Thursday, May 22, 2014

From the Ashes into The Flood: Chikara You Only Live Twice/Wrestling Is Fun! TWGP Preview

Here comes The Flood, led by this guy
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Water represents life to most people. The molecule comprises anywhere between 60 and 70 percent of the human body's makeup, and dehydration is a severe health issue. It's needed for crops to grow, and without the teeming amounts of life that live within it, Earth would be fucked. But what happens when you're a phoenix, a bird risen from ashes in fire, and you're trying to spread your wings to let your fire blaze, a flood is the worst thing that could possibly happen to you. So stands the Chikara roster on the precipice of a grand return, only to see the deluge of a group known as The Flood in its face. Seven matches have been announced for the return show, You Only Live Twice, and five feature clashes between those who wish to see Chikara flourish and those who wish to see it drown, and yet, the feeling is that this battle is only the first in the final stages of a war that has been raging for nearly the entire history of the promotion.

The main event of the show may be framed more as an unfinished battle for the Grand Championship, one that was interrupted so rudely by Condor Security at the final Chikara event before its hiatus. And the match that might open the show is more a showcase of those who were minted within the Wrestling Is movement while Chikara was away. But the shots fired at National Pro Wrestling Day have resulted in a show whose meat will be skirmishes related to the fight for the soul of this company many fans across the country have come to know and love. Yet, for as many actions as this group of mysterious, nefarious blackguards has taken, the reasoning still seems cloudy. Why has Jimmy Jacobs been chosen to lead this group of malcontents and marauders from the past of the company? Why have all these groups risen from their lairs in an attempt to destroy Chikara when they have either failed or have had members splinter off and see the light, so to speak? What is the greater purpose of this Flood for snuffing out the company altogether?

In classic Chikara form, I am not sure the answer will be revealed at first light. This story is meant to carry onto the season finale show which will probably happen somewhere in Eastern Pennsylvania sometime between Thanksgiving and my birthday. But the nature of the war will be revealed at least. Sides of wrestlers that you may not have ever seen before could be unearthed. How will the jovial 3.0 react when faced with at least two teams from The Flood and a possible third should the Devastation Corporation win the Tag World Grand Prix? One of those teams contains Jigsaw, whose allegiances right now seem evil, but whose history with Chikara is just as deep as many who fight opposite of him. How personal will The Colony take its battle against the Extremely Forceful impostors? Who will have the bigger trick up his sleeve, Jacobs or Archibald Peck? What nobility will shine through in The Batiri as they, for the first time in their careers in Chikara, will be called to fight as tecnicos?

And the biggest question is where Eddie Kingston fits in this whole mess. He seems to be in the right place at the right time, even though he's not proclaimed any allegiance to anything but his Grand Championship belt. She, as he terms it, has become The One Ring to his Gollum, but at what lengths could he possibly go to keep Her? He has been one of the most vocal proponents and advocates for Chikara in the past, most recently and vociferously in battles against the Gekido and BDK. Along the way in his reign as Champion, however, he lost the support of the fans. Whether that abandonment from the people who support Chikara is enough for him to leave the name, his peers, and his mentors behind remains to be seen, but I certainly don't have a good feeling for Icarus or for the main event of this show.

Not only will the Grand Championship match headline this show, it will serve as a capstone match for the weekend. The day before, at the same venue, Wrestling Is Fun! will conclude its first iteration of the familiar Tag World Grand Prix with two semifinal matches and a finale that will send one team to the big show in that aforementioned elimination tag team match. The Osirian Portal, Knight Eye for the Pirate Guy, Devastation Corporation, and the Throwbacks all will vie for the prestigious tournament crown, but could something else be up for grabs in this match? Princess Kimber Lee, the fair maiden who accompanies Knight Eye to the ring, presented the duo with Los Campeonatos de Parejas at the most recent WIF! show. The belts were presumed sold in the aftermath of the company closing, and perhaps Lee was the one who put in the winning bid. However, one prize is certainly on the line; whoever wins the tourney will be crowned the inaugural Wrestling Is Fun! Champions of the Golden Pears.

The wrestling shows will not only be events to happen this weekend. Saturday's prelude to the Wrestling Is Fun! show will see Chikara wrestlers and staff mingle with fans. First, at noon local time, the Lucha Bowl will take place at Town and Country Lanes in Bethlehem, PA. If you're a pinhead and like to wear funky shoes to bowl with some of your Chikara favorites, past and present (I hear Vin Gerard is going to be there, and is quite the bowler), then head on down for the first event of the day. Then, at 4 PM, head over to the Easton Funplex with your favorite dish or at least a pack of hot dogs for the Chikara Potluck Cookout Thing.

These fun events will serve as appetizer for the wrestling happening this weekend, and as with the first act of any story, the proceeding events may end up casting a darker outlook than one might hope. Still, if the phoenix that is Chikara has survived this much tribulation en route to this point and time, what's a little water going to do?

Both Wrestling Is Fun! Tag World Grand Prix Night 3 and Chikara You Only Live Twice will take place at the Easton Funplex (or the Charles Chrin Community Center of Palmer Township, if you're nasty) in Easton, PA. The address is 4100 Green Pond Road, and it is easily accessible from New York, Philadelphia, and all points in between. TWGP takes place Saturday with doors opening at 6:30 PM local time. If you are going to be watching on live Internet pay-per-view, tune in by 7 PM Eastern Daylight Time to catch all the festivities. Chikara's You Only Live Twice happens Sunday. Doors open at 2 PM local time, and at 3 PM Eastern Daylight Time, you're going to want to have your browser fired up and ready to watch if you order on iPPV.