on for a bit too long. After letting it go and being joined by Johnny Moran, Ant gets a mic and says it isn’t over between the two of them and Blaxstrom/Hermit Crab. They want a tag match next month.
We see Icarus training when someone in a helmet surprises him with a tap on the shoulder. The helmet guy asks Icarus to train him, but Icarus thinks that’s as good of an idea as running the Boston marathon with one leg. Icarus agrees to accompany him to the ring though, which has helmet guy rather pleased. Apparently Felina has granted helmet guy a title shot next month. Icarus: “WHAT THE F***???” I’m going to assume this is Danger Jameson in a segment that might have made more sense if we saw it earlier in the show.
We go to Icarus training Jameson, who seems to be a bit of a clueless putz. Icarus gives him a training regimen, involving listening to the Lion King soundtrack twice a day. Icarus wants to hear five of Jameson’s holds but isn’t sure what he picks. Two guys come in with their bags and tells Jameson to train hard because they have 61 days left. They leave, so Icarus asks Jameson who the man is. Jameson lists off a bunch of superheroes and Icarus facepalms. After a little help, Jameson gets the idea and they celebrate, with Jameson being knocked out.
Hallowicked (Excellence Champion) praises Blaxstrom for his match but isn’t pleased with Hermit Crab. Hallowicked and Blaxstrom leave so Crab consults a doll.
One note: there were no graphics or recaps or explanations for those segments and I had to figure out who some of the people were. That’s not a good idea as it can get confusing quickly if you are a first time viewer.
Excellence Title: Hallowicked vs. Danger Jameson
Hallowicked is defending and has Blaxstrom, Frightmare and Hermit Crab (apparently they’re part of some kind of a cult) with him. The four kneel in prayer but here is Felina to say Wicked’s Army will do anything to keep the title. Therefore, she is going to even the odds a bit by making this a No DQ match. That works for the Army, who quadruple team Jameson down in the corner until Hermit Crab runs to the back. He comes back to the ring with, I kid you not, Quadruple Strength Poison Powder (that’s what the label on the big jar says) so here is Icarus for the save.
House is cleaned in a hurry and the bell rings, only to have Jameson miss a top rope splash. Hallowicked slowly starts beating on him, setting up a Fujiwara armbar. With that let go, Hallowicked hits a fall away slam as the dominance is on. Jameson grabs a rollup for two but gets knocked down again, setting up a middle rope double stomp. A half crab makes it even worse for Jameson before Hallowicked switches to a chokebomb.
Icarus comes back in to Pedigree Hallowicked but Jameson’s top rope splash is broken up with some powder to the eyes. Instead Jameson hits a double arm DDT and some running splashes in the corner stagger Hallowicked again. A Russian legsweep puts Hallowicked down and the top rope splash finally connects, only to have Frightmare come in for the save. Icarus takes Frightmare to the back so Hallowicked throws more powder at James. A leg trap DDT retains Hallowicked’s title at 7:31.
Rating: C. This could have been worse as it was almost all smoke and mirrors since Jameson isn’t exactly supposed to be a polished star. The majority of the match was spent with Hallowicked and company beating up Jameson until Icarus came in and did a few things to even it up. Not good, but it was entertaining enough while it lasted.
Dan Champion and the Boar of Moldova are leaving when Cornelius Crummels come up. They congratulate Crummels on his match and offer him dinner out of a trashcan. Crummels turns them down and they all decide to go to Applebees. Again: Champion and the Boar, who are scheduled for the main event, are not identified here and the only reason I know them is from shows in other promotions. Also, why are they leaving if they haven’t wrestled yet?
Havoc/Oleg the Usurper vs. Boar of Moldova/Dan Champion
Tables, doors and boards match. It’s a brawl on the floor to start with Boar running over Oleg and Champion chopping Havoc up against the wall. Champion can’t suplex Havoc through some chairs as the other two fight around the arena. Instead Havoc gets thrown through the chairs as Oleg is hog tying the Boar. Havoc keeps hammering away as Boar kicks Oleg away.
Champion gets kicked in the stomach as….something loud that we can’t see happen with the other two. Havoc and Champion get inside and set up a door in the corner as Oleg has tied up the Boar’s legs and is dragging him around the ring. As Havoc punches Champion with a fist wrapped in a belt, Oleg has been buried under a bunch of chairs. Boar gets back in to save Champion and slowly stomp on Havoc.
That’s broken up with a German suplex but it’s Champion coming back in to cut havoc off again. Oleg comes back in for the save but here is Cornelius Crummels to go after Oleg and Havoc. That doesn’t go well for Crummels, who gets kicked in the head and thrown outside, as Oleg has something in mind. A double chokeslam puts Crummels through a table and it’s time to go back to ringside for trashcan shots to Champion and Boar.
Oleg puts the trashcan over Boar’s head and adds a superkick, with Havoc smashing the can with the lid. Champion gets back up for the save and Boar is able to side slam Havoc through the trashcan. Havoc’s hands get tied up with a belt and Boar drops a top rope elbow on Oleg. Champion knocks Oleg outside and apparently we miss a door being thrown at Havoc back inside. That leaves Champion and Boar to powerbomb Oleg through a merch table, which is apparently an elimination, because apparently this is a tables/doors/boards ELIMINATION match. Who knew?
Havoc is back up with some trashcan shots but Boar kicks him low. Boar’s spear misses though and he drives himself through the table, meaning it’s Champion vs. Havoc. A Champion Breaker (Irish Curse) drops Havoc and they fight up the ramp with Havoc in trouble. Champion hits him in the head with a belt (the Life Championship, which he brought with him) but Havoc comes back with his own belt shots.
Havoc can’t slam him off the stage though as his back gives out. It’s fine enough for a backdrop though and another belt shot rocks Champion. An Island Driver off the stage puts Champion through a table at 26:19….but it’s a draw because they both went through a table at the same time.
Rating: D+. Oh they can screw right off with that ending. They went the better part of half an hour for a lame draw in a match with no explanation? I get that the teams hated each other but there was no explanation whatsoever for WHY they hated each other. Then you have that ending, which made the lack of a story that much worse. The ending made me mad and that is never the way to go.
The fans are not happy as the wrestlers are checked on/taken out to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. The show had some fun moments (Too Many Cooks were a blast) but this was one of the weaker shows I’ve seen in this series of indy events. Nothing on here was worth seeing, but the bigger problem was with the presentation. There was very little in the way of explaining what was going on, who these people were or why fans should care. It doesn’t help that this was a bunch of characters from Chikara, which isn’t the easiest thing to get into in the first place. Not exactly a good show and I was disappointed based on how promising some of this seemed on paper.
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