Eddie Kingston vs. Chris Hero (CHIKARA Retribution Rumble Of Revenge And Rebellion To Remember 8/27/04)

Match Reviews

Originally posted on Twitter on June 16, 2023

Much like the IWA:MS match from earlier in the year, hindsight colors my perception of this match, this time for the better. It’s not all the way there yet, but it’s hard not to see so much of what would make this rivalry great in the years to come in this early bout. Only their second singles match together, and the disdain both men have for each other is already starting to seep through, in some ways contrary to who these two are meant to be portraying in the promotion.

At this point, Eddie’s one of CHIKARA’s most reviled villains. This loudmouth braggadocio always pestering and bullying the tecnicos. In walks Chris Hero though, someone who’s already made quite a name for himself on the independent scene–even abroad–and he simply refuses to be intimidated or pushed around. Hero seems determined to humble Eddie at every turn. He wrestles circles around him, stretches him out, talks a surprising amount of shit. It’s just mean enough that one starts to question where the sympathy should be laid. Eddie’s been an asshole to the CHIKARA roster, sure, but suddenly up against this established name it’s a beating that feels almost too mean.

The match is at its best when it begins to degenerate. That starts with those beautiful shoot headbutts from Hero that seem to awaken a fire in Eddie. With Hero turning things into a slugfest instead of just stretching Kingston out on the mat, suddenly they’re working in Eddie’s wheelhouse a little more and it gives him more opportunity to get his offense in. At its best, this match feels ugly and uncooperative, with a bunch of kick outs at one really helping to put over either man’s refusal to give a single inch.

Of the early Eddie Kingston matches I’ve seen, this sees his best elbow strikes yet. I could say the same for Hero, even if it’s not quite in that early 2010s level for him yet either. From the footage I watched, one could almost see the redness on Eddie’s cheek from absorbing all the blows. It’s such a great visual, especially contrasted to this small, intimate venue where the wrestling’s typically just a fun, bright lucha show. There’s ugliness here now and it stands in such stark contrast to the rest of it.

There’s more to be seen, but just given where Eddie Kingston is in his career at this point, I’m pretty confident saying that this is his first great match. Is it any surprise it came from Chris Hero?

Rating: ***3/4

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