-Palmer Center. Easton, Pennsylvania. September 19, 2014.
-King of Trios, ladies and gents, the greatest weekend in professional wrestling. Three years of tremendous wrestling, great comedy, and fantastic storytelling.
-Last year, The Spectral Envoy defeated Team Ring of Honor in the Finals to secure the Trios Medals for Chikara, and finally giving fan favorite UltraMantis Black some tangible recognition in Chikara. It was also, in my opinion, the best King of Trios in the history of King of Trios.
-King of Trios is actually what brought me to Chikara in the first place. Between the praise given to the tournament by Brandon Stroud and noticing that the 2009 Tournament featured Bryan Danielson AND Claudio Castagnoli in a trios called Team Uppercut, I knew I had to check it out.
-Tonight, it’s all first round action! Eight trios matches.
-No Bond references this week.
-One day, I am going to go to King of Trios. It probably won’t be for a couple more years, though. Maybe that should be my gift to myself for finishing graduate degree number two?
Team UK (Damian Dunne, Mark Andrews & Pete Dunne) defeated The Bloc Party (Mr. Azerbaijan, Prakash Sabar & The Proletariat Boar of Moldova) via Pinfall
Sean Waltman, occasional Trios participant, was weirdly on commentary for a few matches. He made the requisite jokes about Prakash Sabar, whose gimmick is Arabic X-Pac, and kept apologizing for being speechless. Waltman was a member of Team WWF in 2012 and was defeated by El Generico in the 2011 Rey de Voladores Finals.
Bloc Party controlled most of the match, which included a pretty awesome pump-handle into an Implant DDT. Team UK showed a lot of heart, persevering through a pair of Gores to get the win with a Shooting Start Press. Nothing terribly special, but a nice match to kick things off.
GEKIDO (17 & The Pieces of Hate (Jigsaw & The Shard)) defeated Knight Eye For The Pirate Guy (Jolly Roger & Lance Steel & Princess Kimberlee) via Submission
Great choice for a first round match-up here, especially for those who have followed their rivalry at Wrestling Is Fun! In a pre-show promo, Shard said he has a lot to prove. Jigsaw told him to stay focused. 17 insisted he’s calling the shots for his team, which will certainly not play a role in their defeat.
Interestingly, Jigsaw was in a similar position as he was in 2012 when he was in the tournament with a distracted, vengeful Mike Quackenbush. Also of note, Jigsaw and Jolly Roger are real life brothers. As it turns out, that mattered.
Princess Kimberlee tore it up until she was cheap-shotted by Shard, who went on to German Suplex both members of a jousting Knight Eye team. This match was reminiscent of the FIST/JWP match in 2012. I kept on waiting for Kimberlee to eat a superkick.
This time, however, it was a 17 Palm Strike. This is actually what I love about Chikara. They will happily beat the hell out of women to showcase equality. Kimberlee plays the isolated face incredibly well and Shard and Jigsaw both hold PhDs in rudo psychology. A hope spot ate a Superkick and a Powerbomb. Kimberlee kicked out of both.
In a weird turn of events, 17 refused to tag in, insisting that Jigsaw dispatch Jolly Roger. This turned into some sort of test. Jigsaw and Jolly Roger’s family status has never been acknowledged by Chikara before. This was a weird time and place to start.
Jigsaw refused to Superkick Jolly Roger. Shard finally pulled Jigsaw out of the ring, allowing 17 to quickly and violently tap Rogers out with a wicked cross-armbar of some sort. Jolly Roger held his arm and sold a severe injury. Jigsaw stuck around to help Jolly Roger, who told him he was supposed to be his brother. Oh…. There it was, I guess. Jigsaw agonized over his teammates’ actions.
This was a great match. It was well-wrestled and had a lot of easy heel/face dynamics. The story-telling was top-notch too. However, Jigsaw’s dissension sort of came out of nowhere and at no point did the announcers clue us into what was going on. The commentators never told us they were siblings.
The Spirit Squad (Johnny, Kenny & Mikey) defeated The Odditorium (Sinn Bohdi, Oliver Grimsly & Qefka the Quiet) via Pinfall
Does Kenny Dykstra strike anyone else as a ripped Michael Rappaport? Also, is that Mike Mondo? Good to see that threatening to rape Maria in Ring of Honor didn’t work out for him.
Spirit Squad came out and did some cheers, inducing a sneak attack by the Odditorium, which is still winless without Sinn Bohdi. Qefka and Grimsly were tossed around until Sinn Bohdi came in and did boring Sinn Bodhi things. Sorry, I think that’s called letting one’s biases cloud their work.
Spirit Squad got the win with a splash/leg drop combination. The crowd chanted for one more cheer while the Odditorium went back to hanging themselves around Deucalion’s neck like the albatross they are.
The Flood (Eddie Kingston, Jimmy Jacobs & Volgar) (w/The Lithuanian Snow Troll) defeated The Spectral Envoy (Frightmare, Hallowicked & UltraMantis Black) via Pinfall
This match had to be considered the biggest match of the first round: The defending champs vs. the team with all of Eddie Kingston and Jimmy Jacobs’ momentum. Meanwhile, our Plague Doctor finally has a name, Volgar. He is the guy at “Goldfinger” who did nothing in a 10-man tag match except hit a Rikishi Driver during a finisher barrage. Eddie Kingston is now the “Mad King” and came out with a creepy white mask.
Lithuanian Snow Troll was dragged out as well, eliciting a “Free Snow Troll!” chant. It’s good to see Chikara back amongst a crowd that appreciates them, except for the douche who always starts the “Burger Kingston” chants. My only complaint is that Chikarason’s commentating made it seem as though Snow Troll willingly abandoned Chikara. As I recall, the alternative was death by Chokebreaker.
The teams brawl to start. The Spectral Envoy got the full Kingston. Eddie’s back. Frightmare got the face in peril treatment until the Envoy came back. Kingston ate a Cosmic Doom, Jacobs ate a Headless Horseman, and Volgar ate everything else, but Jacobs saved the match before dives took everyone out.
Snow Troll tried to get into the action, but failed to remember he was chained to the turnbuckle, nearly decapitating himself. I’m writing this weeks later and I still can’t decide it it’s primarily sad or hilarious. During the chaos, Deucalion came out with Delirious. Yes! Some movement on this! He sicced Delirious on UltraMantis while the referee was distracted by Snow Troll. UltraMantis was rolled into the ring just in time to lose to the Backfist to the Future.
This was a really good match that will undoubtedly build to something really important by Night 3. This sort of multi-night storytelling is what makes Chikara the best promotion, and King of Trios the best weekend, in wrestling.
The Devastation Corporation (Blaster McMassive, Flex Rumblecrunch & Max Smashmaster) (w/ Sidney Bakabella) defeated Old Fashioned (Jervis Cottonbelly & Marion Fontaine) & ThunderKitty via Pinfall
Old Fashioned cuts nice promo showcasing the cantankerous ThunderKitty who needs her Metamucil and is angry because she missed her “programs.” In other great news, Sidney is back! Devastation Corporation should be a force to be reckoned with this tournament.
As the match started, Jervis proved his superior hugability and Kitty proved her superior courage. Smashmaster didn’t take ThunderKitty seriously. Of course, they don’t take anyone seriously.
Unfortunately, this was easily the most disappointing match of the night. ThunderKitty didn’t do much beyond throwing a few strikes. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it did not mesh well with her teammates or her opponents. Jervis and Marion didn’t seem very energetic. Flex was involved in a weird pin where he almost certainly didn’t kick out in time. Even the massively improved Smashmaster slipped on the Death Blow and had to try it a second time.
Sloppy match. Moving on…
3Peck0 (3.0 (Scott Parker & Shane Matthews) & Archibald Peck) defeated The Flood (Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (Ares & Nøkken) & Dr. Cube) via Pinfall
Ares is back! I’m all for the BDK looking good, especially with Dr. Cube not having much to offer in the ring.
3Peck0 got in some great tandem offense early on. Peck and 3.0 work so well together. Peck made the mistake of head-butting the corner of Dr. Cube’s head. Does that count as a mask for disqualification purposes or would Dr. Cube die like Dragon Dragon?
Great back and forth match, including, Nøkken hitting the world’s most painful looking TKO. Ares got angry with Dr. Cube for his wimpy punches and a general refusal to fight. That miscommunication led to a rollup by Parker.
Dr. Cube slapped Ares after the match. Nøkken caught Ares’ reply and hit him with a Rikishi Driver, presumably putting Ares on the shelf and disbanding the reformed BDK.
Dr. Cube grabbed a mic and pulled off his head revealing… Jakob Hammermeier!
Jakob said all the disappointment in his life started with Ares and the BDK. So Jakob made a deal for the Eye of Tyr, used it to control Nøkken (implied at the moment), and now, took over the BDK. Jakob also suggested that he made a deal with “some devils” to get the Eye. Does that explain his Flood alignment? SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!
It seemed like it was time for Ares to go back into retirement or whatnot. If he had to go, this was a great way to do it. Jakob had the crowd in the palm of his hand, immeasurably heightening the drama. His angst, self-pity, and inability to accept responsibility were on full display. Perhaps now, inspired by standing up to Tim Donst at “Aniversario: Never Compromise,” Jakob has become a leader.
By the way, the in-universe continuity for this story began at “Under the Hood” in December 2012 when Dr. Cube’s minions found the smashed Eye of Tyr and continued in another promotion, Kaiju Big Battel, where the original Dr. Cube was shot and replaced by someone else. Who does that? This is why Chikara snobs love Chikara and why everyone else should love Chikara too.
The only damper I can think of is that last we saw, Jakob was still really bad in the ring. Hopefully the last year and a half have treated him well in that respect. I can’t wait to see where this goes!
Icarus & The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & Mark Angelosetti) defeated The Latin American Exchange (Chavo Guerrero Jr., Hernandez & Homicide) via Pinfall
I definitely never expected to see Homicide in Chikara. Icarus & The Throwbacks are one of two tecnico teams I could see winning the tournament, the other being 3Peck0. In any case, though, there’s no reason for them to lose this particular match.
The Golden Trio dominated early, but they didn’t press the advantage. LAX used the opportunity to regroup. Homicide, of all people, provided the biggest laugh of the night with a spot-on imitation of Bryce Remsburg’s refereeing. These six put on a workmanlike match with plenty of isolation and few shenanigans until Homicide started going for Dasher’s mask
Meanwhile, Quack was phenomenal on commentary. He knows the rules, explains every angle, and even makes botches seem important and impressive. Can you imagine Quack and Regal together on commentary?
A finisher barrage led to a 3D to Chavo to end the match. This was a very good match that picked up towards the end. LAX brought a little of everything to the table. Homicide got to display the Chikara version of his persona. Chavo brought his technical skill. Hernandez had some nice power spots. All three can come back to Chikara any time.
Chavo put over Chikara and the champs after the match. I’m assuming that cost Chikara an extra thousand bucks.
Chikara Wrestle Factory Promo
Kid Cyclone, Equinox III, and Create-A-Wrestler II, whom we last saw brawling with The Flood at “You Only Live Twice,” came out and introduced themselves as the Greenhorn Militia. Kid Cyclone asked the audience to remember the fallen before putting me on my rear end with a few simple questions. Why did the Chikara veterans go right back to selling merch after Latvian Proud Oak was killed? Why are the vets not fighting for their lives? Why is the GHM the only group calling out the Flood? Hallowicked collected his pupils before anyone could answer their challenge.
This is going to leave “Chikara family-friendly” for a moment, so if you want to avoid naughty words, you should move to the final match.
I’ve been griping about the lack of Chikara passion for months, and suddenly, it’s part of the story. As much as I would love to take credit, this was almost certainly planned from the very beginning. Don’t doubt Chikara’s storytelling. Ever.
More importantly, notice the generation gap and experience gap between teacher and student. Notice Kid Cyclone’s youthful brashness. Notice Hallowicked’s grizzled pragmatism. Notice how things have been happening for months and characters are reacting to it they are complex individuals with their own motives, values, and interests. First, the return of Jakob. Now this. It is beyond my comprehension how anyone who loves wrestling can not watch this promotion. It really is.
-tl;dr – FUCK YEAH, THIS SEGMENT!
The Colony (Fire Ant, Silver Ant & Worker Ant) defeated The Colony Xtreme Force (Arctic Rescue Ant, Missile Assault Ant & Orbit Adventure Ant) via Pinfall
The evening’s main even was a rematch from “You Only Live Twice,” where Xtreme Force won the match, but the original Colony took back their 2011 Kings of Trios medals. We’ve already seen Jakob and Delirious make their returns. Will Soldier Ant be next? My money is on “yes.” Or at least “yes, this weekend.” Missile Assault Ant now has a glowy helmet too.
Missile Assault Ant grappled with Bryce early on, allowing Arctic Rescue Ant to smash Worker Ant’s knee with his “metal” snowboard. Doctors took Worker Ant away, leading to either a chance to come back a hero or a heroic loss. This ain’t WWE where stacked odds guarantee tecnico victory.
The Colony battled valiantly against Xtreme Force, but couldn’t overcome the numbers advantage. Silver Ant blew up everything after the hot tag, culminating in a Chikara Special on Orbit Adventure Ant. Missile Assault Ant broke it up.
Missile Assault reversed a Tornado DDT into a Northern Lights Suplex. Silver Ant turned that into a guillotine. The two traded impressive reversals as though they are fully functioning parts of their universe. Missile Assault clears Silver Ant before countering Fire Ant with a powerbomb.
Sweet baby Jesus, Missile Assault Ant is impressive. There’s still room on the bandwagon, folks.
Fire Ant kicked out, leading Arctic Rescue Ant to remove a turnbuckle pad, calling back to their victory at “You Only Live Twice.” Thankfully, Worker Ant limped back out, possibly driven by the guilt of owning a King of Trios medal he did not win. Bryce took a bump, allowing Arctic Rescue Ant to snap his snowboard across Worker Ant’s head. 1-2-No! Worker Ant hit his finisher, but Xtreme Force broke up the fall. Finally, The Colony hit the Antapult on Missile Assault Ant for the win! This was an easy, easy MATCH OF THE EVENING!
Art. That’s all. It’s just art. This match was the culmination of four months of storytelling. Their first encounter, and every tag and singles match in between, came back into the story of this match. And best yet, they got the victory, but given the state of Worker Ant’s ankle, it’s bound to be pyrrhic. If Bryan Danielson’s knee got him, Worker Ant’s will too. Bank it.
All things considered, this was the best Chikara show since their emotionally-charged return at “You Only Live Twice.” In fact, it’s likely better. For the first time since that evening, it felt like everything mattered. There’s still no indication of why it matters, but tonight reminded me that Chikara, of all promotions, deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Stories were started that will pay off over the next two evenings and far beyond. Will Jakob lead the BDK back to glory? Will this drive Jigsaw away from the Flood? Will the GHM break ranks with their mentors? How many of the GHM will Deucalion kill? What happens if the Flood wins King of Trios? So many questions and years to answer them.
Should I Buy It?
For Any Reason? It’s King of Trios, fool! Yes, you should!
I Am Chikara – You Only Live Twice – Quantum of Solace – Diamonds Are Forever – Goldfinger – The Living Daylights – The World Is Not Enough – Permis De Tuer – Vivre Et Laisser Mourir – King of Trios 2014 (Night One)(Night Two)(Night Three) – Thunderball – Moonraker – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – For Your Eyes Only – Tomorrow Never Dies