Friday, November 4, 2011

Chikara: What's That You Say?

Chikara's Gavin Loudspeaker
By Chad Smart
@ChadSmart on Twitter

Over the last week I’ve been catching up on Chikara DVDs. I’ve watched four shows over the last seven days and have noticed one annoying trait on all the shows. Chikara doesn’t have set commentators like other wrestling promotions. The commentary table is filled by whoever is available. Ring announcer Gavin Loudspeaker and referee Bryce Remsburg handled most of the commentary on the shows with various wrestlers such as Ultramantis Black, Tim Donst, Chuck Taylor and Eddie Kingston taking over when necessary. No matter who is speaking into the microphone, they all do the same thing. They talk about the match and give back-story and reasoning for what’s happening at the moment.  

That’s right, in Chikara the match in the ring is considered important. You don’t have announcers screaming about everything that happens. Nor do you have announcers (even though the majority of them are wrestlers) trying to put themselves over and start arguments or insulting the other announcers.  Chikara announcers understand the very basic concept that fans watch shows because of the story being told in the ring and the announcer’s role is to enhance that story.

Chikara action
In addition to realizing their role, Chikara announcers are fans of wrestling. It seems at least once or twice a match the announcers will compare the events in the ring to a wrestler or event from the past. The comments aren’t said in an attempt to make Chikara look like it’s ripping off other wrestling angles or wrestlers.  The referencing of the past is to give context to current events. During a match between the Colony and the Throwbacks, the announcers compared the fan’s reaction to the teams to that of the crowd at Wrestlemania 18 during the Hulk Hogan and The Rock match. The announcers were simply saying both teams had a strong favorable connection with the fans.  I forget what match it was, but one of the announcers called one of the wrestlers a fireplug. Mike Quackenbush, who was also on commentary, played off the fireplug mention to throw out a reference to Alex “The Pug” Porteau. How many people remember “The Pug?” It doesn’t matter. What does matter is Chikara uses the past to give credence to their present.

If you’re a loyal reader of My123Cents, you should be aware of Kevin and myself having made several comments about the weekly wrestling shows being near unwatchable because of the commentary. I’m going to go out on a limb and say if you watch Chikara’s High Noon Internet pay per view, you won’t be turning the volume down to escape bad commentary. Instead, I’m willing to bet that if you’re not too familiar with Chikara at the start of the show, by the end you will feel like you’ve been watching for at least the past year.

High Noon is only $15 and can be ordered at this link. Still unsure about ordering the show? I would like to know why.  What is the one item keeping you from ordering? Tell me what it is and I’ll let you know if it’s a justifiable concern. Odds are it’s probably not.

For more on Chikara check out their website and keep up to date with their official YouTube channel.

And of course, follow My123Cents on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. To kick off the weekend, I’m thinking some Chikara highlights are in order. Check back tomorrow for some of the best moments in Chikara history. 

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