Chikara mixes high-flying athletics with comic book storyline
By Taylor Pitt, Contributor
It’s the main event, and the crowd is almost silent in anticipation. At ringside, staff members finish putting together the steel cage, a stage that has only been used once before in Chikara’s history. This is the battle of the ages, a deciding bout in a war that has claimed many of their favourites. Dark, thunderous music hits, and a chorus of boos and angry yells echo through the hall.
Out from the shadowy corner of the room comes the Flood’s enforcer, the giant Deucalion. He has spent the better part of a year running through the Chikara roster, delivering deadly Chokebreakers to many of the crowd’s favourite heroes. He wears a belt featuring some of their masks, and holds it up in celebration of his misdeeds. As soon as he settles into the cage, the hero’s music hits and the crowd erupts.
This was the atmosphere at the season 14 finale of Chikara, a professional wrestling promotion located in Philadelphia, which is notable for their unique stories and characters. In addition to high-flying and high-impact professional wrestling, showcasing an abundance of moves and sequences that would be much rarer in other promotions, Chikara’s roster is made up of costumed insects, hypnotist cobras, goblins, trolls, and demons.
Even competitors who aren’t part of the colourful collection of non-human combatants are all capable of pulling out tricks that wouldn’t work anywhere else, such as using a remote control to pause their opponents. Not only that, but Chikara is a popular promotion among older heroes from the WWE, ECW, and WCW. It’s not uncommon to see big names from times past stop by to pay a visit, especially on larger shows such as the annual King of Trios tournament. I recommend watching last year’s tournament first, as it is the perfect introduction to the company and provides stellar examples of what to expect.
On January 25, the first episode of season 15 was filmed at the old ECW Arena, now known as the 2300 Arena. Aptly titled “A New Start,” this marks the beginning of a Chikara seemingly free of the reign of terror suffered at the hands of Deucalion and the Flood over the past year.
However, this isn’t to say that all is well and fine. The Colony, made up of Worker Ant, Fire Ant, and Silver Ant, a trio of masked heroes who have always been at the front lines of any battle Chikara has fought, are forced to fight an old ally, Soldier Ant, who feels betrayed by his former teammates. Delirious, a stark raving mad, unintelligible genius has brainwashed UltraMantis Black’s teammates, Frightmare and Hallowicked, and turned them against each other. The Batiri, a duo of demonic warriors, still suffer from the loss of their captain, the Goblin King Kobald. These scenarios are what makes the experience of watching a Chikara show so much fun, and keep every victory and defeat feeling important.
In addition to being able to see Chikara matches free online on their YouTube channel, CHIKARAoffice, full shows are available on SmartMarkVideo.com