Tries His Hardest: The Chuck Taylor Story

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Interview

The interview was filmed some time in 2008 in the ECW Arena. It’s very short at just under 50 minutes, not even scratching the surface of Chuck’s career. He talks about how he got into wrestling and then training. Something I didn’t know was that Chuck fell out of wrestling but then got back in because he was an ICP fan and heard they were on RAW. He was a fan of the Rock. I wonder if he knew the Rock would tweet him seven years later? The high-fliers got him into Japanese and Mexican wrestling which led to him wanting to train. He goes on to describe coming up in Kentucky and having a hand in training Ricochet. At this time, he and Ricochet didn’t travel anywhere without each other. How times have changed. Chuck touches on IWA Mid-South, CHIKARA, and CZW, but barely gives any detail outside of enjoying wrestling for them and appreciating the opportunities they provided. Bryce Remsburg is on hand to trigger some memories of drunk stories, most of which are overseas. They are very amusing, and probably the highlight of the interview. It’s hard to say this interview was terribly worthwhile. Maybe at the time it was, but in 2016 I can’t say that it terribly insightful. It gives you an idea of his sense of humor at the time and some anecdotes, but that’s about it.

There are also 25 matches on this compilation. Let’s see if those sweeten the deal.

Matches

Chuck Taylor & Ricochet vs. Eddie Kingston & Brandon Thomaselli
IWA Mid-South “March Massacre” – Midlothian, IL – 3.18.2006

Taylor and Ricochet debuted for IWA Mid-South the night prior. Ricochet makes his way out to wrestle Brandon Thomaselli. Kingston and Thomaselli bully Ricochet based on his size. This results in Chuck Taylor, Kingston’s opponent for later, coming out and making the save. Taylor proposes they have a tag team match instead of a singles. Kingston turns it down at first, but after talking it over with Thomaselli, they accept.

Thomaselli takes down Taylor with an armdrag after winning a wristlock exchange. They trade headlocks on the mat. Thomaselli kips up out of Taylor’s headscissors counter. Ricochet unloads with punches and forearms, bringing Thomaselli to the floor. He chases Thomaselli back into the ring and doesn’t notice the tag to Kingston. Kingston attacks Ricochet from behind and chops him in the corner. Thomaselli and Kingston deliver a double running shoulder block. Ricochet is beaten down and isolated in their half of the ring, but despite all the damage, including back to back yakuza kicks, Ricochet is able to sneak in a tornado DDT on Kingston. He enzuigiri’s Kingston away and tags in Taylor. He comes in with a springboard punch to Kingston (slipping on the way down). He dropkicks Thomaselli to the floor and hits a tope con hilo onto him and Kingston. Ricochet then lands a corkscrew plancha off the top onto everyone. Back in the ring, Kingston hits Ricochet with a shotgun lariat. Taylor breaks the cover. He boots Kingston to stop Kingston’s charge. He takes him down with a Russian leg sweep for two. Thomaselli puts Taylor in a torture rack, dropping him down into a neckbreaker. Ricochet makes the save. Thomaselli goes for a powerbomb. Ricochet counters with a huracanrana. Kingston kicks Ricochet in the face to stop the count. Kingston gives him the Royal Flush. Thomaselli goes for a yakuza kick but blasts Kingston instead! Taylor drives his knees into Thomaselli’s face and clotheslines him to the floor. Kingston chops down Taylor. Afters ome forearms he calls for the uranage suplex. Taylor counters with a standing Shiranui. Ricochet hits the double rotation moonsault on Kingston for the win at 11:12! The crowd was hot and receptive to the newcomers and the win felt like a huge upset. Obviously everybody loved the finish, but I think Kingston and Thomaselli’s relentless bullying helped tremendously in telling a story and getting the crowd to react accordingly. Good stuff all around, and just a small sample of what was to come. **¾

Chuck Taylor vs. Marek Brave
IWA Mid-South “There Goes The Neighborhood” – Midlothian, IL – 6.16.2006

Immediately Taylor dropkicks Brave to the floor and follows with a dive. He pummels Brave around ringside, throwing him into a ring post before taking him back inside. Brave gets in some shots back in the ring, but Taylor avoids a corner attack and delivers another dropkick. He takes Brave over with a belly-to-belly suplex and pummels Brave across the face with repeated inner forearm strikes. Brave blocks a clothesline from Taylor and reverse hip tosses him into a facebuster. Brave bites Taylor in the face. Brave baseball slide dropkicks Taylor outside. He gets in some shots before bringing him back inside. He puts Taylor in a tree of woe and scrapes his boot across his face multiple times before delivering a dropkick. Brave yanks Taylor to the mat by his hair when Taylor tries to fight Brave off. Brave gives him some Kawada kicks and a jumping clothesline for two. Taylor tries a snapmare, but when that doesn’t go exactly right, he settles for a standing Shiranui. Brave catches Taylor with a backslide driver and superkick for two. Taylor counters an Irish whip with Sole Food. A step-up enzuigiri and Nothern Lights suplex only get Taylor a two count. Brave counters a tornado DDT by taking Taylor’s legs out and pinning him with a folding press with his feet on the ropes in 8:25. I appreciated Brave’s incidental nod to Ricochet with the Backslide Driver here. Otherwise this was a fun back-and-forth match. You could tell the crowd was become more appreciative and familiar with Taylor. **½

Chuck Taylor & Cloudy vs. Ricochet & Player Uno
CHIKARA “Young Lions Cup IV, Night 3” – Philadelphia, PA – 6.24.2006

Uno wastes no time, snapmaring Cloudy into a Camel Clutch. Cloudy delivers some armdrags. Uno drops him on his face to stop a quesadora. He hits a dropkick for two. Cloudy slides out to the floor. Taylor comes in with a springboard dropkick. Ricochet comes in with a huracanrana. He Tiger walks Taylor and goes for a monkey flip. Taylor sits Ricochet on the top rope. Ricochet snaps off another huracanrana. He rolls Taylor into a stretch. Ricochet flips to the top rope. He comes off only to be taken over with a belly-to-belly suplex. Taylor and Cloudy hit Partly Cloudy with a chance of…Chuck? Anyways, it gets a two count. God Taylor’s dropkick is pretty. He gets two with a moonsault. Ricochet escapes their grasp with a tornado kick to Cloudy. Uno slingshot sentons in for two. Uno gives him a Michinoku Driver. Taylor quickly breaks the pin. Cloudy gives Uno a Flying Blockbuster. Taylor dropkicks Uno’s neck. Uno whips Taylor to the corner. Taylor gets a neck-tie headscissors. Uno boots him. Ricochet monkey flips Taylor into a boot from Uno. Ricochet gives Taylor a lungblower. Uno German suplexes him. Cloudy makes the save. Uno cannonball dives onto Taylor through the middle rope. Ricochet sends Cloudy to the apron. Cloudy springs back off the middle rope onto Uno. Cloudy cuts off Ricochet’s dive, and Taylor tope con hilo’s over both of them onto Uno. Ricochet finishes things with a Double Rotation Moonsault onto everyone! In the ring Uno hits an uppercut to Cloudy. Uno drops him with the Game Genie. Taylor gives him a gnarly looking Awful Waffle. Ricochet breaks the pin. Ricochet fights him off the top rope. He hits a 630 splash and Cloudy makes the save again. Cloudy hits a Yoshi Tonic for the pin at 10:18. That was wild. These four guys made a statement by working their butts off from bell to bell. It’s no wonder everyone became CHIKARA regulars. In fact, I’d say this year yielded the most successful batch of Young Lions ever for the company. This was quite a show. ***¼

IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship
Josh Abercrombie (Champion) vs. Chuck Taylor

IWA Mid-South “Blue Summer’s Night Strut Comedy” – Midlothian, IL – 7.15.2006

Abercrombie controls Taylor in a waistlock on the canvas. He takes Taylor back down in a side headlock, getting some nearfalls from it. Abercrombie pops out of Taylor’s headscissors counter, resulting in a stalemate. Taylor uses a couple armdrag variations before chopping Abercrombie. Abercrombie rolls to the floor. Taylor follows and chops him again. Abercrombie digs his fingers into Taylor’s eyes. Taylor leaps back into the ring, dropkicks Abercrombie through the ropes, then lands a tope con hilo. In the ring, Abercrombie ducks a yakuza kick, then hooks Taylor’s leg before driving Taylor face first into the middle turnbuckle. Abercrombie drives his feet into Taylor’s back. He kicks Taylor in the back of the head for two. He stretches out Taylor’s back and neck. Taylor takes him over with a bridging Northern Lights suplex for two. A snap side suplex driver gets Abercrombie his own two count. Abercrombie delivers a running kick to the back of the head. He gets mad when Taylor reverses his pin, so Abercrombie throws shots to his head and back. Taylor catches Abercrombie in the corner and slams him. He hits Sole Food and delivers another hard chop. A beautiful dropkick and back body drop lead to another chop. He spins out Abercrombie into another slam for two. He calls for the Awful Waffle. Abercrombie drives Taylor back first into the corner. He hits the Taliban Backpack but doesn’t go for the cover. Instead, he hits a Phoenix Splash (hitting Taylor’s legs) for two. He looks for a second Taliban Backpack. Taylor tosses him down and turns him inside out with a lariat, but only gets two with a jackknife pin. He calls for the Awful Waffle. Abercrombie elbows his way out and calls for the Tom Selleck Driver. Taylor counters that with the Awful Waffle for two! Abercrombie stops Taylor in the corner with a back elbow. The second Taliban Backpack connects. He hits it a third time and then puts on a crossface while digging his knee into Taylor’s back. Taylor taps out at 15:51. I really do not like when the Awful Waffle is kicked out of, but at the time it wasn’t the deadly maneuver it would become. I also liked the wrestling and how the story of Abercrombie working the back paid off. It’s a fun, logical mid-card match and there’s nothing wrong with that. ***

Chuck Taylor vs. Delirious
IWA Mid-South “Simply The Best 7” – Midlothian, IL – 8.11.2006

Delirious goes crazy at the bell. Taylor goes outside, but Delirious chases him back into the ring. Delirious backs Taylor to the corner and pie faces him while speaking gibberish. Taylor gets on a full nelson. Delirious breaks free and flexes. He chops Taylor to the corner after resisting a shoulder block. Taylor takes him over with a Frankensteiner. He tries a quesadora, but Delirious kicks him to the corner and hits the Panic Attack. Delirious throws Taylor down onto his stomach and punts him in the face. Taylor breaks out Delirious’ grasp and hits the Sole Food. He takes down Delirious with a flying forearm, back body drop, and a dropkick for two. Delirious tries fighting back but Taylor takes him overhead with a belly-to-belly suplex. Delirious evades a dropkick. Taylor tries the Awful Waffle but Delirious counters with the Bizarro Driver for two. Delirious tries the Cobra Clutch but Taylor elbows out and places Delirious on the top turnbuckle and follows. Delirious sends Taylor down to the canvas. He hits Shadows Over Hell for two. He then locks on the Cobra Stretch. Taylor gets his foot to the ropes to escape. Delirious dropkicks Taylor’s knee out, but Taylor yanks him by the streamers on his mask and into the Awful Waffle for the upset victory at 10:14. I expected more comedy, but the wrestling was solid and the finish was really strong. It was one of those matches that raised Taylor’s stock by earning a clean win over a universally recognized independent talent. **¾

Chuck Taylor vs. Mike Quackenbush
IWA Deep South “The South Will Rise Again” – Pell City, AL – 8.26.2006

Quackenbush wins a wristlock exchange. He takes Taylor to the mat while barring his arm. He picks Taylor back up in a headlock when Taylor drops down. This happens a couple more times. Taylor stomps on Quackenbush’s leg to get on his own headlock. Quackenbush clotheslines Taylor to the floor. In the ring, Quackenbush ties up Taylor in a human knot. Taylor wiggles his way free. Taylor complains about being tied up, so Quackenbush agrees to not put him in that hold again. Taylor kicks him in the stomach when Quackenbush attempts a handshake. Quackenbush then puts Taylor in a pendulum and rams his head into the bottom turnbuckle. Taylor is not pleased. Quackenbush armdrags Taylor to the floor and follows with a tope con hilo. In the ring he drops his knees across Taylor’s chest for a two count. Taylor gives him an atomic drop and pokes him in the eyes. His pretty dropkick gets a two count. Taylor rolls Quackenbush into a cross-armed headscissors submission. Taylor releases when Quackenbush gets under the ropes. Taylor breaks a headlock and hits another beautiful dropkick. Taylor gets two with a moonsault. Quackenbush ducks a couple clotheslines and evades a clothesline. Quackenbush brings Taylor to the corner with forearms. He throws multiple punches and a chop. He brings Taylor out with a bulldog and hits a basement dropkick for two. Quackenbush gives him a Tiger Driver for two as well. Taylor gets the ropes when Quackenbush attempts the Lightning Lock. Taylor overhead suplexes him. He delivers Sole Food and an enzuigiri. Quackenbush kicks out. He gives Taylor a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Taylor throws him off the top rope. Quackenbush rolls through but feigns hurt. Taylor goes for a moonsault thinking he is hurt. Quackenbush of course moves and goes for Quackendriver I. Taylor rolls up Quackenbush instead and gets the pin at 16:53. That was a lot of fun. I was pleasantly surprised to see Taylor get the win, but considering how strong he got to look it was warranted. I’d love to see a rematch in present day. ***

2006 Zero G Crown Tournament Opening Round
Chuck Taylor vs. Jigsaw

IWA East Coast “Zero G Crown 2006” – South Charleston, WV – 9.16.2006

Jigsaw controls Taylor by his wrist, causing Taylor great pain. He puts Taylor in a modified grounded abdominal stretch, overhand chopping Taylor simultaneously. Taylor fights up but Jigsaw sends him outside with a toreador. Jigsaw chases after him. Taylor gets in the ring and wants to stomp on Jigaw’s hand. Jigsaw seeps his legs out from the floor and comes in with a springboard armdrag. Some Lucha rolls lead to Jigsaw sending Taylor back out with an armdrag off the shoulders and Jigsaw hitting a tope con hilo. Back in the ring Taylor blocks an armdrag and hits Sole Food. Jigsaw sneaks in a sunset flip for two, but Taylor kicks out and dropkicks him. Taylor applies a headscissors while locking Jigsaw’s arms. Jigsaw headstands his way free and gives Taylor a dropkick of his own. After a couple of leapfrogs, Taylor tosses Jigsaw out of a belly-to-belly suplex and chokes him on the middle rope. He rolls Jigsaw into a Butterfly Lock, biting Jigsaw’s shoulder while the referee can’t see it. When Taylor is forced to break, he suplexes Jigsaw for two. Taylor misses a top rope moonsault. Jigsaw superkicks him. He locks up Taylor in a modified sharpshooter, putting his other foot around Taylor’s throat. Taylor gets the ropes to escape. He springs up to the top rope for a moonsault press for two. Jigsaw escapes a waistlock and gives Taylor a brainbuster. Taylor’s foot gets on the ropes. Jigsaw goes for the Jig N’ Tonic. Taylor counters with the Awful Waffle for the pin at 10:52. As expected, the wrestling was good, which is no surprise since they have complementary styles. However, a quiet crowd hurt the atmosphere. It was a solid showcase and established Taylor’s big move in the opening round, so it was as good as it should have been for the spot it was in. **½

IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship
Chuck Taylor (Champion) vs. Ian Rotten

IWA Mid-South “10th Anniversary Show, Night 1” – Plainfield, IL – 10.14.2006

Taylor won the Championship from Toby Klein on the second night of the Ted Petty Invitational two weeks prior. This is his first defense. Rotten takes Taylor to the mat and Taylor escapes an armbar. Taylor escapes a full nelson and kicks Rotten to the floor. Back inside Rotten takes Taylor back to the mat in an arm capture front facelock. He transitions out and clobbers Taylor in the face with a forearm and uppercut. After some more damage to the face he throws a body shot. Taylor throws some jabs to the face but Rotten cuts him off with a kick to the stomach. He puts Taylor in a sleeper hold. Taylor gets his foot on the ropes. Rotten throws more strikes to the mid-section. Rotten stretches out Taylor’s legs, then throws some kidney shots. Outside the ring he suplexes Taylor onto the metal bleachers and sends him back first into a ring post. He then suplexes Taylor into the walls of a steel cage, which are leaned up against a wall for a cage match later that night. Rotten then throws a chair across his back. After doing some more damage he takes Taylor back in the ring. Taylor sneaks in a small package for two. He throws rapid fire kicks at Rotten’s leg and chest. He blasts him with a basement dropkick but Rotten is too close to the ropes for a pin attempt. Rotten takes him over with a fireman’s carry. When Taylor kicks him from the apron, Rotten throws repeated headbutts. He kicks Taylor in the stomach a few times before driving his knees into Taylor’s face. Taylor kicks out Rotten’s legs and puts him in the Trailer Hitch. Rotten grabs the ropes. Taylor goes back to the leg, but Rotten kicks Taylor low to escape. He whips Taylor to the corner and follows with a seated dropkick. Rotten grabs his knee in pain. He sneaks in a Koppu Kick for two. Taylor kicks at his knee and reapplies the Trailer Hitch. Rotten again makes it to the ropes. Taylor kicks away at Rotten’s back as he picks his ankle and leg. Rotten puts on a chinlock and pulls Taylor over to bend him across his back. Rotten grabs his own leg hold and Taylor grabs the ropes. Rotten pulls him down in a headscissors for two. Taylor goes for a Magistral Cradle. Rotten cuts back on it and gets his own two count. Taylor misses a frog splash. Rotten tries a corner splash, but he’s off balance and misses as Taylor moves out of the way. Jim Fannin leaves the commentary table and pulls the referee out of the ring. Mitch Page attacks behind the referee’s back and gives him a Samoan Drop. He places Rotten on top of Taylor. Instead of accepting the pin, he purposefully gets off of Taylor at the two count. Rotten hits him with the Rotten Rush for two. Fannin distracts the referee again. Page comes in with a chair. Rotten stops him and they play tug of war with the chair. Taylor drives Rotten into Page and O’Connor Rolls him for the pin at 33:30. The more I watch wrestling, the more I automatically tune out commentary and zone in on the action. Typically I only notice commentary if it’s really good or really bad. This fell in the category of “really bad commentary”, probably some of the worst I’ve heard. For almost the entirety of the bout they crapped on Chuck Taylor, crapped on CJ Otis (who wasn’t even in the match), and moaned about the state of IWA Mid-South. I’ve yet to really figure out why any of that was relevant to the match. It’s even worse when you consider this was Taylor’s first title defense and he was still finding his footing in the company. It’s hard to fully judge the finish of the match as I don’t have context for the storyline that was occurring, but on a compilation, it was quite annoying. I give Rotten and Taylor credit for actually wrestling a solid match with a story, but it went WAY too long, Taylor looked like a chump, and all the other peripheral stuff knocked this down multiple pegs. ½*

Chuck Taylor vs. Eddie Kingston
CHIKARA “Brick” – Reading, PA – 11.17.2006

Taylor stomps down Kingston in the corner and chokes him. Kingston comes off the second rope with a shoulder tackle. He suplexes Taylor for a two count. Taylor rakes Kingston’s eyes so he can sneak in a chinbreaker and a dropkick. He chokes Kingston on the ropes while threatening some children. Bryce Remsburg makes a Howard Dean reference on commentary as Taylor takes Kingston down with a side Russian legsweep. When Kingston starts a comeback, Taylor rakes his eyes. Kingston tries for a uranage suplex. Taylor blocks with a standing headscissors. He brings Kingston to the mat where he’s able to break the submission with the ropes. Taylor comes off the top rope and is caught with a belly-to-belly suplex. Kingston is surprised at how girlish Taylor’s scream in when he lays in chops to him. Kingston then overhead suplexes him for two. Taylor blocks an Irish whip with Sole Food. He tries for the Awful Waffle but gets dropped with a Saito suplex. Larry Sweeney comes back out with the yellow strap that he and Kingston will be attached to. Kingston becomes distracted, allowing Taylor to O’Conner Roll Kingston and grab the ropes to get the pin at 6:02. This was both a good way to add a little more fuel to the fire before Kingston and Sweeney’s match tomorrow while also giving Taylor a big win. They would have a better match years later, but for what they wanted to accomplish it was quite good. **½

IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship
Chuck Taylor (Champion) vs. Jay Lethal

IWA Mid-South “Revolution Strong Style Tournament 2006” – Midlothian, IN – 11.24.2006

Taylor has been champion since 9.30.2006 and this is his fourth defense. The opening portion sees Taylor take Lethal to the mat on multiple occasions, but Lethal is able to maneuver out of whatever hold Taylor puts on. Taylor comes off the middle turnbuckle with an armdrag and nails his beautiful dropkick. He takes Lethal over with a butterfly suplex for two. Taylor puts on a seated abdominal stretch, adding a headscissors after a side Russian leg sweep. Lethal gets his foot on the ropes. Taylor gets two with a belly-to-back suplex. Lethal catches Taylor coming off the ropes with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Another backbreaker also gets two. Lethal delivers some chops before applying a chinlock into his knee. Taylor goes for another dropkick. Lethal brushes him away and hits a basement single leg dropkick in response. Lethal climbs to the top rope. Taylor cuts him off and climbs up after him, bringing Lethal down with a superplex. A strike exchange ends with Taylor rolling Lethal into a Magistral cradle for two. Lethal kicks out Lethal’s knee and tries his own Magistral cradle. Taylor cuts back on it for his own two count, then hits Sole Food for another. Lethal comes back with the Lethal Combination for two. He puts down Taylor with a spinebuster and goes back up top. He comes off with a diving headbutt for two. Taylor stops Lethal’s superkick with one of his own and double stomps the back of Lethal’s head. Taylor misses a 450 splash, but rolls through and lands on his feet. Lethal cracks him with two superkicks to get the closest two count so far in the contest. Taylor fights out of a Dragon suplex attempt and hits the Awful Waffle for the pin at 13:50. This was a fun, competitive match, where you truly believed Lethal had a chance at unseating Taylor. It also feels as if the ideology shifted for the Awful Waffle where it’s the be all, end all move that it was, and I like that Taylor is able to sneak it in from nowhere. It adds drama and urgency which is always a great dynamic for a title match. While the Rotten match did no favors for Taylor, this certainly did. ***¼

IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship
Chuck Taylor (Champion) vs. Steve Corino

IWA Mid-South “Big Ass Christmas Bash” – Midlothian, IL – 12.16.2006

Taylor has been champion since 9.30.2006 and this is his sixth defense. The referee finds a butter knife on Corino and disposes of it. They both break the initial lock-ups cleanly in the corners. Corino gets in the ropes to break a wristlock. Corino shoots Taylor to the ropes to escape his side headlock. Corino resists Taylor’s running shoulder blocks until he finally gets knocked down. Corino kicks Taylor in the leg by his groin and digs his forearm into his face. He hits a flying hip attack, then ties up Taylor’s arms in the ropes and kicks at his face and midsection. Corino puts on an abdominal stretch and checks Taylor’s oil. The referee catches him, and the distraction allows Taylor to hip toss free. Corino tries shoving his thumb in Taylor’s mouth, but ends up getting his thumb shoved into his own mouth. Taylor hits him with a dropkick for two. He comes off the middle turnbuckle with a crossbody for two. Corino fights off the Awful Waffle and delivers an enzuigiri. He nails a lariat for two. Corino pulls a chain out of his boot and wraps it around his fist. He nails Taylor with a punch for the pin at 8:21. Corino is declared the winner and new champion, but the referee discovers the chain. The referee immediately restarts the match. Taylor ducks another chain punch and hits Sole Food. He small packages Corino for the pin at 0:10 (9:03 total). Corino then pummels Taylor with the chain after the bell. This was your typical Corino comedy match from the time: breaking the fourth wall to pop the “smart marks” (literally rolling my eyes as I type that), thumb in the bum, cheating, then the good guy winning. It didn’t work well here and it’s all just so lazy and tiresome. *

Chuck Taylor & Ricochet vs. The Iron Saints (Sal & Vito Thomaselli)
IWA Mid-South “Hurt 2007” – Midlothian, IN – 1.5.2007

Taylor and Vito pull one another’s hair as they fight for a side headlock. Sal tags in and takes Taylor over in his own side headlock. Taylor transitions into a headscissors. Ricochet double stomps Sal’s stomach upon tagging in. Ricochet Tiger Walks up Sal in the corner before putting on his own side headlock. Vito pulls up Ricochet by his hair. Even with the distraction, Sal misses a corner splash and Ricochet takes him down with an armdrag. Taylor tags in, but Sal trips him and kicks out his leg. Vito attacks Ricochet from the apron and throws him back first into the apron. Sal and Taylor spill out to the floor. Vito accidentally clotheslines Sal. Ricochet dives onto Sal while Taylor comes off the apron with a double axe handle to Vito. In the ring, Taylor gives Vito a backbreaker into a dropkick from Ricochet for two. Ricochet trips Vito into a dropkick from Taylor for two. Taylor gives him a butterfly suplex for two. Ricochet gets in some shots but Vito pokes him in the eyes and gives him an arm-capture stunner. Sal and Vito isolate Ricochet, working over his ribs and back as Taylor looks on. Ricochet is able to evade attacks from both brothers and tag in Taylor. Taylor gives Sal a spin-out Complete Shot and belly-to-belly suplexes Vito. Taylor and Ricochet give Sal tandem enzuigiri’s, followed by a Samoan Drop/neckbreaker combo. Vito eats tandem Sole Food. Taylor dumps him on his head with a belly-to-back suplex for two. Ricochet calls for the double rotation moonsault. Sal lariats Taylor from behind and yanks Ricochet off the top. Sal baseball slides Taylor out of the ring. Vito locks Ricochet in a Kondo Clutch. He hoists him up for an elevated DDT from Sal, giving the Iron Saints the pin at 11:11. They don’t team very often, but obviously Taylor and Ricochet make for excellent partners when they do. They did your simple tag formula, but it worked, and culminated with a deadly looking tandem maneuver. By this pointed they had an announced an IWA Tag Team title tournament, so this gave the Saints momentum going into that as well. Good stuff all around. ***

IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship
Chuck Taylor (Champion) vs. Low Ki

IWA Mid-South “Winter Wars 2007” – Midlothian, IL – 1.27.2007

Taylor has been champion since 9.30.2006 and this is his seventh defense. Ki cleanly breaks a lock-up in the corner. He locks in an armbar in the ropes, releasing on the count of five. Taylor gets on a wristlock, which Ki escapes by kicking Taylor in the chest out of a headstand. After fighting for a hold, Ki backs Taylor to the ropes and chops him. Ki and Taylor again look for control on the mat. When Taylor uses the ropes to escape a front facelock, Ki gives him a hard chop. He leapfrogs over Taylor and dropkicks him to the floor. Ki teases a pescado but leaps back into the ring from the apron instead. Taylor claims hair pulling back in the ring. He maneuvers referee PJ Drummond to poke Ki in the eyes without penalty. He chokes Ki on the middle rope and with his boot. Ki chops him from the apron, so Taylor bites him in the face. He rakes Ki’s back before giving him a back suplex into a uranage. Taylor threatens to punch a little kid in the face as he chokes Ki on the bottom rope. Taylor and Ki each get in a chop on the floor. Taylor pokes him in the eyes once again. In the ring Taylor grabs a chinlock. Ki fights out and gets a nearfall with a crucifix pin. Taylor back elbows him down and gives him a backbreaker. He stretches Ki’s back out across his knee and applies a front facelock. Ki frees himself but is taken down with a beautiful dropkick. Ki is able to lock on a standing Iron Octopus. Taylor whips Ki off and takes him over with a belly-to-belly suplex. He puts on an arm-capture headscissors. Ki kicks his way out of it. Taylor follows a dazed Ki around the ring, throwing forearm strikes and punches. Ki ducks a clothesline and hits the Tidal Wave. He unloads with rapid fire chops in the corner. Ki throws a kick to the stomach and the back of Taylor’s head. The Krush Kombo gets a two count. Taylor sends Ki to the apron. Ki locks on the Dragon Clutch in the ropes, then heads to the top. He comes off with a diving clothesline for two. Ki misses a corner splash. Taylor spins him out into a Complete Shot for two. Taylor tries a powerbomb, but Ki counters with a double stomp. He goes for the Tidal Wave. Taylor ducks and tries the Awful Waffle. Ki escapes, but Taylor gives him a buckle bomb. He powerbombs Ki into a jackknife pin and gets a very close two count. Taylor puts on a sleeper hold. Ki rolls to the ropes. Taylor hits Sole Food. Ki escapes the Awful Waffle and Koppu Kicks Taylor to the corner. He drills Taylor with a Jon Woo dropkick. Taylor grabs the bottom rope to break the pin attempt. Taylor pulls a chain out of his kick pad. Referee PJ Drummond catches him with it, so Taylor kicks Drummond in the groin. Ki shoves Taylor out of the ring. Ki tells Drummond not to call for a DQ, but Drummond does so anyways, giving Ki the win at 28:40, but Taylor retains the title. This seems to be the match in which Taylor fully turned into a Rudo, with him cheating his way out losing to the beloved Low Ki. It was a good, albeit too long, first chapter in their rivalry and one that would shift the rest of Taylor’s title reign, probably for the better. ***½

IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship
Chuck Taylor (Champion) vs. Davey Richards

IWA Mid-South “Payback, Pain & Agony 2007” – Plainfield, IL – 2.9.2007

Taylor has been champion since 9.30.2006 and this is his eighth defense. Richards backs Taylor to the ropes. Taylor slaps him in the face so he’ll get away. Taylor does it again, and Richards chops Taylor across the chest. Richards gets him in a Gedo Clutch for two. He grabs a grapevine ankle lock but Taylor gets the ropes before much damage can be done. From a wristlock exchange Richards kicks Taylor in his shoulder. Taylor flexes, proud of himself for withstanding Richards’ running shoulder blocks. Richards kicks at his thighs and successfully knocks him down with a shoulder block. Taylor snaps off two armdrags before dropkicking Richards to the floor. Richards avoids a pescado. He gets back in the ring and tope suicida’s onto Taylor. He places a trashcan onto Taylor’s head and kicks it into his face. Back in the ring Richards wears down Taylor with kicks and a headscissors. Richards gets two with a dropkick. Taylor catches him with a neckbreaker in the middle rope. He puts on a modified chinlock while sitting in a chair ringside. Back inside he applies a front facelock, picking Richards up into a vertical suplex for two. He rolls Richards into a headscissors, which Richards counters into a horse collar submission. Taylor rakes Richards’ eyes to escape. Taylor puts on a chinlock stretch. Richards makes it to the ropes, but Taylor steps on his throat upon releasing the hold. He drops Richards out of a belly-to-back suplex. He climbs the ropes, but Richards cuts him off and brings him down with a superplex. Both men trade forearm strikes on their knees. Richards looks to have control but Taylor cuts him off with a knee to the stomach. Richards catches him with a boot in the corner and gives Taylor a tornado divorce court. He puts on a bridging Fujiwara armbar, switching into a Skayde schoolboy for two. Richards places Taylor on the top turnbuckle. Taylor fights him off. He misses a moonsault but lands on his feet. Richards tries a brainbuster. Taylor turns it into a tornado clutch, leading to a series of pin exchange. This leads to a second forearm and punch exchange. Taylor takes Richards over with a belly-to-belly suplex and boots him in the face for two. Taylor gives him a uranage and lands the moonsault for two. Richards resists the Awful Waffle with a knee to the head. He DDT’s Taylor and applies the 14:59. Taylor turns Richards onto his shoulders and grabs his tights for the pin at 19:07. Low Ki comes off of commentary to inform the referee that Taylor cheated. The referee decides to restart the match. Richards charges Taylor in the corner and unloads with chops. He hits Taylor with the Alarm Clock and a Saito suplex. He gives him a bridging German suplex for two. He goes for the DR Driver. Taylor taps Richards in the groin discreetly and hits the Awful Waffle for the pin at 1:05 (21:13 total). Watching this shortly after the Corino match raises an eyebrow as to why they did this type of finish twice in such a short period of time. At least here they built to a Low Ki rematch while the Corino one was done for no real reason. This is a nice novelty match to include as it’s the one and only singles match these two have ever had, but aside from that, it helped Taylor continue to flesh out his new persona against a worthy challenger. Not the best or most heated title match I’ve seen, but it totally serviceable. ***

Chuck Taylor vs. Billy Roc
CHIKARA “Time Will Prove Everything” – Hellertown, PA – 3.24.2007

Roc mares Taylor into a crucifix pin early on. Taylor has a snap bracelet for reasons unknown. He knocks Roc down with a shoulder block. Roc ducks a leapfrog and shakes Taylor’s hand. Taylor kicks him in the stomach. Roc blocks an eye poke and maneuvers him into another handshake. He snaps off a few impressive types of armdrags, sending Taylor to the floor. Roc dives after him. Pack in the ring he key locks Taylor’s legs and rams him into the canvas multiple times. He gets two with a Gedo clutch. Taylor misses an overhand chop. Roc shakes his hand, but baits himself right into the Sole Food. Taylor chokes him. He pulls off his beautiful dropkick. Roc forearms him to the corner. Taylor sends him to the apron. Roc comes back in with a slingshot but gets double stomped. Taylor then hits a basement dropkick for two. Roc slips out of a powerbomb and nails an enzuigiri. He rocks Taylor with some more forearms before hitting a spinwheel kick. He tornado’s Taylor into a small package for two. He slingshots his way into a basement dropkick, following with a slingshot plancha for two. Taylor blocks a standing Shiranui. He Finlay rolls Roc. He misses a moonsault, landing on his feet. Taylor claims he’s hurt. The polite Roc goes to check on him. Taylor rolls him up for a brainbuster. Roc blocks and delivers a sensational tornado DDT for two. Taylor gets in a few boots and puts Roc away with the Awful Waffle at 10:17. Roc is simply a great wrestler. I’d put him up there with guys like Quackenbush and Cabana in terms of his proficiency on the mat. Taylor being an ultra heel and Roc being an ultra nice guy made for an awesome dynamic and a fun wrestling match. ***

IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship – Chicago Street Fight
Chuck Taylor (Champion) vs. Low Ki

IWA Mid-South “It’s Gotta Be The Shoes” – Midlothian, IL – 3.31.2007

Taylor has been champion since 9.30.2006 and this is his tenth defense. Taylor pokes Ki in the eyes right before the bell starts, Ki strikes back and dropkicks Taylor to the floor. When Taylor comes back in, Ki snapmares him into a back kick. He gets two with a hard back elbow. Ki throws multiple kicks to Taylor’s shoulders and scrapes his boot across his face. Ki throws kicks and chops to the chest before peppering him with open hand strikes to the face. Ki blocks Taylor’s eye poke and throws more chops. Taylor retreats to the floor but Ki follow. Taylor baits him back into the ring and drops a double axe handle across Ki’s shoulders. Ki comes back with some more chops. Taylor side steps an attack and sends Ki to the floor. He chokes Ki with his shirt and puts on a Camel Clutch. He bites Ki in the head, so Ki bites his thumb. Taylor sole butt kicks him and digs a water bottle cap into his eyeball. Ki throws some chops before giving Taylor an atomic drop and a slam on the floor. More chops and kicks are dished out before they get back in the ring. Taylor cuts Ki off and chokes him with a chain. He gives Ki a belly-to-back suplex for two. He throws Ki across the ring with a belly-to-belly suplex. Taylor applies a seated abdominal stretch with a chinlock. Ki kicks Taylor in the head to escape. Taylor nails Ki in the chin with a beautiful dropkick for two. Taylor locks on a headscissors. When Ki escapes, they go back to the floor where Taylor chokes Ki in the front row while antagonizing some children in the crowd. He puts on a choke sleeper and pushes Ki back in the ring. He gets two with an Oklahoma Roll. Ki ducks a pair of clothesline and the two men collide mid-ring. Ki unloads with chops, elbows, and kicks. He hits the Tidal Wave. After some chest kicks he swiftly kicks Taylor in the head. Taylor looks for his spin-out Complete Shot, but Ki counters with a standing armbar. Taylor swings Ki into the turnbuckles to escape. He hits Sole Food and a running boot for two. Taylor uses the ropes to maneuver himself into a powerbomb onto Ki into a jackknife pin, but Ki kicks out of that as well. Taylor looks for the Awful Waffle. Ki slips out into a standing Dragon Sleeper. Taylor grabs the rope but Ki refuses to let go. Taylor kicks referee Bryce Remsburg in the groin to incapacitate him and save himself in case of a submission. Ki hits the Jon Woo dropkick after releasing the hold, and Taylor rolls to the floor. Ki throws Taylor into the concession area. Taylor secured a bottle of hydrogen peroxide from the concession area and throws it into Ki’s eyes! Taylor sends Ki shoulder first into a ring post. He sprays a rag with WD-40 and rubs it into Ki’s face. With Ki passed out and Bryce Remsburg once again conscious, Taylor gets a pinfall on Ki in 23:50. Presuming Ki wouldn’t lose “clean”, then this I suppose is a fine compromise. More or less it was a rehash of their first match with a little more action on the floor. I expected this to use the story propped up from the first match a bit more, which they did a little bit of with the groin kick to Remsburg and Taylor using the chain, but ultimately I feel let down. I wanted that first match to serve as a harbinger to a grand finale, not as a superior precursor. ***

2007 Rey de Voladores Tournament Finals
Chuck Taylor vs. Lince Dorado

CHIKARA “Rey de Voladores” – Philadelphia, PA – 4.22.2007

Taylor knees Dorado in the stomach instead of locking up. Dorado ducks a punch and delivers a couple different armdrags. Taylor bails to the floor. Back in the ring they trade wristlocks. Dorado rubs his head against Taylor’s hands like a cat would. He mares Taylor to the floor. Back in the ring Dorado pulls off a satellite headscissors. He forearms Taylor in every corner. He goes for the Lynxsault but Taylor gets his knees up. He gives Dorado a couple of gut busters to capitalize on his hurt mid-section. He drops him on the top rope and chokes him on the middle rope. He keeps Dorado grounded and softens up his back and neck area. Taylor gets two with another over the shoulder backbreaker. Taylor ties up his neck with an arm-capture headscissors. Dorado ducks a clothesline and Cactus clotheslines both of them to the floor, then Taylor into the audience. Dorado springboard sentons onto him. Taylor accidentally chops a ring post when he comes to. Dorado comes off the top rope with a huracanrana for two. Taylor responds with the Sole Food and a lariat. Dorado avoids the drop kick and successfully hits the Lynxsault for two. Taylor avoids a corner attack. He nails a springboard dropkick and a moonsault for two. Dorado escapes a Buckle Bomb. He comes off the ropes with a DDT. He misses a shooting star senton. Taylor goes for the Awful Waffle. Dorado counters mid-move with another DDT. He heads up top. Taylor stops him and brings him down into the Awful Waffle for the pin at 15:50. With how little flying there was to be had, I’m not sure if this being a “Rey de Voladores” finals is all that appropriate, but it was a good match nonetheless. Taylor’s neck and back work paid off and both guys played into what worked for them in the semi-final round. It also gave Taylor a lot of credibility at a time where he really needed to cement himself as a “CHIKARA guy.” ***

Chuck Taylor vs. Chrisjen Hayme
IWA Deep South “South of the Border” – Pell City, AL – 5.5.2007

Taylor sweeps the ring as they are following a death match. They trade holds to start with Taylor complaining whenever Hayme was in control. Hayme strings together enough offense for Taylor to bail outside. Back inside, Hayme gets a few different pin attempts. He smashes Taylor’s face into his knee and sends Taylor back outside with a flying forearm. Back in the ring, Taylor grabs Hayme’s tights to pull him face first into the middle turnbuckle. He digs his elbow into Hayme’s face and hits a belly-to-back suplex. Taylor throws an invisible grenade before dropping an elbow and choking Hayme on the mat. He tosses Hayme overhead with a belly-to-belly suplex and does a strut in celebration. He hangs Hayme in a tree of woe. He takes a basketball and throws it into his sternum. He sweeps the ring again, calling it nasty. Hayme recovers and small packages Taylor. Taylor kicks out and delivers a dropkick. Hayme backdrops out of a powerbomb attempt. Taylor tries a sunset flip. Even though Hayme escapes, Taylor knocks him down with a running boot. Hayme gets in a back body drop and satellite headscissors. He sends Taylor out with a spinwheel kick. Hayme follows with a flubbed Arabian Press. He comes off the middle rope. Taylor counters with a powerbomb into a jackknife pin for two. Hayme is able to take down Taylor off the top with a Frankensteiner and deliver a spinning DDT for two. He German suplexes Taylor for two. Hayme misses a 450 splash but lands on his feet. Taylor gives him Sole Food and the Awful Waffle for the pin at 10:54. The action was solid, but this was more of a chance for Taylor to showcase his personality, which he took full advantage of. **¼

IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship
Chuck Taylor (Champion) vs. Devon Moore

IWA Mid-South “A Phenomenal Invasion” – Joliet, IL – 5.12.2007

Taylor has been champion since 9.30.2006 and this is his sixteenth defense. Taylor is arrogant, but his demeanor changes when Moore picks up the pace and takes down Taylor with multiple armdrags and a dropkick. He snaps off a Frankensteiner but misses a corner attack that lands him in a tree of woe. Taylor goes after him, but Moore swings out into an Ace Crusher for two. Taylor toreador’s out of an Irish whip and gives Moore a stunner. He chokes him on the middle rope. Taylor takes him down with a belly-to-belly suplex. He bites Moore’s forehead as he applies a chinlock. Moore fights free but Taylor hits him with another dropkick. Moore gets his feet up to stop a corner attack from Taylor. Moore goes for a tornado DDT. Taylor throws him down and locks him in a headscissors/armbar combo. Moore gets his foot on the ropes to escape. Taylor spends too much time yelling at the crowd, allowing Moore to recover and hit a tornado kick. After a flurry of offense he small packages Taylor for two. Moore counters a powerbomb and drops Taylor with an STO for two. Moore scouts the Sole Food and folds up Taylor with a belly-to-back suplex. Moore sets Taylor on the top turnbuckle. Taylor forearms Moore down and climbs back up top. He comes down with a missile dropkick and powerbombs Moore into a jackknife pin for two. Taylor goes for the Awful Waffle. Moore instead enzuigiri’s Taylor to the floor and suicide dives after him. Back inside, Moore drop toe holds Taylor into the middle turnbuckle and does the deal with a Falcon Arrow. He misses a shooting star press. Taylor strings Sole Food and an inverted Awful Waffle for the pin at 10:48. Moore gave Taylor a competitive, action-packed contest with a hot crowd. Hard to ask for more out of a title match, but it did lack the “big fight feel” or much belief from the audience that Moore had a fighting chance to win the title. ***

IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship
Chuck Taylor (Champion) vs. CJ Otis

IWA Mid-South “Summer Scorcher” – Joliet, IL – 6.16.2007

Taylor has been champion since 9.30.2006 and this is his nineteenth defense. Ms. Erin is in Otis’ corner. After some chain wrestling, Otis Saito suplexes Taylor to the corner. Taylor kicks Otis to break a double knuckle lock, but Otis still goes for a Cobra Clutch. He moves his arms down for a nearfall. He and Taylor trade pin attempts. Taylor drives Otis’ face into his knee. Otis dropkicks Taylor to the corner. He follows in with some running forearm strikes and a Northern Lights suplex. He gives Taylor a Perfect neck snap for two. He puts on a chinlock. Taylor escapes but Otis knocks him down with a back elbow. He places Taylor on the top turnbuckle and brings him down with a facebuster across the knee. A running neckbreaker gets a two count. Otis puts on a straightjacket choke. Taylor gets to his feet, so Otis takes him over with a suplex. Otis gives Taylor some chops. Taylor turns it around with his own chops so Otis pokes him in the eyes. He chokes Taylor on the middle rope, as does Ms. Erin. He does more damage to Taylor’s neck by hanging him up in the Gory Gallows while holding onto the straightjacket choke. Otis gives him a neckbreaker for two. Taylor gets a nearfall with a huracanrana. Otis nails a lariat after kicking out and puts on the Cobra Clutch while swinging Taylor around. He tosses Taylor out of the hold. Taylor comes off the middle rope with a dropkick for two. He rolls Otis into a headscissors/armbar combo. Otis gets the ropes, which Taylor takes advantage of by stretching Otis back out in the ropes while digging into his eyes. Taylor gets two with a side Russian legsweep. Taylor takes him down with a belly-to-belly suplex. Otis responds with his own. Taylor comes back with a Magistral Cradle, which Otis cuts back on. He gives Taylor an exploder suplex for two. From the apron Taylor hits Sole Food. He comes in with a moonsault press for two. They trade blows where Otis throws a headbutt. He tries a suplex on Taylor, but Taylor locks him in a standing armbar. Otis escapes and hits a diving lariat for two. Taylor yakuza kicks Otis in the corner. Otis counters Taylor’s powerbomb with a waterwheel slam. He looks for the Burning Hammer. Taylor fights out. Otis O’Connor Rolls Taylor for two. He German suplexes Taylor for two. Taylor sole butt kicks Otis and calls for the Awful Waffle. Otis uses rapid elbows to fight free. Taylor brings him down in a modified small package for the pin at 17:23. The wrestling in this match was solid, and I appreciated Otis working over Taylor’s neck the entire time in the hopes of hitting the Burning Hammer. The character dynamic was interesting as Otis played the role Taylor usually does, though Taylor didn’t do much to endear himself to the crowd in response. People seemed to dig it, and they kept Otis somewhat strong (which I think they wanted) while also giving Taylor a decisive win. Another good, but not great defense. ***

Young Lions Cup V Tournament Finals
Chuck Taylor vs. Ricochet

CHIKARA “Young Lions Cup V, Night 3” – Philadelphia, PA – 6.24.2007

After shoving each other, they reach a stalemate in a Lucha exchange. They dish out some chops. Taylor rolls to the floor after Ricochet chops him coming off the ropes. When he comes back in, Ricochet blocks his hip toss with an armdrag. Out of the corner he gives Taylor a twisting senton for two. Another armdrag leads to a Mexican catapult. He throws some punches to the crown of Taylor’s head. Taylor lands a boot and a forearm to take Ricochet off his feet. After choking Ricochet he tosses him to the floor. He snapmares him into a back kick threatening to do the same to a child. Back in the ring Ricochet mouse traps Taylor. Taylor kicks out and throws a knife edge chop. He gives Ricochet a belly-to-back suplex. He throws an invisible grenade at a little girl in the crowd before dropping an elbow. Ricochet pinches his nipple to break a choke. Taylor tosses him to the floor in front of the girl he made cry. He kicks Ricochet right in front of her. In the ring Ricochet comes off the second rope with a Frankensteiner. Taylor beautifully dropkicks him right after. He gives Ricochet an overhead suplex. Ricochet comes back with a tornado DDT. He gets two with a high elevation backdrop. He runs the ropes but Taylor stops his momentum with Sole Food. Ricochet ducks a clothesline and drops him with a Backslide Driver. Taylor denies another tornado DDT and boots Ricochet in the face for two. Taylor wants a powerbomb. Ricochet blocks and powerbombs Taylor himself. Taylor kicks out and rolls to the floor. Ricochet follows with a tope con hilo. Back in the ring Ricochet tries a super Frankensteiner. Taylor shoves Ricochet down and missile dropkicks him. He gives Ricochet a backbreaker/German suplex combo for two. Taylor sets him up for a reverse superplex. Mid-air Ricochet turns it into a reverse DDT. He hits the Phoenix Splash but Taylor manages to kick out. Same goes for a standing shooting star press. He comes off the top rope. Taylor catches him with a powerbomb. He gives him a second one, then a third one into the corner. The Awful Waffle gets Taylor the pin at 13:56. Not until the last few minutes did this really get exciting. Their first two CHIKARA matches these two had prior were superior, even if they didn’t have the title implications this did. Still, both guys did a good job and had the crowd going by the end. If only this were the YLC finals a few years later. ***

IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship & IWA Mid-South Women’s Championship
Chuck Taylor (Heavyweight Champion) vs. Mickie Knuckles (Women’s Champion)

IWA Mid-South “Bad Blood Rising” – Joliet, IN – 7.21.2007

Taylor has been champion since 9.30.2006 and this is his twenty first defense. Knuckles has been champion since 2.8.2006 and this is her eleventh defense. Knuckles won this opportunity by winning a battle royal earlier in the night. Taylor flexes after backing Knuckles to the corner. Knuckles smacks him in the ear which appals Taylor. From a knuckle lock, Knuckles drives her feet into Taylor’s chest, similar to a lungblower, but with feet. Taylor pulls her hair when backed to the corner. She grabs a wristlock and Taylor goes to the apron to break it. She controls Taylor in a headlock on the mat, causing Taylor to go to the floor. She attacks Taylor from behind and holds Taylor so fans can chop him around ringside. Back in the ring Taylor attacks her back and focuses his attack on that. When she fights out of a headlock, he hits her with a dropkick. He chops her in the corner. Knuckles turns it around with her own chops. Taylor kicks her in the face twice. He climbs the ropes, but Knuckles brings him down with a belly-to-belly suplex. Knuckles takes Tayor over with a Northern Lights suplex for two. Taylor swings Knuckles into the Sole Food for two and digs his elbow into her face. Taylor takes her down into a crucifix pin for two. He rolls her into a tornado clutch for two. Knuckles takes him over with a half-nelson suplex. She grazes him with a Shining Wizard before hitting a bridging German suplex. The two count was so close the fans and Knuckles were both surprised. Taylor hits the floor upon getting his shoulders up. Taylor pulls her off the apron into an Awful Waffle onto the floor! He brings Knuckles back into the ring for the pin and the Women’s championship at 13:07. Knuckles has always been portrayed as being an equal and amongst the top level of talent in IWA, and this match was no different. She dominated Taylor most of the match and it took Taylor using his move of death on the floor to defeat her. The crowd truly was behind her and bought that German suplex nearfall, moreso than probably any other nearfall in Taylor’s other title matches up to this point. It adds a little heat to Taylor too for going so far to win the Women’s title. (Side note: commentary saying that intergender wrestling is great because outside of the wrestling world the match would be considered domestic violence was pretty gross.) **¾

Young Lions Cup
Chuck Taylor (Champion) vs. Drake Younger

CHIKARA “Maximum Overdraft” – Philadelphia, PA – 8.5.2007

Taylor has been champion since 6.24.2007 and this is his first defense. Younger was a surprise opponent, answering Taylor’s open challenge. Taylor makes himself proud taking Younger down with a pair of armdrags. Taylor notices a single thumbtack in the ring (possibly from Younger’s boot) and wants a DQ win for it. Younger takes him down in a waistlock. He paint brushes the back of Taylor’s head before giving Taylor two of his own armdrags. After a hip toss, Younger tornado clutches Taylor into an armdrag. Younger misses a baseball slide. He throws some strikes. Taylor gives him a belly-to-belly suplex on the floor! He applies a chinlock back in the ring. Younger goes for a couple quick pins. Taylor stops him with his pretty dropkick. He pulls out the invisible grenade and explodes it with an elbow drop for one. Younger brings Taylor out of the corner with a running powerslam. He gets two with a spinebuster. From the apron Taylor hits a springboard dropkick. He goes for Sole Food but Younger counters with a Death Valley Falcon Arrow. Doing the deal is only good for two. Taylor sole butt kicks Younger. Sole Food connects. He powerbombs Younger for two. Younger responds with a Saito suplex. He comes off the top with a frog splash. Taylor kicks out. Younger calls for Drake’s Landing. Taylor slides out. He crotches Younger on the top rope. Taylor brings him down with the Awful Waffle for the pin at 9:32. That was short but made Taylor look really strong in defeating such a tough opponent. Younger was an excellent surprise as the crowd was very excited to see him and he worked his butt off. ***

Young Lions Cup
Chuck Taylor (Champion) vs. Helios

CHIKARA “New Star Navigation” – Barnesville, PA – 10.27.2007

Helios takes out Taylor right away with a spin kick and an enzuigiri. He follows Taylor to the floor with a tope con hilo. Taylor dropkicks him as he tries to come back into the ring. Taylor yells at Bryce that Helios is just Ricochet under a mask. Bryce isn’t convinced. He shoves his face into the camera and stomps on his back. He gets two with a belly-to-back suplex. Taylor uses the ropes to armdrag Helios into a headscissors. Helios rolls him onto his shoulders for two. Helios counters the Sole Food with a Backslide Driver. He takes Taylor to the corner with a satellite headscissors. Taylor gives him a belly-to-belly suplex. He misses a boot and Helios drops him with a DDT for two. Taylor responds with a Frankensteiner and big boot for two. Helios blocks a powerbomb with an armdrag. Taylor brings him off the top with a Frankensteiner. Helios blocks the Awful Waffle with a crucifix bomb. The Sky is Falling and Heliocentricity get him the pin and the Cup at 6:03! Taylor’s reaction to Helios was hilarious, and as per usual, he and “Ricochet” had a great match together. It was a bit truncated but it served its purpose well. **¾

Chuck Taylor vs. Shane Storm
CHIKARA “Battle of Who Could Care Less” – Reading, PA – 11.16.2007

Taylor throws punches and kicks in the corner. He misses a running elbow and gets taken down by a couple armdrags. Taylor rolls to the floor and puts Jon Barber (acting security) in a full nelson. Taylor tells referee Bryce Remsburg to tell Storm to keep off his hair, tights, and to stop being mean. Taylor misses a punch in the corner. Storm armdrags him into an armbar. He gets two with a crucifix pin. He sends Taylor to the floor with a headscissors. Storm tries a suicide dive but Taylor boots him as he comes out. Taylor brings him back in the ring. He elbows Storm in the corner and chokes him with his boot. He locks up Storm’s limbs but gets his own hand caught. Storm kicks Taylor away and delivers a flying forearm. Taylor comes back with Sole Food. He misses a boot and gets taken down with a spinebuster of sorts by Storm. Storm tries the Air Raid Crash. Taylor counters it with a DDT for two. He pulls out an invisible grenade. Storm throws it in the air. Taylor catches it and Storm hits That Japanese Move! Taylor gets his foot on the ropes. Storm headstands in the corner. Taylor dropkicks him and places him on the top rope. He brings him down with the Awful Waffle for the pin at 8:07. I was not expecting a lot, but this was really fun. Taylor was at his finest working with the crowd. A couple flubs aside this was another solid bout. **½

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