|A Queen in Transit|
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Her chase for the title should have been a story, a long, fulfilling journey where she earned the respect of the last of her detractors. I guess that's why her shot at the gold was pushed up to now. I guess this is a parting gift for her. Does that make this anticlimactic though? Is it now a foregone conclusion that Eddie Kingston walks out of the STRIVE Center in Portland, ME? The funny thing about Chikara is that it often doesn't matter who wins.
That's why the del Rey/Kingston Grand Championship match is still intriguing, even in the face of del Rey's impending departure from the company to get her WWE-issue generic name (my money's on Cassie del Toro). Chikara, and especially the two wrestlers themselves, have a knack for the moment. It's almost impossible to write more about the match in this context because we were expecting so much more from it. It's unfair to judge this parting gift to del Rey in the same light of what we've fantasy booked in our heads a million times.
Still, this weekend isn't just about departures. There are new faces coming into Chikara Saturday and Sunday via the Young Lions Cup tournament. Anthony Stone, JT Dunn, Cameron Matthews, Vinny Marseglia, Jivin' Jimmy, Aaron Epic and especially ACH are all making their entrees into Chikara this weekend. Some of the names aren't as known. Others, like Stone, Dunn and Epic, have helped make Beyond Wrestling into a must-see promotion.
But ACH? He's a guy whose Chikara debut has been a long time coming. The man is made for American lucha libre because he's so in tune with what the style of the company is all about. He's multi-cultural. He flies high, but like Drew Cordeiro said last night, he pulls it out in appropriate spots. He knows how to blow peoples' minds without even taking to the air. For that reason, many people have called him the best wrestler that you probably still haven't seen.
So it's appropriate that when one candidate for Best in the World leaves, another one enters. Such is the life cycle of a healthy promotion. Talent leaves, but it's replaced in equality. Obviously, the Young Lions Cup qualifiers and the Saturday Grand Championship match aren't the only things happening. The war between Chikara and Gekido will continue to rage on, including a preview of King of Trios when on Sunday, Soldier Ant will team with his "partners" against the Spectral Envoy. The Young Bucks will defend their Campeonatos de Parejas against the Throwbacks mk. 2.0 on Sunday. Marty Jannetty... yes, THAT Marty Jannetty (as if there were any other), teams with Green Ant to battle Los Ice Creams.
But as with any big wrestling event, there's a narrative. It just so happens said narrative involves two huge personas, one nascent and one in a blaze of glory out of one scene and into the other. Regardless of how things turn out, it almost feels like it'll be a special weekend, even if it's not the weekend we wanted for the Queen.