Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Outsider Is In As Kevin Condron's Battleborn Is Trio #16

The final trio
Graphics via @ChikaraPro

The final team for King of Trios 2015 has been revealed, and it is one of the two teams that I highly suspected would have gotten the nod. Kevin Condron, the former Kid Cyclone who was left bitter at the destruction of his fellow Wrestle Factory students at the hands of Deucalion, will lead the two men whom he has unmasked during this season into the fray. The Battleborn as they are called will consist of Condron, "Juke Joint" Lucas Calhoun and Missile! Assault! Man! Of the three, only Condron doesn't have King of Trios experience. Calhoun made it to the semifinals last year as the masked Volgar alongside Eddie Kingston and Jimmy Jacobs, while MAM fell in the first round as part of Colony: XTreme Force against Colony: Original Recipe. Still, even without his practical experience in the tournament, Condron may be the key to the team's victory, as in short time, he's developed himself into a cunning and ruthless competitor who has just been looking for an opportunity.

Condron's point of view may seem twisted, but in a way, it is totally justified. When everyone else was afraid (or too smart?) to confront Deucalion in battle, his comrades went out and acted almost as human sacrifices while the rest of the roster stayed in the back or worse. As members of the Greenhorn Militia fell by the wayside to little acclaim, wrestlers like Kingston, who actually actively sought to hurt Chikara as members of the Flood, were welcomed back with open arms. To further add insult to injury, Condron, despite having the intestinal fortitude to call out Kingston and then outwit him to get a cheap yet valid victory at A New Start, was not chosen to participate at all in the Challenge of the Immortals, either as a captain or as part of the drafted individuals. He felt disrespected, scorned even. All he wanted was an opportunity, not just for himself, but for other marginalized talents within the Chikaraverse. He called men whose stables either washed away with receding Floodwaters or whose worth proved not to be up to par to the individual talents at large. He boldly asked Director of Fun "Lightning" Mike Quackenbush via blog for a chance. Quackenbush responded in kind.

They say one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Condron's tactics may be questionable; promising freedom and equality to wrestlers like Calhoun and MAM is fine and good on the surface, but it's also mighty hypocritical in the face of the continued captivity of the Lithuanian Snow Troll. Wrestling is a nasty business that involves violence, but did Condron go above and beyond trying to make his name with a pipe wrench from behind? These questions are not easily answered, as even in a company like Chikara, where the demarcation between tecnico and rudo has official boundaries, the identification of what's virtuous or villainous is not entirely clear, and oftentimes, it depends on whose point of view one looks from. Still, the only currency in pro wrestling is having a chance. Condron may be a rookie, but rookies have always gotten a chance to run with the ball in Chikara. Now, he and his coterie of misfits and orphans will have the same.

With Battleborn's inclusion, the King of Trios field is complete. The final listing of teams is as follows:
  • The Bullet Club: AJ Styles, Nick Jackson, and Matt Jackson
  • Team AAA/Lucha Underground: Fenix, Aerostar, and Drago
  • Team Fight Club Pro: MK McKinnan, Tyler Bate, and Trent Seven
  • Team Attack: Mark Andrews, Pete Dunne, and Flash Morgan
  • The Blue World Order: Big Stevie Cool, Da Blue Guy, and Hollywood Nova
  • The Devastation Corporation: Max Smashmaster, Blaster McMassive, and Flex Rumblecrunch (the defending King of Trios Champions)
  • Dasher's Dugout: Dasher Hatfield, Mark Angelosetti, and Icarus (last year's other finalists; Icarus won in 2009 with Team FIST)
  • The Snake Pit: Ophidian, Eddie Kingston, and Shynron
  • 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 (Taylor won in 2009 with Team FIST)
  • Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes: Jakob Hammermeier, Soldier Ant, and N√łkken (Soldier Ant won in 2011 with the Colony)
  • The Battle Hive: Amasis, Fire Ant, and Worker Ant (Fire Ant won in 2011 with The Colony)
  • The Nightmare Warriors: Hallowicked, Frightmare, and Silver Ant (Hallowicked and Frightmare won in 2012 with the Spectral Envoy, Silver Ant in 2011 with the Colony as Green Ant)
  • The Arcane Horde: Obariyon, Kodama, and Oleg the Usurper
  • Crown and Court: Princess Kimber Lee, El Hijo del Ice Cream, and Ice Cream, Jr.
  • Battleborn: Kevin Condron, "Juke Joint" Lucas Calhoun, and Missle Assault Man
All in all, the above lineup is both an impressive utilization of Chikara's diverse and talented roster and a star-studded sprinkling of guest stars. Of course, the Trios tournament is not the only thing that goes down during the weekend. Rey de Voladores, a tradition pitting the best high-flyers around the world in a unique tournament, will return as it did last year, and those who watched Journey into Chikara last night will know who the first two competitors are. Both have some Mexican flavor to them.

The first competitor announced was "M-Dogg 20" Matt Cross, who may be better known to some as the masked Son of Havoc in Lucha Underground. Cross competed in the tournament in 2010, where he was a finalist. Ophidian defeated him in the final match, but Cross will have another crack this year. The other announced wrestler is Mascara Purpura. I don't know much about him other than he's primarily been associated with the International Wrestling Revolution Group, the third-biggest lucha libre company in Mexico. Six more names will be announced in the future. I expect a few of the wrestlers from the Challenge of the Immortals teams that didn't make their KOT rosters to appear here, mainly guys like Prakash Sabar, Jervis Cottonbelly, Argus, and Heidi Lovelace. I'm sure Cross and Purpura aren't the only guest stars, either.

King of Trios weekend is looking like it will fulfill the lofty perch past tournaments have raised expectations to. The field of 16 looks solid, and the extracurriculars are already off to a booming start. I already can't wait for Labor Day weekend to get here.