After a year of turmoil, Chikara has risen again. Each and every week without a major wrestling event the At Odds with Wrestling podcast assigns other wrestling to watch and I tag along with them. This week we all watched most of the Chikara event “You Only Live Twice”. But first, we have some additional work.
A YouTube playlist was created featuring a few videos to be watched ahead of the event. Rough Waters parts 1-4 tell the tale of a young Dalton Castle finding out that his uncle Lester “Darkness” Crabtree has passed and left his nephew quite the fortune. Dalton must “bring the integrity and lifestyle that comes with the money”. Thus he does what all of us would do in that situation, dresses like a Captain and buys a yacht. This is the evolution into Ashley Remington.
This is followed up by three “Previously on Chikara” videos. The first tells the history of the Colony and was really well done. This is followed up by everything Wink did for the good or bad of the company. Finally highlights from Ashes of Chikara which we watched two weeks ago. Last is a Chikara Events Center hyping up the show we’re about to watch. Bryce hosts and Eddie Kingston cuts a promo on Icarus.
We head to the main show and who is this dashing man in a suit at ringside? Leonard F Chikarason and Gavin Loudspeaker welcome us to the IPPV. This is a huge crowd, apparently just shy of 1500. Great atmosphere for the Chikara return and this crowd fuels the show. Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (Ares, Nøkken and Tursas) (with Milo Schnitzler) vs The Spectral Envoy (Frightmare, Hallowicked and UltraMantis Black).
I have not watched much of the BDK era of Chikara so I was mostly unfamiliar with the combatants. I think I’ve seen Tursas before but that was it, or at least he was the only memorable one. The crowd however is well aware of the BDK history and is hyped for this match. The Spectral Envoy works so well as a team and really showcases why trios action is different from tag team battles. How healthy are these three men right now? Can they challenge for the AEW trios titles? The BDK hit this elevated flipping Razor’s Edge kind of move called Ragnarok that is so nasty and cool and really takes two giant men to pull off. BDK get the win and that was an interesting but hot start to the evening.
Chuck Taylor vs Ashley Remington.
The crowd made the opening match, and really the whole night, but the commentary team made this match. I am absolutely losing it listening to them put over Ashley as the greatest person ever. Chuck hits a nasty DDT that Ashley sells so well thus increasing its nastiness. “The counter to my heart.” Everything about this match is hilarious but also both men are wrestling a great match. The lesson is you have to be a really good serious wrestler in order to truly pull off the comedic style. Ashley locks on the Anchors Away leg lock and Chuck taps out. Ashley’s female accompaniment comes back out to hand him a fruit basket which he then gives to Chuck who is surprised and then thrilled. Great opening trios match followed by a great comedic match. Chikara is back and spotlighting what made them so unique.
Chikara owner Robbie Ellis comes out and introduces the new Director of Fun – Mike Quackenbush. Quack gets emotional and tells everyone that we are all Chikara. Is he truly injured? Will he turn on Chikara later? Is this just filler so he’s on the card somewhere? Let’s all stay tuned to the weekly homework to find out.
Per the assignment we skip the next three matches. Then there’s a bunch of promos. We come back for…
Jimmy Jacobs vs Archibald Peck.
Jacobs jumps Archie and we start out with a big fight on the outside. Archie hits his new move – something called a DDT – and he hits it for 9, no, 10 times! But then Jacobs kicks out. This kind of kills the new move and the DDT in general. Jacobs’s ringside goons interfere. Jacobs hits a springboard stunner thing to get the pin.
Interesting. The Batiri won one of the skipped matches, but that was by DQ. Then Dasher Hatfield and Mr Touchdown are the only Chikara members who get a victory in a match also featuring some of the Flood of anti Chikara forces. Not a great start to the Chikara return if the Flood is going to defeat your guys. I wonder if this is a plot point that will continue to grow.
Skip the next match.
Icarus vs Eddie Kingston (Chikara Grand Champion).
The fans are hating Kingston. They throw toilet paper at him. They call him ‘Burger Kingston’. It was not that long ago, Really just one or two Chikara shows previously that he was the beloved champion fighting against Wink’s challenges. What happened to make him so hated? Even in Ashes of Chikara he came across as jaded but not a heel. Speaking of changing sides, listen to the ovation for Icarus. Icarus comes out in Phoenix inspired gear which is symbolic and also hides his back tattoo. Check out those flowing locks too! The guy has Ashley Remington level hair. I know Icarus is the hero of Ashes of Chikara but this crowd support is unbelievable. Is it just me or does Icarus wrestle a different style as a face? I think the commentators may have even noticed this change. It changes everything. I honestly feel like I’m seeing Icarus for the first time here. The face wrestlers all come out to support Icarus. I get so wrapped up in the match I forget to take notes. Near falls aplenty. Icarus kicks out of the Backfist! The crowd, the wrestlers, everyone is going nuts. You can feel the momentum in the air. Icarus locks on the Chikara special. There’s no way Eddie taps. And he doesn’t because he passed out! The faces climb into the ring to celebrate with Icarus. Chikara has truly risen from the ashes this evening.
The credits start to play and I assume that’s all for the show. Maybe the Events Center watched earlier is tacked on to the end here as has happened before. Even LFC thought the show was over. The entire Flood comes out and they look like a daunting force en masse. Lot of size out there on the side of darkness. The Flood brings Soldier Ant and Delirious out as masked bound hostages. They unmask, well unhood, and Delirious immediately attacks Mantis. Soldier Ant takes a moment then dives onto the Colony. It’s Chikara vs the Flood and chaos reigns. Fights are happening all around ringside. Some giant of a man that looks like if the Undertaker and Kane came from the Mad Max world is enjoying what he has unleashed. Kobald rushes this monster but the post apocalypse giant chokeslams him onto his knee on the way down. All of the Flood leave as Chikara tends to the fallen Kobald.
I just did a little research into this Titan and may have spoiled a bit of upcoming Chikara for myself. But what a monster! I’m shocked this man wasn’t featured more in wrestling. Despite knowing some of the twists and turns to come I’m still excited for this story.
I feel like the changes to Icarus and Eddie were done mostly outside of the ring. Maybe there was more in events we skipped or in the “Wrestling is…” era but the turns were off panel. Also, Chikara united and fought off the Flood but tonight doesn’t look good for them. National Pro Wrestling Day may have been thought of as winning the war, but I think they just won the battle and the Flood will continue to chip away at Chikara through this season.