|Did the THunder Frog trade his powerlifter belt for overalls?|
Photo Credit: TH
However, just as soon as he made the main roster, the Frog's thunder was grounded, as he became one of the many who took Deucalion's chokebreaker and floated off into the void, causing several fans and peers to fall into a spiral into a deep swoon, looking for answers and solutions to try and remedy the absence. The end of King of Trios and the main event of the season finale passed without any sign of the reanimated Thunder Frog emerging to help save the day, seemingly confirming rumors that I had heard that the man under the hood had left the wrestling industry for gainful employment that didn't involve risk of bodily harm. While the end of the Internet pay-per-view broadcast of Tomorrow Never Dies included a scene where a "new" Thunder Frog was seemingly found by a stranger who according to the home viewer identified himself as an agricultural scientist and presented to the audience (appropriate since Icarus used his hammer to smite Deucalion and seemingly bring an end to The Flood), no sign of the newly hatched Thunder Tadpole has been sighted.
Until now, that is.
The first heads-up came from With Spandex/Leather staff writer and crustacean mafioso Jessica Hudnall, when she came across a wrestling promotion in Minnesota, appropriately named Minnesota Extreme Wrestling, that was advertising a familiar face with a similar name to the fallen Thunder Frog. The Estonian Farmer Frog, with the same mask and similar gear, only with denim overalls as the outermost layer, was booked for the March 21 show in Waseca, MN. I would link to the post hyping him, but it's been removed. However, the match, against Cody Rice, is on YouTube, and you can watch it here:
The voice seems unmistakable. The in-ring stylings are similar, although I've never known the Thunder Frog to fat-shame anyone, even delusionally big-boned Rick Rude wannabes. Could this new frog actually be the spirit of the Estonian Thunder Frog reborn? I had to find out more information, so I made a few contacts, first to Minnesota Extreme Wrestling via its Facebook page. The promotion's representative didn't seem to know much, only that the Farmer Frog was in town visiting friends, that he never took his mask off during any meetings, and that he may be back at the next show in Waseca on May 23. I also contacted Chikara's owner/booker/auteur/in-character Director of Fun Mike Quackenbush, who replied cryptically to my query "Weird and wonderful as the world of wrestling can be, I have come to understand that there are no such things as coincidences. That’s all I have to say about that."
Secrecy in professional wrestling is not really something new or exciting. I don't know what's afoot here, or what exactly is going on with this new Estonian Farmer Frog. Is he a new man under the hood, reclaiming the mantel? Is he the old Thunder Frog with some sort of amnesia or Dr. Who-style body regeneration? Is he some kind of rogue who found the mask on eBay and is carrying on the gimmick in a manner authorized only by the former mask holder? No one knows for sure except those in the inner circle, and they're not letting on anything. Still, the reemergence of someone wearing the Frog hood has given new hope to a legion of Chikara fans who felt his "death" at the knee of Deucalion the strongest last year. The Baltic Siege right now is in tatters with the Frog and Latvian Proud Oak "dead" and the Lithuanian Snow Troll a housebroken, brainwashed slave currently in the possession of Kevin Condron. As the movie Guardians of the Galaxy taught the world, trees can always be regrown though, but am I getting my hopes up too much to think that the Frog parading around Minnesota is the one who will come back and save the day? As always, the answers will probably unfold during the current Chikara season if they do at all.