This weekend marks the first shows since the enormous King of Trios weekend almost two months ago. The start of the season usually sets up many storylines for the rest of the year, with the next two shows important in kick-starting some feuds. Will Eddie Kingston want to gain revenge against Lince Dorado or any other members of Team Mexico? Will The Colony get their hands on Vin Gerard, or will Vin manage to gain some allies to create a maskless army? Who will be the next candidates to try to earn a shot at los Campeonatos de Parejas? Below are my quick thoughts on this weekend's match-ups, as well as some speculation for the year going forward.
April 19th - Deuces Wild - Hellertown, PA
Jimmy Olsen vs. Gran Akuma -- Is this a face turn for Jimmy Jam? I'm pretty sure that we've all been fans of him and his shtick with Colin Olsen for the past year in Chikara, so that wouldn't be much of a stretch for him. Here's hoping he calls out for a tag in the middle of the match so we can all go, "Awwwwwww."
Vin Gerard vs. Worker Ant -- Vin recently posted on the ChikaraPro.com blog about the Colony and being dumped in the trash at Night 3 of King of Trios. Ever since Vin lost his mask last November, this has been a hot storyline for Chikara since. Their match at "Two Eyebrows..." was better than decent and I'm hoping that this match is just as good. The crowd was all over Vin for costing the Colony a shot at the King of Trios finals, so he'll probably get booed out of the building again on Saturday.
Chuck Taylor & Icarus vs. Create-a-Wrestler & Player Uno -- Last month, CAW went for that slingshot dropkick in the corner during the 8-man tag match and missed by about a million feet. I have nothing to add to that. For CAW to be in the ring with three Chikara veterans can only be good for his career, so let's hope that this could be the start of a good year for him. Also, this could make a trio for Player Uno now, as CAW is another video-game reference to go with the Super Smash Brothers.
Tim Donst vs. UltraMantis Black -- Tim Donst has come a long way since April 2007, where he lost his first ever match against a match involving UMB. In fact, UltraMantis scored the victory over Donst after a Praying Mantis Bomb. Hopefully Donst can get back on track with his submission- and ground-based style, as they've been slightly off for a few shows.
Shane Storm vs. Brodie Lee -- Holy crap I love me some Brodie Lee. This could potentially be Eddie/Storm from "Two Eyebrows..." all over again. I'm actually hoping that Shane gets pissed off at being a whipping boy for so long that he joins Vin Gerard's maskless quest. Shane needs something new, and maybe losing the mask could be it. yes i know maskless isn't a word i can see the red squiggly lines jeez
The Colony vs. The Osirian Portal -- This match could be fantastic and maybe even end up being the match of the night. I think a lot of people are looking for the Portal to gain three points sooner than later this year, and I believe that they already have one (vs. Lince/Pantera last November). And even though they didn't win the King of Trios tournament last month, the Colony should continue to impress us.
Helios (c) vs. Lince Dorado, Young Lions Cup match -- I can't believe I'm saying this, but I don't know if I can picture Lince losing this match. I understand the symbolism with him chasing a title as his mentor, El Pantera, is doing the same in the show's main event. But Helios should hold onto the title until the tournament in June, and I feel that Lince should be in Young Lions Cup VI this year. After defeating Mitch Ryder at Chapter 11 and winning 5 matches in 2 days at King of Trios, it's hard to pick against Lince for any match at this point.
Cheech & Cloudy vs. Mitch Ryder & Shayne Hawke -- Mitch instructed me to buy peanut butter donuts this month and I'll be sure to serve him well on this request. Cheech & Cloudy have had great matches in losing efforts this year, and you figure they have to get out of this funk that they're stuck in. Then again, Hawke is a pick of mine to win the Young Lions Cup this year.
Mike Quackenbush (c) vs. El Pantera, NWA Jr. Heavyweight Title -- After pinning Quackenbush to eliminate Team QuackStormSkayde from the King of Trios tournament in the quarterfinals, El Pantera challenged his friend to a match for the belt as soon as possible. Quackenbush agreed and so we have our main event. This should be an excellent match with plenty of lucha moves, complex reversals, and crazy submissions. This should be an excellent match to close the show.
April 20th - Passion & Persistence - Philadelphia, PA
Player Uno vs. Jimmy Olsen -- So maybe Jimmy Jam goes right back to being a heel again. Who knows. I've been a Player Uno fan for a while now, so I'm looking forward to this match. Hopefully Olsen is all right after the recent injuries he's apparently sustained (hurt his knee at King of Trios; knocked out by Ricky Reyes).
Tim Donst vs. Ophidian -- These two were in opposing corners in the main event at "Two Eyebrows..." at the start of the year. Ophidian continues to improve and please don't go near my girlfriend I don't feel like dealing with her screaming. Oh wait, we'll be in Philly, he can't go past the guardrail!
The Hydra vs. Chuck Taylor -- At last, Hydra has a match this weekend! After the Order's impressive showing at King of Trios, Hydra is expected to put on much better matches, and he'll get an excellent match against a veteran like Chuck Taylor. And anything that gives us a chance to pull for Hydra is good. Taylor's antics should be fantastic during this match.
Helios vs. Amasis -- Tag teams continue to be split up for this show as Amasis will have his first singles encounter in Chikara. We should see a ton of high-flying out of these two guys. Don't forget, Amasis hit a 450 splash during King of Trios weekend. This weekend will also see how Helios has recouperated from that beating at the hands of the BLK Out last month.
Quack, Storm, Cheech, and Cloudy vs. Ryder, Sweeney, Hawke, and Ellis -- This will be absolutely awesome. I'll be glad to have Larry Sweeney back for this show. I honestly can't put into words how much I'm looking forward to this.
Eddie Kingston & Sabian vs. Lince Dorado & El Pantera -- Here's hoping that Eddie is back at this show. Sabian didn't make it to King of Trios, but he'll likely want revenge for his other BLK Out brethren for their loss in the tournament finals. We may have a tag team of champions for this match if Lince & El Pantera are victorious on Saturday.
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brodie Lee -- It's about time Brodie is matched up against someone his own size. I don't think a boot to Claudio's face would keep him down as it has some of the smaller wrestlers over the past year. And just like everyone else, I'm excited to see Claudio back in Chikara this year. Hopefully this is a start to an excellent 2008 in Chikara for him. This could easily steal as the match of the night.
Hallowicked & Delirious (c) vs. Gran Akuma & Icarus, Campeonatos de Parejas -- I'm actually not too fond of how F.I.S.T. is invoking a rematch clause to get a shot at the titles. As far as I'm concerned, they don't have three points, so they don't have a title match. Hopefully Incoherence can hold onto the titles and render this point moot. This match should be an excellent end to a Chikara weekend.
See you all there!