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LOOKING AT CHIKARA'S 12 LARGE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT

By Joshua Higham on 2011-05-19 08:45:00

Chikara 12 Large Summit Preview
 
A video played at the Season 10 premiere in January at the Arena in South Philly. At the end of the video, a graphic that looked similar to the Campeonatos de Parejas appeared with the tagline “It’s Time.” In early February, Director of Fun Wink Vavasseur made it official in a blog on chikarapro.com. Vavasseur announced that he would take a vote among the active roster to pick those who will challenge to be the inaugural champion. That vote occurred at King of Trios weekend. After King of Trios, Vavasseur announced the top 12 vote getters would meet in two blocks of round robin action starting May 21. Using a typical round robin point system, a win gets 2 points, a draw gets 1, and a loss is 0. The points leaders from the blocks will meet in the finals occurring November 13. 
 
Here is a look at the twelve involved. In no particular order. 
 
Claudio Castagnoli - Block A
 
The big man from Switzerland has been nearly unbeatable as a singles competitor in Chikara. He’s also one of the most physically impressive and true heavyweight wrestlers in Chikara. He towers over most and can overpower almost everyone. In the last 18 months, he’s turned on Chikara as one of the leaders of the BDK and won the Campeonatos de Parejas and King of Trios. Winning this title would make him one of the most decorated wrestlers in Chikara and on the indies as a whole. He will be on a warpath during the tournament, because he instructed the BDK to vote for him and the numbers say not everyone did (Del Rey may have a target on her back). 
 
Ultramantis Black - Block B
 
A First Generation Chikara original, Ultramantis Black has long been a focal point of the company. Always front and center either as top rudo, color commentator, or crusader against the BDK, the former leader of the Order of the Neo Solar Temple has begun carrying the mantle for Chikara and the Spectral Envoy from the past few months, probably because a lot of the issues now happening in Chikara are partially his fault. His path of redemption may include something he’s never had in Chikara: gold. 
 
Eddie Kingston - Block B
 
He is the War King. He is the Ace of the company, at least over the past year. Since losing to Castagnoli in a Respect Match in November 2009, he’s been on fire, winning the Dark Cibernetico being the first to take Tursas off his feet and competing against top talents like Chris Daniels, El Generico, Bryan Danielson, Tommy Dreamer, and Homicide. He has made it known that Chikara is his home, and he will fight to the end for Chikara. He has to be a heavy favorite.  
 
Brodie Lee - Block B
 
Another true heavyweight in the tournament, “The Big Rig” Brodie Lee hasn’t had much success in Chikara action recently. The Throwbacks have had his number in their recent feud, winning a lumberjack match in Brooklyn. He hasn’t wrestled in singles action very much in Chikara since his feud with Claudio Castagnoli in 2008. He has gotten a wealth of international experience now that he’s regularly touring Dragon Gate as a member of Blood Warriors. 
 
Jigsaw - Block B
 
Jigsaw is going to be an interesting name in this tournament. One-half of the current Campeonatos de Parejas, he is currently on the sidelines until July with a bicep injury. That means that every match between July and November could have major significance between his tournament matches and any defenses of the Campeonatos. Can he handle the pressure or will catching up be to his advantage? 
 
Hallowicked - Block A
 
The other member of the Spectral Envoy involved in the tournament, Hallowicked is a first generation Chikara original. For a while, he has been called the best prospect to come out of the Wrestle Factory, and winning this tournament might prove that once and for all. Hallowicked is one of three wrestlers in the round robin who could garner the Chikara triple crown: this championship, the Campeonatos de Parejas, and Young Lions Cup. 
 
A member of the Osirian Portal - Block A
 
Amasis was originally voted into the round robin, but after he suffered an injury, Wink Vavasseur announced he would allow one of the other members of the Portal to take that spot, pending a fan vote. Now, Vavasseur seems to show some favor for Hieracon; the former Jonathan Gresham was Wink’s handpicked choice to team with the Portal. Of course, with Vavasseur’s penchant for forgetting names, he asked the fans to vote for Hieracon or “Snake-face.” Ophidian, the “Snake-face” of question, currently has a sizable lead in the fan vote. 
 
Mike Quackenbush - Block A
 
The patriarch of Chikara, it’s not surprising he made his way into the round robin. He’s won King of Trios before and is one half of the current Campeonatos de Parejas. He will have a hard road to travel since most of the people in his block (and the entire tournament) are former students or training partners who know Quack pretty well. On top of that, defending the Campeonatos will be just as taxing as his attempt to win this singles championship.
 
Fire Ant - Block B
 
The Hot Property of the Colony, he is one of the possible triple crown winners. He was an impressive trophy case of Chikara accomplishments winning a Tag World Grand Prix with Soldier Ant and this year’s King of Trios. His major disadvantage is his inexperience  in singles competition in the past few years. Dating back to King of Trios 2009, he has wrestled in only 3 one-on-one matches, going 1-2. The wild success of the Colony may not translate when he’s all alone.
 
Sara Del Rey - Block A
 
Sara Del Rey is the only female voted into the round robin. Coincidently, she is in the same block as another member of the BDK, Claudio Castagnoli, who is not pleased that  he didn’t get the votes of every member of the BDK. She has been on a mission to prove herself as a female and show she is at least equal, if not greater, than the male wrestlers as well. Her tag team with Daizee Haze is formidable, gaining three points but not being allowed to challenge for the Campeonatos de Parejas. 
 
Icarus - Block A
 
The homegrown member of FIST and one of the most hated wrestlers in Chikara, he has a long history with virtually everybody in this tournament. Two former partners and stablemates will stand in front of him during the round robin. He’s been in Chikara since the first event and stood up for Chikara in the war with the BDK, but he will try any underhanded tactic and happily cheat his way to bring the title to FIST. And he’s got the worst tattoo ever, and the Chikara fans will gladly tell him. 
 
Vin Gerard - Block B
 
Gerard launched a campaign to try to bribe people to vote for him. I suppose it worked on someone. What’s most likely is that he was able to trade his vote with someone else instead of doing of what most of the roster did: vote for their tag partner. Other than Stigma, who would vote for Vin Gerard? (My bet is Brodie Lee, oddly enough his first opponent.) At the start of the tournament, he will be either riding a wave of momentum by breaking up 3.0 or hitting a brick wall by losing Stigma as his partner. But if he has to stand alone, a championship with be a nice consolation. 
 
Over the next six months, 30 matches will take place to lead to November 13, where the 31st match will crown a champion. In that time, Chikara will be traveling to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, and probably one or two other states. Ticket information can be found at chikarapro.com. Of course, I will be previewing the events right here at pwinsider.com.

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