Chikara’s Zelda the Great: Where a pigeon broke our hearts

Chikara made it's triumphant return to Chicago this past Saturday and the results were memorable to say the least. El Generico made his Chikara return and very nearly stole the show with The Shard, Colt Cabana got his win back from Mike Quackenbush in a clean and classy bout, 3.0 scored two points, Tim Donst continued his quest towards the Grand Championship, the Devastation Corporation destroyed Wayne and Garth, Fire Ant and assailANT started getting along (maybe?) and the Young Bucks retained the Campeonatos de Parejas thanks to some help from Delirous' army. It was an awesome, eventful show that I recommend everyone buy from Smart Mark Video when it comes out. Seriously, it was awesome and a must-see event.

While the show was great and an overall great time, there is one thing that will always stick with me from Zelda the Great that put a huge black mark on a fun night and bummed me out in a way that few things in wrestling ever have. On Saturday night Mr. Touchdown killed (?) Sapphire, the Mysterious and Handsome Stranger's loyal friend, tag team partner and feral pigeon. Please believe me when I tell you that it was the worst thing ever and I am being completely honest with you when I say that it was one of the saddest moments in the history of my wrestling watching life.

The match itself was classic Chikara. Music randomly started playing during the match which caused Scott Parker and Sugar Dunkerton to start dancing, Dasher used his "put his foot in his tights" submission hold on Icarus, there was a teased stand-off between Sugar and Dasher that was ruined by Icarus, Veronica giving The Mysterious and Handsome Stranger some jealousy causing looks that Mr. Touchdown and just tons of fun wrestling. At one point we had everyone in the match put each other in a submission hold (maneuvers like the mustache pull and the wet willie) that led to the greatest comedy moment in a Chikara ring this year (and that includes duck-duck-goose.) Everything was clicking, the crowd was begging for more and we were moments away from blowing the roof off of the packed Logan Square Auditorium.

But that didn't happen. Instead, Mr. Touchdown got Sapphire alone in the ring and he...

And then he Tebow'd.

Sugar was pissed, Dasher was pissed, Veronica was shocked that her man could do something like this, The Mysterious and Handsome Stranger was out of his mind with rage and the crowd was dead. The rest of the match was a blur.

I've been to a lot of wrestling shows in my life. I've been to good shows and I've been to bad shows, I've been to Wrestlemania and I've been to a high school gym with 30 people and a wrestler who pretended to be Steve Austin's brother Rick, but never in my life have a seen a crowd die like I saw Logan Square Auditorium die on Saturday night. It didn't die like a WWE crowd watching a Randy Orton match or even how some people in this year's Wrestlemania crowd after Daniel Bryan's match. It died like someone sucked the life out of it. It died like someone broke its heart.

Chikara is a hard thing to explain to people who only know mainstream wrestling. I think it's the best form of wrestling out there today and that everyone should give it a chance because if they give it a chance they will like it, but that is easier said than done. People are set in their ways and, honestly, it isn't very easy to sell people on a wrestling show where a feral pigeon can compete in a match. Yet that feral pigeon is exactly why they should.

On Saturday night Chikara did more to make us care about Sapphire than any other wrestling promotion has done to make me care about any one all year long. Mr. Touchdown might be the most hated rudo in Chikara right now and I want to see him pay for what he did. I want The Mysterious and Handsome Stranger to get his revenge and I will gladly pay money to see him attempt it.

We are living in a golden age of match quality right now and there are tons of places you can watch great wrestling. Chikara has great wrestling, but that's not why you should watch Chikara. You should watch Chikara because they have great characters who tell great stories. They tell stories that make you care about people (and insects and pigeons) and the things that happen in their lives. Chikara makes you feel.

When I think of this show in a couple of years I won't remember who won that match or most of the matches on the card, but I will remember Sapphire. I'll remember the feeling I had when Mr. Touchdown did what he did. I'll remember the sadness and that's probably the very best thing I can say about Chikara. You can see great matches anywhere, but only in Chikara can you see great matches with people you care about and outcomes that might break your heart. Isn't that what wrestling is supposed to be all about?


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