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Chikara Comes To Chicago This Friday! Tom Gets Excited!

by on June 21, 2011

This Friday night, I get to see my first-ever Chikara event live and in person! Besides seeing handsome friend of the site Leonard F. Chikarason in the flesh (not all of the flesh, but enough flesh), there’s a ton to be psyched about. We’ll be joined by Leonard on the podcast tonight, but I wanted to channel some of my excitement into getting YOU excited! If you live within an hour or two of Chicago, you better come. If not, I will not ever kiss you on the face.

Below the cut, I describe my excitement for each individual bout and why I expect to enjoy them, but before we get into that madness, let me remind you that The Case of the Bulletproof Waldo will be at 7:30 PM Central (some of us live close enough to be within driving distance, but far enough away to be in the Eastern time zone) at the Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie Avenue). If you’re in town early, show up at Challengers Comics (1845 N Western Ave 2R) between 2:30 PM and 4 PM to meet some of the Chikara personalities who will combat each other in the squared circle that evening. Without any further ado…

This match is pretty indicative of one of the many reasons why this show will be extremely fun: I believe this is the Chicagoland debut of Sugar Dunkerton and all three Batiri members. A lot of times, you’ll see the same guys wrestling each other all the time on local Chicago shows. Right out of the gate, you get a fresh match with a bunch of guys who Chicago-area fans haven’t been exposed to. On top of that, Dunkerton is on a hot streak this year, Matt Classic is a highly amusing character (who has some unanswered DRAMA with his teammates after King of Trios) and I see this being along the lines of your classic Chikara comedic trios bout with lots of funnybone-ticklin’ action to match the athleticism.

I have never seen Emperador and Ripper. They are regulars for Chicago-based GALLI, but I don’t think they do a lot of other shows in the area. There’s two ways this goes: either they tear it up and we have a new Midwest sensation (ala the Soul Touchaz after their Chikara debut at King of Trios 2008) or they have a less-than-stellar debut and become a wacky footnote in Chikara history, much like characters like Jervis Cottonbelly, Angel de Fuego and Al Snow. Let’s hope for the best, especially since they’ll have darned good opponents (Ophidian and Hieracon, who I’m a huge fan of and will be seeing live for the first time on Friday).

This will be incredibly interesting, just for the crowd alone.  In terms of independent wrestling, Chicago is Colt Cabana’s city. He’s the hometown boy and he’s insanely popular there. However, Eddie Kingston is wildly admired amongst the Chikara fanbase. In terms of the match itself, they’re two incredibly different wrestlers and it’ll be interesting to see how their styles mesh or clash. There have been matches that’ve looked MUCH weirder on paper that have delivered in spades and I think this one will be along those lines.

THIS is going to be the show-stealer. Two-thirds of arguably the best King of Trios final match ever collide and it should be stellar. Taylor and Gargano have turned heads as part of two different trios (FIST in Chikara, Ronin in Dragon Gate USA) and for good reason. Both are arguably at their career peaks and have awesome chemistry. Their opponents are Green and Soldier Ant, an not-often-seen pairing of The Colony. Green Ant is maybe the most underrated wrestler on the Chikara roster, as his hold-for-hold prowess is well above what you’d think his experience level should dictate. Soldier Ant is right up there on the underrated rankings and all four wrestlers combined should deliver. Bold prediction: this should be the best bout of the night.

An interesting dynamic in the first of three 12 Large Summit tournament bouts.  “Death Rey” is part of the hated BDK super-stable, but Icarus might be the single most loathed rudo in Chikara history. Most rulebreakers, no matter how hated, get at least some smattering of applause in front of Chikara crowds. Not Icarus, who might as well call himself “The Conductor of the Boobirds” with the chorus of catcalls he gets every time he performs. Judging by Del Rey’s blog today, it looks like this might be the first time a BDK member will go into the match as the fan favorite, which should be an interesting dynamic. I expect lots of Sara Del Rey kicks and lots of Icarus bellowing high-pitched howls.

The second 12 Large Summit bout is a first-time meeting, as Ultramantis Black faces Fire Ant of The Colony. In the past year, Ultramantis has seemingly been on a mission to show the world that he isn’t just any wacky Chikara character; he’s one who can wrestle and keep up with the kids and their high-impact maneuvers. Fire Ant is probably the flashiest of the Colony trio, so I expect a very offensive match (not in the “Aids Needle on a Pole” type of way). I could absolutely see this being the match that makes people recognize that Ultramantis isn’t just the “feud guy” or “the schtick guy”; he’s one of the company’s MVP’s and a foreseeable first Chikara singles champion.

The final 12 Large Summit bout, added due to a knee injury suffered by Brodie Lee, sees a battle between the two non-Quackenbush Chikara cornerstones in BDK member Claudio Castagnoli and Hallowicked. I believe these two have only had one other singles match (in 2007) and it was a strong bout, so I see this being nothing different (other than perhaps better, as both have improved a lot since then). Chikara isn’t just relying on their unique brand in their return to Chicago; they’re obviously bringing the substance with matches like this to hook first-time viewers.

In the main event, Chikara’s personal hometown heroes in Da Soul Touchaz face three members of the BDK: Ares, Tim Donst and Tursas. The Touchaz’ homecoming has some story behind it, as the BDK took out the Touchaz’ managers C-Red and Dymond at the November 2010 event The Germans. This should be a heated brawl with lots of crowd emotion, as the Soul Touchaz will surely bring the fire and the fisticuffs against their sworn enemies (plus, Tursas and Willie “Da Bomb” Richardson” will probably have another super heavyweight throwdown and who doesn’t love watching two 300-plus pounders slap that bulk into each other until one falls?).


On top of all of that, I’ve heard from birdies all around my shoulders that the building that is containing this event is a really unique and cool building for pro wrestling and if nothing else, I’ve never gotten to experience Chikara live and in-person. I’ve always heard Chikara is most fun live due to the over-the-top nature of the product and all sorts of little touches that only Chikara brings to the table. I cannot wait! I will be there and if you’re within driving distance, you should be there too!

Come on down to the Logan Square Auditorium this Friday night, meet the two most handsome men in internet wrestling podcastery (if my wife reads this, Mike Falcone won’t be there), buy a videotape/DVD grab bag from our pals at Ken Dreiling and His Friends Who Are Selling DVD/Videotape Grab-Bags Incorporated, and enjoy some funtastic grapplin’ action!


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