So, let’s pretend that you live in the New York or Boston area and are a fan of professional wrestling. Not a stretch by any means of the imagination, eh? You’ve got nothing to do this weekend. WWE Over the Limit really doesn’t interest you a whole lot, and really, you’ve been wanting to try a new wrestling experience, one with lots of colorful characters, high-impact moves and fun, light comedy to go with the wrestling action.
Furthermore, and this one’s more for the New York people, you’ve had this hankering to watch Tommy Dreamer in action, but have already watched him on your ECW and WWE DVDs a million times. Well, if that’s the case, you’re in luck, because Dreamer is wrestling this weekend for the promotion I think is the most entertaining and best value for your dollar. Yep, it’s Chikara’s Aniversario weekend, and it promises to be a pretty good one.
If you’re primarily a fan of WWE, then the last time you saw Dreamer was on the December 29, 2009 edition of ECW, when he put Zack Ryder over and then gave his tearful goodbye to the fans. Since then, he’s stayed out of the limelight of mainstream wrestling, but he has kept himself busy with other endeavors, and by other endeavors, I mean showing up and wrestling for various independent wrestling promotions around the country.
Dreamer has shown up at events for EVOLVE, Dragon Gate USA and several other promotions around America, but the most surprising and most awe-inspiring appearance took place at his ancestral place of work, The ECW Arena, April 25. The date was the third night of Chikara Pro Wrestling’s annual King of Trios tournament extravaganza, which for my money was the best wrestling event of 2010 thus far. Eddie Kingston had just finished his night 3 match, a singles victory over special guest Christopher Daniels, when out from the back walked Dreamer to the delight of the thousand or so people in attendance. The Innovator of Violence hopped on the microphone and addressed Kingston, saying he wanted to do for the King of Diamonds what Terry Funk did for himself back in the days of the original ECW. The Arena again blew up.
[adinserter block=”1″]Like Tommy Dreamer, Eddie Kingston is a hard-nosed, extreme-tested everyman from Yonkers, NY. No wonder he’s won the hearts of indie crowds all over the East Coast, whether they be the bloodthirsty hardcore aficionados of CZW, the fans of high-end, “premium” DGUSA or those like me, who swear by the comedic lucha libre stylings of Chikara. For those not familiar with the King, he’s as good a brawler as Tommy Dreamer with some of Taz’s suplexing prowess thrown in as well as some rudimentary indie dives thrown in, because hey, if you can’t dive to the outside, you’d better be Necro Butcher if you want to get over.
Given all that, this Dreamer/Kingston match, which will happen at Aniversario Elf, taking place at the ACE Arena in Union City, NJ (a quick jaunt from NYC) on Sunday (doors open at 3:30 PM), should be one of the better indie brawls of the year. Dreamer’s body has deteriorated over his career of taking hard bumps and weapon shots, but as he proved last year against Christian and other ECW opponents, he can still deliver a great brawl. That’s what I expect this match with Kingston to be, a brawl.
Most of the other big-time matches on Sunday’s card feature Chikara’s ongoing war with the BDK, a rogue stable of malcontents who are trying to take over the fed through any means necessary. Think of them as a nWo-type stable, only German. The crowning match in that tilt will be the BDK team of Claudio Castagnoli and Ares defending their Campeonatos de Parejas (Tag Team Championships, Chikara’s top title) against crowd favorites Hallowicked and Frightmare.
[adinserter block=”2″]For those in the Boston area, your chance to see Chikara will come the night before in Tyngsboro, MA at the Tyngsboro Sports Complex (doors opening at 6:30 PM). Aniversario Zehn may not have Tommy Dreamer, but what it will have is some of the most entertaining and engaging wrestling action you’ll find anywhere. This card is headlined by an 8-man tag team match, or an atomico, featuring Chikara’s head trainer and godfather Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw, Hallowicked and Frightmare battling Gran Akuma, Chuck Taylor, Vin Gerard and none other than former ECW wrestler and current Chikara bad-boy Colin Delaney.
There is a reason, though, that Dreamer is touring the indie circuit after eschewing the WWE spotlight. He left the WWE after learning they’d be discontinuing the ECW brand, and now, the reason he’s shuttling around is because I think he truly believes in wrestling and in helping the indie scene reach the same level of prominence and national relevance that the original ECW did back in the late ‘90s. If you really believe in wrestling the way Dreamer does and you live in the New York or Boston areas, then come out and scope Chikara. Trust me, it’ll be worth your while.
Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.