Friday, February 24, 2012

Looking at Chikara's 11th Season

By Chad Smart
@chadsmart on Twitter

This is a week overdue. Good thing we don’t have deadlines here at the my123cents offices. Anyway.  If you’re been reading the blog for at least the last four months, you’re probably well aware that I am a huge Chikara mark. I don’t deny it or try to hide it. Even to non-wrestling fans, if they find out I enjoy wrestling I am much more likely to talk freely about Chikara while downplaying enjoying WWE or TNA. There’s just something magical about Chikara.

Four weeks ago Chikara kicked off Season 11 with a show entitled The Thirteenth Hat. I’d read some reviews of the show that said while it was entertaining it wasn’t a home run show. After seeing the show for myself, I would agree it may not be a home run, but then Chikara didn’t need to hit a home run with the show. Unlike their first Ippv last November, which was a home run, which wrapped up season 10 and served as an introductory show for new fans, The Thirteenth Hat’s job was to set up the new storylines for Season 11. In that regard, I think Chikara did a fantastic job.  Several stories were set up and I am excited to see how they all play out over the next 10 months.

The show opened with Green Ant finally getting the better of his trainer, Mike Quackenbush.  After defeating Tursas as the Season 10 finale, High Noon, Green Ant continued his ascension up the Chikara ranks with this match. Quack’s reputation isn’t hindered by ending up on the losing end of a back and forth contest while Green Ant shows he is a force to not be taken lightly. Solid opener.

The new Throwbacks
Following the opening match was the introduction by Dasher Hatfield of the newest member of the Throwbacks, Mr. Touchdown. Dasher is a fan favorite and is thankful for the fans supporting the Throwbacks. Mr. Touchdown on the other hand refers to the fans as, NERDS, and doesn’t seem too concerned with their cheers. With the third member of the Throwbacks, Sugar Dunkerton, taking a sabbatical from Chikara, it will be interesting to see how Dasher and Touchdown work as a team. Will Mr. Touchdown come around to respecting the fans the way Dasher does, or could Mr. Touchdown’s attitude rub off on Dasher forcing a rudo turn for the popular technico? 

After a 14-month hiatus, Gran Akuma made his return to a Chikara ring to face his former teammate, Icarus. I thought it was too soon for these two to meet in a one on one match, so the double count out ending made sense. What did surprise me was the involvement of Greg Iron. Iron had feuded with Icarus over the course of last season and was Icarus’ opponent at High Noon. After Icarus defeated Iron, Akuma made a surprise appearance and while trying to get to Icarus, Akuma accidentally kicked Iron.  Apparently Iron took offense at Akuma’s accident because instead of going after Icarus, Iron got in Akuma’s face at The Thirteenth Hat. Now Icarus has gotten Chikara Director of Fun, Wink Vavasseur to make Akuma go through a trial series of matches in order to get another shot at Icarus.  At the same time Greg Iron wants a piece of Akuma. By the end of the season, Akuma may be dreading his decision to make his Chikara return.

While 3.0 started their quest for three points with a victory of former BDK teammates Tim Donst and Jakob Hammermeier, the real story is the dissension between team HammerTim(e). During a pre-match promo Jakob talked about BDK leader Ares coming back. After making the comment, Donst slapped Jakob then said Ares was gone and Tim was the leader of BDK 2.0. After losing the match, Tim attacked Jakob blaming him for the loss. I’m going to make a prediction and say by the end of the season Jakob Hammermeier will be one of the most popular technicos on the Chikara roster.

Archibald Peck had another victory stolen from him by an unscrupulous opponent.  The loss caused his lovely valet, Veronica to leave ringside without Marchie Archie in disgust. The heartbroken lothario is none too pleased about his misfortune. What will it take for the leader of the band to get back on the winning bandwagon?

Ophidian debuted a new look and vowed to collect more “souls” (masks) on his way to redemption. I felt the match with Hieracon went about twice as long as it should have given the pretty predictable outcome. But I am intrigued on where Ophidian goes now that he has taken the “souls” of his Osirian Portal teammates. I also feel like we haven’t seen the last of Amasis.
Before the main event, Vin Gerard ran in unannounced leading to a pull apart brawl with Chikara Grand Champion Eddie Kingston.  Once security got Vin Gerard out of the venue, Eddie demanded Wink reinstate Vin into Chikara so Eddie could dish out a beating.  Since the show, Vin has been reinstated and this Sunday, Eddie and Vin will meet in a Title vs. Career match up. This intrigues me since it is Eddie’s first defense so I can’t see him losing. At the same time, I can’t see Vin coming back for just one match. I have faith in the Chikara brain trust to have something awesome planned for the match. 


In addition to these stories that were told during the show, the DVD of The Thirteenth Hat included an opening where Ultramantis Black and Hallowicked went looking for Delirious. Delirious stole the Eye of Tyr from Ultramantis then proceeded to destroy it before running off screaming, “I remember everything.”  What implications will that have on Ultramantis’ quest of power or Mantis and Hallowicked’s shot at the Campeonatos de Parejas this weekend? 

 

In one show, Chikara set up or advanced eight stories. Not too bad for a kick off show. Plus the show didn’t have Sara Del Rey, Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano, Brodie Lee or Frightmare. As well, the Colony, The Batiri and Jigsaw were involved in matches with no immediate meaning on the foreseeable future.

 

As I said in the opening paragraph, I know I’m a Chikara mark. With that said, I can’t wait for future Chikara shows. I am excited for what Season 11 has in store and am counting the days until April 28 and 29 when I will get to see my first live Chikara shows in seven years.

 

Normally I would shill smartmarkvideo.com and tell you to order this show either on DVD or as an .mp4 download. But Chikara does pay me to shill for them so I won’t do that. I will however tell you if you aren’t following my123cents on Twitter or haven’t “liked” us on Facebook, you’re missing out on some fun interactions.

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