Friday, September 4, 2015

A Love Letter to King of Trios

The Spectral Envoy, winners in 2012, immortal in my heart
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
March 27, 2009, I attended my first ever independent wrestling show. My buddy wanted to go on a lark, and having just gotten back into wrestling in the last couple of months, I wanted to expand my horizons a bit. The show was the first night of Chikara's King of Trios tournament. I had no idea what to expect going in, mainly because outside of the old WWE guys who appeared, I had only heard of Bryan Danielson and El Generico before that day in passing. By the end of the end of the night, I had fallen in love with not only indie wrestling but Chikara itself. I don't know if it was Claudio Castagnoli going 100 rotations on the giant swing on Grizzy Redwood or Michael Nakazawa continually oiling himself up or Johnny Saint dazzling the crowd not with highspots and head-drops but grappling, but I was sold.

The next two years, I would attend all three nights of King of Trios. Having grown into my Chikara fandom, I had to soak in the entire weekend in 2010, and by 2011, Chikara weekends had become a religious experience. The two weekends took me to the depths of the occupation by the BDK all the way to the cathartic heights of the Colony redeeming themselves. I saw wrestlers I had only dreamed of seeing live, from the ridiculous like Matt Classic and Dragon Dragon to the sublime like Manami Toyota and Tommy Dreamer. Trios became a yearly appointment.

As the tournament moved north to Easton, I became unable to attend all three days; the drive was too unbearable. But I still made it for the final night, both in 2012 and 2014. The year without Trios was long and terrible. But even with all the obstacles, each year in Easton was one of the highlights of my year. The Spectral Envoy winning in 2012 was perhaps the most cathartic moment I'd ever experienced as a wrestling fan, and it was definitely the most powerful live experience I'd ever had at an event.

Even though I can't go to Trios for all three nights again this year, I am still beyond thrilled that it's here again, that hundreds of people are going to get to go and fill up the Palmer Center in Easton. I'm tickled pink that people are coming in from hundreds, maybe even thousands of miles away, from Western states or other countries, just to watch Chikara. The fact that my favorite act from my old favorite promotion, the Blue World Order from ECW, is going to partake in the festivities for my new favorite promotion is a mind-blowing and euphoric component to the weekend.

Each year, Chikara assembles its roster and a gaggle of guest stars in one location for one of the biggest and memorable wrestling weekends of the year, and each year, no matter if I get to go for the entire thing or just one show, my eyes grow hearts and I feel like a young child in the stands all over again. It was my first entree into the wide, wonderful world of indie wrestling, and it remains the one I look forward to above all else. I hope I see you there on Sunday so you can join in and find out what the love is all about.