Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chikara King of Trios 2008 FINAL PREDICTIONS

Well Chikara went ahead and made everything into blocks. They set up all the first-round matches and even set up all of the potential second-round matches. We can kinda do a bracket, but we don't know who is meeting on the final night. As in, the quarterfinals won't be A vs. B, C vs. D, etc. So here's how my picks are going to be shown:

I have all of my winners from each block picked below. Some of my picks changed because of possible second-round matches. From those eight winners, I picked the 4 teams who would win in the quarterfinal round. From those 4, I picked the two who would be in the finals, and the championship team.

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Some picks I changed and why, as well as other commentary:

Las Chivas d. Team ROH Grads (first round) -- A matchup between the Colony and Las Chivas in the second round would be fantastic.

Kaiju Sea Amigos d. The Order (first round) -- Because Kaiju vs. BLK Out in the second round is too awesome to pass up.

Team WTF? d. QuackSkaydeStorm (second round) -- There are plenty of upsets that can happen but this one wouldn't surprise me.

Golden Trio d. Naptown Dragons (second round) -- I wanted to put the Naptown Dragons into night 3, but I don't think they could beat IncoHelios coming off a bye.

Fabulous Three d. Team WWF (second round) -- Sweeney's gonna pin an old-school hero!

Semifinals: I see F.I.S.T. vs. The Golden Trio as one match-up. F.I.S.T. will try to avenge losing the tag straps AND the Young Lions Cup all in one match. I also see The Colony vs. BLK Out having a strong matchup in the other semi-final match with BLK Out actually avenging their loss from the end of last year. And finally, I see The Golden Trio beating BLK Out in the finals.

Have a great weekend, everyone, ESPECIALLY those going to the ECW Arena! See you there!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Night 2 Picks for King of Trios!

Sorry for the delay! Before I get to my Night 2 picks, there's a bit of news: Colin D. Olsen won't be at King of Trios because he was signed to ECW. What a story, eh? Brodie and Jimmy Jam will need a new partner, but my pick doesn't change: Team WTF? will still win that match-up.

Team IWS vs. Team F1rst -- This should be a fantastic match-up and it will be great to see El Generico in a Chikara ring. It's a shame that one of these teams has to lose in the first round of the tournament. It really seems like Player Uno just can't get a win over the past few months. Additionally, all of the members of Team F1rst have been involved in Chikara tournaments in the past. The North Star Express made it to the semi-finals of the TWGP 2006. Arik Cannon won Young Lions Cup 4 in 2006. Based on that experience alone, I think Team F1rst is a legitimate dark-horse contender to take the whole thing. Pick: Team F1rst

Stranglehold vs. The Fabulous Three -- The only other time I remember Stranglehold teaming together in Chikara was when they lost an ugly match to the Order; I also think that was Donst's first match on a show. This will be an interesting match-up with a good mix of mat wrestling and old-school tactics. Larry Sweeney has barely won a match in the past year in Chikara, but I think his team will win at least one match this year. I don't think Shayne Hawke will mess anything up (at least in the first round) and I'm strongly behind him as a top contender for the Young Lions Cup later this year. Pick: The Fabulous Three

F.I.S.T. vs. Sweet 'n' Sour, Inc. -- Ed O'Mac recently posted on the ChikaraFans message board and said that F.I.S.T. was his pick to win the whole thing. And his reason is solid: they're great in tournaments in Chikara. Both Icarus and Akuma lost in the finals of their respective Young Lions Cup tournaments, and both won their respective Cibernetico matches. And of course, Chuck Taylor won the Rey de Voladores and Young Lions Cup tournaments last year. But hey, we'll get to see Bobby Dempsey in a Chikara ring this weekend. Thumbs up to that at least! Pick: F.I.S.T.

Southern Saints vs. Team Japan -- MIYAWAKI yesyesyesyes. Sorry, Southern Saints, I really can't give you a chance against MIYAWAKI. Team Japan (with Yago in place of SUSUMU) made it to the finals of the King of Trios tournament last year and I could definitely see them making a run like that this year. I don't think the Southern Saints will have the cohesiveness a team in this tournament would need, since two of the three wrestlers on that team have been dropped off due to injuries. Pick: Team Japan

Team Mexico vs. Los Ice Creams & ??? -- I really really really hope Vin Gerard is Los Ice Creams' tag partner. Can you imagine Vin in the ring with FIVE other masked wrestlers? This match has a chance to be one of the best of the first round on night 2. Team Mexico made it to the quarterfinals of last year's tournament and, like Team Japan, you could see them making a similar run this year. Pick: Team Mexico

Da Soul Touchaz VS Team BSE -- I've liked having Super Xtremo in Chikara. His appearances last year at Young Lions Cup and at the Cibernetico were quality matches, even though in one of them he teamed with a cow. His flipkick-hurricanrana move against Kris Chambers was awesome. I don't know a single thing about The Soul Touchers but I don't see them picking up a win here, and I think Super Xtremo will carry Team BSE to a first round win. Pick: Team BSE

All right everyone, I'll have my final set of picks later this week. I'll be listing the four teams that I think will be surviving to Night 3, and who I think will meet in the semi-finals and finals, as well as my pick for tournament champion. Only four more days until King of Trios 2008!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

More King of Trios Thoughts!!

The first round of both nights has been set and the 28th trio has been revealed! Below I'm going to list the first round matches, who I think will win (and why), and who I think will be moving on to the final eight on night 3.

Night 1

The Colony vs. Team El Dorado -- This is a good match to start on because there is one major point I want to get across about making picks: don't let wins hinge totally on bookability. Just because a team was flown in from halfway across the world doesn't mean that they're automatically going to win a first-round match-up. The Colony had an outstanding 2007 and should have a great 2008 going forward. As I've been preaching for a few weeks now, the Colony have an outside shot at winning this whole tournament. This could be their chance to show tons of people in other markets that they are one of the best teams in Chikara and maybe independent wrestling today. Pick: The Colony

Las Chivas Rayadas vs. Team ROH Grads -- Shane Hagadorn can't even win a dodgeball match. Also, the "screw you!" kick to the back of the head is so awkward to me and I really hope he doesn't do it this match. Las Chivas impressed at the Cibernetico and International Invaders night 2 last year, including a win over then-tag champs F.I.S.T. But you know what? Every tournament needs an upset or two. Yes, that's the basis for this choice. Pick: Team ROH Grads

Team Dr. Keith vs. Team WTF? -- The Brodie/Colin/Jimmy team will definitely be shorthanded if Colin's injuries from falling down the stairs last January carry over. And the fact that they can't practice on Tuesday nights given the Olsens' grandmother needing dialysis won't be helping things either. Cheech and Cloudy lost last month in "Two Eyebrows..." but I definitely think they'll bounce back this month with a first-round win with m.c. KZ on their team. Pick: Team WTF?

Kaiju Sea Amigos vs. The Order
-- Dr. Cube has to be there for the tournament now. Evil itself will be redefined if he and UltraMantis Black meet up in any way, shape, or form during or before this match. I can't wait to see Crossbones punch DW Cycloptopuss III's eye really really hard. The Order will pick up another win to add to their January 27th tag team victory. They may almost lose due to a gaffe by Hydra, but UltraMantis and Crossbones will prove to be too formidable even for Hydra's mistake. Pick: The Order

The Naptown Dragons vs. Team IPW:UK
-- Here's another example of some people wanting to pick Team IPW:UK because they were flown in from far away. Who cares! Does anyone see a team with Drake Younger and Scotty Vortekckzksxxz losing in the first round of a tournament in the ECW Arena? I sure don't. In fact, I see Drake's team progressing pretty far into the tournament. Pick: The Naptown Dragons

Team Egypt vs. Quack/Storm/Skayde
-- Skayde!! Skayde!!!! What a fantastic surprise this turned out to be. I actually wanted to give Team Egypt a chance in at least the first round of the tournament. The Osirian Portal have been doing quite well for themselves over the past 5 months, but being teamed with Mecha Mummy doesn't really help their cause. They'll have a bright 2008, but it won't start with a win in the first round. If Quack/Storm/Jigsaw won the tournament last year, anything short of winning the whole thing would be a disappointment for Quack/Storm/Skayde. Great surprise for the final trio, who will put on several good matches over the weekend. Pick: Quack/Storm/Skayde

Still to come: Night 2 first round predictions, and who I think will be left standing on Night 3!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

King of Trios -- Early Thoughts

Hey everyone. We're two weeks away from the King of Trios weekend! Each night's participants have been set, but individual match-ups haven't been made yet. Also, we're still missing one team for Night 1, which will apparently be revealed on the February 18th Podcast-a-Gogo. For now, I'd like to touch on some interesting match-ups that could happen on the first couple of nights, and then touch on some people as to who could be the final team. Remember, these are POSSIBLE matches that may not happen even until a later round.

Night 1

The Colony vs. The BLK Out -- This one is a no-brainer. Their feud was a highlight of the 2007 season with fast-paced, hard-hitting matches. I'm sure that there would be no love lost between these two teams. The Colony ended up winning the blow-off match to this feud, so I'm sure the BLK Out would love a shot at redemption.

BLK Out vs. The Golden Trio -- An Eddie/Hallowicked match-up would be a violent start to 2008. And don't forget, Incoherence scored one of their three tag points against the BLK Out at Aniversario! I wouldn't be surprised to see Eddie and another member of the BLK Out try to get their tag title points to challenge Hallowicked & Delirious for the tag titles. In a blog a few months ago, Eddie actually said that he had two points (although I don't know with who), so maybe he'll get a third this year.

Golden Trio vs. The Order -- I think by now that we all know what UltraMantis Black thinks of Hallowicked. Again, Incoherence got one of their tag points against Hydra and UltraMantis at Cibernetico & Robin. Hydra and Helios had a match at Bruised for the Young Lions Cup. And if the order can beat the Golden Trio with Crossbones helping, it would further any idea of UltraMantis and Crossbones being a better team than UltraMantis and Hydra make.

Brodie Lee/Olsen Twins vs. The Colony -- I point this possible match out only because this match happened twice in about two months last year, both in Reading: on August 17th and October 26th. They seem to have good chemistry with each other. And just for fun, I'm going to mention that Worker Ant got his face kicked off by Brodie Lee at New Star Navigation. It's ALWAYS fun to talk about Brodie kicking people's faces off.

Kaiju Sea Amigos vs. The Order -- If Dr. Cube accompanies Team Kaiju to the ring for a match like this, the world may implode if he and UltraMantis, two of the world's most evil masterminds, had some type of altercation. Personally, anything that gives me a reason to chant "Call-Me-Kevin" (clap clap clapclapclap) is good with me.

Team WTF? vs. Brodie Lee/Olsen Twins -- Named just today, the team of Cheech, Cloudy, and Dragon Gate's m.c. KZ team up to form Team WTF? I mention this match because we all know about the great matches we saw last year when Cheeck & Cloudy were pitted against The Olsen Twins.

All of the participants for Night 1:
The BLK Out -- Eddie Kingston, Sabian, Joker
Dr. Keith Presents -- Brodie Lee, Jimmy & Colin Olsen
The Naptown Dragons -- Drake Younger, Dustin Lee, Scotty Vortezkskxkszkzs
The Order of the Neo Solar Temple -- UltraMantis Black, Hydra, Crossbones
Team El Dorado -- Mototsugu Shimizu, Go, Michael Nakazawa
Team IPW:UK -- Martin Stone, Sha Samuels, Terry Frazier
The Colony -- Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, Worker Ant
The ROH Grads -- Shane Hagadorn, SUGARFOOT Alex Payne, Rhett Titus
Kaiju's Sea Amigos -- D.W. Cycloptopuss III, Unibouzo, Call-Me-Kevin
The Golden Trio -- Delirious, Hallowicked, Helios
Las Chivas Rayadas -- Chivas II, III, IV
Team Egypt -- Ophidian, Amasis, Mecha Mummy
Team WTF? -- Cheech, Cloudy, m.c. KZ
(Unknown Team 28)

Night 2

F.I.S.T. vs. Team Mexico -- Surprisingly, these teams never met in tag action. At the Cibernetico, though, Lince & Incognito were on the luchador team against the Kings of Wrestling, partly comprised of F.I.S.T. Additionally, Chuck Taylor defeated Lince in the finals of the Rey de Voladores tournament in April.

F.I.S.T. vs. The Fabulous Three -- This match-up would pit all six ex-Kings of Wrestling member in the tournament against each other. They obviously would never had a chance to face off during 2007, but they would still know each other well after nearly a year of teaming together.

Sweet 'n' Sour, Inc. vs. The Fabulous Three -- This is a possible match that I'm sure many people are looking forward to. Who would Sweeney align himself with: his current strong trio with Mitch and Shayne, or his ROH investments of Sara Del Ray, Tank Toland, and Bobby Dempsey? This would be one of the most interesting match-ups in the entire tournament.

Team Mexico vs. The Fabulous Three -- You know, this may actually be even more anticipated than the match listed previously. To see Lince & Mitch square off again would be fantastic. Five members of this match were a part of the Cibernetico, and don't forget that El Pantera was in Lince's corner at Chapter 11. And El Pantera had to leave the ringside are after a beatdown by...Shayne Hawke and Larry Sweeney. What a match this would be.

The Fabulous Three vs. Team WWF -- Notice how most of these have the Fabulous Three involved? That just goes to show how awesome they are. Of course, there is no history between these two teams, but it would be a fantastic meeting of the 1980's old-school style. Sweeney and Ryder would fit in perfectly against One Man Gang, Ax, and Smash. Sweeney has faced off against other legends before and this match would only add to his already excellent legends-tour collection.

All of the participants for Night 1:
Team WWF -- Demolition Ax, Demolition Smash, One Man Gang
Sweet n' Sour, Inc. -- Tank Toland, Bobby Dempsey, Sara Del Rey
F.I.S.T. -- Gran Akuma, Chuck Taylor, Icarus
The Fabulous Three -- Mitch Ryder, Larry Sweeney, Shayne Hawke
Ice Cream, Jr., El Hijo del Ice Cream, ???
Team IWS -- El Generico, Player Uno, Stupefied
Team BSE -- Kobra Kai, Super Xtremo, La Sombra
Team AZW -- AkuA, The Immortals
Team F1rst Wrestling -- Arik Cannon, Darin Corbin, Ryan Cruz
The Soul Touchaz -- Acid Jaz, Willie Richardson, Marshe Rockett (w/ C-Red)
The Southern Saints -- Shawn Reed, Marcus O'Neil, Chris Styles
Team Mexico -- Lince Dorado, El Pantera, Incognito
Stranglehold -- Tim Donst, Drew Gulak, Andy Sumner

As I said, 27 of the 28 teams are listed. Here are some omissions as to who the final team could fill out with:
Shane Storm
Mike Quackenbush
Vin Gerard
The Iron Saints (Thomasellis)
There's a tiny rumor going around that Skayde may come back for at least the weekend, which could prompt a Quack/Shane/Skayde team. Vin Gerard could be slotted with Los Ice Creams, which would give Vin two masked wrestlers as teammates. I would love to see the Iron Saints come back, but I feel that they would be a slightly anticlimactic team to list as number 28. Either way, MIYAWAKI better head-butt someone into oblivion this year.

That's all for now. My next post will probably be next weekend with some predictions. If the first-round match-ups are posted, I may post my thoughts on those. Additionally, I'll post the four teams from each night that I think will be wrestling on Night 3. Until then, have a great week!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Top 10 Chikara Moments of 2007

Welcome back everyone! I know we're all getting pretty amped for King of Trios weekend, coming up in just THREE short weeks, but until them we have to live with a lot of anxiety and neediness until then. When are we getting to the fireworks factory?? :::sobs::: So until then, I'm going to try my hardest to keep you relaxed and happy, and I might just throw a few YouTube clips in there to keep you blankly staring at your screen for a few moments more. I'm going to continually update this post instead of making several posts so that you can scroll down from 10 to 1 in a dramatic fashion.

Additionally, please remember that these are my top 10 moments from the past year. They may differ from your top 10, and that's fine, give me some feedback on that. Some choices were made based on wrestling, and some were based on pure entertainment. We're going to start the list with a few honorable mentions that didn't quite make the cut, in no particular order.

  • Robbie Ellis defeats the Hydra with a Burning Hammer -- Chapter 11 -- November 18, 2007 -- Philadelphia, PA
  • Hydra is apparently against going to rehab -- New Star Navigation -- October 26, 2007 -- Barnesville, PA -- Video:
  • The Destruction of the Barnesville Thunderdome -- New Star Navigation -- October 26, 2007 -- Barnesville, PA -- Video: (4:00)
  • Tecnicos come out to party with food after the Connecticut Show -- Showdown in Crisisland -- July 21, 2007 -- Wallingford, CT
  • La Parkita dances his way into our hearts -- Maximum Overdraft -- August 5, 2007 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Video:
  • Claudio powerbombs Mike Quackenbush into the ring -- Time Will Prove Everything -- March 24, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA
  • Equinox loses his mask; Vin Gerard is born -- The Sordid Perils of Everyday Existence -- November 17, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA

10. "You're the most beautiful man I ever saw" -- Young Lions Cup V, Night 1 -- June 22, 2007 -- Reading, PA -- 6-way Main Event
I'm going to have to admit a bias for this pick: Shayne Hawke was one of my favorite mainstays in Chikara in 2007. His TTP/Shannattack corner move is one of my favorite moves and I'm sad that it can't be recreated in Fire Pro R. What I like most about him, though, is his unlimited charasma. His match against Quackenbush had an incredibly funny opening sequence. His reactions to Mitch Ryder accepting him into the Kings of Wrestling (ie, beating down Lince Dorado faster) was hilarious. When he met Darrin Corbin, though, at YLCVn1 in the six-way main event, we saw a very touching moment between the two redheads.
Video: needed

9. Donst Dies For Our Sins -- International Invaders Weekend, Night 2 -- August 18, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA -- Tim Donst vs. Brodie Lee
Tim Donst's rookie year was one for the ages. His record wasn't one of the best, winning few singles encounters, but became well known for the beatings he would take. When he faced veteran Eddie Kingston in Wallingford, CT, Donst was destroyed from start to finish but refused to give up the entire match. A sick clothesline on the outside of the ring didn't keep him down. He would go on to face Eddie again in November to try to exact his revenge, but what helped build him even more was his match against Brodie Lee in August. At International Invaders night 2, we would see Donst get murdalized by Brodie even before the bell rang, with a huge boot to the face over Bryce Rembsurg's back.

8. The Day Kayfabe Died -- Young Lions Cup V, Night 3 -- June 24, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA -- The Olsen Twins vs. The North Star Express
I wasn't a witness; I was an accomplice. Not only did they pull off the slow motion to perfection, not only did the fans finish it off with the perfect chant, but I'm still not sure whether Larry Sweeney on commentary had any idea as to what was going on or not. Colin Delaney indeed.

7. "It looks that ham??" -- Rey de Voladores -- April 22, 2007 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Team F.I.S.T. vs. Cheech & Cloudy
I remember during the entrances for the first or second match, Bryce was saying how hot it was in the ring. Watching the DVD, you hear the announcers (Quack, Bryce, and Larry) saying how hot it was under the lights all day. And then poor Cloudy decides to eat a couple hot dogs before the tag title main event and pretty much gets them kicked right back out of him. It happened right in front of me and was pretty disgusting. The best part, though, is Quack on commentary:
Cloudy: (hurls)
Quack: I don't know what I just saw there, but I'd like to never see it again.
Akuma: (kicks)
Cloudy: (hurls again)

6. Headbutt Heard 'Round YouTube -- King of Trios 2007, Night 1 -- February 16, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA -- The Iron Saints vs. Team K-Dojo
If I made a top ten list of "Sickest Headbutts in Chikara history," this would be numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8. It wasn't just the headbutt that made it awesome, but listen to the crowd and the commentary: EVERYONE goes silent for just a second, and then EVERYONE explodes a beat after that sickening thud. I'm excited that MIYAWAKI will be back for this year's King of Trios, as he's always a welcome addition to any Chikara show.

5. Tecnicos vs. Rudos Explosion! -- Chapter 11 -- November 18, 2007 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Lince Dorado vs. Mitch Ryder
The Lince Dorado/Mitch Ryder match at Chapter 11 was a good end to an excellent story with a very unfortunate finish. Before the 450 senton, though, I witnessed one of the most chill-inducing moments in my personal history as a wrestling fan. Sweeney and Hawke had chased off El Pantera, who was in Lince Dorado's corner, and were soon outnumbering Lince. Quackenbush and a few other luchadores came out to even the odds, only for the rest of the Kings of Wrestling to come out and bring favor back to Mitch's side. Then, more luchadores poured out of the locker room to support Lince, pushing him to win the best match of his young career. The crowd was all over it, definitely pushing it to a higher level.
Video: needed

4. Chikara > ROH; Fans Fail to Connect on High Fives -- Maximum Overdraft -- August 5, 2007 Philadelphia, PA -- F.I.S.T. vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe
During a stretch in the middle of the year,Gran Akuma and Icarus were having trouble winning at several shows, losing in tag and trios matches at the last three. They desperately needed a win to gain some momentum for their tag title defense coming up against Los Ice Creams on August 17th. And then Icarus got his ass kicked for 15-plus minutes by the Briscoes, pulled out a real nice reverse hurricanrana, and Akuma got a roll-up for the three-count. Fans gained a ton of respect of Icarus after this showing; the match gave Chikara some more legitimacy among indy feds. And then Dave and Smurf missed a high five.
Video: needed

3. Chris Hero's Kryptonite -- Aniversario? -- May 26, 2007 -- Hellertown, PA -- Chris Hero vs. Mike Quackenbush
This match had a long time coming. Ever since Hero had turned on his partner at the Tag World Grand Prix 2005 finals in Pittston to form the original Kings of Wrestling faction, Quackenbush wanted to get his hands on his co-trainer. They met in the ring a few times in tag, trios, and atomicos matches over the next two years, but never in a singles match, as Hero refused to have a one-on-one match against Quack. As a part of Eddie Kingston's team in the Torneo Cibernetico in 2006, Quackenbush eliminated Hero with a crossface submission. In April 2007, Quackenbush refereed a Hero/Claudio match, where it was decided afterward that they would have their confrontation in Hellertown at "Aniversario?". Their match, arguably one of the top matches of 2007, ended with Mike Quackenbush locking Hero into a brand new submission move: the Chikara Special. Tecnicos would use this maneuver to defeat Chris Hero over the next few months, such as Lince Dorado, El Pantera, and, most surprisingly, Equinox in August.
Video: (starts at 4:15)

2. "Get In The Ring, Americool!" -- Bruised -- October 26, 2007 -- Reading, PA -- F.I.S.T. vs. Incoherence
We all thought Cheech & Cloudy were going to make F.I.S.T. short-term champions -- didn't happen. Then we thought that Los Ice Creams would definitely take the titles off of their waists -- again, didn't happen. So when Delirious and Hallowicked had their tag title match at Bruised, it was all in the back of our minds that F.I.S.T. would prevail again. With Gran Akuma injured, though, Icarus had to defend the titles with an unfamiliar partner in Chuck Taylor. This proved to be their downfall, as new tag champions were crowned after Akuma accidentally hit his partner with a crutch. After the match, Delirious and Hallowicked celebrated with the fans, inviting children into the ring to reign victorious with them. It was a memorable visual that fully captures what Chikara is all about.

1. Claudio Vanquishes the Kings of Wrestling -- Cibernetico & Robin -- September 22, 2007 -- Philadelphia, PA -- El Torneo Cibernetico
Do you know what the best part of this really was? Mitch Ryder's roll up after Claudio had eliminated Chris Hero. All of us came up with our own desired finish to the match: Hero and Claudio are the two remaining people in the match and then they finally settle their differences. When we saw three people from the same team remaining, I'm pretty sure many of us thought that Mitch Ryder was going to be eliminated next. To our surprise, Claudio locks the Chikara Special on Hero, making him tap out. While Claudio is still yelling at Hero over the top rope, Mitch Ryder comes in and rolls up Castagnoli up. EVERYONE in my section yelled "NO!!!" the second we realized he might get a cheap win. Luckily Claudio kicked out and got the pin with the Ricola Bomb. This kicked off a Kings-of-Wrestling-destruction tour, ending in December where he finally defeated Chris Hero one-on-one.