Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer Tournament News Dump ENGAGE

Lucas Calhoun gettin' that tournament shine, daddy
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Summer in wrestling means tournaments, lots and lots of tournaments. Two mainstay tourneys happen at the end of the season, and usually on the same weekend, Chikara's King of Trios and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Battle of Los Angeles. CWF Mid-Atlantic is also running its Weaver Cup this year, starting July 15. All three have had some recent participant announcements.

The biggest bomb dropped last night with PWG announcing the first entrant into its annual, three-day single elimination extravaganza. Flamita is the first wrestler confirmed for the tournament. He will be making his PWG debut, which seems to be a thing with BOLA every year. While most of his work has been outside of the United States, you may have seen him on Lucha Underground in season two as Night Claw. He did a moonsault off the top of Dario Cueto's office in his lone appearance so far. His other credits around the world include Dragon Gate, Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, and PROGRESS. He's an exciting first splash of talent announced for this year's big set piece tournament.

Speaking of Labor Day weekend tournaments, Chikara has actually announced three teams for King of Trios in England. First, the Throwbacks are back together and have added an appropriate third member to round out their squad. Mark Angelosetti and Dasher Hatfield welcome Simon Grimm into the fold. Grimm is better known as the former Simon Gotch. Oddly enough, this run won't be his first King of Trios. He competed with Austin Aries and Tony Kozina on Team EPIC WAR in 2009 under the name Ryan Drago. The next team up is The Furies. Admittedly, I'm behind, WAY behind on my 2017 Chikara, so I'm not sure how this stable of defenders formed. But their representatives of Fire Ant, Solo Darling, and Travis Huckabee should comprise a formidable team. Speaking of Fire Ant, it would appear he's one of the last ants standing in Chikara, as various evil forces have been knocking off the bugs one by one. Finally, Team White Wolf Wrestling will enter the fray. WWW is a promotion in Spain, and it will send Zayas, Adam Chase, and A-Kid as representatives. European wrestling outside of the United Kingdom and Germany feels underrepresented. Hopefully, this team from the Iberian Peninsula will help spread awareness to the rest of the continent.

Finally, CWF Mid-Atlantic's Weaver Cup will take place over the course of several shows starting July 15. The half of the 16 competitor field was announced last night, and it has some pretty interesting and impressive names. The first two names announced are international names: Mick Moretti of Australia and UTAMARO of Japan. Moretti is on excursion in the States, and he's worked a few dates for Chikara. UTAMARO, also known as Hiroki Murase, is a veteran of the Wrestle-1 promotion. The third name is another familiar one to Chikara fans, "That Ol' Juke Joint" Lucas Calhoun. Wrestling's foremost current Elvis impersonator is one of the most vastly improved wrestlers on the indies, and I'm glad he's getting this opportunity. ANOTHER Chikara adjacent wrestler, Logan Easton Leroux, will be participating. Leroux competes in Chikara as Race Jaxon, formerly one-half of the high energy tag team NRG (I think they apparently split?), but as LEL in Northern Virginia Pro Wrestling, he's risen through the ranks as one of the top heels. The other four wrestlers announced are Aaron Epic, Alex Daniels, Matt Knicks, and Stevie Fierce. They'll all be competing in first round matches on July 15. The other eight who have yet to be announced will have their go on July 29.

A lot of interesting names are being cycled in and out of wrestling tournaments for the summer. No matter where you are or what promotions you follow, you're going to have some great talent populating your tourney.