Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Philadelphia saw the CHIKARA King of Trios tournament last weekend for three days at the ECW Arena, drawing around 550 Friday night, 480 Satuirday night, and 575 Sunday afternoon. CHIKARA lost about 75 on Saturday night, which is usually the best night to draw in Philly as Philadelphia crowds tend to only like to come out on Saturday nights. Even with this lineup, Villanova was playing for the right to go to the NCAA Final Four, which hurt a lot.

Matt and Nick Jackson, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Young Bucks, got over like crazy with the Arena crowd. There were comedy segments in Soul Touchaz-Wellington/ Sanchez/Excellent that were hilarious (you have to understand that CHIKARA is a lucha program and certain spots are classic to lucha...but wouldn't work on Monday nights). There was also a 79 count Giant Swing by Claudio Castagnoli on Grizzly Redwood (or whatever the count actually was..estimates seem to differ between 59 and 100) that was one of the damndest things I've ever seen.

The crowd wasn't happy with the Death Match Kings (featuring Necrobutcher) not going over, but that at least made sense to some. However, it was followed by the crowd crapping all over the Team DDT loss, and not heel heat...the crowd was pissed to a point that the official results above couldn't even ignore it; primarily because The Future Is Now trio (featuring Lince Dorado) went over. To put it mildly, there is ZERO Love for Lince Dorado among ECW Arena fans. The crowd views Dorado as over-pushed and not-particularly talented.

It took Johnny Saint's tremendous technical stuff in the next match to get the crowd back. It was amazing to watch this 66 year old man from the classic World of Sport wrestling era pull off technical move after technical move so crisply. His portion of the match last night ought to be required viewing for a lot of people who consider themselves wrestlers, including those headquartered in Stamford. I can't say enough how fluid Johnny Saint is with his age whatever. It's just simple chain wrestling, but done so well that it holds the crowd's attention fantastically.

The show should have been ended with that match, instead of ending with Vin Gerard, STIGMA, and Colin Delaney going over on Snow, D-Lo Brown, and Glacier. The crowd seemed to be more than pleased that D-Lo Brown was the replacement for Iceberg, but not pleased that D-Lo was the putting over the heels.

On Saturday, which saw two Rey de Voladores matches (usually done at another show, but with this talent roster available...). The second with Jackson-Ibushi-El Generico-Jigsaw was off the great and makes the DVD for King of Trios worth getting by itself just for what Ibushi puilled out alone. When Meltzer sees a DVD of this match, he'll be throwing more stars at it than a Korakuen Hall main event. Everyone brought out their bigtime working boots for this one with Generico pulling out his Fosbury flop dive, followed only seconds later by his bottom rope-DDT combo, and Ibsuhi pulled out a Super Reverse Frankensteiner (top rope Dragon rana), his Golden Star Press, which is incredible to see. Buy the DVD of this tournament from Smart Mark Video and be sure to see this match.

Contrasting that, in the independent showcase match, the appearance of Gary The Barn Owl a probably a good idea at the time. That's the best that can be said about him. That's the only part of this weekend that could have been the "greenness" that Dave Meltzer described in comments about this weekend. Someone might want to make sure he gets a DVD of the Jackson-Ibushi-El Generico-Jigsaw match. he may change his mind.

This coming week will be a big one again for wrestling in Philadelphia, even though it's Easter weekend, with Ring Of Honor taping for HDNet in a rare Thursday night show and Friday night taping, followed by Combat Zone Wrestling on Saturday in theiur usual second Saturday of the month slot.

Main event matches announced for the Thursday, April 9 taping are: Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong, Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black, and a ROH World Tag Team Title Match with Kevin Steen & El Generico defend vs. Kenny King/Rhett Titus. Main event matches announced for Friday, April 10 are Chris Hero vs. Eddie Kingston, and Jimmy Jacobs/Brodie Lee vs. The Necro Butcher/Delirious.

Ticket sales have been tough for these two TV tapings, given the fact that it's Easter weekend...with a Thursday night show to boot.

CZW will be in its normal second Saturday slot the next evening, Satirday, April 11. Matches already signed for CZW on Saturday are Nick Gage vs. the midwest's Deranged, Ryan McBride defending his CZW Junior Heavyweight Championship against Egotistico Fantastico, Drew Blood vs. Pinkie Sanchez, and in something booked as a "New Horror" Title Match, and Sami Callahan vs. Brain Damage thus far.

Until next time...

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