Monday, November 7, 2011

Chikara: PG Isn't a 4 Letter Word

Family friendly! (from
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart on Twitter

I realize I mention WWE a lot in the first paragraph of a lot of these posts. It’s not something that was predetermined when I started formulating the ideas for the daily writings. As I started writing, I quickly realized that the audience I was trying to reach is wrestling fans who are mostly only familiar with WWE and whom may not be aware of Chikara, or not too familiar with the company. Because of the audience I am trying to reach, part of my objective is to show the differences between the companies and try to show why in my opinion Chikara is the better company. With that being said, lets jump right in and look at one of the major similarities between the two promotions, which are done with opposite levels of success.

Over the last few years WWE has toned down their product and have gone to a TV-PG rating. This change in direction has upset a vocal majority of the fans that started watching during the Attitude Era. These fans miss the middle fingers and swearing of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the sexual innuendos of Degeneration-X, hardcore matches, and the scantily clad Divas having Bra and Panties matches. If asked, a lot of those fans will claim the PG mindset is hurting the overall WWE product. I will admit that WWE is currently missing something, but foul language and ultra violence isn’t it. RAW could be an Attitude throwback for the next month but as long as the current creative aspect of the show is still in place the show still won’t be good.

On the flipside, Chikara is wrapping up their tenth family friendly season and is still very engaging and entertaining.  Answer this question, does the fact Pixar makes G or PG rated films diminish the quality of their films or make their films less entertaining than a Martin Scorsese or Quinton Tarantino film? No. Why? Because Pixar understands the importance of quality storytelling and focuses on creating characters with depth and compelling stories to entertain their audience. That is a similar quality in the world of Chikara.

Over the last ten years, Chikara has told stories that not only are logical and make sense throughout the current season but acknowledge events from previous seasons as well. If Chikara were a film series they would be more Harry Potter than James Bond. Events from one season propel and force the characters forward rather than act as stand alone episodes. These stories have been told while Chikara billed the company as a family friendly promotion. There is no vulgarity from the wrestlers or the fans. Well, 99% of the time there isn’t. Some guest stars have slipped up and quickly corrected themselves. Not once in the six years watching Chikara have I felt a promo didn’t succeed because it needed more vulgarity.

As far as the in-ring action, there has only been one match where I felt the lack of extreme violence hinder the match. That was a strap match between Larry Sweeney and Eddie Kingston.  One match out of about 900 felt off because of the parameters Chikara operates for its universe. I think that’s acceptable. Otherwise, the matches in Chikara are based upon good, solid wrestling. In addition the Chikara wrestlers still maintain the lost art of ring psychology and being able to tell a story inside the ring. The absence of ring psychology is one of the biggest negatives in the current wrestling landscape. Granted, it’s hard to have much psychology when matches are less than 4 minutes long.

Darkness Crabtree (one of Kevin's faves) Chikarapro
It is possible to have a PG product and be entertaining. Chikara proves that with every show. Watch a Chikara show and you don’t see fans sitting on their hands complaining about how bad the show is because Chikara isn’t catering to an adult crowd. What you’ll see if a crowd engaged in the matches, going crazy and loving every minute of the show.

Don’t believe me? Order Chikara’s first Internet Pay Per View, “High Noon” on November 13 and see for yourself. The show can be purchased at this link.  Stay up to date with Chikara by checking out their website. The official Chikara YouTube channel is updated daily with the latest news and promos.

And of course you should be following My123Cents on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as well.

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