Sunday, May 4, 2014

Chikara is back

For as silly and jokey as Chikara is, it takes its storytelling very seriously, and probably has the best booking of any wrestling company since ECW.  It also rewarded its fans appropriately for their level of involvement.  If you want to watch a single show or match you can enjoy the humor and athleticism.  If you watch all the shows and keep up with the promos, you can enjoy all the individual storylines and feuds that bring emotion to the matches.  After this, things get a little tricky.

Beyond this level, there is an overarching story for each season, having to do with mysterious cults, magical artifacts, evil corporations, etc.  Almost none of this comes out in the DVDs or the YouTube promos, so it takes another level of involvement I'm not willing to invest - keeping track of blogs, twitter feeds, etc.  Part of the problem is that the DVD releases are scheduled around a month after the actual event, so if you want a spoiler free viewing of the show you need to be able to ration what you watch or read and wait until after the next DVD to catch up.

I was happy to stay at that level of involvement after finally figuring out when to stop watching the YouTube channels at what points.  Then, last June, it all went away.

As part of an angle, the last IPPV got shut down by corporate security forces, the website and YouTube channel stopped being updated, and all of the shows that year were cancelled.  I figured it was an elaborate angle, possibly to cover up financial difficulties, and accordingly avoided Chikara news to avoid spoilers, checking back with the website every couple months for updates.  Some of the wrestlers were in the "Wrestling Is ..." series of events, but those didn't look "in continuity" to me, so I didn't bother.

A little later, I see that there is a YouTube series "Ashes":

Yep, dramatized, non-verite vignettes, the bane of any true wrestling fan.  I didn't bother and waited.

And waited.

Well, whatever, it was a giant, year long angle that was evidently spread out over the Wrestling Is shows, various websites, badly filmed vignettes, and some kind of complex virtual reality game.  And I'm sure it was riveting for the twenty or so Chikara superfans that stuck around through it all.

I don't have a problem with Quackenbush trying something new or daring, but to the casual or even moderately dedicated fan, the story was: "Chikara is gone for a year.  Oh, wait, now it's back."  So May 25th I can finally watch ice cream cones fake fight with ants again.

Catch up on the Chikara site.

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