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September 15, 2005 / Kevin Ford

Mike Quackenbush, Skayde, Shane Storm & Lance Steel vs. Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Icarus & Gran Akuma from NEXT “How Soon Is Now?”

Post by Kevin Ford:

A lucha sequence sees Quackenbush armdrag Hero to the corner and thrust kick him in the head. Quackenbush sends him to the floor with a dropkick. He bails, allowing Skayde and Claudio to tag in. Skayde takes him down with a variety of armdrags. He also dropkicks Claudio to the floor. Steel and Icarus tag in. Steel looks for the Boston Crab but Icarus escapes. They do a bunch of cartwheels, leading to Steel sending Icarus to the floor with a rope-walk armdrag. Akuma trips Storm into a grapevine stretch. Storm escapes. He sends Akuma to the floor with a bodyscissors. Claudio and Quackenbush go back and forth with. Quackenbush comes off Claudio’s shoulders into a bodydrag. Skayde and Hero pick up their pace with their sequence. Skayde sends Hero to the floor. Storm takes Icarus down with a some armdrag variants and a quesadora. Akuma and Steel go through a similar sequence as Hero and Skayde. Claudio attacks Steel from behind, causing the Rudo team to isolate Steel in their corner. Quackenbush tries to break free, but ends up only taking Steel’s place as the Rudo whipping boy. Quackenbush knee strikes Hero to break free and tag in Skayde. Skayde gets ganged up on quickly, and we repeat the previous isolation segment. Claudio accidentally dropkicks Skayde to the floor which brings in Storm. As you’d expect, the Rudos quickly pounce on him. Storm finally escapes their grasp with a spinwheel kick to Hero. Quackenbush tags in and knocks down Akuma with a clothesline and elbow. He victory rolls Akuma, but Icarus breaks the count. Iarus sunset flips Quackenbush. Steel breaks the count. He rolls up Icarus. Hero breaks the count and sunset flips Steel. Skayde breaks the pin. Skayde rolls him into the Skayde Schoolboy for two. Claudio wraps up Skayde for a two count. Storm dropkicks Claudio’s leg to block an uppercut. Shane crucifixes Claudio for two. Akuma rolls up Storm and holds the ropes for the pin at 16:10.

Four different isolation segments was a lot, but it did help portray the Kings and F.I.S.T. as the giant bullies they are. Regardless of a little sloppiness from Storm, this was still a solid bout. Just not as good as you’d expect. **¾

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