September 13th, 2009 was supposed to be a date to remember for Chikara fans. On that day, at Hiding in Plain Sight in Nashua, NH, Bryan Danielson wrestled in his fifth, and supposedly final, match for the company. He teamed with his King of Trios ’09 partner Claudio Castagnoli against the fed’s patriarch “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush and his most gifted pupil, Jigsaw. It was a barn burner of a match, one of my favorite matches of last year and a favorite of many who had seen it, either live or on DVD. It was part of Danielson’s farewell tour in the indies, as he was going to make it big in the WWE.
Well, Bryan Danielson was on his way to making it big until he was a little “overzealous” in getting the NXT-invasion angle over, as we all know and as I’ve written about here before, he’s out of a job at Titan Towers. Although this firing is expected to be temporary, well, that still means that Danielson has some time on his hands. Given that he’s one of the best, if not the best wrestler in the world as his nickname bills him, of course he’s got the fire to wrestle anywhere his no-compete clause will let him. Thankfully, for fans of entertaining wrestling, Chikara is one of those places. This weekend, Chikara will make its debut in the Detroit area with “We Must Eat Michigan’s Brain” on Saturday at the Taylortown Trade Center in Taylor, MI, and it will return to Cleveland with “Faded Scars and Lines” at the West Park Party Center on Sunday. Thankfully, for fans in both areas, Danielson will be making appearances at both events.
Also on the card in Taylor is the return of the fan-favorite Da Soul Touchaz to a Chikara ring. Last seen at last year’s King of Trios event, DST will headline the card against the BDK team of Castagnoli, Ares and Tursas. If you’re expecting a lot of high-flying in this match, you may be disappointed, since most of the competitors in this match are on the larger side. However, it will most definitely be entertaining in its own way. DST are one of the most engaging live acts you’ll see, and the BDK trio do so well at antagonizing the crowd. This should be a very hot match.
Of course, if the high-flying spot machine stuff is your forte, then the sub-main event atomicos match between the team of Helios, Equinox, Shane Matthews and Jagged; and Vin Gerard, STIGMA, Chuck Taylor and Icarus will satisfy you. The opener for this card might be the most interesting of the lot though. UltraMantis Black, a favorite of mine, will wrestle Delirious for the first time since the BDK took control of Delirious from Mantis a few months ago. The storyline is that Delirious had been brainwashed by a mystical artifact known as the Eye of Tyr by Mantis last year, but when the BDK stole the Eye from Mantis, they assumed control of the most frenetic wrestler in the indies today. There are a lot of angle implications in this match, so it should be good for reasons other than the in-ring action.
Back to Danielson though, his opponent in Cleveland will be BDK-member and Young Lions’ Cup Champion Tim Donst in the curtain-jerker. Donst has been one of Chikara’s up and coming wrestlers, and he’s really broken out as a character with his deception of Mantis in the aforementioned Eye heist, defection to and dealings with the BDK. As a wrestler, he’s been good if unspectacular, but a match with the American Dragon can do wonders for a guy. I expect Danielson to be doing a little carrying in this, but in the end, we’ll probably be seeing a pretty good match, one for which Donst will be better off for having.
Also on the card will be the BDK Campeones defending their gold against Helios and Equinox in the main event spot. This will be a big contrast in styles, and the long-running feud between the Chikara tecnicos and the BDK will at least provide some insane crowd heat. However, contrasting styles are something done well in Chikara, so I don’t have as many worries about this as I would if it were being held in another fed. DST make another appearance, this time against The Colony, and Kingston will wrestle again, this time against Delirious.
Really, if you’re in either area and you were on the fence about going to either one of these shows, I hope that the addition of Danielson will be the deciding factor in purchasing the tickets. Chikara is well-worth checking out, and now that they’re branching out of the Philadelphia/Allentown area more often, more people around the country will have the chance to see live what I’ve been privileged to see for the last two years and what longer-tenured fans have been watching for years more.
As for Danielson, Chikara is only his first stop. He’ll be appearing for many other feds around the country and world, and hopefully, he’ll make an appearance at “Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Show” in Philly as well as the Dragon Gate USA show the night before. Either way though, Danielson and Chikara are made for each other, and if one positive can come out of his unfortunate overreaction of a firing, it’s that they’ll get to prove that at least two more times.
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.