Remember that time on WWE Raw where everyone went on strike, Smackdown ignored it, and it was all wrapped up in about a half hour on the following Monday's show? They wrote themselves into a corner there, but they obviously couldn't have let the strike continue. Storyline or not, you're trying to get people to pay to watch wrestling matches and the company can't do that when you don't have a show to give them. Imagine if the strike lasted nearly a year. That would be insane, right? Indy wrestling promotion CHIKARA did a storyline that was more or less just that.
A recent development from this month's National Pro Wrestling Day, CHIKARA is coming back after a long absence. Despite being gone for eight months, they still had their own narrative going on, unique, ridiculous, and convoluted as it was. As original as the storytelling was, it proceeded to annoy and alienate many. Various negative end-of-year lists about wrestling listed CHIKARA due to either the loss of the promotion that they loved or this lengthy diversion that was keeping them from enjoying the promotion that they loved.
The fact that they had to scrap fan-favorite annual show King of Trios didn't do the fan reaction any favors.
On May 25, CHIKARA will be making its grand return in Easton, PA and I thought a primer might be in order. A detailed look at the whole "Death and Return of CHIKARA" story for those who missed out on it, didn't care to follow it, or are new and want to give it a try. I know that seeing a giant wall of text can turn people off, so here's the quick, summarized version of CHIKARA's demise and rebirth:
CHIKARA was owned by evil corporation Titor Conglomerate, whose dark secrets started to leak during a major show. The man in charge had the show cancelled during the climax of the main event, ordering an endless wave of security guards to pull the wrestlers and ref out of the ring and destroy the set. CHIKARA was done. Hated wrestler Icarus refused to let it die without a fight and started a movement. In the beginning, only the fans followed him as the wrestlers mostly moved on and actively ignored him. With the help of the fans and a couple noted others, Icarus was able to scare the big, scary corporation into cutting ties with the CHIKARA name and selling it off. Meanwhile, many of the wrestlers started competing at smaller promotions under the banner Wrestling Is, but those promotions were eventually destroyed by a super-stable of villains from CHIKARA's past. At National Pro Wrestling Day, Icarus led the charge in running them off, before announcing that CHIKARA was indeed coming back.
Coincidentally, CHIKARA's site has its own succinct description of the event.
This whole story was told in a variety of different avenues. It started with various public fan gatherings held by Icarus, including a scavenger hunt to save a kidnapped fan. A YouTube series of short films called Ashes started up, mainly following the differing quests of Icarus, 3.0 and the Colony. Social media and the CHIKARA 101 message board had been used in various ways. There's also stuff like a website for Titor Conglomerate that added another dash of detail to what was going on.
Now that I got the quick and easy explanation out of the way, here's a more in-depth look at Ashes, the story of CHIKARA's grand return. This is a who's who mixed with the stuff leading into National Pro Wrestling Day 2014.
During the 2010, a heel faction called the Bruderschaft des Kreuzes ruled over CHIKARA with an iron fist, mostly due to the fact that the company's authoritative Director of Fun was BDK member Dieter VonSteigerwalt. Luckily, reprieve came when the higher-ups sold the company to World Media Development Corp., a subsidiary of Titor Conglomerate. The BDK's corruption was wiped away, Dieter was replaced by Titor bigwig W. Conrad Vavasseur's son Wink, and everything seemed fine.
Over time, things started to get a little more questionable. Ominous guards from Condor Security (also owned by Titor) would be hanging around shows and occasionally get involved by removing wrestlers for various reasons. At the end of the iPPV Under the Hood, we got to see Conrad Vavasseur for the first time, dressing down his son for his use of Condor Security and how he's exposing him.
Fans began to notice a crackpot blog called No Private Army that's been around since 2006. The blog was focused on pointing out how Titor Conglomerate and Condor Security are actually involved in war crimes, which is WAY worse than using authority to help people win wrestling titles. Over time, more and more of Titor's activities came to light, including ties to Elohim City, which is both out of left field for a family-friendly wrestling show and also confusing, considering how many non-white members of Condor there are. This kind of thing led to Titor having CHIKARA shut down during the 2012 Aniversario: Never Compromise iPPV show.
Since then, Titor attempted to liquidate assets. Once Icarus' movement started to pick up steam, certain fans would find Condor Security fliers at their homes with, "We're still watching," written on the back. Condor Security remained in the shadows until one of the Icarus public appearances, where they kidnapped CHIKARA fan Thom. A month later, they held a scavenger hunt for the fans to complete and while I'm still sketchy on how it made sense from an in-story perspective, it was ultimately about Condor getting their hands on some documents that would have allowed them to destroy and/or take over the Funplex, where CHIKARA tended to hold their Easton, PA shows. Icarus foiled them by getting Thom back as well as the documents, suitably embarrassing Titor Conglomerate.
The very next day, Titor sold off the CHIKARA name to the highest bidder, deciding to wash its hands of it. It ended up being sold by Barridoff Galleries, an art company owned by jacked old man Robbie Ellis, who himself made some CHIKARA appearances in 2007/8. Titor has been silent since then, but it's only a matter of time before they make another move.
When the 2010 buyout happened, Wink was introduced as an auditor, occasionally watching BDK matches to make sure things were on the straight and narrow. Soon he was made Director of Fun, putting him in charge of putting the shows together, despite being a bit incompetent when it came to business and knowing even less when it came to wrestling. Still, he meant well and a lot of his early ideas had merit.
Gradually, he became less aloof and more controlling. In 2012, he created a system called CHIKARAmetrics, a Moneyball-style form of math that only made sense to Wink where he'd put tag teams and stables together based on his inane calculations. This led to lots of teams of people who outright didn't get along and caused the tensions to rise within the company. Between the constant criticism, his rivalry with CHIKARA Grand Champion Eddie Kingston, and constant pressure from his father Conrad, Wink soon snapped and ordered Condor Security to end the Never Compromise main event. The set was destroyed, the iPPV feed was cut and Wink simply sat on the stage and angrily ate an apple for ten minutes. No, really. I was there for it. It was weird.
Months later, Wink broke his silence on Twitter, admitting that he felt guilty about everything and since his father cut him off financially and he was constantly being watched by Condor goons, he was ready to come clean. He apologized for his actions and spilled a lot of beans, including how Titor originally bought CHIKARA in an attempt to train their own army. Wink showed up to help during the scavenger hunt and won over some of the CHIKARA faithful by helping stick it to Titor. Since then, there hasn't been a single sign of him.
Icarus is one of the original students of the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory and wrestled at the first show in 2002. He's been a staple, most notably as a super unpopular bad guy. Between his petulant attitude, hideous back tattoo, and the fact that he used the Pedigree as a finisher, Icarus was known through fan chants as, "Worst in the World!" For years, he was a member of tag-team (and later stable) FIST, eventually being seen as the team leader.
Two things changed Icarus' state of mind. One was his hero worship of WWF alumni Marty Jannetty, who wrestled a handful of times in CHIKARA. The other was how Wink Vavasseur's CHIKARAmetrics program led to optimistic face Sugar Dunkerton being shoved into FIST. Icarus, Chuck Taylor, and Johnny Gargano hated him in the beginning, but Sugar insisted that he could make it work, as long as he didn't have to cheat to get by. That didn't make him popular with his team, but eventually Icarus took a shining to him and they showed themselves capable of some great teamwork. Then Icarus tried cheating in Sugar's favor, which not only made him furious, but caused Sugar to quit CHIKARA.
Icarus was granted a title shot at Never Compromise, where he donned Marty Jannetty's old 90's tights, thankfully covering up much of his back. He locked Eddie Kingston into the nigh-unbreakable CHIKARA Special and right before Kingston could tap, Condor swooped in.
While others lamented CHIKARA's demise, Icarus wouldn't let it go. Although an Easton show was cancelled, Icarus insisted that he would be there anyway. Though glad to see over 30 fans there to meet him, Icarus was disappointed that he was the only wrestler. He handed off some t-shirts and had them sign a petition. He started holding bigger rallies, including a guerrilla wrestling show where he set up a ring at a Philadelphia skate park and competed in a six-man tag match... until Condor Security ran off with that fan. He even spread his rebellious word by leaving DVDs at Dragon Gate USA shows with special messages to the fans. Lot of outside-the-box stuff.
Through the Ashes series, Icarus searched high and low for people to help him. Initially, the only one of any use to him was Hallowicked. A few weeks before National Pro Wrestling Day, Icarus finally convinced the Colony that they really, really needed to band together in order to defend the future. As Icarus drove away, he looked at a Marty Jannetty action figure in his car and smiled as there was finally hope.
Sabato was a referee in CHIKARA for years, though not always the most popular. In 2010, he revealed himself as the BDK's personal referee, making it virtually impossible for others to defeat any of the BDK wrestlers whenever Sabato was involved. When Wink Vavasseur took over, Sabato was removed from his position. He resurfaced as a liaison for the equally-despicable faction GEKIDO in 2012, acting almost like their manager. He became very critical of Wink, claiming that he was more qualified to be Director of Fun. Shortly after, Sabato was fired.
He showed up in the middle of Never Compromise, where he told everyone that he got let go for getting too close to the truth. He took a picture of an incriminating photo he was given by an unnamed source and tweeted it before Condor Security could do anything. Still, they dragged him out of the ring and threw him out of the building.
In an Ashes video, Sabato was seen sitting down to have a chat with Mike Quackenbush, who he had never gotten along with. The contents of that conversation and even when it took place in relation to things is still up in the air.
Founder and head trainer of the Wrestle Factory, "Lightning" Mike Quackenbush went over a bit of a transformation in 2012. The evil faction GEKIDO invaded CHIKARA and its leader 17 snapped Quack's wrist. Quack came back from injury and rather than just defeat and humiliate the GEKIDO members, he took to trying to viciously end their careers. That put him at odds with former best friend and partner Jigsaw.
Quack won a tag match in a show's main event. Before the DVD's footage ended to show the credits, a man from No Private Army came up to Quack and handed him a manila envelope with some important information. A day later, Quack was no longer mentioned on the CHIKARA website as an active member of the roster. Since then, Quack had only been seen when meeting up with Sabato and another Ashes video where Icarus found him at home, unshaven and watching old clips of Max Moon matches. Quack has shown no interest in fighting to bring back CHIKARA.
Jigsaw was all but absent during the Ashes storyline. At the end of 2012, Jigsaw turned on Mike Quackenbush due to their disagreements with how to deal with the invading force GEKIDO. Jigsaw felt that they were merely fighting for respect and chose to give them that. He and GEKIDO member the Shard became a tag team known as the Piece of Hate and won the Campeonatos de Parejas (tag belts) at Never Compromise.
The two made a couple appearances at the Wrestling Is promotions, but most notable was the final Wrestling is Respect show. Jigsaw was seen leaving the building during intermission. At the end of the show, the massive army of CHIKARA villains showed themselves and destroyed the promotion. For the first time, the Shard was seen as part of the heel army. Since then, there's been no word from Jigsaw. Would he still side with Shard or would he be true to CHIKARA? As it is right now, he's the piece that does not fit.
HALLOWICKED AND THE WRESTLE FACTORY
Like Icarus, "The Nightmare Warrior" Hallowicked was there from the very beginning, originally his stablemate. Considering the two had a decade's worth of bad blood since splitting up, it was surprising that he sought out Icarus for hope of alliance. With Quack gone missing, Hallowicked had taken over the Wrestle Factory, which is impressive that he can teach when he doesn't speak in anything that can be considered a language. Not only had he decided to help Icarus in his quest, but he also introduced him to three of his best students, Private Eye Jr., Kid Cyclone and Equinox III.
Showing that it may indeed be possible to make living human beings out of pure enthusiasm, Shane "Big Magic" Matthews and Scott "Jagged" Parker were the reigning Campeones de Parejas (again, tag champs) until losing to the Pieces of Hate at No Compromise. They left the show immediately after, which made them feel guilty that they weren't around when Condor Security destroyed the place. They heard that the enigmatic Archibald Peck was seen when the set was torn down and figured that they'd seek him out. Going on a lengthy roadtrip, they got word from Archie's lawyer RD Evans that Archie resides in Parts Unknown. A perilous trek through the snowy wilderness bore fruit as they found Archie's cabin...
Archibald Peck arrived in CHIKARA in early 2011 as an easily-punchable marching band leader. After a match with Eddie Kingston, Marchie Archie blogged about how Kingston's finisher, the Backfist to the Future (which is just a really hard backfist with a silly name), actually sent him forward into the year 2015. It was written off by many as ridiculous ramblings, but time told a different tale. Archie turned face and had a feud with "Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti that played out the familiar story path of a man who loses a Loser Leaves Match and comes back in a masked persona. The Handsome and Mysterious Stranger unmasked as Archie at the end of 2012 after humiliating Touchdown and his girlfriend Veronica, but that caused Condor Security to pull him away and throw him off the premises.
While that appeared as a very straightforward wrestling angle, Archie's similar-looking lawyer RD Evans was able to get him reinstated by explaining a convoluted backstory involving time travel. And it turns out he wasn't making it up! Lots of crazy stuff happened involving that, including a match where Archie saw his own time-displaced doppelganger looking on from the balcony. Without getting into it, the whole time travel nonsense shockingly works itself out better than most comic book attempts.
When the set of Never Compromise was destroyed, Archibald Peck was seen watching in the shadows before running off. 3.0 found him in his Parts Unknown cabin, where he had created a wall of cryptic clues about CHIKARA and its future (much like Rip Hunter's chalkboard in the comic 52). Archie explained that the great tragedy that would wipe CHIKARA off the map for good could not be stopped. It was too late for the three of them to intervene as time moves differently in Parts Unknown. Then he stopped to realize that there was a chance and inspected nearby blueprints for a flux capacitor.
Although FIST fell to pieces towards the latter days of CHIKARA, loud-mouthed Chuck Taylor still remained friends with Icarus. On the other hand, he showed no interest in the idea of bringing CHIKARA back. All good things must come to an end. He was constantly getting bookings for other wrestling promotions and even tried getting Icarus some pity bookings until Icarus turned him down.
While Chuck wrestled at a couple Wrestling Is shows, he's also been behind a wonderful 24/7 Hardcore Championship series that's been shown on his Instagram in very short clips. While it features a lot of CHIKARA/Wrestling Is regulars as well as other names from the indies, it is very much not safe for work. It's super hilarious, though.
Around since 2007, Tim Donst transitioned from American-loving fresh face to a guy who was obnoxiously full of himself to a down-in-the-dumps bully who treated his hanger-ons like trash, especially best friend Jakob Hammermeier. Donst spent much of 2012 and 2013 dressing down his upbeat associate and transitioned into bullying ring announcer Gavin Loudspeaker. Gavin was forced into a match with him at Never Compromise, where he was helped out by Jakob, who finally manned up. As part of the rules, Donst had to shave his head as his own disfranchised followers left him.
Months later, Donst was seen in an Ashes video where Icarus sought his help. Since his humiliation at Never Compromise, Donst had taken to lots and lots of medication and found existence as a furniture salesman. While no help to Icarus, he did get lucid enough to hand him his old Young Lions Cup trophy with instructions to give it to Jakob, as well as an apology for everything, if Icarus ever sees him.
The foul bruiser Eddie Kingston had been part of CHIKARA since around since 2003 and despite his rude nature, he always considered it a home worth fighting for. In 2011, CHIKARA finally decided to introduce a Grand Championship title and held a big 12-man round robin tournament to crown the winner. Kingston became Grand Champion after defeating Mike Quackenbush in the finals and spent 2012 defending against all comers. That worked out great when he was facing those that the fans wanted destroyed, but when Kingston fought other popular CHIKARA names, there was a shift.
Through most of 2013, Kingston constantly defended his belt due to Wink Vavasseur's edict. Fans grew tired of watching him constantly win and cheered on his underdog challengers. Kingston became increasingly incensed, especially when Icarus of all people got a strong ovation during their Never Compromise match. Before he could tap out to Icarus, Kingston was saved by Condor Security's intervention, keeping him as the only holder of the CHIKARA Grand Championship in the belt's history.
Kingston ignored Icarus' pleas for help to bring back CHIKARA, claiming that campaigning wouldn't pay his bills. Kingston also revealed that he still carries the Grand Championship around at all times. Appearing at Wrestling Is shows, Kingston grew more and more irate with the fans' clamoring for a CHIKARA return to the point that he assaulted Thom, the very same fan that Condor Security kidnapped.
The devious UltraMantis Black is another name from the initial days of the company and while he's a megalomaniacal supervillain, at least he's on the side of the angels these days... strange as that is to say. UltraMantis made two appearances in the Ashes videos. One of which showed him incredibly reluctant to listen to Icarus during his day job of working as a librarian. In another video, hanging out at a wrestler bar, he got on Green Ant's case for being a terrible partner to both his old teammate Soldier Ant and his newer partner assailANT. While UltraMantis has always been sketchy, he pointed out that at the end of the day, he was always true to those loyal to him, unlike Green Ant. Green didn't take that so well.
UltraMantis once introduced the Eye of Tyr into CHIKARA lore. The Eye of Tyr was a mystical, mind-controlling artifact that caused CHIKARA nothing but trouble. It was shattered at some point by its main victim, Delirious.
In 2006, the tag team of Fire Ant and Soldier Ant entered CHIKARA as the Colony, joined soon after by Worker Ant. The lineup changed over the years with Worker Ant retiring and brief membership of Carpenter Ant. Green Ant became the new third man and all was good as the Colony was known as one of the premiere trios in CHIKARA. Then Wink Vavasseur's CHIKARAmetrics kicked in. Feeling the need to mix things up, Wink jumbled up the Colony and GEKIDO's answer to the Colony, the Swarm (deviANT, combatANT, and assailANT). Soldier would be traded with assailANT for the sake of "improving" the teams.
Despite his roots as a member of GEKIDO, assailANT tried to turn over a new leaf and get the fans to cheer for him. It was gradual, but he eventually got the fans, the Colony, and even vengeful Mike Quackenbush to accept him. On the other side, Soldier Ant refused to see eye-to-eye with combatANT and deviANT. After a big 8-man tag featuring both teams, Soldier Ant was abandoned by his teammates as the Colony dragged off assailANT while treating him like a hero. That left Soldier to stew alone. Wink tried to make right with Soldier by having him lead a team called Colony XTREME Force, but they were jerks and Soldier chose to quit the company.
After CHIKARA went goodbye, Fire Ant and Green Ant went looking for Soldier Ant. They visited Worker Ant, now bitter and confined to a wheelchair, but he had no news. He did hand Green Ant his Worker Ant gear, claiming he no longer wanted anything to do with it. Their search for Soldier led to an altercation between Green Ant and UltraMantis Black where UltraMantis berated them for not doing enough for Soldier. When he questioned why they didn't have assailANT with them during all of this, Fire Ant – giving one of his very few speaking lines – admitted that they still don't trust him.
The Batiri is a trio of demonic warriors who are both trolls in the literal and internet sense. A brief Ashes video showed face-painted members Kodama and Obariyon sitting in their bachelor pad apartment in Bled Island, munching popcorn and watching wrestling. Presumably, they watched one of the Wrestling Is promotions get destroyed, as they suddenly became incensed.
The other member Kobald was going to show up to one of Icarus' get-togethers, but he was jumped by Condor Security on the way there. He left an angry message on Icarus' answering machine, blaming him for it.
Starting in 2011, a promotion started up called Wrestling is Fun!, featuring much of the CHIKARA roster and many new names who would later go on to wrestle in CHIKARA. Other organizations started to pop up such as Wrestling is Cool, Wrestling is Heart, Wrestling is Intense, Wrestling is Awesome, Wrestling is Respect, and Wrestling is Art. Ignoring Wrestling is Fun!, putting the other Wrestling Is shows together with neighboring promotion Kaiju Big Battel spells out, "CHIKARA." Funny how that works.
While the wrestler were able to compete at these promotions in the wake of CHIKARA's destruction, they weren't a strong replacement. Not only were ticket sales minimal, but they were starting to get picked off by various heel factions from CHIKARA's past. Whether you call them the Ghosts of CHIKARA Past, the Secret Society of Super Rudos, the CHIKARA Revenge Squad, or whatever, they did a ton of damage over the course of several months. The only surviving promotions are Wrestling is Fun! and Kaiju Big Battel.
GEKIDO was an invading force from 2012 that took the form of evil versions of the CHIKARA roster. The Swarm was the evil Colony, featuring three former Wrestle Factory students who were kicked out years earlier for their lack of interest in paying their dues. The Shard, the evil Jigsaw, was an old friend of Jigsaw and Eddie Kingston who went his own way ten years earlier and didn't have much to show for it. The four were taught by 17, a masked, evil counterpart to Mike Quackenbush, who himself was a bitter student of one of Quack's old mentors Jorge "Skyde" Rivera. 17 was obsessed with ending careers and one of his victims was Quack, who had his wrist shattered during a match.
CHIKARA was able to fight back against GEKIDO and win the war. The returning Quack started to take it a little too far by trying to outright cripple 17 and combatANT. The other three found their own spots on the roster over time, while 17 and combatANT were thought to be gone for good.
Instead, the two of them and deviANT appeared at the end of a Wrestling is Intense show, where they interrupted the main event and threatened to end the careers of wrestlers Darkness Crabtree and Jervis Cottonbelly unless the promoter agreed to end the company completely. They got their wish. Still selling Quack's wrath, combatANT was sporting a neck brace.
Dr. Cube has always been the marquee villain of Kaiju Big Battel. The Nazi-experiment-turned-mad-scientist dabbled in CHIKARA back in 2008, though nothing huge came of it. The 2012 iPPV Under the Hood ended with a brief look at Dr. Cube's henchmen in hazmat suits finding the shattered remains of the Eye of Tyr. Dun dun DUN!
In Kaiju, Dr. Cube and American Beetle were shot by an unknown assassin. Dr. Cube returned at the next show, although it was very obviously not him. Still, the imposter Dr. Cube was able to convince his monsters to follow his lead.
After warning them via YouTube, Dr. Cube and his followers arrived at Wrestling is Awesome, right after they crowned a champion via tournament. They stole both the title belt and the gate money, thereby destroying the promotion. Months later, he appeared with GEKIDO at Wrestling is Fun!, where they were warded off by a bat-wielding Icarus. Cube told him that they'd "respect" his wishes, only to show up the next day to destroy Wrestling is Respect with the help of the Wrecking Crew.
Whoever this fake Cube is, he's got impeccable taste in sweaters.
Otherwise known as Kizarny during his brief stay in WWE, Sinn Bodhi was a wild card in the big feud between CHIKARA and the BDK back in 2010. The Batiri were his followers and he lent them to UltraMantis in return for the Eye of Tyr. Since UltraMantis couldn't supply the Eye, Bodhi turned on him. Their feud continued until the iPPV High Noon at the end of 2011, where UltraMantis gave him a fake Eye of Tyr and convinced him it was the real deal.
Sinn Bodhi did get his hands on the Eye of Tyr eventually, thanks to his alliance with Dr. Cube. He used it to sway the promoter of Wrestling is Art to hand over the promotion. Then alongside his Odditorium (Qefka the Quiet and Oliver Grimsley), he appeared at the end of the show to close the whole thing down.
BRUDERSCHAFT DES KREUZES
Known as the most unstoppable stable in CHIKARA history, the BDK made themselves known at the end of 2009 in one of the best twist reveals in wrestling history. Leaders Claudio Castagnoli (WWE's Antonio Cesaro) and Ares put together a team of those who had gripes with the company... as well as a giant, masked Viking named Tursas because what not. Not only did they run the shows via newly-appointed Director of Fun Dieter VonSteigerwalt and in-their-pocket referee Derek Sabato, but they dominated the roster, won the tag belts, Young Lions Cup, and King of Trios tournament. For a while, nobody could stand up to them.
It took all of 2010 for CHIKARA to finally win the war and regain their footing. 2011 was about the BDK breaking apart, finally done away with in the season finale, High Noon. Or were they? At the final show for Wrestling is Cool, the main event had the Devastation Corporation destroy the Colony. Afterward, the promoter Milo Schnitzler revealed that he was part of the new wave of BDK, along with Ares and Tursas' replacement Nokken. He triumphantly ended his own promotion just to mess with the ants.
COLONY XTREME FORCE
Wink Vavasseur noticed that Soldier Ant was unhappy as part of the Swarm, so he gave him a new assignment where he would be a team leader. Seeing the Colony gimmick as nothing more than something to franchise, Wink introduced the Colony XTREME Force: Orbit Adventure Ant, Missile Assault Ant, and Arctic Rescue Ant. While goofy, the trio were very underhanded and refused to listen to Soldier. He left CHIKARA and was replaced as leader by deviANT, who brought them with him into the mega-stable of CHIKARA-hating bad guys.
THE WRECKING CREW
Sidney Bakabella is a living anachronism mixing Tony Clifton with a 1980's wrestling manager. He made his name by representing the massive Devastation Corporation (Max Smashmaster, Blaster McMassive, and later Flex Rumblecrunch) and soon associated with other big terrors Oleg the Usurper and Jaka. When push came to shove, they revealed their true colors by helping Dr. Cube and GEKIDO destroy Wrestling is Respect. Bakabella revealed that he and his men were being paid real well to go on the warpath.
JERVIS COTTONBELLY AND ASSAILANT
The gentlemanly Jervis Cottonbelly had the worst luck of all, as he tended to be on the card whenever one of the heel factions destroyed a Wrestling Is show. Up to a point, at least. During an Ashes video, he was shown training alongside assailANT at the Wrestle Factory. Their sparring session came to an end once deviANT and the Colony XTREME Force showed up. Jervis was chloroformed and dragged away while deviANT ordered assailANT to burn the place to the ground. assailANT refused, causing an argument over whether GEKIDO was about gaining respect or wiping CHIKARA off the map. assailANT was beaten down while deviANT warned him not to stand against them.
With his fate up in the air, Jervis ended up missing his next few shows.
Actually, scratch that. It's the Submission Squad who have the worst luck. During King of Trios 2009, they held a tag match to showcase Lethal Wrestling Alliance. It was Pierre Abernathy and Evan Gelistico vs. Davey Vega and Gary the Barn Owl. In a weekend filled with top indy wrestling stars like Bryan Danielson, Austin Aries, and El Generico, this tag match stuck out especially as a huge stinker and received chants of, "DON'T COME BACK!"
Years later, in light of the BDK and GEKIDO successful invasion angles, the four men from that match released a video, angry at how the fans treated them. And so, "Pistol Danger" Evan Gelistico, "Barn Owl" Gary Jay, "Elegant Assassin" Pierre Abernathy, and "Brainwave" Davey Vega became the Submission Squad! They even convinced Wink to let them compete in King of Trios 2012 as a foursome!
Unfortunately for them, their exploits never bore fruit. Their attempts to invade CHIKARA were constantly foiled by their own buffoonery. Then with only days before National Pro Wrestling Day, the four sat together and decided that they weren't going to quit.
Coincidentally, their car broke down within a very short walking distance from the show.
NATIONAL PRO WRESTLING DAY
Most of the show went off without a hitch until the main event where Wrestling is Heart's Heidi Lovelace and Joe Pittman wrestled for the championship trophy La Copa. The army of heels stormed out, annihilated both wrestlers, destroyed the trophy, and the masked leader revealed himself to be none other than Jimmy Jacobs. Previously, Jacobs wrestled a couple times in CHIKARA during 2012 during a minor war between CHIKARA and his promotion Ring of Honor. The full reasoning for his inclusion here can only be speculated. He had the full might of all the different heel stables, including a bunch of hooded Dr. Cube goons circling the ring.
Suddenly, the Submission Squad appeared, yelling that if they wanted to destroy what was left of CHIKARA, they had to go through them. And so, they were beaten down. Icarus arrived with Hallowicked, his trainees, and the Colony. deviANT gave assailANT one more chance to join the winning side, but he once again refused, choosing to stay loyal to CHIKARA. Jacobs laughed at how they were eight against many, but then the hooded goons unmasked to reveal more CHIKARA favorites. A massive brawl erupted and it looked like the good guys were still going to lose.
That's when the doors opened up and a Delorean rode in, driven by Archibald Peck! Accompanied by 3.0, he helped turn the tide of battle and sent Jacobs' side off, defeated. As even Mr. Touchdown showed appreciation for Archie's help, Icarus held a piece of paper to a nearby camera with, "5/25/14" written on it.
"Tell them! Tell the world! We're coming back!"
Then they had an extra main event for the heck of it.
In an Ashes epilogue, Green Ant met up with assailANT to ask him about why he fought with CHIKARA. assailANT showed him a picture of his newborn baby and said that he needed to set an example. If he stayed with GEKIDO, he wouldn't be able to live with himself. Understanding and finally trusting him, Green Ant handed him Worker Ant's gear. He had shoes to fill.
And so, CHIKARA is back. Though we still don't know what's become of Soldier Ant and Titor Conglomerate is still out there. In May, they're going to release a full version of Ashes of CHIKARA in theatrical form. The trailer points out that there are scenes and story beats unseen by the CHIKARA fans, so maybe we'll get a few new revelations going into the company's big return on May 25, 2014.