Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Arcane Horde Is In for King of Trios, but Not Its Leader...

An odd selection indeed
Graphics via @CHIKARAPro
UltraMantis Black is on a short list of wrestlers who could be considered as avatars for the Chikara promotion. Depending on how one feels about Icarus, Hallowicked, or the curiously departed Jigsaw, Mantis could very well be the wrestler that embodies the Chikara spirit better than others, even despite his lack of apparent accolades within the promotion. The only title of note he ever won was as the leader of the Spectral Envoy at the 2012 King of Trios, perhaps the most emotionally charged installment of the most-populated tournament in indie wrestling today for several reasons. So it is curious that his Challenge of the Immortals team is represented in this year's installment without his presence on the team.

The Arcane Horde's team will consist of the ghoulishly demonic tag team the Batiri, consisting of Obariyon and Kodama, and Chikara's own medieval Viking warrior Oleg the Usurper, normally a scion of Sidney Bakabella's Wrecking Crew. Granted, I wouldn't want to meet those three in a dark alley, and what Oleg lacks in macabre guile that Mantis brings or even in wit and agility that dearly departed poop demon Kobald would have brought as a third member of said Batiri, he compensates with top-percentile power and berserker intensity. The problem, however, is not going to stem from the raw potential.

While Oleg has bathed in the warmth of crowd support he has never, AND THE ROCK MEANS NEVER received as one of Bakabella's minions, he remains tethered to the mustachioed, helmet-haired King of Manager whenever he's not wrestling with his Arcane Horde brethren, which was highlighted on the pilot episode of Journey into Chikara last night. All four members of the Horde were in action in some way; Mantis and the Batiri were in COTI action against the Battle Hive's team of Worker Ant, Amasis, and Ashley Remington. Oleg was in a singles match against Missile! Assault! Ant! (more on him in a bit), and yes, he was accompanied by Bakabella. My guess is those matches were featured to highlight the Horde since the team was announced during that telecast.

Of course, the Wrecking Crew is not the only regular stable to rent asunder by the COTI this year, but unlike the Osirian Portal and the Colony, both tecnico units, the Crew is not necessarily bound by honor or fair play. The big fear is that if the Horde should happen to meet up with the Devastation Corporation that Oleg would choose his allegiance to the pay window over that of his supernatural and temporary allies, even with the King of Trios medallions at stake. Mantis obviously trusts him, however, which is why he feels okay stepping aside. But in the interest of fairness, his judgment hasn't always been provident.

It was his misuse of the Eye of Tyr that drew the BDK into Chikara originally. In an attempt to counteract said group when no other allies would rush to his side, he brought the Batiri in, only to see them turn on him almost immediately when he couldn't provide said Eye as payment to Sinn Bodhi. Said misuse of the Eye to wrangle Delirious under his control played a huge role in the formation of the Flood and the temporary closure of Chikara, and it led to the downfall of the Envoy when as a last act of spite, Delirious used the Eye to turn Hallowicked and Frightmare against him. Mantis may be a crowd favorite and an effective fixer of messes, but no doubts exist to his shortsightedness causing most of those messes in the first place.

Regardless, the Horde will enter the Trios tournament as the 14th entrant. As of right now, the only COTI team unrepresented is Crown and Court, and I expect their emissaries to be announced Friday or Monday. The only real question there is whether Los Ice Creams will flank Princess Kimber Lee or Jervis Cottonbelly in glorious battle. The other 13 teams entered are as follows: The Bullet Club (AJ Styles and the Young Bucks), Team Lucha Underground/AAA (Fenix, Drago, and Aerostar), Team Fight Club Pro (MK McKinnan and Moustache Mountain), Team Attack (Mark Andrews, Pete Dunne, and Flash Morgan), the Blue World Order (Big Stevie Cool, Da Blue Guy, and Hollywood Nova), the defending Champion Devastation Corporation (Blaster McMassive, Max Smashmaster, and Flex Rumblecrunch), Dasher's Dugout (Dasher Hatfield, Mark Angelosetti, and Icarus), The Snake Pit (Ophidian, Shynron, and Eddie Kingston), United Nations (Juan Francisco de Coronado, Mr. Azerbaijan, and the Proletariat Boar of Moldova), the Gentlemen's Club (Chuck Taylor, Drew Gulak, and the Swamp Monster), the BDK (Jakob Hammermeier, N√łkken, and Soldier Ant), the Battle Hive (Amasis, Fire Ant, and Worker Ant), and the Nightmare Warriors (Hallowicked, Frightmare, and Silver Ant).

As for Missile! Assault! Ant!, he is no longer an ant. At the Immaculate Election show in Providence on Sunday, Kevin Condron came to the ring and snatched the hood off his face, freeing him from his mask and dubbing him Missile! Assault! ...Man?! For those who don't remember, he did the same favor for one Volgar, transforming him into "Juke Joint" Lucas Calhoun. Condron's merry band of unmasked combatants is still flanked by his weird, PG-version of Reek from Game of Thrones, Lithuanian Snow Troll. Will his mask be the next one removed, or will that act's teasing finally draw out a certain god of electrical sky bolts out from his farm-induced amnesia? I'm getting myself too excited just typing about it. I have to stop for my own good.

ETA: As fate has decided, UltraMantis Black is sitting out King of Trios because he's injured. Get well soon, dark lord of the rudos.