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Chikara King of Trios 2011 and You

Manami Toyota will be at Chikara King of Trios '11So, did you get excited for WrestleMania 27? Yes? And were you absolutely thrilled with your purchase? No, you weren’t? You were let down? Judging from the majority of feedback to the biggest show of the year, if you’re reading this, you’re in that category.

It sucks looking forward to a big event and then getting disappointed with it. Luckily for you, your faith in wrestling can be restored this weekend. Yes, that’s right, another company will be putting on its biggest show of the year, and unlike the WWE, this one is almost sure to please.

In case you don’t know, Chikara is set to run with its fifth annual King of Trios tournament. It’s a three-day, six-man tag team tournament that will take place at The ECW Arena in South Philadelphia Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and it’s pretty loaded this year. Making guest appearances this year will be Sean Waltman reprising his 1-2-3 Kid character for the last time, Manami Toyota, Amazing Red, The Great Sasuke, Jinsei “Hakushi” Shinzaki and El Generico among others. Those guest appearances are great, but don’t get it twisted – the real stars of the show will be the natives of Chikara Pro Wrestling.

Last year, the overarching storyline was the invasion of the sinister BDK group. The angle was still growing at that point, and a lot of stuff happened at the event to advance it. For one, the group suffered its first two pinfall losses since forming, a rousing and cathartic main event to night 2 when The Colony ousted the secondary BDK team of Pinkie Sanchez, Tim Donst and Lince Dorado from the tournament and the ladies of the stable – Sara del Rey and Daizee Haze – losing to Hallowicked and Frightmare in the annual tag gauntlet. However, the BDK would get the last and heartiest laugh as their A-squad of Claudio Castagnoli, Ares and Tursas defeated the Colony in the finals, debuting their ace in the hole, a crooked, salaried referee to call their own in Derek Sabato.

This year’s landscape is different. The BDK is still around, but they’ve been nerfed to some degree. Their mostly failed invasion is not the main focus of the fed anymore, but one of many different directions the narrative is going simultaneously. They will send a team to the dance this year – Donst, Delirious and ring announcer/budding wrestler Jakob Hammermeir – but their entry isn’t as intriguing as their first round opponents are. Da Soul Touchaz, the Chicagoland favorite and frequent guest star stable, will oppose them in what should be one of the hottest matches of night 1. Last year, the trio got two big wins in trios matches over the invaders. The BDK would get the last laugh, brutally assaulting the trio and their manager, C-Red, putting him out of commission.

Also coming to a head in the tournament could be the feud between UltraMantis Black and Sinn “Kizarny” Bodhi. The two have been battling for the last six months basically over what amounts to payment for services. Mantis had introduced two “associates” in his battle against the BDK last year – Obariyon and Kodama. However, they were loaners from Kizarny’s dark carnival, and Mantis never gave him the required payment. So now, it’s a full-on war. Mantis has recruited his on again-off again ally Hallowicked as well as Frightmare to stand by his side. These two teams do not wrestle in the first round against each other, but they could clash in later rounds, or they could figure in outside interference later on. Time shall tell.

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In addition to all the guest stars and the tournament action, there’ll be other great matches on tap. There’s the aforementioned tag team gauntlet, where eight teams vie for points to put towards getting a future shot at the Campeonatos de Parejas, aka Chikara’s Tag Team Championships. There’s the Rey de Voladores mini-tournament, which consists of two four-man eliminator matches on night 2 and a final between the winners of those matches on night 3. This produced one of the finest matches in Chikara history in 2009, when Nick Jackson (Jeremy Buck of Generation Me), Jigsaw, Kota Ibushi and El Generico tore down the house in one of the qualifying eliminators. There is also the potential for dream matches and guest appearances. Last year, Christopher Daniels took on Hallowicked and Eddie Kingston on consecutive nights, and Tommy Dreamer made a surprise appearance on night three.

There’s also a fan conclave Saturday afternoon, which is a big party for fans of the fed. All the wrestlers and personalities will be there, and there’ll be games, challenges and a live performance from Stan Bush.

So yeah, Chikara does its biggest event of the year up right. You could argue that it is the biggest event in all of indie wrestling during the calendar year. I know coming from me, the unpaid intern in Chikara’s marketing department, it might sound like overhype, but at the same time, I have never, ever gone to a Chikara show and not had a blast. Last year, King of Trios was AMAZING, and this year, it should be just as good or even better.

If you’re in the Philadelphia area, or are in the mood for a road trip for a weekend or even just a day, come on down to The Arena. It will be well worth your money, and I guarantee you that you won’t feel the pangs of disappointment you felt around 11 PM EDT on April 3rd if you happened to watch the other biggest event of the year.

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.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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