Tuesday , 22 July 2014

Unleashing The Creative Child Within You

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Welcome to a fantastic new edition of CHIKARMY Insider, now with 12% more gusto! I found some extra gusto lying around the old PWP WrestleMania Weekend Command Center and, after fighting a mutated possum for it, I decided it belonged here. With Chikarasaurus Rex II giving T2: Judgment Day a run for its money as greatest sequel EVER, Chikara Pro moves on to a remodeled version of its oldest tradition: it’s time for Young Lions Cup IX! Technically, “retro” might fit better than “remodeled”: this year will see the tournament revert to 16 competitors, as it was when the tourney redebuted in 2004. This year, however, international contenders will be more prevalent than ever before! In fact, only three members of the Chikara Roster have made it in so far…with a fourth embroiled in a tense lawsuit to gain entry. Read below to found out about all 15 confirmed competitors and the melodious mat maestro trying to sue his way in! For added fun, I had my friend Adam, a UGA accounting grad, whip up a very technical formula to determine the likelihood every person has to take home that coveted Cup. As a means of numerical expression, odds are SO out this year. Percentages, however, are totally in…like plaid jeggings and novelty barf! STYLE-DRIVER!

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As easily the least experienced member of The Batiri, Kobald was a surprising choice as their entrant into this year’s Young Lions Cup. He made his debut at Clutch of Doom back in February, teaming with Obariyon & Kodama to defeat The Spectral Envoy. He would continue to team with his Batiri brothers, losing to King of Trios winners The Colony but pulling out a victory against The Throwbacks & Matt Classic in June. Still, Kobald was never the man getting the pinfall. His most recent match was tagging in an Elimination Match with Obariyon, also in late June. The duo was standing at the end with one point towards a title shot, but once again it was Obariyon getting the pinfall. Kobald has never had to fight on his own in Chikara. Now, with The Cup on the line, he’ll have to prove he’s more than just a pious pawn to achieve all glory for The Dark Army. Chance of Victory: 22%

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Tasked with offering up an entrant into Young Lions Cup, Chase Owens was chosen as the man to represent NWA: Smokey Mountain. In fact, he may be the most prepared contestant in the entire tournament. In April of this year, he won the Smoky Mountain Cup after winning a 1st Round match and a 6-Way Elimination Match later that same day! If he gets past Jason Kincaid on August 20th, he’ll also walk into YLC the NWA Mountain Empire Champion. His profile continues to grow, as does the profiles of his opponents: earlier this month, he lost a hard-fought battle with current ROH World Champion Davey Richards. With his cocky attitude, supreme mat abilities and overall dominant demeanor, Owens could best be compared to a former Young Lions Cup champion–the self-proclaimed greatest YLC champion Tim Donst. Whether he can succeed where Donst failed (Big Tim won the Cup but never the tourney) depends on how Owens adapts to that sometimes peculiar environment of Chikara Pro. Chance of Victory: 53.333%

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Unlike Kobald, Jakob Hammermeier has proven himself quite an adept singles competitor, albeit with a veritable army of assistance from his Bruderschaft brethren. After serving as BDK ring announcer since the start of Season 9, Jakob developed a strong desire to become a fighter for the cause. After a short training period with BDK leader Claudio Castagnoli, he debuted against Green Ant in March of 2011. Jakob was victorious thanks to his nefarious connections. Since then, Tursas & Tim Donst haven’t left his side in most contests. Eddie Kingston was able to overcome the odds and pin Jakob, as was Gregory Iron thanks to interference from UltraMantis Black. However, a pinfall over Dasher Hatfield back in May was apparently enough for him to earn a YLC tourney spot as the Bruderschaft’s sole representative. He holds a distinct advantage over the competition in having at least two helpers roaming ringside at all times. Because of this, it sort of threw my calculations off. Chance of Victory: 207%

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Mat Fitchett is more than just a guy who surgically removed the last “t” in the first name and sewed it on the end of his last name. He is considered quite a rising prospect in the Midwest, regularly working for the likes of Anarchy Championship Wrestling. In the mold of Pinkie Sanchez, Fitchett seems comfortable in all styles of wrestling, whether flying through the air doing flippy…stuff…or staying grounded and laying into an opponent with a Vibranium chair. He’s tough as nails, too, having the ability to withstand a ridiculous amount of punishment. He is, however, a wild card and a bit of a risk-taker. He very much seems like an all-or-nothing type. Chance of Victory: 50%

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“A lot of people in the so-called ‘CHIKARMY’ may be wondering exactly who Sean South is,” some moody Irish guy wrote on the Chikara blog. “The simple answer to that question is that there is no simple answer. You can’t sum up the complexity of my being in a single word or a basic phrase that will lead people to instantly identify with me. The truth is, I don’t want you to identify with me, I don’t want you to get too familiar, I don’t intend to become a regular fixture in your lives like some piece of worn out furniture with a perfect impression of your fat bottom right in the middle of it. I’m much more than a human being, I’m much more than a wrestler or an entertainer, I’m a catalyst. A catalyst for what you may ask? A catalyst of subversion. In my home country I’m known in certain circles as the “cancer” of the Irish wrestling scene – such is the trouble I have caused. In fact my name is so associated with the rot that has infested the stagnant cesspool that created me that many simply refer to me now as “Voldemort” for desire not to speak my name. I must admit I get a kick out of that. So as I look forward to my debut in the most vile capitalist country in the world, the good ol’ USA, I hope that every single member of the CHIKARMY will part with their hard earned cash to watch me rip & tear at anyone I come into contact with in the Young Lions Cup, and in the process prove to me exactly what I’ve known all along – that the entire world is just as sick & destructive as I am, the only difference is that I’m the only one decent enough to admit it. I’m Sean South, and I’m coming to CHIKARA to smash it up.” Quite a wordsmith…not so much a punctuation-smith. The guy has that ever-popular “fake ticking time bomb” demeanor (which I just LOVE, clearly), but Price Devitt did help train him. Still… Chance of Victory: 5.4321%

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Fast becoming one of the most well-received fighters in Chikara, Green Ant will look to break away from The Colony and earn himself some singles glory. Debuting in 2009 as the newest member of the ants along with veterans Fire & Solder, the trio has been to the finals of King of Trios two straight years, winning the 2011 entry. Greenie has fared much worse in solo matches; in fact, he has NEVER won a singles match in Chikara, losing to legit bad dudes like Akira Tozawa, Brodie Lee, Kieta Yano and Tursas, with whom he shares an intense and violent rivalry. In the main event of Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Sequel (Night 1), Green Ant pushed Tursas to the limit, nearly becoming only the third man to defeat the Bruderschaft bruiser in singles battle. The BDK may have stifled the Flex Express for a moment, but it will only come back stronger, more determined and more energy conscious than before. No doubt Green Ant will have the fans behind. He fights for us. He fights for the babies. He fights…FOR AMERICA. Chance of Victory: 110%

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As one half of Generation Me The Young Bucks with brother Matt, Nick Jackson has experienced a myriad of success. In their home promotion of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, The Bucks are two-time winners of the Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament and have twice held the PWG Tag Team Titles. No one has held the PWG Tag Titles longer, either, both in total days held and in a single reign. They’re former EWF Tag Team Champions, three-time SoCal UNCENSORED Tag Team of the Year and both brothers have competed in King of Trios on two separate occasions: teaming with El Generico in 2009 and somebody else in 2010. I’ve blocked out forgotten who. Nick does separate from his brother a bit thanks to a 2009 Rey de Voladores qualifier that blew the minds of all in attendance and at home with their DVDs. A four-way featuring him, El Generico, Jigsaw and eventual RDV winner Kota Ibushi, it was on many “Match of the Year” lists both within Chikara and the independent realms. Unfortunately for Nick, he’s…never actually won a match in Chikara. Seriously. Never. Plus, his brother is working a non-title match the same day and has, so far, not a thing to do the following night. So if Nick loses…they could…you know…take a tandem bike ride team together on Night 2. Chance of Victory: 0.000002%

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Before he sat on the shoulders of Saints, before scoring wins on both June and July Chikara shows, Gregory Iron was just a blip in the Chikaraverse. He made his debut at last year’s Young Lions Cup, where he replaced Sindarin as the BDK’s hand-picked opponent for Lince Dorado. Iron stunned Dorado and the crowd, nearly besting Lince on several occasions before Dorado finally resorted to outright cheat to obtain the victory. The next night, Iron got a dose of punishment at the hands of the BDK after Tursas demolished him in singles competition. He would return and lose a heated to Icarus earlier this year but, due to his tremendous heart and fan support, was brought back in during the summer. He managed to best Icarus in a rematch at A Demon in His Pocket and on Night 1 of Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Sequel he got the victory over Jakob Hammermeier. His story has been well-documented now: his cerebral palsy has limited his movements but magnified his endurance. He is a hot property on the indies right now, and if he can parlay that momentum into a series of wins, we could all be calling this the Summer of Iron very, very soon. Chance of Victory: 55.845%

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I don’t know much about MK McKinnan. He’s blonde, he’s got some ferocious kicks, he works out of promotions like Fight Club: PRO & AWW and he’ll be teaming with Chikara veteran Mike Quackenbush in Wolverhampton next week to take on The Hunter Brothers. Like a lot of guys in this year’s YLC tourney, he has the ability to adapt to a myriad of styles. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess how he’ll fair. Here’s a video of him getting beaten up by Joey Starr, who should have been in this tourney as well. He is awesome. Chance of Victory: 32.2%

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In 2010, Jose Maximo decided to retire from wrestling, leaving brother Joel the sole member of their tag team, the Spanish Announce Team. Luckily, younger brother Wil Maximo was ready and willing to step up. The two remaining active brother are head trainers at the House of Glory Wrestling School and are the current Impact Championship Wrestling Tag Team Champions. The new duo made their Chikara debuts ate King of Trios 2011, teaming with cousin Amazing Red and ultimately losing a hard-fought battle with Manami Toyota, Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw. They would return again that May, losing to Trios winners The Colony in a fun, main event contest. Now, like so many others in Young Lions Cup IX, Wil gets a chance to break away from his well-known affiliation to try and make one of his own as a singles wrestler. Chance of Victory: 6.4%

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Mark Andrews is not MK McKinnan. Seriously. Okay, they’re both lithe chaps with blonde, Bieber-esque hairstyles. They are both European and quite electrifying competitors, but the similarities stop there. Andrews is Welsh and Mr. Emkay is British, which I’m told are different things. Where McKinnan might implement a well-timed kick, Andrews seems to prefer taking flight with some high-flying shenanigans. McKinnan is known as “The Future” while McKinnan has been “Lightning Kid”, “White Lightning”, and, conceivably, “White Kid” Mark Andrews. See? Totally different, but both are very exciting grapplers. You…you still think they’re the same, don’t you? *sigh* Look, I’ll drop a 2010 highlight video of Andrews below, just so things are more clear. They are NOT the same dude, okay? Chance of Victory: 32.2%

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Out of all the non-roster competitors in this year’s YLC, Professor Milo Shizo, a student of indie veteran Delirious and a product of the Ring of Honor Academy, probably fits into Chikara Pro best. According to his profile on Pro Wrestling Respect’s website, the man weighs 50,000 rads, developed a mathematical equation he uses to predict his opponents next move AND he grew a tail after a bad accident one late night in his lab. You’re probably wondering how he came to look so similar to Delirious, and if it involved said lab accident. Well…I don’t know. I DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. Luckily, Kevin Ford can explain! Directly from his magnificent Chikara Special tumblr: “A skilled wrestler, he was tricked by a government agent into experimenting with wrestler’s DNA to build the perfect wrestler. Experimenting with Delirious’ DNA proved too volatile, and Shizo was caught in an explosion fusing his own DNA with Delirious’. Hence why he looks the way he does.” So…yeah. There ya go. Information! Chance of Victory: 34%

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So let’s see here. Madison Eagles asks to join the Chikara Roster and she gets it. She asks for a vote like the rest of them and she gets that, too. Singles matches with Toshie Uematsu and Sara Del Rey? Check. Teaming with the King of Trios winners? Yup, did that one, too. Now we see that Robbie Eagles, her brother-in-law, is granted a spot in the Young Lions Cup. Now I can’t prove that she had any involvement in getting him in the tournament…so I’ll just let YOU decide for yourself. For Fox News, I’m Afray Dovechange. Alright, now that the accusations of nepotism are out of the way, the truth can shine through: Robbie’s young and talented, just like everyone else in this tourney. He is not, however, related in any way to Chief Billy Two Eagles, which is not surprising but terribly disappointing nonetheless. Chance of Victory: 4.5%

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With the help of CWF Mid-Atlantic, Chikara Pro debuted in The Southâ„¢ earlier this year and was so successful that they immediately booked a return to North Carolina. The relationship between the two promotions will continue as they have submitted Will o’ The Wisp II as their representative. Wisp wrestled on said southern show, losing to Ophidian. The gimmick derives from Jeff Hardy, who allowed a young wrestler to continue its legacy. Much of the Wisp moveset is intact, as is the devil-may-care attitude. The only thing that really matters though is that his mask does that awesome prismatic reflective thingy. Look at it. LOOK AT IT. It’s awesome. Chance of Victory: 16.61%

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As one third of Team Osaka Pro in the 2010 King of Trios tournament, Tadasuke proved himself invaluable, not only for his imposing disposition but his heelish tactics as well. After besting The UnStable in the first round of the tournament, it took Tadasuke a handful of Chuck Taylor’s tights to secure another team win over F.I.S.T. They would fall in the semifinals to The Colony, but all three left a lasting impact on Chikara fans. Tadasuke should be coming in with a grudge though: his partners, Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada, returned to the tournament without him the following year, having been replaced by fan-favorite Ultimate Spider, Jr. Tadasuke will get a chance to bring gold back to Osaka Pro, if only to rub it in the faces of Harada & Kotoge. Chance of Victory: 18.7%

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This…will take some explaining. Archibald Peck was added to Young Lions Cup early on, but his banner was quickly removed. As several fact-checking fans had found it necessary to point out, Peck was actually 27 years old, two years beyond the limit. The two videos below document all that has come to pass since.

Now, there is a small chance Barrister R.D. Evans will not successfully gain his client entry into the tournament, but he’s one heckuva lawyer and quite the snazzy dresser to boot. I expect “Marchie Archie” and his best gal Veronica will gain entry into the coveted competition, and they must be considered top contenders for the Chikara’s crucial championship Cup. Chance of Victory: 88%

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Please leave any comments or questions you might have and I’ll do my best to respond with as many Mongolian throat songs as I can conjure. I’d like to do a contest or something cool like that, but I’m not sure how much interest there’d be. Let your voice be heard! Also, let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see in the column, like fantasy booking, treasure hunts, wish-lists, secret handshakes, etc.

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About Justin Houston

Justin Houston, born in a place many years ago, had parents who did stuff. He was raised in a house with a dog. He went to school and had friends probably. Then he moved because of a bridge or something. The boardwalk had a nice pier and a cockatoo that said "pretty bird!". Then he moved. All the water in the lake dried up and the fishes learned to dance. Then they forgot how. He ate lots of fish. Then he moved. Now he lives near Atlanta, GA, where he has been featured in the Atlanta Film Festival and recently did a tasteful spread for Maxim. He discovered puroresu in late 2005 and began a prolonged physical relationship with it. He then found out about Chikara Pro in early 2006 and fell in a smelly, brown puddle of love. He writes Pushing Puroresu, CHIKARMY Insider, and does Chikara DVD reviews because he enjoys the creative freedom, the melodic, ego-fueling sound of his own words, and because he was very politely asked to write them. He hopes this will lead to a full-time gig as one of the Fly Girls, but seeing as In Living Color has been off the air for over a decade, he's not sure how well that'll work. He'll probably be moving soon.

One comment

  1. I am really surprised you gave Tadasuke such low chances. I figured he would win the cup and Green Ant would come looking for revenge on the Chikara/Osaka Pro tour next month.

    As for a contest, I’m in.

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