I want to start this off by saying that Archibald Peck is not "dead." After his match against Eddie Kingston the crowd chanted "You Killed Archie" and Eddie Kingston took credit for doing so, but he did not do this. Instead, he sent Archie back through time. For an answer on what and how that happened, one only need to look at two YouTube videos.
The first explains Archie's timeline. I will attempt to briefly summarize it.
In Archibald Peck's first Chikara match he was Backfisted to the Future by Eddie Kingston. At this time he traveled to the year 2015 and picked up a copy of Chikara's yearbook. When he awoke he was back in 2011, but he remembered what he had read in the book and took advantage of it. The yearbook said that he would win the Young Lions Cup in 2011, but when he didn't time was changed forever. Got that?
At Chikarasaurus Rex in 2012, Mixed Martial Archie (Archibald Peck's tougher alias) teamed with Colt Cabana to take on Mr. Touchdown and Dasher Hatfield in a Loser Leaves Chikara match. During the match Mixed Martial Archie was injured and out from the back came Archibald Peck. At the time everyone assumed that this was merely a costume change for Archie and that Archie was assuming his real persona as Colt Cabana had urged him to do, but after Archie's loss this would turn out not to be the case.
The truth was that Mixed Martial Archie got into a fight backstage with Eddie Kingston (off camera) that sent him back to the year 1885. The Archibald Peck that came to the ring was actually an Archibald Peck from a future date. May 18th to be exact.
A wrestler named The Mysterious and Handsome Stranger debuts in Chikara. We don't know him, but at Under the Hood he is unmasked to reveal that he is, indeed, Archibald Peck. At this time he is thrown out of the arena because he was not legally allowed to be there after losing a Loser Leaves Town Match. RD Evans explains that this is actually the Mixed Martial Archie that was sent back to the past during the match at Chikarasaurus Rex who then took on the persona of the Mysterious and Handsome Stranger back in the Old West.
Since Archibald Peck never actually lost the match against in that timeline he was reinstated. However, the Peck who lost that match would be forced to leave Chikara.
In a conversation with Peck's lawyer RD Evans, Wink says that the "Where In the World is Archibald Peck?" videos were actually of Peck's doppelganger who is still out there somewhere. The doppelganger is then seen going into Parts Unknown.
(With everything in Chikara we can only take the things we are told to be true and go from there, but Wink might actually be an unreliable narrator as he has proven himself to be of lacking intelligence about all things Chikara in the past. The man he called "the doppelganger" could easily be Archibald Peck post-TWGP, but until we have reason to believe this I will stick with only what we have been told as that is the only truth there is in Chikara. They do not lie.) Read More →
Chikara's Never Compromise is going to be a really good wrestling show. The matches all look good on paper and perhaps more than any Chikara show since High Noon this one actually feels like a culmination of events. Like something big is going to happen. There is a match that has been building since that event and another that is one of the biggest Grand Championship matches since that event. I'll do my best to cover the wrestling aspects of this show later, but right now I want to cover the storyline aspects of what is happening in Chikara because the storylines of Chikara are the absolute best thing happening in wrestling today.
The 2013 season has taken on a bit of a Watchmen theme with every show being titled after a portion of that book. Past Chikara seasons have done this as well (last season took much of its titles from the 1960's Batman TV show while season 10's shows were all references to 80's cartoons) but the influence isn't always clear. Obviously last season's villains weren't The Riddler and The Penguin, just like this year's won't involve aliens attacking New York City, but often thematic elements seep through. The main theme has always been tecnicos vs. rudos, but since the Watchmen titles have started to appear I feel that the lines have become more blurred and the stories more complex. The once most hated rudo in Chikara Icarus now sees himself as the fan favorite in a match against tecnico Grand Champion Eddie Kingston (arguably season 10's biggest tecnico) who has suddenly seen himself become a villain without him knowing why, we've seen the house divided with The Colony changing into something different as well as the Wink ordered Sugar in FIST causing the eventual break-up of FIST, the Colony Xtreme Force who are designed tecnicos (their alignment on the official roster page reads "Totally radical!") but are hated by the fans as they are impostors holding a crown they didn't win, Archibald Peck traveling through time and the departure of many Chikara mainstays including Soldier Ant and Mike Quackenbush. I think it's safe to say that things have been pretty crazy this year. Chikara has become more of a business since the appointment of Wink Vavasseur and the WMD takeover, and the place of masked heroes within that business has become more confusing. Chikara is entering into a reality that its inhabitants don't feel comfortable in.
(Of course, there are those who believe that this season isn't reality at all. That Archibald Peck and his time traveling ways have caused rifts in reality. That the Eye of Tyr, the Swamp Monster, the Titor Conglomerate and Lance Steel are all involved in this unraveling of reality and that nothing we've seen is actually "real." I find this really hard to take because I find it hard to accept that nothing in my life is "real" but it is an interesting theory that you can check out at The Mandible Claw. For my Archibald Peck thoughts I am going to have to put that into another blog post because I just have too much to say.)
Whatever your belief of what is really going on is, you can't argue that there is a lot going on. Chikara is operating at its storyline peak right now and I am loving it, but I am the belief that a big part of this, the uncertainty of it all comes to an end at Never Compromise and here's why:
Never Compromise is the last show with a Watchmen title. It is a reference to Rorschach's refusal to compromise and play along with the rest of the group's decision to keep the conspiracy a secret in the name of world peace that led to his death. How that specifically ties in to Chikara is up for debate (My best guess? Something to do with Quack and that mysterious envelope at the end of Shoulder of the Pallas), but my feeling is that it will be something and that after Never Compromise things will change. Possibly forever. Read More →
Imagine if one day, out of the blue, The Road Dogg just stopped doing his schtick on the way to the ring. Or Tatanka decided to stop painting his face like a Native American. Or if Razor Ramon stopped slicking his hair back. That would be weird, right? It doesn't seem like Vince would even allow it, does it? Yet somehow, on a smaller scale, it is exactly what is happening with Zack Ryder right now.
With the exception of CM Punk, who seems to cut his hair whenever and however he feels like, the appearance of WWE superstars has always remained stagnant. Edge had wore a trench coat and pants and had long hair in his first match and he had long hair, a trenchcoat and pants in his last match. Unless a wrestler makes a drastic gimmick change, his hair and his look always remain the same. The color or design on the tights might change, but never the look. The look always remains the same. Once John Cena put on the jorts he never took them off and the only thing that has ever changed was the color. This is done for marketing reasons, for brand identity and probably some other reasons that I am not privy to, but this is the way that the WWE does things and the way that they always have. IRS has been wearing the shirt and suspenders for like 30 years. It seems to have worked out pretty well for them, but what happens when someone decides not to play along anymore? Read More →
Antonio Cesaro lost to R-Truth last night. Not semi-pushed "Little Jimmy" R-Truth or "we're building to a title match" R-Truth, but just plain old singing "What's Up" R-Truth. The same R-Truth that I saw team up with The Great Khali and dance around the ring after the match at a house show. Which is to say, he lost to an R-Truth that isn't going anywhere. He lost a match that didn't matter to a guy who matters less. WHAT'S UP.
He's done very well with what he has been given so far. Taking the "foreigner who likes his home country better than the US" gimmick and breathing new life into it. Of all the new guys to hit the scene in 2012, I think he did the best developing the character he was given. (The Shield, while being the actual best newcomers of 2012, haven't done as well forming their individual characters, but this isn't necessarily their fault.) Yet despite that he has shine has slowly faded and now he's losing matches to R-Truth. That match, his recent title loss, his Wrestlemania snub and a collection of backstage rumorz have all added up to fans of Antonio Cesaro being worried about his future in WWE. It's easy to see why as in a different time his recent usage would spell disaster, but the good news is we are no longer in that time and that is both a good and a bad thing. I'll tell you why. Read More →
I should start this off by admitting that I am not a Bryan Danielson loyalist. I wasn't really into Ring of Honor at the time of his epic run of greatness and, to be honest, I'm not even sure I've ever seen a full ROH match of his. I know I've attempted to watch one of his matches against Nigel McGuiness, but it was always late at night and a dude needs his beauty sleep. Maybe I'll get around to it this weekend. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is independent wrestling watching Vince and Bryan Danielson on the indies never really matched up. I know he was great, but I just haven't seen the all the evidence.
I do, however, love Daniel Bryan. I was one of those people watching NXT season one because of him, because of his reputation and he delivered. His match against Chris Jericho on the debut episode was off the charts awesome. Just the perfect rookie vs. veteran match that makes the rookie look and feel important and the kind of thing that the WWE should be doing more. (Ohno vs. Cena plz.) The show was never able to match what it was on that first night and WWE dropped the ball with Bryan going forward, but it didn't really matter to me. The point was made, Daniel Bryan was awesome and he would become one of the parts of WWE I liked from that point on. Skipping over his brief firing, this was true and has been ever since. His wrestling made Daniel Bryan one of my favorite wrestlers and then the excellent Wrestling Road Diaries would make him one of my favorite people. Read More →
I am going to attempt to write about Triple H without devolving into any stories of his backstage persona. Wish me luck.
At Wrestlemania on Sunday Triple H went into his match against Brock Lesnar hoping to tell a story. He was the grizzled veteran hoping to prove that he still had what it takes and Brock Lesnar was the dragon who refused to be slain. He set himself up to play the role of the underdog, a regular guy who needed to use everything in his arsenal to stop the unstoppable Godzilla. The match was physically intense and brutal, albeit boring, but it was not a standout match on the card. In fact, it was probably one of the lesser matches on the card despite being portrayed as the second most important match on the biggest show of the year. Taking away the action in the ring, I think that the match failed because it was telling the wrong story. Which is to say, Triple H is not an underdog. Nor does anyone care to see him as one.
I'm not much a linguist, but I am pretty positive that "King of Kings" is a synonym for "not an underdog, not ever." Nor do I think that the guy who has beaten everyone and everything that has ever meant anything in modern WWE should ever be considered an underdog. Of course, this isn't the first time that WWE has set out to portray Triple H as something that he is not. He has long been treated as if he is one of the cornerstones of the WWE, on par with Stone Cold, John Cena, Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, The Rock and the Undertaker, but anyone who watches WWE knows this not to be true. He might hold multiple wins over each of these people, but he is still somewhat below them on the way the WWE Universe views him. He is simply a very good wrestler with a rich history of WWE titles, which is a very good thing to be, but he is not a legend on the level of those other characters. The Attitude Era without Stone Cold or Mick Foley or The Rock would be something very different, but without Triple H it would be mostly the same. At least I think so.
But that is okay, it's a great career to have and whether he is or isn't "elite" doesn't preclude him from being someone who can have a big match at Wrestlemania. He should be having big matches at Wrestlemania if the story is right, but Triple H The Underdog ain't it.
Consider the things that Triple H has done: Read More →
A popular story in WWE folklore is that Triple H and Chris Jericho had "no chance" going on last after the crowd had seen the epic showdown between The Rock and Hulk Hogan. This makes sense because the crowd was really excited during that match and then really quiet for the rest of the show. They might have just been burnt out or they might have wanted a different match than the one that Jericho and Triple H were giving them. It's hard to say.
Another popular story in WWE folklore is that Triple H and Randy Orton had "no chance" going on last after the epic match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. (I'm sensing a theme here.) This one makes even more sense than the previous one because it featured two of the biggest stars of all time and one of the best matches in Wrestlemania history. The crowd was really excited during that match and then not so much during the next two matches. Randy Orton and Triple H didn't get much from the crowd, but they didn't exactly set the world on fire with their match either.
Last night at Wrestlemania, a version of the same thing happened. It's hard to say that any match in the history of the WWE could match the pure star power and build of Cena-Rock 2. A rematch that had been building for a year from an original match that was many more years than that in the making. It's hard to say that it shouldn't have been the main event, but once again they had a hard time getting the crowd into the match after they had already seen the best thing that would happen that night (An Undertaker match, I'm sensing another theme) and they were unable to match it in quality or crowd noise.
This sort of thing seems to happen a lot. So what should WWE do? Read More →
Wrestlemania is this Sunday and while I have been less than enamored with the build for the big show, I am very excited for the show itself. Sure, there is too much Triple H, there are like six matches I'd like to see The Rock and Cena in besides their rematch, Jack Swagger is a big part of the show and the US champion is nowhere to be found, but this is Wrestlemania we're talking about. Even the worst shows are worth watching and talking about (with the possible exception of Wrestlemania IX.)
In order to get ourselves excited for the pay-per-view we're going to count down the matches in order of least excited to most excited. Get excited. Read More →
There has been a lot of talk about the top matches at this year's Wrestlemania and for good reason, the card is dominated by people who don't normally wrestle. The top three matches on the card, The Rock-John Cena II, Brock Lesnar-Triple H II and CM Punk-Undertaker, only feature two wrestlers who regularly appear on television. Wrestlemania has always featured a few outsiders in key roles, whether it be Donald Trump at ringside or Lawrence Taylor in the ring, but never before has it been to this level. Never before has so much of the card and it's promotion been centered on people who aren't every day WWE superstars.
There was a time when Wrestlemania was the night that everything came to a head, that a new star champion was finally crowned (Warrior, Austin, Batista, Benoit) or a match we'd been dying to see finally happened (Warrior-Hogan, Bret-Shawn, Austin-Rock, Chavo-Kane), but those days are gone now. The new Wrestlemania isn't about rewarding fans for watching the product for the last year and giving them what they want, it's about putting on the biggest, grandest show imaginable that appeals to lapsed fans, non-fans, people who watch TMZ and hardcore fans (maybe, it doesn't really matter) that will bring in the most money imaginable. It's WWE's new way of doing business and you should probably just stop complaining and get used to it. Read More →
The long rumored CM Punk-Undertaker Wrestlemania match is in jeopardy and according to rumourz there isn't really a backup plan for CM Punk. Which seems weird, but also unsurprising. However, this shouldn't be seen as a bad thing. Throughout wrestling history some of the most fun match-ups and storylines have come because of an unplanned injury or absence. (Think Wrestlemania 23 going from Cena-HHH 2 to Cena-Michaels, ECW whenever someone left or TLC '12 for a more recent example.) Barring an Austin match that will never ever happen on a pay-per-view that also involves The Rock, this could be a great opportunity for them to rework the card for the better. I think Punk should be in a high profile match at Wrestlemania because a.) he deserves it for carrying the company for the past year, b.) the show needs someone besides Cena who will be there in May in an important match and c.) I like Punk very much. But if not the Undertaker who could he wrestle that would feel important? Read More →