Boss Lady Rae: CHIKARA fans generally fall into two camps – those who can go to the shows, and those who clamour for DVDs the second they’re released. We all love each other dearly, but the envy generated by the DVD dwellers gives off enough heat to melt an ice rink. Trust me. I’m one of them. My King of Trios envy might just be what’s responsible for the whole polar ice cap situation. When Andrew gave me a sampler DVD a couple of years ago and suggested I watch it, I never thought I would love it like I do. Actually, what he really said was “No pressure, but if you don’t like this I may sob like a baby!” I didn’t make him cry.
On Sunday night, something shifted. CHIKARA’s first live iPPV, High Noon, brought us all together. I don’t know how it felt at the venue, but it felt pretty special to those of us watching online. Everyone in the arena in Philadelphia watched the same show at the same time as fans around the world. It made a difference I wasn’t expecting. I was definitely excited at the prospect of watching CHIKARA live, but what I hadn’t anticipated was the sense of community that permeated my laptop screen. If being a wrestling fan means being part of one big dysfunctional family, being a CHIKARA fan is like joining a special sub-division of cousins with a secret key to the entrance. Except, all you need to do to get a copy of that key is ask someone for it. They’ll share it with you and welcome you into the fold.
On top of the fact that High Noon made me ultimate totes emosh (I’ve been dying to type that somewhere), how wonderful it was to be able to watch a pay-per-view live and at a sensible time of the day. North Americans won’t understand why this is so important at all, but High Noon started at 9pm (UK time) and I was in bed before midnight. Admittedly, I spent an hour staring at the ceiling trying to absorb the main event and wondering how long my hair would have to grow before I could execute Jacob Hammermeier’s bitchin’ side-pony. But I was asleep before the time I’m usually getting up from a pre-show nap for a WWE PPV and I didn’t have to book a day off work to recover from the up-all-night hangover. Everyone’s a winner! Well, apart from Australians, who had to get up a few hours earlier. They’ll manage.
In honour of this lovely group people I’m proud to be associated with, here’s my carefully selected tune. (I’m definitely going soft in my old age!)
Sidekick Andrew: Last Sunday marked the 6 year anniversary of the death of Eddie Guerrero. Rather fittingly, it was also the date that Eddie Kingston became the first CHIKARA grand champion. Rae has already written how great an experience it was for us in the UK to be able to join in and watch live, and I echo her sentiments exactly. Hell, Rae will tell you I’m a flint-hearted northerner who doesn’t do emotion, but even I had something in my throat during the main event. I don’t think I’ve seen a more emotional title match aftermath since Wrestlemania XX. OK, it might be soured slightly by the Benoit connection in retrospect, but seeing two friends that happy in the ring showing true emotion is pretty rare in wrestling
Or at least it is unless you watch Eddie Kingston’s work. Like Guerrero, Kingston has fought through personal demons throughout his life. Like Guerrero, Kingston has never hidden his faults and flaws. Most importantly, like Guerrero, Kingston has never lost his love and passion for wrestling. I’ve spoken before of how much I love Kingston’s promos. The way he can make you believe every word he says. The way he can mix real life and the “fake” world of wrestling with such skill and passion. Every single time… I know for a fact that this promo in particular sold a number of High Noon purchases…
Now I am admittedly biased as Eddie Kingston is one of my favourite wrestlers. Yes I love his promos, but I also love his brawling wrestling style and the way he sells moves like they actually hurt rather than “wrestling hurt”. Kingston has been a mainstay of CHIKARA (which just happens to be my favourite promotion) and was part of one of my favourite matches ever. All in all, I’m pretty much an unabashed Eddie Kingston fan and as such I love the fact that he was the winner in the biggest match in CHIKARA history, and the fact that I got to see it live means a lot to me. Thank you CHIKARA, and thank you Eddie. This one’s for you…