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10 for ’11 Day Three: Sugar Dunkerton

by on March 30, 2011


By Ben Pasco

When Tom and Mike asked me to write this blog, I was incredibly honored to try and come out with a noteworthy competitor to fit the title of Breakout star of 2011. So with that, I sat down and racked my brain one night to try and figure out how I would define Breakout star. I decided that to me, a breakout star isn’t just whoever has the best matches all year, or whose gimmick really shines through. To me, a breakout star is one who begins to realize their potential at the right time. Much like a wife ovulating to conceive a child, it’s all about timing. Also much like a wife ovulating, tights are pretty nifty.
 

So when I sat down and started to make a list of guys I thought would be a breakout star of 2011, I kept coming back tone name and one match I had just seen. I didn’t want to sit down and write about AR Fox or Adam Cole or all these men who in my eyes have already made a name for themselves amongst independent wrestling fans. I kept coming back to a guy who I just saw have the match of his career, and far be it from me to break the grain, but that man is Sugar Dunkerton. 

I know there was probably a bit of an audible gasp, spilt soda, or meh of indifference when they read the previous line but I genuinely believe the man is poised to break out. 

Sugar Dunkerton is a several year veteran of the sport coming out of the wrestling hotbed of Georgia, but let’s be honest and say that he pretty much is known in this region for his work with Chikara. Sugar made his debut with a vignette that set the wrestling world afire. 

Well, not really. but like most things involving a random debut, there was speculation as to who was this mystery man, or would it be revealed that it was Vince McMahon, Austin…it was Vince McMahon all along?

And with that speculation, a former podcast I hosted, called Tope Con Coolio, decided we’d get involved in the matter and scheduled an interview with Sugar Dunkerton. To the best of my knowledge it was the first interview he ever did and what proceeded was an hour of just goofing off and fun. With that moment there was one thing I decided about Sugar Dunkerton and that he could be shits in the ring for all I knew, but he was likeable. He’s a likeable fun loving guy with a clear passion for professional wrestling and that idea shines through in the interview. At the end of the day, that’s one of the traits that I think, makes him work within the context of Chikara. He’s a likeable dude who likes what he’s doing, which is better than every pizza delivery boy, mailroom clerk, or gay porn star in recent memory. 

Sugar debuted in Chikara in 2009, and his run has not exactly light the world on fire with MOTYCs. His tag team with Dasher was fun and they found themselves in the role of comedy tag team there to have fun little matches with teams like The Unstable. Nothing offensive in terms of match quality, but DVDR won’t devote a whole section of writing to them…Those are reserved for the heated debate of how moonsaults are killing the business. If you had asked me a year ago about Sugar Dunkerton, I would have told you he was a great guy and funny dude and a good wrestler, but then one match has changed my vision on the matter. 

On Chikara’s February show, Caught in a Cauldron of Hate, Sugar Dunkerton fought “The Big Rig” Brodie Lee. Like any Chikara show I watch, I tend to skip around a bit and usually I watch Sugar’s match first because of my association with him and to see how he’s doing. I expected just a simple and quick match with Brodie killing Sugar. Now, I must preface this with the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that in your eyes the light the heat, but this match completely changed the way I looked at Sugar. What emerged was just a fun brawl with well, storytelling and not that bogus “the story is that this match is boring and one good is really good at rest holds” storytelling. I saw Sugar and Brodie go toe to toe in a war that left me staring at the TV wondering what happened to the likeable dude with the afro who made jokes about Paul Roma on my podcast. Then I began to think, “maybe this is what Sugar should be better served in and maybe this is where he found a role”. At the end of the day, maybe Sugar Dunkerton is a likeable dude who can brawl with a big guy or maybe just maybe, Sugar’s ovulating…well talent ovulating…really ovulating would be well gross and inappropriate in pro wrestling. 

It’s probably not the wisest or most obvious choice to pick Sugar Dunkerton, and I can imagine it’ll illicit some reactions of disbelief. I said before that this is just one man’s opinion on the matter, but I can’t help but shake the idea that when I saw that match there seemed to be something different in Sugar. As of this writing, I’ve heard similar things about his match with Sami Callihan in NWA: Force 1 and his Lumberjack match with The Roughnecks in Chikara. For all I know in three months, he’ll find himself having fun matches on the card and people will go back to writing him off, but for those ten minutes…I saw a guy who I think can really break out in 2011.


Ben

(Note: Be sure to check out Ben’s podcast on wrestling, pop culture, and life: the Four Post Massacre. You can also follow him on Twitter at @benpasco. Tomorrow, a near and dear friend to the podcast and the blog, Nick Maniwa, who has been around some of the top independent wrestlers in America since elementary school, introduces the world to Kentuckiana’s best-kept secret…who won’t be a secret for much longer.)

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