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[2009-09-13-Chikara-Hiding In Plain Sight] Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli vs Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw

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Amazing stuff. Danielson comes in looking like an absolute boss who's come to just throw around some indy boys. He's great as a douche veteran stretching and torturing Jigsaw. Jigsaw puts in a fantastic face in peril performance and consistently sells his leg. His strikes are a bit iffy but his flying and selling makes up for it. Quack plays a great veteran sticking up for his student. Castagnoli was fun too of course with his fantastic power moves. A real gem of a match that just took some basics and strung together something fantastic.



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Alright so this is my 3'rd week of Secret Santo and this match was given to me by Matt Franklin. I haven't see a ton of Chikara outside the Johnny Saint appearances and 1-2-3 Kid there so it's all new to me.


So for this one I didn't do a blow by blow review but here's my overall thoughts which I'll follow with my pro/cons and rating at the end.


The opening shine gave opportunity for everyone to establish who they were and what their roles were with some nod to past interactions with Bryan and Claudio being part of Team Uppercut and Quack and his prized student turned partner Jigsaw. Also we got the announce team(ugh more on them later) giving us some additional backstory and blowing Bryan as an indie god.


The shine part was dominated by Bryan and Quack going at it in a technical wrestling battle with Claudio and Jigsaw sprinkled in and out with Jigsaw showing his role as the underdog student teaming with his teacher and Claudio doing his Swiss Superman deal.


Then Bryan and Claudio take over on Jigsaw and work his leg over(the announcers reference Jigsaw injuring it on an show a few weeks prior and limping, Bryan was also on the same show so he obviously took note of it for his upcoming match here with Jigsaw and Quack so good story telling and nod to Bryan's skill as a tactician) with vicious and cruel leg work and really heeling it up while still showcasing some of their athletic talents mixed in but not overshadowing that their mean bastards who wanna hurt Quack's student turned partner.


The whole time Bryan and Claudio are wrenching and twisting poor Jigsaw, Quack is on the apron looking on like it's no big deal and little reaction or emotion outside of limited spurts which really hurt the work I felt Team Uppercut was doing as if Quack doesn't give a shit about his student's well being during this onslaught then why would anyone else?


Finally after getting knocked off the apron again and again during the heat as well (which Quack also didn't get too upset about which made no sense) Quack seemingly had enough and barges in with no tag and slaps Bryan who has Jigsaw in a half crab with an awesome slap(unfortunately was probably the only good strike Quack throws in this match).


He and Bryan start exchanging blows and Quack(who is now somehow the legal man) and Jigsaw launch a lucha style offensive comeback which takes us into a sprint to the finish which after a few nearfalls and a cattle mutilation by Danielson had Quack counter Danielson's sunset flip with a clutch pin to score the win.




- Great heel work by Danielson and Claudio looking mean and vicious in their offense.


- Hot crowd for Bryan being there


- Some cool spots like Claudio doing a swing with holding Jigsaw by one leg


- Quack and Danielson's back and forth technical wrestling battle in the start was very crisp and well done.




- As I referenced above I found the announcers awful, they had some bright spots dropping some good backstory and getting over the participants but it for me was overshadowed by their voice cracking, mile a minute talking, screeching calls that made want to turn the sound off.


- The crowd early on watching this is a predecessor to the kinds of shit and chants I dislike at modern NXT shows like the "this is awesome" chant and calling out stupid comments about things that don't have any relevance to the match at hand other than to hear themselves.


- Quack's strikes looks like trash outside the one slap he hit Danielson with, they looked flailing and weak.


- Jigsaw's strikes weren't much better but he also didn't throw them as much or big burst of offense and stuck to what he could do well.


- Quack's lack of facial expression and overall poor conveying of emotion knocked the whole thing down for me as here is his prized student and partner teaming with him to take on 2 of the top guys in the world who are dangerous as all hell and wrenching the shit out of your student's already injured knee and knocking you off the apron over and over again and you have little to no expression of concern,frustration or anger. Total horseshit and defeats the storytelling part of wrestling, without that drama it just comes off as a tumbling routine.


Quack outside of his fantastic technical and lucha skills is not very good at all and it showed glaringly in this match in my opinion. Outside of athletic exhibitions, technical/flying contests or dream matches he just doesn't seem to be able to do a dramatic story that projects his emotion to the viewer which is what makes great talent so great to me.


So due to this but also giving credit to how great the work was aside from some of the glaring flaws, I give it ***1/2. Good match worth a watch and fun but not a must see or an all time classic.

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„Wow wee wow-wow!“ - Chikara commentator

„I think Quack wants to wrestle you!“ - Jigsaw, to Danielson

Man, Chikara can be awkward to watch. This was a fun indy match. Some fine indy WoS work to start, I especially liked Danielson busting out Regal's nasty knee on chest neck crank. People have talked about the legwork, but I thought Danielson's responses to Jigsaw's dweeby strikes were the highlights of the match. They lost me a bit during the „everybody runs in and breaks up pinfalls/submissions“ section. What's the point of doing FIP when everyone can just run in at any time? Jigsaw's selling was so-so, really exaggerated, but he was also doing plenty of jumping around. Quack's „sumo“ palm strikes were cringe inducing, so were the commentators who talked about how much Jigsaw loves to wrestle Danielson while Danielson was ripping up his leg.

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I enjoyed this, but it's more so good than great and not the MOTY it's being portrayed. It's nowhere near being as good as the King of Trios match from the same year between Team Uppercut and the Masters of a 1000 Holds with the great Johnny Saint performance. I thought everyone was good here, however Danielson put on an incredible performance and is easily my pick for MVP of this match with him exploiting Jigsaw's bummed knee, heeling it up and hitting Jigsaw with some vicious mounted elbows. Jigsaw does a good job fighting from underneath and selling his bummed knee. I dug the little bits where he turned around and slapped Danielson while he was trying to set it up a surfboard stretch and when he broke up the Cattle Mutilation with a single stomp because his knee was too bummed for him to do a proper double stomp. Dug Claudio bumping around for Quack and being a general powerhouse here. That airplane spin he does where he does it with no hands is an incredible spot. And as goofy as CHIKARA can be, you have to love how protected the CHIKARA Special is as a move there.

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Despite being surrounded by three great talents, Jigsaw manages to stand out of the crowd and put in a phenomenonal performance which features a fantastic babyface performance with some excellent selling. Watching Danielson bully Jigsaw and work over his leg was a real treat. The mat work was fantastic and it reminded me of something you would see on World Of Sport. I was thinking this was excellent until the second half, where the match broke down and you had guys running in and out of the ring constantly and it felt like a Michinoku Pro multi-man. Not that there's anything wrong with those matches, but that style of match wasn't needed here with the story they were trying to craft. ★★★★

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