Something is wrong in the world of Chikara, we know this. Things have probably been wrong for quite some time, but it is only now that we have begun to truly notice it. Whether it has to do with Delirious destroying the Eye of Tyr, someone rebuilding it, Archibald Peck's time traveling or the Vavasseur's real plans; we don't know, but what we do know is that something is not right with the world and in no place is that better encapsulated than in the matchup between Eddie Kingston and Icarus.
Let's take a look at Chikara's first IPPV High Noon. At that event Eddie Kingston was the biggest tecnico on the show. He was fighting for redemption, fighting for the memory of Larry Sweeney and fighting for the right to be crowned the first Grand Champion. His opponent, Mike Quackenbush, would do everything short of cheating to defeat Kingston, but he kept overcoming the odds and when he won; tears were shed. The crowd went wild, Quackenbush shook his hand, Tommy Dreamer (who was his corner) helped him to celebrate, Bryce cried, Sweeney's friends and family celebrated and all was right with the world. Kingston was redeemed. It was one of the top moments in Chikara history and a truly emotional experience for even the most jaded fan.
Contrast that with Icarus who wrestled Gregory Iron on the undercard. Gregory Iron, the handicap hero, who wrestled with cerebral palsy. Icarus thought it was wise to accuse Gregory Iron of faking his disability to gain sympathy with the audience. There were fans in the front row with "WORST IN THE WORLD" shirts to taunt Icarus and many chants of the same. His back tattoo, his terrible back tattoo, received more boos than the man himself. He was, without a doubt, the most hated man in the building. Just as he always was. 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
Chikara's Under the Hood is this Sunday live on iPPV at Smart Mark Video on Demand and you should probably just go ahead and order it. Chikara always delivers with their season finales and their previous iPPVs have been among the top shows of the year. This Sunday should be no different with seven good to great matches on the card and many storylines reaching their boiling point. This is Chikara's last show for two whole months (noooooooo) so everyone should be bringing their A-Game. To say I'm excited would be a gross understatement.
So let's preview the card on the Ole! Wrestling Excitement Scale (with 1 being the most excited and 8 being the least) which is a thing I just made up. Read more