Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chikara: Outside Looking In

@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Chad has done a great job over the last several days sharing his thoughts and opinions on Chikara Pro.  He is a huge fan of the company, so much so that he once traveled 13 hours (I believe) by car to watch a show live in person.  He's extremely busy today and asked me if I'd fill in for today as we continue to countdown to the big Internet Pay Per View High Noon (Sunday, November 13).

But here's the deal, I'm a novice fan when it comes to Chikara.  Most of what I know is from what Chad has told me.  He's loaned me a few DVDs over the years, so I am familiar with some of the wrestlers.  So I consider myself an outsider looking in when it comes to Chikara.  I will say that from what I've seen, I do enjoy.

Archibald vs. Colt Cabunny
After years of watching WWF, WCW, NWA, UWF, AWA I got used to the larger than life characters on the TV.  The big arenas.  The pyro.  The promos.  But since moving to southern Illinois, I've had more of a taste of the indy scene.  I've been to a few ROH shows.  I currently work for All American Pro Wrestling.  I love the fact that the fans, every single one of them in most cases, can interact with the wrestlers.  Watch some Chikara clips on their YouTube channel, and you can hear the fans respond when a wrestler does something in the ring good or bad.  The fans respond to the promos.  It's not the sheepish "What?" chants that you hear in WWE.  Fans are listening and responding to what they hear.

Sweet 'n Sour
Probably the best on the mic and getting the crowd riled up was the late, great "Sweet 'n Sour" Larry Sweeney.  I've gone back and watched some of his stuff, and I've got to say he's without a doubt my favorite on any of the Chikara stuff I've seen.  He was so great on the mic. I loved the gimmick, the flamboyance.  I also really dig the old school "Macho Man" Randy Savage t-shirt variation he made. He reminded me of Eddie Gilbert.  Sweeney had that ability to be both a wrestler and a manager.  He was great in the ring and even better on the mic.  Sadly he died in April 2011.  Who knows where Sweeney's career would have gone.  He was only 30 years old.  So much potential.

There are plenty of other talented guys and gals on the Chikara roster.  They're great athletes.  Then there are some of the silly characters, which I also enjoy.  Darkness Crabtree is one of my favorites.  While I don't know a whole lot about him, basically, he's a decrypted old man.  He takes forever to climb into the ring, and once he's there he moves around live molasses going uphill on a January morning.  But there's something about the character I like.

Dragon Dragon
The variations of guys like Colt Cabana and CM Punk are also enjoyable.  Who couldn't love Colt Cabunny and CP Munk?  It's classic.  Then there's guys like Dragon Dragon, the greatest dragon wrestler of all time and the ever patriotic US Ape.  I went bananas the first time I saw him.  (get it?)  While somewhat silly, okay, very silly, these characters are still fun to watch.  I have to give credit to the men under the mask.  That can't be easy taking bumps and trying to keep your head intact.

Of course on the serious side there's stars like Mike Quackenbush, Eddie Kingston, Sara Del Rey, and the Kings of Wrestling (I know Claudio has moved on)  These guys (and gals) are poetry in motion in the ring.  Can't say enough good things about the work they do.

Tag teams are also emphasized in Chikara.  I have ranted and raved since starting this blog more than a year ago about the need for more tag team wrestling in the WWE and even TNA.  Chikara meets that objective with special tournaments focused on tag team wrestling, including the King of Trios tournament. I also like the fact that Chikara has invited some of the WWE old timers back.  Like I've said before, I'm a fool for old school and enjoyed seeing Demolition team up with the One Man Gang at the King of Trios a few years ago.  These legends didn't win, which they shouldn't, but it was still great to see them back for one night.  Sean Waltman also returned to his 1-2-3 Kid roots recently at a Chikara show, and I hear Marty Jannetty is a trainer at the school.  Awesomeness!

Dasher (from Chikara)
Another aspect about Chikara that I like is the fact that some of their guys take the time to answer emails and tweets.  Chad did a 10 Questions piece with Dasher Hatfield.  I appreciate the fact that Dasher took the time to do it, and I love the fact that members of the roster are reposting these entries.  That's yet to happen with anyone from WWE or TNA.  Thanks guys, because I do know you're reading this.

So here's the part where I plug the websites, check out Chikara Pro.  And if you want to order the High Noon PPV, click on this link.  Thanks for reading, and since you're here, check out My 1-2-3 Cents on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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